Syma X5SW Review

The Syma X5SW is the FPV variant of the Syma X5line. Thus the X5SW has much in common with the Syma X5 and the X5SC. It’s well built, has prominent legs and prop guards, so it can take crashes too, and overall gives a feeling of a high quality product.

It can do flips and rolls on button press, and has a 6 axis stabilization system, which makes flying very smooth.

The X5SW is suitable both for indoor and outdoor flying, however it really shines when flying outside on a calm day. Wind resistance can be a weak spot of this quadcopter, as some of it suffer from a slight wind bug. The wind bug can be counteracted by applying forward trim by pushing the trim button on the left of the right stick forwards multiple times. Just remember to push it backwards before landing. These steps are not necessary on calm days.

The X5SW also has a WiFi camera which can stream live video to your smartphone, or you can use it to take photos. It’s excellent for recording and aerial photography because you actually know what you are recording. However all WiFi based FPV solutions have a distinct lag, which can make FPV flying  bit of a challenge.

The X5SW’s range is around 50 meters, and it can fly just as high too. TheX5SW will simply shut down once out of range, so push it only above soft surfaces.

In general the flight is very stable due to the 6 axis stabilization, and the high and low settings make it suitable both for beginner and advanced pilots.

The legs and the prop guards the X5SW comes with make it very sturdy; upgrades and replacement parts are readily available too, for example replacement batteries with charger, upgraded motors, motor + gear set combos, replacement props, legs and guards.
All these available parts make the X5SW one of the best supported quads on the market.

Being a large quadcopter it can lift considerable weight too, particularly if you remove the camera. However a GoPRO is just too much for it.

The X5SW supports headless flight mode, which is very handy if you lose the orientation. The X5SW does not have a GPS.

The suggested age group for the X5SW is 14 years and up. Keep the quadrotor out of the reach of little children, as it contains small parts they could ingest.

The X5SW also has bright LEDs for orientation, green in the back and redLEDs in the front. Besides helping the orientation, the LEDs are used as low voltage indicators too: they will start flashing before the LiPo battery runs out.

The X5SW is 31 x 31 x 10 cm in size, and it’s weight is around 120 grams with the camera on. As such the X5SW does not need FAA registration.

The box size is 41 x 35 x 10 cm and weight is around 1 kilogram. The box contains everything you need for flying except for the 4 x AA batteries for the transmitter (for the video functionality you will need a smartphone).

The low and high settings and the flipping function can be activated by pressing the shoulder buttons of the transmitter.

Even though the X5SW has a geared drive with brushed motors, it’s not noisy.

The X5SW’s video

is a 640 x 480 pixel 0.3 MP unit. The FPV system has a 0.5 second lag – so it’s ideal to try out FPV flying, however you will probably want to move to another solution later.

The X5SW does not record audio. If you need audio you may want to check the Syma X5C.

The X5SW’s FPV supports WiFi capable Android and iPhone smartphones, and transmitter has a cellphone holder for this. The videos are recorded onto the smartphone, you can use a file manager to save them to your computer.Viewing the live video feed on a computer is not supported.

The camera is removable, so you can use the X5SW as a normal quadcopter too.Flight times will be longer this way, due to the reduced drag, weight, and battery usage.

The WiFi range is around 50 meters too, so you will not run out of WiFi range with this quadcopter. The camera is usable without the X5SW, all it needs is a 3.7 volt LiPo battery for power, so you can mount it on other quadcopters or RC vehicles too with a bit of tinkering.

A cellphone app is required for the camera, which is downloadable using the QR code on the box. To start the FPV turn on the camera and connect to the”FPV WIFI_****” WiFi network with your smartphone. Next start the smartphone app. The smartphone app has buttons to record a video, take a photo, or replay previous videos.

If you have issues with the camera try powering up the quad first, and connect the camera only afterwards. The WiFi can have interference issues,so if it’s not working at home it still could work out on the field as there are no other interfering hotspots there.

The smartphone apps are available from Syma, or directly on Google Playand the AppStore.

Handbrake can recode the videos into MP4 or MKV formats.

The X5SW is cannot be controlled from a smartphone, so you will still need the transmitter.

The X5SW’s battery

is a single cell, 3.7 volt, 500 mAh LiPo battery. Flight time is around 5.5 minutes, after a charge time of 2 hours.The charger is USB based, and is compatible with most USB sockets, for example iPhone chargers work well with it too.

Replacement chargers and batteries are available, even huge, 1200 mAh batteries too which can give the X5SW much longer flight times.

The X5SW has low voltage protection, and will signal low battery voltage with flashing LEDs. When you see this land as soon as possible to avoid damage to the quadcopter.

The X5SW’s transmitter

is a full sized unit,which has everything you need to control the quadcopter, except for the video functions, which are handled by the smartphone app.

The transmitter uses the interference-free 2.4 Ghz technology, so you will be able to fly together with others.

The transmitter is mode 2 (throttle on the left); to toggle mode 1 and mode2, turn of the transmitter, then turn it on while pushing the trim button bellow the right stick to the right. It’s that simple.

The quadcopter and the transmitter bind automatically, all you have to do is turn on the X5SW first, next the transmitter with the throttle set to minimum. Next push the throttle to the top and back to the minimum again to bind them together.

To reset the X5SW’s gyros, simply move both sticks to the bottom right corner after binding, and wait for the X5SW’s LED to flash.

Binding to other transmitters is doable, but is generally not supported. The Walkera Devo line of transmitters can drive the Syma quadcopters using a hardware modification and the deviation firmware.

If your Syma X5SW has low transmitter range try to hold the trim button next to the right stick up while you are binding the quad and the transmitter.

Overall

the X5SW is a nice quadrotor to try out the basics of FPV flying, and good for taking photos. Still it’s far from perfect, and the FPV lag, low camera resolution and the wind bug clearly show that it’s a toy – even though a fairly advanced toy.
Fun:★★★★☆
Value:★★★★☆
Looks:★★★★★

Resources:

For even more details on the X5SW you may wantto check out this flitetest thread and the manual on manualslib.com. The reviews on Amazon.com are very practical too.

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