SYMA X5C Drone Review
The SYMA X5 is a beginner drone that is still packed with lots of good features. It has a solid construction, handles well and delivers excellent flight performance. It has good stability and is much easier to fly than many other entry level drones. There is a very short learning curve involved in flying this quadcopter. It is very responsive to the controls and is one of the most affordable entry level drones costing just under $60.
One of the top reasons why many people buy the SYMA X5 is its relatively affordable pricing with the promise of a fairly decent performance. However, the actual drone performance will exceed all expectations. Currently, it offers some of the best value in the market for customers looking for good value entry level drones with above average performance.
The Build Quality
For such a cheap drone, the build quality and overall design of the SYMA X5 quad is quite impressive. The material used on the drone is plastic but it has still offers end users incredible durability. This is a requisite quality for a beginner’s drone. Many first-timers are likely to crash their drones numerous times as they learn the ropes of flying the quad. The SYMA X5 will take a few hits before you need to replace it or some of its damaged parts.
The drone is very light in weight and might seem flimsy for most but the construction is pretty solid. You can crash it a few times and will still be good enough to fly for a long period of time. So even if it hits a few trees, it will still be good enough to fly around.
- Flight time of 7 minutes
- 500mAh, 3.7V LiPO Batteries
- Weights 916gm
- It has a controlling distance of about 50m.
- The drone battery has a total charging time of 100 minutes. Charging is via a USB port. Before you take next flight, allow a time interval of at least 10 minutes for the drone to cool down.
- Has a transmitter frequency of 2.4Ghz which is based on the Spread Spectrum Technology allowing for a greater remote distance. The frequency also includes good anti-interference features with lower power consumption.
- The controller uses four AA batteries. However, these are not included in the package.
- Has frequency of up to 2.4GHz
- It has video time of about 30 minutes and can operate both video and camera simultaneously.
- Can store up to 800 photos
Excellent Performance at a Great Bargain
It costs just below $60 so it won’t leave a deep hole in the pocket and it offers excellent flying features. If you love RC flying, you will definitely appreciate the capabilities of this RC flyer. The SYMA X5 is a ready-to-fly (RTF) machine that will not require any assembling so it is perfect for many beginners. If you purchased the legacy SYMA models, you will appreciate the improvements in the specs and functionality that you will encounter in the SYMA X5. Cost of maintenance is also fairly affordable and it helps that the parts from the legacy SYMA models such as the X1 are compatible with the X5 models. Let us have a look at the features, pros and cons of the SYMA X5 in greater detail.
- The SYMA X5 is one of the cheapest entry-level drones in the market. It costs less than $60.
- The drone offers an amazing stability for a craft of its size thanks to its 6-axis gyro stabilization system. This will allow you to fly the quadcopter smoothly in all kinds of conditions. The gyro is a 2.4 GHz with 4 channels so you can fly your drone in busy airways without the risk of colliding with other drones.
- The SYMA X5 has a solid build hence it offers incredible durability. It can absorb several hits before it is out of commission. The propeller guards on the quadcopter are very flexible allowing for maximum protection both vertically and horizontally.
- The landing skids of the quadcopter are quite sturdy in order to protect the craft from the hard landings on the ground.
- It clearly displays the flight orientation thanks to the bright LED displays-they are blue and bright amber in colour.
- The SYMA X5 drone is small and highly compact, measuring only 30cm by 30cm diagonally.
- Uses a premium quality LiPO battery that offers up to 7 minutes of flight. For longer flights, buy a spare battery.
- You can get up to 360 degrees inversion with the help of a switch. This is included in the drone’s X5 firmware.
- The drone is designed with a controller that will lock onto its X5 firmware allowing you to fly various quadcopter and drone combinations at the same time.
- The X5 quadcopter drone also has a better range, a great improvement over the X1 drones. With the SYMA X5 drones, you can get a range of up to 100m.
- It has two mode options for operation: Mode 1 and Mode 2.
- The manufacturer packs it up with a bonus propeller guard that will provide you with extra flight safety at no extra cost.
- Colourful flashing lighting allows you to fly and see the drone even at night.
The X5 is the latest in the long line of SYMA quadcopters and as you would expect, it has vastly improved features and specifications over the previous models such as the X1. The X5 quadcopter drone models are the latest quads launched by the company. They come in a unique black colour.
SYMA has been known for producing high quality drones and the X5 does not disappoint. It combines the functionality, style and reliability that the SYMA drones have been known for. The quality is top notch. Surprisingly, it packs all these impressive features at a very affordable pricing.
Every SYMA X5 quad comes with a standard propeller guard that will ensure flight safety when the quad comes into contact with the ground. This is an important feature for someone who is just learning to fly a drone and is likely to bump their quad into numerous obstacles and possibly damage it.
Remember that installing the blade adds to the weight and the drone might not be as nimble with the protectors attached. We recommend installing the prop guards when flying the multirotor in smaller spaces and removing them when flying them in open spaces. However, as an absolute beginner, you don’t really need a nimble drone. Once you have a grasp of the controls, you can upgrade to a bigger and more advanced drone.
The propeller guard is an optional feature that is easily removable so if you don’t want to use it, you can simply detach it. You don’t need any technical skills for that. Many beginners may want to remove this after learning to fly the drone for a while so as to boost their flight experience.
With the 6-axis gyro stabilization of the SYMA X5, you can enjoy stable and highly versatile flights that also give you a good amount of flexibility to perform various tricks and drone manoeuvres. You will also be able to fly the drone comfortably both indoors and outdoors. The SYMA X5 has been designed very simply allowing you to add or remove detachable parts with relative ease. It is also easily configurable and you can find your way around the controls very easily. There are powerful fun and entertainment features on the drone that make this drone a joy to operate. If you are a beginner, this will be an ideal drone for you, suitably equipped with the best features and design configurations that shorten the learning curve and helps you master the drone relatively quickly. Even experienced drone flyers will find the SYMA X5 impressive enough to perform advanced flight manoeuvres.
The SYMA X5 utilizes the high quality LiPO batteries. These will only power about 7 minutes of flight. If your drone is heavier, they might even last less than the specified range. However, the drone batteries are cheap so you can stock up on them to allow you to enjoy longer flight times without lengthy charging interruptions. However, given the price and class of the drone, we feel these specs are adequate. Consider that you are purchasing $60 drone and not an $800 drone. Once you have mastered your flight routine, you can upgrade to more powerful and better equipped drones for flight. The parts are fairly affordable and compatible with those of the legacy models so your flying hobby doesn’t have to be needlessly expensive.
You can also buy the SYMA X5 model with a HD camera if you are planning to use it in capturing high quality footage. The drone also has excellent gyro stabilization so in spite of its tiny size, you will be amazed by the quality of the footage that you can capture with it.
What is Included in the SYMA X5 Package?
- The SYMA X5 drone
- Four spare propellers
- The SYMA X5 remote controlled quad
- A single USB battery charging cable
- Two landing skids
- Four prop guards
- A single LiPO battery: 3.7V and 500mAh
- A single screwdriver
- A 2.6 remote controller: The RC does not, however, come with the batteries.
- An instruction manual is also included in the package
- A 2GB Micro SD
SYMA X5 Quadcopter Features and Performance
The SYMA X5 has been described as one of the best beginner drones in the market. It is easier to fly, affordable and has excellent specifications. The drone has a range of about 30m and a flight time of 7 minutes. The charging time is fairly reasonable, typically taking about 60 minutes. Below is an overview of the drone features:-
Battery and Flight Time: The drone utilizes a 3.7V and 500mAh LiPO battery that can guarantee up to 7 minutes of flight time or less depending on the weight of the drone. It comes with the prop guards so attaching these might add to the weight. However, the manufacturer also packs an extra battery that you can connect to power your drone once the first one is depleted. Because these batteries are fairly cheap, we recommend buying a few extra ones that can allow you longer flight times. Remember that it takes up to an hour to charge a single 500mAh LiPO battery so having several fully charged LiPO batteries ahead of your drone flying allows you to fly for a longer duration of flight with only a few minutes of interruptions when you need to replace the battery.
The battery takes about an hour to fully charge although some reviews state a battery charging time of up to 100 minutes. Once
6-axis flight control system: Thanks to the excellent 6-axis gyro stabilization, you can enjoy some of the smoothest flying experiences with this drone. From the numerous users reviews, the SYMA X5 is one of the smoothest RC drones for the price range. With the 6-axis gyro stabilization of the SYMA X5, you can get better correction on altitude displacement compared to drones with three-axis stabilization. 6-axis stabilization provides various kinds of movements that will automatically correct for random movements. These include the roll, three pitch as well as the yaw gyro sensors. Additionally, there are three extra accelerometers that will compensate for the movements that you have not commanded in all the three dimensions of flight. With the 6-axis flight control system, you don’t have to worry about the quad being blown away by sudden bursts of winds or flips. The feature makes the drone more stable.
With the six-axis flight control system, you will also be able to easily detect the side slips when the drone makes sudden turns. This boosts the flight experience allowing you to make ever sharper flight turns when you deploy the roll control and apply the quad’s rudder. This is a feat that you are unlikely to achieve with a 3-axis gyro stabilization. You will appreciate this stabilization aspect more when you get to fly the drone and are able to apply it beyond your imagination in making quick turns and flips.
Headless Flying Mode:- The headless flying mode has generally been a feature of the more advanced drones so it is amazing that the manufacturer has included it in this tiny entry-level quad. Most quadcopters are symmetrical in nature with four props so if you are flying it in the air, it is virtually impossible to tell which side is front, back, left or right. That may make it difficult to fly the drone in the right direction. If you perceive the left side to be the front and apply the forward controls, you will be flying the drone in a completely different direction to your intended destination.
Many manufacturers try to navigate this difficulty through calibration. In the SYMA X5 quadcopter, for example, the front part of the drone is calibrated with red props while the back has calibrated with an alternate different colour such as black or blue for example. Sometimes, the manufacturer simply includes bright LED lighting to identify the front and the back instead of colouring the props which may not always be practical if you are flying the SYMA X5 at night or in poor weather. The front always has a bright red LED lighting and the back green LED lighting.
However, the LED lighting function is also not practical. You will only see the red LED lighting if the forward direction of the drone is also the same as your forward direction. If the forward direction of the quadcopter begins to change, you will still have difficulty identifying the front part of the drone.
The headless flying mode was introduced to solve this conundrum. When the headless mode in the drone’s onboard controller is activated, the quad will always fly in a direction that is aligned relative to the controller. The drone will no longer fly “as if it has its own mind”. The forward direction of the drone will no longer determine its flying direction. This will be determined by the controller in your hand. If you push the controller forward, the drone will fly in a forward path even though its own forward is pointing to the left, right or backwards. This vastly simplifies the flying procedure for beginners. The same flight characteristic will apply if you move the controller to the left or to the right; the controller in your hand overrides all preset drone directions ensuring the drone is always flying relative to you.
Camera: The SYMA X5 does not include a camera by default so if you are planning to purchase this one, you may need to buy a camera separately. However, there is a version of the SYMA X5 that is camera equipped called the SYMA X5C.
However, even with this one, the camera is not as powerful and clear as the cameras in the more advanced drones or the third party GoPros that you can purchase and attach to the intermediate or advanced drones. The camera in the SYMA X5 has a fairly low resolution at 720p. All the images captured are recorded directly onto its Micro SD card.
Taking a picture or videos is a fairly easy process when a camera is attached on a SYMA X5. To take a photo, you only need to press a button. To shoot videos or stop video recording, you need to long-press the button you used to capture photos.
However, the button may differ depending on the model of the SYMA X5 quad that you have purchased. To be sure, check the User Manual to determine the exact location of the button used to capture images and videos.
The quality of the videos is not impressive. You will not get something comparable to a GoPro camera but the shots are satisfactory. They are good enough to give you an authentic feel of aerial photography and videography. For better and clearer images and videos, you will have to purchase a better quad model that is equipped for aerial photography and videography.
The camera is not fixed; it is an extra load that will reduce your short flight times even further so you can simply detach it and fly your drone on zero load to save on battery charge and lengthen your flight time.
The Drone Controller: The controller of the SYMA X5 utilises four AA batteries and works in a 2.4Ghz frequency. In order to connect the controller to the drone, you need to first turn on the controller before powering on the drone. Never do it the other way around by powering the quad on first before switching on the controller. When turning on the controller, ensure that the throttle stick is down, not up. After switching on the controller, the lighting on it will begin to flash randomly which will gradually form into a steady flash. Once the lighting produces a steady flash, move the throttle up and then move it down. This movement should stop the blinking which is an indication that the controller and the quad are now connected.
4-channel movement: The SYMA X5 drone is designed with a four-channel movement that will offer you very good manoeuvrability. The drone will offer you plenty of options for you to strafe or turn in mid-air. It also offers you the usual control options such as forward, backward and up and down movements. You can even flip and roll the drone by holding down the shoulder button that is on the controller so once you have mastered regular flight, you can still use this tiny drone to make some superb acrobatic movements.
The SYMA X5 has a bulkier build which can make using it a little irritating. The drone structure is thick and wide which some might find a bit bothersome. However, that has huge impact on the weight. The drone is still light in weight so flying it super-easy.
The large build impacts negatively on the drone’s battery life as well as its flight time as the motor uses a lot of power to keep the drone in air. You will need to have multiple batteries that you will replace often in order to enjoy reasonable flight time.
There are good aspects of the build though. The drone has superb landing skids that will protect it from crash landing thus ensuring the durability of the drone. The skids are located in the middle of the structure. Each of its propellers also has landing gears in order to minimise the landing impact. This design allows for excellent protection when the drone comes into contact with the ground.
Each of the propellers is designed with a protective arm which adds to the sturdiness of the structure. The drone will stand its ground when it comes to minor crashes or collisions. This focus on protection and safe landing minimises repairs and the cost of acquiring new parts thus lessening the cost of maintenance for the SYMA X5 over the long term.
We have looked at the build of the drone as well as the many functions that it is equipped with such as the gyro stabilization but how well does the drone fly when put into practice?
Well, there is a reason why the SYMA X5 is a beginner’s drone: it is incredibly easy to fly. Even if you are putting your hands on the controls for the first time, you will be surprised at how easy it is to get this bird off the ground. The ease of flying is thanks to the drone’s 6-axis gyro stabilization which is more effective than a 3-axis gyro stabilization and will help correct for any uncontrolled movements that might complicate the flight.
The 6-axis gyro stabilization helps in maintaining the balance of the quad in the air even when you are making sudden turns and flips or if the whether is not very favourable. This gives the drone and the flyer an impressive flight control. It is a feature that you are unlikely to find in a lot of beginner drones in this class and it is what gives the SYMA X5 a strong edge in the entry-level drone market. Of course the SYMA X5 is also a durable drone and has other winning features but the ease of flying and control registers at the very top of many beginners’ priorities when buying new quads. Other features of the SYMA X5 that makes it a joy to fly include the scheduled flight functionality and the 3D lock. There are lots of other cutting-edge features we have listed above that will simplify your flying.
Another feature of the SYMA X5 controller is that it is designed very simply and many users will find it quite intuitive, which shortens the learning curve. No matter your experience with quadcopters, you will easily find your way around the various features of the SYMA X5 controller. The only problem is that it has a very small range so watch your distance as you fly the drone to avoid crashing it.
In terms of its flight performance, the low rate means that you can comfortably fly the SYMA X5 indoors or even in small and tight spaces. The drone also has a high rate which is suitable for outdoor flying in the open air as it allows you to get better speed performance and agility. There is a screen indicator which shows the mode the drone is flying in so you can make adjustments accordingly based on the environment in which the drone is being flown i.e. indoors versus outdoors and large spaces versus tight spaces.
The gyro stabilization means that you can get very smooth and responsive flight control. After you have trimmed it, you will have an easier time maintaining control of the drone. The manoeuvrability is also excellent so if you wish to try out some aggressive flying, you will have no trouble making some impressive bank turns using this marvellous quad.
Most multi-rotors of this size generally wobble and crash when the throttle is reduced and the drones starts to descend. However, SYMA X5 does not suffer from that handicap. Its responsiveness to the throttle commands is quite impressive. The drone also has the prop guards that not only serve a protective function but also add to the weight. You can use these in your indoor flying when you are not after too much speed and agility. After you have mastered the drone and had some experience with the quad, you can get rid of the prop guards and begin flying the drone without them.
If you are looking for an entry level drone that is cheap, easy to fly, easy to control and fairly durable, then the SYMA X5 is your best shot. It is one of the most recommended drones for most beginners so if you are planning to master drone flying without depleting your savings in parts, repairs and replacements, this would be a great choice for you.
At less than $60, the pricing is just perfect for most beginners. The drone is also a complete ready-to-fly machine so you only need to connect the batteries and you are a good to go. This is another plus for most beginners. The firmware has undergone improvements that will generally guarantee you a more stable flight. It is designed with various protective features such as the prop guards and landing gears that minimize the damage during impact.
Performance-wise, we found the SYMA X5 to be one of the smoothest low cost RCs to fly in the sky. There is a short learning curve involved in flying this bird and it is very responsive to the commands. If you are planning to try your hand in drone flying for the very first time, we would definitely recommend the SYMA X5 for you!
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