NEW Skydio 2+ Drone – What Did They Upgrade?
The list is fairly short, but the upgrades are still significant. We now have a set of omnidirectional antennas on the front of the drone that face upwards, allowing for a better connection from the remote controller and beacon these connect to a brand new radio system inside of the drone theres. Also, a brand new battery with a larger capacity, giving us more flight time, which, of course, is always a good thing, and the final update is a new feature called keyframe. That is basically like an advanced version of waypoints for capturing precise shots that require finite movements. Other than that pretty much everything about the skydio, 2 and skydu 2 plus are exactly the same. We have the same camera capable of shooting 4k video at 60 frames per second, the same blue and black color scheme. We have the same six navigation cameras that analyze the world around the drone to provide a high level of autonomy, the same motors, the same top speed. You guys get the point heres the thing, though, out of the three upgrades introduced with the skydio2 plus two of them are going to be available for existing skydio2 owners that purchased this drone up to two years ago. So keyframe is just a brand new feature. Thats being added through a firmware update and the design of the batteries stay the same its funny in my time. Using these batteries, ive actually gotten them mixed up quite a bit because they are basically the same weight when you feel them in the hand theyre.
Inside of the same casing, they have the same, pin layout they even attach to the drone, in the same way, with a magnet which ive always thought is really cool. The only way that ive been able to tell the difference is by reading the text on the backside, which confirms the capacity has been increased by about 20. Now, of course, this results in a longer flight time, no matter which of these drones. You use that newer battery pack with so again its backwards compatible youre gon na get the same amount of flight time from that new battery pack, with the larger capacity in both the skydio2 and the skydiu2 plus now using the original battery pack. That came out with the original skydio2 back in 2019. They advertised a flight time of 23 minutes and in my testing with a flight where i was like kind of flying a little bit more aggressively, but then also hovering to take some photos and also flying a little bit slower for some more cinematic shots. I got a flight time of about 17 minutes and 30 seconds. I drained the battery down to 20 and then i landed it right so thats a good amount of flight time i mean being able to fly around for 17 and a half minutes is going to give you the opportunity to take a lot of great photos and A lot of great videos, but with this newer battery pack again in either of these drones, the skydio2 or the skyd2 plus, i got 24 minutes and 50 seconds out of the battery until it got down to 20.
I probably could have flown a little bit longer, but i landed now they do advertise a flight time of 27 minutes and i almost hit that 27 minutes. But that gives us an extra what ive got to run down here: seven minutes and 20 seconds of flight time with the flying style that i use, which really is impressive. Now remember, like i said these batteries are interchangeable, so you can use the older batteries on the new skydio2 plus and the new batteries on the original skydio2. I feel like im beating a dead horse, but i just want to make it clear that if you plan on upgrading drones, you can still use your old batteries or if you just want that extra flight time, you can buy the new batteries to use them with The drone that you already have now out of the three different upgrades that well be discussing here in this video, the one thing that is going to be available for original skydio2 owners on this older drone is this new antenna system that is up here on the Front side of the drone, as well as the new radio inside of the drone, so this is really the one thing that makes the skydio2 plus a brand new drone and its not going to be accessible on older hardware. Now the original skydio2 had an advertised range of 2.15 miles or 3.5 kilometers with the embedded antennas in the arms, which is definitely respectable, but i found myself often getting way less range than that when using the remote controller.
Because of this, i pretty much resorted to keeping the skydio close to me for tracking style shots, so i wouldnt have to deal with the weak range and laggy transmission system. The new skydio2 plus, on the other hand, honestly feels like an entirely different flight experience with the new collapsible omnidirectional antennas on the front arms and the new high power 5 gigahertz wifi, radio thats built inside now. If youre like me, you might be wondering if the position of these antennas on the front arms are going to mess with the obstacle avoidance. In any way i mean look, they sit so close to these front navigation cameras. Now this was the very first thing i asked skydio when they sent this drone to me and the answer was flat out: no its not going to impact or degrade the the uh quality of the obstacle avoidance system whatsoever, and i can attest to that right during My flights using this when im flying manually it doesnt, have any sort of faltering whatsoever and also when im flying it as it tracks me like around on my onewheel or on my boosted board. It does a phenomenal job as always of dodging and avoiding obstacles. So speaking of tracking, the beacon here also quietly received an upgrade with a new five gigahertz radio inside to match the improved system on the skydio2 plus so theyre. Now calling this new beacon, the skydio2 plus beacon to kind of note that it has upgraded hardware inside, but in terms of functionality, it is exactly the same with the same buttons and the same screen now i quite frankly, never had much of an issue with beacon Disconnections because the drone was always relatively close to me when using it, but seeing that theres been an increase in the range from 0.
93 miles or 1.5 kilometers to 1.86 miles or three kilometers is nice. Knowing that the connection is that much stronger, especially if you plan on using the droney function, where the aircraft flies further back to capture the whole area, now the reason that i am so excited about this new antenna and radio system in the sky, new 2 plus, Is because it feels like its the first time that skydio has really given us that enjoy flying the drone manually, a solid upgrade like every single time. They come out the new feature, its geared towards autonomy and having the drone track better and giving it better abilities. While its you know in motion track, but this is like the first time where im like yeah, this is now a better drone flyers drone someone that wants to actually take control of this thing. It has now gotten that much better if youve been around on my channel for the past gosh four years, you know how much of a stickler i am on the transmission system. I mean whats, a good camera, whats, good flight autonomy, whats a good flight time. If you cant make use of that drone and fly it more than like a thousand feet with a nice solid signal, so then what is the final verdict? Does this new antenna system and radio actually make any sort of a difference? Well, let me show you using the original skydio2 i was able to fly out to a maximum distance of about 4 500 feet with direct line of sight until i totally lost signal and the drone had to return to home now.
This is good right because, typically being able to get a full mile of range is good enough for almost any persons needs. But the big issue, though, is that at about the 2500 foot mark on my flight, i started to experience some breakup in the signal. It was lagging, the quality was degrading fast and, as i continued to push the drone, it just kept becoming more and more unusable. Only having a clear signal out to the 2500 foot mark really is difficult to deal with, because you dont realize how far you sometimes need to fly your drone, you might be on a boat, you might be trying to fly across a river or a lake or A body of water you might be trying to get to a subject, thats further away or chase a jet ski a boat. Anything you dont realize how much range you actually need until you need it, and the drone cant go that far and youre just kind of left there having to return home because the transmission system isnt all that good. Now, taking that same exact flight with the skyrio 2 plus was drastically different, as i could push the distance to almost 11 000 feet, that is almost two full miles. Even with that massive increase in distance, the signal was holding on fairly well right up until the end, where i started to see some degradation in the signal was at the 5400 foot mark. So about a mile away, and even at this point the video feed was completely usable to frame up photos or capture.
Video looking at the absolute range that a drone can fly is definitely important as it gives you an understanding of what you have to work with, but im personally, more excited for the fact that weve now got a higher fidelity stronger signal at closer distances, thus giving Us a more reliable drone like ive mentioned. This is really going to be a benefit for those of us that want to take manual control of the drone using the remote controller that transmission experience is the faltering point on a lot of aircraft with the original skydio2. Unfortunately, being one of them this go around, they really nailed it, although we definitely need an upgraded remote here at some point in time which, by the way, i guess i should mention this – unlike the beacon which received an internal upgrade, this remote hasnt received any upgrades. So its the same through and through as the one that shipped with the original skydio2 okay, now moving into the final section of this video. The final upgrade introduced here with the skydio2 plus its a software feature called keyframe, but remember it is also going to be available for the original skydio2 through a firmware update. Although i do just have to mention that personally, ive gotten a better experience using the keyframe feature on the skydu 2 plus, just because of that improved transmission system, now, to sum up keyframe into one sentence, its an augmented reality, waypoint system that allows you to set And plan a custom route for the drone to repeat as many times as you want in typical skydio fashion.
They are basically trying to take the hardest part of drone flying and make it easier now, as someone whos been flying drones for, i think its been like six years now, ive been practicing almost every single day, flying right, so being able to get these shots manually Is something that comes second nature to me, but i still sometimes run into shots that are just way too complex to do on my own, using the sticks just because im in tight quarters or because maybe it requires very precise movements and thats. When i look to keyframe because im able to set up my shot im able to tweak it as i need to and then execute it with the push of a button and not have to worry about it because it pretty much, gets it perfect. On the first try now i plan on making a full keyframe tutorial here in the coming days, so i dont want to get too deep into the weeds here, but i do just want to make sure i get across the fact that this is a very powerful Waypoint software, its a little bit different in the sense that you cant program the drone to complete certain actions at each waypoint. But if you look at it for what it is a cinematic shot planning tool, then youll find that theres a lot of possibilities. Now i want to wrap this video up by discussing pricing on the skydio2 plus, because i think that this is a really big, strong suit of this drone, especially being brand new to the market.
It kind of falls right in between where the skydeo2 was priced at during the launch and then after the price increase. The intro price for the starter kit is 10.99 and goes up from there with the different bundle options. Theyve also introduced a new skydio care program that gives you access to inexpensive replacement drones in the event that you crash your skydio, and i think that the pricing on this is also spot on. I guess that they are pretty confident in that flight autonomy software to keep your drone safe from crashes, but accidents can always happen, and so, with that weve pretty much touched on everything thats introduced with the brand new skydio2 plus remember. Two of those three upgrades are available to previous skydio2 owners and thats. Why, like the question of, should i upgrade if i own, the skydio2 is a really difficult question now before i go any further. I just have to give my hats off to skydio because being able to make these new upgrades available for a drone thats two years old is really cool. I mean the skydio2 is like the drone that just keeps on giving its the drone that just keeps getting better. So, even though the skydu 2 plus is the new hot drone on the market, the skydio2 is still receiving upgrades and i think that thats really good. So ive got to commend skydio for that. I think that they really are doing something good.
In that regard, i mean they could have easily just made new batteries and changed up like the pin setup on the back, so that you needed the new drone for the new batteries. But instead they said, hey were going to give these new batteries to anybody with a skydio2, and i think that that is awesome. Now, should you upgrade see thats tough, because im always like yeah upgrade? Do it right buy this new drone, its awesome, but considering all of these upgrades are still available for that original skydio2, like the newer batteries thats, what makes it even more difficult now, i would say that if you fly this drone manually just buy the upgrade. Just do the upgrade, because its going to be so much better than the original skydio2 with the new radio system, the new antennas here on the front, but if youre, somebody that primarily uses the skyd2 for tracking and you keep it relatively closer to you. I dont know if theres, that much of a draw to upgrade, because if youve got it close to you, the transmission is going to be. You know fairly strong um and i would say instead of like upgrading to a brand new drone, spend that money and buy some of those new batteries to then supercharge your existing skydio, 2. uh yeah. So with that guys hope you enjoyed the video. Let me know your thoughts on the new skydio2 plus good job. Skydio did a really great job upgrading both of these drones, uh and yeah.