Since companies began to manufacture complete, ready-to-fly drones, there has always been a division in the market. On one side of this divide, we have robust, capable aircraft with feature-rich autopilots and starting price tags between $800 and $1,200, manufactured by companies like DJI, Yuneec and Autel Robotics.
On the other side, we have aircraft that I will – lovingly, of course – refer to as toys, with primitive cameras, rudimentary flight control systems and prices ranging between $100 and $250, from companies with names like “Lucky Dragon” and “Soaring Eagle.”
To me, the Breeze is interesting because it's the first time a major manufacturer has built a drone with a sophisticated flight control system with a full suite of sensors and tried to make it accessible to consumers who might otherwise be drawn to the “toy” end of the spectrum.
Admittedly, $399 is basically double the cost of less-sophisticated platforms, but it's still far, far less than competitors like the Mavic (when DJI finally gets around to shipping it – after the holidays).
Is the Breeze as capable as the $1,000 drones? Of course not, but it will open the sky to another cadre of new drone pilots – who will get a good introduction to what the hardware is capable of doing – before graduating to more expensive systems.