When Parrot launched its Anafi quadcopter last year, it signaled a shift in direction for the French company from small, fairly basic toy-like drones toward more sophisticated flying machines, with the likes of DJI’s Mavic in its sights.
This week Parrot unveiled the Anafi FPV, a package that includes not only the drone but also a first-person viewing (FPV) headset to offer a more immersive experience for pilots.
The Anafi FPV drone retains all of the specs of the original design. In other words, 4K video and 21-megapixel stills, a top speed of 34 mph (55 kph), a range of more than two miles, and 26 minutes’ flight time on a single charge. And when you’re done, its arms fold inward for easy transportation.
The new FPV headset doesn’t include its own display, so you’ll have to pop your smartphone in to use it. Once it’s up and running, you’ll see not only your drone’s real-time view, but also contextual information such as flight speed, direction, and altitude.
The Anafi already features a bunch of flight modes, but the FPV version offers two new ones to make the most of that headset: Cinematic and Racing.
Cinematic aims to capture “smooth and dramatic footage” that makes you feel like “you’re behind the controls of a glider,” according to Parrot. It does this by locking the horizontal axis of the 4K HDR camera to the tilt of the drone, with the real-time stream showing every bank and turn in your flight.
The Racing mode also locks the camera to the tilt of your drone, but this preset is built for speed instead of smoothness, meaning the footage should have a more “aggressive” look as the drone bobs and weaves through the air at higher speeds. Indeed, the launch video (above) shows some pretty dramatic shots, but with the drone’s lack of obstacle avoidance technology, novice drone pilots may want to think twice about trying to pull off the same kind of daredevil flight maneuvers.
What’s in the box?
The Anafi FPV goes on sale this month with an $ 800 price tag. For that, you get the drone, headset, and controller, together with a battery, a spare set of propellers, a 16GB MicroSD card, and a USB-C cable. And you can carry it all in the included backpack that doubles as a platform for launching and landing the drone.
In last year’s hands-on review of Parrot’s Anafi drone, Digital Trends gave it a 3.5/5 rating. We liked its portable, lightweight design, the lossless digital zoom, 180-degree camera tilt, and price. But we were disappointed with that lack of obstacle avoidance tech, and found control during flight to be less responsive compared to DJI’s pricier Mavic — Anafi’s main rival.