Drones and RC aircraft are not usually my thing and don’t often review them. They are fragile, easy to break, require time and effort to get the best from and are often more trouble than they are worth. With me behind the controls, they seem to instantly fly up to the ceiling, hit the lights and come down in pieces or when outside will either lodge at the top of a tree or else just fly off never to be seen again.
I read good reports about this RC helicopter from Syma and so against my better judgement decided to give it a go. I am rather pleased that I did. To my surprise, I found I could make it fly (almost) straight from the box and I am sure that it would not take long to get properly to grips with it.
Everything you need is in the box including two batteries (one is already fitted) and a few basic spares. The User Guide is also untypically good: large, well printed and easy to read. Constructed mainly from Aluminium alloy and plastics, build quality seems excellent and so far it has survived several crashes and failed landings. Reassuringly, according to the User Guide, almost all the components are replaceable and can be purchased online. Unlike with most RC devices, this one comes with a large and well-printed User Guide in good English that is easy to follow, concise, and useful. It tells you all you need to know about the aircraft, and how to operate it, and nothing more.
Flying time at around 7 minutes per battery is pretty standard but unlike many rivals, this device concentrates on making the flying easy rather than adding extra functions. There is no camera, no auto-return and the optimum range at around 10 metres is not great but as a beginner, none of that matters to me, for me the key feature is ease of use.
Battery charging takes around 70 minutes and can be done either with the battery in place in the aircraft or externally. One point to bear in mind is that the battery compartment is secured by a small screw and I would advise strongly to take great care when getting access as the screw is tiny, easily lost and very hard to get back in place. Why did they not just use a clip?
Using it is as simple as they claim. The transmitter unit is large and clunky with good-sized robust controls. There is nothing worse than forgetting which button does what when you have an out of control drone in the air above you. With just the few buttons this unit has it is far easier to remember them and if you do forget, a better chance of randomly pressing the right one. The only controls on this unit are Up, Down, Right, Left, Power, Speed Mode, and two trim buttons. The trim buttons are again easy to use and help keep the unit straight and level: if it veers to one side press the trim button for the other direction.
So for me, the two selling points of this unit are, ease of use and build quality. If you need a camera, long-range control, GPS, auto-return or anything more advanced then keep on looking.
This would be a perfect first step into the world of RC flight and this ease of use more than makes up for the above-average price of around £50.
If you want to take to the air, this would be a great way to start.
Good Build Quality
Good User Guide
Easy To Use Controls
Easy To Use
Battery Compartment Access