From The First Lily Investor: My Experience With Lily
While I cannot fully keep this objective, I will say that I am one of the original investors who really believed that this new drone technology was real. So did many other people who handed over nearly $30 million to fund this technology. What was so great about the Lily.camera drone? The design was sleek and unlike any drone seen before it. The prospect that you could throw it in the air and it would automatically hover was amazing. With the band you put around your wrist, the Lily would follow you, and you could control how close or how far it got. What else was there to this endless list of awesome? Oh yeah, that’s right! Lily could be thrown into the water and even take off from water as well! Lily was everyone’s dream come true and what they were looking for in a drone.
Videos sent by the original company also proved that things were moving smoothly, although there were delays, many investors forgave Lily because they knew an awesome product was coming. And it came! Years later! Unfortunately, the Lily drone was nothing like what we all really paid for. In fact, the company that sent this Lily was not the original company. The original company was sued for pretty much accepting $30 million and doing nothing with it. If enough people gave me $30 million, I would find a company to make their drone. Maybe it is easier said than done, but the idea of the original Lily was certainly not far fetched.
So here I am today, as an original investor, who actually got reimbursed. A while ago, I got an email from the new Lily company and started seeing Facebook posts about it. What was going on? Well, this new company took over Lily and decided to remodel it and make it their own. This new company, known as Moto Group (mota.com), is no stranger to the drone world. Moto Group figured that if that many people were willing to pay $30 million, they could obviously pick up the project and either offer investors a deal or at least have some following.
So Moto Group offered me the “full package” for what I originally paid, which was $500. I figured I would give Moto Group / Lily company a second chance. I really wanted to give them the full benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, when I received the “full package”, there were some items missing without any explanation. I had to go to the Lily website to see what was going on, and eventually got an email stating that I would receive the “remote controller” and an additional battery around November 30th, 2017.
I had sent Lily an email several times inquiring and was only met with responses that these products would be on their way, never given a tracking number, or even compensation. Interesting enough was that I had gotten in touch with one of the “higher up” marketers of the Lily drone and I offered to write this review that you are reading now. It would have probably been far more positive had they taken me seriously.
I have sent Lily support an email several times without any response. It is now December 20, 2017, which is now 21 days after they said they would be sending out these “backorder” parts that were missing from my original Lily package, and I still never did receive what I paid for as part of the deal for being an original investor.
Still, I was able to set up and fly the Lily drone. Here it is in action:
So completely unbiased and mostly objective: the Lily drone is definitely a powerful flight, which you can see in the video, but it feels like a cheaper version of the DJI Spark. It certainly won’t fall apart or anything and it does well up in the air, but there is just something that seems off about it. Maybe I am just biased towards the quality material that DJI seems to use for all of their products. It has as much maneuverability as the DJI Spark, but far less features than the DJI Spark, especially when you compare the two apps side by side. The Lily comes with its own app from the Apple store. After downloading, setting up an account, and connecting to the Lily drone’s wifi, the app showed what the Lily saw after turning it on.
Using the iPhone itself, the app is somewhat responsive around 80% of the time, but there are times where you are pushing at the buttons, and nothing happens. You have to almost force yourself to drag the buttons to either push the drone forward or stop it. The Lily has extremely limited distance — further and upwards. You can go fairly high and see the horizon, but then you start to lose the connection fast, and Lily has a defense mode to try and bring itself down or closer to you. You also may be able to get about a quarter of a block from where you stand, but that is about it. Although Lily is quick to launch, quick to go, the limited distance it has instantly kills its career as any kind of racing drone.
Lily’s camera view is limited and unable to rotate at all. Wherever you point is where it will shoot. The Lily camera also always manages to capture its propeller guards. While it might help accent the experience, it can be annoying when you play back the video, and all you really wanted was a great view of some mountain, house, or the horizon without worrying about the propeller guards getting in the way. The videos and photography taken by the Lily are of somewhat high quality and are definitely great for amateur or hobbyist photographers and videographers.
Lily also has a hard time flying through confined spaces, such as between a ladder and a house. When it gets too close to an object, it seems to be magnetized to fly into the object. Lily also has absolutely no detection system built in that can prevent it from crashing. An example of this I experienced was running low on battery and telling Lily to return home. It flew right into the leaves and branches of a tree, which it managed to mostly miss, but then flew right into the tree itself and crashed. Luckily, the propeller guards protected the propellers.
The other downside of the Lily drone is not the drone itself, but the app. The app will sometimes disconnect or be unable to find the Lily drone, which forces the whole process of “getting up and running” again, which might not entail much, but it still takes some time to do, i.e. closing the app, turning off and back on the Lily drone, reconnecting, etc.
What I liked most about Lily is that it is very compact and portable and easy to get up in the air in minutes. It is somewhat light but managed to stay put within the wind. The carrying case allows me to fit everything within it. I was able to get it through airport security without incident. It is a great drone to just send up for a view of the sky. Battery life is short with 2 batteries providing about 16–20 minutes or so of flight time. Lily is quite fast and is actually fun to fly. While I don’t recommend the Lily as your primary drone, it could definitely be used as a hobby drone. For what it is worth, there are better drones out there.
As for an honest opinion: Had Moto Group taken its Lily customers more seriously, they would have gotten a better response, especially one from me. The fact that I did not receive all of the items I purchased despite being emailed by the “higher ups” in the company means they lack greatly in customer support and customer care, even though I had contacted them numerous times. Were they unable to fulfill the very order they were hoping I would pay for? Why offer it? Why not make efforts to email and contact me to let me know where the rest of my order is?
Moto Group knew what they were getting into: thousands of very upset and pissed off customers. This was not something to take lightly at all. They did their due diligence in offering a very good deal: the drone, propeller guards, extra propeller guards, three batteries, a charger, and the remote — all at the price I originally paid for the Lily.camera drone.
Unfortunately, when they didn’t deliver on this deal to me is when I lost my faith completely in Moto Group to really understand what Lily meant and what it was supposed to be. To this day, people are upset and mad at Moto Group because of the original Lily’s company’s actions. I had hoped to write a more positive review, even giving Moto Group the benefit of the doubt as much as I possibly could, but at every chance they could, they managed to not really meet any of my expectations, which were actually quite low. All I wanted was to receive the “full package”, which is what I paid for.
While I won’t defer you personally from buying the Lily drone, I do advise the Moto Group company themselves: you failed to take the original investors seriously and either meet demands or treat us as we had hoped. It wasn’t that we wanted you to roll out the red carpet or even offer a free drone. We just wanted a high quality drone complete with all the parts we actually ordered. Because of that, it is unlikely you will see the Lily drone as anything that could become a success. As for your new customers, I do wish you the best of luck. While you have a drone to sell, that isn’t always enough, and you need to ensure your customer service is on point too.
So yeah, twice now I’ve been ripped off by two different companies, both advocating this Lily drone. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice… well, it’s my fault for giving the benefit of the doubt? Whatever the case, I paid $500 for the “Full Package” as a deal for original investors; the remote that I never received cost $159 and the extra battery I never received cost around $80 or so.
So a company that gave me a great deal on the Lily drone also ended up ripping me off. Again. Should I report them? Or just let it go? In a way, this will be the only article and the last article I ever write about Lily. I want nothing more to do with the company affiliated with Lily. I will enjoy my drone until it dies, but it will not be something I ever purchase at full retail price, especially not a drone from the Moto Group corporation.
You will notice I did not provide affiliate links or any links to the Lily drone at all. I really hated not doing it, but I feel that if the company wanted me to write a more positive review, they would have given me a more positive experience, especially knowing that I was an original investor. Providing a link would do absolutely nothing for me. The affiliate link they offer would have given me $20. Where does that $20 go? I’m not sure where exactly. Credit to my account? Payout via Paypal? It is not really known. However, I wrote this review simply to state the facts.
I’m not throwing stones. I’m not calling names. I’m not expecting anything from Moto Group to compensate me and hope that I “delete this post” out of the goodness of my heart. I am just telling you how it is and my experience with the new Lily drone and the Moto Group company. You will have to make the decision for yourself on whether a Lily is really worth it anymore. I hope you have a better experience than I did.
Good luck with your Lily drone, Moto Group.