DJI released its latest drone, the DJI Air 3, on Tuesday. And here’s a lesser-known program that might get you a free DJI Air 3 drone (at least to borrow).
That’s thanks to the SkyPixel Product Tryout Program. And if you’re accepted into the DJI test program, you get to borrow a free DJI Air 3 drone. Beyond having to fill out an application, there are requirements on your end around generating content with the drone. But it could be a swell deal if you don’t mind holding onto it just temporarily, and you don’t have the funds to buy your own outright.
After all, the DJI Air 3 price tag starts at $1,099, but realistically you’ll pay $1,549 for the upgraded Fly More Combo which includes the far superior DJI RC 2 controller.
- Order the DJI Air 3 drone from Amazon now, starting at $1,099.
- Order the DJI Air 3 drone from B&H Photo now, starting at $1,099.
What is the SkyPixel Product Tryout Program?
The SkyPixel Product Tryout Program is a program that lets a handpicked group of people try DJI’s newest products. It’s generally designed for influencers to generate content using those products (whether it’s videos shot on DJI drones or DJI handheld cameras), or actual video and/or test reviews of those products. Those folks then share that content with their followers, thus generating hype for the products — and providing easy advertising for DJI.
The SkyPixel Product Tryout Program typically runs for a limited time in the wake of a new DJI product launch. For example, in September 2022, DJI ran a version of its SkyPixel Product Tryout Program centered around the Osmo Mobile 6, which is a palm-sized, portable device designed to level up videos shot on smartphones — iPhone or otherwise.
SkyPixel is an online community closely affiliated with DJI that allows users to share their images. It also runs the annual SkyPixel Photo & Video Contest.
How the SkyPixel Product Tryout Program works
Exact procedures of the SkyPixel Product Tryout Program vary by product drop, but typically there’s a short window (about a few weeks) around the product launch to apply. From there, DJI picks its “product testers” who have to commit to a DJI contract. Upon signing, they receiving the product, which they get to use for a window of time (usually about a month).
There are some tasks that the testers must complete as part of the contract, in exchange for getting a free DJI product for that period. For example, they’re typically required to produce reviews and post them to their social media accounts and participate in user interviews.
How to get a free DJI Air 3 from this round of the SkyPixel Product Tryout Program
Alongside the Double Up launch announcement (which was the fancy launch event for the new DJI Air 3 drone), DJI released details as to how to participate in this round of the SkyPixel Product Tryout Program.
Applications opened on July 18 and will be accepted through Tuesday, August 1 (you can access the application upon logging in here). The SkyPixel committee will review applications over the following two days, and will begin contacting all shortlisted candidates sometime on either August 7 and 8. If you’re a hopeful applicant then you’ll want to monitor your email closely during that time, as SkyPixel says applicants will be contacted via email. What’s more, you only have five days to sign the product tryout agreement upon being contacted (otherwise SkyPixel will assume you’ve declined), so don’t procrastinate.
Those contacted will then need to sign a contract to officially become a DJI product tester, upon which they’ll receive a DJI Air 3 drone so they can begin using it to generate content.
Of course, you won’t a free DJI Air 3 drone forever. You’ll have 28 days to try it out upon receiving the product. After that, you’re obligated to send it back. You’ll also be obligated to provide either a product review, unboxing or shot-on video, as well as a product tryout report featuring texts and images —both of which will need to be posted to SkyPixel, the DJI forum and at least one major social media platform. And you’ll also have to participate in user interviews, which DJI will hold the rights to.
In short, you’ll get DJI’s Air 3 drone for free — which is well over $1,000 right there. You’ll also get it way ahead of everyone else, so you won’t have to worry about pre-ordering it if you’re one of those people who likes to have the latest and greatest before the general population. You’ll also get solid exposure to your own content and channels, as DJI heavily leverages the content created by testers.
But of course, the influencer life isn’t easy. You don’t get to keep the new DJI Air 3 forever, and DJI actually gets final rights to the content you produce with it.
What are testers actually testing?
This round, testers will test the DJI Air 3, which dropped on Tuesday, July 25 as the third iteration of the DJI Air line of drones.
The drone stands out for its two cameras, which are a wide-angle camera and a 3x medium tele camera, and are both capable of delivering 48MP photos and 4K/60fps HDR videos.
The DJI Air line of drones straddles the DJI Mavic and DJI Mini lines in terms of price point and features, making it a solid pick for a serious photographer who is budget conscious, or someone who is newer to drones but wants something more robust than the Mini line.
And if you don’t want to go through the SkyPixel Product Tryout Program, but you do want DJI’s newest product before most other folk, then you’d be wise to order it as soon as possible, as shipments are typically made based on the order they were placed.