Hey there, folks! I'm Billy Kyle, and today I'm stoked to share my first flight experience with the Parrot Anafi USA drone, a sleek piece of tech designed and made right here in the good ol' U.S. of A. This bad boy even rocks a “designed for U.S. Army” badge on its case and is on the Department of Defense's blue UAS list. So, if you're in the market for a drone that checks all the boxes for performance and price, especially for commercial use, you're in the right place.
First things first, I've got to give a massive shoutout to the awesome team at Influential Drones who hooked me up with the Parrot Anafi USA for this review. They're doing some cool stuff, and you should totally check them out in the description below.
Now, let me rewind a bit. My history with Parrot's Anafi drones goes way back to the original consumer version they dropped in 2018. I still have that trusty drone, and I've always loved it for a few key reasons: it's portable, packs impressive specs for its size, and the software experience is top-notch. And guess what? All those awesome things carry over to the Anafi USA, but with a commercial twist.
This drone is built like a tank, boasting an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance. It's rugged, but still maintains its signature portability and discreetness. Setting it up is a breeze, and it even comes with a nifty feature called hand launch. You toss it up, and it's in the air – style points, right?
One thing I noticed as soon as I fired it up was that it's relatively quiet, especially as it zips further away from you. But here's the kicker – its Wi-Fi transmission isn't all sunshine and rainbows. In my urban testing ground with loads of Wi-Fi interference, I ran into a bit of signal breakup. So, keep it closer than you might expect.
Now, let's talk cameras – the Anafi USA packs three of 'em. There's a regular camera, a thermal camera, and a zoom camera. As I brought it closer to myself, I played around with these bad boys. The thermal camera is a real standout. It overlays thermal images on top of color images, offering clarity and situational awareness. You can even tweak settings to focus on hotter or colder areas, making it a potential lifesaver in Search and Rescue missions.
Switching over to the zoom camera, I was blown away. This thing can zoom in up to 32 times, which is impressive for a drone this size. It's not just one camera, though; it's like a hybrid zoom with two different focal lengths, plus some digital zoom magic. And it's remarkably stable.
Now, let's talk about flying modes. The Anafi USA has some nifty autonomous flight features. You can set waypoints on a map, and the drone flies itself to those points. This is a game-changer for beginners, as it takes the pressure off flying manually, which can be intimidating.
The controller itself is pretty slick. It's got a built-in Samsung tablet, though I wish the screen could be a tad brighter. They even throw in a stylus, which I found surprisingly handy, especially when you're wearing gloves. You can use it or not, depending on your preference.
But there's more – follow me mode. This feature tracks a subject (in this case, me) autonomously. The drone handles all the rotations, yaw adjustments, gimbal pitch, and positioning – no manual input required. This could be a game-changer for tracking subjects on the move.
And there's a slew of other autonomous flight features like the “touch and fly” mode, which lets you tap on a map to set waypoints. It's fantastic for planning complex missions on the fly (pun intended).
Let's circle back to the software experience. Parrot nails it with their user-friendly layout and easy-to-navigate settings. It's consistent across their drones, making it a breeze for us users to get the hang of it.
As much as I'm loving the Anafi USA, there's a caveat. The Wi-Fi transmission system can be a buzzkill. I experienced signal breakup just a couple of hundred feet away, and that's frustrating. DJI drones, in comparison, excel in this department. So, Parrot, if you're listening, work on that transmission game!
But let's not lose sight of the big picture. The Anafi USA ticks all the right boxes for a commercial drone – it's compact, rugged, loaded with features, and has an impressive camera lineup. If you need a drone that's on the blue UAS list, it's a solid option. Just be mindful of its transmission limitations.
Thanks for hanging out on this first flight adventure with me! If you've got thoughts on the Parrot Anafi USA or any other commercial drones, drop 'em in the comments below. Catch you later, folks! Peace out.
Get your Part 107 Certificate
Pass the test and take to the skies with the Pilot Institute. We have helped thousands of people become airplane and commercial drone pilots. Our courses are designed by industry experts to help you pass FAA tests and achieve your dreams.
FTC: DroneXL.co uses affiliate links that generate income.* We do not sell, share, rent out, or spam your email, ever. Our email goes out on weekdays around 5:30 p.m.