Quadcopters, or ‘drones’ as they are often called’ are great devices. I’ve always found them a little easier to control than RC helicopters and, if you have the safety guide on, they’re less likely to cause damage to people or property too.
My son got his hands on a Syma X4 Quadcopter recently; so what’s it like?
In short, it’s good! OK, you want more details. Let’s dive in then!
The X4 is a 4-channel, 6-axis quadcopter. That gives it the full range of movement you would expect (3-channel helicopters, for instance, can’t jink to the side). It has running lights so that you can easily see which side is the front, and it doesn’t hurt that the lights also make it look good when flying it in the garden at night.
The controller is styled to look like an Xbox controller, down to having shoulder bumpers. That made it immediately comfortable for my son, who enjoys the Xbox as well. He’s tried the controller on my quadcopter, which isn’t exactly fancy, but found it a little difficult to get to grips with.
One very nice feature is the built-in flip function. Just press the right bumper on the controller, steer in any direction, and the quadcopter performs a flip! It looks impressive, but it’s actually very easy to do.
Easy to fly
That’s one of the best things about the X4; it’s easy to fly. My son is 7 and has already got pretty good with it. Let’s put it this way… he’s allowed to fly it in the living room now and I’m not in constant fear for the safety of the television!
Now, some of the material I’ve found online shows the X4’s packaging as indicating it’s for ages 14 and up, but the one my son has (which I think may have been repackaged for a particular chain of shops) says 8+. He’s more than able to cope at age 7, so I’d suggest that you use your own judgment to decide whether the X4 is suitable for your own children (of course, they’re also great fun for adults!)
One other thing I want to mention is that a review on the X4’s listing on Amazon mentions recording footage. I’m not sure if that’s a mix-up, but the X4 does not come with a camera… it’s just a quadcopter.
Battery life is always a frustration with flying toys. No matter how much power the battery holds, it’s never enough! You can expect to get around 5-7 minutes of flight out of the battery in the X4, and a recharge using the provided USB cable will take around an hour. That’s not too bad, but it does mean you won’t exactly be playing with it all day.
The Syma X4 is a decent, simple little quadcopter. It certainly does the job for my son to get to grips with his first drone. If you’re looking for something with a camera, are looking for longer flight times, or are looking for something a little more serious, I would suggest looking elsewhere. If you’re looking for an easy-to-fly entry into the world of quad rotors, however, the X4 is a decent place to start.