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Look out! Drones are falling!
Wait, sorry... drone prices are falling. Whew. That's way less scary.
Back in March, I shared a deal on this very quadcopter, and can I just say I hope you didn't jump at it. Because now it's literally less than half the price, and it comes with some valuable extras.
For a limited time, Best Buy has the 3DR Solo drone for $379.99 shipped (plus tax), a price that includes not only a 3-axis gimbal, but also a spare battery and two extra sets of propellers.
Let me put this in some perspective. The Solo originally sold for $1,399(!) without the gimbal, though it now runs $700. Spare batteries still list for $150, though you can find them around $100 if you look hard. So it would still be pretty incredible if this was just the Solo for $379.99, but the gimbal and extra battery are worth about $350 all by themselves.
So, yeah, pretty amazing buy. Earlier this year I got a chance to see the Solo in action, auto-navigating its way through a particularly windy day in southern California's Corral Canyon. Without so much as a blip, it performed several of its best tricks, including orbit and follow-me. Although I could see it getting buffeted quite a bit by the wind, the resulting GoPro footage was rock-solid thanks to the gimbal.
(Here's a video put together by the pilot, my buddy Dave. I'm the dork in red. Note that I had no say in the music selection.)
Needless to say, put one of these together with a GoPro or a similar compatible camera and you can capture the kind of amazing aerial video that would normally require a helicopter. The Solo is also admirably easy to fly, with a game console-inspired controller that has buttons marked "Fly" and "Home." In contrast, I've found DJI's software annoyingly complex, meaning my Phantom 3 4K is headed to Craigslist.
At this price, a sophisticated, high-end quadcopter is no longer a splurge. It's a fairly affordable tool -- or toy, if you prefer. The only bummer is I'll barely have a chance to fly it before winter slaps Michigan for eight months.
Bonus deal: Lots of you loved yesterday's smartphone car-mount deal, so here's another one: For a limited time, Mpow is offering its universal dashboard mount for $8.99 (shipped free with Prime) after coupon code JSHX3NJR. This one requires no magnets or metal plates. It relies on an adjustable cradle that features a push-button release, and you can adhere it to either your windshield or dashboard. Either way it's a great solution for keeping your phone up near eye level.