My wife nicely got me the Parrott Bebop drone for Christmas. Admittedly, it is a toy that would likely gather dust after the novelty wore off.
I never gave it the chance and just returned it to Best Buy. Why?
The out-of-the box experience was lousy. It comes with no instruction manual and the whole notion of quick set-up apparently doesn’t exist with drones.
Indeed, a friend and colleague who follows drones said this: “The industry has a systemic issue with the out of box experience.” He urged me watch Youtube videos to get educated. Sorry, I do not have the time, patience or desire for that.
The drone industry needs to mature before these things become a mass market item. Here’s the rest of my story.
I opened the box and assembled the flimsy drone. I allowed for the flimsiness since a drone has to be light and compact, but it sure seemed fragile. Then I opened the one page broadsheet of multi-language directions. They clumsily and without illustration described how to assemble the drone, but contained nothing about flying the thing. The customary PRINTED manual must be somewhere else in the box. Nope..no manual.
So I downloaded the iOS version of Freeflight 3 and figured it would have me up and flying in no time. No, again. Freeflight, which opens with with a video that I could not shut down, seemed more promotional and a place to publish your videos. Nowhere did it say “fly” or “start flying.”
I was quickly souring quickly on the product. Then I read the reviews of Freeflight and that cinched my decision. The reviews were rife with anecdotes about the software shutting down and complaints about no instructions. Several urged waiting for more a baked product.
I have plenty of frustrating technology in my life and was not about spend time and $500 being a guinea pig for Parrott USA. I would like a drone that takes 5-10 minutes to get up and running. No pulling my hair out over this.