Parrot Bebop Drone Quadcopter Review

8.7 Total Score
Affordable Quality

It’s a high-grade aircraft with lots of features, and some great extras that can be added on for a price. If you’re looking to take some remarkable photos and/or videos, this is a great piece of technology that can do just that – and throw in some fun while you’re doing it.For a drone in this price range, it’s well worth it.

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PROS:
  • Return Home Feature
  • Emergency Shut Down Feature
  • Social-platform Enabled
  • Shoot time lapse videos

CONS:
  • Skycontroller increases price
  • Controller can be hard to master
  • Can drift if Wi-Fi connection is lost

 

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Parrot Bebop Drone Full Review

Newly released from Parrot is the Bebop quadcopter that was designed for capturing aerial video and photo still frames that can be uploaded to right from your smartphone which doubles as the controller and is an update on the very popular Parrot AR Drone 2.0.

Included in its sleek colorful design are several safety features that protect it in case of collisions. Lightweight construction lets it fly high and fast with the simplest touch. Pilots can fly, capture high definition (HD) video and stills, and then share them with their favorite online community with this multi-functional quadcopter.

Design

 

The Parrot Bebop has a simple yet extremely durable design. It’s made of ABS plastic and has four propeller blades that are protected by two full length foam bumper guards. The camera housing consists of impact-resistance foam under the hard plastic body.Parrot Bebop

Under the rotors are “feet” that are padded for softer landings. It has a range of about 800 feet (243 meters). With a built-in low resolution camera on the underside of the chassis, it can gauge its altitude for smoother landings.

It’s on the smaller side, measuring 14.4 x 13.2 x 3.8 inches and weighs three pounds. Being comparatively smaller, it isn’t as prone to bouncing in the wind. Resisting wind turbulence helps it to fly smoother and be more stable during flight.

 

Flight of the Bebop

 

The pilot can choose how to control this quadcopter by using a smart phone/tablet, or purchasing the Skycontroller (discussed below).

Charging the batteries will take about an hour. With a full battery, the drone will get approximately 10 – 15 minutes of flight time. A perk here is that two batteries are included in the package (three, if you buy the Skycontroller bundle).

 

Bebop drone in flight

There is an altitude ceiling of about 492 feet (150 meters). Reaching this altitude allows for some fantastic views that the HD camera can capture seamlessly, made possible by the extensive image stabilization capabilities.

A flight-plan mapping system (an in-app purchase) uses the internal GPS and overlays a course that sets the aircraft on a completely automated flight.

 

Cinematic Camera Quality

 

The Parrot Bebop has a digital HD 1080p camera that provides a full 180 degree “fisheye” view, meaning there are no curved horizon lines or distortion. Video is recorded at 30 frames per second (FPS) and stills are captured in 14 mega pixel resolution. The camera glass is also dust proof and splash resistant.

Eight gigabytes of storage is built in to the camera. When memory is full, a message will display on the controller screen. Plug the quadcopter into your computer and download the contents, or upload it to the web.

 

Bebop Video Playlist

 

[ytp_playlist source=”PLc_nz2_bbmYxkJLOh6JaFX20f1QowYGwl”]

 

The camera avoids the shake and jostling associated with flying because it uses a built-in 3-axis gimbal image stabilization system and moves independently of the aircraft. The gimbal makes the camera maintain its 180 degree field of vision (FOV) on a fixed angle with little interference from wind, turbulence, or incline.

Using your thumb, you can control the camera angle from your smart phone or tablet. With a full range of movement, the camera can capture a significant amount of footage.

The high quality, high definition, and high resolution video and photo captured by the camera is in a class of its own. It has the ability to analyze a slew of data it automatically receives from its barometric sensor, its 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, ultrasound sensor (26 feet/eight meter range), magnetometer, and pressure sensor that allows it to compensate for movement so its flight is completely stabilized.

And to top it off there’s even a vertical camera that tracks its speed as it lands or takes off. You can program it to start recording at a higher altitude as it lowers to the ground for a soft landing. The video will be virtually shake-free as it nabs some crystal clear footage.

 

Bebop SkyController

 

The Bebop can be controlled with a Wi-Fi connection via a free app (Freeflight 3) installed on an Android or iOS smart phone or a tablet. The basic functions are accessed from the home page of the app allowing the pilot not just to fly the quadcopter, but capture video and stills and track the flight path. Download the app, turn on the quadcopter, and they automatically sync.

 

Bebop app

 

Freeflight 3 is a user-intuitive application that simulates a real transmitter. Two simulated joysticks are on either side of the screen within easy reach of your thumbs. Altitude, speed, battery life, and pilot mode are all displayed on the screen.

A tablet can be used just as the viewfinder nestled between the two handles on either side of the actual joysticks. It’s adjustable to give a snug fit.

 

Ad-hoc Skycontroller

 

But if you opt to use the Skycontroller, the flight range will be drastically enhanced. It has an Android operating system, and comes with the Freeflight 3 software pre-installed. It has an embedded global positioning system (GPS) that gives your aircraft a significantly increased flight range of up to 1.2 miles.

Using this option as a controller gives the aircraft more of everything – specifically more precision control for tighter turns, speeds up to 30 mph, and distance. It may be a little bulky, but it comes with a neck strap to make handling easier.

 

Bebop Skycontroller

 

It also has two aluminum joysticks which control the direction of the flight, altitude, pitch/yaw, and of course the speed. All of the buttons on your smart phone or tablet are incorporated as hard buttons on the Skycontroller so you can take a photo, begin video recording, and activate the Return Home feature.

If you purchase the Parrot Bebop and Skycontroller bundle, you’ll get an extra set of replacement blade propellers and an extra battery. A nice little incentive to bundle up your purchase.

 

Bebop : Safety Features

 

The Return Home feature is always a plus when it comes to drone flying. You always want to prevent it from mistakenly flying away into the great unknown. Return Home makes the aircraft return to its original starting position with the push of a button.

If it has landed below 32 feet (10 meters), it will automatically rise to that altitude. After it stabilizes itself, it will return to its original starting point. Once there, it will decrease altitude to six feet (two meters) and hover.

The foam bumpers can be easily attached or removed depending on your preference. Indoors, it’s always good to have them on to protect people from being hit by the rotor blades.

An emergency stop function is activated when the blades come in contact with anything. They detect interference and automatically stop spinning. This prevents the motors from burning out quickly and the blades from breaking or bending during a collision.

When it’s not receiving any commands or if the signal is lost, the Bebop will hover in place until you start to fly it or the connection is re-established. If it remains out of range or doesn’t re-connect, a low battery will eventually force it into a soft landing.

 

Join the Parrot Cloud

Since the video and photos are captured in real-time on your smart phone, you can upload them immediately to a variety of social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube – all just by touching the screen.

Flight stats, navigation data, photos, and video footage can all be stored and shared in the Parrot Cloud. Being part of the Parrot community connects you to thousands of other registered drone flyers. Share your quadcopter accomplishments online while backing up your flight information for free in the Cloud.

Here’s a quick rundown:

PROS:
  • Return Home Feature
  • Emergency Shut Down Feature
  • Social-platform Enabled
  • Shoot time lapse videos

CONS:
  • Skycontroller increases price
  • Controller can be hard to master
  • Can drift if Wi-Fi connection is lost

 

Parrot Bebop: To Wrap It Up

The Parrot Bebop may take a little practice to get used to the controls, but once mastered, this drone can deliver outstanding videos and photos. Sharing your best shots instantly on a variety of social platforms can be done easily and quickly.

It’s a high-grade aircraft with lots of features, and some great extras that can be added on for a price. If you’re looking to take some remarkable photos and/or videos, this is a great piece of technology that can do just that – and throw in some fun while you’re doing it.

For a drone in this price range, it’s well worth it.

8.7 Total Score
Affordable Quality

It’s a high-grade aircraft with lots of features, and some great extras that can be added on for a price. If you’re looking to take some remarkable photos and/or videos, this is a great piece of technology that can do just that – and throw in some fun while you’re doing it.For a drone in this price range, it’s well worth it.

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