​Parrot Mambo Drone review

Fire a canon, drop a bomb, do tricks with Parrot’s latest minidrone

Parrot Mambo Drone
  • Parrot Mambo Drone
  • Parrot Mambo Drone
  • Parrot Mambo Drone
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Stable and precise
  • Flying BB gun!

Cons

  • Expensive in a crowded market
  • Works better with optional Flypad

Bottom Line

Everyone will like playing with this and it might be a gateway drug (for some) into the world of drones. At $200 it's affordable. But there are cheaper options available.

Would you buy this?

Back in the olden days we’d marvel at radio controlled plane enthusiasts flying very-expensive planes very skillfully to the point where they’d even come in for a graceful landing. If you stayed long enough you’d normally see a catastrophic failure of some kind and one of them hurtling towards earth in more than one piece. But no matter how young you were, you knew there’d be no point in asking to have a go. It just wasn’t going to happen.

Now here we are with a drone that takes off from your desk, holds its position while you try and work out the controls then floats off to your target and shoots them with a BB gun. All in less than a minute from turning it on. What a time to be alive.

Indeed, Parrot’s new latest drone is just 15cm square and weighs 63g. It has removable buffers to protect it when flying indoors. It has a Lego-brick styled hot-shoe for attaching the BB canon, a grabber or a note holder.

Harbour Bridge to scale.
Harbour Bridge to scale.

It’s all controlled by Parrot’s FreeFlight Mini app which offers two on-screen dials to change direction and do its tricks. There are three controller layouts to try which exchange access to complex maneuverability with ease of use.

The drone takes about 20mins to charge and offers about 5mins flying time.

The controls are simple enough though while they take seconds to learn they take many minutes of flight time to master – keeping your fingers in the right spot in onscreen circles while looking at the drone is not simple. It’s much better using the optional $70 FlyPad controller which has proper joysticks.

Nonetheless, it’s not easy to make it whizz off and crash.

To launch you either press the take-off button or throw it (our favourite) and watch it stay in the air hovering. Pressing the fire button with the canon attached withdraws a spring-bolt and then fires one of its six small pellets. Don’t expect to ever find these again. Parrot includes a small bag but you’ll need more.

The grabber can hold on to very small and light (4g) objects and drop them on people. A note holder can hold a note… sometimes.

There is a camera (480 x 640 resolution) but it’s fixed downwards and not very good: you can’t navigate with it – operation is by line of sight only.

The fixed-downward VGA camera is pretty poor.
The fixed-downward VGA camera is pretty poor.

Geeky types will like that it comes with a Linux-based SDK to program it.

This would all be great if it was quiet but it sounds like a very large angry wasp and it annoyed everyone in our office.

Outside, with all of its buffers and add-ons removed it showed itself to be that bit more maneuverable and could execute its preprogrammed tricks like flips and spins.

It has a top speed of 30KM/h and stood up well to constant stiff breeze. Range is 20m via mobile device or 60m via the Flypad.

Should you buy it?

This is becoming a crowded market and you can buy even smaller and cheaper drones than this – including from Parrot itself – the $50-cheaper Airborne Cargo is the same thing but has hidden compartments (for smuggling or bombing runs) instead of the canon and grabber.

As such, while everyone will have some fun with the Mambo, it’s not the best value out there but it is in Christmas Present range and will make any recipient very happy.

For how long? Who knows? But it could be a great entry point for a more-professional model.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: parrot, toys, drones, drone
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?