Heli Pad Review Series: SYMA X3 Quadcopter Review
Thank you for visiting this discussion thread for SYMA X3 Quadcopter. Your input and feedbacks are welcome. Please keep the conversation friendly. If you have been here before while this was under construction, thank you for your patience. Banggood sent me a sample for the purpose of this review. It was lost in shipping and they had to send another one, but then it was out of stock. But finally, I got it today!
Post #1 (this post) is my general review for the Syma X3.
Post #2 is a list of replacement parts and optional accessories.
Post #3 is a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Post #4 is reserved for Mods.
Post #5 is reserved for Trouble Shooting.
SYMA X3 Quadcopter Review
I believe that most of you are familiar with the X1, which was Syma first launch into the Quadcopter market. The X3 is Syma’s second Quadcopter released. I know you are going to ask me what happened to X2. Well, I don’t know, just as I don’t know what happened to the first 6 before we got 7Up!
As far as I could tell, the only parts that the X1 and X3 share are the motors, the gears, the shafts and the shaft limiters, which connect to the props. Other than these common parts, the X3 shares no DNA with the X1. Most notably, the X3 comes with prop guards, tri-blades props, a smaller footprint, and a different transmitter.
So, is X3 the X1 replacement? My simple answer is No. I feel that the X3 is not in any way higher performance than the X1. Rather, the X3 is more user-friendly to a beginner or a young user.
1) The Syma X3
2) Stock Transmitter (Tx)
3) One 1S 3.7v 350mAh Lipo Battery with a LOSI connector
4) One USB charging cable with LED status light
5) One set of replacement rotors (Qty 4)
6) One small screw driver
7) One instruction manual
The X3 is available in one style and two color choices. The first one is white with red props, and the second one is black with black props. At first glance, I thought black on black looks cool! But on second thought, it could be a nightmare to see when flying. Therefore, I opted for the red on white.
The X3 has a very streamlined and stylish looking shell. It is not made of thin plastic. It is made of very durable, flexible, light plastic. I think it is durable and will last a long time. The top half of the shell is removable. It is usually secured by a small plastic tab, which is not designed to be opened and closed too many times, or it will break.
Under the cover sits a 1S 3.7v 350mAh Lipo battery. The battery leads go through a small hole on the side of the shell and terminated with a LOSI connector. This connector is connected to the USB charging cable and then you can charge the battery via any USB power source. The same connector is then plugged into the lower body to power the Quad up. Like all Syma charging cable, the USB cable is rather simple. But, the battery has an Over-Charge Protection circuit to stop the charging when the battery is full. Because the LOSI connector is pretty standard in micro Quads, I would imagine that some people would leave the USB cable in the box and use a better charger for the battery. What Syma has in mind is that you would not remove the battery from the X3 to put in the next battery that you’ve already charged. The battery is designed to stay inside the X3. But I have a feeling that one of the first mod to the X3 will be aiming at the battery configuration, so that the user could easily swap in a new battery and keep flying.
The Transmitter (Tx)
Like the new Syma S107N, the Tx has the shape and form of an Xbox controller. But unlike the S107N, this one does not use Infra-Red. Rather it transmits Radio Frequency (RF) in the 2.4GHz frequency bands. The Tx feels comfortable in the hands, but its short sticks are designed for thumb use only. Pinch-control is not recommended. The Tx requires 4AA batteries to operate. Batteries are not included in the package. Otherwise, the package is completely Ready-To-Fly (RTF).
There are two shoulder buttons. The left one lets you choose between Low rate and High rate. The right one is used to flip the Quad, just like the X1. You press the flip button, then follow it with a cyclic movement on the right control stick and the Quad flips in the direction you choose.
The default stick configuration is Mode 2 (US standard). You could toggle the Tx to fly Mode 4, swapping rudder and aileron controls. Syma calls it mode 1 and 2, respectively. It’s a little confusing. But it is a toggle between Mode 2 and 4. This is great news to those who might be coming from the S107 world, who has been flying Mode 4.
Most Quads on the market have a LCD in the controller. This stock Tx lacks a LCD screen, which is more evident that this is aiming at the toy market and for beginners.
I don’t know what protocol this X3 uses. As far as I could tell, it is its own unique protocol. Even the X1 Tx would not bind to it. That means all FlySky is out. I tried several, but nothing would bind to the X3 except for its own stock Tx. If you look at the Function Control (FC) board, the Receiver (Rx) is a daughter board soldered on to the FC board.
The X3 Quad
The X3 Quad is smaller than the X1, but it is not quite as small as the micro Quads in the market. Tip-to-Tip wingspan is about 80% of the X1. It weighs in at 68.48g, which is practically the same weight as the X1, because it is carrying a prop guard and its supports. The drive train (motors, pinions, gears and shaft) is identical to that of the X1. But the props are smaller. Therefore, it is a little in the disadvantage. Flight time is a little bit under the X1, coming in at 7.5 minutes, which is not bad at all.
This is where I give a 5-star to the X3. It has a very advanced 3-Axis gyro. If you have owned a 3-Axis gyro before, like an X1, you know the importance to initialize the gyro on a flat surface. Anything less than flat (horizontal), and your Quad will veer off in an angle. I purposely tested the X3 by initializing it on a 45° angle. Instead of veering off, it levels itself like a dream!
The X3 is very easy to operate and control. Its movement is very consistent and predictable, which is key to beginners. If you let go of the cyclic control stick, the X3 will bring itself to a level hover. The Low rate is very mild. The High rate would be suitable for most people. If you’re flying indoor, you will love the X3. The presence of the prop guard means that you could bump the X3 against walls and furniture. It will not hurt anything, and it instead of dropping out of the sky, it will keep on flying. This is probably the best feature over the X1 and most mini Quads. The rudder is slow. I wish the pirouette speed is higher. When you go into the high rate, the elevator and aileron controls kick up a couple of notches, but the rudder speed remains the same. In Fast Forward Flight (FFF) the X3 tends to nose dive a little. Similarly with bank turns, you have to watch the altitude if you’re flying low. The X3 will drop a little. Coming out of the FFF, you should ease off the forward movement if you have room, because if you let go of the stick quickly, the X3 will kick backwards a little. It’s good for beginners in a panic situation. Vertical descent is stable. There is no Wobble of Death (WOD).
So far, I have only several flights with my X3. But I have not experienced a single dropout. But as a test, I simulated a dropout by cutting the signal. The X3 fell to the ground, instead of flying off based on the last command. This fail-safe is an important feature to less experience users.
Since my X3 arrived late, I’ve been reading a somewhat negative perspective about the X3. Because of that my expectation was very low going in. But I was pleasantly surprised. I think the X3 has good merits. To be sure, if you’re looking for an advanced flyer that would give you the performance to do stunt sport flying, you’re not going to find it in the X3. Or, if you’re looking for a video platform, the X3 is not your ideal choice either. But if you are new to Quad flying, say, your previously experience was a coaxial helicopter, like an S107, then the X3 might just be perfect for you. You are going to learn how to fly a Quad, without panicking when it gets near a wall, or a TV.
The X3 is an excellent entry level Quad. It doesn’t have the issues that many other Quads on the market have, like gyro calibration, WOD, or dropouts. On the other hand, it is stable, gentle, predictable, indoor-friendly, has good range and fun to fly. If you are a beginner, stepping into the world of Quads, or if this is a present for such a person, the X3 is kind of perfect. So, for the right group of owners, and for the right purpose, I highly recommend the Syma X3.
Where to buy a Syma X3
At this time, I don’t see any US sellers. Amazon listed 3 sellers, they are all in China. Rather than going with unknown Chinese sellers, I would just get them from Banggood. Banggood ships the X3 is retail boxes, suitable for gifts.
Syma X3 2.4G 4CH RTF
• Excellent choice for beginners
• Indoor-Friendly Prop Guards
• Advanced Gyro
• Stable flight characteristics, no WOD
• Quiet operation
• Well built
• Durable parts
• Light weight
• Good flight time (7.5 minutes stock battery)
• Fail-Safe throttle kill
• Mode 2/4 switchable
• LOSI battery connector
• Good Range, no dropouts
• Headlights to help with night flying
• Same color props and gear guards makes orientation difficult
• Battery is not designed to be swappable
• Incompatible with hobby grade radios
• Tx has no LCD
• Slow rudder
Last edited by Heli Pad; Jul 20, 2013 at 03:50 AM.
Replacement Parts List
Last edited by Heli Pad; Jul 22, 2013 at 02:08 AM.
Has any one received their x3 yet? I ordered mine on the 8th and am still waiting. Paid extra for tracking but hasn't been updated. I just wanna fly already. So does anyone know if the x3 batteries are the same x1. They look different in the syma video but I can't tell if the connector is the same.
Ya I just got mine today. Ordered on the 8th and it took forever. Not too impressed with it so far. Doesn't bind with the 9x. All the plastic is very flimsy. Comes stock in mode 2, which is backwards from the x1. Changed it the same way as you can on the x1 remote. Doesn't feel as powerful as the x1 but the remote sucks. I took off the surround and flew better. I think a larger battery would help out alot.
Last edited by jamboxboy; May 29, 2013 at 05:16 PM.
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