Parrot Mambo FPV Drone Review 2020: Tough Fun Drone For Everyone
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The Parrot Mambo FPV drone is a very fun little device for flying around your house.Â
Right off the bat, I’d say this is mainly an indoor drone as opposed to an outdoor racer, but that’s fine. Although having said that, you can fly it outdoors very easily. I only say it’s indoor because it’s not very heavy, so it doesn’t deal with wind very well.
Alright, we’re getting ahead of ourselves:
What is the Parrot Mambo FPV drone?
The parrot mambo is a very fun little drone to fly around, consisting of interchangeable parts. It’s built on a fairly strong frame and the flight time’s about 4 minutes or so. So far so good, right?Â
I’m struggling to find anything REALLY wrong with this drone, it has blade/propeller protectors so you’re not going to damage anything.Â
This confirms that it’s designed to be an indoor drone, as propeller protectors on a drone outdoors are pretty pointless. They add weight and surface area, making it much harder to control. They also mean that any wind is going to catch the drone and throw it all over the place.
But, for indoor flights they’re almost essential, because you’re GOING to crash the drone into things around the house. It’s better to have it guarded by the plastic ducts. The propellers on the Parrot Mambo are durable and strong, even when we flew it into things and hit them!
So they shouldn’t snap too easily. You can take off instantly after crashing but you can’t flip yourself over if you crash and land upside down. To be fair though, even some of the best indoor drones don’t have the turtle mode feature!
It’s advertised as being easy to just throw into your backpack and whip out to take selfies in fields and at the top of mountains. I think it’s very unlikely you’d actually use this drone to take a selfie on top of a hill or mountain.
Because it’s a fairly lightweight drone, you won’t be able to handle wind very well. That being said, it’s VERY fun to fly around indoors, especially if you’ve got a big lounge area and some obstacles to fly through.Â
What’s good about it
- Interchangeable parts: The Mambo has interchangeable parts, so you could strap on a BB gun and fire BB pellets from the air! I think this is a very cool addition, but only good if you’re planning on using that feature. For people just flying around the house, it’s probably not needed
- Good battery life: The parrot mambo has great battery life and it’s fast to charge too. This is good news because charging drone batteries is every pilots nightmare
- Streaming: You can live stream your FPV flights to YouTube, but I’m not sure why anyone would ever want to
- BB gun! You can attach the BB gun to it and fire BB pellets while flying. Pretty cool for flying around but this makes the whole drone have more of a ‘toy’ feel.
What’s not so good
- Latency: Compared to true FPV indoor racer drones like the BetaFPV 65, it’s not very fast. What I mean by fast is the FPV signal doesn’t refresh as fast as the BetaFPV, so it’s going to be difficult to navigate around the house if you’re not careful.
- Price: Compared to what you could get from the TinyWhoop or BETAFPV range, the price is a bit high. You could for example get an entire FPV set (which is easier to fly) by getting the Redpawz R011 set.
- Wifi: The FPV signal is transmitted through wifi so it’s never going to be as fast and reliable as an actual radio video signal.
How does it fly?
It flies very well!
Battery life is about 4 minutes, depending on how you fly it and it’s stable in the air. Outdoors it does okay, but not when it’s windy. The transmitter it comes with is very standard and feels nice to hold. It’s easy to learn on this drone.
I still wouldn’t suggest this be the first thing you buy though. It’s more of a toy but even so, I’d suggest learning to fly on a simulator first, then think about getting one of the drones on our FIRST drone list.Â
There are 3 flying modes; easy, drift and racing mode.
It can be controlled from your phone, but I wouldn’t. Maybe it’s because I’ve always flown with a transmitter, but I feel like you never have complete control when flying with a phone.
You’ll actually get about 60 metres range when using the transmitter that it comes with. Probably more like 30 when you’re just using the phone. Also if you’re flying it indoors but flying in different rooms, the range will be less.
I’d suggest sitting right in the middle floor/room of your house so you get maximum range and control all around the house in all of the rooms. Also look at getting a range booster if you’re going to fly around a lot, or have a slightly bigger house.
I think for 90% of people this is a great drone to play around with.
But if you want to get more into drone racing, you’ll want to check out some budget FPV drones or look at getting something like the Beta65.Â
The most exciting thing about this drone, and pretty much the only reason you’d get it, is for the interchangeable parts. You can easily snap on extra parts that let the drone do some pretty cool things. So far the parts you can get are:
- A BB gun adapter to fire BB pellets from the air
- An FPV camera
- A claw that can pick things up
And I think there are a couple more, depending on where you buy the drone from. You can also get the parts to add onto it from Amazon. It’s worth noting that the grabber claw can’t pick up very heavy items, so it’s really just a fun trick.
You could still use it to drop some paper or something on your friend though, or pick up a note.Â
Design and features
The Parrot Mambo has different colored propellers for the front and back, making it easy to tell which ones go where. There’s also a lovely controller that comes with it, which is designed very well.
It feels like a high quality transmitter in your hand, but it can only control this drone. Unlike the Taranis which can control almost any drone with the right receive chip inside it.Â
You can pick yourself up a spare battery for this drone for around $20 and I would advise that you do. One of the most annoying things for drone pilots is having the battery run out JUST when you’re getting into it. Getting lots of spare batteries is the way to go.
There are plenty of batteries on Amazon, and I’d suggest trying these batteries for the Parrot Mambo as they’re super effective and work really well.Â
Make sure you do pick up some extra batteries though, because it takes around an hour or more to charge ONE battery. It’s better to have several already charged up ready to fly. I like to have about 10-20 batteries for each drone I have so they’re always ready to fly.Â
Parrot mambo speed
Well, to be honest speed isn’t needed for this drone. It’s meant to be a fun toy for challenges like firing BB pellets at cups or dropping little objects into bowls. However, it’s still pretty nippy for an indoor drone.Â
It can fly at about 4-5 metres per second, but you’ll never need to fly at full speed. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a hall or big open space indoors to fly it, you’ll soon hit the walls if you max out your speed too soon!
How powerful is the parrot mambo BB canon?
Well, as you can imagine not VERY powerful.
It’s hard to mount a BB gun on a drone and have the drone provide it with enough power to actually shoot the BB pellets as well as maintain the propellers spinning, the FPV feed and so on.
You have to remember these are tiny batteries, and the drone already takes a lot of power from them just to stay in the air. There’s also the issue of recoil..
If the BB canon was too powerful, the recoil would cause the drone to be shot backwards as the BB gun fires. So they’ve had to find a sweet spot somewhere in the middle. It’s not going to do any damage, but it’s still powerful enough to knock over targets like paper cups or something.
What tricks can the parrot mambo do?
The parrot mambo can do a few tricks right out of the box like flips and rolls. These are pre defined and automated, so you can’t fly it in manual or angle mode. That being said, you’d never need to because it’s an indoor drone and doesn’t have good enough FPV gear to fly safely in other rooms.
The coolest thing is you can launch the drone with your hand, and as you push it into the air, the propellers start to spin! I’ve always been wary of this feature on any drone but it’s there if you want it!
How much weight can the parrot mambo grabber lift?
The grabber arm that snaps onto the drone can lift weights up to about 4g, so not very heavy at all. That being said you can still have a lot of fun with this!
The best challenge I did with it was to try and drop a screwed up paper ball into a bowl while flying forward at full speed and I found it really difficult. It’s hard to time because it takes a few milliseconds to a second for the grabber arm to release!
You won’t be able to deliver beer to your friends with the grabber arm, but you can play some fun games in the house with it!
Who is it for?
Well, it’s not a serious racer because it lacks a good flight time, and the FPV signal is wifi only.
This makes it only really suitable for flying line of sight in one big room in your house. I can’t imagine flying into rooms that I’m not in, using the FPV module.
For true FPV flight into other rooms, you really need a high quality FPV camera and a radio video signal. This will transfer the image fast, through walls. But that’s not found on this drone. If you’re after a good first FPV drone, consider something super cheap like the Redpawz r011 because that comes with EVERYTHING you need for FPV.
But for having fun, a stocking filler, a birthday present or just a fun drone toy, this is great. The parrot mambo is unique with it’s interchangeable parts, and you can fire BB pellets from the sky. I can’t imagine that would be fun forever though, and you’ll want something more serious for FPV flights around your house.
Parrot mambo review summary
So overall, the Parrot is a very good and fun drone.
I have to say it’s mainly for beginners or drone pilots just wanting a fun little drone to fly around the house. It’s not a serious FPV racer, and if you’re looking for a more serious FPV indoor racer, consider the Beta65 drone.
But that being said, it’s a LOT of fun.
I haven’t seen any other drones that can do what this one can do with the grabber claw, and the BB pellet launcher, but if you’re not interested in those features, there are much better drones for this amount of money.Â
The best place to get the Parrot Mambo is here, because you can also get the extra attachments as well.Â