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DJI FPV drone release date, price, rumors and leaks

DJI FPV drone
(Image credit: @OsitaLV)

The DJI FPV drone appears to be preparing for take-off, with growing leaks and rumors pointing towards a launch in early 2021.

What exactly is an FPV drone? The name stands for 'First Person View', because the pilots of these drones fly them using a headset that receives a live video feed of the drone's view. 

This makes them different beasts from the likes of the DJI Mini 2, which are flown using a traditional controller and a smartphone screen. This means that if DJI does indeed launch an FPV drone, it would be a first for the Chinese drone king – and a bold step into a new drone space.

Rumors about a DJI FPV (First Person View) drone started back in late 2019, when DJI released its Digital FPV System for adding a high-quality FPV system to existing racing drones. 

While DJI drones have traditionally focused on aerial filmmaking, it wouldn't be a huge stretch to see it build a fast, agile drone that works with its low-latency transmission kit or a new setup that will potentially include some new DJI FPV Goggles 2. 

So what do all the latest leaks and rumors tell us about the DJI FPV drone and when might we see it? We've rounded up all of the latest speculation and seasoned it with our thoughts to give you an idea of what to expect from what will almost certainly be the next addition to DJI's flying squad.  

DJI FPV drone release date and price

So far, there hasn't been a precise release date rumored for the DJI FPV drone. But the closest we have is the suggestion that it will now arrive after Chinese New Year, which takes place on February 12. 

That speculation came from regular DJI leaker @OsitaLV on Twitter in a Tweet on December 29, which said "DJI FPV Drone won't arrive this year, maybe some day after Chinese new year".

This would be a little later than earlier rumors had suggested, with some claiming that DJI might sneak in a launch before Christmas or at the CES 2021 show, which takes place from January 11-14.

How much will the DJI FPV drone cost? We're still very much in rumors territory rather than retailer leaks here, but a Facebook post on December 20 picked up by DroneDJ (from a prominent member of the Official DJI Owners Group on Facebook) claimed that the DJI FPV drone combo package will cost $1,500 (around £1,100 / AU$1,900). 

That certainly sounds like a possible ballpark, given that the current the DJI FPV Experience Combo (which includes the DJI Goggles, Antennas, Air Unit (with camera) and cables needed) costs $819 / £809 / AU$1,299, and that's without the drone. We'll update this page as soon as we hear any more concrete pricing rumors though.

What is an FPV drone?

Before we look at the DJI FPV's possible specs, it's probably helpful to answer a broader question – what exactly is an FPV drone?

As we explained earlier, FPV stands for First Person View – this is because in FPV racing the pilot wears digital goggles that give them the feeling that they're soaring through the air like an eagle high on energy drinks.

You can see the effect in DJI's video for its existing Digital FPV system below. The combination of the drone's speed and agility, coupled with a high-quality camera and impressive piloting skills, create a unique, visceral experience – and that's even without the headset to boost the immersion levels.

FPV drones are generally associated with drone racing, a sport that's been growing for around a decade. It sees pilots attempt to fly their drone around a course as quickly as possible, with the First Person View aspect enabling them to see from the drone's 'cockpit' and speed around like a real-life game of WipEout.

It's become so big that the Drone Racing League (DRL), which is broadcast on the likes of NBC Sports and Sky Sports Mix, recently released a Drone Racing League Simulator on Xbox One.

Naturally, the most important factor for drone racing pilots is latency, or a delay in data transfer, because at the speeds they're flying, even a tiny lag can mean the drone itself actually being several feet away from the position they see in their headset. This is why most FPV systems have traditionally used analogue signals due to their low or zero-latency transmission.

The downside of analogue is usually a low-quality video feed, which is why DJI attempted to provide the best of both worlds with the Digital FPV System. Its cameras can capture video at 1080p/60p, while its FPV Goggles show HD video at 120p. The transmission module also promises super-low latency.

But DJI's system isn't just built for drone racing. It has a built-in video recorder and, as you can see from the footage above, it captures some pretty stunning (albeit 1080p) video footage that filmmakers might well want to use for dynamic cut-scenes. 

And the rumored specs for the DJI FPV drone suggest it might also have a similar focus, making it less of a leap from drones like the DJI Mini 2 than it might first appear...

DJI FPV drone rumors, leaks and features

A Tweet from regular DJI leaker @OsitaLV on December 2 gave us a list of potential specs for the DJI FPV drone.

These include 4K/60p video recording, 5-inch propellers, a maximum speed of 150kph (or 93mph), and a "built-in camera with remote-adjustable tilt angle". These specs, if accurate, lend credence to the theory that the DJI FPV drone will be designed as much for capturing video as racing. 

In fact, the design suggests it could be a different breed from racing drones, which, like rally cars, tend to be more basic and stripped down in order to maximize speed and agility.

The seemingly leaked image of the DJI FPV above, meanwhile, shows a slightly chunkier design that looks not unlike a small version of the DJI Inspire 2. This could potentially make it more able to absorb crashes from beginner pilots, and also pack in a larger battery that would give it a longer flight time than the average racing drone.

A more recent leaked image (below) from @OsitaLV on January 3, meanwhile, suggests the drone will be much bigger than your average racing drone or most of DJI's Mavic series.

DJI FPV drone

(Image credit: @OsitaLV)

According to earlier leaks, the DJI FPV drone will also apparently have three flight modes, built-in GPS and a return-to-home function, which would suggest that it's aimed at mainstream fliers rather than professional pilots. 

DJI FPV drone

Another possible leaked image of the DJI FPV drone from the website Kanzhaji. (Image credit: Kanzhaji)

The DJI FPV drone will also likely come with a new controller (below), again leaked by @OsitaLV. This compact pad has a large antenna and doesn't appear to have any mount for a smartphone, which suggests it is indeed for an FPV drone.

DJI FPV drone

(Image credit: @OsitaLV)

It's not yet clear whether or not this pad will be compatible with DJI's current Air Unit or Goggles. But if the DJI FPV drone release date rumors are true, it doesn't look like we'll have to wait long to find out.

DJI FPV drone early thoughts

The rumors and leaks so far certainly suggest that a DJI FPV drone could launch soon. Exactly what kind of drone it'll be, though, is still up in the air.

If it does indeed include a 4K/60p camera, for example, that would suggest it could be a new aerial tool for 'cinewhoop' style videos and filmmakers looking to create dynamic shots that you can't quite pull off using drones like DJI's existing Mavic series.

The latter do have an FPV mode in their app, which locks the roll axis and ensures the horizon turns with the drone as you move it from side-to-side. But they lack the 93mph speed and agility of what's being rumored for the DJI FPV drone.

While it might not be able to compete with top-level racing drones, the DJI FPV drone may well also be billed as an approachable, all-in-one option for those looking to take their first steps into drone racing. But if that's the case, it'll need to come with a suitably entry-level price tag, which seems unlikely.

We're certainly looking forward to seeing what fresh hints appear during January and will update this page with more rumors and, hopefully, an official launch invite soon.