5th March 2023
Looking for an affordable and beginner-friendly drone? The BetaFPV Cetus Lite FPV kit might just fit the bill. In this review, we take a close look at what this kit has to offer in terms of build quality, features, and whether or not it’s good for learning how to fly FPV with. Whether you’re new to FPV or simply looking for a fun and portable quadcopter, read on to find out if the BetaFPV Cetus Lite is worth your consideration.
Where to Buy?
You can find the BetaFPV Cetus Lite FPV kit here:
- MEPSKING: www.mepsking.com
- 1 * LiteRadio 1 Transmitter (CC2500 Version)
- 1 * BETAFPV VR02 FPV Goggles (Cetus Lite FPV available only)
- 2 * BT2.0 300mAh 1S Lipo Battery
- 1 * BT2.0 Battery Charger and Voltage Tester
- 1 * USB Charging Cable (Type-C)
- 1 * Type-C Adapter (Adapter board and 4-pin connector cable)
- 1 * Prop Removal Tool
- 4 * 31mm 4-Blade Prop (Spare parts)
Closer Look at the Cetus Lite FPV Kit
The Cetus Lite is basically the same quad from the original Cetus FPV kit, same motors, same frame and same FPV setup. It’s a tiny whoop style FPV drone, which is known for being lightweight, compact and crash resistant. This type of drones is pretty safe to fly around the house and people.
The Cetus Lite drone weighs 28.6g without battery, or 36.8g carrying a 1S 300mah LiPo.
It uses 0716 brushed motors, which are not as durable as brushless motors, but they are quiet and efficient.
One difference from the original Cetus is the absence of the optical flow camera sensor and LiDAR sensor. In my opinion, this is a good decision as it makes the drone more affordable, and these sensors weren’t very accurate or useful anyway, possibly because they weren’t optimized enough.
The battery holder is made of thick rubbery plastic, it’s sturdy and holds the battery securely. The battery connector is BT2.0. It comes with two 1S 300mAh LiPo batteries providing just under 4 minutes of flight time.
I think the battery can last longer, but the built-in safety feature automatically lands the drone when voltage reaches 3.3V. This is to prevent the battery from over-discharging which can damage your battery.
However, this can be inconvenient for experienced pilots who prefer to land wherever they choose to. I just wish there was a option to disable this feature.
The batteries can be charged using the included USB charger.
The charger doubles as the voltage checker.
The Cetus Lite drone is significantly smaller and lighter than the Cetus X drone, but as a result, it may not be as powerful and may struggle with windy conditions when flying outdoors.
The drone can be connected to computer for firmware updates and configuration using BetaFPV’s own software.
The remote for the Cetus Lite drone is the BetaFPV LiteRadio 1. Unlike a typical radio, both sticks on the LiteRadio 1 are self-centered. The radio is already bound to the drone, requiring no configuration before the first flight. It uses a CC2500 chip, supporting Frsky D8 and D16 protocols for RF communication.
The four 2-position latching switches on the radio provide additional functionality
It also features a built-in 1S 1000mAh LiPo battery that can be charged via the USB-C port.
While the BetaFPV LiteRadio 3 is already compact, the LiteRadio 1 is even smaller. However, being a toy-grade radio, it’s not suitable for serious flying.
The VR02 FPV Goggles are a basic 5.8GHz analog box goggle with a built-in battery that can be recharged via the USB-C port.
While lacking a DVR and having an internal antenna, it’s still suitable for indoor flying. However, its range is not as good as the more advanced VR03 goggles.
The VR02 FPV Goggles feature an OSD (on-screen display) that shows essential flight data such as battery voltage, flight time, flight mode, and warnings. The goggles work straight out of the box with no configuration required – just power on the drone and goggles, hold down the “S” button, and it will automatically search for the correct channel.
A side-by-side comparison between the VR03 and VR02 goggles reveals that they have the same size, shape, and image quality, but the VR03 has additional features such as a DVR, an external antenna, and a top headstrap buckle.
Can You Learn How To Fly FPV With The Cetus Lite Kit?
If your goal is to learn how to control a camera drone like the DJI Mavic, the Cetus Lite can teach you that because the way they fly is the same. However, if you want to learn how to fly an FPV drone, then no. Your skills flying the Cetus Lite will not translate well to an FPV drone.
The main limitation in my opinion is the radio. Toy-grade quality aside, the throttle stick is self-centering, which is not how a typical radio in FPV works. FPV drones are highly dynamic and agile, so the throttle should have no tension and can be moved freely, and it shouldn’t self-center. Also it’s pretty disappointing to find out the Cetus Lite has no acro mode, only self-level mode is available.
You can connect this remote in FPV simulators, but it’s not the kind of radio you’d want to practice with. .
And this kit won’t teach you anything about the software used in FPV like Betaflight, BLHeli, ExpressLRS etc.
Which is the Best Cetus FPV Kit?
BetaFPV has so far released 4 versions of the Cetus FPV kits, you are probably wondering which kit is the best. I have reviewed them all here:
- Cetus Lite FPV Kit (this review)
- Cetus FPV Kit (Original)
- Cetus Pro FPV Kit
- Cetus X FPV Kit
For someone who’s serious about learning how to fly an FPV drone, the Cetus X is the best in my opinion. Or just pick up a proper radio and learn how to fly in a simulator, then build your own drone as explained here.
If you want to get a toy-grade drone as a gift, the Cetus Lite in this review is an excellent choice, especially for young people. It has no steep learning curve (works straight out of the box), easy to control, fairly crash resistant and safe to fly inside the house. I think it’s a great kit to get children interested in flying drones.
How to Setup Cetus Lite for First Flight
The included instruction manual does a really good job getting you started. It explains almost all aspects of the kit and how to fly it.
Begin by charging all the components and batteries with the provided USB-C cable.
Turn on the drone, goggles, and remote.
To establish connection between the remote and the drone, bring the throttle stick down, the LED in the drone should stop flashing and stay solid blue.
If you don’t already have video in the goggles (just static/snow), simply hold down the “S” button, it should start searching for the correct channel and you should get an image shortly.
If the drone drifts while hovering, enter calibration mode by pressing the SB button, wait for the LED in the drone to flash, then press the SB button again.
Press SA to arm, the propellers should start spinning slowly, you can then bring the throttle stick up to take off.
To stop ascending, simply release the throttle stick. Keep in mind that it does not have GPS like a DJI drone, so it may slightly wander around as it relies only on gyro and accelerometer sensors.
Cetus Lite Kit without FPV
The BetaFPV Cetus Lite offers a non-FPV kit, which costs only half of the price of the FPV version.
You can find the BetaFPV Cetus Lite kit here:
It doesn’t come with an FPV Goggles, and the drone doesn’t have a camera and VTX. The rest the accessories are the same.
If you enjoy flying the Cetus Lite drone line of sight instead of using FPV, this is a fantastic way to save some money.