Yuneec Breeze,the starter RC quadcopter from Yuneec, falls short.

Initial marketing says the Yuneec Breeze is an RC quadcopter for beginners with a price just shy – and marks an important entry point for casual drone users who want some close-up aerial video and photos.

That seems wonderful until you realize that the DJI Phantom 3 Standard claimed that title and space more than a year ago. At the same time, the low-cost entry-model Yuneec Breeze has some major limitations.

The maximum flying speed of the Yuneec Breeze for example is 5 m/s—mostly because of software-imposed limitations linked to the smartphone app controller. That is significantly slower than the 19.4 m/s for the bulky Yuneec Typhoon H hexacopter, which isn’t all that great either.

And flight time of the Yuneec Breeze is about 12 minutes, compared to around 25 minutes for the DJI Phantom 3 Standard and the same for the Typhoon H. The beetle-shaped Yuneec Breeze is also called a “selfie drone” for a reason; you need to keep it at arms-length to avoid getting a hand caught in one of the unprotected blades. The Yuneec Breeze unit is compact and is certainly divergent from other Yuneec models such as the Q500 4K.

Still, the smaller Yuneec drone lacks a collision sensor, an intelligent rechargeable battery or a dedicated controller for solid gimbal handling, thereby making the Yuneec Breeze cheaper for a reason. It is true that mastering a flight controller may be more of a challenge for users used to phone screen touch commands.

But that touch pad ease has a downside too, as the range is limited to about 80 m before the phone WiFi signal gets choppy, potentially sending the Yuneec Breeze on its way to home base, or worse, a flyaway.

And as a review on Stuff says, the short range goes with the short battery life, which itself is another hidden cost because a spare is certainly needed.

“Admittedly, you won’t get far before the Breeze’s battery life gets you, either,” Tom Morgan writes. “Twelve minutes per charge really isn’t a lot, so it is a good job the battery pack is removable. You only get one in the box, so it might be worth picking up a spare if you’re going to be out all day.”

Morgan also wonders about the comparison of the Yuneec Breeze to the $499 DJI Phantom 3 Standard, which does have lower specs than models such as the DJI Phantom 4, but also comes with more features and a dedicated controller and also works with most phones.

Skimping on features does help lower the price, but it also makes the Yuneec Breeze a poor comparison with other low-end models that retail for as little as $99. There is certainly a market for a reliable beginner drone that can allow close-up video and photography—it just seems that the Yuneec Breeze has missed that spot.