The budget end of the drone market has a lot of offerings, which is great for the consumer. Lots of the more advanced flight features have trickled down to cheaper units, which means for a first-time flyer, there are plenty of options. This is basically a cost-effective way to dive into drone flight without costing the Earth. One example in this section of the market is the Hubsan X4 H107L.
The main advantage is that you can get a taste of a more expensive unit and earn your pilot stripes with the reassurance that you’re not going to trash a very expensive unit along the way. In other words, you can push one of these little things harder and even if you write one-off, it’s not as catastrophic as a drone you spent ages to save up for.
In this regard let’s check out the Hubsan X4 H107L and see what it has to offer.
The Hubsan X4 H107L drone is a tiny little thing, fitting into the palm of your hand and has a very bug-like appearance. Flight time on this unit is a respectable nine minutes and you can lighten the load a little if you take off the propeller guards.
Charging time is rated at 40 minutes, which again is reasonable, but as is the case with all drones, it’s a good idea to buy a few spare batteries. Without the battery, the drone weighs approximately 30g which means it should be flown in close to ideal conditions. Flight range is stated at 30m.
As for what comes in the package, the ready assembled drone comes with the propellers already fitted. Two of which are black and two are white to easily see the orientation of the drone. There’s also a USB charging cable that can easily charge the small battery from a laptop which is very handy. Spare propellers and a 2.4 GHz frequency controller with four channels also come in the package.
There are LED lights on each propeller, which don’t just help you locate the drone, but also assist in checking the orientation when flying. The drone is also small enough to be flown indoors, but you will still need a good amount of space, especially at the beginning stages.
Designwise, the drone is made from relatively strong plastics and comes with small rubber feet to protect the drone when landing. Small connectors are located under the drone for attaching the battery.
As this is a very basic drone, it has a limited amount of automatic flight features, but it does have a few. Four-way flips are possible (left, right, forward, backward), an expert mode, single button flips, and anti-flip mode. The anti-flip mode is there to stabilize the drone in Expert mode, so you don’t accidentally flip the thing over and crash.
The drone itself keeps stable with the six-axis flight control system which has adjustable gyro sensitivity. At this price point, you’re not going to get more advanced features like GPS tracking, but the gyro system is good enough for basic flight.
The transmitter itself is a basic unit, looking more like a gaming console controller than anything else. The essentials are here like the two joysticks, flight mode buttons, trim buttons, and the basic LCD screen for information. The trim buttons can be used to stabilize and adjust drone stability in the air, while the flight mode buttons control transmitter sensitivity.
By the way, there’s no included camera on this drone, but there’s potential that you could add your own. Not really a surprise at this price point, so take the drone as a unit for flight practice for sharpening your skills than anything else.
Hubsan X4 H107L in Use
For such a small drone, the Hubsan X4 H107L definitely has a good turn of speed. Cranking the throttle fully up feels more like a sports drone than anything else. However, it only takes a small gust of wind to knock the drone off-balance. Therefore, ideal weather conditions are needed.
Because the drone can zip up to speed very quickly, it can be very easy to get exuberant at the beginning stages. Tentative steps are needed at first to get a feel of how this drone flies. Ideally, keeping the drone in the safest flight modes, until you’re used to its zippy like flight nature.
As automated flight features are very limited, this can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have to take the reins straightaway and get used to a more manual way of flying. This will sharpen up your flying skills in the long run, but it can also mean plenty of initial crashes until you start getting the hang of things.
On the other hand, the lack of automated flight features may be frustrating for some. Either way, once you get the hang of this little drone, it’s a pleasure to fly and very responsive when it needs to be. Far more fun than its price-tag implies.
How Does It Compare?
Approaching the cheaper end of the market, you have to expect more basic features. But that shouldn’t mean buying a drone that is next to useless. It should still be a capable flyer and, with practice, teach you at least the basics. But, there is also a cut-off point. Anything much cheaper than the Hubsan X4 H107L is really for those on an extremely tight budget or a kid’s drone.
One very cheap unit is the Cheerson CX-10. It has a child’s toy-like appearance and much of the same facilities as you get on the H107L. You’re not really going to get any flying aids, but it is a robust little flyer, which can easily be used indoors and is plenty of fun. If you’re just after a bit of fun with a drone, with no expectations past that, then this little unit packs a lot in for the money.
|Hubsan X4 H107L||Cheerson Cx-10|
|Flight Time||9 minutes||4-8 minutes|
|Range||30 meters||40 meters|
|Charge Time||40 minutes||30-40 minutes|
The H107L is a very basic drone and aimed at the beginner pilot or for those wanting a very cost-effective entry into the drone world. One of its plus points is that it is a rapid flyer and gives you more of a taste of drone racing than anything else.
If you need a drone, which has some sort of built-in camera so you can double up your flight and camera skills, you will have to look elsewhere. But, if you want a drone which is a fun flyer and gets you grounded in the basics, then the Hubsan X4 H107L could be a very cost-effective way to enter the market.
For anybody first entering the drone world, it can be ever so tempting to initially buy into the most expensive unit with all the goodies and advanced automated flight features. However, just like driving, you need to gain the experience first and this will inevitably mean a few knocks and bumps along the way. At this price point, you can iron out these differences and then move onto a more advanced unit. Definitely recommended as a fun flyer.