GoPro Karma Review - Total Recall
Total Recall on the Karma
On November 9th Go Pro announced a total recall of the 2,500 Go Pro Karma drones released since it's October debut. Go Pro is offering a full refund and holding back from a future release until the performance issue is resolved. After several incidences of these machines dropping dead by loss of power mid-air. Fortunately enough no injuries have been reported. For full information on the recall click here!
GoPro has revolutionized drone technology with the Karma Drone. Read along to see what Karma is amazing at and to see where it falls short. First, let's have a look at the short history of the drone.
Drones, also referred to as unmanned vehicles, began with a military background but have made their way into civilian use. Nicola Tesla was one of the first companies to patent unmanned vehicles. Tesla honestly believed that this technology would promote world peace.
"For by reason of its certain unlimited destructiveness, it will tend to bring about and maintain permanent peace among nations."
Fast forward to today where the civilian quadcopter is used more frequently. Amazon promised that one day they would have a fleet of drones to deliver directly to your doors. Unfortunately, the idea of drones to the general public has a bit of a military stigma leading to feelings of uncertainty and caution. Although there lays a stigma, the more drone technology evolves, the more confident companies are with the use of drones.
GoPro is one business with growing confidence in drone technology. Owner Nick Woodman believes his business thrives on the fact that their products create meaningful experiences to the people who use them. He explained the positivity transferred to the user is the active "karma" transfer between significant experience and the user.
"We felt that Karma helps people capture such incredibly beautiful experiences that it can actually go on to motivate those who watch those experiences and go out and make more of themselves — to live a bigger life"
Transport and Setup
This drone is the first foldable quadcopter reducing the size to a width of 8.8in and Height of 3.5in. Transport of quadcopter drones has been a folly in the industry for a long while. Karma comes with a backpack where it's competitor the Phantom 4 expects you to purchase travel cases separately.
The Karma does not need to tether to a mobile device like an iPad or phone. Instead, it comes with a touchscreen and intuitive controller and can fly as soon as the Karma is set up. The Phantom 4 unit can't take off unless connected by app via a mobile device. Traveling with the Karma makes more sense as you won't end up having to charge or forgetting multiple devices.
The Li-Pro battery gives the Karma over 20 minutes of flight. It's competitor, the Phantom 4, lasts up to 28 min. The Karma battery recharges in an hour, the controller in 2.5 hours and the Grip within 2hrs. The only failure is that the control and grip can only be charged one at a time.
The maximum flight altitude is 14,500 ft where the Phantom 3 maximum is 19685 ft. It turns out there is a huge gap between maximum elevation between the two drones. Keep in mind that depending on where you are there is a variance to the airspace you are allowed to fly a drone in.
The Karma can reach a speed of over 35 mph which is 10 mph slower than the Phantom 4. You have to consider the size and weight between the two drones when comparing speed. When filming in 4k, too much speed can kill the image. So unless you are racing, then this is probably not the drone for you.
The GoPro is for the explorer, the adventurer who needs practicality. The Karma is the essence of GoPro with durability, packability, and design. Buying the Karma is an excellent decision.