Flying bigger is often a good idea, but at times, flying smaller become an even a better notion. When considering such a perception, the Cheerson CX-10 mini-drone will undoubtedly be at the top on your list. In fact, it is currently considered, by many, as the world’s smallest drone, as well as the world’s cheapest drone. For a drone hobbyist, this drone will not just seem smaller but also fancier to fly.
With only about $18 – $35 you will be able to have this drone off the shelf! Yet, despite the cheap cost, it does manage to zip through the air with agility, balance stably and do some acrobatics on air that will obviously blow you away. If you need some recreation, have no doubt that the Cheerson CX-10 will do you great.
- Suitable for: Ages 14+
- 6-axis design makes the gyroscope adjustable, promoting flying stability
- Flight time will be up to 4-8 minutes,3-level adjustable speed flip function
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What is more charming about this drone is the fact that it is tiny enough to fit perfectly in your palm and it comes in various colors at a very affordable price. In this article, we ventured to explore more and bring out the intricate functionalities of the world’s smallest drone.
Being a small and a rather simple bot, the Cheerson CX-10 is packaged in a Ready-To-Fly state and can take flights off the box. This means, you will not need a screw driver on the drone. The package should also contain the following:
- 1 Cheerson CX-10 drone
- 1 manual remote control transmitter
- 8 spare propellers
- 3 landing gears
- 1 USB cable
- A user manual
- A blade protecting frame (optional)
Note: the CX-10 is a great teaching device for beginners in flying drones. It has easy-to understand controls and it is very tempting for many buyers to try it out immediately after purchase. However, this drone is not very durable and it is likely to crash even during the very first flight if mishandled. Thus, the propeller guards that are sold separately (costing an additional $2) are highly recommended for learners or when used indoors.
Now the process of setting up the Cheerson CX-10 is an incredibly easy one. All you need to do is to ensure your battery is fully charged, before you insert it into the drone then follow the provided instructions. This mini drone has 3 speed modes that are suited for the beginner, the standard user, and the advanced user of the drone.
When taking off, it is easier to use the advanced mode (since it doesn’t delay much) but quickly switch back to the beginner mode when indoors or when learning to fly. When unsure of landing control, just flip the middle switch and the drone will safely land itself. Have a look of the process:
Some tutorials do advise that you just throw the drone once the mode is set and it will fly. This advice isn’t bad and it really works, though not always. Now come to think of it; what will happen if the drone fails to pick the starting signal and it perhaps crashes on the floor? Won’t you have to dispose your wrecked drone? Thus, we certainly do not recommend this fancy way of starting the drone, it is too risky.
Design & durability
The CX-10 is a work of art when it comes to design. By looks, it seems much like any typical traditional drone having a cross-like anatomy with propellers welded at the ends. The 3 pieces of landing gear complete the design. The entire drone (when fully fitted with a battery) weighs just about 15 grams. Yet despite the light weight, it is very stable on flights and it balances on a 6-axis gyro. This really makes an ultimate toy for fun.
The entire body is made of fairly durable plastic that is capable to sustain minimal crushes. Then again, it is likely to break easily if it makes numerous crushes on a rough terrain. Thus it is highly recommended to use this drone indoors.
One important aspect to note about the Cheerson CX-10 is that this bot is highly fault intolerant and thus it isn’t a very fragile drone. It does not forgive careless piloting mistakes and accidents. After all, it is a very cheap drone to buy; so what could you expect anyway? Nonetheless, the drone manufacturers do sell the drone’s spare parts cheaply online and you can purchase them for your drone or just buy another one altogether.
Sadly, the Cheerson CX-10 neither has a camera nor a provision for a camera. The manufacturers of this drone intended to develop a mini-drone that could be used purely for fun. However, a later release of the same drone (The Cheerson CX-20) does have a camera.
Even so, the availed camera in CX-20 is still too poor to use in commercial photographing. However, in our review we will outline a few substitutes for CX-10 that can be great for photography.
Battery & flight time
The mini-drone is packed with a 3.7V 100mah battery and an accompanying USB charger. The drone takes between 15 and 20 minutes to charge completely and it drains within 5 to 8 minutes when in continuous use. This short flight time could become a bit embarrassing and somehow irritating for hobbyists.
Thus, it is advisable to but at least two batteries then use one as you charge the other. Just don’t let the battery discharge end the fun.
The CX-10 utilizes a simple manual flight controller that resembles a typical PlayStation pad with only two main control sticks and a couple of regulatory switches. In essence, the entire process of learning to use the pad is so easy and it is best explained within the user’s manual/guide.
Be that as it may, you will discover that the pad is highly packed with advanced control features that very much resemble the advanced manual drone controllers. We already explored the process of taking off and landing above and you can have a look at this simple tutorial here too.
The drone is very responsive and it does obey controlling commands from the controller perfectly. It even has its own instructions to land the plane safely much like the normal bigger drones. But despite that, the CX-10 still has a limitation in controlling. Firstly, it has a limited controlling distance of between 20m and 50m.
Sadly, the drone isn’t smart enough to detect when it’s made to fly far off the acceptable control range and may thus wander too far off to be controlled. As such, always remember to sail the drone within sight or in a physically enclosed region.
Value for money and guarantee
As noted before, this drone only costs between $18 and $35 in almost all of the current online sellers. That’s just too cheap, isn’t it? This makes the drone an easier and cheaper alternative to purchase for all who love drones.
The Cheerson Company does not offer an assurance of a warranty for this drone. Nonetheless, some online sellers of the same do offer a warranty of up to 3 months for this drone. But the only sad truth about such warranties is the fact that the conditions of the warranties do not guarantee a cover for physical damage of the drone.
In other words, the warranty offered does not cover breakages (which are the most likely accidents). Thus it is clear that the drone really has no valid warranty. Then again, it is possible and acceptable to request free repair or replacement incase the drone arrives when it is incomplete or in a damaged state.
Unique features of the drone
The drone has two main distinctive features. These are:
- A Mini-size: this drone’s main identification feature is its highly reduced size. The drone weighs just about 15g and it is small enough to fit on a palm. Though the reduced size also hindered its ability to incorporate advancements; it did enable the drone to be the world’s most portable drone ever.
- Multiple color designs: the drone comes in colors of orange, green and blue. Of course, this also makes it even more preferable for recreational uses.
Similar models or main competitors
The Syma X5C Explorer’s
When designs need to match with performance for a mini-drone, the Syma X5C Explorer’s has to loom out large as the market’s favorite. This drone has scooped the lion’s share of market sales for mini-drones. Thus, it could suffice as the topmost competitor to the CX-10’s dominance. The drone’s design makes it ideal for use to anyone of any age.
The Syma X5C is also a “big boy” in the air navigation. Despite its limited size, this drone is highly responsive, easy to control and it is able to perform virtually all the flips and swings done by the bigger drones. Unlike the CX-10, this drone is also very fault-tolerant. As a learner, it will allow you to make a number of crashes and accidents before the first of its propellers fails.
It has a relatively bigger drone size than the CX-10. The Syma X5C Explorer is, however, packed with a fully functional and powerful camera that is able to take both snaps and videos with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. It relays images directly to its controller at speeds of 30 frames per second!
The ease of the X5C controller is second none of this category and it also has a control distance of up to 100M (double that of the Cheerson CX-10). Thus it is that this drone deserves the large sales.
Nonetheless, this drone didn’t win it all. Most buyers of this drone attributed its short flight time of just 8 minutes as the drone’s main drawback. In addition, the drone has also received compromises of the durability of its later releases. You can get more familiar with this model and the rest in this series, by reading our Syma X5 series, in-depth review.
Check out the drone in action:
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The UDI U818A
Of all the mini-UAVs, that are available in the market, the UDI U818A deserves to scoop the title of the most agile mini-drone (10 mph). From a close examination, it’s tempting to assume that the drone designers borrowed its design from the Parrot AR.2.0 by design. This enables it to have more durable propellers. The drone also comes in a Ready-To-Fly state and, therefore, best suited for beginners. For those who want to get more familiar with what this model has to offer, we suggest checking out our UDI U8181A review.
It is also easy to control as it has two main flight modes. The first flight mode enables the drone to balance and that inhibits turning and climbing whereas the other one enables climbing and turning while inhibiting balance. It is very stable on taking images and videos as it has a 6-axis gyro and special altitude sensors that enable it to balance.
It does have a camera that has a 640×480 pixels (2MP) resolution. It shoots videos and records them in an AVI format, which can then be stored in an attached SD card. Even then, this drone’s camera resolution is still too poor to be considered for commercial uses. Its battery takes about 2 hours to fully charge and discharges after about 9 minutes of continuous use.
It also has a limited control distance of just 200 meters. Though agile, it still lacks a GPS controller, thus the drone is likely to encounter connectivity problems if tasked at high speeds beyond the effective controlling distance.
The drone is perfectly suited for beginners and it is durable enough to assist one master the controls of a manual quadcopter controller. However, the poor camera and battery still make it be considered poor for use.
Have a look at the UDI U818A in action:
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This is a later version and an advancement of the CX-10 version. It is designed with the latest drone features and looks much like the DJI Phantom 3 standard drone by looks. It comes in a ready-to-fly state and has an effective control distance of 300m.
It comes with an accompanying Hero 3 Gopro camera which can be improved at will. It has a flight time of 10-15 minutes and unlike the former version, it utilizes the GPS controls and thus can be controlled remotely. It has additional failsafe feature (that prevents it to wander off the control distance) and an auto-go and auto-land features. It is also quite agile and can navigate at speeds of up to 10mph.
It is a very stable drone and can be recommended for commercial use. Nevertheless, this drone does cost a staggering $230 which is far much above the cost of the CX-10. Besides that one main drawback, this drone is surely one of the drones to be desired.
You can have a look at the drone in action:
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It can be clear that the Cheerson CX-10 even currently still does provide a vital importance to the advancement of future technology. The main cause of its high sales is its cheap cost. Besides that, here are a few more pros and cons about the drone:
- It’s cheap: this drone costs only $18 in most online drone sellers. It is also possible to find versions of the same drones at just $12 which is far much affordable to virtually everybody. Besides, its spare parts are also very cheap and easy to acquire thus having an accompanying cheaper maintenance cost.
- It’s highly portable: as noted before, the drone is small enough to fit on a palm and thus can be comfortably pocketed and used anywhere with ease.
- It has cute designs: suited for fun.
- It is also easy to control.
- It’s less durable: this drone is so fragile and most of its critics attributed its less durability to be its main drawback.
- It has a short flight time of just 5-8 minutes.
- The drone also faces connectivity issues even when flying within the effective control distance.
Drawing from the already discussed features, the CX-10 can comfortably be classified as one of the best drones to be discerned for beginners. Despite the fact that it does have several of its own limitations, this drone serves a great deal in introducing one into flying drones. Also, the ideal cost of just $18 is worth a try. Don’t you think so?
On an average scale of 10, this drone deserves a score of 8.7. It has the perfect shape and design, an easy to grasp controller a cheap cost but it failed for a short flight time. We could recommend this drone to be offered as a gift to a friend or a kid who has interest in drones. Don’t give much thought, it’s the perfect trainer and the cheapest entertainer.