Overall, I’ve been extremely satisfied with the value proposition of the Hubsan X4 H107D…
With the large increase in the consumer FPV (First Person View) drone market, Hubsan has been hard at work to create a fully functional FPV drone that flies extremely well, fits in the palm of your hand, and allows you to see where you’re flying right from the screen on the controller.
Disclaimer: Today I’m solely going to be sharing day 1 impressions. This will eventually convert into a full review, but my experience with flying drones is relatively limited and my ability to pilot the drone is also limited. As I improve my skill level to the extent that I can fully evaluate the drone, I will update these impressions to a full-fledged review. Having said that, for comparison, the other quadcopters that I have flown include: The Syma X5C, Brookestone’s Neutron Mini Quadcopter, and the Dromida Kodo.
Design and Durability
The Hubsan X4 H107D is probably my favorite design of all of the mini-quadcopters on the market. The white body, multi-colored props, and blue and red LEDs make for a beautiful looking little drone. The controller was also well designed with the LCD being front and center in between your controls which is a big improvement over the only other FPV mini-quad on the market, the Walkera Ladybird, which has the screen below the controls that is easily obstructed by the pilots hands.
The X4 is extremely durable. During one of my flights, I became disoriented and began drifting towards a house. In a panic I attempted to fly away from the house, however, I actually flew directly into the house at full throttle in expert mode. After recovering the drone, I’m happy to report almost zero visible damage aside from some dings in the props. By the way, if you touch the moving props with your finger while spinning it WILL cause damage to both your fingers and the props. I drew blood within the first 24 hours of owning the X4. Needless to say, this quad balances design, functionality, and durability into an excellent little package.
Flight, Agility, and Performance
The Hubsan X4 H107D is extremely docile. The little drone is extremely responsive to remotes inputs. At first, it can seem overly touchy (especially in Expert Mode), however, after getting used to the controls and how it responds, the ability to change directions on a dime can be the difference between a drone that has crashed-and-burned versus a close call.
The X4 controls in the same manner as the majority of other quadcopters on the market. The left stick on the controller is your throttle and yaw. The right stick controls the direction of the drone: front, back, strafe left, strafe right. If you’re coming from video games or even the simple remote control helicopters on the market, this control setup can take some getting used to. There is a definite learning curve associated with the advanced controls of a drone. Having said that, there is infinitely more control with these controls as well.
I’ve also been impressed with the range on this little quad. While the controller does not provide altitude for an exact range test, the quadcopter definitely seems to hit 100 meters with ease. In an open area, the video is also impressively clear. See the image below for example:
In comparison, the X4 H107D flight style is extremely comparable/similar to the other mini-quadcopters I have flown. Compared to the larger Syma X5C, however, the X4 is quite twitchy and more responsive comparatively; primarily due to the difference in size of the two quads. It’s also worth noting that you have full control over the sensitivity from within the options menu of the controller so that you can set it to your flying preference.
The X4 also allows you to do flips by pushing the right stick back and forth in the desired direction of the flip. This is one area where the X4 seems to fall behind the Neutron and the Dromida Kodo. Both of those quads have a button you press in tandem with a direction that carries out the flip. The Neutron and the Kodo both perform more concise flips as the movement is programmed in as opposed to relying on the input of the pilot. The lack of this programming could be seen as a benefit, however, for the more advanced pilots out there who want complete control over their stunts.
The X4 does tend to drift in one direction or another. Each flight I would typically have to calibrate the gyro and then adjust the trim to get the quadcopter to stay in a general area. It’s also worth nothing that it does not have hover nor GPS functions that other more expensive drones have; such as the DJ Phantom.
The average battery life on the X4 H107D is as advertised: around 7 minutes of flight time per battery. It takes roughly 45 minutes to recharge the battery with the included charger. The remote is definitely not battery-friendly. I went through an entire set of 4 AA batteries in my first day with the quadcopter. This is likely due to powering the large 5.5 inch LCD screen on the controller.
Camera and Video
One of the biggest advantages of the X4 H107D compared to the majority of the other mini-quadcopters on the market is the built in FPV camera. This allows you to control the drone while looking at a 5.5 inch display on the included remote. The video quality on the remote is decent and the ability to fly FPV on a drone that retails for under $140 dollars is incredible. Flying FPV is, however, quite challenging; especially for new pilots.
There are some drawbacks to the camera. First, the field of view is not the greatest. It can be challenging to see all of your surrounding as I would estimate only being able to see around an 80 to 90 degree field-of-view. A number of enthusiasts have modded the X4 with a smartphone wide angle lense to increase the field of view with great success and have seen massive improvements in their ability to fly FPV.
Another drawback to the FPV camera is that for weight and performance purposes, there is no on-board memory. This equates to all video being recorded from the transmitter. As objects and distance create distortion and fuzz, this is all captured in your recorded videos. While you can definitely have a good time recording videos, the X4 was not designed for your cinematic pleasures. You’ll need to get a drone more intentionally designed for that purpose such as the DJ Phantom Vision 2; though they do come at a premium.
The camera does not give the ability to take stills pictures either. If you want pictures, such as the one above, you will need to take screenshots of the video recording, which is less than optimal.
One last drawback is that when putting the videos onto your computer, they are in a strange format which requires running them through a converter to make them playable and editable. However, this is all outlined with resources in the manual of the device.
Overall, just having the ability to shoot video while flying FPV for under $140 is an incredible value, even with the fuzz. I’ve put together a compilation video of some of my flights below. Enjoy!
As with all good things, they at times require other resources. Some things that you will want to consider upon purchase are as follows:
- 4 Rechargeable AA Batteries. I’ve gone through an entire set in a single days worth of flying. Having rechargeable will pay for itself within the first month.
- Additional props – especially if you’re a beginner. I had to replace my first prop within the first hour of owning the quad. It does come with 4 replacement props in box.
- Additional batteries for the quadcopter. With a flight time of around 7 minutes, you’ll want to buy some extra batteries so that those trips to the park can be a bit more worthwhile. They are cheap. You can get a multi-battery charger, and 5 additional batteries for under $30 on Amazon.
Overall, I’ve been extremely satisfied with the value proposition of the Hubsan X4 H107D. It provides you with a very agile quadcopter, the ability to fly FPV through the camera and screen on the remote, all at an incredible value of less than $140. You can currently get the X4 on Bang Good for $138.99, but keep in mind that their shipping time is drastically longer than Amazon because it is shipping from China. I’ve seen cases of taking up to 6 weeks for the quad to arrive from Bang Good. Amazon also carries the quadcopter, but at a higher price of around $200. For the impatient, a purchase through Amazon with 2 day shipping might be a good idea.
What are your thoughts on the Hubsan X4 H107D? Do you own one? What are your likes/dislikes? Let us know in the comments below.