DJI Introduces The $2,800 Inspire 1 Transforming Drone

DJI is the leader in drones and the company just introduced a radical new model. The Inspire 1 builds upon the success of the Phantom and integrates some of the magic found in the firm’s professional-level drones, including the ability to stream 1080p video up to a mile away. At $2,800, the Inspire 1 isn’t cheap, but it packs an unparalleled suite of technology in its arsenal.

DJI brags that the Inspire 1 combines the professional features with ease of use. It has a transforming design that provides an unobstructed 360-degree view. The legs raise up, allowing the 12MP, 4k camera to swivel 360 degrees.

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The drone of course sports GPS capabilities, which helps it stay level in flight. That’s a standard feature in drones now. But the Inspire 1 takes it one step farther and has a downward facing optical flow sensor so it can be completely stable without GPS signal; think indoors.

At its price point, the Inspire 1 sits firmly in the middle of DJI’s range. The Inspire 1 is clearly more advance than the $1,000 Phantom models, but lacks the sheer customization options found on DJI’s Spreading Wings modular platform.

DJI packed its Lightbridge system into the drone that can stream 1080p video one mile away. DJI usually sells this option alone for $1,400. Also, like the higher-end models, two controllers can connect to the Inspire 1 allowing for one person to fly the drone while the other operates the movable camera (I needed a co-pilot during a drone selfie last week).

The 12MP CMOS camera is mounted to an auto-leveling gimbal, which will allow for silky smooth videos. A 94-degree wide-angle lens provides a wide view, and since the Inspire 1’s leg raises up after take-off allowing for a 360-degree movement, this drone redefines a bird’s-eye view.