The Syma X8SW is the latest iteration of the successful Syma X8 lineup. This version comes with WiFi FPV and Altitude Hold Mode, is it enough to make this drone appealing to you? Let’s find out in the full review!
Features: WiFi FPV
Controller Distance: 60~70m
Battery: 7.4V 2000mAh lithium-ion (included)
Flight time: more than 9-10 minutes
Charge time: less than 150 minutes
At the time of writing, the Syma X8SW is available for $109.68 from Banggood.
Syma X8SW: Packaging
The packaging of the Syma X8SW is divided in two parts. In one, you will find the drone itself, along with the camera and landing gear, while in the other, there’s all the accessories. This includes the transmitter, phone holder, wrench, screwdriver, card reader, 4GB microSD card, charger, 4 x spare propellers, 4 x prop guards and an English Manual.
E P I C Camera Drones
on sale! (limited time)
Syma X8SW: Impressions
The look and build quality of the Syma X8SW are, in one word, outstanding
The look and build quality of the Syma X8SW are, in one word, outstanding. The white body with red accents give the drone a very sleek and refined look. The entire frame is made of a very thick and crash resistant plastic as I’ve already had the “honor” to test.
The overall design is also very modern, and fast (and easy) to assemble/disassemble.
Indeed, you can remove the landing gear with just a clip, there’s no screws involved whatsoever. That makes the drone very easy to carry outside as it’ll take up less space.
The tool-less concept also includes the battery and propellers, although I’m not entirely sure I’m fond of it. The battery simply slides in and that’s great to save time; on the other hand, it is a proprietary design, so you’ll have to buy the specific model, which I’m pretty sure won’t go for cheap — a real bummer.
As I mentioned earlier, the propellers are easy to install and remove, but I’ve found the included plastic wrench to be a bit too soft to actually work. This made setting up the propellers a bit more complicated than it should have been.
Syma X8SW: Flight Experience
I would rate the flight experience as average. I often felt as the Syma X8SW didn’t have enough push and, while I know this is not a racer, it made going against wind rather hard. On a drone of this size I was expecting a bit more confidence in these situations.
Nonetheless, the lift power is still good enough and if you get tired of the included camera you can switch to a GoPro and the likes, if you manage to attach one, that is.
The Syma X8SW also features altitude hold mode and it does work pretty well. It makes recording aerial footage very easy to create since you don’t have to worry about keeping a certain height with the throttle stick.
That said, the transmitter’s throttle design isn’t the best on the market. It is also known to cause an accidental disarm of the drone, thus making it suddenly drop from the sky. This actually happened to me, well, it’s either that or the drone went into low battery suicide-mode.
The Syma X8SW flew for more or less 9 minutes, which is about as much as advertised, no surprise there. It’s still quite handy to have a $100 quadcopter flying that long!
Syma X8SW: Camera & FPV
The camera on the Syma X8SW is just what you would expect from a 0.3MP shooter, to that add the absent video stabilization and you have a below average experience.
That said, for a beginner who has never recorded aerial footage, this might be the easiest way they can do it without spending a lot. If you aren’t a beginner then you already know that WiFi FPV has to be avoided; it’s laggy and gets stuck randomly and when you get too far. In my opinion it only exists to give you an idea of what you’re actually recording and not to help you fly the drone in real-time.
Videos do have 720p HD resolution, but as mentioned earlier, the lack of stabilization makes the video a bit wobbly with jello. Though I must admit the drone looked very stable even fighting the wind, so if you manage to mount a good and stabilized camera you could get some rather good aerial footage. I will sure try to do so when I’ve a chance!
You can record video directly to the microSD card or on the phone from the WiFi live video feed on the Syma app. Below you’ll be able to see some photo & video samples:
Syma X8SW: Transmitter
Beautiful but not so functional. Don’t get me wrong, I love the new sleek design and hidden features but for a drone that is aimed at every type of user I would have gone with a more ordinary design; more buttons and clearer descriptions.
As it is now you have to remember a “combo” to do everything, trimming, headless mode, switching between speed modes and so on. If I got confused by it, I can’t imagine how a beginner who never flew a drone would feel, eventually he’ll just fly as it is and miss out some functionalities.
The transmitter has an additional clip to hold your smartphone as well for when you do FPV.
Syma X8SW: Gallery
Syma X8SW: Conclusion
Solid build quality
Ease of use
Great to record aerial footage if used with another camera
Bad quality camera
Overall, I find the Syma X8SW a great drone for beginners at their first experience or people who have only tried smaller quadcopters, as it is really easy to fly.
While camera quality isn’t good, you can still get interesting looking videos thanks to the WiFi FPV feature. Additionally you can find an adapter — or DIY it — and mount a better camera to it, thus recording high quality footage on the cheap.
The Syma X8SW is on sale for about $109 at Banggood, which is a decent price given the drone’s build quality, ease of use and features.