AirSelfie2 Mini Drone Review
Looking for a better way to take a group picture other than using a selfie stick? The AirSelfie2 is a mini drone that can help make sure no one is left out of the shot!
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The AirSelfie2 comes very well packaged with both Quick Start instructions and a full manual. However, I still found the steps in the manual somewhat out or order, as it emphasized the need to perform a calibration first, when in reality you need to connect to the drone’s WiFi first.
Installing the AirSelfie 2 app on your phone launches an IKEA-style video showing you what to do and not do. However, I feel that voice instructions would have been more helpful than the animated illustrations alone.
Once you power up the drone (by holding down the power button on the bottom of the unit until you hear the high-pitch tones), the AirSelfie2 will begin broadcasting it’s own WiFi network. Connect your phone to the network (the password is “12345678”, which is somewhat hidden in the manual) then launch the AirSelfie 2 app. Under “Settings,” you’ll find instructions for performing the calibration. You’ll want to calibrate the unit often, as it seems to need it in order to fly in a stable fashion.
Once the calibration process is complete, you’re ready to select a mode (I chose “Easy” for my first flight). Hold down the Launch icon until the propellers start moving, then lightly toss the AirSelfie2 in the air. This takes some practice, as my first toss caused the AirSelfie2 to crash to the floor and my second toss caused it to hit the ceiling.
If you’ve flown a larger drone (such as the DJI Spark) before, you’ll find the AirSelfie2 to be a lot less stable. Even when flying the AirSelfie2 indoors in a windless environment, the AirSelfie tends to drift left, right, up, down… pretty much every direction. It can be tricky to line it up for the perfect selfie. I did find that the face detection helped: the drone would still drift, but once my face went out of the frame it tried to correct itself.
The AirSelfie2 tries to stabilize itself by utilizing a sensor on the bottom of the unit and maintaining a constant spot on the ground/floor/carpet/etc. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any sort of GPS positioning in the unit to aid with the stabilization.
You’ll want to get familiar with the 3 control modes in the AirSelfie2 app:
- Easy: There is a touch “button” for each movement, such as up, down, forward, back, left, right, and turning.
- Medium: The app uses a more tilt-based approach that moves the AirSelfie2 depending on how you hold the phone.
- Expert: 2 virtual joysticks appear on the screen like a more traditional drone. The propellers also work the strongest in this mode, making it ideal for outdoors.
The camera is 12MP and can record 1080p video, however low-light performance is somewhat lacking which is unfortunate for indoor use. Please note that the app will initially show a low-res “preview” image when you open the gallery. The pictures will look a lot better once you tap the “download” icon and save the image to your phone.
Battery life can also be problematic, especially when you’re learning to fly the device. A full charge provides approximately 5 minutes of flight time. Recharging the device can take up to an hour, so you’ll want to plan accordingly if you want to take a lot of selfies while you’re out and about.
The AirSelfie2 recharges with a standard USB-C cable and can be recharged from a normal USB wall charger, car charger or power bank.
The $200 price tag seems a little steep. If it could fly in a more stable fashion and maintain its position after I toss it, the price would be more reasonable. However, I feel like I need to constantly use the app’s flying controls to keep the unit from drifting away or running into something in the house, which kind of kills my smile for that selfie I’m trying to take.
However, the unit does appear to be durable as it has survived several minor collisions and crashes. I also like the fact that the unit uses a standard USB-C cable to recharge, but the short 5 minute flight typically limits me to only a few selfies before I have to wait an hour for the unit to recharge.
This mini drone if very portable as is handy for those moments when you can't find someone to take a photo for you, but the short 5-minute flight time and unstable flight patterns may have you reaching for a selfie-stick instead.
- 12 MP camera
- USB-C recharging
- Durable design
- Short 5-minute flight time
- Drifts constantly while in flight