Ryze Tello Review - Drone with technology from DJI and Intel

by 4. January 2019
As part of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), DJI and Ryze Technology have unveiled a programmable mini-drone with 720p camera that will teach you how to handle drones. Meanwhile, it was possible for me to test the drone in detail. How the Ryze Tello beats, more in the following review!

Shenzhen RYZE Tech Co., Ltd.


Ryze Tello


Size: 98 92.5 x x 41 mm
Weight: 80g (with battery)

Airspeed: up to 8 m / s
Flight range: to 100 m
Flight time: up to 13 minutes

* Range Finder
* Vision system
* WiFi 802.11n - 2.4 GHz

battery performance
Battery type: LiPo
Capacity: 1100 mAh
Voltage: 3.8V
Energy: 4.18 Wh
Weight: 26g

Sensor: 5 Megapixel
Field of view: 82.6 °
Stabilization: EIS

Image resolution: to 2592 x 1936
Video resolution: HD 1280 x 720

Photo format: JPEG
Video format: MP4

* Programmable: SDK / Scratch
* Control: App / Bluetooth controller
* Flight Modes: 6 Intelligent Flight Modes
* VR support
* Failsafe

First impression of the Ryze Tello

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show 2018 the well-known drone manufacturer “DJI” and the startup founded in 2017 have "Ryze Technology" that Ryze Tello presented. The similarity to the DJI drone series is hard to miss, the Tello uses among other things Technologies from DJI and Intel, The target group of this drone, which is very reminiscent of a toy, are, above all, experimental drone novices.

The DJI Ryze Tello in the packaging


Already on the basis of the packaging it becomes clear that the Tello drone no official DJI product is. Falsely, the drone is still referred to by many as DJI Tello. Instead of the classic white DJI packaging, the Tello is delivered in a small cardboard box. The transparent front allows a first look at the drone. Two small logos from DJI and Intel indicate accordingly the used technologies.

As "Ready-to-Fly" the drone is ready to go from the factory. All engines, propellers and also the propeller protection are already pre-assembled. Replacement propellers, a tool for loosening the propellers and the battery are included separately. Different colored covers, prop guards, propellers and batteries are available separately. A (replacement) battery costs about 25 € to book.

DJI Ryze Tello delivery with battery, spare propeller, propeller tool and manual

An operating manual that indicates the steps necessary for commissioning is included. If one decides on the Chinese model of the Ryze Tello, which is often cheaper to buy, the manual is written according to the country of origin of the drone in the respective (national) language!

Design and workmanship

Visually, the Tello reminds one to a certain extent "Light variant" of DJI Spark, The top cover contributes to the comparable design. This is interchangeable and available in different colors. The Dimensions are included 98 x 92.5 x 41 mm and a Weight: from only 80g. Thus, the Tello is not subject to the labeling requirement according to the Drones Regulation. A compulsory insurance still exists!

Tello drone front side

The drone is mostly one robust plastic manufactured. The propeller arms are fixed to the housing and can not be folded or folded. The drone housing forms the front-facing and fixed 5 megapixel camera, an adjacent status LED, a side power button with opposite MicroUSB socket and the rear battery bay. On the underside of the Tello drone there are distance sensors or the optical vision system. The processing and the choice of materials leave nothing to be desired. Lighter to medium crashes should survive the Tello.

Tello drone underside

The Propellers (3 inches) are interchangeable with a few handles. These are neither quick-release nor self-locking propellers. The propellers are simply plugged onto the shaft of the engine. The propeller guard (Prop Guards) is clipped and is removable. The feet are provided with rubber dampers.

Tello drone backside


Before the first flight you should make sure that the battery of the Tello is charged. To recharge it just has to be inserted and the drone connected via the MircoUSB socket to a power source. A special charger is not included. Instead, you can quite easily use a smartphone charger, a PC or a notebook, or a power bank.

For the commissioning of the drone you need the Tello Appthat both for Android, as well as for iOS mobile devices available in the respective app stores. If the app is started for the first time, you will be replaced by a Setup wizard led, among other things, explains the wireless connection between drone and mobile device. To connect the Tello builds its own, initially unencrypted Wi-Fi. An individual SSID and password protection can be set up later via the settings.

Practical test of Ryze Tello

Tello app

The structure of the Tello app is somewhat reminiscent of the DJI Go app. After launching the app and connected drone you get one Live image output with overlay, The lower part of the picture contains the virtual joysticks. The upper part of the screen contains various shortcuts to the flight modes, the settings or the camera modes. Furthermore, the upper part of a status display, which provides, among other things, information about the remaining battery, WiFi, Bluetooth and also the speed and altitude.

The App settings fall out clearly. Here is an overview:

    • Airspeed - "Slow" and "Fast"
    • VR mode
    • Bluetooth Controller Settings - Diagram and How To
    • WiFi SSID and password
    • Advanced Settings
      • System of units - metric / imperial
      • Picture quality - normal / high
      • Low battery warning - 10% - 50%
      • Embroidery Mode - Mode 1 / Mode 2
      • Light value - -3 / 3
      • Bitrate - Auto to 4 MB
      • IMU Status - Caliber
      • Gyro - Calibrate
      • Firmware update
      • App Version
      • Loader version
      • Support


The drone is controlled either over the Touch screen of the mobile device or optionally via Bluetooth GamePad, The touchscreen control is via virtual joysticks. As with a mobile game, the respective touch inputs are transmitted to the drone. There is no input delay. The control is not quite as precise as with a real controller, but it is sufficient to keep the Tello safely in the air and to control it. Operation is also made easier by automatic take-off and landing at the push of a button and automatic compliance with the altitude (Altitude Hold).

More precise control is possible through a GamePad. The Tello is compatible with various Bluetooth controllers. Ryze Technology recommends that GameSir T1's GamePad, An iPega PG-9025 GamePad used in the test also worked, but needed the recognition or key assignment "Octopus" app, The connection between controller and drone is not direct, but via the mobile device as a mediator. All inputs are only transmitted via Bluetooth to the mobile device, which forwards them via WLAN to the Tello. The possible flight range is thus not affected. An adverse input delay does not occur even in the GamePad network.

Safety, flight characteristics and flight maneuvers

Visual Positioning System and Failsafe

Decisive for a good quadrocopter are also one high flight safety, One good flight behavior and long lasting flight duration, Ryze describes the Tello as a "super safe". In collaboration with DJI, Ryze has created a drone that includes a "Visual Positioning System" used, as it also occurs in DJI drones. This vision system consists of a Camera and two 3D infrared sensors together. As a result, the Tello is able to keep the position accurate and compensate for height differences. A GPS module did not integrate the small Tello drone.

Tello drone camera

In the test, the vision system proved surprisingly accurate. When flying outdoors, the Visual Positioning System accurately compensates for minor gusts of wind. The prerequisite is, however, that you are neither on a reflective surface, as well as sufficient brightness ratios are available. Especially in the indoor flight with dimmed evening light, the vision system did not work reliably, which often leads to a drifting drone. Whether the vision system is active is indicated by the status LED, which is located next to the camera.

In addition, the drone offers one Failsafewhich warns of a low battery level or automatically and safely lands the quadrocopter if the connection is broken. The failsafe works reliably. A critical battery level can be recognized by the status LED, battery indicator and warning signals. When a connection is lost, the Tello automatically initiates a landing.

Flight range, airspeed and duration of flight

The maximal Flight range is on 100 meters, the altitude 10 meters limited. The (safe) flight range reached in practice was about 40 meters. From about 40 meters, outdoor breaks increasingly occurred. In heavily populated areas with many interfering signals, interference can occur after just a few meters. A corresponding overlay on the live image of the drone points out.

Battery bay of the Tello drone

The airspeed is customizable in 2 levels. in the "Slow" mode accelerates the Tello comparatively slowly and under ideal conditions reaches a maximum airspeed of 4 m / s, The mode is especially suitable for indoor flight and for beginners. For sporty drone aviators there is the "Fast" modewithin which the Ryze Tello with up to 8 m / s racing through the air.

The maximal flight duration specifies Ryze Technology with 13 minutes. This value is also traceable. On average, the flight time is between 9 and 13 minutes. The possible duration of flight is of various factors, such as the strength of the connection, whether a recording is running and the flight behavior dependent. The flight fun is clouded by the long charging time of the battery. This is included about 90 minutes, The loading progress can be recognized by the status LED.

Battery of the Tello drone

flight modes

The Tello is in total 6 intelligent flight modes equipped.

  • Bounce mode: The drone flies up and down fully automatically. The flight altitude is limited to 0.5 to 1.2 meters.
  • 360 Modus: The drone turns on its own axis and makes an 360 ° video recording.
  • Throw & Go mode: This mode makes it easier for the drone to start, as it automatically goes into stabilized flight with a skillful throw.
  • 8D flips: The pilot can use swiping gestures to determine in which direction the Tello performs a somersault.
  • Up & Away mode: The drone flies up and to the back and makes a video recording. Of course the flight is controlled.
  • Circle mode: The Tello drone circles the pilot or an object and takes an aerial photo.

All flight modes are reliable and safe to do. However, many of the flight modes are only for outdoor flight. Accidentally executing one of these flight modes indoors is hardly possible. Each mode must be confirmed individually with appropriate instructions and can also be canceled by pressing a button.


Another feature is the forward facing 5 megapixel camera, The camera is fixed and not inclinable. Pictures be with one Resolution of 2592 x 1936 pixels recorded. Videos takes the camera in HD (1280 x 720) at 30 pictures-per-second on. The field of view is 82.6 degree. The recordings are processed with the help of an Intel processor.

Test recording without exposure compensation

Test recording without exposure compensation

The recording quality is acceptable according to the price. Especially photo shoots convince by a pleasant detail and color reproduction. Before each flight, however, it is advisable to adjust the light value (EV) according to the respective ambient conditions. By default, both still pictures and video are taken partially underexposed. To criticize is that the camera settings are not saved and are reset after each start of the app.

Test shot with exposure compensation

Test shot with exposure compensation

acceptable video recordings to make with the Tello is much more difficult. All recordings are transmitted directly to the connected mobile device. The possibility to write to a memory card is missing. What is saved is what you see about the live image transmission. Transmission breaks are thus recorded as well as interferences in the recording. A bad connection to the drone breaks down the bitrate, making it a distinct one artefacts can come.

Ryze Tello Drone Footage / Test Shot

The individual clips of the test recording were recorded under the same conditions. With the standard light value, the picture appears underexposed. The exposure correction requires sensitivity!

Unlike the much more expensive DJI models, the Ryze uses Tello no gimbal stabilization, Instead, the shots electronically stabilized (EIS), The stabilization performance is highly dependent on the ambient conditions. If one flies the Tello in the free one, it can occur more often to image disturbances in the form of the "Jello Effects" come. Vibrations and vibrations that the image stabilization can not compensate for, lead to a veritable distortion of the image information.


One of the most important features of the Ryze Tello is the free programmability the drone. For this purpose, the manufacturer provides a finished Software Development Kit (SDK) which was created, among others, in collaboration with MIT researchers. In order to especially children to get started in the world of programming to taste, in addition to the Tello SDK and the visual programming language "Scratch" supported. Ryze promises that there are no limits to programmability, which is why users with existing programming skills are offered a very interesting drone.

Price Comparison

Price history

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Prices last updated on: 27. November 2020 02: 42

Final Words


Good workmanship and choice of materials
Easy to use
App and GamePad control
Good flight behavior
Precise visual positioning system
Good photo recording quality
Intelligent-flight modes
flight duration


High price for (replacement) batteries
Settings are not saved
Prone to interference
Partially underexposed photo and video recordings
Strong artifact formation in video recordings
Limited image stabilization
No MicroSD storage option
Battery recharge time

First impression
flight behavior
flight duration
Photo-recording quality
Video recording quality

The Ryze Tello is a fun drone that convinces both externally and technically. Of particular interest here are the security features, in particular the well-functioning Visual Positioning System, which many fun drones currently do not offer. At the same time, the Tello costs about 109 € only slightly more than comparable toy drones. The operation is very simple and also the different, at the touch of a button executable flight modes offer a varied fun. The recording quality of the 5 megapixel camera is the price, but reaps criticisms by the lack of ability to record on an SD memory card. All in all, the Ryze Tello is a commendable mini-drone for drone novices, but also for experienced drone pilots.

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Just wow. Krasses part that I'm guaranteed to grow. I've been looking for a quadrocopter for a long time, which you can fly safely and for which you do not need a license plate. I'm really excited about it. Could be a real bestseller at the price and with DJI in the back.


Unfortunately, it doesn't work as described here, I gave my husband the drone for Christmas and after downloading the app (no introduction as stated above for the initial start-up !!) the drone reacted, but after the battery was empty and we did loaded again (2 days later) nothing reacts anymore. The drone only flashes yellow and has no reception from the mobile phone. The same problem also occurs when removing the app and reinstalling it (even on a second iPhone)! We also have these 5 sec. pressed so that the drone supposedly resets itself to “factory settings” ... No reaction 🙁 The part is probably already defective?