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DronesWatch Flight Demo – The Blue UFO
**READ BEFORE WATCHING!!!!!**
Our Blue UFO has been played with A LOT!! And unfortunately I wasn’t clever enough to make a video in the early stages. So if you watch this video, just bear in mind that if you decide to buy one of these you can expect it to be quite a lot more lively and responsive than this poor soul!
Intro to the Blue UFO drone
**Yes, that’s right, I like to start with a summary as I know you guys don’t necessarily have much time to spare. And yes, this review is based on the assumption that you’re thinking of buying for a child, so it will focus on child-related issues. Ok, let’s do this!!**
This type of drone is sold under different names by a variety of companies, but at the time of writing this article, the most prominent seller (see link above) calls it the Force 1 Scoot.
Unlike most of the kids drones I’ve reviewed, this one is very much a ‘toy’; suitable for children of all ages, right down to your youngest toddler.
The drone does not have any direct controller. The only way you can affect what it does is by waving your hand in front of it. One of the onboard sensors will detect the hand and the drone will fly a meter or so away from you before stopping to re-scan the area.
This is clearly a good and a bad thing.
On the plus side, you can take this product out of the box and the kids will be able to play with it immediately. And it’s highly likely that they will all like it. In fact, based on my experience, it’s probable that for a while at least, they will absolutely love it; running around laughing and screaming at it, trying to bat it out of the sky and generally causing havoc.
The down side is that, the extreme simplicity will probably limit the amount of time your kids will remain interested. I would suggest that once your kids having gone through maybe 30 – 40 full battery’s worth (~7 minutes per charge) of play time, their interest may be on the wane.
Having said that, even when my kids stopped caring about the UFO, it remained in fairly frequent usage because whenever they had friends round to play, those friends invariably wanted to check out what it could do.
That’ll do for the intro. I’ll now go through the framework I use for assessing all kids drones, although I’m not sure exactly how well it will fit a drone this basic! Let’s see…..
Ease of use
Battery clipping in/out – Not needed, the Blue UFO drone has one built in battery. This means no fiddling around but it also means when the battery runs out, there’s nothing you can do apart from put it on to charge. Although you could get around this by indulging in a (usually heavily discounted) 2 piece package.
Assembly – none required.
Easy to launch? – Extremely! You press a button to turn it on then literally just chuck it up in the air.
Easy to trim? – Not applicable. No trim controls present, none required.
Headless mode? – Not applicable.
Does the remote turn off automatically to save the battery? Not applicable.
There’s a rule of thumb with the robustness of toy drones which is that the smaller they are the more they tend to break. The Blue UFO drone is medium/small, but I’m happy to be able to tell you it doesn’t stick to the script in this regard, and is one of the most robust drones my kids have played with.
Our particular model has been used for, I would estimate, about 3 to 4 hours of quite rough play involving a 2 year old, a 3 year old and a 5 year old. It has been thrown, kicked, battered with various projectiles and trodden on.
It’s been through the ringer, and if you’ve watched the flight demo video above, you’ll see that is slightly the worse for wear now.
But it still works! And I would put that down to a couple of things. Firstly, it has wrap-around protection for the propellers, and the guards are metal. It’s very thin metal, but metal nonetheless, and that means it can take some serious knocks compared to the average kids drone. The other thing, I don’t know as a certainty, but I suspect the simplicity of the drone adds to its indestructibility. Fewer working parts means less stuff to go wrong.
Weight – Light. Not much mass to hurt people of break property.
Speed – Fairly slow, and only moves in a given direction for a short distance before reorienting.
Prop guards – Yes, in all directions.
Size and rigidity of props – Small and n/k, but not relevant due to the above point.
Obstacle avoidance? – Yes, the sensors that detect hand movement and therefore allow some control of the drone, also serve as obstacle avoidance sensors, so the Blue UFO drone shouldn’t hit anyone or anything.
Speeds – Just one speed.
Lights – Just one light which indicates the state of the battery.
Tricks – No tricks.
Camera – No Camera.
What’s in the box?
- Charging cable
Is maintenance easy/possible?
Not realistically possible or worthwhile.
Around 7 minutes flight time on a full charge.
Can it be flown outside?
I wouldn’t recommend it. A strong gust of wind would take it away from you, and without walls to detect there’s a chance the drone would keep moving in largely the same direction, potentially out of your reach.
Not gonna lie though, I’d kind of like to do it, just to see what happens…..!
Any recommended accessories?
Nope, you don’t really need accessories for toy drones. Although you will need a USB charger to plug the cable in to, as it doesn’t come with one and my testing suggests a laptop USB output is not powerful enough, so you might want to consider a power bank. My favourite for charging drones is this one, mostly just due to the spacing of the outlets:
Summaries of online reviews
My review above is subjective and other people won’t necessarily feel the same way. So, in order to provide an alternative point of view, the below sections are summaries of a bunch of other online reviews for the Blue UFO. The first section will summarise some positive reviews and the second will be based on negative reviews.
Online love for the Blue UFO
The Blue UFO drone is generally adored by children of various ages, from as young as three years old to ten-year-olds. It is a hands-free device that is very easy to use, controlled by simply waving your hands near it. Many appreciate the unique design feature of having sensors that keep the drone from bumping into everything. Moreover, the drone can operate in both small and large spaces in the home, making it a versatile play option.
One of the highlighted features is the cool light patterns the drone projects on the ceiling when it gets high enough, adding an extra dimension to the play experience. However, some customers reported that the battery life is relatively short at around 7-8 minutes, and it takes approximately an hour to fully recharge.
Despite being lightweight and seeming fragile, many users have remarked on its durability. The material it is made from, while appearing easily breakable, contributes to its excellent flight performance. Some customers have commented that the drone’s design allows it to withstand considerable wear and tear, and it even comes with extra parts for repairs.
The price point is generally considered fair and reasonable, providing good value for money. That said, there have been instances of faulty drones, but these negative experiences have been overwhelmingly mitigated by the outstanding customer service from Force1RC. They have been praised for their responsiveness and eagerness to resolve issues, offering replacements and even additional toys in some instances.
In conclusion, the Blue UFO drone is loved for its user-friendly design, durability, and light features. It is suitable for use in a variety of spaces and provides great fun for all ages. The only significant downside is the relatively short battery life, but this is balanced by a very reasonable price. Additionally, the company’s exceptional customer service provides reassurance that any potential issues will be promptly addressed.
Online hate for the Blue UFO
The Blue UFO drone appears to disappoint many users across several key aspects. Most strikingly, a prevailing complaint pertains to its overall functionality and flight performance. A number of customers noticed the drone tends to fly erratically and low, often colliding with obstacles instead of avoiding them, leading to frequent crashes to the floor. The drone’s sensors were identified as a specific issue, with one user stating that the model they received only had three sensors, unlike a better-performing drone they had previously used which had five.
Another prevalent issue is with the drone’s battery life. Multiple users reported that despite long charging times, the drone’s battery drains rapidly, often lasting a mere 10 minutes or less. One buyer experienced an even shorter battery life of only 3 minutes, which led to significant disappointment, particularly as it was intended as a birthday gift.
The build quality of the Blue UFO drone is another area of concern. Users commented that the drone was fragile, with propellers and calibration pieces often breaking after minor incidents such as falling from a mid-air cut-off or after colliding with the ceiling. Even worse, some drones seemed defective right out of the box, failing to calibrate properly and behaving unpredictably during flight.
An alarming safety issue was also raised by a user who experienced hair entanglement in the drone’s fans. This incident led the user to deem the product as potentially dangerous, especially around children.
In addition, there were reported instances of product inconsistency, as some customers received drones in different packaging with variations in the included accessories, particularly the absence of extra propellers in some cases.
A unique and unfortunate case saw a user’s drone fly out the back door and not return, implying that the drone lacks the function to limit its ascent and return downwards, a feature other drones apparently possess. This highlights a lack of clear safety and usage instructions provided with the drone.
Based on these reviews, customers were generally dissatisfied with the Blue UFO drone, finding it unreliable, of low quality, and not worth the investment.