Hubsan X4 H107D+ Review
Drones with cameras that stream a live video link to the operator on the ground are no longer the exclusive domain of professionals. Indeed, in almost all toy stores nowadays you can buy mini-drones with built-in cameras. One such model is the Hubsan X4 H107D+
What's Special about this small quadcopter is that the remote control is equipped with a built-in LCD screen so that you can experience FPV from your transmitter.
Can you actually fly FPV with such a small device? We made a few test flights with the mini Hubsan, and we can conclude it's interesting learning device, but definitely not for serious FPV.
Hubsan is a well-known name when it comes to producing small drones. And those mini-drones become more sophisticated: Most models are equipped with gyroscopes but don't expect the drones themselves can hold their position because without GPS feature the nano or mini-drones hardly can.
The H107D + is a sequel to the popular X4 H107D, which was also known as the smallest camera drone in the world. The H107D + features enhanced motors. A new feature of the X4 H107D + is an altimeter, allowing the drone in Altitude mode to remain at the same height. Like its predecessor also has the H107D + on LED lighting.
The drone itself is very light (57 grams) and small. The remote control is a lot more robust, that is because the built-in LCD screen where you can watch the video transmission via a 2.4 GHz connection. This is also called First Person View called short FPV. Make no mistake, the X4 + H107D may seem like a toy, but offers a FPV feature than you can usually see on DIY models - which price can lead to hunderds of dollars.
The H107D+ can also save additional photos and videos on a miniSD card (not included). For this purpose the transmitter is equipped with two buttons, one to take a picture, and one to start or stop video recording. There is no option for image stabilization. The pictures have a resolution of 1600 × 1200 pixels, and video in HD 720p. The picture quality is really good for this range, the exposure is rather jerky adjusted during filming, and the images are not defined sharply, as shown in the test video below.
3 minutes charging, 7 minutes flying
Built 530 mAh LiPo battery is charged via a mini USB connector. A cable is supplied for this purpose, and you must purchase adapter separately. It is possible to change the battery, so we would recommend additional flight batteries if you want to fly longer. One charge will fly about 6-7 minutes. Charging takes 30 minutes. The transmitter is powered by four AA batteries (not included).
Flying does take some of your reaction skills. Just like a normal drone can accelerate with the left stick and allow the drone to fly higher and higher, and the quad to rotate on its axis. With the right stick you care for a forward or backward movement, and you can fly the drone to the left and right. Your reactions are very important when you 'turn' the drone from yourself - thus changing the perspective and it becomes tricky because moving a stick to the right causes the drone from your perspective to turn the left. But once mastered you can fly by maneuvering in your living room, yard or where ever you want - as long there's no strong wind.
Flying outdoors is so much fun, only watch for the wind! Hubsan X4 H107+ does not have GPS and will therefore not automatically hoover or fly back into place when you lose the device out of sight. Moreover, the range of the transmitter is limited, at most a few tens of meters. Don't fly this little drone too far away from you to avoid losing the signal and control of the drone.
Conclusion: nice but expensive exerciser
The question is what Hubsan targets with operating a device like the X4 + H107D? With avarage retail price of 150$ can you really look at it as just a toy, and the quadcopter is not meant for serious photographic and video work. But if you plan to fly a much more expensive camera drone, mastering the skills with the X4 + H107D is definitely worth considering. FPV flight (which judging by the live video stream in the transmitter) is just not there, when the aircraft flies too restless.
If you are going to use the H107D + as an exercise machine, we do recommend to immediately purchase a set of spare propellers and a few prop guards: even small crashes can damage the propellers after a few times, with sub-optimal flight performance as a result. There is one set of spare props included, but you'll damage them in no time. Also, don't forget to buy a set of AA batteries for the transmitter - they are not included.
Incidentally, a useful application for mini-quad such as the X4 + H107D: inspect your roof for example. You can not fly above connected buildings with a drone, but with a small device like this you can not do much harm. If you suspect that your roof is damaged after a storm, you can make some pictures with your Hubsan and quickly check is everything in place.
If you're just starting out in this hobby, you can find models to suit your needs on a budget. All listed drones are for beginners, depended on needs and flight skills.