The rather unsexily named UDI U818A-1 is one of the best-looking quadcopters out there. It’s black, slick and almost sinfully cute, all with the avowed aim of giving drone-novices a whale of a good time rather cheaply and conveniently. It’s quite simply a no-frills, no-nonsense drone for the masses with almost no sensors worth the name to keep prices down without much-sacrificing usability. In line with this, it comes totally assembled, requiring only that it be charged to get it fluttering and airborne. Charging time for the 3.7 volt 500mAh LiPo battery is approximately an hour, with a flight time of 7-9 minutes depending on varied factors. So, spare batteries definitely would be recommended should you desire to extend the duration of the fun times. On battery exhaustion, the drone simply shuts down and drops out of the sky without warning, so ensure to wear a hard hat whenever it is directly overhead.
The UDI U818A-1 is bewitchingly easy to fly and extremely durable, with damaged parts easily user removable and replaceable as needed. Stunts and acrobatics come naturally to it too, and it is exceptionally stable in flight considering its lightweight and size. A pretty decent 640 x 480 resolution camera comes provided which faces forwards and slightly down. With its inherent 2GB external SD card support you can store some pretty extensive if lackluster footage. The camera is not stabilized though, so don’t be surprised if your video comes back jittery like a heroin addict.
Differently colored LED lights around the frame and on the rotors make it a joy to fly and look at, especially indoors at night. Two flight modes are available. Mode one thoughtfully limits the climbing and turning speed for beginners. While Mode 2 removes the restraining shackles to enable you to rocket around as you like, though crashing the drone without first taking the time and effort to master it in the first mode is a real invitation to disaster.
Inside the box, you get the drone, controller and mini camera. Along with four backup propellers, a mini screwdriver, a battery charger and USB connector for uploading your footage from the camera to your computer. The controller powered by 4 AA batteries- is a stand-out design worthy of the Bungie game studio. It’s big -but not uncomfortably so- plasticky yet sturdy and filled with enough switches to brighten the day of most gadget lovers. Its shoulder buttons turn the drone LED lights on or off as desired, as well as putting it into full stunt mode. It additionally has the necessary two joysticks as well as a small LCD capable of FPV and of displaying the confusing myriad of info you need to fly the quadcopter drone, such as battery level, signal strength, and thrust. Additional buttons enable the camera to take photos as well as to stop or start video recording. Control is via the provided controller only, with no smartphone or other third party controller support possible.
Price is a rather cheap $49, which is readily acceptable for a such a fun, disposable and totally user-friendly drone which the UDI U818A-1 drone has undoubtedly shown that it is.