DRONE ON Selfie taker of dreams or ac­ces­sory of id­iots?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Will it take a de­cent selfie? We took the best am­a­teur drones out for a spin…

Cosmopolitan (UK) - - Contents -

DJI Spark (£519)

Looks like… Matte and sleek, like a fancy vi­bra­tor (don’t, just don’t).

What does it do? Launches from your hand via fa­cial recog­ni­tion and re­sponds to hand ges­tures. Ba­si­cally a pet, with­out the poo.

Up and run­ning in… 10 min­utes. Selfie skills? A+. The swiv­el­ling gy­ro­scope nails that flat­ter­ing down­ward an­gle ev­ery time. Pic­ture qual­ity? A bit grainy, but bet­ter than your dad’s In­sta feed. Best fea­ture: The ‘ges­ture con­trol’ makes you feel like Yoda. Worst fea­ture: “Re­turn home” sends it rock­et­ing up­wards, along with your blood pres­sure. Park-perv­ing abil­ity? That rov­ing cam­era? Your new wing woman.

Like­li­hood of a crash? Re­lease the con­trols and she’ll hover mid-air. Who’s a clever girl then?

How far can it fly? 1.2 miles with re­mote, 80 me­tres with the app.

Par­rot Mambo Mini Drone (£79.99)

Looks like… A friendly plas­tic space spi­der. What does it do? It hov­ers! It shoots tiny balls! There’s a grab­ber! It can’t quite fetch you a ba­con sand­wich, but can take a note to some­one who might.

Up and run­ning in… Five min­utes, max­i­mum. Selfie skills? Not go­ing to lie, we al­ready have a bet­ter tool for self­ies: the hu­man arm. Pic­ture qual­ity? Makes us feel nos­tal­gic for the early days of cam­era phones. Best fea­ture: So much in­door fun po­ten­tial. That file you wanted, Linda in HR? Land­ing on your desk in 3, 2, 1... Worst fea­ture: The bat­tery dies quicker than a back­ground ex­tra on Game Of Thrones (nine min­utes). Park-perv­ing abil­ity? Min­i­mal. More likely to at­tract a crew of 10-year-olds who think you’re in the new Star Wars film. Like­li­hood of a crash? “CUR­TAINS! MIND THE CUR­TAINS!” Oh, too late.

How far can it fly? 20 me­tres.

Par­rot Be­Bop Drone 2 (£379.99)

Looks like… A B-list Doc­tor Who mon­ster called ‘The Penguin of Death’.

What does it do? Flies high and re­sists strong winds. Plus GPS and vis­ual recog­ni­tion are avail­able for an ex­tra £20.

Up and run­ning in… 20 min­utes. All that cash and you still have to fit the pro­pel­lers your­self, FFS. Selfie skills? Not just good – Kar­dashian-level good. Pic­ture qual­ity? Best of the bunch. Has a fish-eye lens, too. Best fea­ture: The smart­phone app al­lows it to swoop and twirl; it’s ba­si­cally drone bal­let. Lasts for 25 min­utes, too. Worst fea­ture: Down­load­ing photos is a right faff. Park-perv­ing abil­ity? Like that one friend we all have: it’ll fix you up, but it won’t be quiet or sub­tle about it.

Like­li­hood of a crash? Re­lax, it’s strong and sta­ble (and prob­a­bly loves a wheat field).

How far can it fly? 300 me­tres. If only you could send it ahead to bag a ta­ble in the pub.

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