There are a lot of drones on the market, but most of them are no fun to fly because they wander all over the sky. Not the Mantis Q from Yuneec! Here’s my experience flying this fun, powerful drone…
I’ve flown a lot of drones and all too many of them have a fundamental problem: they can’t hover in place. Sounds like it wouldn’t be a big deal, but it is challenging and stressful if every time you fly you have to constantly be adjusting the drone’s location so you don’t lose it in the sky (or the local trees). Want to fly it indoors? Forget about it if it can’t just sit in the air as if it’s suspended by wires!
That’s why I’ve had a lot of fun with the Yuneec (yes, pronounce it “unique”) Mantis Q drone! It’s small, portable, powered by a big enough battery that you get some decent flying time (over 30 minutes!) and with the ability to record full 4K video at 30fps. Instead of talking about it, though, here’s a snap from the Mantis Q flying above Boulder, Colorado:
Keep in mind that the Mantis Q itself is about the size of a paperback book and the controller’s even smaller. Now, to be fair, you also need a smartphone because Yuneec has an app you run that is an essential part of controlling the unit too. Still, here’s what the drone and controller look like when neatly folded, ready for transport:
Where this really gets fun though is the on-phone control app. From there you have complete control over the drone’s higher level features like auto-take off (it automatically moves up to about 4′ above the launch spot and hovers) and auto landing (it finds its original spot on the ground and slowly lowers itself to the original spot, sometimes exactly the same spot, other times a few inches off to one side or another).
Here’s a screen capture from the app when I have just begun a takeoff:
Note that the phone plugs into the hand controller, so up / down, rotate left / right are on one stick and move left / right, forward / backwards are on the other stick. It takes a bit of getting used to, so I strongly encourage any drone pilot to begin in a big field where there’s lots of space, then keep the drone fairly close to the ground so you can see the relationship between what you do and how the drone moves. Then when you’re done, let it auto-land because it’s really good at it. 🙂
In case you haven’t figured out, this is one cool gizmo. Check this out:
Of course, I have some video footage too. Indeed, I got the Yuneec Mantis Q as part of a project I did with Best Buy so they asked me to produce a 45-60 second video spot that they could use on their site. Here’s what I came up with:
Makes ya want to get one of your own, doesn’t it? Yup!
Here’s the thing, though: The Mantis Q has a lot more capabilities than just going up and capturing 4K video (though that’s a pretty slick feature all its own). The device has what they call “intelligent flight modes” that let it automatically detect faces, recognize gestures you make when it’s filming you, and even has some voice control capabilities. Infrared and sonar sensors enable safe indoor flight (to a degree, be careful with indoor flight). The Yuneec Mantis Q drone can also automatically follow your directions or circle an assigned point of interest too, all well documented on its Web site through handy training videos.
Btw, if you’re worried about range, you can control the drone from up to 4900 feet away. That’s 0.92 miles. That’s a long way, even if you have it a few hundred feet up in the air. Do I recommend flying it over a body of water or somewhere you can’t retrieve it if something happens? No. But hey, it makes for some great footage nonetheless, so you’ll have to make your own assessment. Mostly, have fun with a drone that makes flying so darn easy that you can really focus on the footage you want to capture!
PRODUCT: Yuneec Mantis Q Drone with Remote Controller, Model:YUNMQUS. $499.99 at BestBuy.com.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Best Buy sent me the Yuneec Mantis Q drone for the purposes of this review and video production. Thanks, Best Buy! #ad