One of the current top five Amazon Best Seller quadcopters is the UDI U818A, and after test flying the ready-to-fly (RTF) unit outdoors I understand its popularity. For a sub-$100 6 axis quadcopter with several remote-based features this unit delivers lots of outdoor flying fun. I last reviewed the Hubsan X4 H107C which is a winner for indoor flying, and a challenging but fun model outdoors. The UDI U818A is strictly an outdoor model mainly due to its size (approx. 13″ x 13″) and you’ll want room to try 360 degree rolls using the remote function button.
As with most quadcopters, outdoor flying is best done in windless or low-wind conditions. Anything over 5-10 mph winds will make controlling any model quite difficult. However, part of the fun you’ll have with this quad is learning to “windsurf” on those low-wind days at the field. Flying into headwinds and making turns while the wind pushes your quad quickly to the rear of your position followed by your response to head upwind again is a real blast!
Later in my review I discuss the fixed-position camera that is capable of both still shots and video. At this price point of sub-$100 I don’t expect much out of any quad camera, but the filming results were decent and made the flying time even more enjoyable.
Inside The Box
- UDI U818A Quadcopter
- 2.4 GHz 4-Channel Transmitter
- (1) 3.7V 500mAh Li-Po Battery
- battery wall charger with status light
- (1) extra set of propellers
- (1) small screwdriver for propeller changes
- (4) small motor-to-propeller pinion gears
- USB camera cable
- 2 GB MicroSD card (installed)
- Instruction Manual
The following video shows in detail what comes in the box.
The UDI quad is designed with a propeller guard built into the body. It protects not only the four 5″ plastic propellers from hitting objects but also acts as a shock absorber for the flight board electronics located inside the body housing and the camera mounted underneath. My first thought when I unpacked of the quad was that the model seems cheaply constructed of flimsy plastic. I was skeptical that the propeller guard design would last very long. However, after flying the quad a few times at the local field and experiencing some rough landings, I could see no damage to the propeller guard. It flexes enough to absorb crash impacts and doesn’t fold up on itself.
What I initially saw as cheap and flimsy construction I now understand to be lightweight materials that stand up to the forces of crash impacts. Also noted is that replacement propeller blade sets are available for purchase on amazon. I do recommend purchasing an extra set of these propeller blades. When replacing damaged blades, be sure to match up the two “A” blades with the “A” motor shafts and the two “B” blades with the “B” motor shafts. This is an important step for the quadcopter to fly correctly.
What also impressed me is the very rigid frame that supports C?ng the electronics and motor-propeller assemblies. I suspect the lightweight frame will be quite durable in the event of crash landings.
Under each frame arm near the motor assemblies are a colored LED that act as orientation lights for night flying; blue LEDs for the forward motors and red for the rear motors. A bright white LED is mounted along the leading edge of the propeller guard that acts as a headlight for night flying and four bright white micro LEDs are located on the underside of the quad alongside the camera and battery area. A useful feature cheap jerseys is that the bright white LEDs can be switched off for daytime flying to save battery power using a button on the transmitter.
The Remote Unit
The comfortable to hold 2.4 GHz transmitter for the UDI U818A is feature rich and this is really pleasing to see on a quad at this price. Along with the standard directional trim switches to balance flying behavior are a roll activation button, a mode button to switch between normal (mode 1) and expert (mode 2) flying, a still shot camera button and a video camera on/off button for mid-flight photography. The ability to start and stop video footage while flying is a welcomed feature and the LCD screen on the remote indicates when video is running.
Other remote features include bright white LEDs on/off button and a four-direction roll button. The backlit LCD display shows directional trim position, signal strength between quad receiver and transmitter, remote battery power level, flying lights on/off and flying mode (1 or 2). The unit takes 4 AA batteries (not included).
The UDI U818A utilizes Axis a fixed-position, forward pointing 640 x 480 pixel resolution camera for both single shot and video footage. Photos and video footage are captured on a 2 gigabyte MicroSD card (included) using the two corresponding buttons on the remote. The card is already installed in the camera and can be removed by gently pushing it in until a click sound is heard. Images captured on the card can then be seen on a computer using a MicroSD card adapter or by using the included USB camera cable that connects to the rear of the camera and your computer’s USB port.
The poorly written instruction manual states that images in the camera should first be transferred to your computer before viewing, rather than community viewing them directly from the camera. At first reading I didn’t understand the reasoning behind this until I found that the camera becomes warm to the touch if data is read directly from the camera. I’m assuming that this is the reason, as heat is the enemy of most electronics.
The fixed position of the camera wholesale jerseys lens limits the range of view that can be captured. However, for the price this quad produces decent photos and video. The camera doesn’t record audio.
This is strictly an outdoor flyer due to its size of approximately 13″ x 13″. My first test flight at the field with the UDI U818A was in light 5-10 mph wind. I started out with normal (mode 1) flying and immediately found it hard to control the model with wind conditions carrying it away from my standing position. Mid-flight I was able to switch to expert (mode 2) and regain control which gave me confidence that it’s possible to fly the quad in light wind.
In fact, living near the Pacific Ocean I’ve grown accustomed to onshore breezes most of the day and “windsurfing” with any quad is a lot of fun! Flying into headwinds and making gentle turns downwind really accelerates your airspeed and keeps you on your toes, as it sharpens your piloting skills. Don’t be afraid to fly in light wind! Just give yourself plenty of room, away from trees and allow for drift space behind where you’re standing.
Acrobatic maneuvers such as pirouettes, rolls and flips are possible and explained in the broken-english instruction manual. In my testing these moves, the UDI U818A experiences drops in altitude and usually ends up falling back to the field before climbing again. I attribute this to some of these inexpensive models not having enough recovery power after a stunt versus their overall weight.
Check out this flight video of the UDI U818A in action at the field.
Battery and Charging
The UDI U818A comes with one 3.7V 500mAh flight battery that allows for approximately 7-8 minutes of flying. I purchased two extra batteries on amazon when I bought the quad to extend flying sessions at the field. I highly recommend buying at least two extra batteries.
The only wholesale NBA jerseys warning of low battery level during flight is the model begins to slowly descend and eventually lands itself. Keeping the quad closer to your standing position near the end of the 7-8 minutes of flying time is also recommended so as to not lose radio contact and control over the model. When you suspect the battery is low, land the quad and replace the flight battery rather than totally running down Federer the battery.
Some quads are easier to fly than others and the UDI U818A is a great model for beginners. The first flight I made with it out of the box was a fun experience. Buying it on amazon along with the extra batteries and another set of propellers was about as easy as it gets.
Although light wind will push this quad around at the field, I always enjoy the “windsurfing” challenge and see it as an opportunity to sharpen my piloting skills. It’s all about having fun with your new hobby!
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