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Snap announces its Pixy “flying camera”, aka drone

Snap released its Pixy drone on April 28 during its Snap Partner Summit. The pocket drone can take off and land in the palm of your hand. The drone is available for purchase today on the drone website.

Developed for the less keen market and regular Snapchat users, Snap’s Pixy drone appears to be plastic and is designed to take off and land in your hand. The yellow body and enclosed orange propellers match the company’s bright and flashy branding of other products Snap has created in the past.

Snap doesn’t want to call Pixy a drone, but if it walks (flies?) like one and looks like one, it’s a drone. Pixy doesn’t have a controller, in fact he has virtually no way to control it. This is because the drone, cough cough, I mean a flying camera, flies itself and you just use Snapchat’s app to say what to do.

Details of the Pixy drone first leaked via an FCC filing the morning before Snap had a launch event early in the day. In the FCC folder, you can see some early footage of drones during testing.

Pixy specs

Snap’s Pixy comes with two cameras, one on the front designed to focus on you and the second on the ground. The downward-facing camera is used to keep the drone stable, and it detects the palm of your hand, so it knows when to land. The front camera records 2.7K video, so nothing to knock off, but it’s better than HD.

Videos are rotated horizontally and then sent to the Snapchat app. This is where you can vertically crop the videos and share them with your friends and followers on Snapchat or download them. A neat feature, which makes Pixy not just locked to Snap’s ecosystem.

To fly the drone, you can choose several different modes: hover, reveal, follow, then orbit. These modes do exactly what they sound like, and most drone pilots should be used to them by now. You set the mode on the dial above the drone, then turn on Pixy, and it can fly to run this mode for up to 60 seconds. Then Pixy comes back to you for a soft landing.

Snap says you can get up to eight flights out of a single battery charge, which are removable. However, according to Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal, she only received about four. Fortunately, other batteries are available for purchase.

The wind will be a challenge for this drone

It’s not the first “flying camera” to hit the market. These ultra-lightweight drones offer casual users a hands-free way to take selfies. Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re coming. Unfortunately, Snap’s Pixy will fall under the same problems as other ultralight drones, the wind. Pixy will only have level two wind resistance, which means wind speeds over seven miles per hour will start to make Snap’s non-drone drone difficult and possibly even unusable. .

Snap’s Pixy on sale today, starting at $229.99

If you’re a Snapchat lover and want a hands-free way to get unique videos, you can buy Pixy today from Snap’s website. The basic package with the drone itself, a case, a carrying strap, and a single battery will set you back $229.99. The Pixy Flight Pack will get you an extra battery for slightly longer drone flight sessions and costs $249.99. You can also buy individual batteries for $19.99 and the dual battery charger for $49.99.

Pixy will begin shipping to customers in 11-12 weeks. Do you get one? Let us know in the comments below.

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