Syma X5HW-1 FPV Drone Review


First time drone users will find the Syma X5HW-1 the perfect quadcopter for training.  It is easy to assemble and disassemble, lightweight, offers effortless control via the included controller, and comes with a First Person View (FPV) camera that enables you to see what the drone sees, allowing you to take pictures and record videos from its vantage point.

Syma X5HW-1 FPV Drone
Syma X5HW-1

DESIGN

Except for the flashing LED lights under each drone arm, both the blue/black and white/green variants of the Syma X5HW-1 drone sport a minimalist aesthetic prioritizing aerodynamic function over form.  The X5HW-1 is not as compact compared to other drones available in the market.  It does not have foldable arms and can be difficult to take along with you to the park or the beach.  Nothing is stopping you from bringing it along with you though if you have enough space in your vehicle to accommodate its bulky rectangular box, or sans the packaging, its 33cm X 33cm X 11cm frame.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Altitude hold

Making the drone hover at a certain altitude takes a lot of time to master when flying older drones.  To save time and to get you to enjoy using your drone at once and be able to take photos and record flight videos, the Syma quadcopter will hover in place when you release the altitude button on controller once the drone reaches the desired height.

Headless function

As newbie drone enthusiasts, and the X5HW-1 our first drone, we did not know what the term “headless” meant until we looked it up.  We were glad to know that it did not mean we had to study books about aerodynamics to know what the term meant.  It just means you can fly it in the direction your controller is facing regardless of whether its actual front is pointing towards a diffrerent direction.  So when you move the controller’s right control stick forward, the drone will move forward relative to where the controller is facing.  If however, the drone is not in headless mode, when you move the direction stick forward, the drone will move forward based on where its actual front is facing.

3D Roll button

Executing 360-degree rolls is easy.  Just push the 3D Roll button in conjunction with the direction stick and the drone will roll 360 degrees in the direction you want.

PACKAGE CONTENTS

1x Syma X5HW-1 drone1x 3.7V 500mAh Lipo battery
1x Syma XFHW-1 controller
1x 0.3MP HD camera1x smartphone holder4x drone blades
4x drone feet4x blade guards1x Phillips precision screwdriver

PERFORMANCE

Flying the drone

The X5HW-1 is very easy to fly indoors and outdoors.  Its lightweight construction along with its motor is not built for flying on windy days.  It is extremely fast though so you better take extra care not to make it go beyond the 30- to 50-meter range or you will lose control of it just as fast.

FPV real-time camera

Make no mistake about it but the camera works.  The camera quality is another matter though, as seen from these shots.

Therefore use the drone to hone your quadcopter skills.

Battery life

The battery takes more than two hours to charge (130 minutes).  Once fully charged, the battery only allows you to fly the drone between four to seven minutes depending on whether it is windy or not.

Verdict

Syma did a great job in manufacturing the X5HW-1.  Do not buy the drone for the camera, purchase it with the intention to learn and master quadcopter flight.  Its inexpensive price, special features, and easy flight handling make it a good entry-level drone.