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Snap announces its Pixy ‘flying camera’ aka drone

Snap released its Pixy drone on April 28 at its Snap Partner Summit. The pocket-sized drone can take off and land in the palm of your hand. The drone can be purchased today on the drone’s website.

Snap’s Pixy drone has been developed for the smaller enthusiast market and regular users of Snapchat and appears to be made of plastic and is designed to take off and land in your hand. The yellow body and the included orange propellers match the company’s bright and flashy branding of other products that Snap has previously created.

Snap will not call Pixy a drone, but if it goes (flies?) Like one and looks like one, it’s a drone. Pixy has no controller, it actually has almost no way to control it. It’s because the drone, cough cough, I mean flying camera, flying yourself, and you only use the Snaps Snapchat app to tell what to do.

Details about the Pixy drone first leaked via an FCC file in the morning before Snap had a launch event early in the day. In the FCC archive you can see some early drone images during testing.

Pixy’s specifications

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

The videos are recorded horizontally and then sent to the Snapchat app. This is where you can either crop the videos vertically and share them with your friends and followers on Snapchat or download them. A nice feature that makes Pixy not locked to just the Snaps ecosystem.

To fly the drone you can select several different modes: hover, reveal, follow and then circle. These modes do exactly what they sound like, and most drone pilots should be used to these by now. You set the mode on the rotary knob on top of the drone, and then you turn on the Pixy, and it can fly to perform that mode for up to 60 seconds. Then Pixy returns to you for a soft palm landing.

Snap says you can get up to eight flights on a single rechargeable battery. But according to The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern, she only got about four. Fortunately, there are more batteries available.

Wind will be a challenge for this drone

This is not the first “flying camera” to hit the market. These ultralight drones give casual users a hands-free way to take selfies. Love them or hate them, they come. Unfortunately, the Snaps Pixy will fall under the same problems that other ultralight drones have, wind. Pixy will only have a wind resistance of level two, meaning wind speeds above seven miles per hour will begin to make the use of Snaps not-a-drone-drone tough and perhaps even useless.

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

If you are 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, carrying strap and a single battery, will set you back $ 229.99. The Pixy flight package gives 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 start shipping to customers in 11-12 weeks. Do you get one? Tell us in the comments below.

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