Capture amazing footage with the inbuilt camera, taking your flying experience to the next level. Easy control to make your drone take-off, land, hover and flip!
• 2.4G 4 Channel
• Free 1GB memory card you can store plenty of flying footage
• Size : 60x60x6cm
• Charge Time : 60 minutes
• Fly Time : 5-7 minutes
• Flying Range : 100m
• Power plug charging for drone
• 6x AA battery for remote (Not included)
Quadcopters are no longer a thing of great cost, as this unit proves. While it isn't as high end as the fancy ones you see in the $600+ price bracket, obviously, in some ways I thought this was a better unit. Allow me to explain...
With the higher-end units I have trialled, you hook into it with a tablet, you get a drone's-eye view on your screen, and you fly it almost from a first-person's perspective. While that is great for those wanting to play virtual wargames, use it as a flying spy-eye, or even as a remote camera for filming some of your latest blog post, it can also mean you aren't seeing what is *around* the drone. Thus, an errant tree branch you fly a little too close too, just as a puff of wind shoves the drone sideways an inch or two... and you're now left looking at the world side-on from a drone frantically churning the air trying to get free of the womping willow wannabe.
Instead, this unit flies with a basic remote rig, much the same as you find on any other model aircraft and even some older-style RC cars. This means you have to watch the drone itself, giving you a much clearer idea of what is around the drone. Indoors, obstacles and potential snares include hanging lights, curtains, ornaments - especially around seasonal holidays and special events - and the likes. You will see them, and at the very least have a bit more opportunity to avoid them. So in some ways I actually preferred this model over the fancier ones.
Yes, it does come with a camera... a tiny unit slung under the belly of the beast. Resolution is miniscule - VGA at best - and it has utterly rubbish low-light capabilities. But then, this is a fun toy, not a videographer's wet dream. Deal with it. For this price tag, having a camera at all is a winning bonus. It records onto a microSD chip that slots into the back of the camera pod, so you'll easily be able to retrieve your footage, no WiFi, bluetooth or NFC required. The downside is, no 'live stream' POV.
It seems to handle slightly-windy conditions quite well, though it is a lightweight unit so anything stronger than a very light breeze will make controlling it a challenge, if not impossible. Indoors or in dead-still air however, it performs admirably, with an easy and almost intuitive control feel for anyone with a modicum of ability or experience. After unboxing it, get it set up in a large, indoor space if possible, and calibrate it properly. I can not stress enough how important that is. If it is not properly configured and trimmed, it will rapidly become a nightmare with even a tiny puff of wind.
Now, while almost every quadcopter out there promotes it's ability to do flips, this little beauty has a one-shot button that will trigger as many flips as you like. Take care using this though, as every flip will cost you altitude and eventually you'll run out of 'up' and suddenly find some rather solid 'down' in your way. While this won't kill your quad, enough times may cause serious structural issues - this thing is not built to be solidly crash-proof. Not for this price tag.
Recharge time is fair, with the battery easily able to go form 0 to full in around an hour, and you'll get somewhere in the range of 5 minutes flight time if you do lots of flips, but just flying it around without serious acrobatics, I managed to stretch my flight time out to nearly 9 minutes using the standard battery it came with, and almost 15 minutes using a slightly larger capacity battery I scavenged from another RC chopper I own that has a busted tail rotor. I do not normally recommend swapping batteries around - to avoid over-voltage issued and potentially burning out motors, but in this case it had the same output specs, just a larger storage potential and weighed about the same as the approved battery. ALWAYS seek professional advice before playing Frankenstein with powerpacks!
Range is excellent for quads - at 100m range you have nearly double the usual for WiFi-controlled drones. This is, of course, because this unit runs on the older technology of just plain analogue radio waves. Rejoice, for this means way better playtime... and a longer walk for you when the battery flatlines. Exercise is good for the soul... and the rest of your body too.
Overall, this is a pretty neat toy, and at a pretty good price too. Watch for it at expos etc. as you will likely find it on sale at an even better price point... but even if you don't, $199 is quite tolerable, and you'll get plenty of fun out of it.
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