Yuneec has announced the Breeze FPV and Controller Kit, which is an expansion pack for their Breeze 4K model. The controller allows you to control the Breeze with even more accuracy, while the FPV goggles provide the perfect vantage point for your Breeze flight.
The portable Game Style Controller is connected to the smart device via Bluetooth, and enables users to fly the Breeze accurately with physical joysticks and buttons.
It is compatible with the Breeze Cam application (Breeze Cam is a remote-control application for Breeze) on iOS devices (iOS 8.0 version or later) and Android devices (4.4 version or later), so you can use the controller to operate the Breeze instead of the touch screen on your smart device.
The Breeze FPV Controller features two view modes: "FPV" Mode and "Normal" Mode. In "FPV" you can view the live video-feed from the Breeze through the FPV Goggles. In "Normal" you can attach your smart phone to the controller and view the live video-feed on your smartphone.
You can view all the important flight information such as altitude, battery life and more on the screen in both modes. You can also use the controller to use all the key features such as selecting photo/video mode, starting recording or taking a photograph, auto take-off and landing, returning to home and much more.
Adjustable angle smartphone mount
Choose between FPV and Normal Mode
Compatible with Breeze Cam App
Easy charging via USB
Adjustable eye width and focal length
Split screen in FPV mode
Headset compatible for people who wear glasses
Working Platforms: iOS/Android
Connection Types: Bluetooth
Charging Voltage: 3.7-5.2V
Charging Time; 2-3h
Charging Current: 1-2A
Battery Capacity: 600mAh
Product Size: 160x104x59mm
Net Weight: 189g
We'd come to a certain familiarity or format for consumer UAVs in the last couple of years.
At the bottom end, there are small, not particularly sophisticated quadcopters normally without cameras or GPS, or with low-res fixed cameras.
Moving up a step you'll come to two main 'classes' - the racing quad that is pretty small physically (but a lot more expensive) and the 450/500-size camera drone, which of course has been represented successfully by Yuneec's Q500 4K amongst others.
This type of machine features GPS, streaming video and a high-resolution camera, and has driven the drone revolution we are experiencing.
The Breeze comes in a bright white molded finish.
It seems now that all this is changing though. As manufacturers look for the next niche and ways to get more products into people's hands (or personal airspace), we have seen the explosion in 2016 of the smaller camera drone.
Significantly smaller than the typical 4K drone, the Breeze we have here is no more than a third the size of the Q500 or a Blade Chroma, and yet features video and still photo capabilities that could rival both.
It packs the flying abilities and general polish of a much larger machine into something you can throw in your backpack and take to the beach or a hike. As we've spent more time with the Yuneec Breeze, we think they're onto something too.
This Yuneec model as with all their products is named after a type of wind (we wonder when they might start treading on Volkswagen's naming trademarks). The Breeze is a lighter, gentler type of wind that figures when you first set eyes on it.
Normally Yuneec's products are dark grey and well, quite masculine looking, but the Breeze is bright white and a lot softer in terms of design.
It's obvious with this drone they are looking to appeal to wider audience, most likely Millennial and those who are always looking for the next impressive selfie!
The bump at the top of the Breeze is the GPS receiver.
Yuneec are marketing this as a flying camera rather than an aerial photography drone, and the fact that it connects to popular social networks out of the box is evidence of their support for using it in such a way.
The thing with those obsessed with mobile photography is that they no longer accept sub-par cameras in devices, Yuneec could have easily stuck a cheap, ineffective sensor in this drone and been done with it, but thankfully for their target audience, they haven't, and the 4K video/12MP still camera is easily as good as a modern smartphone.
The Breeze will therefore give you images you'd be proud to put online, just from a different perspective!
If you've ever flown any other Yuneec drones, then you'll know that in addition to a simple piloting mode where you fly around using the control sticks, there are five additional 'smart' modes where the drone uses some of its intelligence to make flying and the camera more useful.
These modes are Pilot, Selfie, Orbit, Follow Me and Journey. Pilot is essentially what you'd have with any drone or RC model - you fly the Breeze using two virtual sticks on your smart device's screen.
Optional prop guards for indoor flight are included.
It's not quite like a proper controller with sticks (although one is available as an option), and the default mode has the camera or front of the craft facing you, so if you're used to FPV-type flying, it is reversed, so be aware!
This behaviour can be changed at the slide of a toggle to have the camera facing away from you, which if you aren't always taking selfies may be the preferred way to fly for fun.
The other modes allow you get the Breeze to take a selfie of you up to a certain, defined point out in the front of you (Selfie), whereas Orbit will orbit around you as its name suggests keeping the camera pointing at you.
The props fold up for ease of transport when not in use.
We loved this mode on the Typhoon H and it looks realty cinematic in the right location. Follow Me also carries over from the Typhoon series and will follow you as you move - it works really well if you're on a bicycle or skateboard, or partaking in water sports, but we'll probably leave that one for the marketing materials!
Finally, Journey is taken from earlier Yuneec drones and is their name for the waypoint flying functionality, as the Breeze has no obstacle avoidance, yoo need to do this in a open space would be our advice.
Getting the Breeze up and flying couldn't be easier. You charge up the flight battery, which is encased in sleek white plastic moulding (it would be even better if it showed charge level), put it into the craft and then press the power button for around a second.
The folding props will unfold themselves, or if you're a stickler for detail, you can straighten them manually and give centrifugal force a helping hand! As there is no transmitter included, you'll need to download the Breeze Cam App from your App Store and get that installed before you fly.
The 4K camera is adjustable for tilt via the app.
Before you fire up the App, you will also need to connect to the Breeze's in-built WiFi network. It helps if you're not in the range of other WiFi networks first in order to get the best connection speed and reliability.
Once you're all on and connected, getting the Breeze up in the air is simplicity itself - a take off slider in the App will take care of getting it flying, and once you give it the instruction to go, it will pop up into an incredibly stable hover (remember it has GPS and optical flow sensors) just in front of you.
Downwards facing sensors help the Breeze stay still.
This is your first opportunity to say cheese and take yourself a selfie. What we didn't realise at first was that the camera is actually adjustable for tilt, so getting the perfect shot is possible in 3D space, even though the camera doesn't have a gimbal.
In flight, it isn't quite as smooth as a larger GPS-equipped drone such as a Blade 350QX or Chroma (which were made by Yuneec), and this is no doubt down to it's smaller size - GPS can be turned off and then control is smoother, but then the drone will drift in the wind especially if it cannot see the ground.
Position hold is, as mentioned above, excellent, which is the key to getting good pictures with the camera FINAL THOUGHTS It's an interesting product this - it is beautifully made and very much looks like a modern consumer product rather than a hobby grade one.
The quality of the App that controls it is really up there too and is far cry from Yuneec's previously slightly clunky affairs and goes to show just how far the Chinese have come in the consumer electronics market in the last two or three years.
Landing legs also fold up to help transport your drone.
The camera is very good for the size of the machine, and whilst it lacks a gimbal (which would of course make it bigger), It's as good as your smartphone and would have been fitted to a $1000 plus drone a year ago. The portability of the product is also excellent - whilst it doesn't fold, it is smaller than other folding drones and will easily fit in a small bag so you can take it travelling to grab those special 'dronies'.
Where it falls down a little is in the three areas - the video quality is very good, but with no stabilisation in 4K and limited stabilisation at 1080p, the footage does shake in flight, luckily, in good light photos don't suffer, but as a flying camera and not an aerial photography drone, you have to forgive it.
The Breeze drone comes in a white carry case.
Also, battery life is quite short - we averaged eight to ten minutes, so you will need to factor in an extra battery if you plan to use it a lot. The other thing is that whilst it is very convenient, controlling the drone from a phone's screen is a bit tricky, and also is very dependant on the range of your phone, and is rarely more than about 100-metres.
Of course, you do have to remember that this is not an AP drone and it is a selfie drone and so your expectations should be different in terms of range as you can't be that far out or you won't be seen in your selfiel Overall though, this is a great addition to the family for those who find their usual drone just a bit too big to transport for grabbing a few shots at the beach.
The arms do not fold, but are very strong.
It would also really appeal to the selfie generation who want to take their shots from a different angle - it's certainly no bigger than a selfie stick and will allow you to take some amazing shots off the edge of cliffs where you wouldn't otherwise be able to get that killer shot.
|Yuneec Breeze Specifications|
|Battery||1150mAh 3S 11.1 V LiPo|
|Flight Time||12-minutes (maximum)|
|Max Flying Height||80m|
|Max Horizontal Speed||5m/s (limited by software)|
|Max Climbing Speed||1m/s|
|Camera Sensor||1/3.06 CMOS|
|Camera Effective Pixels||13MP|
|Camera Photo Resolution||4K 4160x3120 pixels|
|Camera Field Of Vision||117-degrees|
|Camera Shutter Speed||1/30-1/8000|