The market for toy class drones has exploded in recent months, with everything from palm sized micros to full sized brushed motor quads with video and/or FPV capabilities. This review features the Coocher Syma X8C, a camera drone that has been around for a while and is now being offered by Coocheer. So how does it stack up? Does it still hold it’s own against the newer competition, or does it come up short when pitted against some of the newer offerings? Keep reading and find out!
Ordering, Shipping, and Pricing
I ordered the Syma X8C through normal channels, was surprised to find that in addition to being available directly from Coocheer, you can order it on Amazon as well, and it is an Amazon Prime product. This was a pleasant change from the usual process when ordering from a Chinese company of placing the order and then waiting 3-4 weeks for the product to arrive. I had the drone within 2 days of placing the order, so absolutely no complaints there. The price was around $90, which is slightly higher than on Banggood, but Banggood uncharacteristically charges $17.66 to ship to the US, so not only can you get the Coocheer version faster, but it’s ultimately cheaper as well. So far so good!
I won’t bore you with a video of opening a box or a long description of the process. Suffice it to say that the X8C arrived with everything it was supposed to have, including extra props and some extra screws. Everything was well packaged, and everything was in good working condition. Well, almost everything (more on that later, and it had nothing to do with the shipping). Again, so far so good!
Well, it could be better, but I’ve also seen a lot worse. Everything was reasonably well written, but it could have been a little beefier. Specifically I had to resort to Google to figure out how to put the props on. Once I saw it in a video it was easy enough, but attaching the props is not intuitive and there was no mention of installing the props in the manual. All in all it’s not the worst manual I’ve ever seen, but it’s not quite good enough either, so minus a point for not having instructions for installing the props.
Charging the battery was painfully slow, taking over 2 hours to fully charge. While this is fairly typical for these included chargers, it definitely impacts the enjoyment of the product. If this is a hobby you’re going to stay with, one of your first purchases should be a decent charger and parallel charge board. As for the included charger, I won’t take off any points for it as it worked and it does what it’s supposed to, and it will suffice to get you flying. Just plan on making that your first upgrade if you stay with it.
Flying the X8C
I didn’t get as much flight time on the Syma as I would have liked due to a run of horrible weather, but I can say the drone flys very well and seems quite smooth and stable. It’s not a speedster, and it doesn’t have a ton of punch out power, but this is a camera quad. It does have the capability to flip, but honestly if fast flying and flips is your thing, this really isn’t the model you’re looking for. It did seem to fly nice and smooth for a brushed quad though, which is exactly what you want in a camera drone. Unfortunately…
Pictures and Video
You’ll notice that there is no video included with this review. That’s because I could not get the camera to work. Sadly this is a deal breaker for me, as the camera is one of the main reasons for purchasing this drone. I have no idea if this is a common problem or if I just got unlucky, but I can only review what’s in front of me, and to be brutally honest, if the camera doesn’t work then this is just a slow, lumbering drone that you will probably tire of quickly. It may be possible to take the camera apart and get it working, but even if this is true it’s still a fail. If you have to take apart a brand new product to get it working, it’s not good enough.
I appreciate Coocheer giving me the opportunity to review this product. Unfortunately, with the camera not working there is no way I can recommend this in good faith. The camera is most of the reason for purchasing this drone, so a dead camera is a dealbreaker. Other than that I was impressed with Coocheer. Their prices seem reasonable, and having it available on Amazon for cheaper than I could get it on Banggood was a huge plus. Keep an eye on them, if they continue to expand their selection and make their products available on Amazon, and maybe improve their quality control a bit they’ll be a player.
Disclaimer – This drone was provided by Coocheer in order to provide a fair, and unbiased review.