Parrot AR Drone 2.0
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is an update to 2010’s hit quadricopter sensation. Like its predecessor, it uses four rotors to ascend into the air, and it can be controlled via an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Android device over Wi-Fi, streaming from the cameras in realtime too. This time around though it’s packing some more serious kit in: as well as a birds eye camera there’s a 720p high definition front camera, plus a slot to record your footage on a USB stick. The remote app has also been revamped to cram in new features and games.
You probably don’t need us to tell you that the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is obscenely fun. It’s unadulterated silliness will bring a smile to your face as soon as you lift off, thanks to the easy controls: you just tilt your phone to move. Like the first model, it comes with a polystyrene protective bumper you can put around the blades, making it safe to fly indoors and bug all your workmates with, but it comes into its own outdoors.
In a great big open space, you can run riot, flying it far and high. So high in fact, that you might actually lose connection with the local Wi-Fi hotspot the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 creates - but Parrot’s got you covered there this time, with the option to plug in a USB stick to record the footage straight onto. It’s tough to break, with replaceable parts, and it’s covered by a 12 month warranty if you do manage to fly it off the edge of a cliff by accident.
Alongside the new model drone, the remote control app has been updated to. From here you can upgrade the software easily, as well as check out hints and tips from other users - and of course play games. The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 provides one of the best uses of augmented reality we’ve even seen, challenging you to fly your drone around on-screen objects. You can even play a hunting game with a friend using just one Drone.
That 720p (1280x720 pixels per image) resolution HD camera sounds magnificent, and we love how wide angle the lens is, but in real world use we found the image was a little bit lacking in detail - and the camera really suffers from changes in light levels, which happens all too readily when you’re flying the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 up to giddy new heights.
And while we like the updated new control app, it falls for the rather unfortunate old tactic of peppering the edges of the screen with buttons, making it difficult to touch push an on-screen key correctly (the large screen of an iPad excepted).
Lastly, like the first model, there’s also the pricing to consider. At £269.99, it’s not cheap - especially when you consider that you only get 12 minutes of flight time on a 90 minute charge. You can buy extra batteries to get round this, but they’ll set you back £30 a pop too.