End of 2015, the successor to the first Bebop Drone from Parrot appeared on the market, the Bebop 2 . In design terms almost the same, but with a significantly improved flight time. The camera specs remained unchanged from the first version. How Parrot Bebop 2 proves itself in practice, read in this review.
Both Bebop drone may in fact be controlled by a smartphone or tablet, using the Free Flight app 3. But that does not fly as good as with real sticks under the thumbs, and in addition the first Bebop had a rather fragile build quality.
Better build quality
The latter is definitely improved with the Bebop 2. The product feels more ‘finished’. Flight time has pretty much doubled since the Bebop 1, so you can stay up in the air for up to 25 minutes at a time. The housing is made of a somewhat sturdier plastic and the battery clicks firmly into place.
For those of you that don’t know what the Sky Controller is, it’s the name that Parrot gave to their remote controller. I guess it makes sense to have a different name for it if you sell it separately and it does sound cool.
And although it’s not cheap, there is another big advantage to the SkyController. It also pushes the range out to about 2km. A lot more than the 200-300 meter I’ve been getting with the app.
But big and awkward ruin much of the appeal of the Bebop. The controller is considerably larger than the drone, and while the two devices will fit into a backpack, you won’t get much else in there.
There’s Parrot Bebop 2’s biggest disappointment: the camera. It’s the same camera found in the first Bebop, providing 14 megapixel stills and 1080p video. There’s no 4K video, but I can live with that. What’s really disappointing is the quality of video: colors are washed out, there’s very obvious tearing, and artifacts. Parrot still doesn’t offer an option for removable storage, so you’re stuck with 8 gigs of memory, which fills quickly when shooting 1080 video. You can download footage from the Bebop to your phone via Wi-Fi, but that will cost you in battery life and phone storage.
Fine flying machine
It must be said: the Parrot Bebop 2 is a fine drone to fly. The device is nice and stable and it is really fun to do with circles. The flight time is also impressive. We have not timed, only 20 minutes flying time per battery. The package comes with two batteries,one goes into the drone, the other in the Skycontroller. The SkyController was designed to use the same battery as the Bebop 2. This means that, when the battery in your drone is running low, you can change the batteries and keep flying. Just stick your drone’s battery in the SkyController and visa versa. As the SkyController doesn’t use as much power as the Bebop 2 does you’re still good to keep going. A very nice way to extend your flight time.
The Parrot Bebop 2 is definitely a big improvement over its predecessor. The build quality is fine and the flight time is impressive. Unfortunately the price is on the high side: the Bebop 2 with Skycontroller costs $799. For that money you buy nowadays Phantom 3 Pro or Yuneec Q500, and then you have more value for money, especially if you want to mainly photos and videos.
If you’re looking for a drone that’s easy to take along, fun to fly and you don’t care much about range or video quality then Parrot Bebop 2 is a good choice.