The Syma X5C Quadcopter HD Review
- Dimensions: 310 x 310 x 80 mm
- Weight: 916 g
- Material: Plastic
- Colors: White
- Max. speed: 14.3 m/s
- Max. altitude: 50 m
- Max. photo resolution: 2 MP
- Max. video resolution: 720p
Quadcopters are the most popular commercial type of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or simply drones. They come in all varieties and sizes, designed for different purposes with different properties and features. Some quadcopters are a little more than a hovering toy for kids to have fun with.
Some drones are a bit more serious, and can be used for adult entertainment and recreational sports like racing.
Than you have video drones, which are usually mid-range quadcopters with an integrated or a mounted camera, used by people who want to record personal events, such as wedding and birthday parties.
High end drones, costing hundreds or thousands of dollars are used commercial aerial photography at high profile events or for long-range deliveries.
The Syma X5C Explorers
Like with most products, if you want a capable quadcopter you have invest a potentially painful amount of money. That is until we came across the Syma X5C, a drone with a HD camera that will thin your wallet ever so slightly. It is normally hard to get excited about an entry-level quadcopter, especially for someone who has experience with high-end UAVs, but it is also hard not to get excited about a deal this good.
The Syma X5C is made for amateur pilots who want something more than a low-altitude indoor toy quadcopter. When we say more we mean an integrated camera with the ability to record high definition video, a dedicated remote controller and a drone with stabilization that can fly higher and farther.
Body and design
It features a design which looks like it’s been inspired by DJI’s Phantom line, which actually makes it look pretty good. Despite being made almost entirely out of plastic, it feels quite durable. As a bonus, you will get four propeller guards for each of the rotors. The guards are made out of hard plastic and attached to the body with screws. We’ve tested the drone with moderate hits against hard objects and the guards did their job perfectly, protecting both the drone and foreign objects. Battery is located at the bottom center side and is very easy to access and replacement. In fact, Syma has included two battery packs in the package, which is a nice little bonus.
If you somehow manage to crash this drone, you will be happy to hear that Syma has made sure all of X5C’s parts are available individually for replacement. So, all you would have to do is order the required parts and follow the detailed manual on how to replace the broken part. If you are not comfortable with doing it yourself, you can take it to an official service center, or even a local drone shop and they will do it for you. X5C has a fairly simple design so it shouldn’t be a problem to manage the repairs.
Both the quadcopter and the camera are powered by a 3700 mAh battery which will give you about 6-8 minutes of flight time with the camera recording continuously. Admittedly, this flight time is far from impressive, limiting to any serious aerial photography or videography and without the failsafe automatic return home function, presents a danger of crashing if the user is not careful. To make matters worse, it takes up to 90 minutes to charge battery fully, just so you could juice it out in a few minutes. Luckily, you get an extra battery pack so you can have reserve batteries. Also, these battery are quite inexpensive so you could order multiple packages.
One of the great features of the Syma X5C is the 6-axis stabilization system, which comes as an enormous help for stable flight, especially when taking off or landing. For example, you can simply throw the drone out in the air and push the thrust stick, and it will immediately stabilize in the air. So, there is no chance of it flying at a random direction and crashing. The same goes for landing, it stabilizes nicely and helps to safely land. Overall, it is much easier to fly than entry-levels copters without stabilization.
The integrated HD 720p camera is nothing to write hope about, other than the fact that it’s there, which is impressive on its own. Don’t expect to shoot commercials with this camera, or any kind of serious commercial video. But it’s not all that bad, it is still in HD resolution and it will do a fine job of recording for everyday activities, such as family events. It won’t much during night but with good lighting, you should be quite pleased. Overall, considering the price, it’s a great camera.
There is no image stabilization in the camera so do expect some shaky videos and potentially blurry photos. Although if you want to, you can stabilize the video with simple software post-production.
Another nice bonus is the included 4GB MicroSD card for saving those videos.
Optionally, you can buy an upgraded camera with Wi-Fi built-in. This would enable you to connect the drone to your smartphone (iOS or Android app) and watch a live video feed of your camera during flight, in a FPV (First Person View). This brings this quadcopter to an even higher level.
For what it costs, Syma X5C HD Quadcopter is a great drone with a HD camera and 6-axis flight stabilization included. It is great for beginners, amateurs and anyone who wants a capable video drone at a cheap price. All the essential features are covered with some nice bonuses such as rotor guards and extra batteries. Not everything is perfect so the image quality from the camera is a bit underwhelming and there is no IS, but you can’t have it all from a quadcopter in this price range. It won’t stay for long in the air but while it’s up there it is super fun to fly, has great agility and can even pull of some tricks like a 360-degree flips.