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Hands-on with Parrot's new MiniDrones: Ready for land, air and sea (sort of)

Oscar Raymundo | July 2, 2015
Look up! A new generation of drones is hitting the market. Parrot's MiniDrones are more like toys than enthusiast-caliber flying machines, but they're small enough to hold with one hand, and more affordable than heftier drone models.

Although the MiniDrones could make for fun holiday gifts for young kids, maneuvering these things was no child's play. The touchscreen controls of the FreeFlight 3 iOS app were relatively difficult to master. They're not as intuitive as the remote control used by the DJI Phantom drones, or even Parrot's previous Bebop Skycontroller.

Another factor that might limit your fun time is the MiniDrones' short battery life. The Jumping drones can spin, jump and zoom for about 20 minutes, but the Airborne and Hydrofoil models begin to lose their steam after just nine minutes. I know a six-year-old that can spin around in circles for longer than that.

 

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