Parrot Bebop Drone, analysis
When we talk about drones one of the main commercial manufacturers is Parrot. The French have been launching aerial quadrupeds for a few years now and with the third generation of Bebop Drone they set out to improve the flight experience and give more prominence to the camera with a very powerful image stabilization system.
They give a lot to talk about but are they a gadget worth taking a look at? Parrot continues to bet heavily on the category with affordable models but now we analyze it to see if they are still up to the task. We put it on our analysis table to let it fly.
Parrot Bebop Drone, video analysis
Before we start talking about the Parrot Bebop Drone, we show you on video so you can see what it is capable of and the quality its camera offers. If you are not very familiar with the category, it is a good way to get to know it through this video.
Robust design despite its appearance
At first glance Parrot Bebop Drone may give the wrong feeling. It looks fragile but appearances are deceiving. The body is robust and the plastic parts that hold the propeller guards do their job very well. When we fly it and hit the ground for the first time, we find that this drone is indeed hard.
Lightweight, the weight is concentrated on the body where the battery and camera go. The removable parts are easy to handle, so putting them back in place or changing them will take little time. Setting it up is very simple and putting it into operation for the first time will take very little time.
The system he uses to hold the strap is simple but very effective. A piece of velcro around the body of the drone is responsible for attaching it to the chassis of the vehicle. A physical connector, slightly hidden in the housing to prevent damage, ensures that power reaches the central system. The battery is removed in an instant, although then we have to make sure that it is well tied so that it does not move.
The drone comes with spare propellers in case they break when we are flying. In the time that we have been testing it, it has not been necessary to replace them despite the many blows that have been taken during the analysis. With the guards in place, the Bebop Drone proves to be a robust drone that can handle falls well.
When the drone is on and takes a few minutes in operation, care must be taken when we pick it up from the ground and pick it up from the body. It tends to get very hot, enough to notice and annoying on hand but not so bad that it burns. Unless it is strictly necessary, it is best to always turn it off and let it rest for a moment.
In terms of design, few problems can be removed. It is a simple, light but solid drone and that when using it does not offer any problems during the experience. The pieces are placed quickly and its ease of use encourages anyone, regardless of their ability, to want to use it.
Fair performance, like battery
To use the Parrot Bebop Drone we have two options, either manage it with virtual controls on our mobile device or with a physical controller that is sold in the advanced edition that Parrot has released. In our case, we have analyzed the most basic model and have controlled the drone from a mobile phone.
For synchronization Parrot has a mobile application that, in addition to being in charge of the communication between the vehicle and our device through a WiFi network, also serves as a guide to learn how to use it, access lessons to learn to fly and watch multimedia content. that we have been registering.
The application works well and the connection is immediate. In fact, if we do it manually (through the Wireless Network Settings menu) it takes less time than if we let the Parrot app do the work. Once we have it synchronized, we just have to hit the take-off button to lift it off the ground.
At this point we have three controls that go from a basic one to an advanced one going through an intermediate one. Each one offers a different way to move the drone and it is here where we must have a little patience since the interface is not entirely intuitive and it will take us a moment to understand well how it works and what we must do to take the Bebop Drone.
By default, we will find a series of speed and height limitations, but we can modify them so that it goes a little faster and reaches a height of up to 50 meters. In principle, it is legal to use the drone in Spain, but be careful to avoid problems.
The controls can end up being frustrating if we don't have patience, the physical controller is a more useful option but it makes the price of the drone quite expensive. Another problem when using it is how short the battery lasts. Each charge is 11 minutes of use (approximately), fortunately it comes with an additional one but if we want to spend the day playing with it you already know that you will not be able to do it for more than 20 minutes in total.
The 14-megapixel camera that it incorporates not only allows us to see through it but also to record images for later viewing. The quality it offers is not exceptional and is similar to that offered by some action cameras such as the Sony Action Cam. Of course, it is behind GoPro for example.
The great success in this regard is image stabilization. It doesn't matter if we spin or spin with the drone, the camera does a great job with image stabilization. Of course, if you expect professional results, you may be interested in looking at other drones on the market.
The camera offers good results in bright light, but the image tends to be very noisy, which is frustrating if we try to do something elaborate. It may be that many are worth it but with the price it has, the quality it offers is very fair.
A drone for a few, Xataka's opinion
There is no doubt that drones are a very attractive category, it invites you to play with it and let's try it, but are the 600 euros justified in the cheap version? It is a very large barrier to entry if we only want to browse it and enter the category. If we are going to use it exhaustively, within the limitations of the battery, it is a good option.
However, if your interest is limited to experimenting with the product and seeing what it can offer, you may be more interested in making a smaller investment and satiating your curiosity. Parrot has a good product but it is somewhere in between that leaves it a little cold: very expensive for those who want to be fond of, and unambitious if we are looking for something with more pretensions.