PROS / A sleek design, two high-definition cameras and compatibility with video games make the Parrot AR.Drone an impressive remote controlled helicopter.
CONS / You must have an iOS (iPhone, iPad or iPod) or Android device to control the helicopter.
VERDICT / If you're already an iOS or Android user, you'll enjoy this unique device.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about RC Helicopters here.
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 brings together the best of many hobbies, including modeling, video gaming and remote control helicopters. This remote control helicopter is controlled by an iPhone, iPad or iPod or by an Android device, and features a number of sensors to connect to the helicopter. It also features two high-definition cameras, an ultrasound altimeter and a stabilizer. With the Parrot AR.Drone you’ll be able to perform barrel rolls, high-speed turns, single-point hovering and other outstanding tricks. The remote control helicopter even connects directly to YouTube, Picasa and video games, such as AR.Race.
Simply put, the Parrot AR.Drone outperforms all similar RC helicopters. Its innovative design, intuitive controls and outstanding features make this a very smart buy for novice and experienced flyers alike. The helicopter can connect to your iPhone or Android device through a simple free app download available on the Apple iTunes store or Google Play store. After the connection is made, you’ll be able to start controlling and flying your drone. There is no model setup required.
While the helicopter is in flight, you’ll have multiple flight options, including true six-directional control with this radio-controlled helicopter. The speed control is a gradual measure, so there are no defined flight speeds like some other similar models. Instead, you’ll be able to control the exact speed with much more precision. The four blades and rudders allow for some pretty outrageous tricks and controls, including barrel rolls and U-turns.
There are two HD cameras that you'll be able to view and control while the helicopter is flying; one is on the front and one is on the top. These videos can be posted directly to YouTube through one of the links on the remote. If you’re connected to your wireless connection or your standard data connection on an iPhone, you’ll be able to post directly to the web. The camera can also take still-frame photos, which you can post to your Picasa account.
If you’re accustomed to your iOS or Android phone or tablet, you’ll jump right on board with this control setup. However, if you don’t have one of these devices, you’ll have to purchase one first. The set of controls is a little more extensive and comprehensive than some other models. There may be a learning curve to get the nuances down, but you’ll be able to start flying right after taking it out of the box.
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 has an inside cover and an outside cover. The inside cover is lighter and makes it slightly easier to control. The outside cover is a bit bulkier, but this also allows for a different color scheme and aesthetic.
The remote control helicopter is made from a hard plastic and is durable. While crashing your helicopter is never ideal, it’s likely the helicopter will take some banging and bruising, especially at first. This helicopter can take the hits and keep on going.
This model has a futuristic feel to its design. The one downside to the sleek and innovative shape is that it doesn’t have the nostalgic feel that traditionalists may seek.
The Apple Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is innovative, sleek and simple to fly, and has a durable construction. It is truly a ready-to-fly helicopter and makes a great hobby for the young and young at heart. You’ll love the two HD cameras, the ultrasound meter that alerts you when you’re about to bump into an object, and the other advanced features that this remote control helicopter offers.