My first GPS quadcopter – CX-20, X350Pro or DJI Phantom 2
Last year I purchased my first quadcopter, it was the X5C from Syma. At that time I wanted something cheap to learn how to fly with multi-rotors. After almost one year of usage I can say that it was a good choice. Quickly I moved to other cheap models like the DFD F183, H9D and H12C from JJRC. Also I purchased for indoor practicing the palm sized Syma X12 Nano quad.
So, as you see the HELL was unleashed, once you get your first quad copter you can not stop to buy a new one and so on :)
The JJRC H9D proved me the beauty of first person flight, even if it has a 0.3Mp FPV camera that can’t guaranty to much quality.
Watching countless YouTube aerial videos, I decided that I want not just to watch them but also make them. I started to study what would I need to have the chance to record some outstanding aerial videos.
I don’t wanted to sell my car in order to accomplish this dream so I skipped over the expensive models like the DJI Inspire 1 or Walkera Voyager 3. I already had the sj4000 action camera that offers a very good image quality at a decent price. That’s why I started to do some savings for my first GPS quadcopter.
I started to look for a 350mm sized GPS quadcopter that can easily carry a GoPro-like action camera and fits my budget (which is limited to $500-$600).
I stopped on 3 models, the Cheerson CX-20, Walkera QR X350 and DJI Phantom 2. I must admit, if there would be no price difference, the winner would be the well known DJI P2.
The CX-20 and the X350 Pro have the advantage of price but also the disadvantage of poor quality materials and countless flyaway reports.
Option1 for my first GPS quadcopter – CX-20
The Cheerson CX-20 is probably the cheapest GPS quadcopter that you can get at this moment as the current price is somewhere between $250-$300. The CX-20 open source became very popular because its upgrade capability. It can easily be integrated with FPV and telemetry systems.
CX-20 main specs:
- Up to 300 meter flight distance;
- Up to 12-15 minutes flight time.
My suggested CX-20 FPV package that fits on my budget:
- CX-20 open source quadcopter with transmitter and battery $260;
- 2 Axis brushless gimbal with controller $45;
- SJ4000 AV cable 2$;
- Boscam FPV 5.8G 200mW AV wireless transmitter TS351 $17;
- Boscam FPV 5.8G 7″ LCD Receiver RX5802 $122;
- Total estimated price $446.
Option2 for my first GPS quadcopter – Walkera QR X350 Pro
I think the X350 Pro is the middle way. I can get longer flight time and wider flight range compared with the CX-20.
Paired with Devo 10 transmitter, the X350 Pro can be easily updated with telemetry features.
X350 Pro main specs:
- Up to 1Km flight distance with the Devo 10 and up to 2Km with Devo F12E transmitter;
- Up to 25 minutes flight time.
Unfortunately the Walkera QR X350 Pro FPV package is over my budget, so I have to start with a basic package.
- QR X350 Pro with Devo 10 transmitter $480;
- 3DR Radio wireless telemetry module $40;
- Walkera G-2D brushless gimbal $120;
- Total estimated price $640.
Option3 for my first GPS quadcopter – DJI Phantom 2
For $600 I can buy only the “basic” DJI Phantom 2, without Gimbal or integrated FPV system. The Phantom 2 will work only with their proprietary Zenmuse gimbals that will cost me another $380 and still not have first person view.
DJI Phantom 2 main specs:
- Up to 800 meters flight distance;
- Up to 25 minutes flight time.
Which of these will be my first GPS quadcopter?
Probably I’m not the only one having this question. Truly, it is very hard to make the final decision. Especially just based on some reviews without actually touching and testing these models.
If you are a owner and you have time and mood, please share with us your experience with these GPS quadcopters, maybe will help me and others to make the right choice.
I will wait till the end of April with my decision about my first GPS quadcopter and hopefully until then I will get some useful advices or I will catch a good deal.