The gold coloured Syma X8HW is a large (50cm x 50cm x 19cm) quadcopter with a 6-axis gyro which keeps it very stable during flight, and its size gives it good wind resistance. It is a revision of the Syma X8G and features a numer of extra features, including WiFi FPV (First Person View) and the X8HW Altitude Hold Mode. It also features its own Syma 2MP camera modelled on the GoPro, however unlike the GoPro, this camera cannot be used on its own as it takes its battery power from the Syma X8HW itself so it will only work with this drone.
The Syma camera itself is excellent quality, it shoots in either 1280p at 30 frames per second, or 720p at 60 frames per second, plus it takes 2MP still photos. You control the camera via the drone's controller and you can start or stop recording, and take stills during flight, and due to the fact that it has a fixed mount rather than a gimbal, the still images are better quality than the video footage. There is a smart phone holder on the controller which allows you to use the FPV function, so you can see what you are filming in real time.
The Altitude Hold Mode is a great feature which works well on this model, and it allows you to lock the height of the drone so that it maintains a consistent altitude. This makes it easier to keep the drone stable and to take better quality film footage.
The flight time of the Syma X8HW 's battery is around 6-10 minutes minutes, depending on weather conditions and flying style, and the charge time is approx. 120 minutes. The control distance range is quoted as 70 metres, but it will fly further than this, up to around 100 metres. The controller is designed to take 6 x AA batteries (not included) but it will function with 4. When controlling the Syma X8HW , if you press the top left button quickly you can switch between Beginner and Advanced mode. If you press it for a little longer you activate the Headless flight mode. The build quality of this drone is excellent and it flies very well, it will also perform an impressive 360 degree eversion stunt at the press of a button, however performing this manoeuvre with the Altitude Hold mode on and a heavy action camera attached can cause it to plunge dramatically.
The Syma X8HW is shipped almost Ready To Fly, you just need to install the landing skids, the camera, the rotors (follow the instructions as the A and B Rotors are different) and install batteries in the drone and the controller. Syma X8G Spare Batteries and spare parts are readily available including replacement motors which plug in without needing to be soldered.
All in all the Syma X8HW is a really great drone, with excellent build quality and a great camera. It is fun and easy to fly with some cool features like the Altitude Hold mode and the FPV function, and its stability in the air means it takes smooth video footage. Spare batteries and parts are also readily available. It is a shame the camera cannot be used on its own, but that is a minor niggle really.