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YUNEEC Breeze 4K Review

Essentially a toy model with a nice enough camera to take selfies, but doesn't capture quality video footage
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Price:   $500 List
Pros:  Portable, lightweight, generally stands up to crashes
Cons:  Poor video quality, short battery life, short range
Manufacturer:   YUNEEC
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Mar 13, 2018
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47
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 8
  • Video Quality - 30% 3
  • Ease of Use - 20% 4
  • Portability - 20% 8
  • Flight Performance - 15% 5
  • Video Downlink - 15% 4

The Skinny

The YUNEEC Breeze 4K offers high resolution in a tiny package. That tiny package also means it can easily be pushed around by its namesake breeze and that it lacks the space for a proper gimbal. Footage from this drone is, consequently, much shakier than from any of the gimbal models we tested. Its camera has a minuscule sensor and produces unimpressive footage. This small copter can function well as a portable selfie machine or a great toy for a kid., and it is also small enough that crashes aren't very consequential. However, it just isn't cut out for capturing majestic shots. If you're looking for an actual filmmaking tool, check out the DJI Mavic Air.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Compared to the Parrot Bebop 2 and DJI Spark, the YUNEEC Breeze is a good entry-level drone. The Bebop 2 is a bit more fun to fly and the Spark is better than both in almost every way, but the Breeze holds its own for portability and capturing quick selfies.

Performance Comparison



Video Quality


The Breeze scored a 3 in our video quality testing. This was the same score as the Parrot Bebop 2, the other non-gimbal model we reviewed. However, it was far off from the top performing model, which scored a 10. Despite its 4K resolution, the tiny lens and sensor in the Breeze's camera produced footage that wasn't particularly crisp or clear in comparison to other models. The lack of a gimbal made this footage inevitable shaky. The footage had more of a first person in the cockpit feel to it, rather than the sweeping panning shots you'd want. Speaking of panning shots, the Breeze only has a range of 300 feet, which severely limits the scale of any shot you take. The only thing this drone did well was take still shots while hovering, while frees you to leave the selfie stick at home. This makes it a good option if your top concern is getting a coolest possible angle for your selfie, but it isn't very useful beyond that.



Ease of Use


The Breeze scored a 4 in our ease of use testing, putting it just above the bottom score of 3, but far off the top score of 9. Setup out of the box was slightly more of a hassle than some other models as calibration seemed to take a bit more turning and spinning, but once that was completed it was easy. The Breeze Cam app is well laid out with intuitive menus, but we just did not like the feel of the controls. The Breeze uses only a third party smartphone or tablet as a controller, so you fly with two virtual touchscreen joysticks. This provides no tactile feedback to the flying experience, and it is really easy to let your thumb drift off the "joystick" without even realizing it. This provides much less control than a dedicated controller but is adequate for maneuvering into position for a selfie.

The Breeze uses a mobile phone or tablet as its controller.
The Breeze uses a mobile phone or tablet as its controller.

First flight with the Breeze does feel quite breezy. Tapping a takeoff button within the app starts up the drone and brings it to a hover at about eye level. The touchscreen joysticks take some getting used to, but that process doesn't feel stressful as the copter itself is so small and likely to be undamaged in a crash. With the maximum range of 300 feet, it certainly feels like a toy you can't fly far away or lift too far off the ground. Landing is again accomplished with an onscreen button. Compared to the larger gimbal drones flying, this feels fun and carefree, and not nearly as serious.

Flight Performance


The Breeze earned a 5 in our flight performance testing. This score tied with its non-gimbal sibling but was the lowest score in this metric, well behind the top score of 9. It bobs and weaves a decent amount in takeoffs and landings. Due to its small size and correspondingly small consequence in the instance of a crash, this isn't particularly concerning or stressful. Hovering was similarly unstable, though it was able to hold position fairly well if the wind cooperated. Its lack of stability transferred to its autonomous flight functions. When executing its orbit point of interest and cable cam functions it bobbed and drifted a bit. We didn't have any issues testing its return to home function, but we'd like to remind you this function is only meant for when a problem inhibits you from piloting the drone back home yourself, and not as a way to end every flight. The Breeze has quite a short-lived battery, providing a maximum flight time of only 12 minutes. This problem is somewhat reduced by the fact that the Breeze is sold with two batteries, but you'll still have to land the copter and change the batteries if you want to keep flying.

Video Downlink


The Breeze shared the low score of 4 in this metric with the Parrot Bebop 2, putting both on the non-gimbal models well behind the top score of 10. The video feed was fairly clear, but the connection wasn't always reliable and the picture occasionally became pixelated. The biggest issue, however, was that the touchscreen joysticks sit in the middle of the downlink. When using a normal sized smartphone this completely obscures the entirety of the downlink, meaning you're essentially flying blind as to what the camera is capturing. This problem is somewhat rectified by using a larger tablet, but you still cover a lot of the video feed with your fingers. Obviously, this is less than ideal if you're trying to frame the perfect panning shot. It does work for selfies as you can put your thumbs on the controls, move the drone, then take your thumbs off to see if your beautiful face is framed perfectly, and repeat as needed.

Portability


Weighing in just under 1 pound, the Breeze was one of the most portable drones that we tested. It includes a hard plastic carrying case that easily fits into most backpacks and comes with two batteries, which each power approximately 12 minutes of flight time. Because you use your smartphone to control the drone the total package is very light and compact. The DJI Spark is comparably portable yet not nearly as much of a compromise in terms of camera quality and flight capabilities. If you don't care about camera quality want a budget drone that is super portable the YUNEEC Breeze is a good option to consider.


Value


The YUNEEC Breeze lists for $400. This feels very steep considering how much it feels like a toy and that the DJI Spark lists for $500 and is significantly better in every regard. Most retailers sell the Breeze for less than $200, which is more reasonable but still not a great value dollar for dollar. If you're looking for a relatively cheap drone then this or the less portable Parrot Bebop 2 are your best options.

Conclusion


The Breeze is a small, portable drone that can effectively function as a selfie machine or a really cool toy for a young kid, but its lack of stability, cheap camera, and mediocre flight performance make it unsuitable for capturing high-quality aerial footage.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata