How good is the new Parrot Bebop?
If you’re looking for a fairly cheap drone that’s at the same time packed with some pretty useful features, then look no further. But that’s not the question here. What I’d like to determine in this post is whether Parrot’s new product can compare to some of the more expensive drones. This is what I’ve found while researching it.
What are all those useful features?
- 4 brushless outrunner motors
- HD camera
- 1200 mAH lithium-polymer battery
- 3-axis gimbal stabilization
- GPS location tracking and other useful sensors
- P7 dual-core CPU and quad core GPU
- 8GB internal flash memory
- FreeFlight3 application (compatible with iOS, Android and Windows)
Just by looking at this list, you can see that Parrot Bebop is no toy. But the question remains: Can it be called a high quality drone?
What can you do with Parrot Bebop?
Since it doesn’t require any assembly or installation, you can fly the Parrot’s Bebop as soon as you get it. I’ve already mentioned that it comes with FreeFlight3 application, so you can do all the piloting directly from your tablet or smartphone.
Bebop’s flight time is estimated at around 11 minutes, unless you’re flying it at higher speeds. Then it’s about 9 or 10 minutes. The drone comes with two batteries, which means that it gets you approximately 22 minutes of airtime in total. What’s great about it is the fact that it flies back to you and lands as soon as the battery gets critically low. The maximum speed is 13.2 meters per second, which is only a few meters shy of Phantom 2.
The drone is equipped with a 14-megapixel, 1080p camera that’s mounted right in the middle, which has its upsides and downsides. While it makes it able to protect itself from hard landings, it’s also more limited in movement.
Regarding its functionality, Bebop is the perfect drone for beginners. Although it’s not as precise as Phantom 2, it gets you where you want to be with only a couple of simple steps. To take off and land, you only need to press a button, while steering it around is reduced to tilting your tablet or smartphone in the direction you want it to go. Even forward, backward and side-to-side movements have been made extremely intuitive.
Apart from all this, Parrot Bebop is pretty stable, thanks to a variety of different sensors that were designed to provide the drone with all the information it needs. Waypoint flying is an option too, so long as there’s a strong satellite connection.
One of the downsides of owning Parrot Bebop is the fact that yaw and acceleration are controlled via a virtual joystick, which makes it imprecise.
All in all, it’s not as good as some (the already mentioned DJI’s Phantom 2 for instance), but you’ll get about what you’ve paid for.
What about design and durability?
Parrot Bebop was designed to fit a lot of great features in a small and pretty lightweight package – it only weighs around 400 grams.
Considering the fact that it’s made from Styrofoam and inexpensive ABS plastic, Bebop is one tough little drone. You can crash it as much as you want, unplug the battery to reset the system, and it’ll fly like nothing ever happened to it. To make it even better, the extremely simple design makes it shockingly easy to fix this drone.
In conclusion, it lacks the range and precision of some of the more expensive drones, and lacks endurance from the batteries. Parrot Bebop is a good product. It’s durable, functional and very easy to use, just not up to par with other commercial drones out there.