Zerotech Dobby Pocket Drone
Say hello to cute lil’ Dobby. This impressively built folding pocket drone is smaller than an iPhone 6 and is nearly £200 cheaper than the DJI Spark, but then it doesn’t sport as many features and its digitally stabilised camera can’t be tilted remotely. Nevertheless, you probably won’t find a better-equipped personal selfie drone at this size and price anywhere.
Dobby can fly up to 100 metres away using a wi-fi enabled iOS or Android device and it’s a damn easy thing to get off the ground. Just unfold the prop arms, sync your phone to its closed-circuit wi-fi signal and launch Zerotech’s dedicated DoFun app. Now launch it off the ground or toss it off your hand and tap one of its intelligent flight modes (face/target tracking, video selfie, orbit and somersault). You can even control it with your voice though I can’t see many buyers using this feature in a park full of people.
The Dobby is capable of shooting 4K video but only when digital stabilization (EIS) is off. As soon as you switch EIS on, the image is cropped to 1080p. Also, because the camera’s angle can’t be controlled from the ground, you’ll need to tilt it manually to your preferred angle before take off.
Dobby takes pretty good 13 megapixel stills but, because its camera doesn’t have a gimbal, you do get an awful lot of rolling shutter (wobbly jelly-like movement) when shooting videos. This is fixed to some degree by the tiny ND filter they now ship with the drone but it’s still far from perfect. Its short nine-minute flight time isn’t that great either.
In a nutshell, the supremely portable Dobby is brilliant for taking selfie snaps and short video bites but it won’t be good at taking proper aerial videos unless there’s absolutely no wind and your flying is slow and very steady. Even then, it’s still no match for a Mavic or even a Spark.