Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Review
So you’re looking to fly an aircraft that’s easy to use, built to last, equipped with advanced technology, controllable from your smartphone or tablet, and priced mid-ranged at about $300? That’s an extremely specific request, but we have the perfect quadcopter for you! The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is built for intermediate flyers, so we highly recommend some previous experience. Starting with the UDI U818A allowed us to fully understand the controls and operation of most other quadcopters. We suggest practicing with this aircraft first. But to see if you are ready to take your quadcopter experience to the next level, read our Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Review and decide for yourself…
|Max Flight Velocity||5m/s|
|Battery Type||11.1V LiPo|
|Transmitter||Smartphone or Tablet|
|Camera||HD 720 (2)|
Getting Started: Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Review
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 comes ready-to-fly straight out of the box. The package includes two Styrofoam bodies. One is built for indoor flying (rings around the propellers) and the other is built for outdoor flying (leaves the propellers exposed). We prefer going exposed because we think it looks much cooler, but recommend keeping the rings around indoors for safety. The box also includes a battery, battery charger, and 4 plug converters for several countries including the United States. There are no extra pieces included.
First thing you want to do is attach your battery to the charger, select the converter, and plug it into the wall. Simple enough. We’ve found that it takes about an hour and a half to reach full battery. While you wait for it to charge, go to the application store on your smartphone (Android or iPhone) or tablet and download AR.Free Flight 2.0. It’s free and extremely easy to use. Your phone or tablet is going to be your transmitter!
There are several features within the app that allow you to pilot the drone, update the software on the drone, store your photos and videos, and even purchase photos and videos posted by other users. Look around and get familiar with the features and settings.
There are some important things to keep in mind. If you’re flying outside make sure you have the outdoor setting turned on so you can reach higher altitudes. You can adjust the vertical and horizontal speeds as well. If you ever need to land your aircraft immediately for any reason, hit the emergency button to cut the power. Be careful when you’re trying to record because the button is very close to the emergency function.
Once the battery is fully charged, and you’ve found a good place to fly it, just slide the battery in the slot, velcro it into place, and then connect it to the copter. There is no ‘on switch’ so this will turn the aircraft on automatically. Afterwards, slide one of the two styrofoam bodies on by simply placing the camera into its slot first. A magnet will pull the body into place. It’s important to velcro the battery before plugging it into the vehicle because if the chords are placed under the velcro they will get in the way and prevent you from sliding the body on properly.
Immediately after you plug in the battery you should see red lights turn on beneath the propellers and one at a time, each propeller should move a little signaling that it’s ready to go. Once you see the lights turn green go to Wi-Fi settings on your smartphone and select ‘ardrone2’.
After you’ve connected to the Wi-Fi you are ready to fly. Open the AR.Free Flight 2.0 application and select piloting. As you can see, your phone displays a point of view of the cameras sight so you can view the footage you’re capturing right then and there! When recording, the videos and photos will automatically save to your phone’s library. The camera records in 720p which is a huge step up from the UDI U818A. If you’re main focus is on photography then we recommend going with the DJI Phantom.
When you’re ready, press the take off button and watch as your Parrot magically rises in the air and hovers so elegantly. You can immediately see how stable this aircraft is. Even when you’re not controlling the copter it will remain in one spot. We love the fact that you don’t have to constantly worry about throttling up and maintaining balance.
You can now control the movement of the quadcopter with an easy to use two analog stick system. The controls are a little different from what we discuss in our Getting Started guide. The right stick controls the throttle and the yaw. When you push up on the stick the aircraft rises in vertical altitude, and if you push to the side the aircraft rotates left or right accordingly.
The left stick allows you to control the direction in which the Parrot travels. When placing your thumb down on the left side of the screen you can maneuver the aircraft by tilting your phone. If you tilt the device (phone or tablet) forward and away from your body the drone will move forward, and if you tilt the device back towards your body the drone will move backward. It’s the same when directing it left or right.
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 has a battery life of about 12 minutes. This is not enough flight time for us! Especially if we want to use the stunt command feature. It allows you to do impressive tricks like a barrel roll or a flip. This will drain your battery faster than normal due to the extra power required. So we made sure to buy a couple extra batteries.
All in all, we love this quadcopter. It’s our favorite mid-priced drone for so many reasons. It’s easy to fly, you can capture HD footage that automatically saves to your phone, and your phone or tablet doubles as a transmitter! The flight time isn’t too bad with an extra battery on hand. Although this aircraft was built for intermediate flyers, it can be flown by just about anyone.
Just like any other quadcopter, be aware of your surroundings and stay up to date with all laws and regulations.
Do you think we missed something during our Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Review? Drop a line below and let us know where we can improve our Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Review.
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