I’m old enough (safely in our thirties) to remember a time before we all carried digital cameras with almost unlimited memory. With film, you had 24 chances to capture a moment. What you had was what you had. As a kid, the only opportunity I had to really perfect my posing was when my mom took me to the mall to do our glamor shots.
I remembered this when I showed my colleague my Pixy selfies, grimacing, and he noticed that I looked like I was releasing a garage rock album. Of Classes it made! The punk and grunge photos are ostensibly unposed and unfiltered, which is exactly how the Pixy rolls.
Snapchat’s new teen camera drone is adorable and incredibly easy to use. But the battery life is so short that even when carrying multiple batteries, you don’t have a ton of opportunities to get the shot you want. And with a merely decent dash cam, images can look a bit flat.
But that’s far from a big complaint. After all, our pick for the best budget drone is the DJI Mavic Mini S (8/10, WIRED Recommends), which is significantly bigger, costs twice as much, and requires you to learn how to fly it. The Pixy flies on its own, launching from your palm, catching a selfie or a ussie, then landing on your hand. If you don’t want to waste time and money browsing for cheap drones on Amazon and want more dynamic selfies than you would get with a selfie stick, the Pixy is a good buy. My kids love it too.
The Pixy is about the size of a small paperback (do we still carry them?) and weighs less than a deck of cards. It’s so small that even my 7 year old son can hold it and operate it. Also, I kept forgetting which pocket of my bag I put it in.
To start, you pair the drone with the Snapchat app on your phone using Bluetooth. Then you play with the small silver dial on the top of the drone which displays five icons for different flight modes: Hover, Landscape, Follow, Orbit and a star for a preferred mode that you can customize. Once you’ve chosen a mode, press the yellow button on top of the drone. Next, hold the drone in your palm and move it close to your face so the Pixy can lock onto your head and body location; once it does, a light on one side of the camera turns green. Watch Pixy take off. While it’s hovering, wait another beat for the light on the other side of the lens to turn white, indicating Pixy has started recording. After about 15 seconds, marvel as it descends back towards your outstretched hand.
To get your videos from the Pixy and onto your phone, spin the drone’s silver dial to standby mode. You can import videos and images from both Snapchat and your phone’s camera roll, and the drone itself can store around 20 videos. It’ll last you, oh, a day. Since the drone does not capture audio, you can also add whatever music you like, in the app or elsewhere. You can also do all the usual Snapchat stuff, like add stickers or video effects.
The camera captures 2.7K footage, which is significantly grainier than the now standard 4K video I normally watch on my iPhone 11. (It probably would have helped if I had remembered to clean the lens at every time I’ve flown it, but such are the dangers of carrying around a touchable pocket drone.)
It’s also worth noting here that my three-year-old iPhone has three separate lenses and features like Deep Fusion to computer shoot much more gorgeous photos. The Pixy has none of that. However, it was more than repaid by the fact that I had never seen my butt in jeans before. Thank you, friends and family, for never taking pictures of me from this particular angle.
The grainy images also reminded me of the Dead woman in a movie TikTok meme. Women (and men!) have made parody videos of themselves as wives that are just a much-mourned memory at the start of a movie. The images mostly consist of snuggling under the covers and frolicking irresistibly as they walk away from the camera in floaty dresses.