When it comes to high tech drones, think about Syma as the purveyor of drones for your average folks who want the full experience, but are not willing to drop too much money on one. Everything that comes from this company is simple, straightforward, easy to use and, not to mention, affordable.
This model, known on the market as the Cheerwing Syma X5SW, is essentially an upgraded version of the Syma X5C which renounced its 2.4 GHz RC and opted for a Wi-Fi model instead. In other words, this particular version is easier to control, and this design decision opened the floodgates for other opportunities, like fan customization, modding and the development of mobile applications.
In this article, we will be taking a brief critical look at the Cheerwing Syma X5SW and determine whether or not it compares positively with the company’s other products. If you are looking for an X5SW in-depth review that covers all the aspects, do not hesitate to give Droneista’s well-written critical close up a shot. For now, let us see how well this drone holds up and what the average user should expect.
General Specifications and Package
- Dimensions: 310 x 310 x 105mm (with prop guards together)
- Diagonal motor distance: 230mm
- Motor size: 8 x 20mm coreless
- Weight: 120g (with battery, camera and prop guards)
- Flight time: 6 to 8 minutes (without prop guards and camera); about 4 minutes, on average (with prop guards and the camera turned on)
- Battery: 3.7V 500mAh LiPo
- Charging time: 40-45 minutes
- Control distance: approximately 50m
- Transmitter power: 4 x 1.5V AA batteries (not included)
As soon as your package arrives, these following items should be included:
- Instructions manual
- The battery specified in the specifications chart
- 4 extra propellers in case the ones that come with the drone break
- A remote controller (obligatory)
- A special clip designed for smartphones
- A USB charge cable
- The Cheerwing Syma X5SW drone itself
Even though some people might feel upon touching that the remote control has a toy-like quality and fragility, it is actually very sturdy and resistant. The button layout of the remote is very well designed and structured, and it is easy to use even for people with small hands. With this remote control, you will have no problem reaching any of the buttons.
The remote control itself is divided into three parts:
- The upper part. There, you will find the Wi-fi Antenna, the switch that sets two speeds (high/low), and a 3D eversion key on the right side. The upper part is also where you will find the smartphone holder, which is big enough to hold even big models such as the phones from the Samsung Galaxy Edge series.
- The middle part is where you will find two twitch-stick controllers, which are covered with a material that prevents slipping and other issues caused by sweat and humidity. Other than that, you will find two buttons for right and left trimming, a power switch between them and a button that lets you easily switch between camera and video.
- The bottom part of the remote controller is equipped with a small LCD which will show relevant information such as cruise speed, inclination, thrust, altitude, and so on and so forth.
The Syma X5SW is capable of broadcasting FPV video via Wi-Fi, but with several hiccups, which we will get to in a bit. But to even view the video, you have to install the dedicated Syma FPD app on your smartphone, which is compatible both for iOS and Android. However, Android users should be aware that the app is not compatible with 4.0 versions and earlier.
The camera setup takes about 30 seconds. Once you are done, simply connect your phone to the hotspot. Now, as for the drawbacks that we have mentioned earlier, due to the fact that the transmission is done through Wi-fi, the feed suffers from the occasional lag and latency. The farther the drone is from the phone, the worse it gets.
Another thing that might annoy some people is the fact that the videos and pictures are stored on the smartphone rather than a dedicated micro SD card. Therefore, make sure you have enough storage space on your smartphone before each flying session.
However, at just $61, this drone is not designed for racing or long-term flights. On top of all that, it is the only model in Syma’s X5 series that has FPV, and also one of the cheapest quadcopters on the market with this function. On the upside, this is the best possible drone you could get within this price range, and thus, its shortcomings are easy to forget.
Despite its shortcomings, the Syma X5SW is a perfectly competent drone that is fun and enjoyable to pilot. Although some people might be bugged by the occasional latency issue, the intuitive controls and the high quality of the pictures and videos more than make up for this inconvenience. If you are in the market for a low-cost drone, this is one of the best options available out there.