Syma X8W -An Excellent Choice for a Beginner FPV
Syma X8WStarting under $80
Ease of Flying/Stablity8.0/10
- ▪Excellent value FPV
- ▪Video quality is average at best
- Range: 100m
- Flight Time: 10-12 min.
- Weight:1.5 lbs (register)
- Size: full size
- Camera: 2MP, HD capable
Syma X8W (left) next to a DJI Phantom 2
The Syma X8W is a very stable FPV drone that is a good drone for beginners as well as intermediate drone pilots. It is a larger drone that has taken its styling cues from the DJI Phantom line. The X8W is an excellent value for under $100 and we would recommend flying a drone like this prior to spending money on an expensive drone like the DJI Phantom. There are a few different X8 models and we have compared them for you at the bottom of the article.
The Syma X8W is a step up from its little brother, the X5C. It is larger and feels like a well-built drone. It isn’t on par with the professional grade drones, but it isn’t that far off. We put our model to the test and it performed quite well. It really is an easy drone to fly and its 6 axis gyro does a nice job of keeping it stable. We crashed the heck out of this bad boy and it survived everything we threw at it. At about 1 pound it is much lighter than a Phantom, which weighs in at about 3 pounds. At 1/3 the weight this drone can handle crashes much better than a Phantom. Or course, the light weight also means it can’t carry as large of a battery, so the Syma has a reduced flight time compared to a Phantom. The lighter weight and weaker motors also mean it can get away from you on windy days so be careful flying it too high if there is some wind.
The camera on the Syma X8W is an HD 2MP camera that takes decent aerial photos and video. It is not attached to a full featured gimbal, so the camera moves with the drone. It takes some practice to get good photos and video. Some X8 owners have even upgraded their drones to carry action cameras. You can do so by creating your own stabilization mount or purchasing one from Amazon to carry your GoPro. We have a full article on how to do the upgrade, click here to check it out. There are plenty of good action cameras out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Check out our review, flight test and comparison of the Syma X8W and X5C-1.
One of the features on the X8W that sets it apart from other drones in its price range is that it has first person view. The FPV on the drone connects through a WiFi network. The WiFi network is setup by pairing the drone to your smartphone. You then have to open an app(available for iOS and Android) and you can see what your drone sees. The FPV certainly is not perfect and there is a bit of lag. You will likely not enjoy flying this drone using FPV exclusively due to the lag and relatively narrow 44° horizontal field of view. It is, however, very useful to help you capture that perfect aerial photo or video. The videos and photos are stored directly to your phone. The app is simple and easy to use.
Like a lot of the smaller toy drones, the X8W also will perform flips with the push of a button. The X8W does not maneuver as well as smaller drones like the Hubsan X4, but it is actually quite nimble in high power mode. The drone did a nice job on our obstacle course. Its size and weight help it fly better than a lot of smaller and lighter drones in windy conditions.
The X8W averaged around 10 minutes of flight time. The battery is large compared to smaller drones, with a capacity of 2000mAh. They are not terribly expensive so we would recommend picking up a couple of extras to add to your flight time. Nothing is worse than running out of batteries. You can buy one from Amazon HERE.
The Syma X8W is a great drone for a beginner that wants more than just a toy but isn’t ready for the financial commitment of a professional quality drone. The FPV isn’t perfect but is a nice feature to help line up that perfect aerial shot.
The Different Syma X8 Models
The Syma X8C is the most inexpensive of the X8 line and can be found for $10-15 less than the X8W. The X8C is around $65 on Amazon. It is virtually identical to the X8W. This drone comes in the same three colors: black, white and orange. The X8C has the same motors, board and chassis as the X8W Even the camera is the same 2MP camera. The big difference is that it lacks WiFi and FPV capabilities. Because it doesn’t connect via WiFi the video is recorded to a micro SD card on the drone. That actually has some advantages because if the WiFi is spotty on the X8W then your recording is also spotty. That isn’t an issue with the X8C. The Syma X8C is an excellent beginner drone for those that aren’t interested in FPV.
The next step up is the Syma X8W. As highlighted above it is an excellent FPV starter drone. The only difference between the X8W and X8C is the addition of WiFi to allow for FPV. This drone is one of our favorites and can be purchased for less than $80. Like the X8C it can be found in black, white or orange.
The third model Syma produces is the X8G. Like the prior models very little is different about this drone. The motors and chassis are the same. However, there are two differences. This quadcopter is silver, distinguishing it from the other models. The important difference is that this drone comes with an action camera that is capable of taking full 1080p HD video. The 5MP camera will either shoot 720p HD at 60fps or 1080p at 30fps. The higher frame rate can also be fun for action shots that you want to watch in slow motion. This is a very good drone and camera for under $120. It is a great idea for an intermediate drone pilot that is not quite ready to commit financially to a professional quality drone. The camera mount is even GoPro ready if you want to swap out the camera for your own. The Syma camera will not work on its own and must be connected to the drone, so don’t expect to remove the camera and mount it to your skydiving helmet like you can do with a GoPro. Video is stored on the included 4GB memory card. The X8G does not have WiFi and is not an FPV drone.
Syma H-Model Drones with Altitude Hold
The Syma X8HG is the first model that updates the internal components of the drone. The X8HG adds an Altitude Hold feature. The Altitude Hold feature allows you to hover the drone at a specific altitude allowing you to release the left stick on the transmitter and maneuver the drone with the right stick for that perfect video. The Altitude Hold feature works reasonably well, but we would recommend you always monitor the altitude of the drone while flying. With the exception of altitude hold, the X8HG is identical to the X8G in every other way. The chassis, motors and camera are the same as the X8G. The X8HG is red to help distinguish it from the other models. The X8HG typically costs around $160.
Syma has added other H-models to their lineup. The X8C becomes the X8HC and the X8W becomes the X8HW. Again the only differences are the addition of the Altitude Hold feature and different color schemes for the drones. Both of these H-models come in gold. We do like the altitude hold feature and it is nice for beginners, but it does add a cost to the drone. The X8HC typically costs around $110 and the X8HW is around $125. The H-model to own if you like the Altitude Hold feature would be the X8HG.
Now that you have your new Syma…
You probably don’t want to stop flying your new drone. We’d suggest picking up some spare batteries. Maybe you want a better camera or a nice case to transport your drone. We can help. We will discuss the best accessories for your new Syma X8 drone, whichever model you fly. Click here to read our article on the best accessories for a Syma X8.
What is the best 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.
Maybe you want us to do the work for you???
We’ve flown, crashed and taken pictures with a ton of drones. You want to know which one we think is best? Sure. Are you on a budget? Of course. We have three great articles breaking down the best drones in your budget. Check them out.
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