Back last year, a tonne of Western white-collar corporations sold a lot of drones they called the Skeye Nano Drone. These usually went for $35-50 a piece, after discount (which means they were marked an even higher price). It turns out, the Skeye Nano Drone was simply a Cheerson CX-10 sold in a different box.
Come 2016, and things have changed a lot. For good and for bad.
The good: manufacturers are now able to put a lot more into the small frames of these nano drones, which means we can now get ourselves super tiny drones that don’t just fly, but also do FPV.
The bad: vendors are still selling the same gadgets, but with new names for an insanely high mark up. Keep reading to know what I’m talking about.
Confused? Let me clear it out for you.
Enter the Axis Vidius, aka “The World’s Smallest FPV Drone” by Axis Drones
The Vidius was announced in January of 2016. This is just a week or so after the time when the FQ777-954 started shipping. Axis Drones calls the Vidius ‘The World’s Smallest FPV Drone’, and have a trademark on using that phrase.
The FQ777-954, by the way, is a $35 drone (and that includes worldwide shipping costs) which is known as… the world’s smallest FPV drone. Heck, if you don’t want to get one from China, even Amazon US is selling these.
While I haven’t gotten a chance to fly the Axis Vidius, I’m positive they’re one and the same. There’s one big difference, however. The Axis Vidius is sold for $95, nearly three times the cost of one FQ777-954.
Both, the FQ777-954 and the Vidius achieve FPV through WiFi.
The Axis Vidius
(picture courtesy: axisdrones.com)
The mark up was evident in the case of the Skeye Nano Drone as well; back then, however, the sellers didn’t have the audacity to double or triple the RETAIL price. Emphasis on the word ‘retail’ because that’s the price for one single retail drone; when buying in a lot (like Axis must be doing), the price comes down by a HUGE margin (probably comes down to about $20 or less per unit).
It doesn’t end there, unfortunately. There’s quite a markup on the spares as well. Why not, the vendors would’ve thought perhaps. The buyer has already invested a hundred bucks, and he’d rather invest a few more than let the hundred go to waste. Smart.
The Point I’m Trying to Make
With this article, I do not intend to jeopardise Axis Drones (nor do I accuse them of cheating) or their buyers. Nor am I saying that the FQ777-954 is the most original quadcopter ever. Heck, even that might be a rebrand of some other existing aircraft.
I just wish to spread awareness, and encourage people to spend 10 minutes on the internet instead of impulse-buying things.
I’m sure people who’ve bought the Axis Vidius are having a tonne of fun flying their new drones. However, now you know the same fun can be had for 1/3rd the price… or lesser.
Novelty items (such as the Vidius) are among the biggest profit makers for companies that don’t have the resources to invest in R&D. The Chinese are infamous for their clones of Western products; but what’s happening here is a bit of an opposite of that.
I’d recommend skimming through these 5 stores before you order something from a new brand that’s offering something irresistible.
Until next time.
Featured image courtesy: axisdrones.com