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AEE Selfly Review: A solid drone for beginners and selfie lovers

The flying phone case and camera is a solid first drone that's best for backyard BBQs and office fun

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With its hands-free selfie capabilities packed into a sleek black case of average smartphone size, the AEE Selfly easily fits in a spare pocket — think iPhone 6 with a case, but not quite this large. This drone is always ready when you need to capture the moment.

What's in the box

The AEE Selfly selfie drone even comes with two 500 mAh LiPo batteries that last about six to minutes each for those times when it takes you a few tries to get the perfect selfie or short video clip.

You should be able to get up to nine minutes of flight time with both batteries. That's plenty for most but you can always recharge them off any available USB port, or purchase a few extra batteries if your are going to be out exploring for a longer period of time.


Setup is as simple as charging the battery through your computer or a USB power supply with the included cable through a smartphone. You'll download the free app available through Apple Store or Android Play, then pair your smartphone to the drone via Wi-Fi. I was ready and itching to fly before the first battery was even charged, really a five minute process.

A drone, propellers, guards, cable, carrying box and a box that says 'AEE Selfly' seated on top of a wooden table With the AEE Selfly, you'lll get two batteries, eight back up propellers, guards and a charging cableGearBrain

Flying the drone

I was very impressed that after the initial setup and battery charging the drone took-off and flew beautifully without any inherent issues. As an experienced hobbyist I like to take small steps at a time, mainly to make sure I don't destroy things or get hurt. But to me the learning curve was quite minimal and I can see that someone new to drones would also have an easy time getting the Selfly drone in the air and recording pictures and video to their phone as quickly as I did.

Of course, once I was comfortable I stretched its legs, and this is when I found that this drone is best flown in smaller low-wind areas or even indoors. The AEE Selfly is just too small and under-powered to be flown like an acrobatic racer or professional video drone.

The drone could be easily lost of your fly outdoors in any wind, and the motor wires seem like they will break after a few dozen times of folding them in and out to use the drone. That's one reason I preferred using the box to the case, so I didn't have to fold the motors down each time.

While the Selfly is just fine for its intended uses though, just don't expect to take it over Niagara Falls and have it come back (It's highly illegal to fly any drone there anyway). Keep it to backyard BBQs, office parties, or anywhere else where the drone won't be gone with the wind.

The drone has some great flight mode features in addition to the standard two virtual joystick controls on your phone. To fly by joystick, there are two thumbstick overlays that give you the ability to move and position the drone.

To fly by pod, you get a single thumbstick for movement, and touch icons for height and rotation adjustment. To fly by picture, you won't have overlay controls, so you'll position by swiping the image on the screen, and move the drone through a pinch-and-zoom move.

A drone folded into a black carrying case, next to a smartphone and both on top of a wooden picnic table The AEE Selfly folds neatly into a carrying case about the size of a smartphoneGearBrain

Finally, there's also face-tracking. By the second battery I had the drone following my face around my backyard and snapping selfies by making a fist in the shot or just recording video the whole time. The drone has adjustable GPS fencing so you can control how high and far it is able to go which in my experience should not be higher than a two-story building or further than you can see clearly.

The AEE Selfly takes-off and lands with the press of a single button and will auto-land if the battery gets low or if you hit something — which is pretty inevitable.

Should you buy the AEE Selfly?

Overall this a great drone for the selfie fan or anyone looking to spice up their trek to a drone-friendly sight seeing destination. It's also a solid drone for beginner drone pilots.

I certainly wouldn't mind if AEE were to offer an XL version that was a tad less portable but slightly more capable. (We know you, AEE, are listening as your products do seem to improve, especially on the software application side.)

The drone was great fun, with enhanced functionality for selfie lovers. You can buy the AEE Selfly on several sites including Amazon for just $99 with everything you need aside from a fairly recent smart phone with Wi-Fi. You won't get a controller in the box, so don't leave home without your phone.

Specs

In the box you'll get:

  • Drone
  • Optional propeller guards
  • Full set of extra propellers, eight in total
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Two batteries
  • Instructions
  • Pocket-sized case that holds everything

Pros:

  • Great for selfie fans as it's easy to pull from a pocket and get a good shot
  • Flies well and is suitable for beginners
  • Simple set-up

Cons:

  • Won't handle strong wind conditions well
  • Not great for acrobatic moves
  • Doesn't include a controller


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