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…
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.