Today I’m looking at the latest folding drone, the Walkera Vitus 320. The features and appearance are similar to the Mavic and at first glance the Vitus provides some competition, but can it hold up to proper scrutiny? My review looks at the key features and who should buy the Walkera Vitus.
The Vitus is a foldable aerial photography drone that ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to specification. For most users it will provide just what is needed, but for keen photographers it is missing some key features. Read on to find out, as these won’t be deal breakers for everyone and you could pick up a bargain if you don’t need them.
Walkera Vitus 320 Features
The Vitus has a lot in common with the Mavic, so I’ll be looking first at what is the same and then what’s changed, a mini Walkera Vitus vs DJI Mavic comparison. This seems reasonable, as the Walkera drone is clearly positioned as a direct competitor to DJI, but with a considerably lower price.
- Foldable drone – compact and easy to transport, but when unfolded has the benefits of a larger drone.
- 4K video capable.
- 3-axis stabilised gimbal for smooth aerial footage.
- HD video transmission back to the transmitter, so you have a high quality live feed from the drone.
- Satellite/GPS and visual positioning, allowing accurate indoor and outdoor flight and minimal drift.
- Three directional obstacle avoidance, where the Mavic only senses forwards and down the Vitus is also able to see left and right.
- JPEG only image capture. Not great for any budding photographers, but for those who are asking “RAW?” it probably isn’t an issue. Just know that it is something that the Mavic has, which is important to some. If you want to edit photos after you’ve taken them, it’s useful to have the additional image information that is available in a RAW format. If you prefer to upload or share straight away, with minimal editing in a standard app such as Instagram, then the Vitus is great.
- Larger 5200 mAh battery, but this doesn’t result in longer flight time, which is actually shorter than the Mavic.
- Transmitter comes with an optional extension piece, providing support for tablets. This is a nice addition and means tablets are supported out of the box rather than having to buy an addon.
- No screen to display flight information on the transmitter. Although this information is displayed on your phone/tablet, if something goes wrong it is nice to have a backup, which is missing here.
- Much shorter range of 1.5 km. This may or may not be an issue depending on where and how you fly.
- Integrated fold out landing legs keep the Vitus further off the ground, good for if you are taking off or landing on uneven ground.
- Barrel connector for charging the controller, rather than micro USB. Not as handy, but also not a big deal.
- The Devo-F8S Transmitter produces a 5.8 GHz WiFi hotspot, rather than using a cable to connect. This will limit the mobile devices you can use this drone with, as not all are compatible with 5.8 GHz. To check, you can google your phone’s name + 5.8 GHz WiFi and you should have an answer.
Walkera Vitus 320 Cons
- JPEG only no RAW image capture. It also appears that the Walkera is missing bracketing and burst shooting.
- 1.5km range in itself isn’t bad, but when transmission conditions are not optimal, this will be reduced further.
- The Vitus App (Walkera Go) is clunky and not as clean as DJI Go, although there are a number of similarities.
- Object avoidance doesn’t seem to work too well, you can get very close to objects before the object avoidance registers unless the obstacle extends well above the drone. This is not ideal for avoiding flying into people! There is also a Walkera Vitus Lite version, without obstacle avoidance altogether.
- Auto modes are unreliable and seem to cause the quadcopter to fly unpredictably. This could cause the Vitus to crash if the pilot is inexperienced, so beware!
- The gimbal does not appear as stable as Mavic. There is shakiness/judder in some footage when flown in reasonably windy conditions.
- No DJI Care Refresh – so when you crash you could face a large repair bill!
Walkera Vitus 320 Pros
- Price – a reasonable price for what you get and cheaper than the higher specification alternatives. You can use the extra cash you’ve saved on an extra battery or two, to have more flight time.
- Compatible with the Walkera augmented reality app, for games. Although this may seem gimmicky and unsafe, it is nice to see manufacturers trying to achieve greater product longevity for their users.
- Compact/Portable without sacrificing features. The Vitus will fit easily into most bags and doesn’t require a huge specialist backpack like the Phantom series.
- Flight time is good for most users. The only reason you would need longer in the air would be for professional work, in which case the batteries are quick and easy to swap out.
Walkera Vitus 320 Verdict
The Vitus has a lot of very attractive features and offers the chance to obtain these at a significantly lower price point than from DJI. There are negatives as this cheaper price does reduce the feature set slightly, but for the most part these are the “premium” or “advanced user” features, that most will not miss day to day.
If the feature set is appealing to you and the Mavic seems overpriced, then the Vitus is a great option. Combining 4k video, a 3-axis stabilised gimbal and 20+ minute flight times in this compact package is no mean feat and has resulted in a very capable quadcopter!