The UDI RC Navigator U31W is a sub 90$ drone / quad-copter with FPV capabilities as well as an integrated 720p camera for taking in-flight videos and pictures (see video below for image quality samples). Inside the packaging you will find the Navigator drone, a remote control, USB charger, 1x LiPo battery, 4GB Toshiba SD card, SD card reader, a bag of spare parts + tools, and of course some good ol’ documentation. Additionally, in order to get up in the air you will need to provide 4x AA batteries for the remote or alternatively you can also control the drone with your smartphone using the “Flyingsee” app (though I would highly suggest using the controller).
This is a drone that was engineered with beginners in mind. Having never flown a quad-copter before I was afraid I would make an utter fool out of myself during the review, granted I did have a couple undesirable mishaps which involved a wall or two and the ground, but thankfully even I was able to fly the drone with ease. Speaking of mishaps, don’t worry if you are a hopeless clutz because the U31W’s plastic body can handle the abuse of even the most unforgiving children and adult pilots. This drone is equipped with a handful of useful flying assists such as single button take-off and landing , headless mode (automatically maintains altitude so you only need to use the right stick), emergency stop, low battery / out of range alarm, heading hold, and a button to toggle between ‘low’ and ‘high’ responsiveness. To further prove my point of how easy I found this quad to fly, I handed the controls over to my 12 year old sister who had no prior experience with the drone. She found it as fun and easy to fly as I did, she even put it through a durability test when the wind blew it into a tree (no harm done)!
While this is advertised as a “FPV drone” I found the FPV aspect to be a bit of a novelty on this particular model. The phone app and the drone maintain a video feed via a WIFI signal. The drone has a built in WIFI transmitter which provides a weak video feed along with flight data to the Flyingsee application on my Honor 8. At about 10 feet away from the drone the video feed starts to stutter and at 15-20 feet you completely lose the video feed. Due to its limited range, I find the FPV function of this drone to be nearly useless. Don’t worry though, you can still capture local video to the drone via SD card recording. Keep in mind you have to trigger the recording from the app so start recording while your phone is in range of the drone, if the drone goes out of range of your phone it will keep recording.
If you plan on using this drone seriously then I would highly suggest steering clear of the remote contol function on the phone app. Not only are the touch screen controls on the phone painful to use in my opinion, the range off the phone is much less than that of the controller. The drone was all around easier and more fun to fly with the physical remote which is well built and pragmatically laid out.
Overall this is a great drone for beginners. Its easy to fly, fun to fly, within a reasonable price range, durable, and portable. However, if you are in the market for a FPV drone then I would suggest looking elsewhere. The FPV capabilities of this drone are mediocre at best. Also, it would not be a bad idea to purchase an additional battery with this drone, battery life sits around a measly 4-7 mins depending on how hard you push the drone. The good news is that additional batteries are cheap, they can be purchased on Amazon for around 6 USD.
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