The Syma X5C series includes some of the most popular 6-axis drones on the market, and the newer Syma X5C-1 Explorers model represents a major upgrade over the original design. By using spread spectrum radio transmissions, the X5C-1 almost completely eliminates the most common types of interference that pilots find themselves plagued with.
We wanted to examine this drone closely to give you a better view of what it’s like, so we took a look at these advanced features and weighed them against the price tag as well as user’s opinions before we gave you our recommendations.
Syma X5C Drone Main Specs
|Camera Resolution||VGA 640×480 resolution algorithmically processed to 720i|
|Weight||Under 250 grams|
|Ideal for (Indoor/Outdoor/Both)||Both indoor & outdoor|
|Flight Time||Approximately 8 minutes|
|Control Type||6-axis stick|
|Amazon Rating||4.5 stars|
|Our Rating||3.5 stars|
While Syma does classify its X5C drone‘s camera as HD, it’s technically a standard VGA digital camera that shoots clear color 640×480 video. Software embedded in the drone’s microcontroller processes this video up to HD standards. Many users really like this unique camera system, but they say they need to fly slow and steady to capture clear images.
Flying the Syma X5C Drone
The Syma X5C features a wind-resistant design that makes it perfect for flying outdoors, but most users find that they can hover inside as well. Syma markets the drone as dual-use, but you should make sure to fly steadily outside in gusts anyway. Too much turbulence can ruin an otherwise good video. The drone resists the wind passively because of its aerodynamic shape, but it does include a gyroscope to keep it upright and stable.
The 3.7V 500mAh LiPO battery provides around 8 minutes of flight after 100 minutes on the charger. It uses a standard USB charging system, so you could charge it through a port on your PC or through a wall block. Syma claims that the controller remains functional as long as you stay within 30 meters of the drone. However, many users feel they should stay closer than that.
Syma X5C Drone Remote Control & Accessories
The set includes a remarkably light controller, which some users feel is a bit too light since they have a hard time getting a good grip on it. Using the stick itself is very easy. The controller allows you to push in any direction to fly up, down, left, right, forward and backward, while also adjusting the pitch and yaw of the miniature vehicle. Syma claims that the use of spread spectrum technology increased the reaction time of the vehicle by several orders of magnitude.
The package includes a full kit, so you won’t need to supply anything yourself except a couple of AA batteries for the controller and a USB port to plug into. It ships with:
- Syma X5C-1 Quadcopter
- 2.4Ghz spread spectrum controller
- USB charging cable
- 4 rotating blades
- 4 protection frames
- Card Reader with microSDHC card
- 3.6V 500mAh LiPO battery pack
- Folded instruction manual
Syma X5C – Our Verdict
The X5C-1 is one of the most affordable drones that can shoot HD video, which makes it ideal for beginners. Experienced pilots may appreciate the spread spectrum radio transmission design. This transmission really blocks out most of the interference that these kinds of more inexpensive drones are plagued with. It comes with all the parts in the kit. So, luckily, you won’t have to add anything extra to get your new vehicle flying. You won’t have to go hunting for any proprietary data sticks since the camera uses a standard microSDHC card to store video. You may have a number lying around unused as it is.
On the other hand, you may not like the short 8-minute battery life. Nor the fact that you have to charge it for so long. You’ll have to learn to fly it just right to make sure you always have crisp video. While the lights flicker to tell you that the battery is running out of juice, there’s no audible low battery alert. This can be a problem if you’re flying during the day.
What Users Say
One user was surprised that he was actually able to do a double flip with the drone and still maintain control, though he said he wasn’t able to flip it more than two times in a row. Most drones this size aren’t capable of that kind of flight. Another remarked that replacement batteries were inexpensive and easy to find but felt that the drone’s body was a bit too light. He recommended it for even intermediate-level pilots. A third user was concerned about how the drone shoots video in the Motion JPEG format, which isn’t space efficient. He had to compress the video files on a PC to format them properly.
With its unorthodox video system and the unusual remote control, the Syma X5C tends to attract a lot of comments. Many users actually like these unique features and enjoy the quirky design. While it’s affordable and a pleasure to fly, this drone’s low battery life makes it difficult to earn a full five stars. Still, it’s inexpensive enough that most people won’t feel cheated if they have a few issues with it.
If you’ve ever flown a Syma X5C-1 drone personally, then we’d love to hear about your experience with it!