If you have found yourself drooling over quadcopter models that far exceed your budget and wondering if you can afford the quadcopter hobby, wonder no more. The Syma X5C is a capable flyer with camera that makes an excellent beginner’s quadcopter. It is well-made and easy to fly even for novices. Once you have mastered the X5C, you are well-trained for flying other models.
- The Syma X5C is a first-rate flyer that is perfect for quadcopter novices who want to dip their toes into drone photography.
- Base models sell for well under $50 and packages with extra batteries or other goodies are easy to find for a bit more.
- The X5C build quality is good, so it can take bumps and crashes that are inevitable with first-time flyers.
- The joysticks provide near perfect resistance to instill confident flying control.
- The pre-mounted camera supplies both stills and videos.
- Although the flyer itself is built solidly, the remote feels a bit chintzy. It is light, the buttons do not switch smoothly and a few buttons do nothing at all.
- The camera angle is fixed and too low for straight-ahead shots.
- Battery life, especially with the camera on, is quite short.
- The translation of the instruction manual is poor.
The X5C comes already assembled. It needs only that you attach the propeller guards, charge the copter battery and place four AA batteries in the remote. It comes with a couple spare propellers, a battery charger, a manual and a 2GB micro-SD memory card for storing photos and videos.
- Priced at under $50
- Everything you need for your first flight is in the box
- A 6-axis gyro provides full control and stability
- The 2MP HD camera shoots stills and 720P video
- The lightweight, flexible propeller guards offer minimum drag and maximum safety
- Four bright LEDs in amber and green display flight orientation during day or night flying
- The 3.7V 500mah LiPo battery provides 7 to 10 minutes of flying time and recharges in less than 2 hours
- The X5C firmware features a continuous 360 degree roll capability, which Syma calls a 360° Eversion
What Buyers Are Saying
Most reviewers are amazed at how much they get for their money. They get a sturdy, stable flyer without risking hundreds of dollars on top-tier machines that are no easier to fly. Because of their flying ease, many buyers get these not for themselves but for their kids, grandkids, nephews and nieces as presents.
A Syma X5C review or two complain about the copter not providing First-Person-View capabilities, but these people were simply expecting too much for a $50 machine. The camera is more than adequate for taking memorable shots and videos even if the resolution is average.
One tip for new fliers from buyers: if the X5C seems unstable in flight adjusting the propeller power balance from the remote control will correct X-Z axis drift.
Rating and Conclusion
The X5C naturally does not compare to something like a DJI Phantom that costs hundreds of dollars more, but in its price class it is a superb value. It gets points for durability of the quadcopter and its flying stability and loses points for short battery life and a lower quality control unit.