Chinese drone manufacturer Yuneec just launched a new drone to its lineup of consumer drones under $1,000: the Mantis G.
The Mantis G is a $699, 4K, foldable camera drone that largely resembles the DJI Mavic Air. And there’s not a lot of reason that it’s any better, save for one, that could be a huge selling point for some pilots: flight time. The Mantis G (and its predecessor, the Mantis Q), can fly for 33 minutes on one battery. For comparison, the Mavic Pro can only fly for 27 minutes, and the Mavic Air an even less 21 minutes. The DJI Spark can only fly for 16 minutes.
The drone is another addition to Yuneec’s existing Mantis series (which previously consisted of just the Mantis Q). The Mantis series has been a mixed bag. In some ways it’s disappointing that Yuneec, which largely has followed its own unique (pun intended) designs rather than knocking off the DJI designs (as competitors like Autel have done), basically ripped off the Mavic design for their Mantis series. But Yuneec also has put their own spin on things, moving the needle and pushing drone technology further with some unique features of its own. The Mantis Q drone was the first mass market drone with voice control (users could power on, take a photo or begin recording video all without having to manually take their hands off of the controls), earning it a CES Innovation Award.
The new Mantis G drone also has some other features to make it easier to not just fly, but parse through images and more easily find and share the best ones. Voice control allows users to give the drone commands just by talking to it (and improvement on a similar feature in the former Mantis Q. The app also integrates with social media to upload photos directly from the app.
Yuneec also made some minor improvements to its antenna design and redundant frequencies with a “Smart Streaming” feature that supposedly should ensure better, more stable communication and signal transmission between the copter and controller (that’s code for fewer flyaways).
Yuneec also caught some attention in their marketing materials by calling out that the Mantis G does not transfer any video, photo, or telemetry data to external servers. DJI, Yuneec’s biggest competitor, has run into hot water over concerns that it has been sharing data, particularly with the government. For DJI’s part, they do transparently say that they are sharing data.
If that concerns you, your data may be safer with Yuneec.