Low entry price, many improvements, and a very successful design characterize the new Parrot Bebop 2 drone. We have put the quadcopter to a practical test, and we found out its advantages and disadvantages.
More information and details about Parrot Bebop 2 drone
Not only the price plays a role: Many beginners also want easy handling, a high-resolution fisheye camera with long battery life. The Parrot Bebop 2 drone, with an entry price of $549, is located in the middle segment and, at the same time, equipped with an integrated 14-megapixel camera. Also, Parrot indicates a flight time of approximately 25 minutes. One must make compromises in things like 4K resolution or HD-Livestream functions.
So is the Parrot Bebop 2 drone the perfect quadcopter for beginners and experts?
The battery of the Parrot Bebop 2
The biggest weakness of the first Bebop Drone was the inferior battery life. The previous generation stayed in the air for a short twelve minutes. Thus, the battery had to be replaced. With the new Bebop 2, this looks different: Parrot states 25 minutes, in use.
Depending on weather conditions, at least 23 minutes is reasonable to fly this drone. The Parrot Bebop 2 drone battery ensures a longer flight time. The battery is now held in position by a firm click lock, which again underlines the model-revised generation’s outstanding value. A cheap Velcro fastener like the previous one is no longer necessary – excellent!
- 1x Parrot Bebop 2
- 1x 2.700-mAh battery
- 1x charger + cable + country-specific adapters (US/JP, UK, EU, ANZ)
- 1x USB cable for data management
- 1x integrated flash memory (8 Gigabyte)
- 1x integrated camera
- 1x camera protection / lens cap
- 8x propeller (4x right-turning, 4x left-turning)
- 1x mounting tool for propeller
- 1x Quick Start Guide (Quick Start Guide)
- Significant quality improvements in optics and material
You will find high-quality materials in a closer look at the housing, the extension arms, or the various electronic parts. The quadcopter has very flexible materials in all places. Apart from the impact-resistant ABS plastic, the Parrot Bebop 2 also has a nose made of EPP (expanded polypropylene). This combines robust properties with low weight, thus ensuring a very high level of crash safety. If something will break, Parrot offers almost every single part of it. Repair parts for the Parrot Bebop 2 are cheap, thus, suitable for beginners who will eventually crash.
Improved flight stability and many safety features
But how often does a crash really happen? How safe is the Parrot Bebop 2 compared to its predecessor? Because there is one thing, we have to hold on to. The Bebop quadcopter’s first generation was characterized by recurrent connection breakdowns, unpleasant susceptibility to wind, and volatile flight behavior. But Parrot has learned from this and effectively improved it in the second generation.
Connection failures are rarely noticed anymore. The sensitivity to wind has noticeably improved, and flight behavior is also much more stable. Despite its low weight, the Bebop 2 impressively balances stronger winds. The new components have an essential effect on the datasheet, which reads as follows:
- Horizontal Speed : 60 km/h
- Vertical speed: 21 km/h
- Maximum speed in 14 seconds
- Full braking in 4.5 seconds
- The altitude of 100 meters in 20 seconds
- Resists headwind speeds of up to 63 km/h
Tip for beginners:
In combination with the low height, the tiny landing legs ensure little distance between propeller and ground. It is advisable to always launch and land the Parrot Bebop 2 drone on a flat surface – such as asphalt or a landing pad. A take-off or landing between branches, grass, or leaves should be avoided!
Impressive sensor technology
In general, the Parrot Bebop 2 offers all kinds of security features that you will not find in other drones in this price class. It has a vertical stabilization camera ( which takes a photo of the ground every 16 milliseconds) to determine the speed. The Bebop 2 is also equipped with an ultrasonic sensor and a pressure sensor to analyze the flight altitude.
This has decisive advantages at low altitudes because here, the Parrot Bebop 2 drone lies like a bird in the air. Beginners will be thrilled because take-off at the push of a button (“Auto Start”) is just as possible as automatic landing (“Auto Land”) or reliable hovering in the air.
Parrot Bebop Drone 2.0 is equipped with a 3-axis gyroscope. It has an accelerometer, dual navigation with GPS and Glonass, and a 3-axis magnetometer. The magnetometer can be calibrated at any time. The corresponding steps are displayed in the app in a self-explanatory way.
Also, with the Parrot Bebop 2 drone, you should not expect any miracles. After all, there is no digital SLR hidden in the nose of the quadcopter. The drone is still equipped with a 14-megapixel camera, including image stabilization. The camera is supposed to enable “remarkably stable and clear aerial shots independent of the drone’s movements,” according to the manufacturer. 4K recordings are still not possible – the maximum video resolution is 1920 x 1080p (FullHD resolution) at 30 frames per second.
Although digital image stabilization does its job, it is by no means comparable to image stabilization with DJI Phantom. Even digital image stabilization can hardly compensate for camera shake during flight, so that smooth camera movements with the Parrot Bebop 2 drone are only possible to a limited extent. The photos taken by the Parrot Bebop 2 are muddy, hardly saturated, and anything but high quality in terms of noise reduction. Nevertheless: Thanks to raw data format (DNG), photos can be readjusted afterward – for example, with Adobe Lightroom – in terms of white balance, saturation, etc.
Control via an app and intuitive operation
The app (available free for iOS and Android) of the Parrot Bebop 2 is called “Freeflight 3”. It has hardly evolved at all, but as usual, it offers excellent features and is very intuitive to use. The connection between Bebop and smartphone is established via a Wifi network (802.11a/b/g/n/ac).
You can have access to the drone control (“Freeflight”), the “Drone Academy” (only with registration via email address) as well as saved photos and videos (“Gallery”).
If you want, you can also select the “Flight Plan” mode so that you can set waypoints on a map and complete the flight automatically. Significant disadvantage: The waypoint function can only be booked via in-app purchase and costs a whopping $20 extra.
In this mode, the app offers control through a live display of the camera image or the possibility to take off and land at the push of a button. As an additional safety feature, an “Emergency” button also ensures that the engines stop immediately. The motors even stop automatically in the event of resistance or unnatural flight behavior. Telemetry data – such as altitude, distance, or speed – are naturally shown in the display or FPV image.
Optional or bundled with SkyController
By default, the Parrot Bebop 2 drone can be controlled with a smartphone or tablet. The so-called SkyController is available as an option. The physical joysticks offer greater sensitivity when piloting and a significantly greater range of up to two kilometers thanks to the built-in range extender and amplified antennas. Also, external monitors or video glasses (including VR glasses such as Oculus Rift) can be connected via HDMI connection. Although the SkyController of the Parrot Bebop 2 in the bundle is designed in the limited “Black Edition,” the SkyController of the first Bebop generation also works.
If the Parrot Bepop drone 2 is controlled with a smartphone or a tablet, it can achieve a range of approximately 900 feet. In practice, we have been able to determine a reasonable range of between 600 and 800 feet. Contrary to other test reports, neither the connection broke down nor did the app freeze – Parrot seems to have improved here.
The Parrot Bebop 2 is an ideal drone for beginners similar to the DJI’s Mavic Mini. With a price of at least $549, however, it is a drone that is not exactly cheap. But the clearly improved quality, the various app functions, the extensive sensor technology, and the long flight time could be many reasons for beginners to buy the Parrot Bebop 2 drone. Also praiseworthy are the extraordinarily good spare parts supply as well as the comprehensive accessories. The only disadvantages are the low-quality camera and FPV images.