- The UDI U818A is a first-rate, entry-level flyer for quadcopter novices who want to train without risking smashing up a $500 drone.
- The U8181A is popular because it seems unfazed by the inevitable crashes, bumps and scrapes that occur for first-time fliers.
- The camera shoots AVI video that is instantly viewable from any computer with a USB cable connection.
- The U818A weighs just 130g. Thus, flights are affected by light breezes. A 5 kph breeze can be challenging for novice pilots.
- Its range is just 30m and the lack of lights means it is a daytime flyer.
- There is no live feed viewing capability.
You want an inexpensive drone for flight training that can stand up to a few bumps and keep flying? The UDI U818A is all that. Charge the battery for an hour, add 4 AA alkaline cells to the controller, and it is ready for its first flight.
It is so lightweight and the propellers so well guarded that you can start your flight training indoors without the distractions of wind, trees and people. Once you get the hang of it, switch on the camera. You can switch between still, video or no camera directly from the controller at any time.
• Priced around $50
• A 6-axis gyro and 4 channel controller ensure easy flying
• The 640×480 camera has surprisingly good color, white balance and minimal “jello”
• Shock-absorbing guards completely encircle the propellers for safe flying
• Colored propellers, 2 white and 2 black, indicate flight orientation
• The 3.7V 500mah LiPo battery provides 7 minutes of flying time
• Recharge time is less than an hour
• Includes 360 degree inversion stunt built into the controller
• Controller has digital trim and LCD readout of all functions
What Buyers Are Saying
The UDI U818A is one of the best reviewed quadcopters around with over 2,000 reviews and hundreds of answered questions. The vast majority of buyers are enthusiastic about how much fun this machine is. They also love how well it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
The 360 inversion maneuver is a big hit as is the “roll mode” button at the top left of the controller. This allows flips in either direction using only the rudder controls, which is definitely a maneuver for more advanced pilots.
Other tips and things to look out for:
• A few buyers have received U818As without a camera
• There have been bad chargers on which the red light never turns green
• Sometimes the female power connector gets pushed into the body, so you have to push it out with a small screwdriver in order to plug in the battery connector
• The battery is often hot after a flight, so let it cool before recharging
• Aftermarket 600mah LiPo batteries significantly extend flying time. Get a multi-charger to reduce overall charging time.
Once in a while, a UDI U818A review is completely negative, but these are usually from people who expected too much or are making a big deal out of a minor, fixable problem. However, there have been several buyers who experienced one or more motors failing within the first few weeks. So, it is a good idea to buy yours from a reputable outlet with a hassle-free return policy in case you get a lemon.
Rating and Conclusion
For the money, this one is hard to beat for ease of use and a high fun factor. It gets good marks for durability, but its instability in light wind is a negative. Otherwise, for novice quadcopter hobbyists, this drone is a great value that will bring hours of entertainment and learning.