Low cost “nano” quadcopters have flooded the market since Estes released their tiny Proto X. These quadcopters are much smaller than the former “micro” quads like the Hubsan X4 or the Blade Nano (note – the Blade Nano is NOT a nano, despite the name). As a size comparison, note the Hubsan X4, a standard Micro-quadcopter, next to a typical nano.
Droneflyers has purchased and reviewed most models of the nano quadcopter including the Proto X, the Cheerson X-10, WL Toys W272 and others. We have found ALL of the models to be lacking in various ways and therefore have a difficult time suggesting that beginners purchase these models for learning how to fly.
Among the deficiencies are:
1. Poor flight manners – This is perhaps the main reason most beginners should stay away from nano quadcopters. The power to weight ratio (battery is heavy compared to the propeller capabilities) means they are difficult to control and hover. This does away with the primary reason for wanting a small quadcopter – because if you can’t control it accurately, flying inside smaller rooms is going to be difficult.
2. Soldered in batteries – difficult or impossible to replace or switch out, meaning the user can only fly for a few minutes before waiting an hour or more to recharge. If a battery is bad or weak, you have to throw away the quadcopter or become very familiar with soldering.
3. Poor Controllers – Many find the tiny transmitters included with some models difficult to operate.
4. Short flight times – some models have flight times of about 3 minutes, barely allowing the pilot to get the machines trimmed properly before the fun is over.
We wanted to like the nano quadcopters – but after trying a bunch of them our suggestion is “Don’t Buy”.
Note – they are an amazing demonstration of miniature technology…and of perhaps what some of the future holds. You don’t really have much to lose, as many are selling for about $20 – so if you have to see for yourself, no harm done in ordering one! Just don’t buy one for a beginning pilot as they may become frustrated with the hobby before they progress further. Instead, read our various articles on getting started or check out our book.