The Breeze 4k is the newest drone by Hong Kong manufacturers Yuneec. As the name suggests, this is a 4k capable drone targeted at the sophisticated selfie markets — as opposed to the Typhoon range designed for a more experienced user.
At 200mm (8 inches) across, the Breeze is tiny – but at a cost of $500, it’s not exactly an entry level drone.
As is to be expected from a drone of this price, the Breeze has a plethora of features. A 13 megapixel camera sits alongside 16GB of onboard storage. The camera can shoot video in Ultra High Definition 4k, or in full HD 1080p. Should you choose to film in 1080p, the Breeze can electronically stabilize the footage, in an attempt to reduce the shakes present without stabilization. If you’re not sure what drones can be useful for, here’s 4 ways drones can benefit your life.
A Compass and GPS are included, for precise positioning, along with an Indoor Positioning System (IPS), for flying indoors. You’ll want to use the included prop guards for household flying however, as despite their size, the props can still cause some damage.
Speaking of propellers, the Breeze comes with a spare set, along with the set already on the drone. These props are a neat double folding design. This means they take up 50% less space, and are presumably less likely to break should they collide with any object or person; just don’t try it out!
No controller is included, this drone is controlled through the Breeze app from your mobile phone. You’ll need a fairly new device however, as the app communicates with the drone over 5Ghz wifi.
Only one battery is included, so you will want to pick up a few more for extended flying sessions. At 1150mAh, these will last about 10 minutes. This is a fairly small battery, especially when compared to the 5000mAh batteries used on the DJI Phantom 4, but as the Breeze weighs about 400 grams, it makes do as best it can. To put this in comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus weighs 188 grams.
It’s easy to get started. Insert a fully charged battery, fold out the landing gear, and place the Breeze in a suitable location ready for take off. Download and install the Breeze Cam app (iPhone/Android), and you’re good to go. The breeze broadcasts its ownWi-Fi network, which you connect your phone to using the default password of 1234567890 — it’s a good idea to change this.
Before you fly in any location, it’s wise to calibrate the compass. The compass is an essential part of any high tech drone, and one task it’s used for is the automatic return to home feature. If your compass is not calibrated correctly, The Breeze may fly off in a random direction once it decides it’s time to land — not cool! This is something all drones with GPS can struggle with, however, the Breeze makes calibration a nuisance.
Many other drones (such as the DJI Phantom series) require you to rotate the drone once or twice in two axes. Yuneec have decided that their calibration procedure needs to be a whole lot more involved. Not only do you have to calibrate all three axes, but you have to rotate the Breeze between 20 – 40 times — on each axis! This takes an incredibly long time, and as the Compass should be calibrated when flying in any new locations, you end up regularly spinning the drone around.
Once you’re all setup and calibrated, flying is simple. There are five main flight modes.
Pilot: This can be considered as manual mode. You have full control over the Breeze, and can freely fly to any location or altitude.
Selfie: This mode is the easiest to use — even with no prior flight experience, you can be flying in seconds. Simple sliders control height and distance, and the Breeze is limited to a fairly small distance and altitude.
Orbit: This is another easy to use mode. The Breeze will rotate around you or any other point of interest at a selected height and distance.
Journey: This is a neat mode. The Breeze will fly away from you for a set distance, and then fly back; all the while tracking you in the video for the perfect shot.
Follow Me: This mode keeps the drone at a predefined distance and height, while following you. Where you go, the Breeze goes.
All of these modes are incredibly easy to use. Each mode overlays the controls on top of the live video feed. You can start and stop recording, take pictures, and change camera settings at any time. There is a return to home button, which will automatically fly the Breeze home for you, as well as a landing button to automatically land. It’s not possible to perform a manual landing — even in pilot mode.
The Breeze Cam app guides you along every step needed for a flight. It always asks for confirmation before take off, and provides plenty of options to configure and tweak the parameters. Should you experience any signal drop outs, the Breeze will wait patiently for you to reconnect. Should the battery run low, the Breeze will automatically return home and land safely.
Images and videos taken with the Breeze are very good. They don’t quite match that of a GoPro, but are about on par with a modern smartphone. You can improve results by manually configuring image settings, but this is not always necessary.
Pictures taken are better quality than any videos. Here’s me in the garden:
As you can see, pictures are nice and sharp, with good colors. Images taken at high altitude lose some quality, but considering the drone is hovering around, and may be subject to turbulence, they’re very good.
Should You Buy a Yuneec Breeze 4K?
The Breeze can shoot video in two modes; 1080p and 4k. All of these modes produce fairly shaky content, as there is no gimbal included, but it does remarkably well considering. Shooting in 1080p utilizes the remaining data to electronically stabilize the footage. This can make the video look a bit “wobbly”, but it’s better than no stabilizer. Video shot in 4k does not have any stabilization — although you could do this in post production if you really wanted to.
If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, or maybe more professional, make sure you check out our drone buying guide. If you’re concerned about drones invading your privacy, read these 8 ways to prevent it.
Easy to fly with great image quality, the Breeze is a dream to use. Limited range and no external storage means you may want to look elsewhere for these advanced features.