UDI U818A-1Starting around $60
The UDI U818A-1 is a durable drone that is excellent for beginners. It comes equipped with a 720p HD camera and some nice features. This small drone has an integral prop guard that protects it from impact and makes it a safe drone to handle. The drone performs flips in multiple directions with a push of the button. The U818A-1 has very bright blue and red LEDs and a white LED headlight that can be turned on and off. There are a few different UDI U818A and U818A-1 models. Half Chrome will discuss them all, but in this article we will focus on the basic U818A-1 model. We also have a full review of the FPV version.
The best part about this drone is how easy it is to fly. The six axis gyro keeps it balanced and its nice wide frame helps too. It has a diagonal wingspan of 15.25 inches which is larger than most beginner drones. It is still very light, and that can problematic in a strong wind. We flew the UDI U818A-1 on a windy day and its plastic protectors made it perform like a kite at high altitudes. We definitely do not recommend attempting that.
While the Syma drones clearly take their aesthetic inspiration from the DJI Phantom, this little drone is modeled after the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. The plastic design is lightweight and on first examination seems flimsy. Despite its appearance, the guard actually does a great job of protecting the drone, making an ideal drone for first-time fliers. The prop guards are nice for beginners, but can be a disadvantage to more serious hobbyists that do not want to be limited to flying indoors or in very low wind.
The Half Chrome guys have figured out how to solve the UDI 818’s biggest problem, flying in windy conditions. This is a quick and easy modification if you don’t mind modifying your drone. It will make your UDI 818A-1 faster, more agile, and a better flier in windy conditions. Check out our full article HERE. Once you have mastered flying this drone as a beginner we strongly recommend you try this hack, it had us smiling ear-to-ear.
The camera is a HD video camera and it will record in 720p at 30fps. The picture quality is very good compared to its competitors, especially outdoors and in good light. It records video and pictures to a micro SD card. Taking pictures can be tricky without FPV. Videos look good when the drone is not flying around, but because of the camera has no image stabilizaton the video can often appear shaky. This is not a high end drone with a gimbal, it is a fun HD drone that will take some practice to get good videos. Included with the drone was one 2GB card and a USB card reader.
Watch our video for a quick flight test of the UDI 818A-1. You can see the image quality of its HD camera.
The remote transmitter on the UDI U818A-1 is one of the best remotes we have used and an upgrade from the U818A. It is a good size, has a solid feel and has a very useful LCD display that displays throttle percentages and remote battery life. It also has dedicated buttons to switch modes, do flips, take pictures, record video and turn the “headlight” on/off.
The U818A-1 will beep at you when the battery is low allowing you time to land it before it comes crashing down. It flips with ease and will do so in the direction you want by pushing the flip button, then the control stick in the direction you want it to flip.
Other UDI U818 Models
UDI has not done a good job describing all of the small differences between their different models, but Half Chrome is here to help. The original UDI U818A is a good machine and basically the same as the U818A-1. It is typically black rather than blue and lacks the HD decal on the center. The U818A-1 is supposed to be a better/newer version, but most beginners would not notice a difference. There are some versions of the U818A and U818A-1 that do have headless mode and a return home function. The return home function doesn’t work very well, but the headless mode can be a good feature. Typically these versions usually are followed by HD+. The biggest difference is that the U818A-1 has an improved remote transmitter.
There also is a FPV version of the U818. This version connects to your smartphone via WiFi and streams a live First Person View of what the 720p HD camera sees. It is also compatible with VR goggles. Rather than resting your phone on the transmitter you can place it in a VR goggle set and see what the drone sees. It is a neat feature. Half Chrome has done a full review of this UDI U818A-HD+ FPV drone click HERE to see our full review of the FPV model.
Overall the U818A-1 is a very good beginner drone no matter which model you choose.
Check out our unboxing and first impressions of the U818A-1 and X5C-1
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.
This website contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. For full details visit the disclosures and disclaimers page.