Editors Choice Parrot Mambo Review

Parrot Mambo Review

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9.5 Total Score
Grab 'em and shoot 'em with the Parrot Mambo

This iteration of Parrot's MiniDrone line brings accessories and fun to the inexpensive drone market. Our Parrot Mambo review shows it's meant to be a fun, easy drone for beginners or kids.

PROS
  • Accessories bring a new level of fun to drone flight
  • Solid Parrot control app
  • New Fly Pad brings tactile feedback during flight
CONS
  • Not much has improved in flight mechanics over several generations
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Parrot Mambo Review Introduction

parrot mambo reviewThe Parrot Mambo is yet another iteration of the Parrot MiniDrone, which found itself way into our guide for best drones for kids and quadcopters for beginners. This version comes with a couple of very cool little attachments. The first is a BB gun attachment that makes for aerial combat or fun chasing the cat or younger sibling. It comes with 50 plastic pellets, and Parrot says can the Mambo can shoot objects up to 6 feet away. Buy two of these and engage in some aerial combat, or double up on bothering the cat. There’s no Mambo FPV version, but that’s ok, hopefully, we’ll get that in a generation or two [edit: it’s coming!] What we do get is a stable, easy to fly drone that is great for kids and beginners. Read on for our full Parrot Mambo Review:

The included app has several flight modes including:

  • Joypad: right “stick” is pitch and roll (forward, back, left, right), left stick is thrust and yaw (up, down, rotate left and right)
  • Ace: Gyroscopic control with quick gesture moves
  • Norma: Gyroscopic control (hold down right icon with right thumb to activate) with thrust and yaw on the left thumb
Features

Here’s what comes in the box:

Parrot Mambo Open box

If you’re not down with shooting plastic balls that can easily get lost, the Parrot Mambo can also use its grabber attachment to pick up items up to 4 grams, or an object roughly the weight of a pen. The Mambo is tuned to accommodate these two attachments. While we’ll miss the wheels of the Spider for those who are beginning drone pilots, the new accessories are a much-welcomed addition for those who ire of doing laps around the living room.

The Mambo comes with traditional blade guards, which is always a plus, and its automatic flight features keep it level while flying, so beginners will be at ease their first time. We can’t emphasize enough how great this is for kids and beginners. The Mambo stays dead steady in hover mode, allowing you to give instruction to one who has never used one before. Letting go of the controls also prompts the Mambo to right itself and hover in place.

In addition, there’s an automatic shutoff feature should the drone collide with an object, further protecting the blades from contact when it hits the floor. Overall durability is very good, however, so at worst you’re looking at some blade replacements.

Its integrated battery charges in 30 minutes and lasts for 9 minutes without its attachments on or 8 minutes with. Stabilization from a mix of accelerometer, gyroscope, ultrasound, and pressure sensors, as well as the tried-and-true vertical camera sensor for horizontal stabilization.

Parrot’s FreeFlight Mini app, available for iOS and Android, allows you to configure the Mambo for different flight modes, as talked about earlier, as well as swap controls, and even open up the limits for zippier flight. Just be ready to update it when you first start it up. Mine went through two updates before it was at its most current level. It also records flights, so you can take a look at the drone’s performance after each run:

Parrot FreeFlight Mini

Parrot Flypad

There’s no FPV or streaming video, which would have made a Parrot Mambo review a lot more interesting, but the Mambo is compatible with Parrot’s new affordable Flypad (sold separately,) which makes flying the drone easier than even the traditional app-based controls. There’s just something about those analog sticks. The Flypad should bring familiar tactile controls that I think Parrot has been missing from their entry-level drones, in an official capacity. It makes for an easier time keeping an eye on your drone while you fly. Always be conscious of where your thumbs are with this app. You could touch outside of the control area, and the drone will fail to respond your inputs. The new Flypad alleviates this issue. I’ve used a Bluetooth gamepad that I had lying around, and the Parrot FreeFlight Mini app recognized it and used it just fine – so if you happen to have one lying around, give it a shot, too!

Here’s an unboxing of the Parrot Flypad if you’re interested:

One thing I’d love to see Parrot do is to offer an FPV camera attachment that could sit on top. I cannot see how this would be a difficult venture, but it would also need either adapting the FreeFlight Pro app to work with the Mambo or expand the FreeFlight Mini app to include FPV streaming. I think it’d be a hit and a surefire way for Parrot to keep this platform relevant for years to come. As is, however, it’s a solid drone that’s a helluva lot of fun to fly, and we recommend it. You will, however, be wise to pick up a balance charger plate and extra batteries, like this.

Parrot Mambo Review – Video

Parrot Mambo Review – All Offers

 

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