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Parrot Bebop 2 Power FPV Drone UK Review: Fun and easy to fly

Written by  Dec 12, 2017

The Parrot Bebop 2 Power can be considered more of a revision than a big upgrade to the original Bebop 2.

It comes in a two-tone black colour and has better flight time, allowing for up to 30 minutes from a single charge.

There are two batteries included which will give you up to an hours flying, as well as the improved Cockpitglasses 2 FPV goggles and a remote control.

Flight has been upgraded with a number of automated modes for more cinematic shots and easy piloting. At a very competitive price of £629 the Parrot Bebop 2 Power FPV very enticing.

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Parrot Bebop 2 Power FPV Drone UK Review

Design and setup

Visually, apart from the two tone colouring, not a great deal has changed from the older model Bebop 2. The rear LED light that provides status indications – and that makes it slightly easier to identify the rear when up in the sky – is now blue.

The Bebop 2 Power is still relatively small and does include the FPV goggles and remote controller accessories, a storage case would have been very handy since there’s no means to easily transport the Bebop 2 Power safely.

The drone has a standard quadcopter design and only weighs 550g. That’s owing to some of the build materials, which consist of lightweight plastic and a polystyrene-like material towards the front. Compared to a drone such as the DJI Spark, the Bebop 2 Power does feel a little flimsy, with the model showing some flex in parts on the exertion of some force.

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Parrot Bebop 2 Power FPV Drone UK Review

The Cockpitglasses 2 have a newly improved design that collapses down to make them easier to transport. It still uses your smartphone for a first person view.

The Skycontroller 2 remote control, makes it much easier for piloting than virtual sticks on your phone. Due to the large transmitter and receiver that gives it a range of up to 1.25 miles.

Setting up the Bebop 2 Power requires you to first make sure everything is charged up. A wall adaptor is included with a cable for charging the batteries, and another for charging the Skycontroller 2. With those topping up, you need to attach the propellers; there’s a handy tool included for locking them in place. The propellers are colour-coded, as you need to match them correctly.

Then download the Parrot FreeFlight Pro app and connect it to the controller over a USB cable (not included). Your phone or tablet can then be held in place with a stand that screws into the centre of the controller. 

You can also slide your phone into the FPV goggles. In terms of visuals, your experience is likely to be dependent on the phone you use. I was using a Samsung Galaxy S8, which has a high-resolution screen – but the video feed from the app is actually only 720p. It’s definitely a more immersive experience, but you do feel a little isolated from the outside world.

Features and specifications

The Bebop 2 Power has all of the sensors, including GPS and GLONASS positioning, ultrasound on the base with visual positioning, and an altimeter. All of these work together for return-to-home functionality, which you can either trigger manually or it will kick in automatically if you lose connection.

The Bebop 2 Power opts for 8GB of integrated flash storage. I’d have preferred a microSD slot, not only for the greater storage capacity but also because it makes getting content off the drone much easier.

With the Bebop 2 Power you have to either use the app, which means slightly slow transfers over Wi-Fi direct, or connecting the drone to a computer over micro-USB.

The camera has a 14-megapixel sensor that can capture JPG or DNG RAW still images. This is alongside 30fps Full HD video. There’s only 3-axis digital stabilisation, though, rather than the preferable 2-axis stabilisation of the DJI Spark.

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Parrot Bebop 2 Power FPV Drone UK Review

Performance and image quality

While the Bebop 2 Power might be lightweight, it’s one of the more stable drones I’ve flown. Even on a slightly blustery winter’s day, it held its own up in the air and was able to hover in place while countering the wind. 

There are two flight modes available in the app: video and sport. The first is the most stable, limiting the flight and rotation speeds and enabling the flight assistance in the interest of avoiding nausea-inducing video. The latter disables much of the assistance and unlocks the drone’s full speed of 65km/h.

It’s a big difference, too, so it’s worth trying out in a large open space, only after you’re a little more comfortable handling the drone. The Bebop 2 Power is seriously nippy when it wants to be and it makes the FPV mode even more exhilarating.

The Bebop 2 Power also supports a Follow mode, which you need to activate in the app. It’s normally an in-app purchase on other models, but the Power comes with a voucher in the box. It seems a bit miserly to have in-app purchases for functions for other models that can still cost a lot of money. There are also automated cinematic shots that make it easy to capture sweeping, dramatic landscape shots.

Similarly, taking a leaf out of the DJI Spark’s piloting book, there are Magic Dronies. These use the visual recognition and GPS positioning of your smartphone to shoot dramatic ‘dronie’ videos, with pre-programmed camera movements such as ‘Orbit’, ‘Tornado’, ‘Parabola’ and ‘Boomerang’. There’s also a touch and fly mode for easy piloting.

A special nod should go to the FreeFlight Pro app, which makes piloting a breeze. It displays useful data intelligently placed around the screen, such as the altitude and distance of the drone from your position. A radar shows both the direction you’re facing and that of the drone, which helps you to keep your bearings – not so easy to do when the drone is a distance away.

Unfortunately, the one area that the Bebop 2 Power is found lacking is image quality. Video isn’t as sharp as that of rivals such as the DJI Spark, with colours looking more subdued. The digital stabilisation does at least do an excellent job of keeping footage rock-steady. However, still images are also a little disappointing, lacking detail and vibrant colours. Barrel distortion from the wide angle lens is evident, too, at times. 

As fo batttery life, the app lets you view the length of flights, alongside a visual map in the flight history, and I was certainly seeing very close to 30 minutes from each battery. Charging a battery takes about 80 minutes. In my experience, the Skycontroller 2 battery will last over 4 hours; a combined 2 hours of flight time had taken it down to just over 50% battery. Note that the Skycontroller 2 charges your phone’s battery (albeit very slowly) when it’s plugged in, too.

Parrot BEBOP 2 FPV Backpack £88.34

Verdict

The Bebop 2 Power is a fun, easy-to-fly drone  andis undoubtedly a good-value bundle considering everything you get for £629. The Bebop 2 Power is great fun to fly, offers excellent battery life and lots of useful automated functions that let you concentrate on capturing video or images. However, the actual image quality lets it down slightly. 

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