Parrot Bebop Drone with Sky-controller Review

The Parrot Bebop Drone is the next generation in Parrot’s Drone development and is quite a big jump in technology from the AR. Parrot Bebop Drone Parrot Bebop 2 + Black Skycontroller (Red), which I have also tried and flown. I have been asked to test and review the Bebop and these are my findings after a couple of weeks flying. Mine is Yellow.

The footprint of the Bebop is significantly smaller than the Parrot AR.Drone 2, which makes transiting/ storage easier (which pleases the wife too). The use of three blades makes the prop diameter smaller as well.

Parrot Bebop Drone with Sky-controller Review

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The Skycontroller is a must. Compared to trying to control it with the iPad/iPhone or other smart technology the Skycontroller is much more responsive and gives greater finesse when controlling it.

You will need a smart tablet to get the best out of the Skycontroller. This is fitted to the Skycontroller and is used to view the streaming video from the Bebop. I liked that it came with a variety of screen shades so you can still see the images in bright light. The other bonus of the Skycontroller is it extends the range up to 2 km.

The box the Bebop comes in is nice and compact compared and with the Skycontroller is packed on two layers. One advantage is it all fits back in the box after flying compared with the DJI Phantom which won’t allow the controller back in the box when all set up. A small point but makes a big difference when carrying all your flight equipment. The design has been well thought out and Parrot has learned from earlier versions.
Three batteries that come with the box fit both Skycontroller and the Bebop and give about 11 minutes of flying time. It does come with the GPS system already fitted (an add on with the AR.Drone 2). Something I have yet to fully explore.

The connecting of the drone in the preflight routine is pretty straight forward and easy to get it up into the air. Like the AR.Drone 2 it is small and light but is susceptible to strong or gusty wind, which can make it difficult to fly. But when you watch the 1080p, 14MP HD feed recorded onboard with its image stabilisation you would hard to notice how shaky the drone was. The video I made showed how much the drone was moving about and the result of the onboard video. It does suit being indoors or outside in light winds better.

I like that there is an HDMI port that can connect to a monitor or head vision goggles for that full immersive experience (2015 Christmas present?). There would be the option of live streaming of the video across the Internet which I think is an exciting development.

It definitely sits between the AR.Drone 2 and DJI Phantom. Taking the lightweight fun from the AR.Drone 2 but the control and video stability of the DJI Vision.

I had a few set up issues after I took it out of the box. In the house there must have been too much interference so establishing connection through wifi was a problem. Once this was sorted the actual process was fairly straightforward.

On the whole I really like the Bebop, very quick to learn to fly and I look forward to taking it out to more locations and trying out all the features. Small enough to fit in a day-sack (with padding) and going off the beaten track.

We gave the Parrot Bebop Drone with Skycontroller.

SPECIFICATIONS :

  • Camera: 14 mega-pixels with fish-eye lens
  • Video: 3-axis Full HD 1080p
  • Stabilisation: Digital stabilisation (Parrot system)
  • Battery life: 25 minutes flying time (with 2700 mAh battery)
  • GPS: Yes
  • Processor: Dual core processor with quad-core GPU
  • Storage: 8 GB flash storage system

CONNECTIVITY & PERFORMANCE :

  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Network: MIMO Dual band
  • Wi-Fi Aerials: 2.4 and 5 GHz dual dipole aerials
  • Output power: Up to 21 dBm
  • Signal range: 300 m
  • Max horizontal speed: 16 m/s
  • Max upward speed: 6 m/s

VIDEO :

  • Sensor: CMOS 14 Mpx
  • Optical: Sunny 180° fish-eye lens: 1/2.3" aperture
  • Video stabiliser: 3-axis digital system
  • Video resolution: 1920 x 1080p (30fps)
  • Photo resolution: 4096 x 3072 pixels
  • Video encoding: H264
  • Photo format: JPEG, RAW, DNG
  • Internal memory: 8 GB Flash

 BEBOP 2 FPV PACK FULL IMMERSION: FLY, FILM AND TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS IN FULL HD.

WEIGHT :

  • 500 g

DIMENSIONS :

  • 200 x 180 x 110 mm

GENERAL FEATURES :

  • 2 joysticks
  • 8 shortcut buttons
  • Li-Po battery: 2700 mAh
  • Battery life: 240 minutes
  • USB plug
  • WiFi MIMO antennas

Compatible with a range of smartphone brands thanks to the adjustable smartphone dock. Compatible with smartphones with screen sizes from 4.7" to 5.7" and thickness between 6 mm and 9.5 mm.

The “Follow me – GPS & visual tracking” feature is available as an in-app purchase in your Freeflight Pro application.

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