I’ve piloted a number of drones in my day, and I have to say that the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV surprised me. Equipped with a 1080P video camera that can take 14-megapixel stills, a capable remote controller, and first-person-view glasses, the Bebop 2 FPV competes with the big boys when it comes to specs, footage, and fun.
With an MSRP of $699.99, Parrot’s Bebop 2 FPV comes with everything you need to get flying right away. Inside the retail box, you’ll find the Bebop 2 drone, a high-capacity battery, the battery charger, a USB cable, the Parrot Skycontroller 2, a smartphone/tablet mount, and a pair of Parrot Cockpitglasses.
As I mentioned, I’m a seasoned drone pilot and while I expected a bit of a learning curve, I found it incredibly easy to pilot right out of the box. In about 5 minutes, I was making speedy maneuvers and quick turnarounds while maintaining complete control of the drone. It was a blast to fly. During my maiden voyage, I reached about 20 miles per hour, which isn’t too shabby.
Using the Skycontroller 2 and smartphone mount, you can connect your smartphone via USB in order to view live FPV footage of your flight. You can easily line up the perfect photo or take dramatic high-altitude videos. You can also keep track of your speed, distance, and battery life as well.
While I am a fan of physical controllers and dislike virtual controllers (via a smartphone app), you do have the option of using a virtual controller via Parrot’s FreeFlight Pro app. Also within the FreeFlight Pro app, you can review your previous flights, photos, and videos. You can also turn your phone into FPV goggles with the included Cockpitglasses. Within the app, you also have the option of paying $19.99 for Flight Plan, which is a premium feature that allows you to create automatically piloted flight plans including specifying altitude, speed, camera angle, and more.
The Skycontroller 2 includes all of the buttons you’ll need to be a great pilot, photographer, and videographer. You can control the shutter, angle of the camera, and much more. There’s even a “return home” button to quickly and easily bring your drone back to where it took off originally.
Some of the downsides of the Bebop 2 as compared to DJI’s offerings is that the rotors are not a simple tool-free “screw on, screw off” style. The Bebop 2 comes with a tool that helps you grip the rotors so that you can lock each rotor into place prior to flying. Also, the Bebop 2’s frame doesn’t fold up like the DJI Mavic and the rotors do not fold up like the DJI Spark. The Bebop 2 doesn’t come with a case, but most drones don’t. Parrot will sell you one for $99.99, however. Finally, the videos top out at 1080p 30fps and the image quality is not as good as some of the higher-priced competitors.
If you’re in the market for a beginner drone, especially if you’re on a budget, you’d do well to check out the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV. If you can buy it on sale for around $500, it’s a steal to get started with your drone-flying hobby and get your feet wet with aerial photography. It’s an impressive package at the price, as few drones include physical controllers and FPV goggles at $500-$700. It’s fun to fly, despite a few flaws.
You can purchase your Parrot Bebop 2 FPV directly from Parrot at http://www.Parrot.com.
Source: The Parrot Bebop 2 FPV was a manufacturer loaned review sample.
What I Like: Fun to fly; Great for pilots on a budget; Comes with physical controller and FPV goggles
What Needs Improvement: Requires a tool for installation of rotors; Sub-par photo and video quality; Automated flight modes sit behind a paywall in app