The camera snaps photos, of course, with a burst mode to make sure you “trap” the perfect picture. Video is grabbed at 1080p/30fps. ZeroTech told me the camera is similar to that found in phones like the Xioami Mi 4. The idea being, a mobile-style shooter takes better personal photos — no fisheye, or wide angle weirdness. The similarities with a phone don’t end there, as there’s also a Snapdragon 801 processor running the show. Those brains aren’t powering apps, though, instead it’s put to use to drive the smart features, of which there are a few. Maybe too many?
In our time with Dobby, ZeroTech tried to show us everything it could do. This includes voice enabled control (call it’s name, it’ll take off). You can also set Dobby to take off from, and land onto your palm. It’s not exactly the throw launched promised (but as yet undelivered) by Lily, but moving your hand upwards will see the drone take flight. Be careful of your fingers though, as Dobby nipped a pinkie from our demonstrator at one point.
One feature we sadly didn’t get to test was target tracking. The idea is, you select a person/cat/whatever currently in the camera’s view (via the app), and the drone will follow it. DJI’s Phantom 4 and Osmo also do this, with mixed results, so it’ll be interesting to see how well Dobby can hold up. Video is stabilized digitally, which should smooth it out a little, but again, this isn’t as effective as a dedicated gimbal, or OIS. One final feature that probably could have been left out are flying tricks — in particular Dobby can barrel roll. You can’t film while it flips, so it’s just a novelty.
While we had fun flying Dobby outside the IFA grounds (and taking the awkward selfie above), the first thing my colleague asked was, what is this for? It’s a good question. I enjoy flying drones generally, and shooting smooth high quality video. Dobby can’t really match something like a DJI in that regard. Of course, you can’t shlep a DJI around with you everywhere, which is the key selling point here. But, the number of times I’ve been caught drone-less when I needed one are few. That said, no one needed selfie sticks at one point (and I’m still not sure they do). Still, at $400, like I said before, put this one firmly on the executive toy list.