With Zero Zero Robotic’s Hover camera going viral with the aid of WeChat’s friend circle (WeChat is now one of China’s most popular smartphone social networking apps), the selfie drone is once again under the spotlight. But after the complete failure of Zana and the repeatedly delayed launches of Lily – both developed by Lenovo – as well as the bland impression that the Ying drone, unveiled by Tencent and ZEROTECH, gave the public and the lukewarm reception the ONAGOfly drone has received, many can’t help asking how far are we from a real selfie drone era?
But what kind of selfie drone do people really want?
1. Truly user-friendly
So far the most successful commercial mini drone has been the Parrot Bebop manufactured by Parrot, the French consumer electronics company. Intended to be a high-end, smartphone-controlled toy, the mini drone is still intimidating rather than user-friendly. In order to win the hearts of common selfie enthusiasts, remarkably easy and user-friendly operation is the key.
It’s extremely important that a commercial selfie drone is portable so that users are able to take a selfie whenever and wherever they like.
3. Replaceable battery
A pleasant day and high expectations may be ruined just because the selfie drone runs out of battery when you are enthusiastically posing for a selfie. A long-life battery is good, but a replaceable one is critical. The lack of removable battery is one of the biggest shortfalls of the Lily drone.
A safety guarantee is first and foremost, as a selfie drone’s high-speed spinning propellers can be dangerous during close-range picture taking.
5. Highly specific and professional
Ultimate user experience is the goal of a selfie drone. Thus the drone should be an all-encompassing product equipped with high-definition camera, and excellent picture framing capability, as well as picture-editing and instant sharing functions.
6. Affordable price
Everybody loves selfie-taking, but a key part in the selfie drone’s market penetration strategy is an affordable price.
Which selfie drone is currently the trend setter in the market?
Parrot Bebop is great but it has a high technical threshold and the price is not affordable for ordinary selfie fans.
The Lily Drone’s often postponed launch and an extremely short battery life are current limitations to it’s popularity and success.
There’s little information about Ying Drone since its official unveiling. The only things we know are that it looks cool and robust.
Being able to taking off from the palm, ONAGOfly drone is actually a delicate toy with its tiny camera, and lacks stability in any but perfect conditions.
Hover camera seems more dependable, and its folding design is attractive. But it’s a tradeoff that the totally enclosed structure guarantees safety while losing some power. In addition, it’s doubtful whether, with the absence of GPS, it will perform well in open spaces. The alternative avant-garde technology it adopts is not mature enough for the practical applications at present; and the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets is high-cost.
Newly rising in the selfie-drone market is KIMON. Its adorable profile and muti-color design particularly appeal to women.
Specially designed for selfie-taking, its unique folding design makes it easily portable and quickly ready for take off; it allows for specialized pictures and instant photo-sharing. These stylish features are irresistible, especially for fashionistas.
Below are unique features of KIMON:
16 million pixels and support for 4k/25fps video recording at most, which are the best among its competitors;
Simple, smartphone-controlled operation with one-touch start-up/take-off/hovering/landing/return;
G-sensor-controlled by moving your mobile phone;
Multiple shooting mode that supports photography/video recording/burst mode/slow motion/time-lapse photography, creating highly personalized selfies.
Five selfie-taking modes: 360-degree panorama, 45-degree shot, follow shot, panoramic selfie and standard selfie.
Indoor positioning module that enables easy selfie-taking under 3-meter high hovering in an indoor environment without GPS signals.
Adopting a mainstream mature flight control solution based on STM32 hardware platform, KIMON positions itself as practical, affordable and functional.
Intended for selfie-taking, the KIMON drone places great emphasis on user experience rather than on cutting-edge, gaudy technologies, while remodeling the various flight modes to make them perfectly serve selfie-taking.
One feature that still needs improvement is to stabilize the PTZ camera to avoid video jitters, which is actually an industry challenge. After all, taking clear photos and videos is the most important thing for a selfie drone.
In a nutshell, KIMON is so far the purest selfie drone, with a user-friendly price of ¥1899 on the JD.com crowdfunding platform. It’s a great option for anyone looking to acquire a selfie drone for themselves.