Quadcopters have been around for quite some time now, and they're still hitting the market at a record rate. It seems that every time I turn around, there's at least one new quad being introduced! Most of them are hobby grade, and while some require assembly, most come out of the box ready to fly. With that said, there's several companies that are selling inexpensive quads - and while a lot of them are 'toy' quality, some of these are pretty darn good.
With the invent of computerized stabilization hardware and the ability for these systems to be produced cheaply overseas, what used to be cost effectively out of reach for most people is now affordable. What's my point? Some of the quads being sold by toy stores and internet sites seem to fly as good as the more expensive hobby grade machines.
Recently, gearbest.com gave me the opportunity to review two of these inexpensive quads. In addition to reviewing them, I will be doing a quick comparison to some quads that I have reviewed in the past. So, grab your favorite beverage and have a look at a pair of quads from gearbest.com!
Diameter: 6.2" (152mm) with Propeller Guard Diameter: 5.4" (137mm) No Propeller Guard Height: 1.45" (37mm) Radio Used: Included 6-Channel 2.4gHz Transmitter
Battery: Included 3.7 V 250 mAh LiPo Charger: Included USB LiPo Charger SD Card: 4GB Memory - Included Channels Used: 6 Total - Aileron, Elevator, Throttle, Rudder,
and 2 Channels Used for Video Camera and Digital Camera Camera Photo Resolution: 2560 x 1440 JPEG AVI Video Resolution: 720p = 1280 x 720 Pixels (16:9) at 30 FPS
Diameter: 5.3" (135mm) with Propeller Guard Diameter: 4.9" (125mm) No Propeller Guard Height: 1.41" (36mm) Radio Used: Included 6-Channel 2.4gHz Transmitter
Battery: Included 3.7 V 350 mAh LiPo Charger: Included USB LiPo Charger SD Card: 2GB Memory - Included Channels Used: 6 Total - Aileron, Elevator, Throttle, Rudder,
and 2 Channels Used for Video Camera and Digital Camera Camera Photo Resolution: 1280 x 720 JPEG AVI Video Resolution: 720p = 1280 x 720 Pixels (16:9) at 30 FPS
The two quads I received were shipped from Singapore. The two boxes were only wrapped in a plastic bag, so I was expecting some broken parts when I opened the boxes. To my surprise, the plastic trays that each quad was nestled in kept everything intact! Each of the small quads had a decent instruction manual that was not only laid out well, but did a good job of getting the end-user ready to fly.
Both the H6C and X11C come with everything needed, except the four AA batteries for the transmitter. For the beginner, a propeller guard is installed at the factory and a set of spare props is included as well. Both quads are on 2.4gHz, and the transmitters look and feel like controllers from popular video gaming systems - that should help any kid feel right at home on the sticks.
One of the features I found nice was that both quads had LiPo batteries that could be removed for safe charging - a lot of times, the battery is built into the receiver board on the less expensive machines. A USB charger is also included with each quad. Since both the H6C and X11C have digital cameras on board, a micro SD card and USB card adapter is included as well. The H6C also included a prop removal tool and separate landing pads, should you decide to remove the propeller guard.
Getting Them Ready for Flight
Because I've been flying quads for quite a while, I decided to remove the propeller guards immediately. I was pleased to see that they were made to be removable. Granted, they are great for beginners, but I just don't need them.
I started flight preparation by installing four AA batteries (NOT Included)in each transmitter. Not that it's a big deal, but I would have liked to see some alkaline batteries included with these ready to fly quads.
The micro SD cards were installed, followed by the LiPo batteries (after charging them). The LiPo was connected to the quad?
And the transmitter was THEN turned on. This process was new to me, but it worked. Normally, the transmitter is turned on first, followed by the quad. This is one of those reasons to READ the manual before doing anything else! With that, the H6C and X11C were ready to fly!
For the comparison part of this review, I will be looking at a few of the other quads that I have reviewed. They are the Dromida Ominus, E-flite Blade mqx, Dromida Kodo, and Ares Spectre X. The Kodo and Spectre X are relatively the same size as the H6C and X11C, while the Ominus and Blade mqx are larger. Based on the overall look of the H6C and X11C, they compared nicely - the plastic bodies appear to be well made and have a slight flex, allowing for some minor rough handling before breaking. Both the H6C and X11C seem to be as durable as the Blade mqx, Spectre X, and Kodo, though these three have very rigid frames. The Ominus has proven to be the most durable, thanks to its very strong and flexible frame. The motors installed in the H6C and X11C appear to be good quality as well. So, now that the aesthetic comparison is done, I'll move into flight testing.
of the nice things about these small quads is that they
can be flown nearly anywhere. I flew both the X11C and H6C
in my living room for their maiden flights, and the living
room was more than big enough! Though I was a bit skeptical,
at first, as to how these inexpensive quadcopters would
fly, a few seconds into flying each was all I needed to
see that they flew very stable, despite their low price.
next took them to the local high school gymnasium, so I
could give them a bit more space. This also allowed me to
try out the 360° Eversion maneuver. Both of the quads performed
very well in about a quarter of the large gymnasium, and
the different flight modes added agility to them!
to the instructions, the quads require a minimum of three
meters (nine feet) to perform the 360° eversion (flip) maneuver,
so I flew them up to around 15 feet and tried the maneuver.
The H6C performed the flip with ease, dropping about six
feet in the process. Unfortunately, the X11C did not respond
to the controller no matter how many times the buttons and
sticks were pushed.
of the quads had flight times of around five to six minutes
before needing the LiPo battery recharged. My only wish
is that I had about four spare batteries for each of them,
so I could keep them in the air longer!
So how did their flying stack up against the hobby quads? All in all they flew well, despite the X11C not performing the flip maneuver. The on-board stabilization did a good job of keeping the small quads flying, and the different flight modes made control for every skill level easy. I have put about ten flights on each of these quads now, and they are still performing well with no loss of battery life or motor power. They are holding up quite well, and show no signs of plastic breakage or damage. Both of the cameras did a good job of recording video. Like any other camera-equipped small quad, all you hear is motor noise, so they're no good for trying to record any sound. With that said, I'll wrap it up like this -The X11C and H6C looked good, came out of the box ready to fly and they flew pretty well.
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.