Snap’s Pixy Drone Recall: A Cautionary Tale in Tech Innovation

The Rise and Fall of Pixy Drone

Snap Inc., known for its popular social media app Snapchat, ventured into the drone market with its Pixy flying selfie camera drone. This bold move was a significant shift from its previous hardware project, the Snap Spectacles. However, after just four months, Snap faced a major setback. It sold fewer than 71,000 drones, a figure far below the initially projected market potential.

Pixy Drone Safety Concerns Lead to Recall

The real blow came with the discovery of a critical safety issue. The Pixy drone's batteries posed a fire hazard, with reports of battery bulging, one incident of fire, and a minor injury.

This alarming situation led to Snap's decision, in conjunction with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, to recall every single Pixy drone sold. This recall is comprehensive, covering not just the removable battery but the entire drone unit, reports The Verge.

Drone Refund Process Simplified

For customers, the recall process has been streamlined. Snap is offering a full refund for the drone and any additional batteries purchased. Importantly, customers do not need a receipt to claim their refund, accommodating those who received the Pixy as a gift.

The refund process involves returning the drone, excluding the batteries, and Snap will provide a prepaid return label for this purpose. However, customers are responsible for the safe disposal of the batteries, with Snap advising against dropping them off at local hardware or big-box stores.

Snap's Hardware Challenges

The Pixy drone's recall marks a significant challenge in Snap's hardware endeavors. The company's foray into hardware with the Snap Spectacles and now the Pixy drone were driven by the desire to offer unique perspectives in video capturing for their platform, with a keen interest in augmented reality (AR). However, these ventures have yet to yield the success anticipated by Snap CEO Evan Spiegel.

Learning from Setbacks

Snap's experience with Pixy offers a lesson in the complexities and risks of hardware innovation, especially in a market as dynamic and competitive as consumer electronics. It also underscores the importance of rigorous safety testing and quality control in tech products.

Snap's Pixy Drone Recall: A Cautionary Tale In Tech Innovation 2
Pixy Selfie Drone

A Step Back for Snap

The recall of the Pixy drone is a significant setback for Snap, reflecting the challenges tech companies face when diversifying into new product categories. While the decision to recall underscores Snap's commitment to customer safety, it also highlights the hurdles in realizing ambitious tech innovations. As Snap navigates these challenges, its experience with Pixy serves as a cautionary tale for other companies venturing into the unpredictable waters of tech hardware.

DroneXL's take

After GoPro, Snap, and , we're still waiting (and hoping) for a Made in America drone manufacturer that will survive and thrive in the U.S. consumer drone market.

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to the DJI Mavic 5!

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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