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Parrot AR drone – money sink or best toy ever?

You’re here because you’ve heard of the Parrot AR drone – and for good reason. The current model, called the “Elite Edition 2.0,” is one of the most popular drones on the market. But will it collect dust in your garage or become your new favorite gadget? Here are 5 things to keep in mind, based on a roundup of reviews.

1. If you’re looking for your first drone, this one is like Goldilocks – not too expensive, but not too fancy

PC Magazine writes:

“The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is a nice middle ground between toy and enthusiast device.”

2_Parrot_AR.Drone_2.0_in_flight

 

2. The smartphone app is what makes the drone popular

The “killer feature” of the Parrot AR drone is the app. The drone’s wifi will tether to your cellphone, allowing you to fly it whereever you have service. You can also preset controls in the app, such as maximum height. These features can be a livesaver for beginner fliers.

FreeFlier screenshot

3. Just be sure you can live with the camera quality

One review jokes that the 720p camera is good enough for “security footage” but not much else. If video quality is truly important, then check out the DJI Phantom line. It’s the clear choice for video professionals – but be ready to pay $400 or more, compared to the more wallet friend Parrot AR.

4. Consider the Power Edition – or at least a spare battery

The current “Elite Edition 2.0” will give you around 15 minutes of flying time. It’s decent for the price, but no one wants to wait an hour to recharge. One solution is to get the Power Edition – it comes with an extra HD battery to give you more time in the air. As of writing this post, the Power Edition was only $9  – cheaper than buying a spare battery in the range of $50.

5. Explore “certified refurbished” 

Like Apple or your local car dealer, Parrot sells used drones that have been refurbished by the manufacturer. You can save as much as $100 on Amazon if you find the color you’ve been eyeing. The reviews are few and mixed, so we recommend calling Parrot and making sure the warranties are the same as for brand new drones.


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