The DBPOWER X400W (also known as The Hawkeye-VII) is a product of the Hawkeye Company that was released early this year. When we analyzed the features and capabilities that this drone is able to perform, it became quite clear that the DBPOWER X400W is likely to become a game-changer in the current market.
This drone has incorporated a few features that have made it trendy even with the social media platforms. Never before did recreational drones, costing about $80, implemented features of VR 3D headset, remote control features, and a headless mode like this drone does!
- Headless Mode: Usually, the forward direction of a flying multi-rotor is the same as the nose direction.
- 3D Split Screen Display: Compatible with 3D VR HEADSET on MJX FPV APP.
- FPV Real Time Transsmision: Connect your phone with the drone and the view will be shown directly on your phone.
- High Capacity Battery: Control the X400W drone from 100 meters away.
- One Key 3D Roll.
This being a very new drone in the market, you could suspect that it has been sailing low in the sales. However, this has not been the case. The drone attracted a huge market, and will undoubtedly go higher to compete with the leading drones in the market like the Syma X5, for which you can get more information by reading our in-depth review. If you’ll need a recreational drone that has both looks and an unmatched flight experience, then try out this drone. It hardly disappoints.
In this review, we’ll take a look at some of the great features of this drone as well as the popular drawbacks that are likely to face its dominance. We will also showcase the popular drawbacks that you may never get to read anywhere else. So, make a point to read every detail.
The DBPOWER X400W is often packaged in an RTF (Ready-To-Fly) state. This means, it does not require welding at all: it is able to take flights off the box (if the battery is well charged). Besides the drone, you will find the following components in the packaging:
- The DBPOWER X400W drone
- A transmitter
- A battery (3.7V, 750maH)
- A USB charger
- 4 spare blades
- A user’s manual
Note: The TX transmitter requires three AA 1.5V batteries that are not included within the drone’s package. So, make a point to buy them separately. In addition, one of the iconic features of the Hawkeye-VII is the 3D VR headset. This peculiar headset combines an advanced type of glasses that are enjoined in a classy wearable headset.
The glasses can be interlinked with the drone camera to offer an exact look as that of the drone while on air. That is a great feature, isn’t it? Yet, these headsets aren’t included in the drone packaging either. You will have to buy them separately from the drone itself.
Design and durability
As mentioned before, this drone’s design is both fancy and ultimately very distinctive. The physical anatomy seems like something drawn out of a science fiction scene of Star Wars.
The DBPower MJX X400W has two double slanted fronts (headless) with one of the fronts having cutely placed LED lights that look like two eyes. This double slant design (headless design) enables the drone to navigate with agility both to front and back directions as it tends to switch the head direction.
Either way, the LED lights serve a great deal when flying in night mode. Also, the drone has a somewhat raised landing gear that helps to protect the fragile lower parts like the camera.
The plastic material used for the body seems durable enough to sustain most of the crashes that the drone may encounter during flights. In addition, the prop guards of the DBPOWER X400W drone are in such a unique design that they protect the propellers from any crushes.
If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting with indoor flights as there may be connectivity issues – especially when controlled by the app. Thus, it is advised that you first learn to use the manual TX transmitter controls perfectly before taking the drone for outdoor flights.
The main shortcoming that is likely to hinder this drone’s durability is the drone’s light weight. The DBPOWER X400W weights a staggering 112g only! Though this weight enables it to move easily on air, it also makes it vulnerable to strong winds (winds exceeding 5mph). Also, never fly this drone in a rainy season; it will be blown away. Yet, the fact that it isn’t water resistant means it will get spoilt by water quite easily.
Since DBPower MJX X400W is more of a recreational drone, producers didn’t put that much emphasis on the camera quality. Thus, the drone is equipped with a fixed camera with medium resolution which is able to create videos at about 30 fps. The first conclusion you can take from here, is that this drone was not designed for aerial photography.
However, the camera was installed to offer a full FPV experience as well the Virtual Reality view with the aid of the 3D headset. After all, given the $80 price tag of this drone, what could you expect anyway?
Among the key strengths of this drone is the drone’s stability when operating in a calm environment. With the help of the 6-axis gyro, it is able to shoot awesome videos that lack the shakiness of most drone videos. In addition, this drone lacks the long signal lag that most mini-drones have. As such, it does have a faster speed of sending images and videos that could help you shoot live domestic events like birthdays. It isn’t advisable to use this drone in commercial filming/photography.
Battery & flight time
The DBPOWER X400W quadcopter comes with a single 3.7V 750mAh battery that takes about 120 minutes to fully charge and drains in between 8 and 9 minutes. If you are a hobbyist then you know one battery won’t be enough for the little bird. Thus, go ahead and buy at least 3 batteries. This will stretch your flight time from 8 minutes to about 25 minutes.
Keep in mind that this flight time can be lowered if you fly the drone in the night mode and use the FPV control features because the two drain a lot of power.
In order to get a longer lifespan for your drone’s battery, you should always ensure you discharge the battery completely before recharging it, and you can find out more about such tips and tricks in our article about the ways to extend your drone flight time.
The effective control of the Hawkeye-VII combines the strengths of both the TX transmitter (with manual controls) and an app controller in piloting the quadcopter. The TX controller gives you an easy-to-connect access via the use manual controls and 2.4G connectivity.
It also helps you mark the altitude of the drone as well as the signal strengths. The app, on the other hand, is more user-friendly and allows you to have the FPV experience. But it should be noted that the drone responds faster to the transmitter controls than those of the app.
Due to the fact that this bot has in the past recorded cases of total failure to respond to app signals, it is highly recommended that you learn to use the manual controls in an indoor setup before starting to use the app in an outdoor setup.
In a nutshell, the control mechanism of this drone uses a private WiFi network. The drone initializes itself and broadcasts special Wi-Fi signals that can be picked by the transmitter and the phone controller to ease control. Thus, always ensure you avoid using this drone in a place with many WiFi networks for more efficiency.
The controlling app is known as “MJX C4005 FPV” and is free to download for both iOS and Android users.
The X400W drone is far too awesome in flight performance! As mentioned before, this drone fits perfectly as a recreational drone and it doesn’t disappoint. It can make instantaneous 3D spins, as well as swing to and from, with agility. Its transmitter has a one-key-3D roll that makes the spin drill even more fascinating. The other distinctive flight features include:
- Effective flight control range: 100 meters
- Maximum flight speed: 5mpH
- Maximum flight duration: 9 minutes
Value for money & guarantee
Currently, the DBPOWER X400W costs between $80 and $140 according to the seller. However, you should know that you can negotiate the price with certain sellers and even get it lower than $80!
We checked and it seems that the producer doesn’t offer any warranties. Nonetheless, most sellers will accept to replace the drone in case it arrives in an incomplete or broken state. Still, you need to check thoroughly because there are sellers that will not accept any changes or returns.
The DBPOWER X400W quadcopter has the following 3 unique features:
- The Headless Mode: normally a drone’s head (nose) determines the drone’s front direction. However, with the X400W’s headless flying mode, the nose has nothing to do with the forward direction. The front will be determined by the direction of the remote controller.
- A VR 3D headset: This unique headset allows you to experience a view that is similar to the one you could have if you were really inside the drone.
- It also has a one-key 3D roll button that helps to perform instant 3D spins.
Similar models/main competitors
The Syma X5C Quadcopter
Here is the good old mini-explorer of the airwaves! Somehow, I find the Syma X5C less attractive than the DBPOWER X400W in design. The X5C costs about $50 which makes it more attractive than the latter going at around $80. Thus it could be the best option when having a tight budget.
When the Syma Company produced this drone, they also designed a controller that could suit both left-handed and right-handed pilots, unlike the X400W. Both drones have an effective control distance of 100m and both experience very little signal lag when being controlled by their transmitters.
This drone is also very light and rather agile on air. It is very stable too and is able to take pretty stable images much like the X400W when in moderate wind speeds. It is also capable of performing a 360-degree spin as well as many other drone drills. Being a very durable drone, you can be assured that it can withstand several crushes before breaking. Yet it can be easily repaired.
It also has an upper hand in that it has a camera with a better resolution of 1280×720 pixels unlike the 0.3MP of the X400W yaw. Even so, the good old explorer has a great drawback in that it is less stable when shooting videos. In addition, the lack of stability makes it very vulnerable to be blown away easily.
When considering the two drones, the X400W has got the looks but a poor camera and it is a little more expensive. On the other hand, the Syma X5C brings a great buying deal and a better camera but fails in the stability department. Though it’s not the best, this drone is a piece worth buying when considering the cheap cost.
If you think that this product could be useful for you, then you can buy it from Amazon.
The DBPOWER UDI U842 mini-drone
This drone can be considered an improved version of the X400W quadcopter’s filming performance. It has a simple design that takes after a typical traditional quadcopter with a cross-like structure with propellers at the ends of the anatomy and a couple of LED lights (fixed by the nose) to help it in night flights.
This drone also uses the FPV feature and the 6-axis gyro for stability just like the X400W. It also has a short control distance of 100 meters and maximum flight time of 9 minutes. However, unlike the X400W, this bot has a better camera (1280x720p) resolution and relays images at speeds of 30 Mbps. In addition, the external composition of the UDI U842 is generally more durable than the MJX X400W.
Nevertheless, the U842 has one main drawback in that it takes about 150 minutes to fully charge, yet it drains within 9 minutes. But besides that drawback, this drone is worth buying.
Like this amazing product? Then you can check its price here.
The Night Lions Tech (TM) quadcopter
The Night Lions Tech is a rather new brand in the drone market. This particular bot is quite huge in size and is equally well-equipped with performance features. Its exterior design takes after that of the DJI Phantom series though its performance is very much like that of the X400W.
It is packaged with an inbuilt 2MP camera as well as a 6-axis stabilization gyro. Drawing from the two features, it can be clear that it is great in taking snaps and recording videos since it has a better camera and better stability. This drone does not use the FPV feature, thus all recorded videos are often stored within a 4GB internal SD mounted in the drone’s body.
It takes about 45 minutes to fully charge and it gets discharged in about 6-8 minutes. This is obviously an advantage over the MJX X400W drone. The bot is also very stable and can withstand stronger winds than the latter. It also has an effective control distance of about 80 meters.
When considering the two, the Night Lions Tech quadcopter may seem better because it has shorter charging time, is more stable, and has a better camera. However, it also fails because it relies on manual controls alone which may prove to be a challenge for beginners in flying drones. Nonetheless, when considering its price tag, it is still a great drone for $80.
Like this amazing product? Then you can buy it on Amazon.
Below are some pros and cons of the X400W bot:
- It is durable: this done is made up of strong plastic covering and prop guards that are able to sustain several crushes.
- It is agile: with the aid of the drone’s headless mode, it becomes quite swift and is thus better fur fun.
- It has a fairly good camera: which can help you to take some aerial photographs.
- It is user-friendly: this is because it has a FPV feature and the Virtual Reality feature.
- It is not very stable: this drone is too light and is easily blown off by strong winds. Either, this drawback makes it to record videos have some image wobble.
- It slow in connectivity
About 9 in 10 buyers recommended this drone! This quad is awesome due to its cute look, great speed, an easy to learn controller, and a cheap price to acquire.
However, keep in mind that there may be stability issues and the battery is drained really fast (about 10 minutes). However, despite the mentioned challenges, this drone is highly recommended and makes a great gift for any passionate.