Following a U.S. launch, recall, and relaunch, GoPro’s compact Karma quadcopter has finally made it to European shores.
The California-based company confirmed this week that its foldable flying machine is now on sale across the pond in the U.K., Spain, Italy, Germany, and France.
A starter kit, which includes the drone, a Hero5 camera, and the Karma Grip for silky smooth video shots with or without the drone, will set Brits back 1,200 pounds, or about $1,500. That’s 100 pounds ($120) less than the similarly diminutive — and equally foldable — Mavic machine from drone giant DJI.
Already have a GoPro camera? Then you’re looking at 870 pounds ($1,085). What? You have a Grip as well? Then just 570 pounds ($710) will do, thank you very much.
The U.S. launch of the Karma toward the end of last year was ruined by a battery fault that caused a small number of the machines to suddenly fall from the sky. Not good for the owner, not good for the Karma, and not good for anyone it happened to hit, though fortunately there were no reports of such calamitous incidents. Following a fix, the Karma returned to the American market at the start of February.
The remotely controlled quadcopter faces tough competition from the likes of the aforementioned Mavic, which has been getting rave reviews since its launch in 2016 (check out DT’s here). By way of comparison, the Karma lacks obstacle avoidance technology and has a shorter flight time than the Mavic.
However, if you’re a wannabe quadcopter pilot looking for your first machine and your kit bag already includes a ton of GoPro gear, the Karma will save you some serious coin.
Alongside last year’s drone debacle (and partly because of it), GoPro was hit by losses of $116 million in the last quarter, and earlier this month the company announced it’s showing the door to 270 employees in a bid to cut costs.
Despite the difficulties, GoPro said it’s determined to press ahead with launches of new hardware and software as the company works to turn its business around.