Blade Chroma Reviews and Analysis
Horizon Hobby continues to soar higher in the field of drones, with regular promos and new units. Just recently, the company slashed the price of its Blade 350 QX3 drone to entice more pilots to switch. This time, the international developer, marketers, and distributor of radio-controlled copters and other hobby products is introducing another series under its Blade brand—the Blade Chroma.
As many Blade Chroma reviews agree, this latest release from Blade is essentially the 350 QX4. With the introduction under another drone family, however, it looks like this could be the end for the 350 QX series. Here, we take a closer look at the specs and features that make the Chroma tick.
Blade Chroma Drone Specs
But still, even with the limited information resources we have, we can still expect this aerial photography quadcopter to be a hit. Looking at what’s running under the rotors, we can say the Blade Chroma can give the DJI Phantom 3 and the 3D Robotics Solo a run for their money.
|Dimensions||9.50 in (242mm); 15.7 in (400mm) motor to motor distance|
|Weight||45.9 oz (1.3 kg)|
|Battery||11.1V 3S 5400mAh Li-Po|
|Camera||Depending on the unit, the drone may come equipped with a CGO3 4K Camera, a CGO2+ 1080p Camera, a 3-axis Gimbal for GoPro, or a fixed GoPro mount.|
|Flight Time||30 minutes|
What’s in the Box
The Chroma does a pretty good job in competing for the title of best photography drone, as it is advertised to have “everything in one box”.
The drone is available in four versions. Two comes packed with everything you need to start capturing videos and photos in the air. The other two versions are ideal for anyone wanting to use a GoPro camera they already have.
The package comes with the flight-ready Blade Chroma drone, an ST-10+ controller with touchscreen display, a 5400mAh LiPo flight battery, a charger, and a USB programmer cable. For the non-camera-equipped units, there is an option for a 3-axis gimbal or a fixed mount for the camera.
Blade Chroma Camera Drone Comparison
There is not much information about the battery performance of this drone, other than that it packs an 11.1V 3S 5400mAh Li-Po battery. If the unit delivers on its advertised battery life/flight time of 30 minutes, then it would certainly have an advantage over other drones in its class.
If it does fall short of the advertised 30 minutes, however, it would still be forgivable, since most drones of this size can only fly about 20 minutes on average.
From what we can gather, many drone reviews this 2015 agree that the Blade Chroma has more than a few uncanny similarities to the Phantom 3, among other full-sized quads, particularly when it comes to look and build. The white exterior does not do much in helping it stand out from other quads, too.
When it comes to stability, durability, and midair performance, we’ll have to wait until the drone hits the stores to get a closer look at its build.
For the camera-equipped Blade Chroma, you can choose between one that has the CGO3 Stabilized 4K camera or the CGO2+ Stabilized 1080p camera.
The CGO3 cam captures 4K videos at 30fps, as well as in 1080p/120fps. The no-distortion lens means you can take 16MP photos even with low to moderate gusts. This version integrates a 3-axis brushless gimbal and a 5.8 GHz Wi-Fi video link so you can see everything from up in the sky clearly. There are also adjustable settings for different lighting conditions.
The CGO2+ camera, meanwhile, records 1080p/60fps videos and takes 16MP stills. It’s pretty much the same as the CGO3 camera minus the 4K capability and the light settings.
Horizon Hobby is advertising five flight modes for the Chroma: Smart, Aerial Photography (AP), Follow Me, Tracking, and Return Home.
Smart mode is perfect for beginner drone pilots while the AP mode is best for the more experienced pilots. The Follow Me mode gives you the ability to focus on lining up the perfect shot as the drone follows you from a distance. Tracking Mode makes the bird follow and keeps the camera focused on whoever is holding the controller, while the Return Home feature ensures safe landings with just one flip of a switch.
The Follow Me and Tracking modes require the ST10+ transmitter and are not compatible with a Spektrum transmitter.
The Blade Chroma and its flight controls could spell the end for its sister series, the 350 QX. The company has found a niche in sports flyer quads thanks to the QX3. If there is no upgrade for Stability and Agility modes in Chroma, then it could give the QX series another lifeline. Everyone else is flying into the AP drone niche with slow and super stable drones; if Blade can capitalize on this with the Chroma (or even with a possible QX4), then the Chroma will likely make a great case for why it’s the best photography drone yet.
With all the promised features, impressive specs, and the numerous positive Blade Chroma reviews, it’s no wonder a lot of enthusiasts are excited about this upcoming quad. Hopefully, Blade Chroma can deliver in most, if not all of its promises. If it does, then their drone can certainly put up a good fight against the DJI Phantom 3 and other top players. If not, it might still deserve a spot in the top 10.