This is my in-depth review of the Syma X5C-1 quadcopter, which I purchased for $50 USD from Gearbest. Check the end of this review for links to my Unboxing and Onboard Footage videos on this quadcopter/ drone.
To start off, this package arrived 16 days after the date of purchase with the available free shipping method. The box arrived in perfect condition. Once opened, the first item is the User’s manual. This guide is surprisingly detailed, and it includes all the information necessary to operate the aircraft. All of the other components were included in a big Styrofoam box, which kept everything undamaged and in perfect condition. Placed into the top of the box are the four propeller guards. These come with the screws already inserted. It is very simple to install these propeller guards into the corners of the quadcopter. Also included are four spare propellers, so if any of the preinstalled ones are damaged, it is a simple matter of replacing them before being able to take off again. The next item included is a small Ziploc bag with many contents. Firstly, there is a small screwdriver which is to be used for replacing the propellers, installing the prop guards, and removing the camera. There is also a USB card reader, in case the buyer does not have a micro SD port on their viewing device. Furthermore, a USB charger is included. This takes about 75 minutes to charge the included battery, which gives you about 7 minutes of flight time. The charger has a smart charging system built in to prevent overcharging. It also has a red LED light, which stays on while the battery is charging, and turns off when it is done charging. This charging cable can be plugged into a computer, power bank, or wall adapter. The included 500 mAh 3.7 volt li-po battery comes in the battery bay inside the quadcopter. Already inserted into the camera, which is pre-mounted on the quadcopter, is the included 4 GB micro SD card.
The next item in the box is the transmitter. This is the classic RC style rectangular remote, not the new gaming style controller. It uses 2.4 Ghz frequency. The throttle and yaw stick is on the left, and the pitch stick is on the right. The on-off switch is right in the middle. The right bumper button is for flips. To complete a flip, you have to hold down the button while moving the pitch control stick in any direction. The quadcopter will flip in the direction you move the pitch stick in. The left bumper button is for switching between high-low rates. Low rate is good for indoors and filming, while high rate provides more pitch for greater speed, sport flying, and wind resistance. The forward-backward trim button is located to the immediate left of the pitch control stick, while the trim for left-right movement is located right beneath it. The yaw trim button is located right underneath the throttle control stick. To activate the video camera, you have to ensure that the micro SD card is inserted, and then push the button to the immediate right of the throttle stick down. The camera on the quad will then blink red until the recording is stopped. In order to save your video to the card, the button has to be pushed down again once you are done recording before the quadcopter runs out of battery. If the video is not stopped before the battery runs out, the video is wasted and will not be saved. To take a picture, you have to push the same button up, which will result in a quick red flash on the quadcopter camera, before it turns green again. There is a small LCD screen on the bottom front of the transmitter which displays the rate and the controls being inputted to the quadcopter. The transmitter requires 4 AA batteries, which can be inserted once the battery door on the back of the transmitter is removed.
The final item in the box is the quadcopter itself. It side lengths are just over a foot, and it feels incredibly light. The landing gear come preinstalled, but they use friction fit to stick in the bottom of the quadcopter, meaning it is extremely easy to take them on and off whenever needed. They do a good job of protecting the camera during landings. This quadcopter obviously does not have a gimbal. The camera itself comes installed onto the battery door of the quadcopter, and it is held in place by two screws which can easily be removed to allow for more sporty flying as opposed to slow and steady footage-based flights. The quality of the camera is decent in both videos and photos, as there is not a lot of jello in the film. The camera is stated as being a 2MP, 720P HD camera. The main negative is that, when applying pitch, the camera angle changes severely and often gives the impression that the quadcopter is not stable. The quadcopter has red LED lights on the front and green on the back. These significantly help when the sky is overcast or at night. However, these are not bright enough to be useful on a sunny day flight. The top of the body has nice decals, and overall, the quadcopter looks somewhat like a scaled down DJI Phantom. The performance of the quadcopter is nothing short of fantastic. As it is inherent with any non-GPS quadcopter, there is a slight drift when hovering, even after trimming is applied. However, this is hardly enough to be noticeable. On a calm day, this quadcopter is very maneuverable and responsive. The pitch in fast mode is plenty more than enough for sport flying. On windy days, the 6 axis gyro stabilizers are noticeable, as they do a fine job of keeping it steady in the breeze. The one negative performance wise is that the range is not great, as it tops out at about 60 meters. The flips are nice and tight, and they are very fun to execute. The durability is great; I crashed it twenty five feet up into a tree and knocked it out with a baseball without causing any damage. The onboard video capturing this can be found using the link at the end of this review. If something does happen to break, spare parts are available everywhere on the web.
In conclusion, I definitely recommend this quadcopter to anyone who wants to start off in this hobby with a cheap & durable camera quadcopter. Check the links below for purchasing, as well as my Unboxing, Onboard Footage, and Tree Crash video on this quadcopter.