A few months back I took an interest in building a quadcopter. I decided to go the entry-level route and picked up a cheap quad that gets praised on /r/multicopter, the Hubsan X4.
There are a few versions of the Hubsan X4:
- H107L - Standard
- H107C - Camera
- H107D - FPV
The H107C only costs $10 more, but I don’t think it’s worth the weight of the camera and the extra energy to power it. The X4 doesn’t have a great flight time in it’s standard form; adding a camera won’t help that. I also think the FPV version is a waste of money because it costs over $100 more than the standard unit.
What’s in the box?
The Hubsan X4 comes with a remote, battery, charger and a set of replacement props. I highly recommend picking up some extra batteries and a prop guard. I’ve crashed my X4 dozens of times and the prop guards have done their job perfectly. I’m happy to report the set of replacement props are still in their packaging :)
Before taking off, it’s best to put the quad on a flat and level surface to calibrate the gyroscope. To do this, hold the left stick in the bottom left corner, and move the right stick from left to right until all four LEDs blink. You’re now calibrated! I found the X4 still likes to drift around, but the trim buttons can help out with that in most cases.
I wouldn’t say the X4 is too stable, but because of it’s small size it’s pretty easy to manage. Once you get the hang of flying, the remote can be put into an “Advanced Mode” by pushing down the right stick (mode 2). In this mode, the sticks are very sensitive so it’s a lot easier to crash for an inexperienced user. A cool thing you can do in Advanced Mode is flips. If you’re flying outside, or in an area with a lot of vertical space, flick the right stick from one side to another quickly and it’ll execute a pre-programmed flip. It’s kinda cool, but I wish you could disable it in Advanced Mode.
The X4’s included 240mAh battery lasts for around 5 minutes. You can get a larger battery with a 380mAh capacity that will last around 7 minutes.
For around $40, the Hubsan X4 can’t be beat. I would strongly recommend it over any of those other quadcopters that use a smartphone as a remote. With this, you’ll learn the controls properly so you can train yourself before moving up to a larger and more expensive quad.