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  1. Eachine E52 Cheap Foldable Selfie Drone

    The Eachine E52  can be described as a toy grade copy of the ZeroTech Dobby ; they are a very similar size and shape when folded, and the power button is on the top on both. However, in terms of build quality, the Dobby is infinitely superior, as would be expected in view of the price difference!  

    But the Eachine E52  is a great entry level pocket selfie drone.  It offers smooth and stable flying, and the fact that is it fun and easy to fly makes it great for beginners.  The one key take off and landing features as well as the return to home button means that it virtually flies itself.  It is also durable and very portable, it folds up easily and and is small and very quiet which makes it a very discreet drone.

    The control range is good, up to 70 meters - you wouldn't want to fly it any further than this as the lights aren't very bright and you will lose sight of it being so small.

    The Eachine E52  is shipped pretty much ready to fly.  You will need to unclip the battery from the drone and charge it up with the included battery charger, which takes around 60 mins.  Then clip it back in, unfold the arms, and turn on the drone, followed by the radio controller.  Once the drone has synced to the controller you are ready to go, and the battery will give you around 6-8 mins of flight time.  If you want to use the FPV function, and take video and pictures you will need to download the App and put your mobile phone into the phone holder on top of the controller.

    Unfortunately the camera quality really lets the Eachine E52  down.  It shoots video in 640 x 480 at 15 frames per second, so you really need good lighting conditions to take any passable footage. The video and pictures are recorded directly onto your phone.

    Eachine E52 Spare Batteries  are readily available, as are Eachine E52 Spare Propellers .  The Eachine E52  is shipped with a spare set of propellers and the drone itself is fairly robust and durable so these should last you a while.

    Our Verdict

    This is a great little pocket selfie drone for the price, it is a nice easy machine to fly and is ideal to cut your teeth on before buying something more expensive.  You can have fun with the selfie features but the footage is really only good enough quality for social media and small sized photos.  Makes a great gift too!

    3.5 stars

  2.  syma x8sc

    The Syma X8SC  is a beginner friendly drone from Syma's X8 series.  It is a large (50cm x 50cm x 19cm) quadcopter with a 6-axis gyro which keeps it very stable during flight, and its size gives it good wind resistance.  It has its own controller rather than being controlled by an app on a smartphone, so it does not have FPV (first person view), but it does have Altitude Hold Mode, Auto Take off and Landing and a new higher capacity battery. 

    The Syma 1MP HD camera is good quality, and you control the camera via the drone's newly designed controller. You can start or stop recording, and take stills during flight, and due to the fact that it has a fixed mount rather than a gimbal, the still images are better quality than the video footage. 

    The Altitude Hold Mode is a great feature which works well on this model considering it does not have GPS, and it allows you to lock the height of the drone so that it maintains a consistent altitude.  This makes it easier to keep the drone stable and to take better quality film footage.

    The flight time of the Syma X8SC 's battery is around 9-10 minutes minutes, depending on weather conditions and flying style, and the charge time is approx. 150 minutes.  The control distance range is quoted as 70 metres, but it will fly further than this, up to around 100 metres.   The controller has a new look from the preview designs, and takes 4 x AA batteries which are not included.   The build quality of this drone is excellent and it flies very well, it will also perform a 360 degree flip at the press of a button, however performing this manoeuvre with a heavy action camera attached can cause it to plunge dramatically so make sure you have enough altitude or it is easy to crash.   Alternatively you can remove the camera and landing gear and the Syma X8SC  will fly with much more agility.

    The Syma X8SC  is shipped almost Ready To Fly.  You just need to install the landing skids (they easily slot in), the camera, the rotors (follow the instructions as the A and B Rotors are different) and snap on the drone battery and insert the controller batteries.  Syma X8SW Spare Batteries and spare parts are readily available including replacement motors which plug in without needing to be soldered. 

    Our Verdict

    All in all the Syma X8SC  is a really great drone, with excellent build quality and a great camera.  It is fun and easy to fly with some cool features like the Altitude Hold mode and auto take off, and its stability in the air means it takes smooth video footage.  Spare batteries and parts are also readily available, and easy to install.  It is a cheap alternative to the DJI and is a good model to practice your flying abilities before moving on to a more expensive drone.

    4.5-stars

     

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