UDI 818A FPV A Fun, Stable and Durable Drone
The UDI 818A HD+ with FPV is an excellent drone for the beginner or intermediate drone pilot. It is very stable and extremely durable. The FPV works via WiFi by connecting your phone to the drone then opening an app on the phone. You phone rests snugly in the holder on the transmitter. The FPV works reasonably well and better than either the Syma X8 or Holy Stone X400C we have reviewed. The image quality from the UDI 818 drones is arguably best in this price range. The biggest drawback to this drone is that its plastic propeller guard is not removable and catches the wind. Flying this drone on windy days is very difficult especially at higher heights. But don’t worry, read on! Half Chrome has a solution to this problem.
The camera on the UDI 818A HD+ with FPV will record HD video in 720p at 30fps. It will record on a micro SD card on the drone and that can be transferred via WiFi to your phone, or you can remove it and use the included memory card reader and connect via USB to you computer. The picture quality does not compare to a top-tier drone, but it is better than a lot of the other drones in this price range. There is no gimbal, so the video is only as stable as your drone is in flight. The FPV is best suited on this drone to help you capture video or take pictures rather than as a tool for navigating or racing. There is a 3D mode in the UDI app if you possess VR goggles like Google Cardboard or the Samsung Gear. Just know that flying with FPV can be very difficult and is not for beginners.
818A HD+ with FPV vs 818A-1 without FPV
Flying this drone is very similar to the UDI 818A-1 without FPV. There are a few small differences. The drone itself is the same size, but the landing gear is larger and looks similar to helicopter landing gear. The camera is mounted below the drone and can be adjusted slightly to aim forward or down.
The drone ships with a two-cell 3.7V 350mAh battery with a unique connector, instead of a single cell 3.7V 500mAh battery. The remote on the FPV is also different from the base model and lacks top buttons for performing flips. That button is on the body of the remote near the LCD screen. The button placement on the base 818A-1 is better, but the remotes are both solid.
FPV works fairly well, especially on a full charge and in close proximity. The UDI 818A HD+ does lag a little when the drone is further away. It would be very difficult to operate the drone by exclusively using the FPV. You can fly the drone without the transmitter if you chose and fly using your phone exclusively. It works using either the video game like joysticks or by tilting your phone utilizing the built in accelerometers in your device. Both ways are fun in their own way but are also much more challenging than flying with the physical transmitter.
The 818A HD+ does do flips with the push of a button, but the button it isn’t on the top of the remote like the 818A-1, making it slightly more difficult if you don’t have a good feel of the remote itself. Headless mode and Return Home are both features that sound nice, but in reality do not work very well. Headless mode was OK at best and Return Home was a joke. It didn’t return anywhere and relying on it would be a mistake for sure.
Overall the 818A HD+ with FPV is a very good drone. We like its stability and durability as well as its FPV. Sadly, like most comparable drones, some of the features are overstated. Regardless, we still like this quadcopter for a beginner or intermediate pilot. The 818A HD+ with FPV is a good drone for you if you want to experience FPV, but the 818A-1 might be a better value if you don’t need FPV.
Here at Half Chrome we figured out how to solve the UDI 818’s biggest problem, flying in windy conditions. If you don’t mind modifying your drone it is quick and easy. It will make your UDI 818A faster, more agile and will fly better in windy conditions. Check out our full article HERE.
Not sure if this is the drone for you???
No worries, Half Chrome Drones has you covered. Maybe you want an aerial photography drone, or maybe you want a fun toy. Want FPV? We’ve developed an advanced system to match you to the right drone. We call it our Half Chrome Drone Cipher™, go check it out. We also are constantly updating our Best Drones Now page to help you stay current.
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