Beginner drones continue to grow in popularity because of their affordability and the high-end, cool features that most of them come with. The Syma X500 is a prime example of an entry-level drone that offers excellent value for money with fantastic features. The drone comes in a compact and foldable design. You would never be able to guess its price tag correctly at first glance.
The cheap GPS drone comes with loads of cool features, from intelligent flight modes to a 4K HD camera. You also get an optical sensor that allows you to fly indoors, an automatic return home feature, a 350 meters control range, and 25 minutes flight time. Of course, the drone has a flipside like any other great thing. Its app is not that impressive. In this Syma X500 Review, we discuss the unit’s impressive specs, price, upsides, and downsides. The information should help you make a sound choice.
Syma is a world-famous brand, popular for its radio-controlled toys and affordable drones that are a top preference for beginner pilots. The Syma X500 is their latest gem and one of the pricier and more advanced options. The drone is incredibly lightweight and compact, thus a perfect option for traveling, and it costs just under 200 bucks. There are myriad options within this price range, but the Syma X500 stands out with its impressive features like HD camera, GPS, and intelligent flight modes. Here are its features in more detail:
The Syma X500 boasts a unique foldable design that looks like any other high-end drone in the market. The quadcopter has an attractive silver color and foldable arms. On its top are a power button and brand logo. Its coating is made with ABS plastic which is pretty robust yet lightweight.
Further, the drone’s body has air vents for better aerodynamics. It comes with brushed motors, which professionals deem louder than a brushless motor, but it does its job pretty well. Also, part of the impeccable design is LED lights. They are positioned under each motor, so you get a total of 4 LEDs. The ones on the front are green, and the ones at the back are red. The lights allow you to see where your drone is and its orientation.
The Syma X500 is built to last with rugged ABS plastic. The material gives it a perfect balance of durability and lightness. It also features a powerful brushed motor that is a bit noisier than a brushless motor but is undoubtedly worth it. The unit even comes with a dedicated storage case for keeping it safe in transit.
The X500 comes with 2 Li-ion batteries. The batteries are very high-quality, charge faster, and hold the charge longer. Every battery can give you a maximum flight time of 28 minutes. This means you can get close to an hour of flight time from both batteries. According to the latest Trusted SourceWeather constraints on global drone flyability | Scientific Reports Small aerial drones are used in a growing number of commercial applications. However, drones cannot fly in all weather, which impacts their reliability for time-sensitive operations. The magnitude and global variability of weather impact is poorly understood. www.nature.com , the weather is one of the main factors affecting drone flight time alongside flight styles, battery capacity, and average amp draw.
You can use one battery while the other charges. For your batteries’ longevity, stick to the USB charging cable provided in the package.
The X500 is an entry-level drone made with beginner drone pilots in mind. That said, it comes with a couple of automatic flight functions, including;
GPS Return Home– this is a super-critical flight mode that every drone ought to have. It guarantees your drone’s safety. You would never lose your drone with this feature. In case it loses connection with the remote controller, it will turn and fly back home. What’s more, if you press the return home key when the drone is still connected to GPS, it will go back to its original launching spot. Also, if the battery dies, the drone turns and makes its way back home automatically.
Follow Me Mode– this is another interesting flight mode that allows the drone to recognize your face, lock onto you, and follow you from a reasonable distance. If you increase your pace, it also increases its pace and so on.
Gesture Shooting– this is a fun flight mode that allows you to take selfies and videos with everyone you are with. All you have to do is show it the palm sign for it to take videos and the victory sign for photos.
3D Flips– in this mode, you can roll the drone to the left, right, forward, and backward. The flips will consume your battery charge pretty fast, though.
Headless Mode-this function allows the drone to realign itself according to the pilot’s position. For instance, if your nose is facing the opposite direction when launching the drone, it will realign itself.
Orbit Mode– in this mode, you can open the map in the app then choose a landmark around which you want the drone to fly. When launched, the drone will fly in circles around the landmark, capturing footage from various angles.
Trajectory Flight Mode– this is pretty similar to the orbit mode, except instead of choosing a landmark, you make dots along a route you would like the drone to follow. You can use your finger to draw a line that connects the dots. When launched, the drone will fly along the route.
One Key Take-Off Landing– by pressing this key, your drone will take off and hover at a particular height. There’s zero guesswork with this function.
This is one critical feature that nearly everyone gives top consideration when buying a drone. There’s no point in buying a drone with a low-quality camera unless it’s a racing drone. Unfortunately, the Syma X500 does not deliver on its promise of a 4K quality camera. Yes, it can shoot images in 4K but can only take videos in 1080p.
Simply put, the X500 is not the best drone you can get to capture professional-level footage. On the bright side, the camera has a 120-degrees field of view that allows you to capture detailed shots. The lens is also adjustable up to 90 degrees allowing you to have different viewing angles when capturing your footage. These features make the camera acceptable for its price point.
As mentioned above, the inclusion of a 4K camera in X500’s description is pretty misleading. This means it doesn’t offer the best image and video quality. Moreover, the camera has a slight fish-eye effect that compromises its recording ability in breezy flying conditions.
Syma X500’s controller has a minimalist foldable design. It is foldable at the bottom to give you a nicer touch. On its top is a foldable phone holder that allows you to watch the live feed from the camera. It also features a couple of buttons on its right. The buttons are easily identifiable because they all come with very straightforward symbols.
To enable the first-person view and the drone’s smart features, you must download the app as you can’t access them from the controller. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices. The app has been reported to have a few bugs, which is typical of drones within the 200 dollar price range. Your live FPV can freeze at times, but it will always be stored in the SD card.
The Syma X500 is an incredibly small and lightweight drone. It weighs a mere 205 grams without the propeller guards. Even with the propeller guards, it’s still under 250 grams which is a pretty great thing as you wouldn’t have to register it with the Trusted SourceBecome a Drone Pilot In order to fly your drone under the FAA‘s Small UAS Rule (Part 107), you must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA. This certificate demonstrates that you understand the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying drones. www.faa.gov . Make sure you are familiar with all the flying rules in your country to avoid getting a penalty.
Its lightweight and foldable build make it a perfectly portable option for travelers or people always on the go. When unfolded, the drone measures 14.2 by 11.8 by 2.8 inches. When folded, its size reduces remarkably to a more compact east-to-carry unit.
Some of the accessories included in the Syma X500 package include: a carrying case that keeps the unit safe when in transit, a USB charging cable for the drone, and another one for the transmitter/controller, 4 spare propellers, and 1 screwdriver. All these accessories offer excellent value for money and make your drone flying experience worthwhile.
The X500 is an entry-level drone with a not-so-entry-level price point. If you are a total beginner, you may find the price a bit high, but it is a worthy investment because it is not the kind of beginner drone you get to outgrow.
If you are looking for a relatively affordable drone with advanced features, then the Syma X500 is your prime pick. As of now, the unit retails at 229.99 dollars, which is a very competitive price point.
Besides a GPS, the X500 comes with an optical flow sensor that helps stabilize its flights in areas without a GPS signal.
The drone has different speed modes that give you a chance to test your flying skills as you build on your expertise. What’s more, the drone is compatible with VR headsets for a more immersive flying experience.
From our in-depth Syma X500 Review, it is evident that it is a drone perfect for beginners. It is like a demo version of a high-end drone as it comes with a couple of advanced features at a reasonable price point. The drone shines the most in-flight stability and automatic flight functions. It also comes with a couple of accessories that offer excellent value for money. All considered, if you are looking to pick up a new hobby in drone flying, the Syma X500 would be a good place to start.