Having lost my last X4 in a small evergreen tree, I decided that I cannot be without one of these in my stable, so I purchased the "bare" X4 H107L which is available without the TX or battery. Unlike the full X4 kit, this comes in a very small box and includes nothing except for the quacopter. (Hubsan Quads X4 H107L as sold by this Amazon Link) The price was about $34 including shipping. There are a vast number of reviews and opinions on the X4, including our original blog post as well as the discussion thread for that article. However, the X4 was updated a few months back and I have never flown or tested the upgraded model. (X4 with LED's - notice the chewed up props after some nice crashes!) So What's New? Not much! This is a case of improving the existing X4 based on feedback from the user community. In fact, most of the improvements were suggested by the online R/C community and have already been employed by those who own the older models. Here are the main changes: 1. The propellers have been redesigned so that they completely cover the exposed motor shafts - this allows them to protect the shafts on upside down landings (crashes). Earlier models needed the "straw" modification to help with the problem of premature motor destruction. 2. The feet or landing pods are now made of a softer rubber-like material which allows more shock resistance on hard landings or crashes. 3. The bottom panel of the quad - the part which receives and holds the battery - has been upgraded with a softer material, allowing easier placement of the battery. This also helps with shock resistance as the same panel extends out all four legs and is part of the "break apart" design of the legs. In a bad crash, the bottom of the legs will separate slightly from the top....and can be pressed back into place easily by hand. 4, LED's have been added at the end of each of the quads arms. 5. An optional propeller guard is sold which is ideal for inside use and beginners. Flying Matters I could not sense any difference between the newer and older X4's when it comes to it's flying manners. X4's are a bit difficult and can be challenging for first-time flyers. However, if you read on you may find that the X4 now can make a decent first quad for many beginners. The Basic Verdict - Is it truly improved? I have flown my new X4 H107L indoors for about 15 flights and crashed into many objects - I am flying without prop guards, so the quad is taking the full brunt of most of these collisions. I can certainly state that the new X4 is much sturdier than the older one. Many of these crashes might have caused damage to the original model, but the X4 H107L keeps flying. That being said, this is not a quadcopter which is likely to take the same punishment as a Syma X1 or some similar models....at least not without the prop guards in place. The propellers can still detach and get lost easily and they often get mauled or bent in crashes. Still, it is accurate to say that the X4 model is now greatly improved in crash resistance. Some Cons - Same Cons I've already admitted to liking this quadcopter design - I can't imagine being without one. I learn a lot by flying this, both indoors and out. However, prospective owners need to consider these downsides: 1. Repair - can be moderately difficult. It's very small, so you need good eyes as well as basic soldering skills to replace a motor - and the motors will need replacement after 25+ flights or so. If you don't want to repair it, you could certainly sell the non-working model for $15 or so to someone who will use the board, the shell and maybe one of the good motors. You can then simply purchase another bare bones model for a $20 difference. 2. Bent or missing propellers. Many outlets sell H4 props online, but it is difficult to discern which are of the new design. I've seen many which claim to be, only to read in the comments that they are the old type. A couple crashes can cause the props to be bent and/or be deformed at the tips. It's good practice to bend them as straight as possible and, using your fingernails or some sandpaper, clean off the tips of them if frayed. User Hints Battery Insertion - as with the older X4, a good trick is to insert the battery from the side and then press it back toward the rear - as opposed to trying to start feeding it from directly in front. Always make certain that the battery is fully toward the rear, especially after a crash. This will make certain that your center of gravity is correct. Straightening Props - Place the X4 upside down on a flat surface and use a small coin to gauge the distance from the surface to the end of the propellers. Adjust all so they are the same. A US nickel seems to do the job quite nicely. If the propellers are not straight - or if they need replaced - the X4 will be difficult to trim and fly. Resetting - The "stick wiggle" method of resetting the gyros's still applies, however a better trick is simply to disconnect and reconnect the battery and rebind with the TX. This seems to solve many trim problems that the stick wiggle does not. Hovering - The X4 does not like to stand still, so many will find it difficult to keep it at a stable height. It requires constant user input (what we call piloting!) to make sure it is headed in the proper direction. This is "as designed" - the X4 is not made to be stable like a AR Drone or DJI Phantom. Rather it is a very active quadcopter with advanced technology in a small package. Is it a good First Quadcopter? We rated the initial X4 as being from "Advanced Beginners" up due to it's fragility and also it's active tendencies. However, each beginner is different. Some folks are more careful and may have experience on simulators or other R/C devices. For these and many others, the X4 (with prop guards and spare props) could be a fine first quadcopter. Unlike larger mini-quads (Syma X1), it's fairly easy to fly the X4 in any room larger than about 12 feet square. No quadcopter can take repeated hard crashing - and, with the improvements, the X4 is probably in the middle of the pack as far as it's crash resistance. We'll leave it up to the reader to determine what their first machine should be, but the X4 is now worthy of consideration.