I’ve done a few different product reviews for geekbuying.com now, and I have to say that I have enjoyed the products they have sent. Geekbuying doesn’t manufacture anything, rather they are a series of warehouses that distribute products for various manufacturers. Usually, the products they distribute are a good value, and present toy grade and entry level hobby grade items. In addition to hobby products, they sell a wide variety of other electronic items as well – most of it is not brand named, which allows them to sell items at discount prices. My latest review falls into that category very nicely. The MJX Bugs 3H quadcopter is a mid-sized quad that appears to be a decent product at a reasonable price. It features two different flying modes, which makes it good for pilots of all skill levels! Interested? Read on to find out more about this quad, and where you can get your own!
Price: $119.00 (Price at time of review publication)
Item No: B3H
Rotor Base: 310 mm
Quadcopter Size: 440 X 440 X 145 mm
Quadcopter Weight: 490g
Frequency: 2.4 gHz
Channel: 4 CH
Gyro: 6 Axis
Maximum Flight Speed: 10 M/S
Motor Type: Brushless
Motor: 1806 1800KV
ESC: 8A Brushless
Propeller Length: 187 mm
Quadcopter Battery: 7.4V 1800 mAh 25C (Included)
Flying Time: About 17 mins
Charging Time: About 300 mins
Transmitter Model: GR6320D (Mode 2)
Transmitter Battery: 1.5V 4 X AA (Not Included)
The MJX Bugs arrived nicely organized and packed in full color box with a foam insert. All of the parts were bagged and well protected for shipping. It was quite surprising to see so many items packed in a fairly small box! All of the parts were laid out, and everything was there.
The main frame of the Bugs quadcopter is pre-assembled which should make the final assembly process quick.The frame appears to be quite sturdy, and looks good as well. There’s a large white LED at the front of the quad, and a color coded light bar on each of the four motor booms. The 2.4 gHz antenna is externally mounted on the bottom side of the quad, along with the camera mount and battery holder.
MJX has included a dual antenna transmitter with the Bugs quad – Though there’s no mention in the manual as to why, I believe it’s because the system supports basic telemetry. A signal is sent from the quad to the transmitter when the flight battery gets low and when there’s a low signal connection between the quad and transmitter. There are several buttons on the face of the transmitter – starting from the left, there are the LED light on/off, Lock/Unlock, Low/High speed flight, and Photo/Video shooting (only works with MJX camera). On the back of the transmitter, there are two buttons as well. L1 is for the flip function, and L2 is not used at this time. The shoulder dial is also not used with the Bugs quad. I like the transmitter – it feels comfortable when flying, and is light weight. With that said, it does incorporate a neck strap hook on the face of the transmitter, should you feel the desire to use it. The left stick has two positions for flying, depending on the style of flying you want to do. Position one is for advanced/aerobatic (Professional) flight, and position two is for altitude hold. The red X is there as a warning to make sure that the adjustment switch is moved fully into the number two position. The trim switches also help to maintain a stable hover.
A 7.4 Volt, 1800 mAh LiPo battery and and charger are included with the Bugs quad, and the battery provides up to 17 minutes of flying time per charge. Though not included, Geekbuying.com does offer a spare battery that can be purchased for about $27.00. The charger is powered by a USB power source, such as a cell phone brick charger – the manual suggests that a computer USB port NOT be used. When charging, the green LED flashes – when completely charged, the green LED glows solid.
MJX has included two full sets of propellers with the Bugs quad, along with prop guards that are easy to install. The long landing gear legs are installed when adding a camera below the quad, and are easy to install.
The included camera mount/holder works with GoPro series cameras, as well at the MJX cameras sold on Geekbuying.com. A Philips screwdriver and propeller installation tool are included with the quad as well.
Usually, when I review these inexpensive quads, there’s not much of a manual included, which leaves the pilot to guess at a lot of things – this it definitely NOT the case with the MJX Bugs! In addition to a full manual, a quick-start guide is included for more experienced pilots. Also included is a small sheet of decals!
Getting Ready to Fly
Getting the Bugs ready for flight does require a small amount of assembly, but it’s pretty simple. I started by charging the flight battery and installing four AA batteries in the transmitter. One quick note I want to mention – A fully depleted battery can take as long as five hours to charge if used until the transmitter’s alarm sounds, so you might want to keep spare batteries on hand for extended flying time.
The four propellers were spun onto their respective brushless motors, and the prop tool made it easy to get the props tight. The props can only be installed on certain motors, so pay close attention and don’t force anything.
To install the propeller guards, a pair of screws was removed from each of the four short landing gear legs, the guard was set in place over the gear leg, and then the screws were reinstalled to secure the propeller guards in place.
Because I planned on setting up a camera, I chose to install the long gear legs right away. Each leg was installed with a pair of screws that were included with the quad.
The camera holder simply slides into a mount on the bottom of the battery box, and is secured with a small twist lock. The camera mount does offer some vibration insulation to help keep photos and videos stable and in focus.
When the flight battery had finished charging, it was slid into the holder. The battery is held in place by friction, making changes easy and quick – but the battery is still secure for flight as well!
Following the manual, I turned on the transmitter, followed by powering up the quad. The bright white LED lit up, and the quad was ready to fly. To initialize the flight, the lock/unlock button was pressed – this readied the quad for flight. If the transmitter is in the altitude hold mode, the motors will start at a low RPM and wait for the pilot to advance the left stick to take off. Once airborne, the quad will hover at whatever altitude it’s flying at when the stick is returned to the neutral position. To land, the left stick is then pulled rearwards to the low position – the quad will descend to the ground and the motors will shut off. Once this is done, the motors will stay locked until the lock/unlock button is pressed again.
For the initial flights and photo and video shooting, I used my back yard in town. It proved to be a decent spot to fly, though a bit small – this proved to me that the Bugs was really easy to fly!
As I mentioned earlier, the flight was initialized by pressing the lock/unlock button. when the motors started spinning, I pushed the left stick forward and the quad ascended until the stick was released back to the neutral position.
For the first flight, I decided to keep the quad around eight to ten feet above the ground. I was really impressed by how well this inexpensive quad was able to maintain a really good altitude hold. It didn’t move up or down more than a few inches! The fore/aft and left/right drift was also minimal – this quad does a great job controlling it’s own hover! Now, I do have to mention that there was no wind to speak of, so I did expect that the quad would remain hovering in a fairly small area, but it did better than I had hoped a sub-$200 quad would be able to do!
While still maintaining the eight to ten foot altitude, I spun the quad around in each direction. The left and right spins produced a little bit of a drift, but it was manageable with very minor right stick input.
Moving on to fore and aft flight was next – the Bugs quad transitioned easily to fore and aft flight, and showed no bad habits. When the right stick was put back to neutral, the quad settled back into a stable hover within a couple of seconds. This is a great feature, allowing beginner pilots the ability to regain composure while flying if the quad gets ‘ahead of them’.
After landing the quad back at my feet, I moved on to the ‘Professional’ flight mode (left stick in position one). In this mode, the left stick’s position will determine the motor speed, and ultimately the altitude of the quad. Also available in this mode are the high and low flight speeds, and the aerobatic ‘flip’ button on the back of the transmitter. These features add to the over-all experience of the quad, and make it lots of fun for pilots of all experience levels!
When the quad was in the professional mode, it became much more agile. The transition to directional flight was quick and, though less stable, the Bugs was able to maneuver very fast! Adding the directional flips were fun as well – by simply pressing the L1 button on the back of the transmitter and moving the right stick in any of the four main directions made the quad flip! Be ready to advance the left stick, though, as the quad will lose several feet of altitude after finishing the flip. This is not an uncommon occurrence, as most quads I’ve flown will lose a fair amount of altitude after performing aerobatic maneuvers.
Landing in the professional mode does require a bit more finesse than the altitude hold mode, but it’s definitely not hard. Just back the left stick off slowly, letting the quad descend gently to the ground. That’s it!
Check out my video of the MJX Bugs 3H in action!
The video below was captured on my action camera purchased through Amazon.com – it’s a different design than the included mount will hold, so a little modification was required. I used the top part of the mount, and attached the action camera to a 3/8″ square hardwood dowel. The dowel was then drilled to accept the screws from the original mount! Check out the modified mount:
And here’s the video!
When I first received this quad, I wasn’t expecting much – with pricing between $112.00 and $129.00, how good could it be? Well, I have to eat my words! In the past, I have reviewed some quads that were similar to this that cost three to four times as much that didn’t perform as well as this MJX Bugs quad. They didn’t have the altitude hold, and they certainly didn’t have the flying time! This is one nice flying quad, and the price is definitely reasonable! The best part is that it will appeal to pilots of all ages – and with the available cameras, you can even do some FPV flying via Wi-Fi! This quad is a winner in my book – the only thing I didn’t like is that only one battery was included – but, Geekbuying.com has additional batteries available at a fairly decent price, and they can be found right here on their website with FREE shipping! Go out and grab yourself one of these quads, and I’m betting you’ll like it as much as I like mine! Thant’s all for now from my shop – we’ll see you next time. -GB
Geekbuying.com – www.geekbuying.com