Ryze Tello quadcopter: the best drone for your first purchase

Ryze Tello is a representative of the lower class of quadrocopters equipped with cameras. It is very light, which, on the one hand, does not require powerful and energy — consuming engines, on the other-it is easily blown away by the wind, so it simply cannot fly at high altitude. Its disadvantages lie in its advantages: Ryze Tello can be run indoors (if we are not talking about a one-room apartment, of course), which opens up interesting prospects for entertainment, racing, competitions and all sorts of demonstration flights.

Why is it interesting?

Perhaps the main advantage of Tello is its price, on AliExpress you can generally meet the psychological 100 dollars, if you are ready to wait a month for delivery). At the same time, its technical capabilities are perfectly balanced and it looks very decent even against the background of numerous competitors with lower prices. It is clear that the partnership with DJI was not in vain and the developers clearly understood what you can save, and what — not worth it. The drone has a 5-megapixel camera with HD video recording. We decided to give up memory cards — all photos and videos are transmitted via Wi-Fi and stored in the smartphone’s memory. If desired, you can connect a Bluetooth controller in the form of a gamepad to control the drone (but then the flight radius will be limited to 10 meters).

Maiden flight

To control the drone, you need to download the proprietary Tello app (available for Android and iOS). Then turn on the drone (it has one button) and connect to its Wi-Fi network.

Other Tello settings

The app settings allow you to connect a gamepad or virtual reality helmet to the drone, choose the speed of the drone (I carefully chose a low speed at first to get used to it) and the video bitrate (I left the automatic selection — it is set by default). You can change the distance measurement system — metric or British, update the app version and set a critical battery level, after which the drone will start landing automatically (I left the suggested 20%).

How far can I fly and how often do I need to charge?

Tello’s flight capabilities directly indicate that it is a toy: its “ceiling” is 30 meters, and its flight range is 100 meters. It feels like it does not rise in practice above a 9-storey building, and then 50-70 meters to fly on it is already uncomfortable — it can lose communication. For video shooting, a height of 30 meters is not very suitable — there is always a wind, and at 80 grams of weight, any wind leads to the camera inevitably shaking. But for ultra-low heights, in the literal sense of the word – at the height of human growth, it is very convenient. The flight time stated by the manufacturer is 13 minutes, in practice, somewhere it is, but it is better to count on 10, because the drone needs time to return and land.


Of all the toy light drones with a camera, Tello really looks great. I don’t like the word “perfect”, because nothing is perfect, and years later everything “perfect” already becomes trash, but this is really an ideal candidate for buying the first drone with a camera. It is inexpensive, it is not so sorry to lose or break, as, for example, DJI Mavic or even Spark, which costs 3-4 times more expensive than Tello. At the same time, it is easy to manage, and the app does not crash, freeze, or blunt.

Although for those who want to master the “real” aerial photography Tello is not suitable (we will not build illusions-it will not even rise above 30 meters, and even there it shakes from the wind), but it is quite possible to master the basics of drone control and get flight skills, having flown your first dozens of hours with its help. Tello is good as a toy for entertainment — with its spectacular flips in the air and shooting effects, where it performs actions without the participation of the operator.