Hubsan is a drone manufacturer that offers units that are reasonably priced and come with a lot of features. They have a bunch of drones in their range fitting most price points, with the Hubsan H502s X4 Desire coming in as a smaller version of their well-respected, H501S drone. Lots of features, a built-in camera, and a reasonable price.
There’s lots of competition at this price range, so let’s see what this drone has to offer.
First up, the basic specifications of the Hubsan H502s X4 Desire. It’s not huge by any means, only measuring 165mm x 165mm x 60mm and weighing 155g, but the whole package feels robust enough to take a few knocks.
The body of the drone is made from tough plastics, has a 12 minute flight time, a charging time of 150 minutes, a control range of 250m, and a built-in 720p camera. The live video range is also 200m, with a maximum flight speed of ten meters per second and a maximum climb or descent speed of three meters per second. Also, as it’s quite a lightweight unit, it doesn’t need registration with the FAA.
What’s in the package? The drone itself to which you will have to attach the propellers, four spare propellers, one rechargeable battery, a USB cable, one transmitter with smart sun visor, a charger, a screwdriver, and an instruction manual.
In many regards, the drone can be seen as a smaller version of the H501S, with much of the same facilities. Being a more cost-effective model, the Hubsan H502s X4 Desire has brushed motors and a 720p camera rather than a 1080p version. However, the H502s does carry over things like GPS, anti-signal loss, and return to home modes.
As for the controller, it feels like quite a large unit with a 4.3 inch LCD screen which displays all flight information from the GPS position, altitude and heading, and battery levels. The screen seems to be quite power hungry, so it means you will have to swap out the batteries every four flights or so. Rechargeable batteries will be needed here.
Hubsan H502s X4 Desire in Use
Before your first flight the drone does require a little calibration via the transmitter, but this is a quick process. Then it’s straight into your first flight.
The camera sits at 720p, but you can’t really expect much more from a drone in this price range. However, the footage is actually quite reasonable and the camera stabilization is a very tasty addition at this price point. You can also fly the drone in FPV mode, which can be used with a Virtual Reality headset.
As for actual flight performance, the automated flight controls worked very well without jitter. At this price point, some of these more advanced flight features could be left out, so it’s for peace of mind that they are included here. Altitude hold, for example, does a very good job of keeping the drone stable, so you can concentrate on capturing your video footage.
The GPS Follow Me mode works equally well, as does the Return to Home and automatic landing features. Basically, lots of features which can give confidence to the beginner pilot.
There is also an expert mode which includes a headless mode for orientating the drone to your own position. Great for giving initial confidence, but in the long term, it’s advisable to learn how to fly the drone in the traditional manner for when you migrate to a more expensive unit.
As for flight times and control range, the quoted 12 minutes flight time is about right if you avoid exuberant flight antics. The brushed motors do a good job of reacting quickly, but you have to be aware that they will not be as resilient as brushless motors. The motors can be swapped out for better versions if need be.
Concerning the range, 250m is very good for this size of drone and it will probably go out of sight range before you lose contact with the thing. FPV range is roughly 130m and if the drone does go out of viewing distance, you can rely on the GPS and the FPV to bring the drone home. The Hubsan H502s X4 Desire can take a few gusts of wind, but really you shouldn’t be going out in anything but a light breeze, at best.
Basically, this is a fun to fly drone and definitely helps you on your way to mastering your drone piloting skills.
How Does It Compare?
The Cheerson CX-35 may be a cheaper unit, with not as much flight time and range, but if you’re on a really tight budget, it can be an option. There are automated flight features such as altitude hold, one key return, headless mode, and a remotely adjustable camera. The range is also 100m.
However, it does have a 6 axis gyro which keeps it nice and steady for the beginner, a first-person view and quite robust propeller guards which will be very beneficial to the initial, crash-prone pilots. It’s not as fully a rounded unit as the H502s, but it could be a good first step into drone flight for not much money.
There’s also the larger and more feature-rich H501S camera drone. This unit is more expensive, but it also has more tasty features such as a 1080p camera and brushless motors. If you got the Hubsan H502s X4 Desire as a first drone, then the H501S acts as the next logical step up.
|Hubsan H502s X4||Cheerson CX-35|
|Flight Time||12 minutes||5-7 minutes|
The Hubsan H502s X4 Desire shows that drone manufacturers are packing a lot of features into their more basic units. You come away feeling that you get a lot of features for your money with just refinements of these if you move up to the next model. In other words, this is a good Follow Me drone with a reasonable camera and flight features to appeal to a wide range of users.
There are clearly other drones on the market at a similar price point and similar features. But, if you want a nicely rounded drone that won’t cost the earth, then it’s worth shortlisting the H502s as a possible option.