As you may know, Daniel reviewed the Parrot Bebop in the past and loved it. So is the Bebop 2 worth getting instead of the Bebop? Let’s find out.
But first, as some of you have asked, the Parrot Bebop 2 has been out for a while now so why hadn’t we done a review on it yet?
Well, there are actually a couple of reasons.
First of all, Daniel still has lots of fun with his original Bebop so he hasn’t upgraded yet.
Second, we were not to sure what to think of the new Bebop 2.
Third, our budget ran out. Alas, we don’t have unlimited funds so we can’t always review every quad when we’d like to. Sometimes it takes a bit longer.
But that all changes today as I will take a look at the Parrot Bebop 2 for you, while Daniel is off flying the original Bebop somewhere.
So let’s see what this quad is all about…
Changes to the Parrot Bebop 2
The Parrot Bebop 2 is definitely an improvement over the original Bebop.
Here are some of the things that changed:
- The battery lasts twice as long as the original one did,
- the battery now locks into place (which you may remember was one of Daniel’s complaints in the Parrot Bebop Review),
- the Parrot Bebop 2 has an improved LED light in the back which makes your Bebop 2 more visible,
- the Bebop 2 is faster and can now reach 40mph (65 kph) instead of the original Bebop’s top speed of 29mph (47 kph),
- the camera received a new fish eye lens that is tilted down a bit more so you capture less sky,
- the propellers are a bit bigger for 10% more thrust,
- a new GPS chip has been used for the Bebop 2 which increased position,
- the Bebop 2 also has new optimized motors with a higher winding density and reinforcements giving them a better resistance to shocks.
- The ESC (Electronic Speed Controllers) have also been improved for more power, reactivity and performance (+10%).
Aside from that there are some aesthetic changes.
- The dual struts on the arms have been replaced by a single strut,
- the new Parrot Bebop 2 is a bit bigger (Bebop 2: 32.8 x 38.2 cm, (Bebop 1: 28 x 32 cm ),
- the propellers now have different colors so you can easily see which goes where.
As you can see, the changes to the body’s design are minimal which makes sense. A lot of people liked the original design so why change that?
Personally, I like the new arms better so good job there Parrot. Although the original arms worked fine, and I haven’t heard of anybody having any issues with them, the dual struts always looked a bit flimsy to me. The new design just looks more solid.
And Parrot has finally caught up when it comes to color coding the props. Something that can definitely save you time when you’re assembling them and something that other brands have been doing for quite some time now. That said, it was never a deal breaker for me so it’s more of a “nice to have” feature.
The Wi-Fi connection on the other hand is much better on the Parrot 2 which is a major improvement. It doesn’t cut out as much, nor as soon, as I’ve seen it do on the original Parrot. This makes flying it much more fun again as you don’t have to worry about losing control of your quadcopter.
One thing that’s disappointing to me is that the camera hasn’t changed. It’s still the same camera that was used for the original Bebop. And although it’s not bad, it’s fine for casual use, it’s not great either. It doesn’t come close in quality to the cameras of Yuneec and DJI.
Who is the Parrot Bebop 2 for?
Which brings me to the next point, who is the Parrot Bebop 2 for?
It’s not for the film makers, the quality just isn’t good enough. But it’s a great all-round drone for beginners or just to have fun with in general. As I read somewhere else (can’t remember where, sorry), it’s more family friendly.
You won’t worry about handing over the controls to somebody who has never flow a drone before as it’s super easy to fly. It also handles crashes very well (no, I don’t recommend crashing it on purpose) which is a nice bonus. And you can even make it do flips by simply tapping the screen of your device. Like I said, it’s fun to fly.
And the price point is decent. It’s not nearly as expensive as most of the Yuneec and DJI models (Phantom 3 excluded) while still giving you decent video quality (especially with the new firmware, see video below) and easy of use. This makes it a bit more attainable for a lot of people.
What I didn’t like about the Parrot Bebop 2
I know a lot of people love the fact that you can fly the Bebop 2 without a controller. All you need is the app on your phone and you’re good to go.
For me though, the lack of a controller was something that was really hard to get used to. I kept having to look down to put my fingers back in the right place as, apparently, they wander all over the screen for me.
Also, when you fly with remote controllers for a while you get used to them and muscle memory starts building. Maybe I just haven’t flown the Bebop long enough yet but it felt like the same thing wouldn’t happen for me with the app. I think I’ll always have to keep looking down and make sure my fingers are in the right position.
And yes, I can solve that problem. I can go out and get the “Parrot SkyController”. But, it’s a pretty big investment (almost $400).
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.
What I liked about the Parrot Bebop 2
There is one thing that hasn’t changed since Daniel reviewed the original Bebop, it’s still a lot of fun to fly!
And even if you’ve never flown a quadcopter before in your life you’ll be good to go with the Parrot Bebop 2. It really is super easy.
Also, it’s not too big and it’s light. I can just stick it in a backpack and easily carry it along without it bothering me at all. It’s definitely a drone I’d grab to quickly go out and fly around a bit.
Also, like already said, the video quality is decent. So maybe it’s not on par with DJI or Yuneec, it’s more than good enough for daily use and to put some videos on YouTube.
And if you decide to get the SkyController there is another advantage. 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 a fun quadcopter. I had a lot of fun just flying around.
However, if you don’t have the SkyController then range is limited and I found it less intuitive to fly the quad from the mobile device. If you do get the SkyController then it all becomes a lot more expensive and the Parrot Bebop 2 loses its price advantage.
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 go ahead and get the Parrot Bebop 2. You’ll have endless fun.
But if you want more range or better video quality then I suggest you look at the DJI Phantom 3 or Yuneec Typhoon Q instead. They’re priced similar to the Bebop 2 with SkyController but offer you more in return.
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