Yuneec’s Breeze markets itself as a drone that is easy to fly without any experience, a claim that certainly holds up. It’s probably the easiest drone I’ve ever flown, as it took off in my living room and hovered, allowing me to control the direction of the drone.
It has a few different modes: Pilot mode is what traditional drone pilots wold be used to. There is also Follow, Orbit, Journey and Selfie mode.
Yuneec Breeze Size and Packing
The Yuneec Breeze is super light at just 0.81 pounds. I was impressed with how the propellers and legs fold up into about the size of an iPad (though of course slightly thicker). Every Breeze comes with a compact hard case, making it easy to travel with.
The battery took about 45 minutes to charge. You do get two batteries, which is a necessary addition since the flight time goes up to just 12 minutes.
Yuneec Breeze Controller
Rather than an RC transmitter, you control it with your smartphone which connects via Wifi. It reminds me of the same controllers for Parrot Bebop — where the app puts the altitude and yaw in your left thumb and control the direction of the drone in the other. (I do like how you have the option to switch and put the yaw/altitude in your right hand).
The drone takes off with the press of a button and then gently rises to about eye level. It maintains that altitude so you can opt to just change the direction of the drone on that same plane. The Yuneec Breeze uses optical flow and infrared positioning sensors so it can hold its position.
My favorite feature about the Yuneec Breeze software is that you can also reverse the controls to fly in selfie mode and not have to worry about changing your orientation and flying nose-in. That’s still one of the most difficult parts of flying for me, so for someone looking to nail the selfie mode, this is a really brilliant option.
I found the phone controller hard to get perfectly precise, so I didn’t have any luck flying into tight spaces such as my doorframe, but maybe a better pilot would.
Yuneec Breeze Flight
One major drawback for me is that the Breeze cannot be flown outside between buildings. I live in a condo with a yard, but it’s surrounded on all sides by other San Francisco high-rise buildings. That made it impossible to fly in the yard, because it impacted the GPS. I could fly perfectly inside though thanks to the Indoor Position System. Essentially, sensors scan the ground and use data to hold the drone’s position in the air. The drone works best on textured flooring, and I noticed it seemed a little shaky over my dark blue couch. (Hence I never actually reviewed this outdoors — yet — I need to get out of the city!)
Yuneec Breeze Video
You’ll see it has 4K HD video and 13 megapixel stills. It also streams a 720 HD live view to your smartphone. In the app, I can change the camera settings as well as the drone settings, such as its takeoff height. It’s not the smoothest video — every time I change the drone’s direction it is extremely obvious since there is no gimbal.
I did enjoy that you could control camera settings such as white balance and color in the app.
The app also allows you to instantly share videos on social media without leaving the app interface. I was excited about this idea, though the social networks I primarily use — Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — aren’t options for video sharing (just for photos). That was a bummer, because I mostly like the idea of using Breeze for videos! However, the photos and videos DO easily save to your camera roll, so it’s not too difficult to just share videos via Instagram manually.
Yuneec Breeze Overall Thoughts
My favorite thing about this is how small it is. The carrying case is awesome and I would definitely toss this in my bag of goodies to bring to a picnic.
It’s about $500 which is on par with the Phantom 3, another 4K drone. With the Breeze, you’re definitely paying for the compact convenience — something I wish other drones executed as well as Breeze.
It’s hard to say how Breeze compares to other drones in the same price point — primarily the Phantom 3 Standard — because it is so incredibly different.
It’s certainly not for filmmakers, simply because the controller makes it hard to precisely fly and the gimbal isn’t as good as other drones at the same (or slightly higher price point).
The Breeze is definitely the most “travel ready” drone I’ve seen. It’s hard to imagine bringing the Yuneec Typhoon or DJI Phantom on a quick trip — even bringing a Yuneec Typhoon on a flight means another bag to check. The Breeze could easily fit in a purse.
I would highly recommend the Breeze as an introductory drone for someone looking for convenience — both in terms of its small, lightweight design, and its simplicity to fly. I had fun taking “selfies” of myself and flying around my house.