Hubsan X4 Review - RC Groups
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Oct 01, 2012, 03:39 AM
The flightless bird
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Hubsan X4 Review


Hubsan X4 Review


Introduction
The Hubsan X4 is the smallest quadcopter currently available in the ready-to-fly form. There was a lot of excitement when we first saw its aerodynamic canopy... “sexy” was used to describe it by many and I certainly agree. Talks about it haven't stopped since, and with the arrival of Banggood's first batch of 30 aircraft (28 for the customers and 2 test units), people will hopefully start receiving them soon. This review is written for the purpose of helping potential buyers decide if the Hubsan X4 is a worthy addition to their fleet.


Specs:
Size: 60 x 60mm
Motor (x4): Coreless Motor
Frequency: 2.4GHz
Voltage: 3.7V
Battery: 240mAh Li-Po Battery
Flight time: above 9 minutes
Charging time:30 minutes
***Features a 6 axis system with adjustable sensitivity***




From the box

The Hubsan X4 arrived well packaged from Banggood and I really like the box design. The quad, along with all the other bits and pieces, were very well protected and arrived without a scratch. I expected some spare propellers to be included in the package but there aren't any...so I would recommend buying a few sets of spare props with your order.

Contents:
1X Hubsan X4 quadcopter
1X 4 Channel 2.4GHz transmitter
1X 3.7V 240mah battery
1X USB Charger
1X Instruction manual





Transmitter and functions
The X4's transmitter is a 4 channel 2.4GHz unit that features dual rates and independently adjustable channel sensitivity. Unfortunately, the protocol Hubsan uses is proprietary, meaning that you cannot use any transmitter other than ones made by the company. That said, the X4's transmitter actually feels very comfortable to hold and the sticks feel surprisingly refined. I would compare the feel of the controls to be on par with much better, hobby grade transmitters.

Sensitivity on all channels can be independently adjusted, which I think is a very useful function especially for beginners. Dual rates can be engaged and dis-engaged by clicking the right stick.

Since there is no flip button, there is a stick sequence that needs to be done in order to flip. If you would like to do a forward flip for example, you must pull back on the elevator stick first and then push the stick to it's full forward position. This is the same for aileron AND elevator, you must first give it some opposite stick. I think this will take some practice as it doesn't feel very natural, but it does prevent accidental flips and rolls even when flying with high rates.

Lastly, I have yet to find out how I could switch from 3 axis to 6 axis mode. It is not mentioned in the manual so I'm assuming that it cannot be done. (Unless expert mode=3 axis mode and normal mode=6 axis mode, which is possible.)

Note: The X4 transmitter requires 4 AAA batteries.


The quad

I knew that the X4 was going to be small, but seeing it in real life, I'm still blown away by how tiny it is. That said though, the quad is very well made and looks amazingly sleek and streamlined.
With the battery in its compartment, the X4 quad feels quite heavy... It reminds me of the “wow, that's heavier than I thought!” feeling I get when picking up a die-cast model... . So I had immediate doubts about it's capabilities even before I plugged the battery in (but we'll get to that later).
There are 2 blue lights in front of the canopy that blink in flight and signals the bind status.
There are two things I don't really like about the quad- the bottom of the motors are exposed and unprotected. Also, the battery compartment is very small without much wiggle room at all. So, that means that some mods may be necessary to protect the motor wires.


The RX itself is reachable by removing the 3 screws that secure the lower body shell to the canopy. All of the motors wires are soldered onto the board so it's quite hard to replace parts.


So, exceptional good looks but a few possible problems in the future. Let's see how the flight performance is in the next section.


Flight performance
Binding takes the blink of an eye, similar to the speed at which the Helios 100 binds. As soon as I throttled up, my concerns of the X4 being overweight and possibly unstable were quickly forgotten. It is VERY stable and has quite a bit of power. The stick movements were very precise and I feel I have as much control over the X4 as I do with the 8S/Ladybird combination (which is the baseline for all of my micro quad comparisons).

I've found that sometimes the X4 will roll if fast rudder turns are executed, meaning that aileron compensation is required to keep it level. It might be due to the stock rudder settings and I will turn the rudder sensitivity down a bit later to see if that changes things, but that is how it is under the stock configuration.

The motors seem to spin at a higher RPM (Found out the painful way) compared to other quads of it's size.
I tried to flip the quad indoors and it recovers very quickly, but as I mentioned earlier, the flip sequence takes some getting used to.

Outdoors, the X4 is a little hard to see since it's so small, but it manages to stay nice and stable throughout the flight. It flies as if it were on rails!


Conclusion
Although Hubsan is a relatively new company, the X4 feels very refined and almost performs as well as the QR Ladybirds. Stability is second to none and flight time is close to 9 minutes. There are some minor nuisances, especially the exposed motor wires... I think I will experiment with a few modifications and post my findings.
Other than that, I think the next step is observation. After 100 flights I will post the comparison chart and that will show if the X4's durability is up to par with the others.

If you are thinking about getting a first quad, I recommend the V929/939 as they are easier to repair (everybody crashes). But if you already have some experience, then this is a great quad with un-matched looks and great performance currently ranking lower only to the QR Ladybird V1 and V2.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me or leave a message on this thread. I really hope that this review is helpful to those interested in this quad. Please note that this is a work in progress, videos and more pictures will be added when I get the time to take and edit them.

Pros & Cons
Pros
+ Transmitter: smooth controls and ergonomic design
+ Sleek canopy
+ 6 Axis system
+ Independently adjustable controls
+ Great value

Cons
- Difficult maintenance
- Flip sequence takes some practice
- Proprietary transmitter protocol

Special thanks to my friend Aaron from Banggood as always, who generously provided this and many of the other quads for me to review.
You can find the Hubsan X4 here for 42.99 USD shipped.

I strongly recommend getting a few sets of blades because they do fly off once in a while but there aren't any spares in the RTF package.
Latest blog entry: The Fei-Lun FT011 Review
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Oct 07, 2012, 11:14 PM
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Looks pretty cool I'm lousy as visualizing sizes, can you post a pic of it next to a soda can or something so we can get a size reference?
Oct 13, 2012, 11:29 AM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugman Jeff
Looks pretty cool I'm lousy as visualizing sizes, can you post a pic of it next to a soda can or something so we can get a size reference?
Hey Bugman Jeff, I'll post a pic asap =]
Latest blog entry: The Fei-Lun FT011 Review
Oct 13, 2012, 12:16 PM
I'm a Registered User
Thanks
One more question too, will Ladybird props work with it, or are we stuck ordering OEM props if they break?
Oct 29, 2012, 06:01 AM
21st Century Space Cowboy
TachyonDriver's Avatar
I just bought one of these amazing little quads from my LHS in Lancaster (UK). I would like to point out that my X4 did have a spare set of blades (2 white, 2 black) in the box. Perhaps Hubsan have got their production sorted by now.
Thanks for the review, even if I kind of knew what to expect having flown mine several times already before reading your review

Tach.
Nov 05, 2012, 01:45 PM
Once crash at a time
Bowerz's Avatar
Can you test rougly how much extra weight it will take? I would like to take about an extra 10-15g if possible? (Micro FPV )
Nov 05, 2012, 06:07 PM
I'm a Registered User
Traxxas, the RC car company, has picked up this quad and will sell it with Traxxas branding, so it should be coming to an LHS near you soon

http://traxxas.com/products/models/air/6208qr1
Nov 14, 2012, 02:04 PM
Registered User
LittleMo's Avatar
Anyone know what size the motors are in this thing?

Edit:
Sorry, meant to post this in the main Hubsan X4 thread. I guess I need to read it anyway.

Edit:
In case anyone was wondering, they are 7mm x 20mm or "720" motors.
Last edited by LittleMo; Nov 14, 2012 at 02:14 PM.
Dec 03, 2012, 09:14 PM
Aaron qin's Avatar
Hubsan really piss me off,a little company without any integrity.
Dec 19, 2012, 02:37 PM
Registered User
galaxy1's Avatar
I would like to know what exactly makes the best ladybird.
both have 3 gyro + 3 accelerometers.
flies better than the ladybird?
in what you notice the difference?
Dec 22, 2012, 07:27 AM
Registered User
galaxy1's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by galaxy1
i would like to know what exactly makes the best ladybird.
Both have 3 gyro + 3 accelerometers.
Flies better than the ladybird?
In what you notice the difference?
uuuuuppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp ppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dec 26, 2012, 12:00 AM
Registered User
looks nice bird!
Dec 26, 2012, 12:05 AM
Registered User
imagebuff's Avatar
Got a little Hubsan X4 for Christmas. Really flies amazingly well. The only thing I notice is that the little bugger needs quite a bit of trimming between battery swaps. Anyone else seeing this?

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