Parrot Bebop 2 Skycontroller 2 Review – PROS and CONS after 37 Flights – Episode 3

Quadcopter brothers and sisters how y'all doing? Well I'm back with another Parrot Bebop 2 video so I've had the quad for a few months now I'm about 37 flights in so I thought this would be a great time to come back I've done a sort of a brain dump kind of typed up all of my thoughts about the the quad actually did this after 32 flights and I've flown it of several times since then but I'm gonna give you my real life experience the good the bad the ugly really isn't any ugly but the good and the bad and after 37 flights I think I have a really good idea of what to expect out of this drone what it can do what its limitations are and I'll tell you right up front I really really like it I really really do the main reasons I really like it are its portability its range out of the box and it's it's stable even in high winds and it's just reliable overall so I'm gonna walk through all my thoughts so let's just jump right into it shall we okay so first of all this thing is really easy to get in the air okay it's super easy its compact its lightweight I can throw it in the car it doesn't draw a whole lot of attention when I'm flying it's fairly quiet so at a couple hundred feet in the air no one really knows it's there I mean that's great for not drawing a lot of attention I can leave the props on and have it flying in just a couple of minutes you know you just throw it in the car just like this I'm still waiting on my backpack that's a whole other story and I'll share maybe share that in another video but yeah so yeah easy to get in the airnext it's trustworthy the return to home works 100% of the time as it should I've tested it a good number of times and it works every single time it'll kick in when the Bebop loses connection with the controller in the app you can set how long before the Bebop starts back to home to the home point after the lost connection I think you can set it all the way up to two minutes which I wouldn't recommend I have mine set to 10 or 15 I think 15 seconds is long enough to try to reconnect but short enough to head back home and not drain too much battery so that's my logic there now the one thing Parrot did miss on is a low voltage return to home and this really surprises me because this is a standard failsafe even on less expensive and less advanced GPS quads my Upair One at 104, 105 volts that return to home kicks in automatically and it's bringing its behind on home so that really surprises me i I know I'm not the first I've seen out on the forums guys have recommended this I'm sure it's something that parrot can implement and one of their firmware updates it's a no-brainer I mean yeah so anyway so it's really up to you as the planet to keep an eye on the battery voltage and bring the bebop 2 in to within a couple of hundred meters when it hits around 20% battery so you really should be landing at about you know between that 20 and 10 percent battery level so you should be pretty close at about 20 percent at 10 percent the app will give a low battery warning but at 10 percent the battery starts to drain like crazy so you better be close so yeah now another thing they missed on they meaning Parrot is the ability to set the return to home altitude and I know this is it's just I'm like man you guys so if you're flying below 60 feet the Bebop 2 will climb to 60 feet and return to home so that's its that's its default okay it'll gain altitude to about 60 feet and return to home that's if you're lower than 60 feet now if you're flying higher than 60 feet it's gonna maintain whatever altitude you are at and it will come on home at that altitude okay so that's good now the return to home accuracy is decent it's not as consistent as I would like it's not a big deal I mean it's with it's always within four to five feet or so maybe four to six feet I should say so that's not a big deal not a deal-breaker by any stretch now GPS locks on within seconds maybe thirty Seconds to a minute and you have the go for takeoff which is great never had a problem with GPS lock I'm always ready to go literally within a couple of minutes of pulling this thing out and getting it set up in the Free Flight Pro app though you don't see how many satellites you have you just get a green arrow for the quad and the controller if it goes yellow then that means you don't have enough satellites for safe flight and if it's red you don't have any satellites at all okay next Stability extremely stable this little baby withstands pretty high winds I think I have some video if I do I'll put some footage up right now to show you the the trees can be going nuts man and this thing it'll it'll kind of bobble in the wind a little bit but it just stays put I love that and the image do to the digital image stabilization is rock-solid too I mean that right there I am super super impressed with there's times when you can see you know stuff just rustling like crazy but the footage it's as still as a photograph when it locks on the GPS it holds its position without much fluctuation at all and the fact that it does not have a physical gimbal and is able to output such smooth video is just amazing to me so I think Parrot leads the way with digital image stabilization by far in terms of what I've seen in other quads okay now let's talk about image quality since we kind of touched on that so images are super smooth and still but it's not going to be that professional level video or photos okay and I knew that when I got it but it's good enough it's good enough we're like you know YouTube videos and kind of sharing videos with people on Facebook and stuff like that even nice enough to like you know maybe put together like a montage I mean I've seen some guys do some really really cool stuff with the footage and it's it's pretty good it's just that when you compare it to I'll even say that my Upair One has better quality footage the only thing about the Upair it does have the wide-angle lens so you do to get the distortion on the horizon but in terms of crispness the sharpness of the video it beats the Parrot out but the Parrot is much more stable it's much more smooth and it's very the the video footage is very very usable and in the right lighting conditions the photos come out really well as well okay bright sunny days are the best conditions for getting video and photos it only shoots at 1080p and 720p at 24 25 and 30 frames per second and adjustments are limited to exposure settings and you can adjust white balance I take that back there are some white balance adjustments you can make as well and I believe you can lock your white balance and exposure so put it like this I have never been disappointed by the video I've captured from the Bebop 2 but I would not use it for professional purposes when I see blue skies and sunshine I'm grabbing my Bebop 2 – that's the first quad I'm grabbing for all the mention all the reasons I mentioned earlier so I'm very happy with the video quality overall now I'm going to be doing a separate video specifically covering the app the flight plan waypoints and automated flight and the follow me functions but I'm going to briefly touch on them in this video now the one bummer right off the bat is that the flight plan and follow me functions are not included in the free flight pro app each of those functions costs 1999 so you might as well add 40 bucks to your cost of this quad to get the automation features and you're gonna want to get those so I think that's a little bit of a bummer but again I highly recommend that you go ahead and get those because it does add a lot more functionality at your disposal so overall the free flight pro app is pretty good it tracks each of your flights by date by time GPS location how long the flight was et cetera et cetera it attracts your crashes now all of this data and more actually gets uploaded to the parrot cloud if you want if you set it up to do that and there's even a third-party application for your PC that allows you to access this data and I use it all the time but again I'll talk about that more in a separate video now after 30-plus flights I have not had the app crash on me once not once knock on wood now the one thing I'm not crazy about with the app is that your GPS indicators are just green arrows for the Bebop and the sky controller 2 so I mentioned that earlier okay now that data is available but it's just not displayed in the app you can get that data after downloading your flight data from the Parrot cloud onto your PC and again we'll talk about that in another video now you also don't have an actual flight time clock the video recording timer serves as your flight clock this is perfectly fine if you record video for the entire flight which is what I always do but if you don't you won't really have a real sense of how much how long you've been flying now you will have a battery level indicator so you can keep an eye on that in terms of battery level now you can snap photos while you fly and the video will continue to record it's really cool and the other thing about the bebop 2 is it will start recording automatically when you launch and it will automatically stop when you land so I don't know how many times I've forgotten you hit record on my up air 1 and I'm thinking I'm getting these great shots it makes me sick just to think about it so this is a perfect feature for me I love it and the follow me functions work very very well but will lose track of you if you set it up too far away and I think if you if your clothing isn't if it isn't too distinguishable from your surroundings like if you wear maybe a light-colored shirt against grass it might not pick that up so it might get confused there but overall I feel like it works really really well the additional follow me function is like orbit and boomerang they work very well but there are some limitations to it you can't really make any adjustments to speed or distance once they are initiated range okay now I can unequivocally a test that the Bebop 2 absolutely gets the advertised 1

2 miles of range and I'll just leave it at that okay there are there's geofence that you can set in the app you can set your height which is limited to limited to 400 feet so you can set it from anywhere from 400 feet and below and the distance you can set that at 12 miles and less okay flight time all right I've already done a video on this flight time is definitely as advertised okay I consistently get about 20 minutes if I'm landing at about 10 percent battery running the battery down to 0 is about 25 minutes exactly and I kind of showed that in my video but it's probably not a good idea to get into the habit of doing that so you you I'd say land at 10 percent at the lowest okay and that's probably better for the battery as well though I did read somewhere that 0% on the battery here is not actually 0% so that's just it's the kind of a built-in failsafe there all right batteries okay batteries the batteries charged up in about 45 minutes to an hour doesn't take long at all that the sky controller 2 here charges up a little faster than that now these aren't smart batteries so there's no battery level indicator on them they don't self discharge the the battery level indicators are in the app but man it's just so easy to deal with these you know just so easy to get them on get them off take them off charge them up they click in real nice it's just a nice compact bundle man really really like this thing okay now the sky controller 2 let's take a look at that feels good man it's it's actually pretty lightweight is very is its it when I picked it up it was a lot lighter than I thought it would be now when you put your phone on there it's gonna give it some more weight actually but it's not bad it's a little top-heavy with the phone on it but it's not bad at all the sticks feel pretty good the location of the trigger dials is good everything feels comfortable now the buttons here they give you a quick way to access settings return to home take off and land so I think I put I'm putting this in another video but this is your takeoff and land button this is to take a picture B is to take video this is your return a home button here and this is to go right to your settings and then you have to trigger buttons – all of that stuff can be done from the app as well but it's it's super convenient to have these buttons right here kind of like hot buttons okay now landing the one thing I wish were different is the Auto landing you can't actually manually land the Bebop 2 there's a sensor on the bottom show you that so you've got this downward sensor here that you know will keep it in position indoors so when you give it full stick down and you're bringing it down you know throttling down it's gonna go down to about oh maybe a meter maybe a little higher than that and it won't go any further so to actually land it you're gonna have to push the auto land button okay and the landings are a little bit down little hard it is they're a little bit hard it just kind of drops and hits but this thing is really really um built well it's not rigid it's not super rigid here but you know I honestly I'm planning on getting a landing pad one of those fancy landing pads and I recommend landing on a landing pad in grass just to kind of soften those landings a little bit because it does land hard and so I kind of wish they will allow you to to auto land this thing I'm to manually land it I should say FPV now I tried the FPV using the cockpit glass cockpit glass goggles and it's alright I mean I was really not my thing with this particular bird but I did test it out and it does work now this sucker man it can really move I mean it can be you can change the settings here you can change pitch angle and that will obviously change how much velocity you can get this sucker moves man it's it's it's really really fast I don't think I recorded I mean write down how fast to go I think I've gotten up to like 48 it's at 40 meters a second I think or 40 feet per second something like that I forget what it was yeah obviously have to convert that to kilometers or miles per hour but this thing really moves out man I really like that about it as well and the video footage stays rock-solid it even does flips so you can do flips I'm not going to flip my Bebop 2 okay I'm not flipping it I don't have need to flip a GPS drone okay I'm not flipping it but you can do it it just doesn't seem right so I think I went through everything so at this point really the only thing I really don't like is the limited storage capabilities so let's talk about storage so the bebop 2 comes with only 8 gigabytes of internal storage huge miss huge miss in my opinion that only gets you about 35 to 40 minutes of video and photos so that's about a battery and a half a flight time now you can transfer your video files over to your phone after your flight but that takes forever and in between flights unless you're picking up another drone and flying I mean you're you're literally landing taking out the battery maybe doing a few things you do it doing maybe a few preflight checks and you're sticking another battery in there and you're going you don't have time to wait 20 minutes for this stuff to download at least I don't so I honestly I don't actually know how long it takes because I've never had the patience to wait I always cancel it out because I'm trying to get back in the air y'all so I once even tried taking my laptop out with me to download the files but that also took longer than I was willing to wait so the next thing I'm going to try is to get one of those actually have one it's a little OTG flash drive with micro USB on one side and a 30 USB on the other side and my hope is that I'll be able to transfer files from the bebop 2 to the drive after flights at a little faster rate I did find a youtube video out there it looks like after each firmware update the ability to do that is taken away and there's guys out there that have written scripts that you have to kind of play with and upload to your drive and get that all set up and I'm going to look into that and see if that's a possibility for the sole purpose of expanding the storage from 8 gigs to at least 32 gigs which would be perfect for two flights two batteries Parrot does regularly improve the quad with firmware updates I have seen out on the Facebook page the one of the parrot Facebook groups where guys seem to be having having a lot of trouble with updates and it seems like it's isolated to the guys using Android but I can't really claim that now I've had 2 firmware updates maybe it may have been 3 no it's been to two firmware updates so I had the initial one when you first get the quad I believe there was a firmware update and then there were two more after that never had a problem zero problems at all and they just pushed out one I think it was 420 and guys had a lot of trouble with it so parrot pulled it back they retracted it so so yeah I haven't I hadn't downloaded it so I didn't have any of that trouble anyway but since they retracted it I don't have to be concerned with it but there were a lot of guys that downloaded it and didn't have any trouble and one of the improvements parrot made was to the electronic gimbal the panning they made that a little more smooth and I'm not sure what the other updates were but nonetheless the point is just take note take it with a grain of salt some guys have trouble with their firmware updates I think that you know that's probably the same with pretty much any of your advanced drones ok people so those are my thoughts after 37 flights ok it's I think this video is about 20 minutes long or more but if you want to know about the parrot bebop 2 real-life experience watch this video and you know go back watch it if you really want to know about it if you have specific questions put them in the comment section and I'll definitely respond but bottom line is I really like the Parrot Bebop 2 I do wish the video quality was better but I can live with it and I'm still saving my pennies for that professional level drone such as a phantom 3 pro or a phantom 4 Pro so I have my sights on that but in terms of fun getting in the air quickly and just just reliable flying and with a nice flight time decent range man this thing is great alright so as always you guys thanks for watching if you liked the video like the video if you haven't subscribed yet please consider doing so I'd love to have you onboard here on the channel I have a lot of fun here with this hobby with other gadgets so you're if you're interested in that kind of stuff check me out see if you'll you'll you know enjoy my videos I try to put out quality videos I really like the editing process and all that so join me if you want and if you know anybody that would like this video share it with them for me and until next time be good to somebody and be good to yourself later