Tech Review: Ehang Ghostdrone 2.0 VR (2017) is the best entry-level drone we’ve seen in a while

If you were to put together a list of things that a good, entry-level drone should have, it’s quite likely that the Ehang Ghostdrone 2.0 VR would be able to tick each one of them off with ease. Its features are comprehensive without going overboard. It’s easy to fly, easy to land and the 4K camera makes your footage look great. What’s the catch?

The downside, if any, is that flying the Ghostdrone 2.0 is a two person job. The law being what it is, the drone has to remain in your line of sight at all times and, because you’ll likely be wearing the VR headset the drone comes with as you fly it, you’ll need a spotter to keep it in sight.

Like many drones in this price range, the Ghostdrone connects to the headset which in turn connects to your phone. Throwing on the VR headset gives you a view straight out of the drone’s mounted camera and you can control it by moving your head around. The camera will move as you do which, if I’m being honest, takes some getting used to. What a crazy experience though, particularly for an entry level drone like this. While I did run into a few technical hitches using the VR headset, I was so taken by the ability to be absorbed in what the drone could see that I was willing to forgive it. Please note that it isn’t legal in Australia to wear the VR headset while actually piloting the drone so you should pass it around to your friends if you’re the one doing the flying. This is actually quite cool because a lot of the time, taking the drone out with friends amounts to “I will now swoop my drone around, no sorry, I’d really rather you didn’t fly it,” so this provides a nice middle ground, I feel.

In addition to the VR controls, you can also use your phone’s gyro’s to manipulate the drone. Tilting left and right will move the drone about and I actually came to prefer this method of flying the drone with my phone. I know. Believe me, I’m as surprised as anyone.

Connectivity was quite strong throughout, though we did start losing the VR signal once we hit a certain height, and the drone will return to its point of origin should it lose its connection to your phone at any point.

The battery managed a solid 25-30 minutes of swanning about from a full charge which was quite nice, but as with any drone its a good idea to take spares if you’d like to be out flying for quite a while. The battery actually has a built in status screen that gives you all sorts of useful information about it as you charge — I’d like to see more drone manufacturers adopting this.

The gimbal camera is capable of recording in 4K at around 30fps, which is great, but if you’re the sort who absolutely has to have their footage running at 60fps then we suggest dropping down to 1080p and going up to 120fps. Again, that you can do this on what is an entry level drone is impressive.

In terms of value for money, I’m actually finding it hard not to recommend the Ghostdrone 2.0 to anyone looking to pick up a beginner-tier drone. It’ll set you back AU$999 RRP and its features are nothing to sneeze at for the price range. It’s fun, it’s gets a good picture, the VR is cool as hell and it’s capable of getting some real height. A must-watch for anyone looking to get into the aerial photography hobby.

Score: 8.0 out of 10
Highlights: Simple phone UI; VR is cool as hell; Simple flight controls
Lowlights: May suffer from interference when using the VR headset
Manufacturer: Ehang
Price: $999
Available: Now


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David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.