PROS / You can do barrel rolls, execute U-turns and make high-speed turns, making this drone a ton of fun to control.
CONS / The GPS receiver is sold separately.
VERDICT / This sleek drone works for professionals that want to take advantage of the drone's two high-definition cameras, but its ability to pair with your smartphone or tablet makes it attractive for new users too.
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is more affordable than several other RC drones on the market, but it is still quite impressive. It has dual high-definition cameras built into its body, GPS capabilities and a brushless motor. Its value and outstanding performance are why it has received our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award for the best RC drone.
This AR drone reaches speeds up to 15 miles per hour. This four-rotor drone lets you do barrel rolls and sharp U-turns, as well as make high-speed turns, so it is a blast to control. This plastic quadricopter comes with two high-definition cameras, and you can use them to see what the drone sees in real time when you have it synced to an iPhone or Android device. You can also snap 14-megapixel photos or record 720p video and upload them straight to YouTube or your Picasa account with your smartphone's data connection.
You can fly the drone for 12 minutes on a single charge. Although, other drones have longer flight times, 12-15 minutes is average. This Parrot drone is powered by a 1000mAh LiPo battery and has an operating range of 165 feet.
This drone comes ready to fly and requires no assembly. It is 20.35 inches long and wide. It’s neither a toy nor a true drone, but instead offers a balance of fun while still being able to capture some incredible footage. Using the drone's iPhone or Android app, you can select from various flight modes. One is dubbed Absolute Control, and it allows you to steer the drone based on the direction you tilt your phone. This drone is perfect for beginners, but it still is impressive enough for hobbyists.
Some variations of this UAV include the GPS Flight Recorder Module, which lets you map out flights in advance using the iPhone or Android app. You can also store two hours of video footage and still photographs on its 4GB flash memory. It should be noted, the base model doesn’t include the GPS receiver and it costs more to purchase it separately. GPS is a recommended investment, as it prevents the drone from drifting off and enables the useful return-to-home feature.
Accessories & Supplies
Before you fly the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, you just need to charge the battery for 1.5 hours and make sure your iPhone or Android device has a full charge, too. The drone is compatible with some transmitters, but you don't need to purchase one (nor its batteries) since the AR drone is controlled by your smartphone or tablet. Having the tactile feedback of a transmitter is nicer, but using your phone works well and is easy.
You get two plastic foam bodies, one for indoor use and another for the outdoors. The outdoor body leaves the propeller blades exposed, and the indoor body protects them. You will almost certainly crash your RC drone at some point or another, so Parrot throws in some extra propellers as well.
Help & Support
If something goes wrong with your Parrot drone, you can have some peace of mind because it includes a one-year warranty. You also have telephone and email support at your fingertips. The manual, app, updates and software are available for download on Parrot's website.
With the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 you really get some bang for your buck. It has dual high-definition cameras that capture incredible quality video and photos and it's extremely easy to control with just a mobile device and Parrot's app. If you aren't completely satisfied with the Parrot AR Drone, be sure to read about the DJI Phantom drone lineup.