Parrot AR.Drone quadricopter

Parrot's AR.Drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that uses Wi-Fi technology to connect to an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Parrot AR.Drone
  • Parrot AR.Drone
  • Parrot AR.Drone
  • Parrot AR.Drone
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • It's a flying quadricopter controlled via an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad, straightforward setup, easy to control for stable flight indoors

Cons

  • Almost impossible to control with any accuracy outdoors with even slight wind, 12 minute battery life, expensive price, questionable build quality considering it does fly, and therefore crash from time to time

Bottom Line

The Parrot AR.Drone quadricopter is a toy packed with technology that is surprisingly stable and intuitive to fly. Yes, the Parrot AR.Drone is expensive, has mediocre battery life and becomes an out of control missile if used with any sort of wind. It also could be better equipped to deal with accidents. At the end of the day, this is a remote control chopper that you fly using your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. And it's pretty damn cool.

Would you buy this?

Today's forecast: wind

In addition to indoor flying, Parrot claims the AR.Drone is usable outdoors with winds up to 16kmph. Let's get one thing straight; you will want to pick a day with virtually no wind to fly without any issues, as the AR.Drone is anything but stable with even minor wind. We attempted to fly it in a park, where out flight was protected by the surrounding trees and bushes, and let's say we experienced quite a few accidents. The AR.Drone also strayed from its usual straight flight path as it left the ground, making it very tough to control with any sort of accuracy or confidence.

Parrot AR.Drone review
The Parrot AR.Drone has been designed to fly outdoors, but it doesn't take too kindly to even light winds.

Even though the AR.Drone's light, foam build helps it fly smoothly, it means the build quality does suffer. Wear and tear on the indoor hull was apparent after just a few flights, with the foam chipping and cracking in various parts. However, the body of the AR.Drone itself — constructed from carbon fibre and what Parrot describes as "high resistance" plastic — seemed to handle the elements relatively well. All the replacement parts can be purchased separately.

Now, that battery…

Unfortunately, the battery life of the AR.Drone simply sucks. The included Lithium-ion battery gives you just 12 minutes of flying time before needing to be recharged for an hour and a half. You can always purchase a second battery, but this would still only provide 24 minutes of flying time; hardly enough for a very expensive toy that you'll want to be using as much as possible.

Parrot includes two interchangeable hulls in the sales package; the first is for indoors and protects the blades from crashes thanks to large, circular rings, while the second is for outdoor flying and leaves the blades exposed. The indoor hull definitely looks more impressive, but is not recommended for outdoor use.

Parrot AR.Drone review
The Parrot AR.Drone comes with two hulls, the above is for indoor use and protects the blades from crashes.

The Parrot AR.Drone is available in Australia for $349, and will be sold exclusively through selected Telstra and Fone Zone stores.

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide

Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook: Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: apple ipad, iPhone, games, ipod touch
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?