The Snap (Snapchat) drone Pixy recalled as fire hazzard—what an end to the story!

Pixy Drone recall
(Image credit: Pixy / Snap / edited by Future)

The much-maligned Snap Pixy, a tiny selfie drone, has had a formal recall notice issued due to the risk of fire from overheating lithium-ion batteries.

If you thought it was already close to dead, you're not wrong. My colleague Beth covered the scrapping of the Pixy drone back in the summer of 2022, a device which looked like a tiny flying life preserver and lasted a bit over four months before the CEO of Snap abandoned development.

By the looks of things, the battery recall is being taken as the opportunity to fully draw a line over this, making the Pixy very much part of Snap's history, since the terms of the recall (as explained on the Pixy support page) seem to require the drone to be returned for a cash payment and for the battery to be disposed of properly by the owner.

Snap/Pixy do not seem to have any plans to create a replacement battery. To hammer home the need to comply with the recall the Pixy functionality will also be removed from the Snap all app so "you will no longer be able to sync content from Pixy starting mid-February 2024."

Pixy Drone recall

Promotional material for the drone showed quick editing for effects and the drone (Image credit: Pixy / Snap / edited by Future)

Fun fact – Snapchat wasn't Snap's first name – it was called Picaboo until it got its series-A funding in 2012. The company has also always been prepared to try things out – as the Snapglasses will testament.

Sadly the video quality was so far behind the phones most people were using, that it became a joke amongst the few who did fork out $250 for the device (or, in practice, persuaded their parents to). It was 2.7K, not always a problem (see the HoverAir X1) but also grainy enough that people joked it was like the 'dead wife in a movie' scene and a meme emerged.

The camera is also terrible in anything other than perfect light (and bright light means the subject tends to squint), while the AI wasn't really quick enough to keep up with those young enough to be enthusiastic about it. The battery life, of course, wasn't great either, so there's a good chance you've got a few of those fire risks around your home if you did pick up a Pixy.

Make sure you follow the recall to get all your hard-earned back (then why not treat yourself to something better?)

If you're looking for the best beginners drone or the best cheap drone, or a good camera drone, I'd always advise against one, like this, which is also tied to a social app. All the others can share clips too, via a phone's main photo/video app, and you're not stuck with one app or in trouble if they give up!

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook