First Drone, H501A vs H501S?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Aevyn, Dec 9, 2017.


Which is better for a first time drone?

  1. H502S

    0 vote(s)
  2. H501S

  3. H501A

    0 vote(s)
  1. Aevyn

    Aevyn New Member

    New here, am interested in purchasing my first drone! Was hoping someone could help me out here.

    After a lot of searching and researching, I've narrowed my choice to either the Hubsan H502S, H501S, or the new H501A.

    I know the H502S is a cheaper model of the H501, however I can't seem to find the differences between the H501S and H501A. I saw the 501A has wifi FPV, however wouldn't that have a more limited range?

    Also, does anyone know if there are other differences between the 501S and 501A? No matter how much I read, I can't seem to figure out the differences other than the controllers and that the 501A has "waypoints". However the 501A is priced cheaper, while being a lot newer. This is making it hard to figure out which to buy!

    Thank you in advance!
  2. SLFLY

    SLFLY Well-Known Member

    The H502S is a toy grade quad with brushed motors. The others have brushless motors which are far better in terms of power,reliability and durability.

    The H501A is controlled by a WIFI smartphone and also receives the fpv video by WIFI, so yes the control distance will have a more limited range compared to a normal 2.4ghz radio. That's why your smartphones also needs to be used with the included relay device and then that still only gives you an advertised 400m for control and video. In reality it could be less than that. Without the relay device your smartphone may only do 100-200m depending how good your smartphone is.

    One thing to note, controlling a quadcopter by virtual sticks on a smartphone screen is horrible. And i wouldn't recommend it especially if this your first experience of a quadcopter. a physical controller with sticks is far more precise and easier to use, and will give you direct 100% tactile control of the quadcopter at all times instead of the vaguenesss of a smartphone screen. Secondly because both the control and video signal is done by the WIFI , they may interfere with each other.

    EDIT. After digging around i found this controller below which says is for the H501A, if it does work it would make the H501A a better proposition. It uses bluetooth to connect the controller to the app. And would give you better control. Though my hunch is it won't be as precise as a normal 2.4ghz stick controller because of the bluetooth latency.

    I recommend the H501S because it comes with a 2.4ghz radio controller (better control, further range than wifi, no relay device needed) and a 5.8ghz video (further range, much less latency). The professional version has a 500m control range (standard version is 300m).

    I think both the H501S and H501A (quadcopter only) are identical. Same motors, frame, propellers, components etc. Only the radio system are different. And the waypoints feature which are done in the app with gps co-ordinates.

    Another model that is worth checking out and is similar to the H501S is the the MJX Bugs 2 B2W. It's cheaper and still has GPS and 1080p video record. It has an impressive 1km control range. Albeit with a 5g wifi video connection that goes upto 3-500m (but needs a 5g wifi phone).

    Adding a seperate 5.8ghz AIO fpv camera to the Bugs 2 isn't that difficult. If you then bought a seperate 5.8ghz screen or goggles which will give you more a immersive fpv experience, it would out perform the H501S. But you get more versatility of the fpv system.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
    Aevyn likes this.
  3. Aevyn

    Aevyn New Member

    Thank you for the reply! I’m a bit confused though, wouldn’t this essentially mean that two years after they released the H501S, they then released an inferior/downgraded drone with the H501A for pretty much the same price?

    It seems like you’d just want to upgrade H501A to 5.8GHz to get a proper range, however that’s then simply becoming the H501S.
  4. SLFLY

    SLFLY Well-Known Member

    Pretty much. I think the H501A is overpriced myself.

    That's normal behaviour from Hubsan. They have a new brushless model coming out soon the H501M x4 that has a only has a 720p camera, and another new cheaper brushed model called the H216A with a 1080p camera, so go figure.

    If im not mistaken, the H501A is the only brushless quad in a 330mm size that is controlled solely by an app. You normally find that feature on toy grade models which Hubsan also sell. So it is kinda a niche/crossover product. I think the H501A only exists because 1. They already have similar app controlled brushed models on the market. or 2. to take advantage of the popularity of touch screen smartphones atm. It may even be a rushed product. The omission of a physical controller for a brushless quad is short sighted by Hubsan. Likely a cost cutting choice. The bluetooth controller looks like an after thought and is a step backwards compared to industry standard 2.4ghz controller which outperforms wifi in every way. Any other similar featured quads like the 3dR Solo, Parot Bebop, DJI spark, have some kind of controller either included or available separately.

    Hubsan's top of the range product is the is X4 H109S and you won't find any wifi features on that at all because wifi is so limited.

    The H501S is also a niche product as there are only a few non racing quadcopter packages on the market that include a 5.8ghz fpv system (MJX bugs 6 is another). Normally a 5.8ghz system is added seperately. And is mainly used for racing/freestyle quads. But is equally useful on bigger quads too.

    The only thing wifi has going for it is, the 1080p video quality is better than the 5.8ghz analog video. But only when in close range. Out of range, wifi video becomes very choppy or freezes up. Whereas 5.8ghz video goes fuzzy. If your not using an sd card in the quad to record video, and you are using the app only to record video. The choppyness of the video will badly effect the recording. .
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
    Aevyn likes this.
  5. Aevyn

    Aevyn New Member

    This seems to confirm that I’ll want the H501S, thank you for the help!
  6. SLFLY

    SLFLY Well-Known Member

  7. rwid

    rwid Active Member

    Just now reading this. You can use a 501s standard controller to operate your 501a and you will have full 5.8ghz FPV.

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