Parrot launches its foldable 4K UAV, the ANAFI. Is it capable of competing with the famous DJI Mavic Pro and Air, which until now outperformed the competition in the field of it’s camera’s quality? Here comes this test, a first hand, including my first impressions on this drone.
We have been waiting for a while for that new Parrot drone! This company had bluffed in 2010 the participants of the most prominent high-tech show, the CES of Los Angeles. Among them journalists or seasoned specialists, by presenting their AR Drone, which distinguished itself by its stabilization and its ease of piloting.
However, since then, Parrot, like most UAV manufacturers, has been almost entirely eaten alive by a single actor in this market: DJI. The Phantom UAV range, among others, has mainly distinguished itself for the stabilization and quality of these cameras. Resolution 4K was not long in equipping DJI engines. It then remained the order of the day when the manufacturer decided to release smaller and foldable models, a real godsend for videographers on all sides, and in particular Youtube travelers. This was and remains a media spin-off for the brand. In the meantime, Parrot stuck to Full HD definition.
Here is the Parrot ANAFI!
A small foldable drone. Which I had the chance to test during an organized presentation shortly after the brand’s first official announcement. The machine fits in a carrying case of about 28 cm long and 9 cm wide. It’s relatively small, and that’s good. You still need to add a specific remote control.
Remote control on which a smartphone (iPhone or Android) is connected and fixed on which the app is installed. Folding out the drone’s four arms is quick and easy.
The start-up is rather fast.
My opinion on the camera and after the first flight
Before going further, to give my opinion on the control and the quality of the images, here are some characteristics or technical details. Video recording can be done in 4K, either with a resolution of 3840×2160 at the maximum frame rate of 30 frames/sec or in Full HD at 60 frames/sec. So far, nothing extraordinary, theoretically no better than many smartphones from a technical point of view. However, there is something else that the Parrot ANAFI borrows from smartphones and which already distinguishes it (in good) from DJI’s other competing and foldable UAVs: it integrates a USB-C socket, this type of connection that has become so rapidly established in the mobile world. Therefore no more need of specific charger (thus additional and heavy) to recharge its UAV. The same cable as many recent Android smartphones will do.
The significant advantage, you will be able, on the ground, to reconquer your flying device using an autonomous battery. Congratulations to Parrot for making this choice, which we may wonder why it had not been made before by the competition. The remote control also, it is logical, recharges via USB-C.
Among the few other technical features of this Parrot ANAFI UAV to note again, there is a promised range of 4 km, thanks in part to the use of Wifi connecting the remote control and the four antennas of the UAV. The camera (21 MP), which also records in HDR, is mechanically stabilized along 2 axes and a third axis digitally.
Flighing this Parrot Drone
It is possible to launch the Parrot ANAFI UAV placed on the ground or held by hand and slightly launched into the air (by pressing just before the appropriate button on the remote control).
In a word, know that piloting the ANAFI is easy, especially when you’ve been through other drones from the brand or competition. During the total flying time of this handling (less than about three-quarters of an hour for all flights), I did not test the different navigation modes, but overall it seemed relatively easy for the general public. Different modes of automatic piloting of the UAV and video shooting are possible: for example, the orbital flight, which turns around a point of interest, the rapid recoil by aiming and filming the pilot, … I intend to deepen these piloting modes on the occasion of a more extended test.
From a full battery, I could see an autonomy close to that announced by the manufacturer, namely 25 minutes. Not wrong, is it?
The ANAFI app to install on the smartphone is FreeFlight 6. After the presentation, I could see that it was not working correctly with the Huawei P20 Pro smartphone, joining criticisms seen in Google Play comments: viewing images recorded by the camera on the smartphone screen was no longer possible after switching from photo mode to video mode.
Afterward, I intend to take pictures and form an opinion on the quality of the still images. However, I have noticed that the 4K video is well made. However, if possible, I will have to film the same scenes to make comparisons with one of DJI’s Mavic drones.
This first small and foldable Parrot ANAFI UAV is already a success regarding its way, efficient and even pleasant to fly. Bravo for charging via a USB-C socket: this detail, which is not, makes this device even more enviable for those who want to travel light and light. A more extended test will give me an opinion on ANAFI’s ability to be a serious alternative to DJI’s Mavic Pro and Air drones. I would say that for now, ANAFI deserves even more attention. See you after the next flight.