Drone innovation is starting to take on the makings of a damned arms race. Every new model we highlight seems like it outstrips the previous one’s maneuverability, speed, aerodynamics, and ancillary features by magnitudes. Fortunately, we’re at a loss to imagine anyone coming up with something more functional for its size than Hammacher Schlemmer’s exclusive Shirt Pocket Video Drone.
When closed, it measures a svelte 5 1/2″ long x 2 3/4″ wide, about the dimensions of a smartphone. A quartet of two-inch-long microelectric propeller motors deploy from its corners to allow the craft to descend, ascend, and acrobatically turn just about any way its pilot could ask, even sideslipping laterally left and right with an ease that has to be seen to be believed.
Its intuitive radio remote has an impressive hundred-foot range that lets this small wonder roam far and wide. Its auto-hover mode kicks in with the push of a button to capture precision-timed 720p HD stills and video to a 4GB microSD card. With three speed settings calibrated with beginners, experienced pilots, and expert operators respectively in mind, everything from simple steady hovering to breathtaking advanced acrobatics are within reach for up to seven minutes of flight time from a single 45-minute USB charge.
Remote runs on four AAA batteries.