Yuneec Breeze 4K review:

Selfies from the sky made simple

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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Yuneec Breeze 4K has a compact, lightweight design that easily fits in a backpack. Its mobile app -- available for iOS and Android -- is easy to navigate and use. Automated flight modes have in-app, step-by-step directions. Replacement parts are available for repairs should you crash it.

The Bad You'll need the digital image stabilization only available at 1080p and 720p resolutions. Image quality is OK, best suited for online sharing or viewing on a phone. Battery life is relatively short at 12 minutes.

The Bottom Line The little Yuneec Breeze 4K makes shooting and sharing aerial selfies a snap. But those looking to really pilot a drone should keep looking.

7.8 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Battery 6.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Ease of Use 9.0

The Yuneec Breeze perfect for people who want a camera drone for aerial photos and video, but have almost no interest in actually piloting a drone.

With little more than some taps on your phone's screen, you can put the Breeze in the air and have it perform a handful of automated camera moves to grab photos and video clips of you and your friends and family. Then you just download them to your phone, edit and share -- all from within the drone's app.

You can also fly it around manually with onscreen controls if you want to get specific aerial shots, but the range is limited to a maximum height of 80 meters (262.5 feet) and maximum distance of 100 meters (328.1 feet). Flight times tap out at 12 minutes, so you won't want to fly it too far away from you anyway.

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Joshua Goldman/CNET

The Breeze is not a toy, though. Its price tag pretty much quells that notion: $500 in the US and AU$700 or £450 in Australia and the UK, respectively. It's not for racing around, either, and it's also not going to compete with something like the DJI Phantom 3 Standard, which is priced similarly, but has a better camera stabilized with a three-axis gimbal and far greater range and capabilities.

However, the DJI isn't going to slip into a shoulder bag or backpack and is not nearly as discreet as the Breeze. It's basically a point-and-shoot camera attached to a flying robot -- a selfie drone.

The mobile app, available for iOS and Android, is split into two sections: Tasks and Gallery. Tap on Tasks and you're given five options to choose from: Pilot, Selfie, Orbit, Journey and Follow Me. Pilot has the manual controls for flying around the way any other drone would with a regular controller. However, the Breeze is designed to have the camera pointed at you and not away from you like other camera drones, so the controls are reversed. (An onscreen toggle quickly switches this to what experienced pilots would consider normal.)

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Joshua Goldman/CNET

Selfie mode takes away the traditional stick controls and uses sliders instead to get the camera into just the right position for your photo or video. Orbit lets you set up the Breeze to automatically circle you or another subject, while Journey sets the copter to fly away from you and back again using the camera's angle to calculate its trajectory.

Follow Me uses GPS and your phone to track you and follow you around. If you're close to the drone, the movements can be jerky. In my experience, the best way to use this is to have it fly over top of you or from behind with it far away to take advantage of the camera's wide-angle lens.

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