After the release of the Breeze in 2016, Yuneec’s small consumer drone was quickly overshadowed by the more capable and more popular DJI Spark. But now it is 2018, and the Yuneec Breeze is a bargain at under $200! I’ve tested countless drones in this price range so I am very familiar with the features and capabilities of drones under $200. Even with its limitations, the Breeze beats the competition. I’ll tell you why.
Flying is a Breeze
I’ve already alluded to the Breeze’s most limiting features, let’s take a look at its strong points. The Yuneec Breeze sports a 4K camera on a 1-axis gimbal. While a 1-axis gimbal is more limiting than the 2-axis gimbal of the Parrot Anafi and the DJI Spark, it is still a major upgrade over most other drones in this price range. Most drones under $200 have no gimbal at all.
Take a look at the 1-Axis gimbal on the Breeze.
[pullquote]Flying the Breeze feels similar to the experience of flying full-featured beasts like Yuneec’s flagship model, the Typhoon.[/pullquote]A 1-axis gimbal allows you to adjust your view angle and stabilize some aspects of flight without needing to land to make manual adjustments. The remaining roll and yaw directions of the camera are stabilized electrotonically, but not when recording in 4K.
The Breeze has a host of sensors for easier and more stable flight. The GPS, downward-facing camera, and IR sensor make the experience of flying the drone easy. Flying the Breeze feels similar to the experience of flying full-featured beasts like Yuneec’s flagship model, the Typhoon.
The Breeze has a polished design and the advanced sensors typically seen on more expensive drones.
The Breeze’s “Competition”
Looking around the market in the $100 to $200 price range you will find a host of offerings that are much newer than the 2-year-old Yuneec Breeze. Are these drones any better? No.
Companies like Hubsan, MJX, Syma, and others are constantly trying to move up the drone food chain by adding more features. They typically don’t fare so well. Almost none of them have cameras that can compete with the Breeze, nor do they have 1-axis gimbals or electronic image stabilization. Maybe the most infamous competitor is the Syma X8 Pro. The Syma doesn’t deliver on any of its advanced features and is generally a threat to anyone or anything near its flight path.
Despite being smaller than most of its competition, the Breeze (shown in the middle) is the best of these drones.
Arguably the best competition for the Yuneec Breeze is a drone that is also apparently out of production, the Zerotech Dobby. The Dobby is one of the few drones on the market with good electronic image stabilization. When folded, the Dobby is much more compact than the Breeze. What the Dobby lacks, however, is a motorized gimbal, a remote control, and compatibility with some of the newest cell phones.
Where the Yuneec Breeze Misses
As I mentioned before, the range on the Breeze is nothing to brag about. Yuneec specifies it to be about 100 meters, but you are unlikely to get that kind of range out of it. While it does have a remote, the remote connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The connection process is kind of a pain and the Bluetooth connection does nothing to improve range.
By modern standards, the YuneecBreeze is also a large drone. It isn’t all that big, but it lacks folding arms like its replacement, the Mantis Q. The Mavic Air, Parrot Anafi, and even the new Mavic 2 drones are more compact.
The more capable DJI Spark is more compact than the Breeze
The Breeze also misses in its actual video quality. We don’t consider the Breeze to really be 4K. Why not? Because you won’t ever use it to record in 4K. The video can’t be electronically stabilized when recording in 4K, which makes for annoyingly shaky video. Despite the fact that the Breeze doesn’t produce useful 4K video, it still provides best-in-class 1080 video.
Is the Breeze for You?
If you are looking for a camera drone, and your budget is $200, then the Breeze is probably the right choice. It’s the only option at this price point that has a remote, stabilized video, 1-axis gimbal, and GPS. Make sure you get a Breeze while they last. They are unlikely to be readily available for much longer. It is still available from Walmart and many sellers on Amazon
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