NewsReview: Spin Master Air Hogs Supernova Quadcopter

Review: Spin Master Air Hogs Supernova Quadcopter

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The Spin Master Air Hogs Supernova is a small quadcopter that is encased in a light, spherical plastic cage open enough to allow the propellers to lift the toy but enclosed enough to keep small fingers away from the spinning blades.

The Supernova is Spin Master first motion-controlled drone. Don’t expect it to be as feature-rich as the DJI Mavic Air, but do expect to be able to pull off some pretty impressive tricks with hardware that’s responsive and kid-friendly to boot.

I mentioned the Supernova also giving me less anxiety about bigger drones. I’ve tested others in the past, but I’ve always felt nervous about damaging them. It’s hard for me to want to go all out when flying a £600 drone, not knowing if I will be hitting a tree, or just somehow ending up damaging an otherwise expensive gadget.

Red means it now in charging mode

The Supernova is like drone training wheels. When you Master it and get a feel for how drones work from a basic level and built up your comfort from there.

With the Air Hogs Supernova, what you’ve got is a small quadcopter form factor that’s built inside of a lightweight, spherical plastic cage. It’s open enough to allow the propellers to generate enough force to go airborne, yet tight enough that little (or big) fingers will have a hard time getting hit by the spinning blades.

green light on now in flight mode

The Supernova is recommended for kids age 8 and above, so it’s a genuine beginner’s drone and an introduction to the product category in general. There are a bunch of motion signals you can input, and as a parent, I think 8 is a good age for where kids can learn them all, and perform them with some responsibility.

The Supernova doesn’t ship with a remote control, and also doesn’t pair to your smartphone over Bluetooth – two features that have become almost synonymous with modern drones. Those motion controls I mentioned earlier are the only way to control it – it’s all about the hand gestures. The Supernova has four small infrared sensors on its spherical housing alongside a laser sensor on the bottom – these all work in tandem to interpret the various commands that you give it.

four spare blades and mirco USB lead for charging

The Supernova also comes with an instruction sheet showing which hand motions you can input to make it perform certain tricks, like Super Spin, where it spins above your hand, Orbiter, where it spins around your body, and Disco Dance, where the Supernova actually performs a dance for you. In fact, the Supernova boasts over thirty different moves you can perform, alongside nine different tricks to master – you can practice and play alone, or easily pass it between multiple people all controlling with their hands – no touching required!

Supernova in flight

To start, you lightly toss the Supernova drone away from you – not too hard so it doesn’t start meandering away.

If you want it to follow you, you can place a hand in front of one of the sensors and it will attempt to stay close by. If you want it to hang out in place, use two hands and cover two sides – it’ll stay put and spin in place.

One area that impressed me, in particular, was how high it can fly. Again, it’s not to the level of a professional drone, but for something that’s marketed as a toy, my son was super excited to see it rise high above us. It will eventually lower itself back down as it recognizes there’s nothing nearby to take commands from, but it’s a cool trick nonetheless.

The gesture controls are simple to remember and easy to use – as you get used to them, you start feeling like a character from a superhero movie or Star Wars using the Force. It’s a fun, futuristic feeling to just use gestures to control your flying sidekick. If you have kids who want a drone to play with you’ve found the perfect toy.

Being able to remotely control a device that flies and hovers in the air, and perform tricks with a wave of a hand, is simply fun – the holiday season isn’t far off, so be sure to keep this one in mind, all for under £40.

Chris Hare
A True Tech Geek at Heart, I Started my life of being a Tech Geek at the age of 5 with the BBC Micro. Went on through most of Nintendo stuff and now a Xbox and PlayStation fan. I also leaked the information about the leaked Hotmail passwords story from October 2009 that went World Wide. I Started writing tech articles at the beginning of 2011, most of my articles are about Android phones and Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and other gaming news. When Chris has free time its with the family.

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