Qcopter QC1 Drone Review

The Qcopter QC1 is a 40 cm x 40 cm high quality quadcopter from Qcopter. It has all you can expect from a quadcopter in this category, including 6 axis gyro stabilization, one-key return, flips on button press, prop guards and a HD camera. The flight time is exceptionally long, and up to 15 minutes, and the package includes two batteries for 30 minutes of flying. The Qcopter QC1 is available in black and green. The QC1 seems to be a rebrand of the JJRC H5P.

The control range of the QC1 is about 100 meters, and it will fly just as high too. As all quadcopters using the 2.4 Ghz spread spectrum technology,this will fall out of the sky if you run out of range, so be careful.

The QC1 is fast, so it may not be that suitable for beginners. Still with the 6 axis gyros it’s a remarkably stable aircraft – it will stay planted in the air, there is no need to work the sticks.

The quadcopter comes with prop guards and landing skids out of the box, and screws hold it together, so it’s fairly well protected in the event of a crash. The box also includes a pair of replacement props would any of them break.

Replacement parts are unfortunately a bit hard to come by for this drone, you have to email the seller for them – in this respect it’s really far from well supported quadcopters like the Syma X5C. The JJRC H5P parts are probably compatible with this quadcopter, but were not tested.

Being a largish quadcopter, with a 125 gram weight it can lift smaller objects, for example key chain cameras. Lifting large payload like a GoPro is out of question though. Due to the low weight FAA registration is not required.

The quadrotor is suitable both for indoor and outdoor flying, however due to it’s size it flies best outdoors. The quadcopter has three speed modes,which can be cycled using the left shoulder button of the transmitter.

The three modes make it suitable for beginner, intermediate and advance pilots, and help with indoor and outdoor flying too:the slowest mode is best for indoor flying while fastest mode is best for outdoors.

The QC1 tolerates small winds well, still for best results use it only on calm days.

The quadrotor supports one-key return, which means it will fly backwards compared to it’s initial direction, without you having to turn it around -this is really handy when you lose the orientation and just want to get the quadcopter back. The QC1 supports headless mode too – in this mode the directional commands (the right stick) will be interpreted with respect to the original direction, not the quadcopter’s actual direction.

Suggested age group for the QC1 is 14 years and up. As the quadrotor has small parts keep it out the reach of small children.

The mini-drone has strong LED lights, which make night flying fun, and orientation easier too.

The package includes a manual too, however you may need a magnifying glass for it, as it’s printed in a very small font. Also included are a 2GB MicroSD card and an USB card reader for the video functionality and an extra battery for the quadcopter. To start flying all you need are 4xAA batteries for the transmitter. The backside of the plastic holding the quadcopter contains the prop guards.

The QC1’s props are gear driven, still the quadrotor flies quietly, and will not disturb anyone. The motors are the brushed coreless type, which are used on quadcopters as they are both cheap and can spin up really fast.

The package size is about 40 cm x 30 cm x 10 cm, the package weight is about0.7 kilograms.

The camera

of the QC1 is a 2 megapixel unit, it can both take photos (in 1280×720 pixel resolution) and record videos onto the MicroSD card. The camera’s output can be grainy, for some customers getting a faster MicroSD card resolved this issue.

The camera is not an FPV one, so you will not see the live stream. On the upside this means that you do not need a smartphone for the video functionality.

The camera is controlled from the transmitter, which has buttons for taking photos, and starting/stopping recording: pushing the throttle trim button up to take a photo, or push the throttle trim button down to start/stop the video.

The camera is both removable and can be tilted, however it can require more force than you expect. If you are not sure it’s better not to force it.

Audio is not recorded by the camera.

The video is recorded in simple .AVI format, any video player can play it.A MicroSD card and USB card reader is included in the package too, so it’s one less thing to worry about.

The battery

of the Qcopter QC1 is a huge, 1100 mAh, single cell, 3.7 volt LiPo battery – no wonder it flies for so long, up to 15minutes. Even better the package comes with two batteries, for 30 minutes of flying.

The charge time is between 90 and 120 minutes, the charger is USB based andis compatible with any USB socket, including the iPhone wall charger.

To charge the battery first remove it from the quadcopter – it sits right under the canopy, in the top-center of the quad. Next connect it to the charger, and finally the charger to an USB socket. The charger’s LED will turn off once the battery is fully charged.

The drone has low voltage alarm, it’s LEDs will start blinking as it’s running out of power. Land as soon as you see this.

Replacement batteries are probably available from the seller directly,however google will find nothing. 1100mAh batteries for the JJRC quadcopters could be compatible, as the QC1 seems to be a rebrand – however this is not verified.

The transmitter

is a full sized unit, so you will not have hand-size issues with this one. With it’s blue sticks and buttons it looks like a JJRC transmitter. The quadcopter’s every function is available on the transmitter, including starting and stopping the video recording, and taking photos.

The transmitter uses the 2.4 Ghz spread spectrum technology, which is interference free, so you will be able to fly with others together. Just make sure you bind the quadcopters one-by-one.

The quadcopter only binds to it’s own transmitter, and for now it’s not available without a transmitter. Replacement JJRC transmitters could work,however this was not tested.

The transmitter is mode 2, with the throttle on the left.

Headless mode can be activated by pressing the left shoulder button. Long pressing the same button will activate the one-key return function.

For flip mode press the right shoulder button, then use the right stick to set the flip directions.

The yaw trim button bellow the left stick switches between beginner mode (when pushed to the left) and expert mode (when pushed to the right)

If the mini-drone is drifting after a crash, the gyros may need a reset. To do this place the quadcopter on an even surface, and move both sticks to the bottom right.

The transmitter has a small LCD screen, which displays the transmitter’s current status, for example the trim settings.

Pairing the quadcopter and the transmitter is easy: turn both of, set the throttle (left stick) to the minimum. Next turn on the quadcopter, then the transmitter, push the throttle up to the maximum then down to the minimum again.

The control range is up to 100 meters, and as the quadrotor will simply shutdown once out of range it’s a good idea to push the limits only above soft surfaces.

Overall

the Qcopter QC1 is a fast and fun quadcopter, the only minor issue is the low quality camera. While parts are a bit hard to come by the seller is very helpful would you need anything, and the 15 minute flight time makes this quadcopter unique in it’s category.
Fun:★★★★★
Value:★★★★★
Looks:★★★★★

Resources:

If you liked the Qcopter QC1 you will surely love the Syma X5C too. The seller has a great instructional video too on their website.

Eachine H8C Review

The Eachine H8C is a good-looking mini-quadcopter with a built-in camera,with 6 axis stabilization, headless mode and one-key return support,complete with landing skids and prop guards.

The H8C will do flips on button-press, and the camera’s functions are available on the transmitter, which is rare in this category.

The H8C’s range is around 100 meters which is big for the size of the quadcopter. The quad does not have a height limit, so it will fly just as high too. Very bright LED lights help with the orientation.

With the geared drive and the 6 axis stabilization system the H8C is agentle, stable quadcopter, suitable for beginners.

The H8C comes with 2 replacement propellers, and a wide variety of parts areavailable, includingprops,battery + charger,prop guards,motors and gear shaft.which make it one of the best supported mini quadrotors on the market.

The H8C is very light, weighing only 41 grams. This, together with the  not-so-strong geared setup means that it will not be able to lift anything substantial. On the upside, such light quadcopters do not need to be registered.

The H8C supports both indoor and outdoor flying, and will take mild gusts easily. Stronger winds will blow it away.

The H8C uses the 2.4 Ghz radio technology, so it will simply shut down if it flies out of range. However the 100 meter range is more than enough, as you would lose sight of it before it goes out of range anyway.

Headless mode and one-key return is supported. In headless mode the H8C will interpret the transmitter’s left-right-forwards-backwards signals with respect to it’s takeoff direction, not it’s actual direction – which comes handy if you lost the orientation.

The suggested age is 12 years and up.

The H8C’s size is 18 cm x 18 cm, the package size is 25 cm x 18 cm x 5.5 cm,package weight is 360 grams.

The package include the everything necessary for flying, except for the 4xAAbatteries for the transmitter, and the SD Card for the camera.

The H8C has three speed modes, which can be toggled using the left shoulder button of the transmitter. The three modes make it suitable for beginner,intermediate and advanced pilots.

The H8C uses 6mm x 15mm coreless motors which drive the propellers through a reduction gear. The H8C is a bit noisier than the average quadcopter due to the gears, however a bit of lube can work wonders.

The battery of the H8C

is a single cell, 3.7 volt, 250mAhLiPo battery. The H8C can fly 4 to 6 minutes after a 45 minute charging period.

The H8C has low voltage cutoff, and it’s bright LEDs will start flashing before the battery runs out. Land as soon as possible when you see this.

The battery is fixed inside the quadcopter, and charging is done through the USB charger which connects to the quad. Any kind of USB socket is good for charging, including the iPhone wall adapter.

To charge the battery just connect the quadcopter to the charger, and the charger to a USB port.

The battery is easily reachable, as it sits right bellow the top of the canopy. The battery is fixed in place using a double sided tape, and connects to the PCB using a JST connector. This also means that other JST based chargers work with the H8C too.

The H8C’s transmitter

is large and game-controller like,and fits the hands nicely. The sticks are about 10 centimeters apart, so it does not feel cramped.

The quadcopter’s every function is available on the transmitter, including taking photos, and starting/stopping the video recording.

The transmitter uses the 2.4 Ghz technology, which is interference free.This means that you will be able to fly with others together.
The H8C and the transmitter bind automatically, all you have to do is turn both of them on.

While the H8C can’t bind to every 2.4 Ghz transmitter, it is compatible with the Bayang quadcopters’ transmitters, and the Walkera Devo transmitters too, using the deviationtx firmware.

The transmitter is fixed in mode 2, the throttle is on the left stick.

The range is 100 meters, which is exceptionally large for a mini quad.

The camera in the H8C

is fixed in place, and is a bit bellow the expectations for such a quadcopter.

The camera’s resolution is 2 megapixels, it records videos and photos onto the MicroSD card which has to be plugged into the quadcopter, so it’s not an FPV solution where you can view the live feed. The MicroSD card and the reader is not included in the package, however MicroSD cards with a reader are really cheap nowadays.

The camera is angled downwards, so you have to fly high to take reasonable photos or videos.

The H8C will detect the inserted MicroSD card, and it’s green LED will turn solid. Without the MicroSD card a green and red led will flash.To take a photo, press shortly on the top of the left plus-shaped button.The H8C will acknowledge the command by shortly flashing it’s red LED.
To start or stop the video, press the same button for 3 seconds. The red LED will keep flashing while the camera is recording.

Always stop recording before powering off the H8C, or the video files could get corrupted.
The videos are saved in AVI format, and are viewable with pretty much any player. To view the videos and the photos remove the MicroSD card from the quadcopter, and connect the card to your computer using a card reader.

Overall

the Eachine H8C is a great quad, particularly suitable for beginner pilots. With the bright LED lights night flying is great too.
Fun:★★★★★
Value:★★★★☆
Looks:★★★★★

Resources:

If you liked the H8C, you will like the Holy Stone F180C and the bit bigger Syma X5C too.
RCGroups has a longer and a shorter thread on the H8C.

Udi U818A Review

The UDI U818A is a high-quality quadcopter made in Germany. It has all you can expect from in a beginner’s quadcopter, and even more:it’s gyro-stabilized, has a built-in camera, and can even do flips on demand. The quad comes with prop guards, so it’s better protected than your average drone. Due to it’s gyros stability is great, so you will not have to keep adjusting it. There is even a HDversion available.

With so much electronics on board, the flight is perfect. You can easily fly this copter outdoors small wind and it won’t get carried away. Indoor flight is a possibility too.

The range of the UDI U818A is around 30 meters, and can fly just as high. The flight time is between 6 to 9 minutes, and the charge time is between 1 to 2 hours.

Spare parts are available, for example here and here. The wide range of parts makes the UDI U818A one of the easiest to repair quads out there.

The U818A is 13.4 x 13.0 x 2.2 inches, and weighs around 4.2 ounces. With this size it can lift small objects, toy soldiers or a 808 keychain camera (however it has it’s own camera, but more on that later)

The suggested age is 14 years and up.

The quadrotor has headless mode, which means it will fly by taking you as the center of orientation instead of itself. For example, in normal mode if you turn left,and then forward the quadrotor will fly left. In headless mode it will fly forward.

Return home is supported too, but it does not seem to work for everyone.Despite being an advanced model, this quadcopter does not support beginner mode, or gyro sensitivity setting.

If you’d like to take the U818A with you on a trip it’s good to know that the shipping size is 546 x 368 x 95mm, and the weight is around 2lbs.

The UDI U818A has some nice LED lights, which make it a night flight champion.

The quad is fairly quiet too, which makes it ideal for quiet spots.

Due to it’s low weight FAA registration is not required.

The camera

has a 640×480 pixel resolution, and can both take photos and make videos (without audio) too. The Tx has two buttons for this function:one button for the video and one for the photos.

To view the videos just plug the camera into your computer’s USB port. There is no possibility to view the live feed from the quad.

The image and video quality is not stellar, but pretty good for the price.

The upside of this simple system is that you will not need a smart phone,or wifi to use the video function.

The card in the camera is an 1GB MicroSD card, you may want to get a bigger one if it gets filled up too fast.

The battery

is a 3.7V 500mAh one. the flight time is between 6 and 9 minutes, charge time between 1and 2 hours. To fly more it’s a great idea to get replacement batteries and maybe a charger for example here. The battery uses the standard JST plug. Other, JST compatible chargers should work with this battery too. Charging is simple: just plug in the charger, then the battery into the charger, and wait for the led to turn green.

During hard maneuvering the battery can get very hot which reduces it’s lifespan, so fly gently to get more out of this quad.

If you are good with electronics,larger batteries are available too, which have the possibility of doubling the flight time.

The transmitter

is a standard 2.4Ghz Tx, so you will not get any interference, multiple quads can fly together. Due to being a standard transmitter, other 2.4Ghz transmitters work with it too, possibly raising the range of the quad. The transmitter does not have a video output,as it’s not an FPV quadcopter. The Tx supports both mode 1 and mode 2flying, so you should be OK no-matter which you prefer.

Binding

is easy, just follow these steps:

  • Turn off both the Tx and the quad.
  • Turn on the Tx, and push the throttle to the top (max) and then to the bottom.
  • Put the quad on a flat surface and turn it on. 3 seconds later you will hear the tone indicating the successful binding, and the quad’s LEDs will turn on.
  • Next move the right stick to the bottom right corner. The quad’s LEDwill blink indicating the recalibration. When the LED is solid again your quad is ready.
Overall

6 stars out of 5 if that would be possible.
Fun:★★★★★
Value:★★★★★


Dronebly has a great review of the UDI U818A too. The Syma X5C and X5SC are in the same class, so worth a read too. The Holy Stone U818A is a rebranded UDI U818A,so you can’t go wrong with that one neither.

Hubsan X4 H107C Review

The Hubsan X4 H107C is a great looking quadcopter, perfect for beginners who would like to enter this hobby. The quad is of really high quality, it was clearly built with great attention to detail. It has all the features you could expect in this price category, including video-recording ability, and it will even do flips for you. The quad is stabilized by a 6axis gyro system, so the flight is stable. It has both beginner and advanced modes. Return home, headless mode, and automatic landing is not yet supported. Gyro sensitivity setting is supported however. The quad also has LED lights, which makes orientation easy.

The quadcomes with replacement props and prop guards. The guards extend the quad’s life time, so it’s a great idea to install them, even though it reduces the flight time a little bit. With the prop guards in place the quad is extremely durable, nevertheless it’s a great idea to fly only above soft surfaces.

As usual trimming is possible on the transmitter.

There is a huge selection of parts available, for example batteries,props and prop guards, and even complete replacement kits..

Despite it’s small size the quad is fairly strong, so it can lift small objects, for example additional cameras or lights. Flight time is a respectable 7 minutes with a 40 minute charge time.

While it performs the best indoors, outdoor flight is a possibility too.Just avoid heavy winds.

Range is up to 100 meters (~300 feet), and the quad can fly just as high too. The winds up there can be strong, so be careful.

Suggested age is above 14 years.

The quad weighs around 50 grams with the battery, and is about 8cm x 8cm x 2.5cmin size with the props. The motor is brushed, and it has no GPS, however this is thedefault in this size and price category. The package weight is 1.2 pounds.

Quads this small do not need to be registered, which is a plus – you can start flying ASAP.

The camera

on the quad is 720p, the camera records onto a MicroSD card. Video recording has to be started on the quad before the flight,there is no switch on the Tx for this function. The camera is a fixed forward-looking one, the lens is compatible with the 808 keychain cameras -good to know would it get damaged. The video is non-FPV so you can only view it after landing.

Stopping the video must be done on the quad too. Remember to stop the video before turning of the quad, otherwise the file could get damaged.

To view the videos you will have to remove the Micro SD card and use a card reader, or you mobile phone.

The quad records audio too, however it is too quiet to be usable.

Recording can become blurry sometimes. To fix this you will have to break the lens free by rotating it, and do multiple recordings in new positions. Select the position where the video is sharp and re-glue the lens.

The battery

is a 380mAh LiPo one, with possibility to upgrade to500mAh. Flight time is 7 minutes, charge time is 40 minutes, which is fairly fast. As the battery is lithium based the usual caveats apply: do not short circuit, push it into fire, or into water as it may catch fire.Replacement batteries are available, so you won’t have to wait 40 minutes between the flights. The battery connector is standard JST connector so a really wide range is available.

The charger

is USB based, so you will need an USB socket to charg your batteries. Replacement chargers are available, for example this one supports charging four batteries together. Great for flying with friends, or simply to charge all your batteries at once.

Once the charging is complete, the USB charger’s LED will simply go off.

The transmitter

uses the 2.4 Ghz technology which is immune to interference, so you can fly more than one X4s and other quads together.Mode 1 and mode 2 flying are both supported, so you surely won’t feel lost with this quad. The range is up to 100 meters.

Binding the quad to another Tx is a possibility too, so if you have your favorite Tx you will be able to use it.

Being a non-FPV quadcopter the Tx does not have a video screen or a phone holder.

Trims are available so you can fine-tune your quad’s flight.

Overall

it’s a great little quad, and a looker too.
Fun:★★★★★
Value:★★★★★
Looks:★★★★★


The H107C has a camera-less smaller brother, the H107L. If you like the looks of theH107C you will surely love the Holy Stone F1810C too!

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Review

The Holy Stone HS170 is another great looking,well built quadcopter from Holy Stone. The HS170 has a 6 axis stabilization system,which grants it a really smooth flight. The HS170 is rugged, it has tiny legs for landing, and prop guards out of the box which make it survive most of the crashes.

The HS170’s flight time is 6 to 8 minute, it’s range is 30 to 50 meters.Once out of range it will simply drop out of the sky, so take care when pushing it’s limits.

The HS170 has advanced electronics, besides the 6 axis stabilization it can do flips on button press, and has headless mode too (in headless mode the front-back-left-right will be interpreted with respect to the take off direction, which makes piloting the quadcopter easy). Automatic landing or lift off is not supported.
The mini-drone has one-key return which can help you bring it back if you lost orientation.
Being the cheap quadcopter it is, the HS170 does not have a GPS. It has fast-acting coreless brushed motors. The motors drive the propellers directly, so flies quietly and is very nimble.

The mini-drone supports both indoor and outdoor flight, and has beginner, intermediate and advanced modes too.

A wide range of parts are available for the HS170, for example replacement motors, replacement propellers, batteries and so on.

The HS170 is fairly small so it can’t lift anything substantial. It’s only 13×13 cm and weight is bellow the FAA registration limit. Even though it’s small it can cope with winds fairly well.

The suggested age group for the HS170 is 14 years and up.

The package includes everything for flying, except for the 6xAA batteries for the transmitter. The quad is ready-to-fly, you will not have to put it together yourself.

The shipping weight is 400 grams.

The HS170 does not have a camera

, so it does not need an SD Card, or smartphone app (even though the Holy Stone website says so).

The battery

of the Holy Stone HS170 is a single-cell 3.7volt LiPo battery, with 350mAh capacity.
With this battery the mini-drone can fly for 6 to 8 minutes after a 60 to 80 minute long charge period.

The HS170 has low voltage cutoff with blinking. When the battery is getting low during the flight, the quadcopter’s LEDs will start blinking and it will reduce the motor performance. If you experience this, land as soon as possible to avoid a crash.

The factory charger uses an USB socket. To charge the battery first connect the battery to the charger, next the charger to the USB socket.

The quadrotor’s motors have a tendency to overheat, so let it rest 10 minutes between the flights.

Replacement batteries and chargers are available – buying more batteries is a simple way to get longer flights.

The transmitter

of the HS170 is a simple unit, a bit toy like, however it’s more than up to the task. It fits large hands nicely too.

It uses the 2.4 Ghz spread-spectrum technology, which means it’s immune to interference, so you can fly together with others.

Binding

the quadcopter and the transmitter is simple. First turn them both off, set the throttle to the minimum, and place the quadcopter on an even surface.
Next turn on the quadcopter, then the transmitter, and push the throttle up to the maximum, then down to the minimum again.

The transmitter is mode 2, with the throttle on the left stick.

To toggle between beginner, intermediate and advanced modes, all you have to do is depress the left stick towards the body on the transmitter. The transmitter will beep accordingly. One beep is beginner mode, two beeps are for intermediate, and three beeps for advanced mode.

The upper throttle trim button turns the LEDs on and off (great way to save a bit of battery), while long pressing the lower throttle trim button activates the one-key return function.

Depressing the right stick starts the flip mode.

To recalibrate the gyros, first depress the throttle stick until you hear beeps. Next move both sticks to the bottom left corner, and wait for the blinking on the quadcopter to stop.

The range of the HS170 is up to 50 meters, which is pretty nice for such a small quadcopter.

Overall

the HS170 is a great mini-drone to get started with. It looks good, flies well and will take crashes like a champ.
Fun:★★★★★
Value:★★★★★
Looks:★★★★★

Resources:

If you liked this quadcopter, you will surely love the Hubsan X4 H107Ltoo. For a similar sized quadcopter with a camera, check the Holy Stone F180C.
The HS170’s reviews on Amazon are very helpful too.

Akaso K88 Review

The Akaso K88 is a sturdy, good looking quadcopter from Akaso, featuring a HD camera, one button flip, very bright LED lights, and a strong styrofoam protecting frame, making it one of those indestructible quadcopters.

Just as other quadcopter in this category the K88 has 6 axis gyro stabilization (3 axis for accelerometers and 3 axis for gyroscopes) and flies very smoothly, it will keep it’s position fairly well without drifting.

The control range for the Akaso K88 is 50 to 100 meters depending on the environment, and it can fly just as high too. However once out of range this will drop out of the sky, so fly above soft surfaces as much as possible.

The K88 is suitable for both indoor and outdoor flight, however due to it’s size it really shines outdoors. It will take light gusts easily, however moderate to stronger winds can carry it away.

The transmitter has high and low modes too, which make the mini-drone suitable for beginner and advanced pilots, and make indoor-outdoor switching easier.

While the quadrotor is well built, and comes with replacement props out of the box, parts are generally a bit hard to find, so in this respect it’s a bit lacking compared to Syma’s offerings for example.

Still, batteries and replacement charger are easy to find and it’s even available as a bundle.

The box contains everything you need for flying, except for the 3xAAbatteries for the transmitter. (Older versions of the Akaso K88 with the all-black transmitter needed 6xAA.)

The K88 weighs around 105 grams, and is 33 cm X 33 cm in size – so while it can lift small objects, lifting a GoPro is out of question. On the upside,drones this light do not have to be registered with the FAA.

As with other quadrotors, the K88 is suitable for ages 14 and up. Younger children could play with it too, however it’s dangerous for toddlers as it contains small parts, so keep it out of their reach.

The Akaso K88 does not have headless mode or one key return, so it’s not as advanced as it could be.

The mini-drone’s propellers are gear-driven, still it flies very quietly.The motor is the fast-accelerating brushed coreless type.

The package weight is about 460 grams, the package size is about 34 cm X 34cm X 14 cm.

This is probably the best-lit mini-drone you can find, as it has a LED stripe along it’s edge. Night flying is great, it shines like a shooting star up in the sky.

The camera

of the Akaso K88 is a 1.3 megapixel unit, it can take photos at an 1280×1024 pixel resolution, and record videos at640x480, 30 frames per second. The video is average quality; the camera records audio too, however it’s not really usable due to the propeller noise.

As the K88 is not an FPV quadcopter so no smartphone is needed for the video functionality. The videos get recorded to the 4Gb MicroSD card which comes in the package. The format is simple .AVI, which makes it viewable with any video player application. The package includes an USB card reader too, which is a nice addition.

The camera can be tilted by about 30 degrees, so you can point it in the direction you wish. The camera is not removable.

All the camera’s functions are on the transmitter, so unlike simple drones,(e.g. the Hubsan H107C), you can take pictures, start and stop the recording from the transmitter – a nice little feature.

It’s important to stop the recording before powering off the quadcopter,otherwise the video files will get damaged. If you still experience video issues, make sure the card fits the camera nicely, and reformat it as fat32.

The battery

of the K88 is a fairly high capacity, 850mAh3.7volt LiPo battery. The battery gives the quadcopter a 6 to 8 minute flight time, after 1.5 to 2 hours of charge time. The flight time can be increased by turning the LEDs off.

The charger of the quadrotor is a simple USB based charger, it’s compatible with any USB socket, including the iPhone charger too.

Charging is simple: disconnect and remove the battery from the quadcopter,and connect it to the charger. Next connect the charger to an USB port and wait for the LED to turn off.

As the charge time is really long, the best way to get more fun out you quadcopter is to buy more batteries – USB power banks won’t really work as you’d have to wait too long for the battery to charge.

The K88’s batteries use a standard JST plug, so it’s easy to find compatible batteries. In theory any single-cell 3.7 LiPo battery which fits the quadcopter should work – just make sure you do not over heat the motors with the extended usage.

The transmitter

of the K88 is a full-sized unit, so it’s perfect both for smaller and large hands. As the mini-drone uses the interference-free 2.4Ghz technology, you will be able to fly together with others. All you have to do is bind the quadcopters to their transmitters one-by-one.

There are two versions of this transmitter, an older, full-black one which requires 6xAA batteries, and a newer red and black one which only needs 3xAAbatteries.

The control range is between 50 and 100 meters depending on the environment,and the quadrotor will drop out of the sky if you fly out of range, so take care.

The transmitter has an LCD screen with all the information you’d need: it displays the transmitter battery status, trim settings, and low-intermediate-high modes as 0,50 and 100%.

The transmitter has buttons for taking photos and starting/stopping videos on the top right side, a button for easy mode on the top left side.

It also has two shoulder buttons, the right shoulder button toggles flip mode, the left shoulder button cycles through the low-intermediate-high modes.

The transmitter is mode 2, with the throttle on the left stick.

To bind the quadcopter and the transmitter, turn both of and set throttle to the minimum. Next turn both on, and push the throttle up to the maximum and down to the minimum again.

Overall

while the Akaso K88′ support is a bit lacking and has a long charge time, overall it is a nice little quadcopter, with exceptionally strong LED lights and very strong frame.
Fun:★★★★☆
Value:★★★★☆
Looks:★★★★★

Resources

Dragon Blogger reviewed the older version a few months ago. Even though things have changed, it is still relevant. If you liked the Akaso K88 you will surely love the UDI U818A and the Holy Stone U818A too.

Ionic Stratus Review

The Ionic Stratus is a professional looking quadcopter designed especially to carry a GoPro Hero 3 and 4. It’s supports everything you can expect from a quadcopter in this category: it has headless mode, on key return, it can do flips and rolls on button press. The Ionic Stratus is huge, it measures around 0.5 meters X 0.5 meters with the prop guards on.

The box contains everything needed for flying, except for the 3xAA batteries for the transmitter (and the GoPro).

The Ionic Stratus comes with landing gear and prop guards so it’s fairly well protected. It can easily withstand small crashes and hard landings.

The quadrotor is 6 axis stabilized, and it flies very smoothly. The range is around 150 meters, and it can fly just as high too. As usual with quadcopters using the 2.4 Ghz transmitter technology it just shuts down once it goes out of range, so be careful with it.

Spare batteries are available on Amazon, while other parts are available from rc helicopter parts. Here you will find anything you could need, from motor covers to batteries, legs and propellers.

The Stratus is strong, it can easily lift the 70-85 grams of a GoPro Hero.

Being a large quadcopter it really shines when it flies outdoors. Indoor flight is a possibility too, but it needs space. When starting out with this quadcopter make sure to fly without a GoPro first, so you can get used to the controls.

The Ionic Stratus tolerates winds pretty well, and will fly in winds up to30 km/h (20 mph). However fighting the wind requires more power to the motors, so flight times will be shorter.

Suggested age group is 14 years and up.

The transmitter has low/intermediate/high modes so it’s suitable both for beginner and advanced pilots. It also has a knob to set the throttle limit,which can be used to limit the maximum throttle between 50% and 100%.

The Stratus has headless mode which comes very handy if you lose the orientation. It basically switches the quadrotor to an absolute coordinate system, so it will fly back to you if you use the backstick, fly away from you for forward. Left and right are interpreted in a similar manner.

One key return is supported in headless mode – the quadcopter will simply fly back towards you.

Flight time is excellent, up to 12 – 15 minutes, after charging for 1 to 2hours.

The package size is 53 x 38 x 18 centimeters, the shipping weight is 3.8pounds, so it ships in a fairly large box.

The motors are brushed, and they drive the propellers through a gear, still the Ionic Stratus is fairly quiet.

The Ionic Stratus has very bright LED lights which make orientation easier, and are great for night flying too.

As the Stratus was designed for aerial photography it does not fly very fast, however it can fly up to 16 km/h.

The Ionic Stratus comes without a camera

, however it does have a vibration damper to mount your GoPro. The mount is static, so you will not be able to tilt or rotate it. The GoPro fits only without it’s housing (or you will have to modify your drone).

The Curved + Flat Adhesive Mounts work well with this quadcopter too,and can result in better video quality than the original mount.

Video quality is as good as you can expect from a GoPro, and sound will get recorded too, but you should expect some wind – and propeller noise in it.

While it works for many, it’s a great idea not to use the WiFi on the GoPro – it could interfere with the transmitter’s signals, and could cause the Stratus to crash or get lost.

While the Stratus only supports the GoPro officially, you could mount any appropriately sized camera on it with some work. Just make sure the camera and the assembly, does not weigh more than 85 grams, you can fix it in place securely, and that the legs are not in the picture.

The Ionic Stratus’s battery

is a 1200mAh, 2 cell, 7.4 VoltLiPo battery, which gives the Stratus a 12 to 15 minutes long flight time after a 1 to 2 hour long charge time. Official replacement batteries are available.

The Stratus has a limited low voltage cutoff, it’s motors will start to slowdown once the battery is running out. So if you notice that your Stratus is slowing or starts the descend you should land as soon as possible.

The charger turns green once it’s charged. The adapter is AC based, a wall socket is needed to charge the ionic stratus.

The battery uses a JST plug to connect to the quadrotor, and a generic 2S balancing plug to connect to the charger. This means that other batteries and chargers with the same spec should work too.

The transmitter

uses the 2.4Ghz technology, which is interference free, so you will be able to fly with others together.

The transmitter is full-sized, so it best fits adult hands. It also has anLCD which displays all the basic information: trim settings, mode 1 / mode2, beginner, intermediate or advanced mode, and the transmitter’s battery status.

The quadrotor could be susceptible to interference from the GoPro’s WiFi, so for best results disable it, or at least take care when using it.

The Stratus’ LEDs can be turned on and off using the top left button of the transmitter. It’s useful to get slightly longer flight times.

The transmitter supports both mode 1 and mode 2, which is selectable using the switches left of the left stick and right of the right stick.
Move both of the up for mode 1 flying (throttle on the right stick), or move both of them down for mode 2 (throttle on the left).
Never move them in the opposite direction.

Binding the Stratus and the transmitter is simple, all you have to do is turn on the quadcopter first, then with the throttle set to the minimum turn on the transmitter. Next push the throttle up to the maximum, then down to the minimum again. The quadcopter and the transmitter are now bound.

The range of the transmitter is a decent 150 meters.

Overall

the Ionic Stratus is a great quadcopter for aerial photography, it’s lift capacity is excellent in it’s price range.
Fun:★★★★☆
Value:★★★★★
Looks:★★★★★

Resources:

Rc helicopterparts has all the parts you could need for the IonicStratus. The reviews on Amazon are very helpful too. You might be interested in the Syma X5C and X8C too.

Hubsan X4 H107L

The Hubsan X4 H107L is a well-built, high quality quad,suitable for the “advanced beginner”. It’s really tiny, weighing a bit less than 30 grams without the battery. Being so small it is best suited for indoor flying, however it performs great outsides too on calm days. Compared to the H107C it’s better built, so it can take even more abuse. The quad comes with prop guards in the box, so you can protect it even more.The box comes with everything you need to start flying, except for the batteries (4xAA required). The props are tighter fitting than on the X4 H107C, which protects the motors better. Please note that the prop removal tool might not be included in the package.

The flight is a bit hyperactive, so you will have to adjust it to stay planted. The upside is that the quad is a lot of fun to fly, and reacts well to your inputs.The range is around 30 meters, and it can fly just as high too. The quad has tiny, soft legs so landing will be really smooth. Despite it’s small size it can lift around 3 grams.

Being a popular quad, a wide range of replacement parts are available, for example on this set.

The quad has bright leds, which make it suitable for night flying. Even better, the LEDs will start flashing when the battery is running out of juice, so you will know when to land.

The quad has multiple modes for beginners and experts. In expert mode you can turn of flips which is a big plus – flips can be triggered accidentally,and they could result in a crash, but not in anti-flip mode! Gyro sensitivity setting is supported too, which makes the quad capable of a really wide range of behaviors, from tame to wild.

The quad is fast, so look out where you fly it! Starting out with tiny stick movements is a great idea.

Suggested age is 14years + . The quad has tiny parts, so make sure to keep it out of the reach of small children.

The quad uses brushed motors which will get used up with hard flying. Fortunately replacement motors are available from multiple sources.

Headless mode is not supported by this quad; to use headless mode the UDI U818A can be a better choice. Being a low-priced model it does not have a GPS, so return home isn’t supported either – but at least you do not have to pay the premium for the more complicated electronics.

The quad is 130mm x 130mm in size, so it’s fairly small, and thus quiet too.Shipping weight is 1.1 pound, the box size is around 3.5 x 7.1 x 14 inches.

Quads this small do not need to be registered which makes your life easier.

Video output

is not supported by this quad; for a related product with video support you may want to check out our H107C review.

If you are adventurous, the quad might be able to lift an 808 keychain camera – you will have to mod them just a little bit to reduce their weight.

The battery

is a 3.7V 240mAh lithium polymer battery.Expected flight time is around 9 minutes, with a charge time of 40 minutes.Replacement and upgrade batteries are available so you will not have to wait that 40 minutes out, with charger and without charger too. The battery has a JST connector, so you can use any compatible charger – just make sure it has overcharge protection. The factory charger can charge only one battery at a time so getting a replacement charger is a good idea. Using the factory charger is really easy: just plug it into an USB port, plug in the battery, and wait for the red LED to turn off.

The quad is fairly intelligent, and it’s LEDs will start flashing when the battery is getting low – so make sure land ASAP to avoid damage to the quad and the battery.

The transmitter

is a standard 2.4 Ghz one so you will not get any interference – you can fly as many quads together as you (and your friends) would like to. If you already have a transmitter you can get a variant of this quad without a Tx, for example here.

The transmitter supports both mode 1 and mode 2, and it’s fairly easy to change the mode.

To activate mode 1:
  • Turn off the transmitter.
  • Move the left stick to the upper left position and the right stick to the upper right position and keep them there.
  • Turn on the transmitter.
  • Move the sticks around twice to calibrate the transmitter.
  • Hold down the trim button bellow the right stick until the LED blinks red.
  • Turn off the transmitter again. It will be in mode 1 next time you turn it on.
Activating mode 2 is almost the same:
  • Turn off the transmitter.
  • Move the both sticks to the upper left position and keep them there.This is the only different step.
  • Turn on the transmitter.
  • Move the sticks around twice to calibrate the transmitter.
  • Hold down the trim button bellow the right stick until the LED blinks red.
  • Turn off the transmitter again. It will be in mode 1 next time you turn it on.
Pairing

the transmitter and the quad is simple: just place the quad on a flat surface, turn it on, then turn the Tx on with the throttle pushed down. The transmitter LED will turn green when the binding is finished, and the quad’s LEDs will turn solid.

The stock transmitter’s range is 30 – 40 meters, getting another Tx may extend your range.

Overall

it’s a great looking quad for the advanced beginner.
Fun:★★★★★
Value:★★★★★
Looks:★★★★★


The H107C is the H107L’s larger brother with a camera on board.For even more information on the H107L the RCGroups thread is a great source.

Dromida Ominus Review

The Dromida Ominus is one of the great looking quads on the market today, with a generous battery life of up to 12 minutes. These two qualities alone are enough to see that it’s a high-end product which will surely give you great joy.

The box contains everything for flying.
The box includes everything for the flight,

which is a plus compared to other products. Besides the quad, transmitter, battery,charger, replacement props and instructions it even has the 4xAAA batteries required for the transmitter.

The quad is 6 axis stabilized (3 axis for the gyros and 3 axis for the accelerometers) so the flight is super stable. Flips are supported too, and the Dromida Ominous is eager to show off at the press of a button.

The range is around 50 meters, but it depends on your environment, clear fields work the best for quad flights. Once out of range the quad will just drop out of the sky, so it’s best to push the limits while flying low.Flight height is limited by the range, so you will be able to push it up high.

The quad is fairly durable, though some users complained about soft motor shafts. But then again it’s a problem only if you crash it a lot.

Both indoor and outdoor flight is supported. The quad has four flight modes between beginner and expert, which is makes switching between indoor and outdoor flight easier too.

The Dromida Ominous comes without crash- and prop-guards, so it’s a great idea to get a few to protect your flying machine. Amazon has them for example here.

The replacement main frame.

Replacement parts are available, which is a big plus. For example:

This quad was built for agility, so while it can lift some payload, it’s not really recommended. However fitting light object, like a 808 keychain camera works well.. The quadcopter handles wind like a champ, and can be flown really aggressively. Suggested ages is 15 years and up – one year higher than the average for quadrotors.

The quadcopter is available in green, blue, red and yellow colors. The colors have nothing to do with the frequency, you can fly two red ones together as the quadrotor uses the interference-free 2.4 Ghz technology. The colors together with the bright LEDs make orientation really easy.

While the quadcopter is advanced, it’s not advanced enough for automatic landing or return home, as it does not have a GPS. Headless mode is not supported either, for headless mode check out the UDI U818A.

The Dromida Ominus is 9.4 inches X 9.4 inches (238mm X 238mm) so it’s fairly large. The weight is around 100 grams, so you will not have to register it with the FAA. The large size and the geared propellers mean it’s not the quietest quad, however it’s not noisy either.

The box size is 14.8 X 9.7 X 3.9 inches , the shipping weight is 1.8pounds.

Video is not supported

by this version, however the Ominus has a variant with an FPV camera installed.

The stock battery.
The battery

is a 3.7V 700mAh Li-Po battery with a JST connector, the charger is USB based (works with iPhone chargers too). The flight time is up to 12minutes, with a charge time of 45 minutes, both of them are really generous.

The quad’s LEDs will start flashing when the battery is getting low, with plenty of time left to land.

Charging is simple: just plug the battery into the charger, the charger into an USB socket, the red LED turns on. Once it starts flashing you are good to go.

The quad comes with a single battery, but you can easily get more batteries for it. replacement chargers are available too.

The transmitter, flip button on the top left, mode on the top right.
The transmitter

uses the interference-free 2.4 Ghz technology, so it’s one less thing you have to worry about.

The transmitter is mode 2 only, which can be a problem if you are a mode 1pilot. Binding the quad to another transmitter is a solution to this issue.

The range is 50 meter for this quadcopter, and it will simply shut down once it’s out of range.

Pairing the quad and the transmitter is automatic, all you have to do is turn on the quad, then turn on the transmitter.

For some people binding does not seem to work, in reality the problem is the throttle trim is set all the way down. To fix the issue just raise the throttle trim until the quad is flying again.

Besides the usual sticks and trim buttons, the Ominus has a button for the flips, and a button for setting the sensitivity.

The quadcopter is only available with the controller.

Our rating:

The Dromida Ominus is fun little quadcopter.
Fun:★★★★★
Value:★★★★☆
Looks:★★★★★


You may want to visit Roger’s Hobby Center for another great review of the Dromida Ominus.

Syma X11C Aircam Review

The Syma X11C Aircam is a camera-equipped version of the well-established Syma X11. Just as it’s brother, it’s a well-built and great looking mini drone, which comes complete with a camera and crash guards.It has most of the functions you can expect from a quad rotor in this category:it’s 6 axis stabilized, can do flips on button press, has multiple speed modes, and the camera can be controlled from the transmitter too.The range of the X11C is around 30 meters, and it can fly just as high too.The quadcopter uses the interference-free 2.4 Ghz technology, so it will simply shut down would you fly out of range.The 6 axis stabilization grants the X11C a smooth flight, so you will not have to work the sticks just to make it stay on spot.

The box contains everything for flying, except for the 4xAAbatteries for the transmitter.

As the X11C comes complete with prop guards and bendable props, so it’s fairly well protected from crashes. Still, crashes occur but fortunately the X11C is very well supported, lot of parts are available for it, for example motor, gear, shaft and propeller bundle,propeller and prop guard bundle,body cover,motor cover and upgraded batteries with charger, just to mention the most important ones. For a complete list of parts click here.The X11C is fairly light and small (about 15 cm X 15 cm, weight is 36 grams) ,so lifting objects with it is out of question. The upside is that drones this small do not need FAA registration.Even though the X11C is small, it supports both indoor and outdoor flying.Besides making the X11C suitable both for beginner and experienced pilots,it’s low and high modes make indoor-outdoor switching easier too: low mode is better for indoor flying, while high mode is better for outdoors.The quadcopter tolerates small winds, however it can’t fight strong ones and could get carried away. So to keep your drone safe fly only in calm weather outside.The X11C lacks headless mode and one key return which is a minus, as it makes the quadcopter less suitable for beginners. For a quadcopter which supports headless mode you may want to check out the Eachine H8C. Automatic takeoff and landing, GPS, and night vision are not supported – butthen again none of the quadcopters in this price category have these features.The box contains everything you need for flying, except for the 4xAAbatteries. The box even contains a 2GB MicroSD card, however it does not contain a card reader.The package weight is 430 grams, and the size is about 36 cm X 9 cm X 20 cm.There is also another version of the packaging, which is about 20 cm X 20 cmX 15 cm in size. The X11C has brushed coreless motors and a gear drive, still it flies quietly so you will not disturb your environment. The suggested age group is 14 years and up. The quad contains small parts,so keep it out of the reach of little children. The quadcopter has LEDs which make it great for night flying. Even better the LEDs look downwards, so they are easy to spot. The propellers are direct-drive, so the Syma X11C does not make much noise.

Syma X11C video sample.
The video of the X11C

is a 2 megapixel unit, with a 1280 x 720pixel resolution. It’s fixed in place and it can record up to 20 minutes of video or 800 pictures onto the 2 GB MicroSD card. The video quality is better than it’s rivals’ and it records audio too -however the prop noise is just too much for that to be useful.The video functionality of the X11C can be controlled from the transmitter which is a plus.The video is non-fpv, so you can’t view the live stream, and you will not need a smartphone for this function. The videos are recorded in AVI format onto the SD card, so all players will be able to play them.To view the videos first stop the recording from the remote, next power off the quadcopter. Next remove the MicroSD card from the quadcopter and connect it to your  computer using a card reader.If you power it off before stopping the recording the video file will get corrupted and will not play.As the quadrotor is small it can’t lift another camera.

The stock battery is a 200mAh unit for a 5 to 10 minute flight time. Upgrades are available.
The battery

of the X11C is a 200mAh 3.7 volt LiPo battery,which gives the quadrotor a 5 to 10 minute flight time, after an hour long charging. Battery upgrades and replacement are available, and are great to have more fun with your quadcopter. For in-the-field charging you can use USB power banks too.The stock charger is USB based and works with any USB socket, even the iPhone charger too.To charge the battery first remove it from the quadcopter, next connect the battery to the charger, and finally the charge to the USB port. Charging is complete when the charger’s LED turns off.The battery’s plug is a standard JST plug, so a wide range of chargers and batteries are compatible with the X11C. Monster-sized 500mAh batteries are available too, which can give the X11C more than 11 minutes of flight time – just check the motor temperature often to avoid frying them.

The X11C’s transmitter.
The transmitter

of the X11C is game controller-like, exactly as the camera less X11’s transmitter. As such it does not really suit large hands.It uses the interference-free 2.4 Ghz technology, so you will be able play together with others.The range of the X11C is about 30 meters, and it will simply drop out of the sky if it gets out of range – this is how all the quadcopters which use the2.4Ghz spread spectrum technology behave.The X11C is a bit more open than other quadcopters, so it’s possible to bind the quad to other transmitters too. This may even extend the control range.The transmitter is in mode 2 by default (throttle on the left), however it is possible to switch between mode 1 and mode 2:first turn off the transmitter, and then turn it on again while pressing the rightmost trim button. This toggles mode 1 and mode 2, you can use the same sequence to switch back to mode 2. Binding the quad and the transmitter is simple:

  • First turn both the transmitter and the quadcopter off, and place the quadcopter on an even surface. Move the throttle to the minimum position.
  • Next turn on the quadcopter, and then the transmitter too.
  • Finally push the throttle up to the maximum and then down to the minimum again. This binds the quad and the transmitter.

If the X11C is drifting after a crash it’s time to recalibrate the gyros:first turn both the transmitter and the quadcopter off, next bind them. To recalibrate the gyros move both sticks to the lower right corner, and wait for the LEDs on the quad to turn solid.

Overall

the Syma X11C is a very popular durable quad,which suits intermediate to advanced pilots the best. The camera is highquality too and the spare part availability is exceptional. 5 star material.

Fun:★★★★★

Value:★★★★★

Looks:★★★★★

Resources:

If you liked the X11C you will probably love the Syma X11and the Eachine H8C too. RC Groups has along thread on the X11 and X11C, it’s really worth checking out, it’s full of useful information.