Yuneec’s entry into the flying camera space, the Breeze Flying Camera, is likely to be a home run this holiday season. Priced at $495 at Amazon, this small but powerful drone packs a boatload of technology into less than a pound. It’s convenient, compact, easily portable, and simple to fly. Controlled by either an iOS and Android device, the Breeze is designed to be flown both indoors and outdoors.
Don’t know Yuneec? Unlike many drone companies, Yuneec has been around for a long time. Founded in 1999, the company has 1,800 employees and promotes itself as the “world’s leader in electric aviation”. Last year, Intel invested $60 million in Yuneec. Many believe that Yuneec (along with Parrot) are the companies best positioned to successfully compete with DJI.
Back to the Breeze:
Camera: You couldn’t ask for more from a drone in this price range: 13 megapixel still shots coupled with 4K at 30 frames per second. The Breeze has three video settings for resolution:
As the Breeze does not have a gimbal, the settings which include digital stabilization are suggested.
Social Sharing: It’s easy to push your content (video or stills) to your favorite social site. Along with the main ones (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube), there’s a long list of additional supported social sites. At present, it does not support Facebook Live (So Aunt Mary in Hoboken will need to wait a bit to see the video of the family Thanksgiving football game).
The App: The Breeze Cam app is available for free from the Apple store and Google Play store. The app is to easy to use and easy to understand. New firmware is conveniently updated through the App (twice in the last two weeks). The App provides virtual joysticks which are responsive and intuitive.
Flight Time and Batteries: The Breeze ships with two batteries and charger. It take about forty minutes to charge the battery fully. Yuneec advertises that the Breeze has “up to 12 minutes of flight time.”
Portability: The Breeze is built for travel. It ships with its own hard carry case. It’s props are foldable and it weighs less than a pound! Also include are propeller protectors (for indoor use) and a spare set of propellers.
It’s about the Family: The Breeze is designed for the family and more specifically, family photos! The desire to capture events, vacations, sports, and daily activities is at the core of the Breeze. To address the selfie generation, Yuneec provides four autonomous flight modes. The “Flying Camera” label comes from the power of these four options and each requires no prior flying experience. Although most will use the default setting regarding distance and height, these are configurable to get just the right shot.
- Journey Mode – With the pitch of the camera established, the Breeze will fly away from you and then back.
- Follow-Me Mode – This popular drone mode will do just as it says “follow-you”, actually following the GPS of your phone while maintaining a set altitude.
- Orbit Mode – The Breeze will orbit about you at a specified height and radius.
- Selfie Mode – Capture the selfie and share it!
I’m a fan! The Breeze is a great starter drone with robust functionality at a fair price! The out-of-box experience was intuitive. Auto Take Off and Auto Landing removed the intimidation of flying. It was stable in the sky and stills were crisp (I shared a one below) and the video was smooth. The Breeze is likely to capture many a Christmas morning.