It took mankind thousands of years to master the magic of flight. It took us decades to make airplanes available to the public. The past few years have followed in that tradition, helping a new generation of aviation-loving individuals spread their creative wings and fly with remote-controlled drones.
What’s unique about drones as compared to other aviation breakthroughs is the fact that it not only exists for flight enthusiasts but several other niches, including photographers, filmmakers, thrill-seekers, and those looking for hot blogging and vlogging material in the war for online eyeballs.
In addition, beginner drones are quite accessible. Put those two factors together, and it should come as no surprise that they are among the hottest electronic-based buys online.
All of which brings us to the model at hand, the Drone X Pro. It has a reputation as being one of the best beginner models and one of the most adept motion-controlled fliers on the market. So, what’s behind the buzz, and does the Drone X Pro pass our reviewing test with flying colors?
Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors for any drone and see how the Drone X Pro measures up.
1. Knowing What You Want in a Drone
First and foremost, you want to know what you’re looking for in a drone, which in turn means knowing why you want one in the first place. As stated, drones can be purchased for different reasons by different types of enthusiasts. Someone looking to buy a drone for the thrill of precision flight will be looking for something different than a photographer looking for a drone with a superior camera for aerial views, and a beginner looking for a novelty will want something different altogether.
For example, those looking for drones made for precision flight are going to care about things such as the overall build, nature of the wings, and how the unit takes off and maintains flight.
By contrast, those looking for a drone that is crafted for aerial camera work are going to want to take a closer look at the camera specifications as well as how the unit remains stable and zooms while snapping pictures.
A beginner drone, on the other hand, by necessity must be extremely streamlined and simplified compared to either of those two, and should be priced at a more accessible rate.
So, how does the Drone X Pro fit in among those classifications?
The streamlined design and accessible price point set it up as one of the best entry-level drones on the market. What’s more, its high-quality camera and smartphone-powered motion controls offer expanded capabilities for those looking to do more with their drone while paying less.
2. Considering Your Budget
There is no denying that flying a drone can be an expensive hobby. A top-tier drone can cost thousands of dollars upfront, and even more to maintain.
That may sound like a lot, but the fact of the matter is that it may actually cost more money if you purchase something that doesn’t suit all of your needs and you need to upgrade it as you go. What’s more, if you purchase a unit that is less than hardy and prone to breakdowns, you’ll find yourself spending more money, which can quickly turn your “bargain” into a costly mistake. As with any other purchase, therefore, buying a drone, especially a first drone, needs to be a mixture of short-term money-saving value and a long-term investment.
Here again, the Drone X Pro scores well. It is priced favorably compared to other beginner drones, with individual units typically “hovering” around $60 in price. What helps the Drone X Pro really stand out, however, is the fact that it is available in a variety of different deals that allow users to buy several of these units at once for a bundled together bargain price.
For example, there are Buy 1 Get One 1 Free offers that allow users to get several drones at a discount, which is definitely an upside in a hobby where even a single drone can be a pricey purchase.
Deals like this solve one of the key dilemmas facing first-time drone buyers – namely the fact that they are likely to crash their drones, just as a first-time bike rider is likely to get a few scuffs on that bike before they’re a fluent rider. That said, a drone can be a far more complex machine than your average bike, and far more costly to replace. Having multiple drones is, thus, a good way to make sure that even if your first drone suffers a few bumps and bruises in the learning process, you still have more ready to go.
In addition, the makers of Drone X Pro offer free shipping on every order. That is likely to be a relief to anyone who has ever had to deal with the frustration of suddenly finding $20 or so tacked onto their order at the end just to ship an item they already paid for to their home.
Its cost-effectiveness, deals, and shipping make this model one of the best value buys among drones on the market, marking a definite high point in our Drone X Pro review.
3. Flight Time and Distance
That first flight by the Wright Brothers at Kittyhawk lasted just under a minute and covered just over 800 feet. While it is fair to say that flight time has come a long way since them, it is nevertheless essential that you know how much flight time and range you can expect from a drone, and what goes into determining those factors.
Here again, you’ll find a lot of variations based on what kind of drone we’re talking about. Little toys for children have a range of a few feet, and can last for a few minutes between charges. At the other end of the spectrum, some drones can fly for miles. Battery size and efficiency, as well as the overall size of the craft, help determine flight time, while range depends on not just good battery life, but accurate controls and communication between craft and remote control.
Where does the Drone X Pro rank in these respects?
Drones that can fly for a mile or more are rare and quite expensive. That unfair expectation aside, however, the Drone X Pro performs quite well for a drone of its kind. It is able to remain in the air for around 10 minutes depending on its battery, which can itself take around an hour to charge. Both of these are on the above-average end for a drone of this nature and price point.
Of course, it isn’t just about how much battery power you have, but your flight radius once you stay in the air. A long battery life won’t mean much if all it allows for flight-wise are a few tight circles above your head.
Thankfully, the Drone X Pro allows for a lot more than that. With the Drone X Pro, you’ll be able to take advantage of a flight radius of roughly 70 to 80 m. That’s more than most drones of its size and class can afford, and should be more than enough for a beginner craft. In addition, while it may not attract the attention of those looking for thousand-dollar top-tier drones that can operate on missions miles away, it should also attract attention from other users as well.
This is where that intersection of niche interests comes in. If you are a photographer looking for a way to get aerial shots, a highly limited radius will be quite restrictive, while 70 to 80 m should be more than enough to get whatever pictures you want.
Speaking of pictures, if you’re looking to purchase a drone for snapping selfies, that battery life of 10 minutes should allow even the fussiest of selfie posers to get into perfect position before taking their shot.
4. Balance and Stabilization
Of course, good flight time and radius won’t count for much if the drone wobbles while taking a picture or goes hurtling toward the ground and an untimely end. Whether you are purchasing a pricey elite model, a beginner’s option, or anything in between, few things are more important to your drone selection than making sure that it scores well in balance and stabilization.
Drone range means more than just how far a craft can fly. It also entails how long it is able to maintain its balance, which in turn is dependent in part on how long and how well it is able to maintain a strong signal with the controller. Once the signal between the two begins to break down, problems can ensue, and that’s when you get the crashes which are the nightmare of every drone owner.
One reason this happens is because there is a marked difference in a drone’s theoretical “range” and how far it can actually go in your area before it starts to run into trouble. That’s because drones are controlled with radio technology, and as anyone who’s ever used a radio before can attest, all manner of things can interfere with a radio signal, especially in urban areas.
In theory, you can receive radio signals across long distances. It’s part of the reason why baseball teams like the St. Louis Cardinals were able to cultivate such strong fanbases in the middle of the country. Not only is St. Louis located in the middle of the country, but by transmitting to states like Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas which are more rural and featured less radio interference in the 50s and 60s, the Cardinals became Middle America’s Team (sorry, Cubs fans).
The same principle applies to drones. If you are looking to fly your new drone in the kind of flat, rural, open spaces typical of states like Iowa and Kansas, chances are you’ll be able to enjoy performance which is much closer to that theoretical high end, and thus be able to enjoy a more stable and better balanced drone. On the other hand, if you live in an urban area like New York or LA, you’ll have to account for buildings, towers, and other radio transmitters and receivers which can cause interference with your signal.
While the Drone X Pro does an admirable job of combatting this to provide the most protection against radio interference possible, this is simply a reality of purchasing a unit that sends and receives signals this way.
One way quality drones such as the Drone X Pro combat this is with gimbals, which help the unit maintain better horizontal balance in the air. The gimbals on a unit like the Drone X Pro help it from rocking from side to side while in the air. That is critical if you want those pictures to turn out to be anything more than a blurry mess, and can ensure that your drone doesn’t suddenly lose balance in the air and go careening toward the ground.
All in all, while it is subject to the same challenges as any drone in terms of radio interference, balance, and stabilization, the Drone X Pro meets those challenges as well as any drone in its class.
5. Size Matters
Larger drones tend to drain their batteries more quickly, which is why if you’re looking for something that can stay in the air longer and don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, you’ll be looking for a smaller, sleeker craft.
To that end, the Drone X Pro is a perfect example of why, sometimes, less really is more. It measures 27 × 19.5 x 5 cm with the arms of the drone extended to their flying positions and 12.5 × 7.5 x 5 cm when everything is folded back together. This isn’t a beast of a drone that will drain its batteries quickly. Rather, it is a lean, mean flying machine that is able to make the most of its battery capacity with a streamlined design.
6. Drone Pro X Accessories
One of the most important considerations for any electronic device are the accessories one can purchase to augment their performance and the experience of using them. This is especially true with drones. If you are a beginner and decide after flying your base model for a while that you like drones, the right accessories can help you get even more out of that first drone while you save up for another. If you are a drone enthusiast, tinkering with and improving your drones are part of the fun.
This is another high water mark in our Drone X Pro review. Some of the accessories available for the Drone X Pro include:
- Four Spare Propeller Blades: When you crash your bike while first learning to ride it, the worst you typically come away with are a few scratches and scrapes. When you crash a drone while learning, however, you can wreck the propeller blades and, just like that, not be able to fly anymore. Thankfully, this unit comes with four spare propeller blades, which should be welcome for beginners and veterans alike.
- A Storage Bag: The drone itself is pocket-sized, but if you’d prefer to carry it around in a bag, the Drone X Pro comes with a sturdy carrying case.
- Screwdriver: If you need to enact some quick repairs “on the fly,” this unit comes with a screwdriver for basic maintenance.
- USB Cable: Few things are more annoying from an electronics standpoint than wanting to charge something but not having the right charger cable on hand. Thankfully, the Drone X Pro is USB-compatible and comes with a cable, meaning you can charge it off your computer or other USB-friendly device.
- Propeller Guards: While these are sold separately, they may be a worthwhile investment to give your propellers the most protection possible, especially if you are still learning how to fly.
7. Camera Considerations
As stated, flight photography and selfies are the biggest selling points for commercial drones.
When considering a camera drone, you first and foremost need to make sure that you have a camera that is up to the task. You can get your drone into the perfect position and snap an incredible shot from far off the ground, but if it comes out in 240p you’ll be none too pleased.
Different models offer different types of cameras, and it is here that the Drone X Pro really shows off its stuff as a premiere beginner model with something extra for those looking for a camera drone. It can take pictures in crisp 720p, allowing for great-looking HD photography. Where this unit really shines is in its wide angle photography capabilities. It features a wide angle of 1200 and allows users to take pictures in a panoramic mode that offers crisp HD imaging in 360 degrees.
In addition, the Drone X Pro can take videos in 720p, enhancing its overall capabilities even further.
One thing to keep in mind is that drone cameras tend to be fixed or unfixed. The former is potentially more stable and requires less maintenance, making it ideal for beginners and bloggers, vloggers, and other casual users looking to obtain great selfie material without the hassle of professional setup. On the other hand, this means that as the drone moves, so too does the camera. As a result, taking pictures while the drone is in motion can result in blurring, though this is true of pretty much any drone which makes use of a fixed camera.
In all, its selfie and picture-taking capabilities make this another high point in our Drone X Pro review.
8. RTF, BNF, ARF
Three acronyms every drone user should be aware of are RTF (ready to fly), BNF (bind and fly), and ARF (almost ready to fly.) The latter refers to a unit that may still require some assembly and needs a transmitter. BNF refers to a drone that still needs to be bound to a controller. The Drone X Pro is an RTF model, more or less ready to fly right out of the box, which is one more reason it is well-suited to beginners, casual users, and those looking to use it primarily for selfie-taking purposes.
9. Method of Control
A drone is only as good as the controller sending it signals and helping to keep it airborne. Without a reliable controller, even the best drone can be rendered helpless and come plummeting back to Earth.
Thankfully, not only does the Drone X Pro feature a great controller, in being able to link those controls to your smartphone, it is also one of the most convenient drones control-wise out there. The smartphone display video from the drone’s flight. This can make it much easier to control your drone when it is out of sight, further helping enhance its “practical” operational range.
The Drone X Pro is compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones.
10. Portable Drones
What’s more, the pocket-sized nature of this unit makes it far more convenient to use recreationally. Larger drones have to be handled and prepared more carefully. You cannot simply decide on a whim to fly them, only because you probably don’t want to haul such a massive unit around with you.
Smaller, more portability-minded drones, on the other hand, can be great for use with friends or as part of school projects. They are literally pocket-sized, making them quite easy to take around with you, release, recall, and place back in your pocket, all without the inconvenience of hauling around heavy machinery. What’s more, because the Drone X Pro makes use of smartphones for its flight controller, it is especially well-suited to that “pocket-sized portability” description.
The Drone X Pro is a sound and impressive model that is extremely well-suited for beginners while offering enough extras to be of interest to both more advanced drone flyers as well as aspiring photographers and selfie fans. Its brilliant combination of portability with dependable range along with its innovative smartphone controls and accessible price point make it a great all-around choice.
For a great serviceable drone on the smaller side with big upsides, the Drone X Pro is hard to beat.