The Blade Nano QX has always been one of the suggested “toy grade” quadcopters for those who want to fly in smaller spaces and get in some training on the sticks. Earlier in the year we did our own first look and review on the original model Blade nano qx.
A number of clones have hit the market in recent months – promising many of the same features at 25% of the price of the brand name model. This review will look at the Eachine CG023 Nana QX clone. The same machine appears to be sold under various brand names including BAYANGTOYS X9, which appears similar but comes with a different (more compact) Transmitter.
Here is the banggood USA store (quick shipping!) for the model we tested.
Make certain you order “mode 2” which means the TX is setup correctly with the left throttle.
The CG023 features a very flexible frame – almost like rubber – as well as built in prop guards. Hard landings and crashes are less likely to result in damage to this type of quadcopter.
In terms of size, the CG023 is approx. the size of a fully outstretched hand – small enough for an experienced pilot to use indoors but large enough that backyard and park flying is enjoyable.
In the Box
The Eachine CG023 comes with:
1 x CG023 Mini RC Quadcopter
Battery: 3.7V 150mAh li-po battery
1 x 2.4G transmitter
1 x USB charging cable
4 x spare blades
Spare motors and props are always important if you want to keep your quad flying. After studying the prices of various spare parts I decided to just buy two complete quadcopters – this would allow me a number of spare parts in addition to the second battery. The total cost was about $47. with shipping or about 1/2 the cost of the original Blade Nano QX.
Preparing for Flight
The CG023 comes fully assembled. You’ll need 4 AA batteries for the TX and a USB outlet to charge up the quadcopter battery. The included USB charger can be confusing because it’s state LED works in the opposite way as most do – that is, when the battery is charging there will be no indicator or sign that it is doing so. Only after it’s charged does the red LED indicator come on.
The battery will charge in 30-45 minutes (depends on USB source) and give about 6 minutes of flight time. The short flight times really do not concern me because you can buy a couple extra batteries and these types of machines are flown quite close to you – so changing batteries is no big deal.
A couple quick flights indoors gave me some idea of the performance and nuances of this machine. Here are some points to consider…
Trimming – my unit needs quite a bit of trimming to hover correctly. It keeps wanting to yaw (spin on it’s axis) – but with some work I was able to get it trimmed decently. Newbies may have a more difficult time doing this indoors because they are likely to crash before they get the adjustments correct.
Flight Modes – it appears to have 3 settings – 20%, 60% and 100% – those relating to how aggressively it reacts to your stick moves. The 20% mode is a bit “boat like” – beginners may think otherwise, but I find a higher rate makes these toys easier to control since there is less delay between when you give stick input and when the machine takes action.
Range – the CG023 has plenty of range. You will definitely lose these small quadcopters if you fly them too far away from yourself. I took mine to at least 120 feet away and it probably would go much further. But, again, there is no need to and this is not what the machine is designed for.
Winds – The CG023 works well in still conditions or very light winds – perhaps up to about 7 mph. Flying in stronger winds will require a more experienced pilot who is able to keep the rate at 100% and fly aggressively. Still, the CG023 performed well even in 10 mph gusts. It’s prudent to fly in a more open area in such winds so that the trees and bushes (or roof) does not claim your machine.
Reliability and Crash worthiness
We’ve put about a dozen flights on the CG023 with no problems. Normal crashes do not seem to hurt the machine and the built-in guards help when you contact walls and ceilings. In fact, it’s possible to fly the machine upwards into the ceiling and leave it there running! I even used that technique to adjust the yaw – as it was spinning when plastered against the ceiling…so I hit the trim buttons until it stopped.
None of these machines can take constant hard crashes into all types of surfaces – but the CG023 is definitely superior to the earlier machines which often misbehaved after just a few mishaps.
I enjoy flying this machine – especially outdoors in light wind. In a decent sized room or in the lands of a decent pilot indoor flight or learning is also possible. It has a flip feature which is activated by the upper right hand side button on the Remote. Pressing this will cause the Remote to start beeping and then flipping will happen the next time you move the right stick.
Here is our companion video:
I enjoyed flying the Eachine CG023. However, for most “first timers” I’d still suggest the Hubsan X4 or the Syma X11. This is due to them being slightly more capable of indoor flight. The Eachine CG023 doesn’t have the tight control in small spaces that you will experience with the X4 and similar machines. Still, this makes a great 2nd quadcopter or even a first one for someone learning in an outdoor space or larger indoor one.
A question that arises is whether a beginner should buy the original (and more expensive) Blade Nano QX – which this is patterned after – or save some money by buying a quadcopter such as the Eachine CG023. For my money I’d buy TWO of the Eachines along with perhaps a third battery. This would provide a bunch of spare parts and backups and the entire package would be less than $50.
If you need a little more hand holding the original Blade Nano may be a better choice as it is available in some local hobby shops and the maker, Horizon Hobby, maintains US based customer support by email and phone. Here is an Amazon link to the original (about $90).
BLADE Nano QX RTF Quadcopter