The PowerUp 3.0 is a connected paper plane that is controlled via a dedicated mobile application. The principle is simple, it is necessary to create even the wings in paper then to install the device which includes the head of the apparatus and the propeller. Already available across the Atlantic, the PowerUp 3.0 arrives with an attractive price. We could meet the inventor of this product! But what is this connected paper airplane really worth? The editorial team was able to preview it.
Powerup 3.0, The Paper Plane Connected At A Low Price:
Design And Ergonomics:
Extremely light, the mount of the aircraft has two distinct parts. At the front the head is connected with the Bluetooth transmitter, the plug to recharge and the various components. The manufacturer decided to leave a transparent shell revealing inside the head. It is a choice that is justified, but that did not convince us to the extent that one has the impression to have a prototype in the hands, or at least something that is not finished . Besides that, the design of the product is nice, especially once you have installed the wings. It looks like a paper airplane, but with a more finished side. In addition, the papers provided in the box are of good quality and offer a super nice rendering. Special mention for waterproof paper that gives a real look to the device. In any case, when we tested it in a large Parisian park, several people stopped, intrigued by this small plane "which looks nice".
As explained, the aircraft is controlled via a mobile application. It is available on Android, iOS and of course for free. Then simply turn on its Bluetooth and turn on the plane for the connection to be done. Nothing difficult to operate. The use of the application is also extremely simple. It gives various information such as the battery level or the percentage of power in the plane. Thanks to the gyro of your phone, you will control the direction of the aircraft in both right or left direction. We did not encounter any particular problems with this one. Still, we would have liked more features, like the ability to manage the device with a virtual joystick, or information on the wind where you are. The plane being very light, it is very sensitive to the wind, but we will see that a little later.
PowerUp 3.0 is one of those objects whose installation of components is very easy, here wings is an integral part of the fun process. Having never practiced origami, we had to be worried when the concept of manual work was invited in the test. Fortunately the manufacture of wings is relatively easy. Everything is explained in the instructions. Without the instruction, you can not do it . For the first few times, it may take a little time, but it will not last more than ten minutes.
Once your gear mounted properly, remains to prepare the flight. It is recalled that it is a paper airplane that will be sensitive to the wind. Thus, it is highly recommended to conduct a flight test without starting the engine. The goal, see the direction taken by the plane in order to adapt the fins of the machine in function. For example if it goes to the right, orient the wing so that the plane tries to the left. It should in this way go straight. This operation is valid with all directions. Again, all of this is detailed on the instruction. It is a rather tedious step and little fun . Not to mention the wind that can change and change all your settings. This is the disadvantage of paper.
You're ready to fly! It will take a large space (the equivalent of half a football field at least) to be able to do it in the best possible conditions. The paper airplane has a very large amplitude, hence the large space required. The plane reacts very much to the wind, and also the application is very sensitive and that the piloting with the gyroscope is not very easy. You must tilt the phone to the right or left to steer the machine. And it's rather difficult. Your first flights will often end in a crash. We regret the fact that the application does not integrate a virtual joystick for the direction, which would perhaps be more reassuring for neophytes.
Crashes will damage the paper and it may require you to redo the settings, so that everything works fine! PowerUp says it himself in his videos, you have to try again, again and again. Here you are, the PowerUp 3.0 is not a toy that is directly controlled and with which the pleasure is immediate. It will be necessary to be patient. Nevertheless , once the bases acquired and the control more mastered, you should pass good, see very good times. Just watch the videos of those who master well to salivate!
However, for all those who have already made models, do not expect either to perform tricks in all directions or extremely long flights. Since we are talking about autonomy, it is announced around 10 minutes and this is the case. The accuracy state of the battery on the phone is nevertheless to be reviewed. It lacks precision and often goes back close to 100% before falling back to the real figure.
iPhone 4S or newerAll devices running
Android 4.3 or later with Bluetooth 4.0
The little guys from PowerUp are not the only ones to have felt the wind turning in terms of paper planes. The 2.4 GHz Wireless Remote Control Airplane Paper also offers an incredible free flight spectacle, but consists of a hoop and two propellers, unlike its competitor. Sold for around $ 60, it is available in e-commerce platforms.
What we liked : The playful aspect of building oneself the wings of paper, the possibility of doing with all the leaves that one wants, a small plane which has under the bonnet, the price.
What we did not like : sensitive to the wind, the transparent front shell, grip a little long before you can enjoy it.
The bet was risky. Make a paper airplane connected with all paper defects in wind, weight or steering precision. So of course, these disadvantages have not been completely erased, but with training, there is really a way to have fun with the PowerUp 3.0. If the product is not free of defects, it must relativize.