3DR IRIS+ Review
I spent most of the last week with the 3DR IRIS+, just for the fact that it was such a pleasure to fly around. The controls responded wonderfully, as did the features, including its autopilot, but we’ll get to that in a bit. For this 3DR IRIS+ review, I’ve noted down the pros & cons, an in-depth look at its features as well as flying experience. If you have any questions regarding the 3DR IRIS+, check out the Q&A section at the bottom and you might find what you’re looking for there, or you can leave me a comment below.
Although the 3DR IRIS+ doesn’t come fitted with a camera, it does have an integrated GoPro camera mount with a vibration dampener. What I first noticed when I took it out of the box was how sturdy the quad felt, that it could certainly handle minor bumps without a fuss. Compared to other drones, it weighs a little heavier, around 1.3kg, meaning you’d have to register it with the FAA, here.
The propellers are connected to motors inside the four (2 blue & black) struts that spread out from each corner of the body. Size wise, I wouldn’t recommend the 3dR IRIS+ to be an inside flying drone. The dimensions from propeller to propeller is 21.7 inches diagonally, and around 8 inches tall including the landing legs.
The transmitter is well designed and compact. The one thing I wish was included was a neck strap for the controller as it can feel slightly heavy after a while. I had a look and it turns out you can buy them separately, and it might definitely be worth considering.
- Supports GoPro camera
- Long legs
- Autopilot software
- Return Home feature
- Ground station radio
- Reasonably priced
- Flight time
- No memory card
- No camera
- Heavy transmitter
- No propeller guards
In The Box:
What’s included in the box is the IRIS+ quadcopter, 1x controller, 1x Ground Station and Radio with USB and Android adapters, 1x Battery kit (which is the battery, a battery guard, and a charger with international travel adapters), 4x Propellers, 1x toolkit, and 4x tall landing legs.
First thing I usually do when unboxing any new drone is to take out the radio transmitter and just make sure that it isn’t damaged, basically just check all the switches and knobs, and especially the antenna. I then swap the short legs on the Iris+ for the long landing legs for a couple of reasons. This is completely down to personal choice and you may feel it’s unnecessary, but I find that it gives you a lot more space for opening the battery door, and secondly, it stabilises the drone a little more. Just a quick note, after sliding in the long legs, don’t screw in the set screw too tight as you can damage the actual motors.
At this point, take some time and read through the manual. It will go through how to correctly connect the plugs to charge the battery to both the drone and your transmitter. The propellers are not attached, so all you have to do is match up the colors on the props to the motors and spin them in place.
- Return To Launch
- Auto Mission Planning
- Follow Me Technology
- Includes a Black Box
Once you’ve fully charged the battery and connect it to the quad, which is not difficult to do, by the way, you switch on the transmitter. The quad will beep while it goes through its start up cycle and does a pre-flight check, pretty standard stuff for a tech-heavy quad like the IRIS+. On a fully charged battery, you get around 16-22 minutes of flying time. Much longer than a lot of other drones. The IRIS+ has its own GPS, so if you’re flying in strong winds or you suddenly lose control of your drone, it will hover in one place.
First off, I noticed that the controls were very sensitive and have a quick respond time, so as soon as you power up and take off, take it slow to begin with. Just ease into it and get the feel of the controls first. They actually recommend flying first without attaching a GoPro, probably a safety precaution, but once you’ve done that and landed again, you’re all set to connect a GoPro and start filming. There are controls on the transmitter that point to where the gimbal is facing so you can choose where to aim the camera, unlike the Parrot Bebop, for instance.
Using the autopilot and Follow Me was pretty interesting. Follow Me does exactly what you’d think, the drone locks on to your transmitter and will follow you around, which is great when you want to film yourself and not have to worry about flying while controlling the gimbal and camera.
Autopilot allows you to map out a path on the transmitter for the IRIS+ to follow, again, using its GPS. It worked really well and stayed on course. However, it all depends on your surroundings, tall trees or buildings can interfere with the GPS signal.
Finishing up, I put the quad in loiter mode, which means it locks onto the last GPS position, then flicked on the Return To Home feature and removed my fingers from the control sticks and let the quad do all the work landing. The IRIS+ climbs to about 20 feet before flying over to our launch pad and slowly descends till it connects with the ground and shuts down.
Where To Buy:
Popular Questions and Answers:
Q: Can you connect the IRIS+ to an iPhone or iPad?
A: Unfortunately you can’t connect to any iOS. You can connect the radio transmitter included to an Android device.
Q: Is there an app you can use to fly the IRIS+?
A: There’s an app called “Droid Planner”, which you can get from the Google Play store. It enables you to plan your routes and fly autopilot using your Android device once it’s connected to the quad.
Q: Are there propeller guards available for the IRIS+?
A: No, there aren’t at this stage.
Q: Does the IRIS+ come with a gimbal attached?
A: No, you’ll have to buy the gimbal and camera separately.
Q: What is the radio range?
A: The range for the IRIS+ is around 1km or 0.6 miles.
Q: Can I live stream the footage from my phone?
A: Unfortunately, you can’t.
When this IRIS+ first came out it was $750, it has since gone down considerably to $520, which if you want to compare to other drones, isn’t too bad. The most obvious downside, however, is the fact that it doesn’t come with a camera. There are indeed drones with a camera that cost less, but this can be very appealing for those who may not actually want to take videos. The simplicity of flying the IRIS+ alone is loads of fun. But if filming and taking photos are your primary purpose, my recommendation would be to look
But if filming and taking photos is your primary purpose, my recommendation would be to check out the Phantom 3, either Standard or Advanced. The Standard closely matches the price of the IRIS+, includes a camera and has many features.
Again, I had a wonderful time with this drone, and I hope you’ve enjoyed my 3DR IRIS+ review. Stay tuned for more reviews and news in the near future. And don’t forget to comment, share and like. If you have any questions, leave a comment or check out the Q&As below. Thanks!