SYMA X5UW drone – Is it the perfect Christmas gift?
In my opinion, the Syma X5 series is one of the most popular entry level quadcopter family and I bet that this year the SYMA X5UW will be found under many Christmas trees. I think the nice candy red color will make it attractive even for girls 🙂
My quadcopter addiction started about 3 years ago, when I purchased my first drone, which was a Syma X5C. If I remember correctly, I paid about $65 for it. Now, the SYMA X5UW, for extra 10 bucks not just that it has a much attractive design but also offers plenty of new features.
Syma’s “X5U” series has two models, the X5UW with WiFI FPV camera and the X5UC with non-FPV 2MP camera. Both variants comes with same top-notch features (altitude hold and one key take-off/land).
SYMA X5UW review
Usually, I track my orders and I didn’t expect anything for this week. I was happy to finally have a more relaxing week. Then I got a notice that I have to go to the local post office to pick up a package.
Arrived at the postal office, the customs officer asks me what’s inside the box and how much it cost. I smiled and I said that we need to open it because I don’t know what’s inside. Surprise, it was the SYMA X5UW.
In order to clarify who I need to thank for this product, I checked all my emails. I found out that James from Banggood ordered it for me on Oct 18, 2016, but the status remained “Ready To Process”…
Inside the box, I found beside the Syma X5UW quadcopter and its transmitter a complete set of spare propellers, 1 set of blade protectors, flight battery, HD WiFi FPV camera, 4GB micro SD card, USB card reader, USB charging cable, screwdriver, phone holder clip, and user manual.
SYMA X5UW review – First impression – Design and build quality
As you can see in the image below, both aircraft and transmitter have great improvement in terms of design compared to their predecessors. The build quality looks a bit better than usual for such cheap RC toys.
The redesigned low-profile landing gears offer better stability in case of a hard landing.
Many will probably consider the candy-red color a bit girly but I actually like it. Don’t mention that the shiny paint makes the aircraft more visible in the sky as well as on the ground.
In order to protect the main gears from excessive dust, strands of hair, or grass they are enclosed in the mainframe.
Thanks to the clip-on system, the propeller guards can be easily attached to the aircraft (no screws required).
During night flights you will be guided by 5 LED lights. Red LEDs in the front and green ones on the rear, one under each arm (near the motor) and one on the top of the aircraft, around the power button.
SYMA X5UW quadcopter highlights
- Stylish design;
- Altitude hold;
- Headless flight mode;
- One key take-off and land;
- One key return to home;
- Virtual waypoint mission (without GPS);
- Dual flight speed rates (High and Low);
- Triple control modes (physical RC, virtual sticks and gravity control through Syma Go APP);
- Low-voltage and overcurrent protection;
- Up to 100 meters control range;
- About 40 meters FPV range;
- Up to 7 minutes of flight autonomy.
SYMA X5UW review – Transmitter \ Syma GO APP
Syma decided to redesign not just the aircraft but also its remote controller. Although it does not have a LCD screen or trimming buttons, the transmitter looks more stylish and more user friendly.
On the front panel, besides the two usual control sticks, there is only one button, the power switch.
The X5UW transmitter has in total four shoulder buttons, two on each side. While the left-frontal one allows to start/stop video recording, the left-rear one takes photos.
Automatic take-off/landing can be engaged by short pressing the rear-right shoulder button.
Switching between flight speed rates (Low/High) can be done by short pressing the right control stick. One beep means “Low” speed and two beeps “High” speed.
Although the SYMA X5UW drone can be controlled in 3 ways (psychical RC, virtual sticks, and through the smartphone’s gravity sensor) I recommend for newbies to practice firstly using the transmitter. After they are familiar with the basic flight movements, they can experience the fun to “drive” by tilting the phone (like in a racing game).
In case that the X5UW quad starts to fly abnormally, I recommend first to try to re-calibrate the gyro by pushing both sticks to the lowest right position.
SYMA X5UW review – Camera
The camera comes detached from the quad. After the camera is mounted under the belly of the aircraft, there are no visible wires or antennas. The angle of the lens can’t be adjusted.
My first positive surprise was that it has a micro SD slot loaded with a 4GB memory card. This is good news because the recorded videos are stored directly on the camera not requiring a smartphone in order to capture videos. Also, I expect better image quality due to the fact that the videos/photos are not saved from the live-video feed like in the case of other WIFI FPV cameras.
If the SYMA X5UW quadcopter is connected to your mobile device through the SymaGO APP, the videos/photos are stored in both locations (camera’s and smartphone’s memory).
One minute of recorded video occupies about 5MB. Both photos and videos have a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
Although colors are less saturated compared to other WiFI cameras, in my opinion, the SYMA X5UW’s camera offers better sharpness. Unfortunately, the video frame rate seems to be less than 25fps.
SYMA X5UW review – Test flight
The motors can be armed in 2 ways, by pushing up and down the throttle stick (left one in mode2) or moving both sticks to the lowest inner position.
You can also start your flight by pressing the front-right shoulder button (take-off). This way, the motors are not just armed but the quad-copter will automatically rise to about 2 meters high.
The “Low” speed rate is just perfect for indoor practice. The aircraft is very stable and reacts well to the control commands.
When I switched to “High” speed the quad became speedy and more agile. This speed rate is recommended for outdoor flights. The wind resistance is also improved at this speed rate.
On recording, all LEDs will slowly flash.
My first flight with the SYMA X5UW ended after about 6 minutes. Honestly, I was positively impressed by its flight performance. There is a huge improvement compared to my X5SC-1.
Test flight video with the Syma X5UW quadcopter
Design and build quality
Camera / FPV
SYMA X5UW review – Final words
Thanks to its all great features and premium design we can declare that currently the X5UW is the flagship model of the X5 series.
The “Gyro” control mode is pretty awesome and the FPV camera does the job decently.
This Syma X5UW is an excellent option for newbies who do not want to invest a fortune in their first quadcopter.