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Will New GDU Drone Compete With DJI Mavic?

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new GDU drone

Chinese drone manufacturer GDU has announced that a new product is coming. We’re not sure what it is yet, but the company has given us a few mysterious clues to decipher. GDU’s most recent drones, the Bryd Premium 1 & 2, have been successful iterations of the Byrd platform. So what features could the new GDU drone have?

GDU’S New Product Line?

The picture below is from the GDU website and is listed under ‘o2 Preview‘, so we’re guessing that instead of being another drone in the Byrd range, the GDU o2 is going to be the start of a new product line.

GDU Clue new drone

The ‘7’, ‘3’ and ‘2’ are interesting and seem to be giving us an idea of the specs and features of GDU’s incoming drone. The 7 in front of the mountain landscape must be related to range. A transmission range of 7km would make sense, vastly improving the range of the company’s current drones and putting the new quad on a par with the DJI Mavic.

The 3 in front of the gimbal image could be related to it being a 3-axis gimbal. The camera will shoot video in 4k. The most interesting thing about this is that it could be a move away from one of GDU’s most popular selling points, its drones’ modularity.

Having said that, we can’t tell from the pictures whether the camera and gimbal are fixed on GDU’s new drone:

GDU Clue2

Then there’s the ‘2’, which appears in front of the front of the following image:

GDU 2

Bearing in mind that GDU’s latest Byrd models have had visual positioning but no obstacle avoidance, maybe these two lights are indicating some kind of collision avoidance system. In the second image, below, the front sensors look extremely similar to those found on the DJI Mavic Pro.

GDU obstacle avoidance

A foldable drone with front-facing collision avoidance?

So maybe we can assume that the new GDU drone will have obstacle avoidance – possibly in two directions.

With this capability and the vision positioning system we’ve seen in previous GDU drones, the new o2 could be well suited to indoor flight, just like the DJI Mavic Pro.

Another small, foldable drone?

GDU was one of the first manufacturers to put a foldable drone on the market, and the idea of portability has become increasingly mainstream over the past year or so. Aside from GoPro’s difficult first attempt in the industry, DJI’s Mavic Pro has set the standard for foldable drones, along with a number of smaller drones dedicated to selfies and ease of use.

From the images we’ve seen, it looks like the Chinese manufacturer’s latest drone will also be foldable. This reinforces the idea that it’ll be targeted toward the lower end of the market.

Another Mavic Knockoff?

So our tentative conclusions are that this new drone will be:

  • Foldable
  • Able to fly 7km from its operator
  • Able to avoid obstacles in at least two directions
  • Able to shoot video in 4K
  • Able to stabilize footage with its 3-axis gimbal
  • Targeted toward the lower end of the market (Under $600)

Any small, foldable, obstacle-avoiding, 4K camera drone is going to have to compete with DJI’s Mavic Pro. In 2017 we’ve seen announcements from several manufacturers also going down the portable, consumer-friendly route, including Walkera and ZeroTech.

zerotech drone

Two keys to the success of GDU’s new drone will be price and modularity. If the company can offer the same modularity seen in previous Byrd models at a price point lower than say, $600, we could be looking at a real contender.

And what about the ‘When’, question? It’s difficult to speculate when more details will come to light or when the launch date will be. But we’d guess in time for summer. Maybe the 7,3,2 is the date itself: July 23rd?

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