Drones are now a reasonably inexpensive option to add dimension to your home footage. They launch cameras into the sky. The DJI and Parrot drones are getting more portable and stable, but the Hover Camera Passport is unique.
In this blog, we will make a clear Hover Drone review for you!
Hover Drone Reviews
- Protective measures
- Built-in flash
- Adjustable control scheme
- Software for tracking face/body
- Ultra-portable design
- 30 FPS frame rate, regardless of resolution
- Image stabilization is limited
- The short-range
- Face recognition it’s far from perfect.
The Hover Camera Passport is a good drone for beginners because of its compact design, excellent video quality, and simple-to-use controls. The drone has evolved rapidly over the last few years. But, we are now entering a new era. Manufacturers are not stuffed with every feature possible, but instead, they build them with specific features and specifications that cater to a specific type of use, such as racing, FPV, or filmmaking.
This trend is best illustrated by ZeroZero Robotics’ Hover Camera Passport. This drone is not a “jack-of-all-trades” model. It was designed to take selfies and follow footage. We took it out for a few weeks of selfie-ing in order to compare it with other more advanced drones.
Highlight Features and Specifications
The Passport’s most important feature is its foldable design. We’ll get into the details in a minute, but for now, we’ll just say that this is one of the most portable drones we’ve ever encountered – and that’s no accident. The drone is designed to be carried in a purse or backpack so that it can always be with you when you need it.
It also has a decent camera. The drone can shoot video at 4K and stills at 13 MP. It even comes with a flash. But the camera is only half as interesting as the content. Image recognition software and a quad-core Snapdragon processor allow the Passport to distinguish itself from other drones by allowing it to sense/track faces and bodies. It can also keep its position in space without GPS, making it stand out from the rest.
The Passport drone also includes a range of autonomous flying/filming modes. It has the standard Orbit and Follows functions but also a 360 Panorama function that you can activate by pressing a button. There is also a Beast Mode, which allows you to turn off the drone’s software-imposed motor limits for times when you need to be following really fast objects.
Quality & Design
Hover Camera Passport’s design is one of our favorite. It folds up like a book, as you might have guessed from its name. The spine houses the electronics, and there are two propellers that can be attached to the spine. These propellers swing out like pages. The drone measures 1.3 inches (33 millimeters) and is roughly the same size as a VHS cassette. The whole gadget is light at only 242g without the battery. This means that US residents don’t need to register with FAA before they fly.
We also love the Passport’s carbon-fiber prop cages. They offer many big benefits. They protect the propellers against collisions with obstacles and reduce the chance of a crash. The drone was beaten into walls as if it were our job. But thanks to the cages, the rotors kept spinning, and the drone would usually return to a stable hover.
The prop guards protect the pilot from spinning blades. This makes it safer to launch the drone from your hands or take it out of the air after you’re done. Although it may seem insignificant, this safety feature is an important one. It makes the drone easier to handle and more inviting. We felt free to fly the Passport wherever we wanted, without fear of harming property or bystanders. Prop cages offer a sense of freedom and security that is hard to beat.
Flight Performance, Autonomy, and Range
Although it’s easy to use and fun, the Hover Passport drone is not the best drone for high-performance flight. The Hover Passport can fly at 17 mph (in manual mode), but it doesn’t have GPS and has a distance of 65 feet. It’s also not as sporty as other higher-end drones that we’ve tried.
This is by design. The drone was designed to be a flying camera robot and has the specifications and capabilities that reflect this. It’s not designed for a long distance. Instead, it is built to be close to you and follow you wherever your go. It’s not dependent on manual controls and is designed to fly itself so that you don’t have. The facial/body tracking software eliminates the need for you to worry about where your cameras are pointed. You should look elsewhere if you are looking for something to demonstrate your piloting skills.
Although it is not intended to be flown manually, the Passport comes with an accompanying app that gives you many controller layout options. If you are familiar with traditional controls, you can fly the drone with two virtual joysticks; if you only need to position the camera, you can use the simplified layout. You can also turn tilt mode on your phone and tilt the drone in any direction. The Passport’s manual modes are a bit looser and less precise than most smartphone-based controls. However, we appreciate the ability to change the control scheme.
This drone shines in autonomous modes. The drone has Orbit mode, which will let you fly around the drone no matter where you are. 360 Panorama mode will allow you to spin 360 degrees and stitch together one panoramic image.
The Passport’s image recognition software is used in two modes that are most striking: Body Track and Face Track. Both are easy to use. You simply need to tap on the face of the body you want to follow, and the Passport will automatically keep the subject in focus. Although the software isn’t as intuitive or robust as DJI’s Active Track tech, which can track any object that you choose, it’s still very effective and is one of Passport’s best features.
The essential information when flying a drone:
- What Happens If You Fly A Drone Above 400 Feet? How To Fly Drone
- Where Are Drones Banned And Flying?
- How To Find A Lost Drone
Battery Life & Recharge Times
- According to the company, the Hover Camera Passport’s batteries will last approximately 10 minutes. In practice, that was quite accurate. The battery lasts about one minute in moderately windy conditions. If you fly it harder, you can expect a drop of between 1 and 2 minutes. It will drain the battery faster when it is following you in Beast Mode or fighting a breeze. However, the drone never fell below 8 minutes in our most stringent tests.
- Our average flight time after more than a dozen flights was 9 minutes and 14 seconds. It doesn’t live up to the 10-minute flight printed on the box. However, the Passport ships with two lithium-ion batteries, so you can expect around 17-19 minutes total flight time if both cells are fully charged.
- It took us approximately 47 minutes to recharge our Passport batteries fully charged.
Read also: How To Charge Drone Battery Without Charger
Camera, Accessories, and Upgradability
The Passport drone is advertised as a selfie camera, but the actual camera is surprisingly poor compared to other drones. The camera can capture in 4K, 1080p, or 720p resolutions, but it only shoots 30 frames per second, regardless of the resolution. The camera doesn’t come with a gimbal and uses a combination of digital stabilization and single-axis swivel for image stabilization. This means that smooth video will require 1080p. 4K video can only be stabilized along one axis, so you need to shoot at 1080p and pictures at 13 megapixels
The camera’s flaws and limitations are made up of a few clever features that enhance the camera’s utility. The Passport features the face and body tracking software, which locks onto your subject. It also has a flash built-in, making it perfect for taking selfies or group photos.
There are not many accessories or upgrades available at the moment. Firmware updates are released fairly frequently, and new modes/abilities may be added in the future. However, at the time of writing, there is not much available in terms of hardware upgrades or additions.
The Hover Passport does not have a physical controller. Instead, you must use the app for the drone on your iOS or Android device, which you can link to the Hover over Wi-Fi. The Passport is meant to be extremely portable, but I wish it had the option of a physical controller like the Bebop 2.
The main display will be populated with a live feed from Hover’s camera after you have launched the app. The controls for flying the drone are located in the lower third. Hover allows you to choose between three types of controls. The drone’s angle can be adjusted by dragging your finger across the screen.
The battery-life indicator is located on the left side of your display. There are also settings for a flash and a timer. A mode that can take panoramic videos is also available. Orbit mode will allow the Hover camera to orbit around a subject and track their movements.
The Hover does not have object-avoidance sensors. You will need to use the Orbit feature when you are in open spaces. This was the problem that the Passport (or I) had to learn the hard way. It crashed into trees several times while following me.
Hover has added some new features to ensure that you don’t have to use any smartphone apps to control your drone in the future. The Hover app has an Owner mode that allows you to register your face so that the Passport can automatically track you after you launch the drone. Gesture controls are also available, such as raising your hand to take images and signing OK to land the drone. These features were both tested in the beta version of the app. The photo feature has a 5-second countdown. This was a nice touch. The Passport was very close to me in Owner mode, nearly running into me twice.
- Read more: best drone app
Face and Body Tracking
The Hover Passport can automatically follow you. It can follow you around like the Parrot Bebop 2 and track your face and body as they move about, which I found both fascinating and alarming.
Both features worked well. The Passport tracked me as I walked through a park. The drone would not move if I moved too fast or turned my head. The Passport will also alert your phone if this happens.
The drone will attempt to keep the same distance as you at all times. The Hover will stop if you suddenly stop walking. It will then slow down to maintain the same distance. This feature requires a lot more space. Hover recommends a distance of 8 meters between the subject (and the drone) and the drone.
Although the Hover is a fast drone, its top speed is around 17 mph. The drone won’t follow you if you are riding a bicycle. Hover advises against the use of the drone while skiing. The device’s down-facing sonar (used to range-find) and camera (used to measure distances) will struggle with angles like a mountain. Even on white tile floors, it had difficulty.
The Passport includes two batteries, a charger, and four propellers. The drone and batteries can be carried in a padded case. The cage protects the rotors from damage. The cages can be removed so that you can access the rotors.
- Check out Best drone accessories to learn more
Although the Passport isn’t able to compete with more advanced drones, it was not designed to. The Passport is designed to take selfies and record footage.
Is there another alternative?
The closest competitor to the Passport is undoubtedly the Yuneec Breeze. The Yuneec Breeze has slightly better specs in terms of range, battery life, and image quality. It’s also $100 cheaper. It’s less portable and doesn’t have a flash. Also, it lacks image recognition capabilities. We think the Passport is the best choice if your only interest is taking selfies. However, the Breeze is a better option if landscape photography is something you are interested in or if you want to practice flying skills.
If you’re willing to spend a little more, there are better drones out there. A DJI spark is available for $500. This drone is undoubtedly the best-selling selfie drone currently on the market. It features a better camera, superior flight abilities, and forward-facing obstacle avoidance. It’s worth spending an extra $150.
The DJI’s Mavic Air is a higher-priced drone. It offers similar portability and functionality to the Passport but has more features and functionality. This drone is one of our favorites, so if $800 is a concern, we recommend our complete review.
How long does it last?
The drone should last for many years. This drone is extremely durable due to its carbon-fiber prop cages, short range, and hardiness of flight. The Passport is likely to fly for many years, barring any unfortunate events.
Should it be bought?
Yes, but only if you are buying the drone to shot videos of your friends. A passport is not a good option for anyone who wants to learn how to fly or is a hobbyist. This drone is a selfie drone, so if you are looking for that, look no further. This is the most amazing selfie drone ever created.
The Hover Camera Passport is a small drone that can shoot high-quality video and photographs. The Parrot Bebop2 is the very same price; however, it has twice the flying length, greater picture clarity, and the option to utilize FPV goggles. The mobility of Hover’s drone is undeniable. It could well be your ticket to an excellent video.
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