Can this Cheap Dromida Ominus Thrive?
Not so long ago, Dromida came up with their very first radio controlled car. They obviously were not able to create the sort of buzz that they must have been expecting or dreaming about. But they still were able to make inroads into the market share and so we were coerced to take a look at their products. Since then, they have been on a rampage. Both the consumers and retailers seem to have taken a fancy to their products. In addition to producing surface vehicles, Dromida have also expanded their repertoire by including their line of quadcopters. This is where the Dromida Ominus comes in!
Will Dromida be able to replicate the kind of success in air that they got with regard to the surface vehicles. Does the Dromida Ominus possess the vigor to standout in the crowd and get noticed? Let’s find out in this exclusive review.
Unboxing and Hop-ups
The unboxing of this fabulous machine is a brilliant experience; one to cherish for a long long time! The product is stacked up pretty nicely in the box; all the components have been accommodated quite decently in the packing and this has been ensured by the transparent plastic lid. Besides the tape that is used to attach the transparent plastic lid to the black plastic under-tray, everything else presents a fascinating experience – one that will give you the feeling that you have spent your money the right way. Apple were the pioneers in presenting their products in attractive packings and ever since, companies have taken a cue and started packaging their products the right way. The ultimate aim is to ensure that the first impression that a product makes is as serene as possible. Except for their 1:18 trucks, Dromida generally does a decent job with regard to packaging in almost all their products.
The Dromida Ominus is available in four colors namely red, green, blue and yellow. Each of the variations comes with a complete set of additional propellers in their parent color. The original packaging also includes the four AAA batteries that are inserted into the radio transmitter. However, the small Phillips screwdriver required to open the lid to the battery compartment is not included in the original packaging. So, remember to buy one at the time of purchasing the Dromida Ominus.
With a capacity of 700mAh, this perhaps is the largest capacity battery that I have ever come across in a ready to takeoff quadcopter. Similar to the batteries used in the Ominus counterparts, this battery is a single cell LiPo that boats a JST connector which is a great addition for those looking to utilize multiple chargers. For the purpose of this review, we used the USB-powered charger just once, to check out if it really functioned properly, and charged the battery with our Hitec X4 AC/DC multi-charger afterwards.
The transmitter fits nicely into the palms of your hands. I have been impressed by the points at the ends of sticks which ensure that your thumbs remain in position without any issue. I am more inclined towards using the thumb and forefinger approach and so I really like the fact that the Dromida Ominus does not come with the wide thumb pads that are such a typical feature of most of the radio controllers out there. It does not mean that I do not like video-gaming but styles and designs similar to video games is a huge turn-off for me with regard to radio transmitters.
As far as the outlook and design is concerned, it is absolutely breathtaking. As a matter of fact, it seems as if it were a predator. It has a formidable built and the claim by the manufacturers that the Dromida Ominus is unbreakable might be based on some reality. All the components appear to be quite solid. The motor mounts serve the dual purpose of landing gear as well. They feature soft rubber feet to absorb any shocks that might result from a poorly managed landing attempt. The arms or booms are quite sturdy as well. The space beneath the carriage looks rugged and the battery is also quite well-protected. Nevertheless, a stick or a sharp needle can puncture the battery. However, that is not going to happen a lot, isn’t it?
In comparison with the LaTrax Alias, the lights are not as bright. They are good enough but if you are flying your machine in a decently illuminated room or on a bright sunny day outdoors, you will find it hard to know if the lights are lit up or not. Having said that, the red eye of Sauron located at the rear end of the quadcopter, certainly makes its presence felt. This bright red colored LED light is a great feature for the newbies since it helps them keep track of the orientation of their machine. If a pilot is following in the direction of the red LED, he is flying nose-out, meaning thereby that the Dromida Ominus will fly in the direction in which the stick is being moved, rather than in the backwards direction. This is quite a handy feature when the drone is far away from you when it becomes hard to figure out which of the color blades are the closest to you. I think that this feature is a remarkable one.
The fact that the Dromida Ominus is a gear-driven quadcopter is quite disappointing. The noise generated by the gear driven system is a lot as compared to that produced in case of direct-driven motor system. Having said that, I have not yet come across a quadcopter in the same category with a direct-driven motor system. So, it is quite simple reduce the revolutions per minute of the propellers through the gear driven mechanism. A gear driven quadcopter contains more parts that are prone to breakage. In case your propellers collide with something during the flight, probability that you will have to replace your stock gears increases manifold. It is quite relieving though that accessories support for Ominus is quite broad.
Making the Dromida Ominus air-borne is quite simple. You just have to insert the charged battery into the battery tray, trigger on the transmitter, push the battery into the quadcopter and place the machine on a smooth level surface. In just a couple of moments, the gyroscope stabilizes the device and off you go.
As far as the flight capabilities of the Dromida Ominus are concerned, they are not that different from other machines available on the market. If you are experienced enough to have flown the quadcopter before in your life, you should be well-acquainted with its flight characteristics. In the normal flight mode, the gyroscope and the accelerometer do a commendable job to keep the quadcopter steady. Having said that, the gyroscope is found wanting in case you try out some advanced manoeuvres. It probably appears that the gyroscope is not upto scratch when complex aerial stunts are attempted. In all the other cases, it works pretty fine. The device remains stable during flight which is an indication of the gyroscope doing its job appropriately.
Single-key flip mechanic is also a part of the Dromida Ominus. You just have to push the Flip button and move the stick in the direction you want your quadcopter to do the flip and everything from there onwards works like a charm. It really makes a remarkable scenario for the onlookers and transforms you into an expert pilot who knows what he’s doing. As mentioned above, I believe the gyroscope tends to be in a bit of bother while reverting from the flip mode, since the quadcopter sways in the forward and the backward direction for some period of time before it gently bounces off the surface of the ground as it becomes steady. This kind of behavior is predominantly displayed towards the end of the flight in contrast to the beginning, so I am of the view that the low voltage provided by the battery or the heating up of the motors might be responsible for it. That being said, this is an issue that is generally not found in quadcopters with similar sets of features. However, it certainly is not a kind of problem that reduces the amount of fun associated with the flip mode.
Another point to remember here is that the flip feature does have a few question marks when it comes to windy weather conditions. So the pilot might not actually get what he/she is anticipating from this mode in gusty weather.
I tried out the Dromida Ominus primarily in the self-stabilizing mode but I also had it tested in the more advanced modes of flight as well. While flying your device in these modes, you should be familiar with what you are doing because the machine won’t be jumping in to save you from any crash. It does not imply that it is a very difficult mode to deal with but if you are someone who is new to the world of drones and quadcopters, then you definitely need to get better at flying. This mode is meant for experienced pilots only and offers plenty of fun as well.
A few important things about the flight modes: It is not easy to figure out the flight mode you are currently in without peeking at the radio controller to look for blinking or solid LED light. It is never a good idea to take your eye off your quadcopter during the flight. So, I would highly recommend you to switch between the flight modes only when the machine is on ground and never attempt this feat mid-flight.
The prolonged flight durations that are provided by this fabulous device are probably the longest that I have come across in quadcopters of this class and type. The 700mAh battery is a great feature of this superb device. During the five test flights, we observed an average flight duration of 12 minutes and eleven seconds while trying different flight modes. Even when I attempted to carry out some cool aerial manoeuvres and tricks, the flight duration remained around eleven minutes. For extended flight durations, the Dromida Ominus is surely the best available machine on the market.
As far as durability and reliability are concerned, they are no issue whatsoever with the Dromida Ominus. In particular, our final test flight for the battery rundown was quite a remarkable one. The flight was carried out in frigid temperatures and wind speed of 16 MPH and wind gusts of 20 MPH. The quadcopter got crashed a couple of time. In fact, it also bumped into me on one of the occasions. It bounced off the nearby electric pole, crashed into the parking lot and even got flipped without the help of flipping button. As a matter of fact, it received serious kind of beating. The flight duration remained the same as that provided by other counterparts and the machine did not suffer even a little bit of damage. The only issue that we encountered was during the first test flight when I had my thumb slip off the throttle stick and the Dromida Ominus came crashing down from about twenty feet of altitude. The landing was upright but one of the motors slid away from the gears. I was once again flying the fabulous machine simply after I slid the motor back. Dromida claim that the Dromida Ominus is nearly impossible to break and the experience that we have had with it so far, definitely confirms their assertion. Though, we still believe that it all boils down to how well you handle and maintain your device. Even if, somehow, you do manage to break one part or the other, the spare parts support is pretty nice. I cannot speak about the hobby shops in you nick of the woods, but we have all the requisite accessories, hop-ups and add-ons related to this wonderful machine.
How does it stand against the competition?
If Dromida wanted to be aggressive and make a bid at threatening the established players in a class of machines that is not easy to master, then they surely have been successful. The medium sized, brushed quadcopter class is brimming with plenty of competitors. The most competitive of all the machines out there are probably the LaTrax Alias and the Blade 180QX HD.
The Alias is the most similar of the devices out there to Dromida Ominus in terms of features and characteristics. In this contest, the Ominus wins by a fair distance. They are almost the same kind of drones. There are a few minor issues such as the gyroscope feature in the Alias is a bit better than the Ominus. The flip feature is also a bit more sophisticated in it but you can almost purchase two Dromida Ominus devices for the price of one Alias. Moreover, the subtle differences between the two devices are certainly not much to make the Alias a better option with a larger price tag. Also, the Ominus provides at least a minute better in terms of flight duration. As a matter of fact, during our tests, our shortest flight with the Ominus was equivalent to the average flight duration of the Alias. I am expecting that the price tag associated with the Alias is bound to come down in the future. But for now, the Ominus is a better machine that the Alias by far. You can have a look at our Alias review to compare the two machines.
When we reviewed the Alias and compared it to the Blade 180QX HD, the point of discussion would definitely remain the same. The Blade is a better option than the other devices and provides an improved flight experience to the professional fliers. If you are concerned about compatibility with your Spektrum transmitter, then it is a better choice. For all the others, the Dromida Ominus is just too good a machine at too good a price to let go. This contest boils down to the type of flight experience you are interested in but as far as user-friendliness and the fun factor goes, the Ominus is a brilliant choice.
You should keep in mind that the Dromida Ominus does not boast a camera whereas the Blade 180QX HD comes with a camera in the ready to takeoff packaging. You can also buy a camera as an add-on for the Alias. I am not sure if Dromida will be looking to add a camera in their future products but there is no reason why they should not! If you are looking to capture videos and photographs, then the Alias and Blade 180QX HD are better options in that regard.
Final Word on Dromida Ominus Drone
The Dromida Ominus is the best first entry by any new player in the world of drones. It may not be the ideal quadcopter in its class, but the sort of features it boasts and the price tag associated with it, render it a must-have choice. More and more people are starting to learn the art and science of flying quadcopters and the race to grab the best machine for the lowest price possible is definitely on.
Currently, the Dromida Ominus is ahead of rest of the pack by a fair margin. The Proto X by Estes made a name for itself when it was launched the previous year and still continues to be a great choice even today. The ominus is here to stay because of its exclusive set of features and extremely low price.