With Christmas just around the corner, we know what we want. The Propel Star Wars drones are fun and affordable for drone enthusiasts, Star Wars fanboys and gamers alike.
We were lucky enough to get invited to the launch (literally) of the new Star Wars drone range from Propel. These hand painted, lightweight drones beautifully resemble iconic Star Wars ships. It’s almost like you are flying a real miniature with their clever design. But if flying alone isn’t enough for you, try battling against your friends.
Propel ran an engaging launch
The Propel Star Wars drone event was brilliantly executed and we were really excited to be there. As a Star Wars fan boy since I was a kid, I was chomping at the bit to get to this event. It was so much bigger than I anticipated. Shortly after arrival and patiently watching the event countdown, a very Star Wars sounding air siren rang out summoning us to a second large chamber.
I bolted down to the front row knocking over several small children and claimed my spot front and centre. After a brief “Download” of the data presented on the overhead, we welcomed Jack Bishop to the stage to introduce us to Propel’s new drone range.
After a short overview and an introduction video of what the product was, Jack showed us the clever Star Wars Propel app. Then I was lucking enough to be invited up on stage to practice flying the drone on the app! The app links via Bluetooth to your drones controller and it’s almost like you are playing a video game.
With absolutely zero experience flying a drone I was quite impressed with myself about how I went. The zero latency between controller and app make flying seamless. Flying the drone within the app also means no crashed drones and shame.
Then that opportunity arose. Jack presented me with a real Propel X-Wing drone to fly on stage along with the opportunity to make a fool of myself. However, with all of five minutes flying experience I was able to take off, do a couple of basic manoeuvres and land safely back down.
The tech, the app and the flying.
We got to do it all at Propel’s event. Yet another large room displayed dozens of Star Wars drone boxes, the displays lit in the blue and red lights. We got a rundown on the tech and could ask any questions we had.
We then got the chance to unbox some of the extremely cool Special Edition Star Wars drones. The wax sealed units spring to life with light and sound upon removing the lid. There are multiple tracks that play from the Star Wars universe that change whenever you open it up. These extremely limited edition drones are available from Friday November 17th. Be quick as there are only 1977 available.
From the unboxing station we moved to the original hall we were in. There were around a dozen displays set up on iPads that allowed us to practice flying the drones in the app. As I had already done so on stage I let others have a chance and enjoyed watching them have a blast. I had a chat to several people and they all seemed to really enjoy flying the drones in app.
We then moved to yet another room where several drones were set up and ready to fly in a safe environment. The nets set up to catch the drones eased my mind that I wasn’t going to crash them into any unsuspecting victims. There were hoops that with enough practice I was able to fly through. There were three professional drone pilots that helped out and would pick up the drones when people would crash them into walls. But with their durable and well-tested plastic they can take quite a beating.
Battling is a really cool part that separates Propel Star Wars drones from others.
In the final room we went into there was a beautifully lit arena where people would battle drones. Using Li-Fi technology (which is 100x the speed of Wi-Fi) there is an intricate level of signals going every which way. The controllers talk to the phones which talk to the drones and every thing is talking to each other using I.A.T. Intelligent Awareness Technology utilises four latency-free wireless communication systems to create an exciting and incredibly compelling gaming experience.
Your phone acts as a scoreboard, keeps track of lives as well as who hits who. The controller constantly makes sounds when you get hit and when you blast any rebel scum. A headphone jack on the rear of the controller means that with a decent pair of headphones you can really immerse yourself in the action.
I managed to get myself to the second round of battle, albeit after being shot down and losing a propeller for part of the round. I unfortunately lost to a 10 year old girl… Good on her because she got to the finals and lost only by a small margin when she lost battery at the bitter end of the 1 v 1 dog fight.
Things we love about Propel’s Star Wars Drones.
The list is large but in summary the use of new technology to separate it from other drones. Reverse propulsion which helps with the look of the drones yet still enables them to do stunts. Li-Fi signals to communicate with each other in a groundbreaking development to integrate drones into a gamers market. The seamless connection of app to controller to drone with the ability to practice on the app before take off. The drone itself is capable of a practice mode that creates an artificial ceiling and ground that makes crashing extremely difficult.
The drones are beautifully hand painted and look like they have come straight out of the screen and into your hands.
Finally, the price point is great. For just $200 AUD one of three Propel Star Wars drones are yours. The special edition is only an extra $100. However, upon release on November 17th within the first 48 hours you are eligible for $100 rebate, bringing the price down to equal the Standard Edition Drones!
The few downsides of the drones.
We loved so much about these drones. However there are just a couple of things that let them down. The flight time of eight minutes is a little limiting. I would recommend the Special Edition drones as they come with an extra battery, meaning your play time is up to a comfortable 16 minutes.
The only other thing is that myself and others managed to lose one or two propellers throughout our play time. The kits come with an extra four propellers all up. The benefit of them being clear is that the drones look fantastic in flight. The down side is that they may be easy to lose amongst the grass.
If however you lose any parts or damage anything, for the first year upon purchase Propel will send you any replacements.
Propel Star Wars drones would make a great gift to anyone wanting to start flying drones or an enthusiast alike. The potential for a new drone gaming market make them even more exciting and versatile. For a Star Wars nut such as myself you are going to want to pick one up regardless.