The Syma X8Pro quadcopter is one of the most discussed novelties in the niche of budget UAVs today. It is a continuation of the popular among beginners and fans of the X8 series. The drone was first talked about back in August, teaser photos promised users an updated design in the Phantom 4 glossy style and a GPS module present on board the quad for the first time, which theoretically should have significantly improved positioning accuracy and generally had a positive effect on drone piloting.
In fact, 90% of reviewers recommend to refrain from purchasing a quadcopter at least until the first stable positive reviews. Despite the identified bug, some stores still continue to sell the product, not paying attention to the recommendations of users. That is why we decided to tell you in detail about this novelty. This review will be of more interest to those people who are thinking about whether to take it or not, or who are not aware of Syma X8Pro at all. Let’s start traditionally with features.
- GPS module
- 1MP Wi-Fi camera with variable (remotely) tilt angle
- Altitude hold function
- Auto takeoff/landing
- Return to takeoff function
- Headless Mode
- LED backlight
- Quadcopter Syma X8Pro
- 1 × 2S 7.4V 2000mAh LiPo battery
- Control equipment (power supply from 4 “AA” is purchased separately)
- 1MP Wi-Fi camera on axisless gimbal
- 4 × rotors (2CW/2CCW)
- 4 × spare screws (2CW/2CCW)
- 4 × rotor protection
- 4 × landing legs
- card reader
- smartphone holder
- Wrench for removing and installing rotors
- Instruction (in English)
GPS + barometer
FPV signal frequency:
6 × axis gyroscope
4 × AA 1.5V (sold separately)
MicroSD (sold separately)
2S 7.4V 2000mAh LiPo
≈ 9 minutes
Range of flight:
≈ 70 meters
≈ 150 minutes
About the product
The Syma X8Pro reaches the consumer in the same dimensions as the previous models of the eighth series, but with a completely updated appearance (after X8Pro there will be simpler models: X8SW; X8SW-D in a similar design). The quality of workmanship really deserves respect. The main body, as promised, is made of glossy plastic in the Phantom 4 style and looks very impressive from the outside. The power button, in accordance with current trends, is located on the top of the drone. The battery now, like all premium UAVs, does not require fuss with power wires, and the rotors have received a quick-mount mechanism. Well, the most long-awaited features of the quad are the GPS module and the remotely adjustable tilt angle of the 1MP camera lens.
Landing legs and rotor guards are now latched and to remove them you must press the red lever for each element before removing them.
The Syma X8Pro quadcopter is equipped with collector-type motors, the torque is classically transmitted through the gear. The manufacturer does not provide any other information about the motors, but we suspect that these are the same motors that were equipped with the previous X8HW model. In general, stock thrust is more than enough. It is known that the quad can easily cope with the third and fourth generation GoPro HERO cameras (camera weight: up to 74 grams, suspended on an axleless suspension). And it doesn’t take off with a GoPro3 camera suspended on a 2 × axial plastic B / C gimbal – Walkera G2D (gimbal weight 130 grams without camera).
The X8Pro rotors have received a new quick-release mechanism, thanks to which the installation process has become simple and fast.
The activity of the drone is regulated by two “high / low” modes. The change of modes is carried out by short pressing the right control stick. Where one short beep corresponds to the “Low” mode, two short beeps to the “High” mode.
The Syma X8Pro quadcopter has a 1MP Wi-Fi camera with a 90° field of view (FOV), the video transmitter of which has become noticeably more powerful, but still broadcasts at a frequency of 2.4GHz, thereby limiting the potential of the radio transmitter of the control equipment. The previous model X8HW was equipped with a similar camera (only in a different “case”).
The camera is installed in an axisless gimbal, made in the same style as the overall design of the drone. Unlike the glossy body of the X8Pro, the gimbal with the camera, as well as the landing supports, received a matte white color. For the first time, the camera of the new G8 boasts a variable tilt angle of the lens from the buttons on the control equipment (15°/30°/90°).
The photo and video quality is below average and therefore the stock camera is suitable only for the first acquaintance with FPV flight and nothing more. All filmed material, at the request of the user, can be recorded both on a microSD card (purchased separately) pre-installed in the drone’s camera slot, and in the memory of an associated smartphone (the second method is more energy-intensive).
The image output from the drone’s camera is carried out classically on a mobile device (IOS / Android) using the free Syma FPV application, which must be downloaded in advance.
According to the manufacturer’s specification, the FPV removal distance is no more than 70 meters. In practice, this distance in the interference-free zone was a record 170 meters (control is cut off, the picture remains stable).
The battery of the Syma X8Pro is packed in a box and installed in the drone like most UAVs of the premium segment, without any wires or plugs. In boxing, there is still the same two-can lithium-polymer (LiPo) battery with a capacity of 2000 mAh. According to the specification, it provides a flight time of no more than 9 minutes. In practice, with a mixed style of FPV piloting in calm weather, this time was about 7-8 minutes. Charging time is no more than one and a half hours.
The X8Pro quadcopter is equipped with control equipment that is not standard for the eighth Syma series. Externally, the remote control is identical to the equipment of Syma X5UW quadrocopters (as well as: X8SW; X8SW-D; X15W; X21W; X22W; X23W), but the internal stuffing of the remote control has been completely redesigned, and the radio transmitter has become noticeably more powerful. That is why the presented model can now be removed in FPV mode further than 70 meters.
Without a camera, the removal distance in an interference-free zone increases to 250 meters.
Note the minimum set of buttons on the equipment. This was achieved thanks to the left and right sticks, which took on the role of buttons responsible for trimming (left stick), changing rates and activating Headless mode (right stick). Power is supplied by four AA batteries (sold separately).
Geomagnetic correction – must be carried out before each first flight. To do this, before taking off, set the quadcopter to the maximum horizontal position:
- On the control hardware in one motion, move the left stick up and down.
- Then move it to the bottom right corner.
- While holding in this position, press and release the button for returning to the take-off point on the equipment. The geomagnetic correction mode has been started.
- Now take a look at the drone. In the upper part of the beams, small red LEDs will flash slowly.
- Without changing the horizontal position, start rotating the quadcopter counterclockwise until the red LEDs begin to flash quickly.
- Place the drone in a vertical position with the camera facing upwards and continue to rotate it counterclockwise until the red LEDs stop flashing and become steady. Geomagnetic correction completed.
Horizontal Correction or Gyro Calibration – recommended mainly after every crash and once before every first takeoff. To do this, set the drone to the maximum horizontal position. On the control equipment, simultaneously move both sticks to the lower right corner and hold them there for 2-3 seconds. Calibration completed.
As noted above, most of the reviewers of the Syma X8Pro quadrocopter generally state the same problems, due to which the operation of the drone is not possible for security reasons:
- In altitude hold mode, it hangs inaccurately. Periodically with different circular amplitude changes position within a radius of 1-3 meters.
- Incorrectly reacts to the movement of the sticks (for a few seconds it ceases to obey the control)
- In flight, after the pilot releases the sticks, the drone does not freeze, but spontaneously continues its uncontrolled flight with horizontal accelerating acceleration.
- The quadcopter performs the return mode extremely incorrectly. It returns to the take-off point not in a straight line, but in a constantly changing curve. Landing is carried out in different places far beyond the radius of 1.5 meters. (up to 1.5 meters from the takeoff point, standard error for UAVs with GPS).
All these symptoms appear at different intervals and are unpredictable. In the moments when the bug does not appear, the drone shows distinctive dynamics, controllability, and positioning accuracy. We strongly recommend to refrain from buying Syma X8Pro until stable positive reviews appear.
Due to the identified bugs, some stores stopped selling Syma X8Pro. But, most of the sellers continue to sell the quad at an average price of $140.
Syma X8Pro $140
- Design+glossy plastic
- Material quality
- GPS module/FPV
- Dynamism / Controllability (when failures do not appear)
- Quick release rotors
- Altitude hold function
- Auto takeoff/landing
- Return to takeoff function
- Inappropriate behavior of the drone in flight
- Camera quality (no gimbal)
- Collector motors
- Poor positioning accuracy (when glitches appear)
Of course, the introduction of the GPS module should have a positive impact on the quality of Syma X8Pro control, and if we exclude the main disadvantages, then the novelty will traditionally become one of the best budget drones in the category under $150. I really want to believe that the developer will fix all the identified problems in a short time. The main category of consumers is beginners and amateurs aged 14 and over.