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Old Apr 20, 2013, 10:30 AM
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Mini-Review
The WLToys V222 review (accelerometer-equipped V959)

The WLToys V222 review


Introduction

Hey guys,

  Well here's a definite first, I'm writing the review while sitting in my cramped seat aboard an Airbus A320 at 35000ft! With the V222 in the cargo hold beneath me, I'm heading back to Beijing to finish the final few months of medical school (it's finally going to be over!)

  Ok enough blabber from me, let's get to the matter at hand. A week or so ago I received the V222 sample from Banggood along with my beloved FBL70 and the V212 from MassiveRC's supplier. Since I opened the V222 last, the promised review has been delayed somewhat (my apologies).

So my V222 was delivered to me in a V959 box, and from appearances alone, it's almost impossible to tell the two apart. Indeed, the majority of parts used on the V222 come directly from the V959, except for the Transmitter and receiver. I like the parts compatibility, but it was all sort of Deja vu! 

So can WLToys really make the V222 feel like a brand new quad with just the introduction of a new board?

Before we start, I would like to thank Jacky and the Banggood team for providing the review sample and supporting my unbiased reviews on these products.


From the box

The V222 came well equipped! Here is what you get in the box.

1x V222 accelerometer equipped quadcopter & 1x onboard camera
1x 2.4GHz transmitter
1x 3.7V 500mAh battery with a JST plug
1x 2GB micro SD card and USB card-reader
1x set of spare blades
1x instruction manual

What I didn't like was that BG stuck a big CE sticker on the canopy that was VERY hard to remove... I told them about it and they said that they'll make sure that this practice is stopped.


The cockpit

My V222 came with a prototype transmitter that was rather, for the lack of a better term, unfinished. Exterior wise, it looked similar to the transmitter bundled with the V922 and V912. I like the fact that it has a mode 1 to mode 2 conversion switch, and how the shoulder buttons were easy to reach... But once I started to fly the quad with it, I noticed that there was about a 10 percent dead zone in each axis (so you would get no response at first, then a violent maneuver in  said direction). This made the quad extremely hard to fly and it would rock about like an old Cadillac.
I switched to the V212 transmitter and all was better, but more on that later. The good news is that the prototype transmitter that I've got was too expensive to produce anyways, so they will use the shell and sticks of the stock V959 tx, which is leaps and bounds better in my opinion.


The walk-around


Pretty much the same as the V959. The receiver is new though and thankfully it hasn't lost any functions (8! LED plugs). There is an added accelerometer chip that allows for self centering capabilities. The camera is NOT upgraded, as rumors suggest. All modules that were used on the V959 are 222 compatible.

The camera is the same as the one found on the V959


Size comparison: V212 vs. V222


The flight


As I said before, the prototype transmitter was very, very bad... So I flew the V222 with the V212 transmitter throughout the review.

Like the V212, the V222 could be launched in just about any orientation and it'll quickly flip into level flight (though you still have to initialize it on a flat and level surface). The v222 will hover with minimal stick inputs, and the tendency to self correct is rather obvious. 

I've noticed that fast descents do no cause the V212 and the 222 to wobble as much as their similarly sized counterparts, which is quite nice.

Tumbles could be done by bringing the quad high up, flipping the quad and cutting the throttle. With a bit of altitude to spare, quickly raise the throttle and the quad will recover nicely.

Flips, when unloaded, are tight just like the original V959.

A problem is that when I was flying with the camera attached, the V222 seemed to have a harder time recovering and would sometimes wobble as it recovered. This I did not experience on the V959 so I wasn't too happy about that.

Other than that, if you take the camera off and put the 949 canopy on the V222, I honestly would not be able to tell the difference as to if I was flying the V212 or the 222. The flight characteristics are equally good and they have excellent wind resistance. So much so that I actually left much of my fleet in Taiwan and only brought back the 222 and the FBL70. I believe that these 2 aircraft would keep me well entertained.

***Video is being edited at the moment, stay tuned!***

Conclusion


  The V222 is a wonderful flying machine. I've been a big fan of the V959 but I think I like the V222's flight characteristics just that tiny bit more. I appreciate that it is very wind resistant and the ability to recover from tumbles really adds to the fun these quads already provide.

  When loaded with a camera, the wobble is a little bit disappointing for me as I do like to film and do flips at the same time..but hopefully WLToys would solve this issue before the V222 officially hits the market. 

  If you are a beginner, I think the V222 is a great quad to start with. I'd recommend flying without the camera until you are really familiar with the aircraft though as the camera is a bit sensitive to shock (I destroyed my first 959 camera that way).

Again, much thanks goes to Jacky and the Banggood team for providing the sample...and thank you for reading the review! If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me via pm or this thread. 

This review was written on April 19th, 2013 at 35000 ft and is accurate per my findings. 

Pros & cons

Pros
+ Great value
+ Excellent stability
+ Very durable
+ Refined flight characteristics

Cons
- Camera was not upgraded 
- Flips were difficult to recover from if quad is loaded with a module



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Old Apr 20, 2013, 10:37 AM
The flightless bird
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Reserved for further information

For a second opinion, fellow reviewer Heli Pad has reviewed the production version of the V222 and I trust his opinions like I trust my own... so read it here:Production V222 review thread
and here's something nice that my prototype didn't come with- gyro recalibration!

According to Heli Pad
"Gyro Initialization and Calibration
The beauty of having a 6-Axis gyro is that it doesn’t require you to set the V222 on a level ground to initialize. You could initialize it on an uneven plane, or even do what I do: initialize it upside down, so you could easily see what the on-board LED is doing! The 6-Axis Gyro couldn’t care less. It will stabilize itself. Amazing! But in the rare event that the gyro is confused, you could perform a calibration and reset it. Again you could do this part with the V222 completely upside down, so that you could see the on-board LED.
On the Tx, select rate to be either 80% or 100%
Pull BOTH control sticks to the LOWER-LEFT corner and hold them there until the on-board LED begins to flash.
Let go of the sticks, and the Gyro will be reset within 2 seconds, and the LED will stop flashing."


If you would like to order the V222, you can get it from Banggood.com at the following link
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Old Apr 20, 2013, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for sharing James.......... Always a pleasure to read your reviews
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Old Apr 20, 2013, 11:55 AM
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James,

Thanks again for the excellent review!
I got a couple of questions.
1.- How does the v222 flips? like the v959 with the use of the top right button? And if it flips with the use of the button, when using the v212 Tx it still flipped with that button?

2.- Do you think the v222 board is a direct fit on the v949 main frame?

3.- The lights of the v949 can still be used with the v222 board?

Im asking all this, because like I stated before, I hate the autoflips at 100% with full stick movements, I love the Syma X1 in that way. I would love to fly my v949 at 100% rates without worrying of an undesired flip, and the v222 PCB I think its the solution.
But, I dont want to lose the lights, I dont care if I cant turn them on and off and theyre always on, but I fly mostly at night (its when its more calmed regarding to the wind conditions, and when I got more time), so the lights are indispensable for me.

Thanks and cheers....good luck in your flight
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Old Apr 20, 2013, 09:21 PM
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Thanks James and good luck finishing up med school. Hope they let you sleep some there! Now if Romeo will carry these boards and transmitters, I suspect a lot of us will upgrade our V959s.....
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Old Apr 21, 2013, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tboost View Post
James,

Thanks again for the excellent review!
I got a couple of questions.
1.- How does the v222 flips? like the v959 with the use of the top right button? And if it flips with the use of the button, when using the v212 Tx it still flipped with that button?

2.- Do you think the v222 board is a direct fit on the v949 main frame?

3.- The lights of the v949 can still be used with the v222 board?

Im asking all this, because like I stated before, I hate the autoflips at 100% with full stick movements, I love the Syma X1 in that way. I would love to fly my v949 at 100% rates without worrying of an undesired flip, and the v222 PCB I think its the solution.
But, I dont want to lose the lights, I dont care if I cant turn them on and off and theyre always on, but I fly mostly at night (its when its more calmed regarding to the wind conditions, and when I got more time), so the lights are indispensable for me.

Thanks and cheers....good luck in your flight
I think I'm with you...I got this thing on pre-order and flying the v202 right now. I do not like the 100% auto flip feature of the v202...I would much rather have a button. I can't speak for the v222 yet, but for the 202, all to often after my first autoflip even slight stick movements while trying to correct will initiate a 2nd or 3rd flip...often resulting in a crash

For me on the v202 it isn't to hard to fly and try to cycle from 80% to 100 but from 100 back to 80 is a little difficult without counting the beeps or looking at the lcd on the controller...so again, I'd just like a button to initiate flips. Flips from stick movements kinda make you feel more like you're doing the flying...but that isn't enough for me to justify the downsides of that method. I like buttons...give me a button! Looking forward to flying the 222 though...I think I'll have more success with it then I did the MQX, and I already have all the modules ordered and some mod possibilities in mind.
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Old Apr 22, 2013, 09:20 AM
The flightless bird
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the nice comments!!!! I'm sorry about the late replies as I've been busy unpacking and getting ready for the Beijing R/C show!!

@John Karlo, Cheers! Your support is my drive to write reviews

@Tboost (and @dmarksvr),Cheers man, I'll answer your questions to the best of my abilities
1. The V222 flips depending on the transmitter. With the stock 222 transmitter, it should flip (should because I got a prototype, but this should be the same as the 959 tx) only after you press the "flip ready" key. The quad will not flip at 100% rates until after you press the button. With the V212 tx, the 222 will flip at 100% with ANY full stick movement.

2.Yup, but the 222 is more powerful as it uses 959 motors. The FC should fit on the frame w/o a problem

3. The lights will work without a problem and you will be able to turn the lights on and off.

@speakertoanimals, Thanks man, I don't think the 222 boards and tx is in stock yet, but when it is we will evaluate carrying them. If you do want it (or any other WLToys product/parts), give me a PM and I'll add it to our order just for you... pricing won't be too different vs. the prices we have for similar problems.

Again, thanks for the nice comments. I really appreciate it guys!
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Old Apr 22, 2013, 10:03 AM
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James,

Thanks for your response. Im a complete noob at this hobby, so sorry if you find my questions like "obvious" or "dumb" LOL

But, how did your v222 flipped with the v212 Tx?...at full stick movements?
For my little knowledge in this, I assume that if it flipped with full stick movements at 100% rates then thats the way it will flip with any Tx, even with the v222 Tx. Too bad you got a prototype, and not the production one.
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Old Apr 22, 2013, 09:19 PM
The flightless bird
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@Tboost,no problem, I'm here to help. The 222 will flip at full stick input with either transmitters but the difference is with the 212 tx, it'll flip ANYTIME you give it full stick input as long as you are in 100 percent rates... And my guess is that with the 222 tx, it'll be like the 959 where it will flip only once after you press the flip ready key. If you don't touch that button, you could fly all you want at 100 percent without flipping
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Old Apr 22, 2013, 10:49 PM
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Hi James, thanks for another great review. Once again, it looks as though the Mode 1 flyers are going to be left out in the cold though, now that the mode switchable Tx has been abandoned in favour of the V212 style one. Do you know if WLToys are planning to bring out a Mode 1 version of that Tx? I have just purchased a V959 with the Mode 1 Tx, but I understand that Tx will not work with the V222. Please correct me if I have misunderstood anything.
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 01:19 AM
The flightless bird
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@1auriec, I will ask WLToys about it come the Beijing RC show in about a week, but you are correct in that the 959 tx is not compatible with the 222 tx. I don't think it'll be too hard for them to make the mode 1 tx but it's just a matter of demand. Will keep you updated and thanks for the nice comment!
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 09:39 PM
The flightless bird
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A friend designed an all-inclusive FPV unit that fits beneath the V959/222 and V212 quads. Will upload a FPV video once he gets his sample from the factory. Might talk to WLToys about including this technology on their next generation of quads... so a FPV RTF quad from WLToys might arrive in the not too distant future!
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 10:23 PM
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A FPV attachment would be nice. At it is, I have been seriously considering getting the Walkera all-inclusive camera/tx to add to my v959, to see if it works. My v959 is down currently with some damage, and I am awaiting parts, although I think I may upgrade to the v222 as soon as it becomes available. So, these newer quads cannot be used with the older transmitters, is what I am reading. Is this correct?
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 07:52 PM
The flightless bird
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliStorm View Post
A FPV attachment would be nice. At it is, I have been seriously considering getting the Walkera all-inclusive camera/tx to add to my v959, to see if it works. My v959 is down currently with some damage, and I am awaiting parts, although I think I may upgrade to the v222 as soon as it becomes available. So, these newer quads cannot be used with the older transmitters, is what I am reading. Is this correct?
Correct, you'll need to upgrade the transmitter along with the RX. I've asked Banggood to bundle them as a 212 upgrade kit so people don't have to buy them separately (and hopefully it'll be cheaper that way too)
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Old Apr 28, 2013, 04:52 AM
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So essentially all they have done is put 3 accelerometers on the board?

This has to be the most disappointing upgrade ever.

If they wanted to do something useful, they should have added a compass so you could press a button to have it reorientate itself to the take off direction when you were at a distance and can't tell which way it is facing.

And what happened to an upgrade to the camera? The 808 #16 and #18 recording at 720p has been around for nearly two years.

So much for them listening to advice for useful features.
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