Parrot Jumping Race Drone review
A fun indoor drone, but battery life is a problem
- Easy to perform jumping stunts
- Video and audio recording and broadcast
- Low battery life
- Low resolution camera
- Soft tyres
Price$ 290.00 (AUD)
Parrot is best known for its wide variety of Bluetooth devices, from in-car mounts to the rather excellent Zik headphones, but over the past couple of years it's also made a significant number of Wi-Fi connected drone products, both in its larger AR Drone series and a number of smaller "minidrone" products.
This year's crop of minidrones covers both small quadcopters and two-wheeled remote jumping drones. They're essentially remote control vehicles with inbuilt cameras and a few cool stunt tricks as well, all connected and controlled via Wi-Fi rather than Parrot's more traditional Bluetooth approach.
Parrot sells its Jumping Race Drones in two types with three colour patterns each. We tested the Jumping Race Drone, but there are also three Jumping Night Models, all of which differ only in base colour. The $279.99 Jumping Night drones feature IR cameras and inbuilt lights for usage once the sun has gone down, but you pay for that with a lower overall operating speed. The model we were sent for review was the mostly white $289.99 Racing Drone "Jett" unit. If you care for names, the red Jumping Race drone is "Max" and the yellow is "Tuk Tuk". This attempt at personality extends to the variety of noises that the Jumping Race drone makes if you leave it unattended, or after specific stunts.
Setting up the Jumping Race Drone involves charging its battery and then connecting to it via Wi-Fi, before launching Parrot's FreeFlight 3 app (iOS/Android) to actually control your drone of choice. Fans of Parrot's existing drones will find this familiar, because the one app controls all of Parrot's current drone fleet. It's also worth noting that the new Parrot minidrones also work with Tickle, a third party programming app with a Scratch-style interface intended for educational purposes.
You can't call a drone "jumping" and not allow it to jump. The Jumping Race drone has two jump types on offer; a straight up jump of around 75cm vertical, or a longer 75cm forwards jump. It's got to ready itself prior to every jump, and it can only jump forwards relative to its current orientation. After each jump it'll steady itself automatically, although the manner in which it does so can vary a lot depending on the surface it lands on. In one test scenario we tried to jump up onto a path, only to find the Jumping Race drone falling down and rolling right back down every time in an effort to stabilise itself.
The Jumping Race drone features soft foam wheels, which gives it some stability when landing from a jump, but at the cost of overall durability. If you're using the Jumping Race Drone indoors this won't likely be a problem, but even a small amount of outdoors testing saw some visible wear and tear on the tyres. They are a removable part, but compared to the hard rubber and plastic tyres of units such as Sphero's Ollie drones, they feel a little cheap.
The Jumping Race Drone can capture both stills and video to its 4GB of internal memory, although the resolution that it does this at is still somewhat lacking. In the age of the GoPro, it's a touch disappointing to step back into a world where video is captured at a paltry 640x480 VGA resolution. We guess it could be good if you wanted to recreate the world of 1998 in low-slung video form. It's slightly more fun to use the Jumping Race Drone to broadcast your voice, although you'll need a set of headphones with an inline microphone on your smartphone or table to take advantage of this feature.
Drone battery life is always a touchy subject, and here the Jumping Race Drone's lack of weight means that it only carries a 550mAh battery. That's good for around twenty minutes of driving fun, at which point you've got to recharge it via the front mounted microUSB port. A microUSB cable is provided in the box, but you don't get a charger. One plus here is that if you've got a larger capacity 2.4A charger, the Jumping Race drone can be backed up and driving in a scant 25 minutes or so.
As with most drones, play is the point of the Jumping Race drone, and we can't deny that it's fun to scoot around with it, randomly chirping or adding your own sound effects when it comes into a room to startle people. The asking price of $289.99 is rather steep for what essentially becomes a remote control car, however, especially given those somewhat fragile foam tyres.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 2 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 5 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
Latest News Articles
- Griffin's PowerMate is the Surface Dial dead-ringer that's trapped in Mac land
- Take a ride on Positron’s Voyager, a full-motion chair for VR cinema
- Intel showed how 5G networking will power VR and self-driving cars
- Sony's Android-powered Xperia projector turns any flat surface into a touch screen
- IBM's hub for wearables could have you out of the hospital faster
PCW Evaluation Team
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
- Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- GAMOSPHERE: Your August Roundup of Gaming News
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPBusiness and Technology Business AnalystVIC
- FTDeveloper .NetSA
- FTSoftware EngineerSA
- TPAgile Project ManagerQLD
- CCTest AnalystACT
- TPTest LeadQLD
- TPCollaboration Tools ManagerVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTTraining ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - ApplicationsOther
- CCTechnical Architect - Oracle Identity and Access Management - CANBERRA BASEDNSW
- FTNetwork ArchitectOther
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Technical Business AnalystOther
- CCSupply Chain Management Business ArchitectQLD
- TPProgram CoordinatorVIC
- FT.Net DeveloperOther
- CCSolutions Architect - CANBERRA BASEDNSW
- FTService Request ManagerSA
- FTFull Stack . NET DeveloperNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - RoboticsNSW
- TPProgram ManagerQLD
- FTLead Digital Architect - AWSQLD
- CCNetIQ DevelopmentNSW
- FTChange ManagerOther