Drones have been getting pretty serious lately and as the things that they can do and the specifications increase, things start to get a little less accessible and maybe a little less fun.
Parrot does things differently to some of those drones, with the Mambo in particular, Parrot has designed something that is compact, simple, and actually fun to use.
There are no camera thrills with this drone, nor will you be using it to race anytime soon, however, with the Mambo you something much more simple and down to Earth.
Mambo creates makes his particularly fun with the addition of a peashooter cannon and a grabber.
You can use the peashooter to fire little green pellets at objects or even people, create you own drone shooting range or simply annoy your family without the threat of doing any harm.
The grabber can be used separately in order to lift objects and carry them around, however, it won’t be able to lift much, only up to about 4g, but you could definitely come up with some tricks to do with this.
Sadly, the fun doesn’t last very long as the Mambo only features a 550mAh battery that provides just around 8 minutes of flight. That said, the batteries are swappable and because it charges over a USB capable, you could quickly charge it up with something like a power bank on the go between flying sessions.
We would have liked to see a better camera on the drone, it’s only VGA and downward-firing so getting any kind of detail out of it will be very tricky, we would have liked to see a higher resolution output.
You can view a couple of samples from the drone in the images below.
But earlier we did say that this drone isn’t really for getting sweeping camera shots, so we can forget that.
To top all of that off the mini-quadcopter is pretty easy to use.
It’s all done via a pretty simple companion app on both iOS and Android from Parrot called FreeFlight Mini.
You simply start up this app and then connect to the drone over Bluetooth. Once connected, you will select whether you have fitted the hull on the drone or not, from here you’re ready to go.
The interface is pretty easy to work out at a glance and it’s also extremely customisable. In the basic config, you get two main joypads, one that controls the elevation of the drone and another that controls the rotation.
As you can see in the image above there are also a number of buttons.
At the bottom of the app, you get a take-off/land button that will automatically complete one of those tasks for you and sits alongside a timer for how long you have been flying and a percentage of the battery life that you have left.
The camera button sets the drone to trigger the down-firing VGA camera, and the bottom next to it allows you to tell the drone to perform one of the available tricks.
As you can see in the image to the right, there are a number of tricks to choose from, all of which do completely different moves and swirls.
Then further left from that is the button to go into the settings and then the back button to go back to the app’s homepage.
All of this is pretty self-explanatory and makes the drone so easy to use that we are pretty sure anyone of any age could use it, of course, you will have to spend some time with it before you become an expert, however, you are definitely going to find this one easy soon enough.
To conclude, we would have to say that the Parrot Mambo is a fantastic option for getting into drones, it’s cheap, fun, and very easy to use. In fact, you can pick it up for just £91 from a range of retailers, including Amazon, and we would definitely recommend that if you are looking for a drone that you want to mess around with, without too much hassle.
Disclosure: Parrot sent us a sample of the Mambo for the purpose of this review.