Les Shu/Digital Trends
GoPro’s first foray into the drone market took a bit of a nosedive recently when technical issues with the device forced the company to recall it just a couple of weeks after launch.
A small number of users reported that their Karma quadcopter suddenly lost power during flight, a potentially dangerous fault that left the California-based company with no choice but to withdraw its debut flying machine from sale until further notice.
All 2,500 customers who forked out $800 for the foldable drone are of course receiving a full refund once they return their Karma. But by way of apology for all the hassle and disappointment, and possibly as an incentive to ensure no one holds on to their potentially faulty – and therefore hazardous – machine, GoPro is offering its Karma customers a free Hero5 Black camera.
The $400 action camera launched at the same time as the Karma, and is one of only three cameras compatible with the drone. Two years in the making, the new Hero5 Black offers electronic image stabilization, voice control, and improved audio recording, among a raft of other features. Check out DT’s full review of GoPro’s latest action camera here.
While there’s a chance some of those Karma buyers already have a Hero5 Black – bought especially for use with their new drone – others will have been using the older Hero4 camera, in which case the freebie is likely to be warmly welcomed.
GoPro says on its recall page that “all components included with the Karma drone bundle, including Hero5 Black and Karma Grip, must be returned for a full refund,” so yes, to get your free Hero5 Black camera, you first have to return the entire Karma kit that you bought – which may or may not include a Hero5 Black camera.
“Once your complete return has been processed and refund issued, we will send you a Hero5 Black as a thank you,” GoPro says.
As for the troubled Karma drone, there’s no word yet on the cause of its technical issues, and whether it’ll be returning to the market anytime soon, but we’ll be sure to update just as soon as we hear something.