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Parrot Bebop 1

By Mike Senese / Apr 22, 2016

Parrot Bebop 1

The smallest quadcopter in our roundup, the original Bebop is compact enough to slip into a normal backpack with the propellers attached, yet not so small that its flight suffers overly. Add the bulky but necessary SkyController with its gargantuan Wi-Fi antenna, however, and the portability advantage drops greatly.

Connection Rejection

The Wi-Fi control interface is what really hurts this quad. It takes frustratingly long to pair and drops out frequently mid-flight, causing the Bebop to stop and hover until reconnected. Parrot boasts a range of 1.4 miles, but even at top speed, there’s no way to fly that far with the dismal battery life, especially if you want to get it back.

Part of the Bebop’s size advantage comes from tucking a high-resolution camera and ultra-wide angle lens into the body, and using software to crop the view down to 1080p to provide video stabilization. It works surprisingly well, but is tricky to get slow, smooth pans while in flight. We’d like to have an option to output the entire scene at full resolution.

Conclusion

With its size and price, the Bebop is a family friendly quadcopter. The propellers aren’t deadly, and its video output is enjoyable. Too bad about the Wi-Fi woes.
BuyersGuide-Compare-ParrotBebop
BuyersGuideController_ParrotBebop

Specs
Bebop 1 parrot.com/usa
Price as Tested:$499
Includes:Drone, transmitter, 3 batteries, charger, 2 sets of propellers, tablet sunshade, neck strap
Range:1200 feet
Battery Life:7 minutes
Drone Size:10.75 diagonal (without propellers); SkyController: 14.6×9×7.5
Controller Type:Tablet- or smartphone-only or SkyController (tested)
Carrying Case Included:No
Camera Type:Built-in with software video stabilization
Camera Resolution:1080p

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Why To Buy

Get this if you need something small and sleek, and can be patient about getting into the air.

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Pro Tips

With its dismal flight time, spare batteries are crucial for any serious use. Buy as many as you can if you can find them.

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