Yuneec recently announced the latest drone in their consumer lineup – the Mantis Q. This miniature folding quadcopter has a couple of really great qualities and some others that are not so hot. At a price of $599 (currently 499 pounds in the UK), it is positioned between the DJI Spark, at $399 and the Parrot Anafi, at $699. From a feature standpoint, it also appears to be positioned between the Spark and the Anafi. In some ways, the Mantis Q even outperforms the stand-out DJI Drone, the $799 Mavic Air. Let’s take a closer look.
The Drone That Hears You
The most unique feature of this Yuneec drone is its ability to follow voice commands. While the Mantis Q is hardly the first drone to have this feature, it is the first we have seen that isn’t a toy.
This feature certainly draws a comparison to DJI’s gesture control, which was first debuted on the Spark and Mavic Pro. We find gesture control to be completely pointless. It adds marginal benefit and frequently it is buggy or doesn’t work at all. Features that you can’t rely on or that may put your drone in the side of a building are features you don’t use.
While gesture control may be largely a bust, we expect voice control to have some value. With the growing popularity of smart devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Watch, people are becoming more accustomed to talking to inanimate objects. Voice control is a proven technology that we expect to work just fine on the Mantis Q.
Don’t worry, the microphones you are talking to are not built into the buzzing drone, they are in your smartphone that is helping to control the drone and is supplying you with the drone camera’s view. While voice control is a little gimmicky, we think it will work and we applaud Yuneec for being the first to make an attempt at useful voice control on a drone. We hope the Mantis includes a “STOP!” command…if it does I might just buy the Mantis Q for that reason alone.
The Mantis Q’s Standout Features
The place where the Mantis really stands out is in flight time. With a maximum flight time of 33 minutes, somehow Yuneec has blown away the Spark’s 16 minutes, the Mavic Air’s 21 minutes, and even the much larger Phantom 4 Pro’s 30 minutes. Even the monster Inspire 2 can only fly for 27 minutes!
This little bird is also fast. At 45 mph (72 kph) the Mantis Q is the same speed as the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, and faster than the Mavic Air (42 mph), the Spark (31 mph), and the Anafi (33 mph). The chubby-looking little motors on this bad boy clearly pack a punch. Without a doubt, Yuneec has set a new bar in this category.
Mantis Q is Meh?
The Mantis Q falls well short in some areas including range, video recording, and gimbal design. Let’s take a closer look.
Range – Yuneec Isn’t Bragging
The range on the Matis Q is hard to track down. No matter what it is in the country you are in, it clearly isn’t anything that Yuneec is bragging about. Expect it to perform similarly to the DJI Spark but not as well as the Mavic Air.
Gimbal – More of a Breeze than a Typhoon
The Gimbal on the Mantis Q is 1-axis like the gimbal on the Yueec Breeze. A 1-axis gimbal falls well short of 2-axis in capabilities. The lens may be a wide 21 mm equivalent focal length, but with the amount of EIS (electronic image stabilization) required to stabilize both yaw and roll, you can expect a very cropped field of view when filming in 1080.
4K – Not Really
The drone doesn’t really record in 4K. OK, it does record 4K resolution, but you will never use it. Why not? Because it isn’t stabilized. By our reasoning, it is actually effectively a 1080 camera, and so its recording capability is more like the Spark’s than that of the Anafi or Mavic Air.
Sensor – Small by Drone Standards
Sensor size. At 1/3″ it is smaller than the 1/2.3 and 1/2.4 inch sensors of the DJI drones and the Anafi. Don’t expect the Mavic Q to have good low-light capability. That said, your phone probably has a 1/3″ sensor, and your phone probably takes great pictures.
Limited Flight Modes
Flight Modes: Other than voice, all the flight modes are run-of-the-mill. Unlike the Spark, all the critical modes are present, but the Mantis falls short of the advanced modes on the Mavic Air and the Anafi.
The Mantis Q is a great little drone, but at $599 the price is steep given its main selling feature is a longer flight time. If the price drops to $499 then it will sell well this holiday season. At this lower price it would be just $100 more than the Spark, so the Mantis Q would be a winner. With the Mantis Q’s current expected price of $599, a price just $100 less than the Anafi, we suggest you buck-up for Parrot’s recent consumer gem.
What Is the BEST Drone?
So what is the absolute best drone out there? That question isn’t as easy to answer as you’d think. BUT…for most people the answer is the DJI Mavic Air. It is portable, has an awesome camera and excellent flight modes. Learn more about the Mavic Air HERE.
What Is Our FAVORITE Drone?
The Mavic Air is great but the drone that has us excited to go fly the most right now is the Parrot Anafi. The camera and gimbal setup on this drone allow it to do things that no other drone can. Plus, having the ability to zoom in on what you are filming is priceless. Learn more about the Parrot Anafi HERE.
What Drone Is the Best VALUE?
The best value on the market today has to be the DJI Spark. Now under $400, this little dynamo can do things that once upon a time cost over $1000. Learn more about the DJI Spark HERE. Still too much money for you? There are still some great options. Check out our list of the best drones under $200.
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