Unmanned aircraft have been around for quite some time. Most early use of drones had a military history up until recently where deregulation and availability have made this a huge hobby for many Americans…
…In fact, it is estimated that by the year 2020 there will be about 7 million drones owned and operated by either corporations and/or private citizens.
That is a dazzling amount of tiny aircraft buzzing in the air, wouldn’t you say? This fact alone enticed me to find out more information in regards to the draw drones have on people and what it is they want to accomplish by owning a drone.
In my research I found that there is such an array of choices with a price point that ranges from a few bucks to literally thousands of dollars each.
I want to focus on the average Joe who is interested but not necessarily committed to owning a full blown drone. I found that the Syma X5C Qaudcopter equipped with HD camera was an attractive, cost friendly, easy to use starter drone so lets dive in and see:
On the day I flew the drone we had sunshine and favorable winds so keeping the Quad level and flying was relatively easy and I managed to control it just fine, well with a couple of tries anyway…
…I will say that it is best if you take the time to “trim” your drone properly before heading out. You will find how to do this easy task in your users manual.
Light Weight –
It almost seemed too light and I really didn’t know how it would hold up to a beginner pilot such as myself but after a couple of mishaps the drone held up nicely. I was happy to see the X5C has propeller guards to minimize accidents which was reassuring since my young boys were out there with me.
(view using the onboard HD camera from the Syma X5C Quadcopter)
Typical 2.4GHz, 6 Axis Gyro RC quadcopter set up measuring just over 12 inches by 12 inches. The X5C is equipped with four replaceable propellers (included in the box), LED lights for the dusk or even night flights though I don’t recommend flying at night (see below), an under-mount camera and landing rails.
Battery Life –
I flew the drone for about 15 minutes on the first charge of the batteries. Like most electronic devices these days you charge the internal battery via USB charging cable (included).
Or, you can opt for an additional batteries and charger as an accessory…
…Since accessories seem to be easy to come by for this particular Quadcopter I chose to increase my flying time by purchasing additional batteries this enabled me to fly for considerably longer period of time.
I strongly recommend you grab these extra batteries, you won’t regret it! Charge time for the batteries took roughly 60 minutes and you could enjoy an afternoon with the kids capturing memories.
What I Didn’t Like About the Syma X5C
As a newer user, er uh, pilot I found it difficult, at first, identifying directionality as the drone flew further away or at higher elevations.
The only thing you have to give you any indication of direction at these distances are the LED lights which are great in ambient light but not so much in the bright daylight.
It did get better with time and practice so you might chalk this up to the newb in me.
Even though the directions are written clearly on the steps you must take to synchronize the Syma X5C and the controller it was difficult for me to do.
This was probably the most frustrating part as a newbie to drones and I am sure a more experienced “pilot” would have it up and running in no time but I struggled. I’m not sure if my drone had an issue or if I had the issue but it just didn’t synch as easily as it should.
It might be a good idea to have someone experienced in flying drones to walk you through the process or you just might boot the thing out the door!
What’s In The Box –
- You get the Syma X5C Explorers Quadcopter 2.4GHz 4-Channel Transmitter,
- 4 removable propeller guards,
- 3.7V 500mAh Li-Po Battery USB battery charging cable with LED indicator,
- 4 replacement propellers,
- small screwdriver to change propellers,
- USB memory stick for photo/video storage,
- 2GB Micro SD card (installed)
- instruction manual.
I think this is a fantastic “toy” that has the ability to turn a family outing into a real memory capturing moment! Although the camera isn’t the best quality out there it is good enough for photos and videos from angles you never thought possible.
For the small amount of money I spent on the Syma X5C Quadcopter and a few accessories my family and I enjoyed it tremendously and I HIGHLY recommend this Quad as your “starter” drone!
Q: How long of battery life is there for the X5C drone?
A: You can expect 7 to 10 minutes of fly time depending on camera usage.
Q: What kind of quality does the onboard HD camera have?
A: You have a 720p HD camera attached to the bottom of the craft. (see example pic above)
Q: How does this drone compare to any other drone with a camera?
A: You are getting a much better quadcopter than the price suggests.
Q: What are the best accessories for the X5C Quadcopter?
A: I recommend at least purchasing the additional batteries and charger to enjoy longer flight times.