Syma X500 Short Review
The Syma X500 is a well-designed foldable drone that looks really cool and comes with some very good features. This is a cheap GPS drone that comes with intelligent flight modes and an automatic return to home feature. The drone also comes with a decent HD camera, an optical sensor that will allow you to fly indoors, a flight time of around 25 minutes and a control range of 350 meters. Just looking at the specs makes this a very good drone, however, it does have its issues, especially with its app and the camera is not that impressive.
- HD camera
- 720p FPV capability
- GPS automatic return home feature
- Intelligent flight modes
- 25 minutes of flight time
- 3D flips
- Gesture control mode
Hi and welcome to my review of the Syma X500 foldable drone.
If you are in search of an affordable drone with some advanced features, the Syma X500 may be of interest to you.
Syma is well-known for its radio controlled toys and their range of low-cost drones is very popular with beginner drone pilots.
The Syma X500 is their latest drone and is one of their more advanced and expensive drones. It costs just under $200 and comes with some cool features such as an HD camera, GPS and intelligent flight modes.
There are a lot of drones around this price, so if you do not like what you see in this review, check out my article for the best drones under $200.
So, let’s get to the full review of the Syma X500 mini drone and see what it has to offer.
Syma X500 Review
So, one of the first things you will notice about the Syma X500 drone is how small and lightweight it is. It actually reminds me a little of the DJI Mavic Mini, which isn’t surprising since a lot of smaller drone companies tend to copy certain design elements from DJI drones.
Just like the Mavic Mini, the Syma X500 weighs less than 250g, I only mention this because drones that weigh less than 250g do not need to be registered if you live in the UK, Canada or the USA.
Its lightweight and compact design make it a suitable drone to travel with, however, if you plan on taking this or any other drone abroad, make sure to familiarise yourself with the local rules and regulations regarding drones so that you comply with the law and avoid getting into any legal problems.
I personally like the look of this drone, foldable drones are my favourite type of drones and the Syma X500 has a nice streamlined design and cool metallic grey colour scheme.
It’s a well-built drone but because of its weight and the fact that it comes with brushed motors, I would advise against flying this drone in any kind of windy conditions. It would be hard to control especially if you are a complete beginner.
I was actually kind of disappointed to learn that this drone came with brushed motors instead of the more powerful and efficient brushless motors. There are drones that sell at a similar price range that come with brushless motors, one example is the very popular Bugs 2 SE, which is sold under a variety of different drone brands such as the Contixo F18 and is a very good drone that costs less than $200.
The X500 is a cheap GPS drone, so it comes with the benefits a GPS system provides a drone such as accurate tracking and smart flight modes.
In addition to a GPS system, the drone comes with an optical flow sensor that will help stabilise the drone’s flight in areas where there is no GPS signal.
The drone has some cool LED lights on the bottom of the rotor arms and a couple on the front that look like headlights. The LED lights will help to indicate when the drone compass is fully calibrated and they also help you navigate safely if you fly in the dark, which I only suggest you do if you are an experienced drone pilot.
The drone is powered by a 7.6v 1700 mAh lithium polymer battery which provides it with a flight time of around 25 minutes, it may be less depending on the weather conditions and if you use the FPV feature.
Now, 25 minutes for a cheap GPS drone is pretty good, especially for under $200, its flight time is definitely one of the plus points for this drone. An added bonus is that you get an extra battery with the drone package this will save you money from having to purchase one separately and extend your flight time without having to wait for the battery to fully recharge.
There is a micro SD card slot on the bottom of the drone, this will allow you to record videos locally instead of over WiFi, which will allow you to record videos in the highest resolution possible.
If you don’t have a micro SD card, you can record always record on your smartphone, just make sure you have enough memory for this.
The drone’s remote controller looks nice, it has a minimalist design and comes with an internal rechargeable battery. It has a range of around 350 meters (in perfect conditions) and for FPV the range is slightly less at around 200 meters.
All of the buttons are easily identified, and it has a smartphone attachment that pulls out from the middle. To use the FPV and smart flight modes, you will need to download the Syma Air app, this is available on both Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
Like a lot of apps from smaller drone companies, the Syma Air app is a bit of hit and miss. For the most part, it works, however, there are have been a lot of complaints about it, especially as it sometimes crashes and the FPV feed is interrupted.
If you would like drones with a more reliable app and at a similar price point, click on the button below for the best drones under $200.
Syma X500 Camera
Cameras are one of the main reason’s drones have become so popular over the years, you can take some amazing videos and photos with high-quality drone cameras. However, to get something near cinematic quality videos, you will need to spend a little more than $200
Despite what you may read on the product description page on Amazon, the Syma X500 is not a true 4K drone and the camera is not suitable for any kind of professional use. For its price, it is a decent camera, although I have seen better drone cameras at a similar price, for example, check out the Contixo F18 drone which comes with a 2k camera and has brushless motors.
The X500 camera can capture still images in 4k and record video footage in 1080p, the quality is a little disappointing, I was expecting something much better, however, for under $200, you get what you pay for. The camera angle can be adjusted via the remote controller to get a better viewing angle and the live streaming quality is in 720p resolution.
However, even though it costs less than $200, the quality is still disappointing, even the DJI Tello drone has better quality video footage thanks to its electronic stabilisation feature and it costs less than $100.
Syma X500 – Other Features.
I have already mentioned that the Syma comes with a GPS system, this provides it with additional benefits such as intelligent flight modes and an automatic return to home feature. The intelligent flight modes include the following:
Waypoint – Allows you to draw a flight path on the app and the drone will fly along that route automatically
Orbit mode – In this mode, you can focus the drone on a point of interest and the drone will orbit that position completely hands-free.
Follow me mode – The drone locks on to your smartphone and follows you closely from behind.
It goes without saying that you will need to be in an area with a strong GPS signal for these flight modes to work properly. Unfortunately, the drone has shown problems in connecting with enough satellites for the GPS system to function as it should, hopefully, they rectify this soon but it has been a problem for many buyers.
The automatic return to home function is activated whenever you lose connection with the drone or if the drone battery gets low on charge.
The drone also comes with headless mode for easier flying and you can do 360° flips at the push of a button. A cool feature that you can impress family and friends with is called gesture control mode, this will allow you to take short videos and photos through the gesture of your hands.
It has different speed modes that will allow you to test your flying skills as you become more experienced and it is compatible with VR headsets for a more immersive flying experience.
Overall, the drone fly’s well and is relatively easy to control, especially if you are in headless mode. However, as I mentioned earlier, the app does seem to crash often and connecting to enough satellites has been an issue, so be aware of these problems, if you still want to purchase this drone. It is a fun drone to fly and for less than $200, it may just be worth purchasing, still, I would have expected a much better drone from a company such as Syma.
This is a nice drone and it comes with some advanced features, however, I was disappointed with its overall performance, especially since it is a Syma product. Hopefully, they will rectify the issues with this drone in the future because it does have great potential. If you are still interested in this drone, click on the button below to find out more details and its current price. However, if you would like more options, check out my article for the best drones under $200.