The Parrot Bebop is a high quality entry level quadcopter with an integrated 180degree camera, capable of shooting 14 megapixel images, in JPEG, RAW and DNG formats, and 1080p video in h264. Parrot’s product specs list a max range of 2km and a flight time of 22 minutes, and include two batteries with the kit.
As you will see from the photo, the camera is embedded within the structure, rather than a gimbal as is common with most quadcopter camera drones, and has excellent self-stabilizing features incorporated into it.
It features a one-button takeoff mode, and begins recording as soon as you take off. The drone is incredibly lightweight and compact and has the benefits of being able to fit in a backpack, but as it’s so lightweight it has to be used in caution with high winds compared to other heavier models.
Although they claim 22 minutes flight time, I’d have to wonder if they added up 11 minutes for each battery… I averaged around 10 minutes for the factory batteries, but managed to improve this to 15 minutes on average when switching the batteries out for ‘AR Drone 2.0’ 2500 mAh batteries. This battery is around 30 grams heavier than the stock, but the additional flight time is worth it, although you have to compensate a little for the extra weight yourself through the controls at times.
They also claim 2 kilometers max range, but with 10-15minutes battery life; how do they ever expect anyone to travel 4km (2km each way). Seems a big claim that no-one will ever be able to disprove unless battery technology improves greatly in the near future!
One of the main features of the bebop is the extremely simple-to-use smartphone app, called FreeFlight 3, which lets you pilot the drone from your Smartphone or tablet using touchscreen controls and features a 1-button takeoff and landing mode. There’s also a return to home and emergency button in case anything goes wrong, which is a nice safety feature. Unfortunately the emergency inbuilt return to home when lost connection only kicks in after 2 minutes, and when on a 12 minute battery, this isn’t long enough in my opinion.
There are two packages available for the drone, and its either the Parrot Bebop by itself, or the Parrot Bebop with SkyController. The SkyController makes the drone almost like a virtual reality headset, check out their demo video below:
A negative for this product is that it doesn’t come with a good quality detailed user guide, but I have managed to locate one on parrot’s website. Here’s a link to download the PDF from their website: Parrot Bebop User Guide PDF
They should really be supplying this in the box, instead of the tiny set of instructions they come with.
Another negative point for the drone for the poor design of the rubber feet: they don’t seem to stick on very well and have fallen off multiple times over just a few days use. I looked online and I found I’m not the only one experiencing this problem and it seems to be a common occurrence. Sort it out Parrot!
Extremely easy to use
Great quality for the price
Excellent camera stability
Long Signal Range
Unique Smartphone App
Very compact & portable
Not very detailed instructions included
Possibly too lightweight for bad weather
Rubber coming loose on feet
Some problems reported with GPS signal locking
For the price, this is an excellent product, I only wish I could’ve had a chance to try it out with the SkyController system as I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed the experience more thoroughly. At it’s price point, it’s definitely the best in this range, however when I compare it to a slightly more expensive model such as the Phantom 2, I feel like it’s got a fair bit of ground to cover, but when you consider you could buy two Bebops for the price of one Phantom, you can’t expect the same quality.
I would definitely recommend this to ANY first time buyer because it’s so easy to use, and it’s much more affordable to an entry level user. I’d love to come back and do an update at some point after testing out the SkyController so I can give it it’s true potential score, as I’m sure much of the collaboration that has gone into the SkyController product makes it an exceptional experience.
Just by this review alone I would have to decide on something else. I want a drone, but right now it is so hard to beat the DJI.
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Thanks for information ! I am just a beginner to handle Dynam RC Airplanes and as you suggest parrot bebop drone is best for entry level. So i am excited to buy it soon.
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