Meet the AEE Sparrow 360 — a Selfie Drone That’s Both Affordable and Sophisticated
Up to this point, we’ve seen the release of many affordable selfie drones but only a handful of them are capable of taking truly good selfies. While the best selfie or lifestyle drone so far is still the DJI Spark, it is priced beyond what many can afford.
There have been a few serious contenders though, such as the Yuneec Breeze, Zerotech Dobby and Hover Camera Passport but while these models are slightly more affordable than the Spark, they’re nowhere close to matching its overall performance and features as a selfie drone. Then there are the sub-$100 toy-grade selfie drones which are very affordable but take very poor quality videos and photos.
- HD 1080P WiFi FPV camera (30/60fps)
- 12MP stills
- Optical flow positioning
- Obstacle avoidance (infrared sensors)
- 6 to 8 minutes flight time
- Brushless motors
- Weighs less than 1 pound
- Electronic image stabilization
- Built-in mini flash (for photos)
- Altitude hold
- 360 panoramic shots
- 30m control range
- 720P WiFi FPV
- Headless mode
- Built-in surround prop guards
- Automatic take-off / landing
When it comes to selfie drones, the more you pay, the better the photo and video quality you’re going to get. However, this isn’t exactly the case with the AEE Sparrow 360. Priced at just $150, the Sparrow 360 has a pretty impressive set of features for a selfie drone. It may not be able to match the DJI Spark feature-wise but it does have a few key features that makes it a competitive selfie drone. These features include optical flow sensors, obstacle avoidance (with infrared sensors) and brushless motors.
This makes the Sparrow 360 one of the most affordable selfie drone that has optical flow and infrared positioning at the moment. For the uninitiated, allows drones to maintain their positions indoors where there is no GPS reception. Optical flow positioning, when used in conjunction with headless mode and altitude hold, makes composing and framing selfie photos a lot easier.
Optical flow positioning does have a weakness, though, as it will work up to a certain altitude only. Since it is a feature that relies on camera modules that scan the ground surface to determine a drone’s velocity and position, it will only work when the modules are able to get a good “picture” of the ground. The maximum range for optical flow sensors used in today’s consumer drones generally have a maximum range of about 3 to 10 meters only. Also, these sensors will not work properly over glossy, highly reflective or transparent surfaces.
Despite these limitations, optical flow positioning is still a very useful feature for selfie drones since most people won’t be taking selfie shots from very high altitudes of over 10 meters.
The Sparrow 360 also has some safety features and this includes the integrated cage prop guards that protect the propellers from the sides, top and bottom and its infrared positioning sensors. IR sensors allows the Sparrow 360 to detect obstacles such as walls or furniture so it can prevent itself from flying into them.
One neat photography feature the Sparrow 360 has is panoramic shots. This automated feature allows you to create 360 degrees panoramic shots from the air without having to do it manually yourself.
Overall, the Sparrow 360 is a selfie drone that is probably going to sell well thanks to its $150 price tag. For an entry-level selfie drone, it offers plenty of value. To put that into perspective, many other toy-grade selfie drones that take pretty awful videos and photos cost around $30 to $70. The only weakness on the Sparrow 360 is the lack of a mechanical gimbal stabilizer for its camera. Without a gimbal stabilizer, it is very likely that the videos are going to be very shaky.
It does, however, have electronic image stabilization which helps somewhat in reducing camera shake. With that said, the Sparrow 360 will probably perform better in taking still photos compared to videos. It even has a small front-facing flash for taking photos in low light.
The AEE Sparrow is currently available at GearBest for $150 with free shipping. Click here for more details.