GoPro Karma Review: An Easy-to-Fly Drone With Stellar Image Quality

gray DJI Mavic drone in selective focus photography
Drones are extremely popular these days, and there are so many drone options out there on the market that it can be difficult for consumers to choose which one is best for them. This GoPro Karma review will dig deeply into the features and benefits of our highlighted product and then compare it with other drones, both quadcopters and other styles, on the market to see how it holds up. Does it perform in a manner that justifies its reputation for image quality and other parameters? That is just one question we seek to answer as we look at this particular drone and some direct competitors.

Comparison Table

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What Is the GoPro Karma?

dji mavic pro floating

image source: Unsplash

The GoPro Karma is a full-size drone that comes with the GoPro HERO6 camera included. In this GoPro Karma review, you’ll realize just how amazing this product combination is. The capabilities are limited only by your creativity and sense of adventure when flying your drone. The kit allows you to attach the HERO6 to the drone or even use it independently with the included GoPro stick (or “Karma grip”). Also included is a storage case into which you can fold up your drone and store it along with all the accessories that come in the package.


This high-quality GoPro drone has a stabilizer which allows you to take amazing aerial shots without worry about catching only shaky footage. And, if you decide to use the HERO6 with the Karma grip, you can remove the stabilizer from the drone and attach it to the stick to capture great footage in a handheld style. The remote controller is ergonomically designed and has a video screen attached, allowing you to see exactly what your drone sees. This high flyer is super-easy to pilot and a great investment for anyone who loves flying drones and recording footage from high in the sky.

Product Specs

drone flying in sky

image source: Unsplash

The GoPro Karma is very lightweight, weighing in at roughly 35.5 ounces, and it is also fairly fast with a top flying speed of up to 35 mph. In addition, it can travel distances of up to 9,840 feet and reach an altitude of up to 10,500 feet. The Karma controller is also very lightweight, and it typically retains power for around 4 hours of use. The attached 5″ screen delivers 720p resolution, giving you HD quality images with superior clarity. With these specs, you can tell that the GoPro Karma kit is definitely designed with professionalism in mind.


Pricing

The GoPro Karma, with the HERO6 included, can be purchased for around $$$.

How It Compares


We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller
  • Holy Stone HS700 FPV Drone
  • Mysterystone Bugs 3 RC Quadcopter Drone

GoPro Karma Review: Our Featured Product

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Ease of Use: 5 Stars

As mentioned previously in this GoPro Karma review, the capabilities of this drone are vast. The features it loads into a compact package make it ultra-simple to pilot, even for beginners. It has automatic takeoff and return control options that help you master two of the most difficult aspects of drone flying. With the press of a button, the drone will take off and hover in the air, and when you are ready for it to return, another button will command it to return to that exact location. In addition, the stabilizer will help keep your drone from wobbling and heading towards a potential crash.


It doesn’t take very long to get used to the controls, and once you do, you’ll have your drone soaring anywhere you want it to. Again, it has a very long range, plus a video screen on your controller that allows you to monitor exactly where it is.

Assembly Time: 4 Stars

The GoPro Karma comes packaged within its nice carrying case, and there is really not much assembly required. At most, you will have to charge the batteries, insert them into your drone and controller, download the GoPro Karma app to your smartphone, and possibly perform a software update. In this respect, setting the Karma up is easy even for beginners. Especially if you are a seasoned drone pilot, you should have it up and running in no time.

Design Quality: 5 Stars

Physically, this thing is built like a tank, but it does have the potential to disconnect from the Karma controller sometimes, so you have to watch your range and other limitations. When you hold the GoPro Karma drone in your hands, you’ll no doubt feel how sturdy the construction is. It is made out of quality materials, and you will be able to tell. If your passions are videography and/or photography, the stellar image quality this product delivers will have you giving it 5 stars in this category over and over.

Warranty: 5 Stars

Perhaps the most exciting news in this GoPro Karma review is the warranty you lay claim to when you purchase the product. The drone has a 2-year warranty from the time of purchase. This is an extensive amount of time and more than fair. As soon as you notice any defects, you have 2 months to report them and have your Karma either replaced or repaired by the manufacturer. The manufacturer recommends that you keep any receipts and other relevant documentation just in case any problems arise with your claim.

PROS

  • Easy to pilot
  • Karma controller has a built-in screen
  • Sturdy construction
  • Generous, comprehensive warranty

CONS

  • Setup could be a challenge for those who aren’t tech-savvy at all
  • Controller range is strong, but can be disrupted

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The first comparison we’ll make in this GoPro Karma review is with the DJI Mavic Air quadcopter. This is another quadcopter that is able to take exceptional photos and videos because it has a built-in 32-megapixel camera. Our reviewers appreciated the built-in capability to take panoramic shots. By taking 25 photos in 8 seconds, this photo-centric drone is able to capture breathtaking images that rival its competition. In addition, the camera supports 4K HD video at 30 frames per second.


The DJI Mavic Air will fly for a total of 21 minutes on a full charge and has a listed range of 6,562ft. In addition, it comes with a controller that has a built-in screen, allowing you to view what your quadcopter’s camera is pointing at, much like you can with the GoPro Karma). If you prefer, you can use your smartphone as a controller rather than the DJI box provided. When you finish a flying session with the DJI Mavic Air, you’ll be thankful that both the quadcopter and its controller fold up for ultimate portability.

Ease of Use: 5 Stars

You get everything you would expect from a drone of this caliber in one package when you purchase. The features mentioned in our GoPro Karma review section above are largely replicated here, and there is more. One of the greatest things about it is that even if you do happen to drop the signal between the quadcopter and controller, the DJI Mavic Air will fly right back to you instead of landing or flying further away.

Assembly Time: 4 Stars

There is pretty much no assembly time needed for this quadcopter beyond getting its batteries charged and attached. The fact that the cameras are built-in means that setup is that much easier; you won’t have to worry about attaching any cameras yourself. To its core, the DJI Mavic Air is essentially a plug-and-play device with great functionality.

Design Quality: 4 Stars

The DJI Mavic Air is built and designed very well. This, however, does not mean that it can’t take a beating under the right circumstances, If it faces a collision of crash landing, you could be looking at a broken wing or scratched chassis. Sadly, that’s true for every lightweight drone we know about. Our pro-quality drones are not invincible… yet.

Warranty: 4 Stars

DJI offers a 1-year warranty on the main unit and remote controller as well as a 6-month warranty on the battery and camera components. The frame and propellers are not covered under this warranty and must be replaced at the consumer’s expense.

PROS

  • Easy to fly
  • Takes panoramic shots and 4k videos
  • Easy to set up

CONS

  • Warranty has a few strict limitations

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So far, our GoPro Karma review-and-comparison article has focused mainly on two high-end quadcopters. We included the popular Holy Stone HS700 to ensure a consumer-level product also got its due. This FPV drone matches many of the qualities the drones mentioned so far, but you may like the price quite a bit more than those of other options.


HS700 pilots can leverage a built-in 1080p HD camera that is capable of sending a live video feed straight to their smartphones (which can be attached very securely to their controllers). There is also a GoPro mount, allowing you to attach your GoPro camera of choice and use that as your main camera.


Like a few other drones mentioned in this GoPro Karma review, the HS700 features one-key takeoffs and landings. Additionally, it will automatically return to you if the battery is running low or you lose signal. The battery will give you about 20 minutes of flight time on a charge. Our reviewers celebrated the extremely quiet brushless motors that very rarely break down.

Ease of Use: 5 Stars

With one-key takeoffs and returns, a built-in camera, and easy-to-master controls, the HS700 is on a par with the other drones we evaluate in this GoPro Karma review. It is easy to fly and has self-stabilizing capabilities that keep it balanced in flight.

Assembly Time: 3 Stars

Assembly of this particular drone is a little more complex than the processes for others we covered in this GoPro Karma review. One reason is that the propellers need to be attached; however, this is very easy to do and no hardware is required. Another reason it is a little more complex is that there is no built-in screen on the remote controller. You are required to use your smartphone as a screen, meaning that you will have to download an app to pair with the HS700. This is an extra step that adds a bit to your overall setup time.

Design Quality: 4 Stars

The HS700 is a sturdy, high-value drone for its price class. The materials are not as high-quality as some other drones out there on the market, of course,  but they are built to last and provide you with many great flying experiences.

Warranty: 3 Stars

Holy Stone offers a 30-day warranty on the whole unit if there are any defects and a 90-day warranty on any defective accessories.

PROS

  • Easy to pilot
  • Has a built-in camera
  • Very fair, consumer-level pricing

CONS

  • Requires an application download for video feed reception
  • Warranty is very short

Mysterystone Bugs 3 RC Quadcopter Drone

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The Mysterystone Bugs 3 RC quadcopter is a bare-bones drone compared to the others mentioned in this GoPro Karma review, but don’t let its low price fool you. It’s the perfect drone for some people who don’t want to break their banks at all but still want a worthwhile drone-flying experience. It has a flying range of up to 500 meters and shedding the camera mount can give you still more range. The package comes with 2 batteries.


There is no built-in or included camera with this quadcopter-style drone, but it does come with a camera mount that can support various action cameras. As far as the build, it has brushless motors that are relatively quiet. Finally, it has a sensor that will alert you when the battery is low, allowing you to fly your drone back to you and avoid crashes reliably.

Ease of Use: 3 Stars

Since there is no one-key takeoff or return/land feature here, this drone can be difficult for beginners to learn to fly initially. You’ll have to learn to take off and land safely on your own, but that may be a challenge you want to take on, too.

Assembly Time: 3 Stars

You’ll have to make a few connections and attachments before you get started and, of course, charge your batteries. You may also choose to attach the optional camera mount.

Design Quality: 4 Stars

The materials used to make this drone are not the highest in quality or cost, but if you take care of it, it should last you a long while and deliver solid value. Fortunately, there are spare propellers included in the kit just in case any of them get damaged.

Warranty: 3 Stars

The manufacturer offers a 30-day warranty on the whole unit if there are any defects and a 90-day warranty covering any defective accessories.

PROS

  • Easy to pilot
  • Has a built-in camera
  • Very fair, consumer-level pricing

CONS

  • Requires an application download for video feed reception
  • Warranty is very short

Conclusion


We looked closely at several great drones/quadcopters in the course of assembling and preparing this GoPro Karma review. After rigorously comparing the GoPro Karma to several other drones that have similar features, we give it a solid 4-star rating on our scale. When purchased with the GoPro HERO6, it has a lot of versatility, even for those that hold a drone’s camera-rated capabilities to the highest standards. The image quality is simply stellar, whether you prefer to shoot video or stunning stills.

One more factor makes this product stand apart is that you can actually detach the HERO6 camera and use it in a handheld style with the included Karma grip. All in all, this high-tech flyer and professional camera combo has everything you would expect from a drone and far, far more.

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