I’ve been wanting and waiting to make this review for quite a long time. I’ve had this product now for 3 weeks… and just now writing about it. WHY? My daughter. Yeah. Truth be told, I got this two days before her birthday, and thought it would make a great gift, as it’s touted to be one of the more simple drones to fly. What better way to test that theory than to let her (now 13) give it a try. The problem was, she liked it so much I didn’t have much of a chance to play with it.
Enough of that rambling, let’s start from the beginning (the pre-testing before I gave it to my daughter).
Right out of the box, it was easy enough to know how to open it (removing it from its case). Adding batteries to the controller required a small screwdriver and batteries. That was simple enough. There was some serious confusion on my end getting the software, and possibly just me — but in case others are having difficulty getting the proper software, be sure to grab the QR code from the MANUAL and NOT the box itself. The box takes you to their website, where (at this time it still does not have a direct download to the software for this drone). The manual, however, does. TDR Viewer is what you’ll want to search for if you tossed the manual.
Once the craziness of that was out of the way, I was quickly on my way to recording my first shots (I’ll spare you that). I should have learned how to fly this thing before I tried to record.
What’s in the box?
It comes with a short, fairly unique, charging cable that seems to be non-standard. In the off-chance you misplace this, there is a built-in charger that uses the batteries from the controller to charge the drone. If charging it with the controller, it will not fit inside of it as you’re used to, but instead have to lean on the controller, as it is a very short cable (almost too short). Too, it has a phone holder that can accommodate any size phone, with adjustable tilt. I have an iPhone 6 Plus, and it had room to grow. Additionally, there is an entire replacement set of blades (both black and yellow), along with blade guards (see Pro Tip). Of course, there is a manual, a quick-start guide if you will. But who needs those?
Ok, so I had to force myself to read the manual (Something about this has always bothered me, I feel like I should be able to do this intuitively for any product). Learning the basics really wasn’t difficult at all. The built-in launching and landing are certainly a blessing. The built-in tricks are super cool too. It comes with a charge, but even then, don’t expect it to fly for long. According to the documentation, it takes roughly 1 hour to fully charge, and that gives you roughly 7 minutes of flight time. Wish it were more, but that would create a larger drone, and possibly put it over the weight limit for requiring it to be registered with the FCC.
This drone really does take a lot of the complication out of the process. Mine had a little bit of a drift to it, meaning when I launched it, it would start to go off to the side. The instructions clearly show how to counter that with buttons directly on the remote. It can do both forward, backward, left and right.
I would HIGHLY recommend attaching the blade guards immediately when learning, and almost entirely forever while flying it in the house. If not for your own safety, those around you, your pets, and some plants would appreciate it. 🙂
When testing outside, I noticed that the range wasn’t as far as I was hoping — though in all fairness, I wasn’t sure what I was hoping. It made it no further than 30-40 feet away from me before it began a descent to land. Inside, it didn’t seem as apparent and even seemed more fun. Outdoors, with a slight wind, can really change the flight.
Maybe it is when the batteries are getting low, but once in a while the drone would go ‘up’ on its own… luckily I was inside, and it appeared to affix itself to the ceiling (you know, like a vacuum would). Though, this only happened a couple of times.
Pro Tip: When attaching the guards, don’t press on the top of the blades, or even the center-point of the blades, but instead the motor housing under the blades to create the pressure needed to attach the guard. There should be at least a quarter of an inch showing below the guard once attached. Otherwise, you may very well lose one, or two.
The video is made possible over wifi vs Bluetooth. The drone creates its own SID and is available almost immediately upon turning the drone on. This does require the steps of manually connecting to the wifi (in place of your home/work wifi), but if you’re in the woods, or away from a hotspot you typically connect to, it will connect immediately. The only way to record video is from your phone. Once you’ve attached your holder to the bottom of the controller, it’s a matter of fitting your phone into the grip — easy enough.
After connecting to the drone, and opening the TDR Viewer app, you’ll immediately see what the drone sees. I’ve only used it to capture some of the videos while playing. This is clearly not a ‘professional’ quality camera, so don’t expect those jaw-dropping videos you see from thousand-dollar drones… but for videos of your dog running around the yard, and chasing your drone — oh yeah! 🙂
I like it! I really do. I find that I play with it from time to time… just because. Plus, I do love driving my lab crazy with it. I don’t know, there’s something about having the ability to control a flying object that just seems so… futuristic to me. I would recommend this for gifts. Would make for a cool office exchange, or just getting your nieces and nephews for Christmas or birthdays.
Disclaimer: I was given this product to review. I was simply asked for my honest review of the product, and that is what I’ve done. I’ve received no other compensation.
Tenergy: TDR Sky Beetle Stunt RC Camera
Ease of Use
Reader Rating2 Votes3.45
Has built-in Camera
Push-button take-off and landing
Comes with built-in tricks
Doesn't require FCC registration (under weight)
Super small, and self contained.
Short learning curve
Only 7 minutes of flight time per 1-hour charge
WIFI range & distance creates short flights
I like it! I really do. I find that I play with it from time to time... just because. Plus, I do love driving my lab crazy with it. I don't know, there's something about having the ability to control a flying object that just seems so... futuristic to me. I would recommend this for gifts. Would make for a cool office exchange, or just getting your nieces and nephews for Christmas or birthdays.