When it comes to live broadcasts, there’s always a chance that something may go horribly wrong. Unforeseeable mistakes and goofs often leave those on the camera with a “deer in the headlights” look. And drone manufacturer Hubsan learned this the hard way at the product launch event for the Zino Mini Pro this weekend.
Before the scheduled event was to begin, Hubsan’s YouTube page came alive with a live feed sans audio. For more than six minutes, viewers were treated to unnecessary, avoidable, behind-the-scenes shenanigans like the studio crew fixing equipment and checking the lighting on live camera.
Realizing the gaffe, Hubsan killed off that feed and started another livestream, this time with audio.
At 1 hour 12 minutes, the duo-lingual event was painfully long. And not just because the livestream went on for what seemed like an eternity, but because the team was woefully underprepared for the job at hand, often looking clueless.
And then came the crash.
To demonstrate the superior battery life of the Zino Mini Pro, Hubsan had the drone hovering in place during the event. Silly as it was with the presenters having to talk over the constant buzzing noise of the propellers, after about 30 minutes of staying airborne, the drone started beeping to indicate low battery.
A solid 40 minutes of hovering later (which was admittedly impressive), it seemed like the drone wanted to initiate a landing. But for some reason, it did not land.
At this point, the aberration caught the presenter’s eye and he paused mid-sentence to see what was going on. The camera couldn’t zoom away quickly enough, and we witnessed the drone flying sideways at a very low altitude, ultimately crashing into the studio curtains.
You can see the blunder for yourself in the video below. Things start to get exciting at minute 54. And that “deer in the headlights” look? That comes at 54:37 and is worth a repeat watch!
Key takeaways from Zino Mini Pro crash launch
First things first, having an event is still better than having no event at all. We did get to see the real drone and not just a rendering, and that’s a step in the right direction. But a semi-professional launch that lays bare all lack of preparation and attention to detail isn’t going to help Hubsan.
On the positive side, we can confirm that the Zino Mini Pro is indeed a sub-250g drone. But at 249.2g, does Hubsan leave enough room to add ND filters?
We also know Hubsan’s “DJI Mini killer” can indeed stay airborne for more than 40 minutes. At the event, the drone hovered for around 42 minutes before crashing. And this is something DJI would definitely notice and learn from to make the next Mini even better. That said, we still don’t know how real-world conditions (wind and movement) would affect the flight time of the Zino Mini Pro.
The drone’s purported obstacle avoidance prowess was a feature we were really looking forward to, but the company didn’t demonstrate that at the event. And that the sensors couldn’t stop the drone from crashing didn’t do anything to instill confidence.
Then again, as unfortunate as that crash was, let’s not forget the drone was pushed to its absolute limits. For all we know, Hubsan is already working on a firmware tweak to ensure better auto safety features for the Zino Mini Pro.
Hubsan says it has already received pre-orders for more than 5,000 Zino Mini Pro units. It would be interesting to see how that number changes after this colorful launch event. For now, Mini 2 remains the best drone you can get under 250g.
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