We are a fan of unique looking drones, and the first time that we saw the HUAXIANG 8971V, it already captured our attention. It’s unique, it’s physically different, and the spider look might not revolutionary but its serves its purpose, as propeller protector and a landing skid. There is not so much review article for the HUAXIANG 8971V drone, so here at smalldronesreview, it’s our duty to find out and bring drone fans the features of the HUAXIANG one step at a time.
When we received the package from GearBest, the drone model is named Star Eye gyro quadcopter, by HUAXIANG Toys, with the model number 8971. Based on the item box there are two models, a WIFI model version where the video is streamed on your mobile phone and the HD camera version, we received the latter. We still haven’t opened the box, label and icons state that it has a 360 degree eversion with camera, LED lights as well as headless mode, 180 degree inverted mode. The look and its features already grab our attention and made us excited to get our hands on the drone, getting ready to push it to the limit and test its features.
Package and Contents – the item contents include the quadcopter and the remote controller, it’s already assembled so need of tweaking on the hardware, ready to fly out of the box, just add a 4 AAA battery on the transmitter and your good to go. Aside from two main devices, the box comes with set of tools, a screw driver, spare propeller blades as well as a rocker cap. It also comes with a free 4 GB microSD card with a USB type card reader, no need to buy an adapter, you can store all the videos and photos on your microSD card and transfer it to your PC easy with the card reader easily.
The Manual – the drone comes with instruction manual and unlike other drone manual, this one is available into 2 languages, a Chinese version and English version, so guys don’t worry about looking for a troubleshooting tutorial about your quadcopter, the manual has a clear and step by step instruction that is easy to understand and follow.
Service Card – we received the item from Gearbest.com, as expected in every product that the shipped, it always comes with a service card, the card can be used if something goes wrong with the product that you bought and want to refund or a product exchange. Their entire product got a 45 day money back guarantee, so no worries about shopping it online from GearBest.com. If you write a review of the product you brought you will win 160 GB points that can be used to add discount to your next purchase.
Build and Look – when I first looked at the drone, it is very different compared to other drones that I have encountered before, it will certainly grab the attention of those who are looking at it. The HUAXIANG 897V’s engine is facing down, the body resembles a spider, with its arms providing dual purpose, a propeller protector and a landing gear at the same time. Some says that the look of the drone is quietly similar to an Eachine E20 drone, yes we might say that it’s a clone but a much better one. The body is made from plastic, holding it and trying to get a feel of it, you can say that it is very sturdy and could survive some minor crashes ( but of course this is subject to test later) When it comes to look it has a wild/bad*ss look to it which kids specially teens will surely like.
It’s a bit heavy, maybe this is due to the onboard camera and battery packed to its small body, still remains to be seen if the small propeller will be able to flawlessly handle the acrobatic moves and how the battery will be able to perform, will it drain fast or not?
The Transmitter – the RC controller sport an LCD screen, where you can see the stats of the drone. Holding the remote with its several buttons aside from the throttle might be overwhelming, especially for newbies but it’s a good thing there is a manual with clear and labeled instructions.
Note: you need a 4 AAA battery for the controller, the remote anyways has a familiar feel to it, and it has the same form factor with other drones we already tested. The lack of label on the controller itself is a letdown, having an icon or just acronym of the button will be a big help to make it user friendly, no need to check the manual from time to time to remember the button. But overall once you handle it for several times it will be just a walk in the park.
Test Flight: Controlling the Drone – the drone don’t have a switch to turn it on, instead you have to connect the two wires at the back of the drone to activate it. (Just make it sure that it don’t tangled with the propeller, happened to us several times). After the drone pairs with the remote, you are good to go, by the way just one more thing, the first flight, you should first calibrate your drone, tune the gyro to the right level, calibrating the drone is easy, with both of control rod positioning to the right direction, the LED blinks and returns to normal with the successful calibration (check manual for details).
Flying the drone might be a bit of a challenge especially for newbies, the drones lack the hover mode feature, and you have to adjust right away at the beginning of the flight. Note: a wide space area is a must for the safety of the drone as well as the public. Flying the drone gave us a bit of a challenge, not on the controls but on the position of the drone, is it upside or down position? The drone is pretty fast, great rotor engine, it’s a good thing that it has 3 running modes, low speed, medium speed and high speed that is about 100%, and it’s easy to adjust due to the LCD screen showing you the speed stats of the drone.
The question that most of drone fans are asking, is it durable will it survive heavy crashing? Based on our experience, the drone do have a durable body, we crashed the drone several times, intended or not, tumbling, losing altitude fast and crashing to the ground, it hit the cement pavement, roof, trees. It suffered some minor scratches but the arms and body don’t even have a slight crack, I guess it is durable.
Videos and Photos – the drone has a built in 2.0 megapixel camera, and automatically stores it to a memory card right directly on the built in microSD card at the back of the drone. Its 2.0 MP so don’t expect too much from it, it captures a 2560 x 1440 photo it varies from 200 KB to 300 KB each. The video has almost the same quality with the photos; it captures videos with clear sound and stores it as .avi file format. Both images and videos are stored in the microSD card in a separate folder for easy finding your files.
OverAll – despite that the drone is just under $50 dollars in GEARBEST.COM website, it has cool features, a camera, extra accessories as well as it provide a 6 minute of flying time, with LED lights for night time flying. With all the of the features that we like on HUAXIANG 8971V, the durability is the most surprising, considering at this price range some of the drone that we tested did not last, we crashed the 8971V drone several times and it is still ok and perfectly working.
HUAXIANG 8971V See Full Specifications
|Features: Radio Control|
|Motor Type: Brushed Motor|
|Functions: Forward/backward,Headless Mode,Inverted Flight,Roll,Turn left/right,Up/down,With light|
|Built-in Gyro: 6 Axis Gyro|
|Night Flight: Yes|
|Kit Types: RTF|
|Level: Beginner Level|
|Connectivity: Remote Control: 2.4GHz Wireless Remote Control|
|Mode: Mode 2 (Left Hand Throttle)|
|Detailed Control Distance: 50-80m|
|Transmitter Power: 4 x 1.5V AA battery(not included)|
|Model Power: 1 x Lithium battery(included)|
|Battery: 3.7V 500mAh|
|Flying Time: 5~6mins|
|Charging Time (h): 80mins|
|Camera Pixels: 2MP|
|External Memory: SD card|
Where to Buy?
despite that the drone is just under $50 dollars, it has cool features, a camera, extra accessories as well as it provide a 6 minute of flying time, with LED lights for night time flying. Durability is the most surprising, considering at this price range some of the drone that we tested did not last, we crashed the 8971V drone several times and it is still ok and perfectly working.