A lot of people recommend the Syma X5C as a good beginner quadcopter drone. In fact, it is considered a best seller on Amazon! But I’ve always had issues with the Syma X5C model drone. That is, until now. Here is my Syma X5C-1 Review.
Don’t get me wrong, the Syma X5C was always a decent quadcopter for beginners. The drone was affordable and fairly easy to fly, but from my experience it lacked the stability one would want and expect from a beginner drone. To put it bluntly, it was nearly impossible to fly effectively outside. Indoors, the drone did well, but as soon as you took it outside the weight and design of it compared to the power of the motors showed a weakness with maintaining steady flight even with the slightest crosswind. It was because of these shortcomings that the Syma never made it onto our Buyers Guide for beginner drones. With the release of the Syma X5C-1 though, we have officially changed our stance and included it as a best buy for beginner pilots.
The Syma X5C-1 fixes the shortcomings of its predecessor in almost every way but one. Straight out of the box you’ll receive the assembled quadcopter, a 2.4 GHz controller, USB charging cable, four spare rotors, four guard bumpers, two landing skids, a screwdriver (yes a tool!), one 500 mAh LiPO battery, and a user manual. You’ll have to flip the plastic packaging over to untie the bindings for the Syma from underneath and while you’re down there, be sure to pull off the four spare rotor blades taped to the underside as well.
The easiest way to tell what version of the Syma X5C you have is by looking at the drone itself. The new Syma X5C-1 will have “Syma” written in big red lettering in the center of the quadcopter with a red “X” and black “5C” under it. It’ll also include a red and white “2.4 GHz” on it as well. If you have this, you own the latest and greatest Syma X5C-1. Another way to tell is by looking at the instruction manual. For the Syma X5C-1, the front cover of the manual will show a black and white “2”, indicating that this is in fact the 2nd generation of the Syma X5C.
Once you get the Syma X5C-1 into the air, you will notice a difference in the power and flight control compared to its predecessor. The previous stability issues of the Syma X5C are gone, replaced now with an easily piloted drone perfect for any beginner flyers. The 6-axis flight controls offers you plenty of mobility for roll, pitch, and yaw. Included on the controller itself are several trim buttons, which double as remote control for the camera. Be sure to read the instruction manual on this though as Syma has changed what buttons you press for the X5C vs. X5C-1. The remote controlled camera button is a great feature for those wishing to conserve battery and only snap shots when at a decent altitude.
Like its main competitor, the Hubsan X4, the Syma X5C-1 offers an expert flight mode, which allows for more sensitivity with your joysticks to allow you to perform more advanced turns and pitch adjustments. Also included on the Syma are built-in flight orientation LEDs, which are particularly useful in dim lighting, though not so much in bright daylight.
In truth, the only shortcoming of this beginner drone is the camera. Unlike the higher HD versions of the Hubsan X4, the Syma X5C-1 only offers a 2MP camera option though it can still shoot video at 720P (supposedly). Also, the angle at which the camera is mounted on to the body of the quadcopter is somewhat off, resulting in a lot of diagonal views of the ground and little of the surrounding horizon. At the maximum range (roughly 80 meters) of this drone, you won’t be getting nearly high enough to capture really great downward-angled aerial shots, so it seems odd that the manufacturer has placed the camera the way they did. Luckily, this issue can be fixed easily with some minor DIY modifications.
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Extremely easy to fly.
Adjustable trim settings.
Easy & Expert flight modes.
Remote camera trigger.
Under $100 dollars.
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Camera mounted at odd angle.
Limited flight time.
No “true” HD version available.
Partial prop guards only.
Limited payload capabilities.
Overall, the Syma X5C-1 is an excellent beginner drone for first time flyers. The controls are easy to pick up and the stability of the drone will keep you flying for a good length of time. Best of all, the Syma X5C-1 is extremely affordable as a first time drone, selling for just around $60 right now on Amazon. The only thing I warn though is to stay aware of what version of the quadcopter you are buying. The Syma X5C is still being sold online supposedly with no confirmation of whether it is the latest version or not. Because of the limited flight time of the aircraft, I highly recommend picking up some extra batteries and only shooting video once at a decent altitude to help improve overall flight time.
Buy the Syma X5C-1 on Amazon
Recommended Add-ons: Syma X5C-1 Spare Rotors – 5 Pack LiPo Batteries + Charger
Syma X5C-1 Videos
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