DJI brushless quadcopter

Say Hello to the Ryze Tello! (With DJI and Intel Smarts!)

Starting Under $100

Overall Quality















  • PROS:
  • Best in class camera
  • Best in class flight time
  • Flight Modes
  • Super Stable
  • CONS:
  • Brushed Motors
  • No Dedicated Remote


  • Flight Time: 13 minutes
  • Range: 100 Meters
  • Camera 5 MP (with EIS)

The Ryze Tello is the best drone you can buy for under $100. We have flown a lot of different drones and this one stands out. Keep reading to learn more about the awesome Tello. See how the Tello stacks up against some of our other favorite sub-$100 drones here.  The Tello is now available on and Amazon. Pick one up today!

For another solid review of the Tello check out this post on

Ryze Tello with Yuneec Breeze and DJI Spark

See how the size of the Tello compares to larger drones from DJI

DJI has decided to enter the lower-cost brushless quadcopter market with Tello. DJI and Ryze teamed up to create this small marvel. Tello is a small brushed quadcopter with some exciting features. Like other DJI drones, Tello brings quite a bit to the table. This $99 drone looks like the real deal. There aren’t any sub-$100 drones like it. Will the Tello end up eliminating the competition? Keep reading to learn more.

The Tello is an all-new drone. While it may look like a tiny DJI Spark, this is a very different quadcopter.  This is one of the most exciting brushed quadcopters to hit the market in a long time. If you want to see how the DJI Spark compares to the Tello then check this article out.

Ryze Tello with DJI Spark
The Tello is much smaller and lighter than the Spark

What is a brushed drone? It is a drone with brushed motors. What are brushed motors? They are motors with brushes! OK, enough captain obvious. Without diving into the technical details, brushed motors, like those on the Tello, are less expensive and have lower performance than their brushless counterparts. All previous DJI drones including all Spark, Mavic, and Phantom models have higher-performing brushless motors.

Ryze Tello Motor and Prop Detail
The brushed motor and nice prop design on the Tello.

Starting at $99, Tello is the lowest price quadcopter that you can buy from DJI. The up-and-coming robotics company Ryze developed this drone with components and input from Intel and DJI. While it may not have GPS and the advanced flight modes you’ve come to expect from a DJI drone, it does, in fact, have quite a few interesting features. Right away it becomes one of the most advanced brushed quadcopters you can buy with a 14-core Intel processor.

Accessories that come with Ryze Tello
This is everything you get with the Tello. You need your own micro USB cable.

The Tello Camera

Tello features a 5 MP camera that is capable of shooting 720p video. It even has electronic image stabilization to help smooth out the video. Tello is capable of a handful of flight modes that DJI calls EZ Shots. The EZ Shots on the Tello are similar to the modes on the Spark and they include Circle, 360 and “Up & Away”. You just can’t find another drone under $100 with a camera this good and such a variety of flight modes.

Ryze Tello Camera
Take a look at the camera on the Tello. It may not have a gimbal, but it does have digital image stabilization. The 5 MP camera is one of the best you’ll find on a brushed motor quadcopter.

Tello Flight Time and Range

The Tello has a very impressive flight time of 13 minutes and uses two antennas for the best possible signal. You’ll get a range of up to 100 meters with the Tello. It can be controlled via a smartphone app or a compatible Bluetooth controller. In practical situations we found the range to be about 1/3 of the stated 100 meters. We were able to extend the range beyond 100 meters by using the Xiaome MI WiFi Extender. Learn how we did it in this dedicated post or the video below.

You can use the automatic takeoff for Tello or the Throw & Go launch where you toss it in the air and it takes off. It also has Bounce Mode where it will take off and land in the palm of your hand. Tello even has 8 preprogrammed flips that you can do with the press of a button.

Battery Details for Ryze Tello
The Tello high-energy-density battery makes its flight time best-in-class.

Tello Safety and Stability

Tello Ryze DJI
The Tello looks to be an impressive drone.

The Tello is one of the safer brushless quadcopters out there with battery alerts when they are low on charge and failsafe landing if you lose connection. The Tello uses vision positioning camera to help maintain its position while hovering.

Ryze Tello Sensors
The sensors on the Tello keep it extremely stable in all directions
Weight of the Ryze Tello
The official weight is 80g, our scale said 79.

Use a BlueTooth Remote with the Tello

Tello remote control
The Gamevice is the recommended remote to control your Tello.

DJI recommends the GameVice controller to control the Tello. Adding a physical remote makes flying a little easier and gives you some added control. Take a look at the GameVice controller. You can order it directly from DJI or pick one up from Amazon. There are models that work with iPhones, iPads and Android devices. It is a small and compact controller and will also double as a gaming remote for your favorite mobile games.

Pick up a Gamevice controller from AmazonOrder the Gamevice controller directly from DJI

Use Tello to Create and Program

Ryze Tello Spinning GIF

Not only is Tello a solid quadcopter for any beginner, it also is programmable with Scratch. Scratch is a popular coding program that adults and kids alike can use to have fun while programming Tello to do tasks. If you are a more advanced user you can develop your own software applications for Tello using Tello SDK. We were also able to program the Tello with DRONEBLOCKS. Check it out below.

Order a Tello from DJI
Ryze Tello in Flight
We tested the flight time of the Tello and found it to be 13 minutes and 25 seconds.
Ryze Tello with prop guards
The Tello with guards installed. The guards are very secure, be careful removing them.

CAD Model

We created a 1:1 scale model of the DJI Tello. We reverse engineered the Tello based on pictures and dimensions that we found. Then we printed it on a 3D printer and gave it a nice paint job. We got some motors, props, and a donor drone for the flight controller and we put it all together.

Tello hitching a ride on the Spark
The Tello can easily hitch a ride on the Spark

The model isn’t perfect, but it is pretty darn good. The scale is correct since we know the prop size of the Tello is 3 inches. Click here to learn more about the 3D model and download it for free.

DJI Tello CAD model spinning GIF
Check out our DJI Tello CAD model from all angles

More Drones…

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What are the best drones now?

Every month we update what we believe are the best drones on the market. Check out Best Drones Now. We have also created the one-of-a-kind Half Chrome Drone Cipher™. You answer a few questions and we’ll pair you with the best drone for you.

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Let Half Chrome Drones help you find the right drone for you and your budget.

Do you want to search by price? Click on your menu above or we can break it down for you. Check out drones under $50, from $50-100, from $100-200, from $200-500 or over $500. Maybe you like a good Top Ten list, we’ve got you covered.

Drones by Price

Learn More…

If you want to learn more about taking great pictures or flying FPV then check out our comprehensive guides on those topics. Also take a look at our articles on how to choose the right drone for great aerial photos or for getting started flying race drones. Learn more about drones and how to get the most out of them in our Drone Academy. In the Academy we also detail some of the advanced testing we do, including our recent addition, drone thrust testing.

Drone Pictures

Drone Academy

I Want Videos…

Did you know that Half Chrome has its own YouTube Channel? We have reviews, flight tests, crashes, 360-degree videos and more. Check it out and subscribe today.

Half Chrome YouTube Channel


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22 thoughts on “Say Hello to the Ryze Tello! (With DJI and Intel Smarts!)”

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  22. There’s a little conflict here! 🙁

    “DJI has decided to enter the lower-cost ****brushless**** quadcopter market with Tello. DJI and Ryze teamed up to create this small marvel. Tello is a small ****brushed**** quadcopter with some exciting features.”

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