Parrot Swing drone review: Tiny, smart and lots of fun
On the whole, the Parrot Swing is a fun toy, and it isn’t hideously costly. It will probably take (really bad) footage, it will possibly take off and land by itself, and could be very straightforward to fly. It additionally costs a fraction of what you’d pay for a high-end drone.
Parrot has been building quadcopters for years, therefore it lengthy been thought to be one of many go-to drone makers out there. That is very true for consumers on smaller budgets.
Not too long ago, the corporate introduced its first large fixed-wing drone. However it is usually targeted on the alternative finish of the market and has additionally up to date its range of smaller, indoor pleasant drones. One in all which is the X-Wing-esque Parrot Swing.
Parrot Swing review: Design
- 160 x 78 x 9.8mm, 295g
- Polystyrene wings
- Plastic centre shell
Parrot tried one thing a bit totally other with its newest small drone. Somewhat than go together with a regular four-arm quadcopter that may solely face a method, the Swing can fly with its propellers pointing upwards or ahead. In other phrases, it will possibly both appear to be an everyday quad-copter, or extra like an X-Wing Fighter.
To maintain it mild, the Swing’s arms are constructed from a sort of polystyrene. These large blade-like wings are slim however extensive with a view to maximise floor space. This design means they’ll act as wings when the Swing flips 90 levels to fly in its airplane mode.
It goes with out saying that these slanting arms (or wings) make up the many of the drone’s floor space. They’re connected by a slim plastic skeleton to the mind of the drone, which sits inside a small, shuttle-like chassis to the centre.
The entrance of this plastic shuttle has a face, or reasonably, two eye-like LED lights. These flash totally other colors to inform you of the drone’s standing. As an illustration, they’re strong inexperienced when linked to the controller, or purple when the battery cannot preserve it flying any longer.
There is a camera, micro USB and stress sensor on the alternative finish to the shuttle, whereas the underside is a largely hole rounded plastic case.
Parrot Swing review: The tech
- Ultrasound sensor to measure altitude
- 550mAh removable battery
- 0.3-megapixel camera
For what is basically a Christmas present form of toy, there’s some spectacular tech inside Parrot’s mini drone. A group of sensors can measure altitude and make sure the Swing stays within the air.
Inside, there is a 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope to measure its velocity, tilt, and the way exhausting it is hit an impediment. There’s additionally an ultrasound sensor beneath which may measure how far-off the bottom is, so long as you do not fly it above 4 metres.
As you’d anticipate, you do not get the identical high-tech impediment avoidance or wind resistance you’d discover in a extra skilled drone, which limits the place and how one can fly the Swing.
Parrot Swing review: Control
- Included flypad controller
- As much as 60m range
- Android or iPhone app (20m range)
There are two methods to regulate the Swing. You’ll be able to both use your smartphone by downloading the Control app, or use the included Parrot Flypad controller. The benefit of the Flypad is that you simply rise up to 60 metres range, whereas your smartphone’s connection will seemingly max out at 20 metres.
Utilizing the included Control pad is about as straightforward as you possibly can hope for. There is a devoted bodily take-off and landing button, which takes the Swing drone up a few ft from the bottom the place it hovers steadily.
As soon as airborne, the pad’s left joystick controls the peak and rotation of the drone. The precise joystick controls the directional actions.
There are other buttons too. The 1, 2, B and A buttons are all pre-programmed patterns that take the drone on a preset path. R1 takes a photo, whereas L1 performs a U-turn. Urgent-and-holding R2 or L2 will change the drone to its airplane mode, with its propellers and nostril going through forwards for fly speeds as much as 18.4mph.
When you solely get one third of the potential range utilizing your telephone, the downloadable app could be very straightforward to make use of, with a setup that is nearly as straightforward as utilizing the included controller. Launch the app then pair routinely by way of Bluetooth – so long as the drone is on, your telephone ought to choose it up for pairing.
Along with the 2 large digital joysticks on display, there’s an computerized take-off and landing button, alongside a variety of settings for altering parts like most peak and velocity.
Parrot Swing: Easy flying
- Automated take-off and landing
- Battery lasts a couple of minutes
- Second battery included
- 30-minute recharge time
Whereas the Swing just isn’t explicitly designed for unique indoor use, its measurement and weight imply it is a lot Easyr to fly indoors than a “correct” drone. It is also so small and lightweight that any wind outdoor will simply ship it off target, right into a tree, shed, or particular person.
Being so small and lightweight means it is very responsive although. For probably the most half, that is what you need in a drone. You need to know that your joystick Control ends in a swift, quick motion. However in a confined house, that is not at all times a very good factor: we crashed into just a few home windows, door frames and ceilings by usually attempting to be a bit too intelligent.
When the Swing drone detects impression it tends to close off the propellers and go in to freefall, which sounds loads worse than it’s. Its measurement and weight imply that when it does fall, there is no actual harm upon impression with the bottom. It is not likely heavy sufficient to interrupt; it usually simply falls like a feather and lands on its facet.
The largest detrimental about flying the drone is that whilst you’re attending to grips with the controller and drone response, the battery dies. Fortuitously there is a second spare one within the field, but it surely’s nonetheless not fairly sufficient.
Parrot claims the battery can last as long as seven minutes in common quad-copter flight mode, or eight and a half minutes in airplane mode. However we discovered it did not come shut. Certainly, more often than not, 5 minutes was the typical, if not much less. And with a 30-minute recharge per battery there’s some ready round to be performed after simply 10 minutes of fun!
On the whole, the Parrot Swing is a fun toy. At its £120 asking worth it isn’t hideously costly as drones go – really a fraction of what you’d pay for a high-end mannequin.
For that cash there are many options: it will possibly take (really bad) images, it will possibly take off and land by itself, it is very straightforward to fly, and the airplane mode is a hoot.
For those who’re taking a look at drones as a severe funding and need to familiarize yourself with one thing small and lightweight earlier than ponying up the money for a DJI Phantom Professional or Mavic Professional, it is a wise starter choice.
Or in case you simply need one thing to fly round your home or again yard, it is a fun choice. Simply get used to the concept that you will be swapping the battery out each couple of minutes and ready for recharges and you will be effective.