Snap announces its Pixy ‘flying camera’ aka drone

Snap released its Pixy drone on April 28 at its Snap Partner Summit. The pocket-sized drone can take off and land in the palm of your hand. The drone is available for purchase today at the drone’s website.

Developed for the less enthusiast market and regular users of Snapchat, Snap’s Pixy drone looks to be made out of plastic and is designed to take off and land in your hand. The yellow body and enclosed orange propellers match the company’s bright and flashy branding of other products Snap has created in the past.

Snap doesn’t want to call Pixy a drone, but if it walks (flies?) like one and looks like one, it’s a drone. Pixy doesn’t have any controller, it actually barely has any way to control it. That’s because the drone, cough cough, I mean flying camera, flies itself and you only use Snap’s Snapchat app to tell what to do.

Details of the Pixy drone first leaked via an FCC filing in the morning before Snap had a launch event early er in the day. In the FCC filing, you can see some early drone pictures during testing.

Pixy’s specs

Snap’s Pixy comes with two cameras, one on the front designed to focus on you and the second on the ground. The bottom-facing camera is used to keep the drone stable, and it detects the palm of your hand, so it knows when to land. The front-facing camera shoots 2.7K video, so nothing to knock our socks off, but it’s better than HD.

The videos are shot horizontally and then sent to the Snapchat app. This is where you can either vertically crop the videos and share them with your friends and followers on Snapchat or download them. A nice feature, making Pixy not locked down to only Snap’s ecosystem.

To fly the drone, you can choose several different modes: hover, reveal, follow, and then orbit. These modes do precisely what they sound like, and most drone pilots should be used to these by now. You set the mode on the dial on top of the drone, and then you turn Pixy on, and it can fly to perform that mode for up to 60 seconds. Then Pixy returns to you for a soft palm landing.

Snap says you can get up to eight flights on a single battery charge, which are removable. However, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern, she was only getting about four. Luckily, more batteries are available to purchase.

Wind will be a challenge for this drone

This isn’t the first “flying camera” to come on the market. These ultra-light drones give casual users a hands-free way to take selfies. Love them or hate them, they are coming. Unfortunately, Snap’s Pixy will fall under the same issues other ultra-light drones have, wind. Pixy will only sport a level two wind resistance, meaning wind speeds above seven miles per hour will begin to make using Snap’s not-a-drone drone hard and maybe even unusable.

Snap’s Pixy for sale today, starting at $229.99

If you’re a Snapchat lover and want a hands-free way to get unique videos, you can buy Pixy today from Snap’s website. The base package with the drone itself, a case, carrying strap, and a single battery, will set you back $229.99. The Pixy flight pack will get you an extra battery for slightly longer drone flying sessions and is $249.99. You can also buy individual batteries for $19.99 and the dual battery charger for $49.99.

Pixy will begin shipping to customers in 11-12 weeks. Are you getting one? Let us know in the comments below.

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