3DR Solo vs Yuneec Q500,which one would you buy?

If you’re going to get the 3DR Solo, you probably already have or like a GoPro, you’re new to quadcopters, you like open source.

For starters, the Solo is the drone that boasts not one, but two dedicated 1GHz Cortex-A9 Linux computers. There’s one in the controller, and one onboard the drone itself that handles all high-level flight scripting, freeing Solo’s Pixhawk 2 autopilot to focus solely on keeping the copter in the air. This configuration makes the drone incredibly reliable, as there’s a much lower chance of a firmware freeze.

Second of all, you won’t find a camera on this drone. You’ll need to bring your own GoPro to the party, and it’s only compatible with Hero models 3, 3+ and 4. Obviously, the downside of this is that if you don’t already own a GoPro, you’ll need to drop an extra $400 or $500 before you can film anything from the air. The upside? You’re not married to the same camera forever, and can upgrade to a nicer model when better tech becomes available. And if you’ve already got a GoPro handy, you’re golden.

Third, this drone can fly like a bat out of hell. 3DR doesn’t boast about it very much, but Solo can hit over 55 MPH if you take the training wheels off. That’s 10 MPH faster that DJI’s new Phantom 4, and it’ll go even faster with a good tailwind behind it. If you need a drone that can keep up with a car, motorcycle, snowboard, mountain bike, or anything else that moves fast, Solo would be a fantastic choice.

Solo’s autonomous flight modes, which include Selfie, Cable Cam, Orbit, and Follow, are designed to make it easier to get professional-looking aerial video. The drone handles all the flight, which allows you to focus solely on capturing a great shot.

If you’re not keen on keeping up with every new iPhone release, Yuneec’s Q500 Typhoon 4K is a solid option.

Rather than relying on a smartphone as half of the controls, the Yuneec’s Android-based remote controller has a built-in touchscreen for flight monitoring. This design not only expedites the setup process but also removes the pressure on you to sport the latest and greatest mobile device.

As the name implies, the Yuneec Q500 4K shoots 4K video, which is gradually replacing 1080p, and captures raw-format still images. It does offer useful navigation features such as Waypoints and Follow Me, and its camera is removable and replaceable (a bonus if it ever sustains damage or if Yuneec releases a better model). And though this model is monstrous in comparison with the others we tested, its stealthy gunmetal-gray design is aesthetically pleasing.

Both of drones come with smart controls designed to ease the learning curve for beginners, an intuitive control scheme. Your choice between the two may come down to the camera and price.