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.
You made the final decision about you first GPS quad? Since then, there are plenty of new quadcopters on the market. Which one would you recommend?
The new Dji Phantom 3 was just announced. So, probably the price of the old Phantom 2 will be even more lower.
Maybe you should take into consideration to build one. Usually DIY quadcopters are better and cheaper.
This is a quick list and a rough estimate for price:
– Sunysky v2216 800 kv motors roughly $100 for four;
– Emax 30 amp ESC $25 for four;
– transmitter Flysky $90;
– 5000mAh 3s Li-PO battery $30;
– Flight controller APM2.6 with telemetry $100;
– X alien quad frame roughly $20;
– Aluminum arms (optional) $55;
– FPV video TX and RX + cheap 2D gimbal roughly $85
– extra 2 small batteries for FPV transmitter and 2D gimbal $15 (optional).
– carbon fiber 12×4.3 propellers roughly $15;
Everything thing adds up to about $500
Good luck with your decision!
Can you get all of those parts at a single place like BG etc – thanks
I recommend you the CX-20 open source with ArduPilot Mega flight controller.
Why? because is extremely cheap and versatile GPS quadcopter.
The upgraded version of the CX-20 has an incredible 1000 meters flight range!
Yes me too. Also get a 3DR Telemetry radio for my GPS quad
You get what you pay for. Get a cheap one like the CX-20 and you get cheap performance.
The basic Phantom 2 maybe $600 or cheaper now, but does I think still come with a GoPro camera holder and it’s much better than the other two models.
I have the DJI Phantom 2 Vision plus and also still got my Phantom 1.
The Phantom 2 flies even better than my old P1 quadcopter.
Phantom 2 is by far the more stable and easiest to fly out of your choices, and blows the rest out of the water.
The DJI phantom 2 is miles better than the 350 pro. The front motors on the QR 350 Pro quadcopter are hot after one flight, not good. Also Walkera products are bad and come out half finished.
If I where you, would go for the Phantom2. It’s the best value for money and so easy and stable. The others are no where as stable as the DJI P2.
Walkera X350Pro is much better than the CX-20 and you can always add later the 2D gimbal and FPV transmitter when you have more funds.
The CX-20 is the winner for me, you got a complete FPV system for only $500!
Go with the DJi Phantom2, will never flyaway!
it is a good idea waiting for another month, the cx-20’s price is dropping down and the new Cheerson CX-22 it was just revealed