JJRC X12 Short Review
The JJRC X12 is one of the latest foldable drones that comes with an HD 1080p camera and an advanced gimbal system that will minimise any sort of distortion from your videos and images. It also comes with 3 smart flight modes and an automatic return to home feature that will make sure that you never lose your drone. Flight time is between 20-25 minutes which is good for a drone that cost less than $300 but there are better options especially with 4K drones now costing less than $500.
- 1080p HD Camera
- 3 Axis Gimbal
- Smart Flight Modes
- Digital Zoom
- Dual GPS
- Optical Flow Sensor
- Automatic Return Home
- 25 Minute Flight Time
Hi there and welcome to my review of the JJRC X12 Aurora drone.
JJRC have released some impressive drones over the past couple of years and a few of them I have reviewed on my blog. The X11 and X5 are both exceptional drones for their price and a joy to fly, however, the JJRC X12 may be their most advanced drone to date and it is the subject of my review today.
Before I review any drone, I always make sure that they come with an HD camera because in my opinion, cameras are the best features of any drone. It’s why I enjoy flying drones in the first place, I have always enjoyed viewing the world from above and with modern drones, you can do this wherever you go.
The JJRC X12 is a little more expensive than the other JJRC drones but if you have the budget and looking for a high-quality HD camera drone, the X12 is worth considering, carry on reading this to find out more about its features, flight performance and its overall quality.
JJRC X12 Review
The JJRC X12 is a foldable drone and for anyone who is familiar with my site, you will know that foldable drones are my favourite are my favourite type of drone.
The JJRC X12 is not a big drone, it measures just 19.6*17.7*7 cm in its expanded form and is lightweight, weighing in at 437g. One thing you must be aware of is that because the weight is above 250g, you may have to register it with the governing body that deals with aviation in your country. This is certainly true for the UK, Canada and the USA, where any drones that weigh above 250g will need to be registered otherwise it is illegal to fly them. If you are not from any of the three countries I mentioned, please do check the rules where you live and comply with them.
When folded up the drone is very compact and is easy to pack away this makes it a very good drone to travel with. The added bonus is that it comes with a really cool carry that you can use to travel around with
The JJRC X12 is a solid and it feels like it, it’s built from high-quality plastic and its overall structure has a solid and firm feel. It has a black and white colour scheme which I really like and the top of the drone has something like a rubber coating which gives it a premium feel.
It has an HD 1080P camera stabilised a 3 -axis gimbal on the front (more on the camera later), there are two ultrasonic sensors on its belly that will help the drone to maintain steady altitude when hovering. There is also an optical flow sensor that will help you to fly the drone when there is no GPS signal, this is especially helpful if you plan on flying indoors.
The drone comes with modern brushless motors, these motors provide the drone with more thrust, are more efficient than brushed motors, this means they last longer and require little maintenance.
Underneath the tip of each rotor arm, there are small landing legs that will help protect the camera when the drone lands.
The JJRC X12 is powered by an 11.4v 2400 mAh lipo battery which fits in underneath the drone, it’s a 3 cell modular battery that allows the drone to fly for around 20-25 minutes depending on weather conditions and use of FPV features.
A flight time of 25 minutes is on the upper end for consumer drones and is very good for a drone that costs less than $300. Although I would advise people to purchase at least one more battery so that they can extend the flight time without having to wait for the battery to re-charged to fly again.
Luckily, there are options to purchase the drone with an extra two or three batteries and this will be a cheaper option than purchasing one separately.
One last thing I want to mention before I get to the main features of the JJRC X12 is about the remote control.
This is definitely one of the better-looking controllers I have come across, it isn’t too big, has a rubbery texture which makes it comfortable to hold, it has a simplistic design which I really like. The look of the controller does look very similar to that of the Mavic Pro controller, which many smaller drone companies seem to be copying.
It comes with an internal rechargeable battery and has a control distance of around 1200 meters, although depending on where you fly and the weather conditions, the range maybe a little less than what is officially stated.
There is a sperate smartphone attachment that goes on the back of the drone, talking of smartphones, as the drone and controller operates on 5G technology, you will need a 5G compatible smartphone. Fortunately, most smartphones are now 5G enabled but do check before you decide to purchase this or any other drone.
To make use of the FPV features and the smart flight modes, you will need to download the ENJOY FLY app, the app is compatible with both Android and iOS devices and is very easy to use. The FPV range is around 1000 meters but if you use beginner mode, the distance is limited to 200 meters with an altitude limit of 120 meters. Overall the app works well, there have been a few complaints of the app crashing or not working as it should, fortunately, it is updated regularly, so when a problem is detected, it’s usually fixed as soon as possible.
JJRC X12 Camera
The camera is the best part of this drone, it’s my main reason for flying drones in the first place, taking stunning aerial photography and recording aerial footage is an awesome feeling.
The JJRC X12 comes with a decent HD camera that is stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal, the gimbal is important because it will reduce distortion and jello effect from your videos and images.
You can record your video footage on a micro SD card in the highest definition the camera allows which is 1080p at 30 fps. Video footage is good and there is hardly any kind of distortion even when the drone is moving. The live streaming footage is also pretty good but it is only in 720p and sometimes there are issues like freezing and a little distortion, however overall the FPV quality is good.
Although this is a good camera drone, there is a better option and that is the Hubsan Zino, which not only looks better but also comes with a stunning 4k camera stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal and has a dedicated video processor from Ambarella to give you true 4k video footage. It costs around the same and has a far superior app, I highly recommend you check it out if you want a camera that will give you professional quality images and videos.
Also, check out my article for the best affordable 4K camera drones, these drones will give you near professional-grade images and videos without having to splash $1000+ on something like DJI or Yuneec drone.
The drones come with several exceptional features that will enhance your flying experience, these include the following;
4 Positioning Systems – It has a dual GPS module, 2 ultra-sonic sensors, one optical flow sensor and a barometer. This allows the drone to maintain steady altitude during flight and have good hovering capability.
Smart Home Return – You can return the drone home by simply pressing the return home button on the app or controller. This feature is automatically turned on if you lose connection with the drone or when the drone battery gets too low. This is a cool safety feature as it minimises the risk of losing your drone.
Automatic Tracking – This smart flight mode works really well (many other drones have it and don’t work as it should). The drone will lock on to you and follow you wherever you go. It can do this from multiple angles and at different heights.
WayPoint – Another smart flight mode that will allow you to draw a route on the drone app and the drone will fly along the route and come back home without any assistance. It’s a really cool feature that will allow you to concentrate more on taking high-quality images and videos over your favourite area.
Orbit Mode – Also known as point of interest mode, you can lock the drone on a point of interest, and it will orbit that position from height and distance of your choosing.
It also has a beginner mode which is the default mode, and this limits how far the drone fly’s to just 200 meters and also limits its height to 120 meters. This is another safety feature for beginners, so they don’t lose their drone and fly with more confidence.
The JJRC X12 fly’s exceptionally well and all its main features work as they should. The video quality is very good and the FPV is pretty decent as well. It does move around slightly if there is some wind but that is to be expected from a lightweight drone.
This is a very well-designed drone and comes with some really good features, the best of which is its HD camera with the 3-axis gimbal that will give you decent video footage and images. It’s perfect for both beginners and experienced pilots and is reasonably priced costing less than $300. If you want more options for beginner-friendly drones click on the button below.
The X12 software is truly JUNK. It makes the drone unflyable!
I would give this a negative 10 if I could. We got this for our son for Christmas. He has a bugs 3 drone he has had for a couple years and is a great pilot with it. After walking through all the directions and steps to get the JJRC x12p flying, he wanted to see if the connection worked, so he took it outside. He had no intention of flying it more than a couple of feet off the ground. He pushed the auto take off button and it lifted off and hovered for a few seconds. Then it started to climb, I said bring it down, and he said he wasn’t doing anything and had no control. At that point it shot off at top speed about 75 feet off the ground. We watched it as long as we could, but lost sight of it over a mile away. We searched for a couple of hours in the direction we last saw it going, but it’s like looking for a needle in a hay stack. We filed a lost police report and put it on Facebook. He is absolutely heart broke. I have sent emails to the company with no reply. I dont know what else to do.
I am sorry about your experience with this drone, I know this will not help, but if he had maybe pressed the emergency landing button or the return to home as soon as he noticed it was out not in his control, it may have grounded the drone. Was he by any chance using the FPV function? You may have had a better chance at locating the drone if you could locate its position on the app. I know this drone is only being sold in places like GearBest and Banggood, the customer service is not the best with companies or trade on those platforms. If it was on Amazon, you may have had a better chance at a response and gotten a replacement or refund.
Again I am sorry for your experience, I hope JJRC do reach out to you, maybe try emailing the website you purchase the drone from and see what they say.