ToysBulletin.com reviews the first of four drones from Swift Stream.
This week we are going to take a look at a line of surprisingly affordable and highly functional drones from Swift Stream. We are going to focus on four models, at all ends of the spectrum, in what we will call the first ever “Toys Bulletin Drone Week.”
Drones seem to be all the rage these days, and I remember when only a few years ago, you would be lucky to find one under $1000. Everything available was a commercial grade pro video drone. But the technology evolved quickly to meet the surge in demand, and now you can find small, recreational drones starting as low as $30 like the Swift Stream Z-4 that we are reviewing today.
We were fortunate to meet the Swift Stream team at the New York Toy Fair this past February, and we were impressed from the onset at the extensive line of drones they offered at price points we found surprisingly affordable. Now the test is how well these drones actually perform. Let’s get into it starting with the Swift Stream Mini Z-4 Drone.
The Z-4 is a true mini drone that measures approximately 3″ x 3”. When you first take it out of the package, it is hard to believe this little guy is really going to take off. But that is exactly what it does. It uses a small remote with standard drone style controls (left stick is height and spins the direction-right side moves forward/back, and side/side).
The Z-4 uses a small internal battery that plugs directly into the included USB cable. It is a proprietary cable so you do not want to lose it. Charge time is about an hour so it is pretty quick, and then the drone will fly for about 10 minutes, which we felt was a good ratio of charge time to fly time.
We found the controls to be stellar. There is a very short learning curve, and the construction is also something worth noting, because regardless of how well you can fly a drone, you are bound to have a few crashes. We tried to isolate those to grass surfaces during our testing, but there were more than a few instances of the drone hitting the concrete harder than I would have preferred. But guess what, the drone showed little more than a few scratches and was up and running again.
The Z-4 is a nice entry point into the world of drones. Priced at around $30, this drone would be a perfect birthday gift for kids 12 years old and up. Overall, we were very impressed so it will be interesting to test the higher end models. Tomorrow we will look at the next step up, the Z-6. For more information about the Z-4, go to the Swift Stream website, or directly to Amazon.com for an on-line purchase.
— Andrew Cullen, Editor