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Snap's Pixy yellow selfie drone faces early retirement as development is scrapped

Snap Pixy drone is being retired after four months
(Image credit: Snap Inc)

Believe it or not, the company behind Snapchat have actually created and launched a bright yellow Snapchat-compatible drone. Released less than four months ago, Snap Inc say it has been disappointed with the drone's popularity, sales and profit thus far, and so development on the product will be halted announces CEO. 

Almost as cringe-worthy as when Snap announced the smart glasses (does anyone even remember the first Snapchat Spectacles?), this drone looks gimmicky and costs almost as much as the best DJI drones (opens in new tab)! It doesn't offer nearly as much in comparison either, with only a 12 megapixel camera and awful battery life.

Snap Inc (Snapchat creators) are responsible for the invention of this hate-to-admit adorable yellow drone, named Pixy (opens in new tab). The drone is marketed as a pocket-sized, free-flying sidekick fit for all adventures, and the concept is actually pretty great for younger adults and teens looking to up their content creation game and story creativity. However - the Pixy's price tag certainly isn't very pocket-money friendly. 

After suffering a poor financial year according to recent sales data, Snap's CEO Evan Spiegel has reportedly (opens in new tab) told employees that after only four months since its debut launch, the company will no longer be maintaining future developments of the Pixy line. Revealed during a Q&A session with staff, Spiegel shared that Snap will be halting its production on the Pixy to focus on and prioritize other resources. 

(Image credit: Snap Inc)
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A recent July sales report exposed the company's weakest quarterly sales growth to date, resulting in Snap deciding to slow its rate of hiring, as well as monitor its operating expense rate to keep things afloat, amidst the economic downturn that many tech companies are facing. Snap has also reported deep stock price losses.

The SnapPixy, first announced back in April, is a small mini drone capable of taking selfies that can launch itself from the palm of a hand and land itself back down. The drone is fully compatible with Snapchat and can connect wirelessly to the app, sending over photos and footage saved into Snapchat Memories. The Pixy can fly in four pre-set flight paths, as well as having the ability to float, orbit, or follow wherever you lead it.

The friendly neighborhood Pixy-drone is priced at $230 (around £196 / AU$331) and is wirelessly operated, taking away the stress of having to use a remote control while posing for a Snap video story. While this design may be a great entry point for young adults into using drones for aerial photography and group selfies, many online reviews note that the battery life on the Pixy is absolutely awful.

Multiple reviews of the product have described the Pixy's rechargeable battery as "meager" and "abhorrent" with 5-8 flights available per charge, and one flight only lasting between 10 to 20 seconds, meaning you get around 2 minutes of airtime with the drone per battery charge. 

The drone can alternatively be purchased as part of a "flight pack" from its website for $250 (around £213 / AU$360), that includes a dual rechargeable battery pack, carrying strap, bumper, and USB Type-C charging cable – all branded in yellow of course.

(Image credit: Snap Inc)
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Interestingly, Snap's latest range of smart Spectacles are strictly not for sale or available to the general public, despite being advertised on its website. Creators are encouraged to apply online through a creator form (opens in new tab) to register their interest in owning a pair. Could this simply be a way to reduce inventory stock through made-to-order products that will keep the production costs low? 

Other models of Snap's Spectacles range can be purchased online, although the popularity of these dual-camera 3D sunglasses seems to be on the decline, along with other competitors such as Ray-Ban's Stories (opens in new tab) camera sunglasses, which we reviewed back in January.

The Pixy drone however is still available in the U.S. and France for now, despite the news of its early retirement, though Pixy's website urges that it will only ship while supplies last. Be sure to get your hands on a Pixy if this article has piqued your interest, or take a look at our guide to the best drones for beginners (opens in new tab) to get yourself started in aerial photography. 

(Image credit: Pixy - Snap Inc.)
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You may also be interested in our guides to the best camera drones (opens in new tab), the best drones for fishing (opens in new tab), our pick of the best drones for kids (opens in new tab), and you might need to invest in one of the best drone landing pads (opens in new tab), or perhaps you're looking for the best camera glasses (opens in new tab).

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.