While Parrot may not be on the same level of professional quality as the company DJI, their most recent product, the Mambo drone with FPV, has been making waves recently in the drone community.
With an incredibly low asking price and unique, defining features, it is easy to see why the light aircraft is turning so many heads.
But is the Parrot Mambo with FPV worth the money? Or does the competitive nature of the product compromise any positive. Read our official review of the product if you want to find out.
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What Is The Parrot Mambo FPV And How Does It Work?
The Parrot Mambo is a racing drone which features a first-person view (FPV) flying orientation. Racing drones became popular in Australia during 2013. Semi-organized events quickly transformed into a fun worldwide phenomenon.
Racing drones are a bit more maneuverable than traditional drones. Instead of focusing on height and distance like long-range drones, racing drones typically deal more in speed and agility. The Parrot Mambo, in particular, is capable of ariel flips and similar types of tricks.
To use the Parrot Mambo, you will need to download their free app from the Apple or Android store. After this step, you can pair with the device using a Bluetooth connection.
But be forewarned, if your product is new, you will likely need to update the firmware which could take upwards of thirty minutes.
It is not the fastest drone on the market, but it can reach speeds of around five meters per second. Beyond four hundred feet the connection with the device becomes too choppy to use it properly.
The controller features two joysticks and several buttons and looks very similar to an X-box. It is responsive to the touch, easy to use and it costs around thirty dollars when not included with the drone.
Alternatively, you can also use your phone to control the device. The app gives you two joysticks which control the direction and altitude. Generally, these controls work well, but only if your phone is in excellent condition.
The Parrot Mambo can fly up to one hundred meters, and its battery life lasts around ten minutes. The product is small: about seven inches wide and two inches tall and it weighs a little over two ounces.
The Parrot Mambo FPV comes with a headset similar to virtual reality emulators like the Oculus Rift.
However, instead of a built-in screen, you place your smartphone in a secure, strapped-in position. The headset then transmits a live feed to your cockpit glasses, so it feels like you are flying.
There are two lights located at the front of the Mambo which gives it the appearance of eyes. The body of the model is also very open to accessories.
There are pegs on the top of the drone which you can use to attach the camera or any other accessory you want to use.
The drone set comes with the following accessories: a camera, a grabber, a cannon, app support, Xbox-like remote controller, and a USB charger.
What Makes The Parrot Mambo Unique
While DJI and other top brand drones are more concerned with filming, exploring and taking pictures, the Parrot Mambo markets itself as a racing drone. Generally, this fact means the drone is a little more toy-like than other models.
But do not let this information fool you, the Parrot Mambo is still an advance and sophisticated piece of technology — it just does not take itself too seriously.
For instance, the Parrot Mambo comes with an attachable cannon that can fire up to six pellets remotely — which allows you to perform some target practice on lightweight targets like plastic cups.
The aircraft also comes with a grabber. This detachable claw enables your drone to pick up and carry an object that weighs under four kilograms.
The element that makes the Parrot Mambo FPV stick out the most amongst its competition is the cockpit glasses that come with the machine.
On most types of drones, you can see what is going on through a screen on the controller. Instead, the Parrot Mambo allows you to access the flight visuals via your smartphone.
This feature is unique because it gives the impression that you are in the tiny cockpit of this drone and you are controlling it.
The Parrot Mambo is genuinely an excellent beginner drone. While many drones claim to be for beginners, most of the time they only feature a low pitch setting, which can be difficult for beginners.
One bad windy day and your drone will likely end up on the ground a good ways away from where you want it to be.
The Mambo lives up to its promise. The light aircraft features stabilizers which automatically compensate for windy weather.
How Much Does the Parrot Mambo Usually Cost?
At retail value, the Parrot Mambo cost one hundred and eighty dollars. However, Amazon and most other retailers typically offer it more in the price range of one hundred to one hundred and fifty dollars.
However, if you are interested, then you should always be on the lookout for seasonal coupons and sales, which the company offers frequently.
How Do Most Users Like The Parrot Mambo?
New users also appreciate the safety precautions and guardrails that Parrot features in the Mabo FPV. Even if you let go of the controls for a second, the Parrot Mambo’s safety features will still take over and prevent the aircraft from crashing.
In case of an emergency crash, the drone features a remote shutdown option which automatically turns off the engine and propellers in the event of an impact.
While this feature might not seem like a big deal, it saves the learning user a lot of money on new blades.
While many drones claim to be great for beginners, not many of them provide the same attentiveness as the Mabo.
The carbon frame of the device is sturdy enough so it can take a nasty crash or two and still be perfectly fine.
Flying the drone is intuitive and quick to learn — even a child can do it. Just make sure you supervise a child whenever you use it with them, or else it may end up lost or permanently damaged.
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Considering the price of the unit, the visuals from the phone/google hybrid are pretty high. But naturally, do not expect crystal clear images.
Some users may not prefer the cockpit goggles that come with the product. Looking around with the product will flying can cause motion sickness in many types of people.
If you know you are prone to feeling sick on airplanes, cars or any other transportation device, then you may want to go with a more traditional approach.
Another issue that will sometimes occur with the drone is it will lose connectivity with your smartphone mid-flight.
This issue likely depends on where you are flying it and how bright your reception is, but it is very inconvenient to lose control of your aircraft mid-flight — especially if it crashes and becomes damaged.
The pelt gun feature is also a nice touch, but the pelts are very easy to lose, and you cannot buy replacements for them.
How Does The Parrot Mambo Compare To Other Types Of Drones?
In this section, we will take a look at some other popular racing drone models. Specifically, we will take a look at the Walkera Rodeo 110 Racing Drone, the Eachine Wizard X220 and the Force1 Racing Drone.
By looking at these different models of racing drones, we hope to identify some of the areas in which the Parrot Mambo excels and some areas in which it needs improvement.
Walkera Rodeo 110 Racing Drone
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The Walker Rodeo 110 racing drone costs a little more, but for the most part, they are around the same price range. This drone is another entry-level device in the racing world.
If you care about speed, then this drone might be perfect for you. Since it is lighter than other models, it zips around corners at breakneck speeds.
However, if you are new to racing, this speed might be too quick and jerky for you. While this aircraft is excellent at racing, it is not as friendly to beginners as the Parrot Mambo.
Eachine Wizard X220
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Though the Eachine Wizard may look a little like a homemade craft drone, do not be fooled by its design. The aircraft makes an exceptional racing device.
While the model does feature beginner features like altitude hold, it also has more advanced features for racers that want to take it to the next level.
If you played around with a friends drone and you are confident that you want to get into the racing world, then this is a good drone for you.
It is simple enough for a beginner to grasp, but lasts a little longer than the cheaper models.
Force1 Racing Drone
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The Force1 racing drone is about two to three times as expensive as some of the products on this list. But it includes features that a lot of the other ones lack — like an excellent live video camera and radio link transmitter.
No more faulty wifi connections with this model. Not to mention a headset that features its screen, which means you will not have to deal with smudgy, low-quality phone footage.
Our Final Opinion: What We Think Of The Parrot Mambo
For the price Parrot offers the Mambo at, we think the device is a steal. The product is just fun, and even if it is not your main drone, it is still a delight to have around and break out.
Not to mention it does most of what the higher end drones do — just at a much more limited capacity. The 720p camera produces pretty lovely images and videos which you can upload from your phone straight to the internet.
It is a little annoying that the rotors get in the way of the shot, but they are not too obtrusive.
The goggles are right — a little disorienting at first — but the straps are secure and comfortable, and you get used to it quickly.
We do believe the drones low battery life is a bit of hindrance, but the drawback is to be expected considering the price range of the model.
Plus this problem can quickly be fixed by buying a few extra sets of batteries. Overall, we think the Mambo would make an excellent product for anyone interested in dipping their feet in the droning world or someone looking for a great gift idea for their kid.
Deals And Coupons
If you purchase your drone off of Parrot’s website, then you will receive free standard shipping on all orders that cost more than fifty dollars and free express shipping on all orders over two hundred and fifty dollars. Parrot also offers a discount for all students who get ten percent of any item in their store.
We hope this article was helpful during your shopping process. While professionals may not be impressed by specs on the Parrot Mambo, the drone does represent a huge step forward regarding products for novices and beginners.
Hopefully, since the Parrot Mambo is more affordable than other models, it will introduce the hobby of a drone flying to an even greater market.
So whether you are thinking regarding a Christmas present for your kid or a treat for yourself, we do not believe you can go wrong with the Parrot Mambo. Happy flying!