It wasn’t long ago we were getting quite excited about GoPro’s Karma, a drone / flying camera platform that integrated with the GoPro Hero 5 camera which we took a look at not long ago. The promise was pretty good; a small, very portable drone that folded to a compact size and offered just about everything that larger, more expensive drones offered.
Unfortunately, it seems, GoPro has suffered a dual blow when it comes to the Karma drone. Not only did drone masters DJI release their Mavic Pro a few days after (and it seemed significantly better in terms of features, functions and quality), but now there’s actually a pretty serious problem with the GoPro Karma. It stops flying, unexpectedly, and crashes to the ground.
As you can see in this video, this happy GoPro Karma customer is taking his brand new drone for a fly, having a little look around the local area, when all of a sudden the power completely cuts out, and the Karma falls from the sky like a brick. You can see in the few moments of video before it smashes into the ground (complete with dramatic burst of leaf litter) that the propellers stopped dead, meaning there was only one way to go — down.
It should come as little surprise that GoPro announced a full recall following this incident (and others) coming to light:
“GoPro is committed to providing our customers with great product experiences. To honor this commitment, we have recalled Karma until we resolve a performance issue related to a loss of power during operation. We plan to resume shipment of Karma once the issue is addressed.”
GoPro’s recall website says they are working with the Federal Aviation Administration and that all Karma units had been recalled and would be refunded. There won’t be any replacement units issued until the cause is identified and completely resolved; GoPro don’t want to have a Samsung moment.
If you’re after a small, folding drone that flies and doesn’t plummet to the earth, it seems there’s really only one choice at the moment — DJI’s Mavic Pro. We haven’t reviewed one (but hope to, soon) but from what we’ve seen around the web, the Mavic Pro is one hell of a drone.