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  1. cheap foldable selfie drone JJRC H37 Elfie

    JJRC H37 Elfie

    By far the cheapest Pocket Selfie Drone on the market, the JJRC H37 Elfie is slightly smaller than an iPhone and its fully foldable propellers and arms make it highly portable and light.  It has a battery life of around 8 minutes with a 60 minute charge time, and spare batteries are readily available. There is no remote controller included in the box as it is controlled by a smartphone app.  The JJRC H37 Elfie has good quality FPV real-time video feed which does lag a little, and it features a number of flight modes including Headless Mode and Altitude hold to keep the drone fixed in one place whilst you take pictures.  The drone uses an integrated air-pressure sensor rather than GPS so it does tend to drift a little.  Its range is quoted as 40m but realistically it is slightly more at 50-60m.  The onboard 0.3MP (480p) WiFi FPV camera isn't great quality as its below HD, but is probably about what you can expect for the price.  There is no SD card as the footage is saved directly to your smartphone.  JJRC H37 Elfie are fairly cheap, readily available, and easy to fit.

     Some users have reported issues with calibration and connectivity, with some features not working on certain phones, so the JJRC H37 Elfie scored lower in the reliability stakes, but all in all we think it's a great Selfie drone for the price.

    3.5 stars

  2. syma x8hw

    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. 

    Our Verdict

    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.

    5-stars

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