Snap's Pixy Drone Revealed: What You Need To Know

Snap's first drone popped up in an FCC listing today, revealing a tiny footprint for a cute device painted in the brand's signature yellow shade. Apparently not pleased with the idea that the FCC would get all the attention, Snap also officially launched the Pixy, a puck-like drone with four tiny fans that can take off from a user's hand. This drone is able to follow its owner around like a flying robotic pet, record video or photos, then land safely — back in the palm of its owner's hand. 

Snap is asking for a price of $229.99 for the base package that includes the Pixy drone, a rechargeable battery, a carrying strap, and a USB-C cable. The Pixy Flight pack costs $249.99 and throws in an extra dual battery charger with a pair of batteries inside. Snap will also sell the Dual Battery Charger separately for $49.99, while a single battery pack that can last anywhere between five and eight flights costs $19.99. But here's the bad part: despite the accessible price tag, the official Pixy online shop shows a shipment window of up to 12 weeks.

The pocket-sized flying camera by Snap comes with four preset flight modes that include hover, orbit, reveal, and follow. Subject tracking for humans is part of the package, but there's no remote controller in the mix. According to Snap, all recorded footage from this drone will be wirelessly transferred to the Memories section of a connected device's Snapchat app. Users can use collected media as they see fit, with features like speed ramp, 3D bounce, and audio effects to add some flair before posting on social media. Snap is also working on AR glasses, but they've not yet revealed a release date.

One for the Snapchat fans

Each battery supports up to eight flights depending on the duration and can be fully juiced up in 40 minutes. The drone weighs just 101 grams, which is extremely light for a drone. A light drone is great when you're flying in perfect conditions — on the flip side, you don't want to take it for a joyride on a windy day. The onboard 12-megapixel camera captures 2.7k footage at up to 30fps, which can be exported in both landscape and portrait mode. The 16GB onboard media storage is said to store up to 100 short videos and up to a thousand still photos.

Smartphones with Android 7+ or iOS 11 and above will be capable of linking wirelessly with the Pixy drone. The drone comes with a secondary camera underneath to chart its course, but the company warns against flying it over water because the reflection and transparency might cause it to abort flight and land in the water. And just to be clear: neither the drone nor any of its accessories are waterproof.

Aside from no-flight caution for windy weather, Snap also advises users to avoid cliffs or steep drop-offs because the secondary camera needs a clear ground view to navigate its path. The Pixy drone also offers a lost mode, which makes the device chime and blink with red/white light to help users find it. Snap says the Pixy drone is up for grabs in the United States and France but hasn't revealed any plans for expansion to other markets. This is the first drone to be released by Snap, not to be mistaken for the Snap 4K flying camera drone released all the way back in 2015.