I recently received my Syma X1 RTF Quadcopter from Amazon. Total cost (with free Prime shipping) was around $40 which makes it one of the most affordable drones out there. I’ve had a chance to fly it a few times and it is a pretty solid little machine. The Syma X1 is a great starter quadcopter and because of its low cost, it’s perfect for the first time flyer. It isn’t the end of the world if you lose it in a tree or crash it irreparably. If you’re building or currently own a more expensive quadcopter, this is a great trainer to work on your piloting skills before you risk flying hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of equipment. On its own the X1 is fun to fly and can even do some pretty impressive maneuvers once you get the hang of it. I bought it because I’d never flown any radio controlled aircraft before and I wanted to get a feel for it before I flew the quadcopter I spent dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars building.
What’s in the Box
Syma X1 Quadcopter
Instruction Manual, Radio, Battery, USB Battery Charger, Spare Propellers
The first thing you’ll notice is that the instruction manual is not very helpful. It reads like it was translated from Chinese using Google Translate and never proofread by someone who speaks English. Luckily the setup and configuration of this quadcopter is fairly straightforward IF you know what to do.
First, you’ll need to install the battery. Mine came charged, but if you need to recharge, just attach the battery to the included USB charger, plug it into any powered USB port, and wait for the red light to turn off, indicating that it is fully charged.
The battery goes in the slot on the bottom of the quadcopter. Slide it all the way in until the red connector on the battery is snugly inside the red connector on the frame:
IMPORTANT: As soon as you insert the battery, set the X1 on a level surface. It calibrates its sensors immediately after it the battery is put in. The instruction manual leaves out this vital piece of information, so the first few times I flew this quad it was impossible to control. I thought it was terrible and almost threw it away, but then I read on another blog that you have to calibrate the sensors after you put the battery in every time by placing it on a flat surface. Once I figured that out, it was smooth sailing!
The Syma X1 is easy and fun to fly, and it has a surprisingly long range for such an inexpensive “toy” drone. You’ll get a solid 10-15 minutes of flight time from a charge, and it takes under an hour for the battery to completely recharge. It’s also incredibly durable. Before I knew about the sensor calibration I crashed mine, mutliple times, on cement, into trees, fences etc, and aside from a few cosmetic scratches it is still in great flying condition. I haven’t even needed to replace any of the propellers, although it comes with a complete replacement set.
I strongly recommend the Syma X1 Quadcopter. The combination of low cost, durability, and ease of use make it a great buy.
You can buy a Syma X1 here.