(Pocket-lint) – Parrot has been teasing its next big product over the last few weeks, ahead of a global launch, and we can now reveal what has been lurking under the pulsing green LEDs in the campaign: the Parrot Anafi – one of the most portable 4K HDR drones we’ve ever seen.
It can fold so slim and compact that you can store in in the pocket of a backpack, let alone inside a backpack itself. And it comes in a carry case the size of a singer’s microphone and weighs just 320g so can be taken anywhere with you; up mountains, on hikes, even to the slopes to record some deft snowboard action.
It is, in essence, Parrot’s answer to the DJI Mavic Air, a rival portable drone released earlier this year. But the Anafi is actually a decent wedge cheaper without skimping on features or spec. It costs £649 – £120 less than the RRP of DJI’s alternative – and is available to pre-order right now.
For your money, you get the foldable drone, a Skycontroller3 remote control handset and the carry case. The controller works solo and with a new version of Parrot’s eye-in-the-sky smartphone application for Android or iOS, FreeFlight 6. You’ll have to supply the phone, but the housing on the remote can adapt to fit all modern sizes of device.
It will pair with the drone as soon as it is opened.
The Anafi comes ready to fly and can be launched from your hand. Many of the app features enable automatic launching, landing and intelligent control modes include the ability to follow a set target. You can also have the Anafi set to travel to different waypoints and it will return to the controller when it realises it only has enough battery power to make the trip back.
Flight time is claimed to last up to 25 minutes on a single charge and its USB-C connection allows for faster charging. There is a 4K HDR (4096 x 2160) camera on-board, housed on a 3-axis gimbal that keeps shots steady no matter the movements of the Anafi itself. The camera is capable of recording up to 30fps in 4K and 60fps in 1080p.
It has a lossless zoom capable of x1.4 in 4K and x2.8 in Full HD. Digital zoom can take that up to x3. A dolly zoom mode can be used for the type of crash zoom effects made famous by Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg in their respective movies.
The Parrot Anafi can reach speeds of up to 33mph (55km/h) in sport mode and is able to withstand wind speeds of up to 31mph (51km/h).
It will ship from 1 July and is available to pre-order from Parrot’s own website and select retailers, including Amazon.
Writing by Rik Henderson.