GoPro Re-Releasing the Karma Camera Drone—But Is It Too Little, Too Late?
It may not fall out of the sky, but will GoPro’s newest effort measure up to drones today?
In 2016, GoPro released the Karma drone, which was announced with a teaser video that built a ton of anticipation for the device. It promised portability and quietness, two features not found in any filming drone on the market at the time.
Unfortunately, the Karma fell flat. Users reported drifting, intelligent control functionality problems, and—due to a latch malfunction on the battery— power failure, causing some Karmas to fall out of the sky mid-flight.
GoPro recalled the Karma in September 2016—one month after the drone's launch. Since then, DJI—the biggest drone manufacturer around—has released four new models, one of which upstaged the Karma in every way. The DJI Mavic Pro is more portable, offers greater flight time, and—considering the Karma needs a separate GoPro Hero 5 to be able to film, while the Mavic comes with a built in camera—is cheaper.
Now GoPro has fixed the battery latch issues and is relaunching the Karma...but the company is not updating or fixing any other features.
The re-released-for-2017 Karma is "still clueless when it comes to drifting, or landing by itself, or ascending by itself," says YouTuber iPhonedo, in an in-depth video reviewing the 2017 Karma and its pitfalls. Unfortunately for the Karma, better drones with greater functionality have landed in the market in the time it took to circle back around.