Blade Nano qx First Look and Review – by Kyle B. from the Quad Brothers.
Blade is the brand name given to R/C Helicopter and Multirotors (Quadcopters, etc.) by Horizon Hobby, an American company which has been in business since the mid-1980’s. They have offices and manufacturing around the globe and, in this sense, differ greatly from many of the current “toy grade” vendors.
Horizon Hobby products are sold through various outlets – including many local hobby shops. You can also buy this model from Amazon using this link.
BLADE Nano QX RTF Quadcopter
In this review, our contributors The Quad Brothers will look at the Horizon Hobby Blade Nano QX quadcopter.
Droneflyers.com focuses on beginner and intermediate pilots – so this unit was purchased with a “starter” TX – the Spektrum DX5e. This is also made by Horizon and can be used for many of their other models as well as some other brands which use the DSM R/C technology (this is a wireless protocol type)
For those who would rather watch than read (or do both), here’s our video review:
Appeal to users:
Beginners (and up), indoor flyers, flying in smaller outdoor settings
Type of Quad: Consumer / Hobbyist
Cost: $90 (w/TX) – a bit more with the DX5e TX we used.
This is Kyle B. from the Quad Bros sharing our experience with the Blade Nano QX. I know many of you have heard of the all new FPV version of the Blade Nano QX. It’s been in the news a lot lately which is what got me so curious about this tiny quad. Well, I had to try it out so I decided to start out with the non-FPV version to see what it was like…then, if it satisfies, I’ll consider upgrading in the future.
I want to start off by saying I had really lost interested in the “toy grade” quads…the class defined by sub $100 sub 250 millimeter quads. Well, after my first flight with the Blade Nano QX I can say that my opinion immediately changed. It flies like no other toy grade quadcopter I have flown before. Previously, my Cheerson CX-10 had been my favorite toy quadcopter however the Nano QX tops it easily. The thing I love about these lower end quads is how you can crash them and not feel guilty. Usually I mean that in the sense that if you crash it you may break it and lose $10-$30 (parts and repair) instead of $400. The Nano QX can survive quite a licking and yet it keeps on ticking!
Weighing it at only 16 grams this quadcopter is so lightweight that it doesn’t gain a lot of speed when falling out of the sky. In any emergency situation the pilot can simply drop throttle all the way and let the quad lightly crash into the ground. Also, as mentioned in the video, the quad has awesome built in prop guards. These allow you to both bump into walls and the ceiling without risking damage to your propellers. The frame is well designed and composed of a strong but flexible material. Although I did crash all the time in the video, we were pushing the quad as much as possible to test how well it can stand up to crashes as well as maximum speeds and flight times in different circumstances. All in all, the quad took it like a champ and after well over 2 dozen rough crashes, there was little noticeable damage at all other than an odd sound occurring in one of the motors which only slightly affected performance. In addition to the physical features of the quad, the flight controller and technology in this thing makes it even more crash proof.
This flight controller boasts SAFE technology. This is Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope which simply means there are more sensors in this bad boy than your average quad. So there are two flight modes, stability mode and agility mode. Stability mode uses the SAFE technology I was just telling you about which is comparable to attitude mode on a DJI Phantom if you are familiar with that. The quad will not go past a certain point on the horizon meaning it won’t allow you to flip or go to an angle which you can’t quickly recover from. This flight mode is what leads me to recommending this to any beginner preparing for a DJI Phantom or similar GPS quadcopter. This will allow you to understand the basics of flight and orientation easily at a small price. In addition, this quad is ideal for the beginner because you can have a crash without even fearing breaking the quadcopter.
The other flight mode is agility mode. This gets rid of most stabilization from the flight controller and allows you to do some basic acrobatic flight. This will allow for some rolls, flips, and anything like that. That brings me to pretty much my only negative point, it doesn’t have an auto-flip feature. Although many pilots can flip the Nano QX it isn’t a super easy thing to do. It is definitely possible however for the beginner pilot learning it will definitely take a while to get the hang of. Flipping is obviously not a huge deal however it is always fun to show off in front of friends!
In conclusion, the Blade Nano QX is an awesome quad. The word that comes to mind when I think of this quad is “stunning”. That is truly what it is! It is amazing how stable a quad of this size and weight is. The quad will hover there and pirouette like nothing I have seen before without a GPS. The one thing I know for sure after flying…. I will definitely be wanting to upgrade to a Blade Nano QX FPV edition soon!
1. Buy extra batteries!
2. You must plug in the quad on a level surface in order for the quad to know what level is.
3. Hard flying may mean a shorter life for the motors – this is true of all brushed (brushed motors) quadcopters. Get yourself a couple spares if you want to make certain not to lose flying time!
(Difference between brushed and brushless motors from our FAQ)
4. Horizon Hobby stands behind their products – don’t be afraid to call them if your unit breaks too easily or fails prematurely – they will likely replace it or send you the parts at n/c. The same goes for the transmitter. Horizon (Blade) products often cost more than the other toy quads for just this reason – you are paying for a better customer experience.
Discuss and add to this review and the Blade Nano Knowledge base
Our forums include a discussion thread for each of our reviews – a place where we and YOU can add hints and tips and corrections, plus our experiences with this model. They also allow for you to post your questions, hints and mini-reviews. Here is the continuation thread for the Blade Nano QX
Below is the kit RTF (ready to fly) with its own TX.
Note – if you intend to buy other Horizon Hobby planes, heli’s and quadcopter in the future, you might want to consider stepping up to their DX6 or above Transmitters – these will work with multiple models and have more channels and features. You can purchased the Nano BNF (without TX) and then bind it to whichever higher end (Horizon) TX you decide upon.