Quick, agile and shockingly easy to fly, DJI’s Inspire 1 still rules the skies

DJI’s flagship drone, the Inspire 1, looks like it’s suited to be in a Terminator movie. While this won’t become sentient and threaten all mankind (we hope), the Inspire 1 is equipped with all kinds of advanced technology that allows you to capture incredible 4K videos and 12-megapixel photos like none other. This is thanks to its gimbaled platform, and transforming landing gear that raises during takeoff to give you a completely unobstructed view from the camera.

The Inspire 1 uses four incredibly powerful motors connected to carbon fiber legs, which help propel the craft to speeds past 50 miles per hour, while also maintaining maneuverability. This is especially fun when paired with DJI’s lightbridge technology, which allows you to see a live camera feed of what the Inspire 1 is seeing — from up to a mile away. The included 4K camera takes MicroSD cards up to 128GB, and can rotate a full 360 degrees and 120 degrees up and down.

The remote is pretty intuitive and handles similar to what you’ll find in other quadcopters. On the right joystick, right and left will make the Inspire 1 travel side-to-side, and up and down will move it forward and reverse. On the left joystick, up and down control your altitude, whereas left and right adjusts the direction the Inspire 1 is facing. Using rockers on the front of the remote (placed similarly to where the trigger buttons are on a PlayStation controller), you can also control the camera angle and adjust camera settings. To fire up the live video feed, simply plug in your iOS or Android phone into the remote and launch the DJI GO app. This app is extremely feature rich, and you can see all your flight information, GPS, remote connection strength, and even adjust all of your camera controls during flight. The DJI GO app (Android | iOS) also contains a flight simulator, an extremely intuitive movie editor, and flight logs where you can review all of your past flights.

As for in-air performance, the Inspire 1 boasts a number of intelligent flight functions. The three most advanced are point of interest, waypoints, and follow-me mode. In point of interest, you hover the Inspire 1 over the point you wan to orbit and select this in the app. Then you back away from that point to define your radius, select your speed, and hit apply. The Inspire 1 will orbit that point keeping the camera facing that direction. While it is orbiting, you can focus on the camera controls while the Inspire 1 flies itself.

DJI-Inspire-1

In waypoint mode, you fly over the points you want to define as your flight path and select those points in the app. After you have completed your flight path, you hit apply to upload your points into the Inspire 1’s flight plan. It will return to the first point and execute the flight plan while you control the camera.

The coolest feature, though, is definitely follow-me mode. When you apply this, the Inspire 1 will follow wherever you take its remote (as long as your phone is connected to cellular data to share its location). I was able to enable this mode, place the remote on my car’s dash, and drive over a mile while the Inspire 1 followed me the whole way (you have to keep your car around 30 mph so it can keep up, however). This is truly going to revolutionize car commercials, or take selfies to a whole new level.

The videos you can capture with the Inspire 1 are truly amazing. It effortlessly soars through the air, and the gimbaled platform and 4K camera capture fluid and smooth videos. If you’re interested, the Inspire 1 can be picked up for $2,600 for the single remote version, and $3,200 for the dual remote version. You can also purchase the Micro Four Thirds Zenmuse X5 and X5R cameras to record even better footage in the air. Sure it’s steep — but as far as we can tell, this beastly quadcopter is one of the best drones money can buy right now.

Wearables

The Xplora 3S smartwatch keeps you connected to your kids and alerts of trouble

If you want to keep tabs on your kids, but feel they are a bit young for a first smartphone, then the Xplora 3S kids smartwatch might be exactly what you need. We tested it out with a discerning seven year-old to find out what it's like.
Home Theater

Get the most out of your Chromecast with these handy tips

Google's Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra are the ultimate budget-friendly streaming devices for cord cutters. We've put together a list of our favorite tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Chromecast.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.
Deals

Amazon discounts the price of the Nokia 7.1 to just $300 before Prime Day

If you’re looking for a feature-packed smartphone but don’t want to shell out big bucks, the Nokia 7.1 is a solid option. Take advantage of Amazon’s pre-Prime Day offering and order yours today for only $300.
Emerging Tech

The Very Large Telescope captures the beautiful remnants of a dying star

The VLT has captured a beautiful cosmic object, the planetary nebula named Abell 24. Located in constellation of Canis Minor (The Lesser Dog), it is a swirl of dust and gas which is illuminated by the core of a dead star.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers have spotted a moon forming around a proto-Jupiter

Astronomers have spotted a young planet with a disk of gas and dust around it which is similar to the one from which the moons of Jupiter were born. The planet PDS 70 b is in the process of forming and is located 370 light-years away.
Emerging Tech

Stallone in Terminator 2? How one deepfake prankster is changing cinema history

Ever wanted to see The Shining with Jim Carrey instead of Jack Nicholson? How about Stallone in Terminator 2: Judgement Day instead of everyone's favorite governator? Thanks to deepfakes, it's now possible -- just ask YouTuber Ctrl Shift…
Emerging Tech

NASA thinks 3D-printing spacecraft parts in orbit will help Moon to Mars mission

NASA funded the demonstration by a small spacecraft named Archinaut One to manufacture and assemble parts while in space. NASA believes that the technology will change future space exploration, including its Moon to Mars initiative.
Emerging Tech

Flyboard Air soars over Paris during France’s national day celebrations

Franky Zapata, the inventor of the jet-powered Flyboard Air, showed off his machine during France's Bastille Day celebrations on Sunday. The impressive display was even given a nod of approval by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Deals

Save with Prime Day deals on DNA kits from Ancestry, 23andme, and Living DNA

Prime Day is a great time to order a DNA kit. Over the years, kits from various providers have been deeply discounted -- and this year's no exception. Kits from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and Living DNA are on sale for as much as half off…
Emerging Tech

Airport hotel builds a full-sized flight simulator into one of its guest rooms

Aviation enthusiasts flying out of Tokyo's Haneda Airport, there's a new hotel room designed just for you. It features a full-sized Boeing 737-800 flight simulator, though you'll have to pay extra to use it.
Emerging Tech

Like the real thing, this robot ant colony is more than the sum of its parts

Researchers have built a robot ant colony, consisting of tiny 10-gram robots which are able to communicate with one another, assign roles among themselves, and work together to complete tasks.
Emerging Tech

Watch live: Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins reflect on the moon landing

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 mission, NASA will hold a live broadcast featuring a retrospective and presentations by the astronauts involved. You can watch the event live on July 16 at 6:15 a.m. PT.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX finally knows what caused its Crew Dragon capsule to explode

SpaceX and NASA say they finally know what caused its Crew Dragon capsule to explode during an April test of the spacecraft’s thruster system. It's now unlikely that the capsule will be used for crewed spaceflight before the end of the…