Parrot Bebop 2 Drone Review
Parrot has finally released the new and improved version of the famous Bebop model. The Bebop 2 is out and Parrot is claiming this model has really upped the ante!
At first look, the Bebop 2 can easily be confused with the original, although it is slightly larger. The design is the same and it is manufactured from the same plastic. The fish-eye lens is still positioned in the front and the only thing we can see that’s different externally is the tiny piece of foam that surrounds the lens. Perhaps the camera could have been moved to a different location, since the drone has been known for crashing head first into walls and trees. Parrot did claim to have re-engineered the drone with tougher materials, without tampering with the weight, so that the frame and body are more capable of handling impacts. As a matter of fact, the heaviest part of the drone is the battery itself, a2700mAh Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery, which is twice as large as the battery found in the original Bebop. The battery is placed in the rear and a few Velcro strips loop around it for added security. Battery life and flight time have also been increased. The Bebop 2 battery life is around 25 minutes, or 22 minutes claimed and tested. Flight time is a whopping 23 minutes, where the original Bebop only allowed up to 11 minutes with luck and good conditions.
Another slight difference between the two is the propeller size. Bebop 2 has two 6” propellers working together instead of the 5.5” propellers the original had, offering more thrusting power and better wind resistance. An LED light on the rear of the drone can be seen from a long distance to help you locate your drone and verify its orientation; it also doubles as a power button.
Let’s talk about the camera on the Parrot Bebop 2. Again, it features a fish-eye lens, but it’s a 180 degree fish-eye and is capable of capturing vertical filming at 90 degrees without loss of quality. In addition, the lens is brighter and shooting in low-light situations is possible with sharper, better quality images.
As far as performance goes, the new Bebop is faster – it can reach a maximum speed of 18 mps as opposed to the13 mps of the earlier version. To improve precision, Parrot went with a new GPS module with 8M uBlox Neo. We find that this asset greatly improves the stability of the drone at higher altitudes, plus it works well with the automated flight modes.
Even though the Bebop 2 has a lot of improvements that make it a far better version than the original Bebop, there are still a few items which could stand some improvement. One is the sensitivity of the touch screen controls. They are still pretty insensitive. Also, the fish-eye camera occasionally is prone to lens flares and glitches.
You should also know that you can purchase the Bebop 2 alone or you can get a bundle at a higher price with the new remote Skycontroller called “Black Edition.” The drone is also compatible with the older Skycontroller. The new one is rather large and heavy compared to other controllers for similar drones. Furthermore, it has two control sticks and loads of buttons that might be a lot to take in at first. If purchased alone, the Bebop 2, just like the Bebop 1, is controlled on an android or iOS device. If course, this would require an app that you will need to download. The flight planning software “FlightPlan” on Freeflight 3 is also compatible with either version of the Bebop, but you will have to specify which model you are using. Keep in mind, the app itself can be rather confusing at first for a new user, but once you practice a bit, it will become much easier and understandable. Your android or iOS won’t allow you to use FPV, but the Skycontroller does. Simply plug a video headset into the HDMI port and go. We can also tell you that when using the Skycontroller, you will receive a stronger signal because of the huge antenna that comes with the controller.
As we mentioned before, the Bebops have the reputation of crashing into things until you learn the functionality of the onscreen controls and how to operate the Skycontroller. However, that being said, the Bebop 2 is one of the easiest drones to repair. Parts are easily replaceable, including the rotors which come with a special tool to remove them. Plus, the cost of replacement parts is rather reasonable.
So, there you have the highs and lows of the new Bebop 2. Do we think that it is a new and improved version? Yes, it has taken one step higher. But still, there are some other items that can and should be addressed. Parrot has always come out with some fun little drones that pack a punch, especially with their camera abilities and compact sizes. They can be a little pricey, especially when you start adding extras, but are nice for a novice: they are easy to fly once you get the hang of it.