DJI kindly invited us to their launch of the Inspire 1 in Shenzhen, China on 13th November 2014. This has built up to be their most eagerly awaited product to date, with forums and social media channels awash with sneak peaks, rumours and speculation.
We have documented our trip and below show various photo’s, release information and our hands-on view of the Inspire 1.
We arrived in Hong Kong on the 12th and travelled to our hotel in Shenzhen, the launch being the following day on the 13th at DJI’s headquarters.
DJI’s headquarters is impressive, they own several floors in the buliding, consisting of sales, marketing, R&D and more. We headed to the conference room to get hand-on with the Inspire 1.
On first glance the Inspire 1’s alternative design takes a minute to get your head around, it’s T-Shaped frame is different to anything currently available but gives you a feeling that you are looking at something special.
On lifting the controller for the first time, you get a real feeling of a quality, well thought out remote. Unlike the light Phantom transmitters, this thing really has some weight. This is due to the large 6,000mah built in battery and internal Lightbridge. We soon learned that the transmitters run on 2.4Ghz and have a range of 2km, and can connect to your smartphone for your live HD downlink. A second transmitter can be added which will link with the pilots transmitter to give control of the camera and gimbal, and also can received the live HD downlink.
What are these new ultrasonic sensors?
Underneath the Inspire 1 is a new camera and utrasonic sensor, we quickly learnt that these work in addition to the GPS unit when the aircraft is under 2.5 meters in height. These make the hover accuracy very good outside, and even accurate inside when you have no GPS signal!
So how does it fly inside?
Very well it would seem. It was remarkable how quiet it was compared to the Phantom 2, it was much quieter and smoother in flight, and hovered very accurately inside without GPS. Check the video below for a demonstration of indoor flight.
How does it fly outside?
Even better! The Inspire 1 is extremely fast and agile when pushed, and also very smooth when flown more carefully. It handles differently to anything we have flown before, it seems to be much faster than a Phantom, and also much more agile and precise than the S900 with an A2 flight controller.
We’re told by DJI that it uses a new flight controller which uses the GPS module from the A2, but also utilises the new optical flow sensor when under 2.5 meters.
Transforming design for extra stability
18 minute flight time
4K@30fps camera with 12 megapixel stills
Sony EXMOR sensor for superb image quality
9 Elements in 9 groups non fish-eye lens for professional images and videos
3-axis gimbal with 360 degree views
Transmitter with built in HD video link
Conclusion and pricing
Overall we were hugely impressed with what DJI have released here. They have made something incredible in an extremely short space of time that has again pushed the boundaries of what is currently available at an affordable price.
For £2380 you get an incredibly capable craft with an excellent 4K camera including a full HD Lighbridge video link. This fits nicely in DJI’s range as it is more capable than a Phantom with a GoPro Hero 4, and a lot cheaper than a build S900/S1000 with a larger SLR camera.
We will have a demo model on display for customers wanting to see the Inspire 1 in person. We’re sure the Inspire will make many customers very happy once they have seen what it is capable of, and we can’t wait to see what you do with it!
Thanks again for having us DJI.