UDI U818A Drone Review: A Drone for all Ages

Most of the drones that can be found in the market generally boast high costs and are on the heavier side. Hence, if you are someone who is new to flying drones, low on budget and a pilot who likes to exercise complete control over the device, these drones are not suitable. UDI U818A is a drone that introduced the world of drones to a machine that is not only on the lower end of the scale with regard to the price but is also highly suitable to the drone beginners.

This article features:
– Brief Introduction about UDI U818A Drone
– Sepcifications & Features of UDI U818A Drone
– Conclusion

It is regarded as one of the most popular drones on Amazon and is by far the sturdiest of devices in terms of toy drones. The UDI U8181A was released a couple of years ago and yet it has been able to retain its position as one of the best-selling drones in the market. Let’s take a look at the reasons that make this toy drone so popular among the rookie dronies.

Specification Summary

  • 340 x 330 x 60 mm dimension
  • 60 – 120 minute charging time
  • 7-9 minute flight time per charge
  • Rechargeable 3.7V, 500mAh LiPo batteries
  • 50- 100 meter communication distance
  • 640×480 pixels Camera
  • 6 gyroscopes for stabilization
  • 4 channel support
  • 2.4 GHz frequency
  • Lightweight – 15.3 grams

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What Makes the UDI U818A the Ideal Drone?

Ready for Take-off

The UDI U818A comes in the ready-to-fly packaging. The rotors, in the original packaging, are attached to their relative slots. So, one does not to do plenty of preparations to set the drone whizzing through the air. However, once the open the original packaging, you will have to keep an eye at the battery level of the controller as well as the drone. You have to ensure that there are four AA batteries for the controller and a single battery for the drone fit into slots dedicated to house batteries.

Design

As far as the design of UDI U818A is concerned, it boasts a pretty simple design that does not involved too much of complexities. It comes in jet black color while the UDI logo is impregnated in the middle of the device. Once viewed from a distance, it gives the appearance of an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) which would certainly raise curiosity in the die-hard fans of Sci-Fi movies. The device is quite light in weight and sports a weight of feeble 15.3 grams. Once you touch it, it seems as if you are touching something that would be blown away by strong wind or if being mishandled or if it happened to crash by some unfortunate accident. But this is where the science comes into play. It is this flimsiness that enables this amazing device to absorb shocks in case of crashes and hence reduces its weight significantly.

Two of the rotors are black while two of them are white. Both these are accompanied by black colored propeller guards on the sides that protect the rotors from being tangled by undesired objects. The rotors are long-lasting and are able to absorb lots of pressure and even twisting making them highly suitable for you if you have lots of children around trying to get their hands or toy with the drone. A button on the controller’s shoulder can be used to trigger the LED lights on and off when required. However, the lights can only be switched on when the headless mode of the drone is turned off. Moreover, the UDI U818A boasts a couple of blue LED lights at the front-end and a couple of red LED lights at the rear-end that serve the purpose of being points-of-reference which is quite effective for night-time flights.

Remote Controller

Well, this drone is incomplete without its controller which has a minimalistic design and is primarily made of high quality plastic. It can easily fit into the palm of your hand and does not slip out of your hands as is so often the case with controllers of other drones. The controller includes plenty of buttons, keys and switches that help in guiding the drone during its flight as if you are a true professional who knows the art of flying drones.

A couple of buttons on the controller’s shoulder are meant to trigger the LED lights on and off and also to set the drone into stunt mode. Acceleration and direction are managed the two sticks on the top left side of the controller. The stick to the right is used to control forward and backwards movements in addition to left or right directions in accordance with the common layouts for sticks and buttons.

The LCD display is used to show parameters such as battery levels, thrust and signal strength. The LCD display is also surrounded by four more buttons which are dedicated to taking photographs and shooting videos, altering the flight mode of the drone and utilizing the omni-directional eversion stunts.

Controls

The controller communicates with the UDI U818A drone via the 2.4 GHz frequency band which is the same frequency band which is utilized by the ubiquitous WiFi networks. But don’t fret! You won’t be experiencing any interference due to these wireless networks. The control range of the drone is around 100 meters. There’s a catch though! The quadcopter can only be controlled by this controller that accompanies it and cannot be controlled by your WiFi enabled handheld mobile devices.

Flight Time

The UDI U818A operates on 500 mAh batteries and can give you around 5-7 minutes at full charge. When you consider the price range it falls in, the flight duration is pretty standard. The batteries can take from an hour to a couple of hours to be recharged completely which is  quite a large amount of recharge time when you consider that the batteries are small in size.

Most of the users prefer to keep an additional pair of batteries with them in stock to enhance their flight durations to 15 to 20 minutes. There’s another point of concern here. The batteries do not give any indication prior to being run out of juice, so you’ll have to keep a close eye at the battery levels. Once the batteries are running out of energy, the drone will be hard to keep flying and it will crash into the ground in case of the batteries running out fully!

Ease of Use

The drone’s flight is heavily reliant on the skills of the pilot who is controlling it with the accompanied controller. If you are new to flying drones, you must try it out in an area that does not contain any obstacles and the weather conditions are favorable, i.e., wind is just about moderate. In case of gusty conditions, the drone, being light in weight, is likely to lose its directions and hence its steadiness. You must ensure that you are able to better yourself at hover circling and also at landing at the initial stages of your flying experience because these are the skills you want to master. A couple of speed modes namely Mode 1 (low) and Mode 2 (high) are available with this superb device.

Usability

The camera is fitted just underneath the drone and is forward-facing. It boasts an extremely small size while the photographs are taken at a resolution of 1280 x 960 pixels. This quality of images is quite decent if the surrounding lighting is sufficient and the drone is steady enough when the pictures are being taken. Because of the unavailability of the gimbal that ensure that a drone remains stable, the photographs taken can turn out to be blurred and are likely to capture movements in the surroundings. The video footages are recorded at a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels and at a frame rate of 30 frames per second.

In case of too much of light in the surroundings, the videos can turn out to be blurred as well. There’s another downside. The camera does not record any audio while the video quality might not stand a chance against other drones that are available in the market. But for the price it is on offer, the video quality is pretty acceptable.

The camera can be controlled by virtue of a couple of drones on the left side of the controller’s LCD display. The top button, pressed once, takes the image while the bottom button pressed once, starts recording the video while the pressed again, stops the video recording. The live streaming of the camera view is not available but a user can comfortably view the images and videos by connecting the USB wire into the camera and plugging it into the computer. The photographs are saved in the Motion JPEG format which is compatible with most of the computing devices out there.

Repairability

The UDI U8181A is quite long-lasting and can suffer quite a few crashes and accidents at the hands of the rookie pilots. The original packaging comes with four extra propellers and even a screwdriver. The additional pair of batteries, as mentioned above, can be really handy in increasing the device’s flight duration and are available at very reasonable rates. By detaching the propeller guards from the assembly, you can enhance the speed of the drone significantly.

Other Notable Features

The omni-directional eversion stunt is one of the most attractive feature of this amazing drone. The device can carry out fabulous flips in the air at a height of about 10 to 15 feet by pressing the 360 degree button. But be ready for the additional acceleration right after the magnificent maneuver. The drone also includes a 6 axis gyroscope that makes the flight a lot more steadier which has been specifically added into the device by UDI to ensure that the drone is able to withstand gusty wind conditions despite its light weight.

The Good

  • Omni-directional flips and rolls
  • Reasonably priced
  • Minimalistic design which is very easy to repair
  • Integrated camera
  • User-friendly
  • The controller comes with a LCD display

The Bad

  • Reduced time of flight
  • No live streaming
  • Very light in weight
  • Videos and photographs are of average quality
  • Battery may get heated up

Key Takeaways

The UDI U818A is a brilliant contrivance that is durable and boasts tons of features. If you are learning how to fly a drone, then this drone is especially for you. It has the ability to bear a lot of material damage and is quite resistant to shocks and hence is very useful for those who are new into flying or do not want to spend much due to budget constraints. As far as size is concerned, it is quite big for a toy drone but the device is very light in weight due to its plastic casing.

The camera takes images and records videos at 640 x 480 pixels resolution which is quite standard. Moreover, the device does not include autonomous landing traits and the landing part is heavily dependent on the flying skills of the pilot. A fully charged battery is able to give a flight duration of 7 to 9 minutes while additional batteries can be had at very low prices for extended flight timings. So, in comparison to other toy drones in the market, this dorne is probably the best one out there because of its inbuilt camera and high resistance to crashes.

Final Verdict

If you are a novice dronie who is just beginning to learn how to fly a drone, then UDI U818A is the one for you. It can help you grasp the basic skills, practices, knowledge and behaviors of the art and science of flying drones and is a great choice for you even if you have lots of kids in your surroundings. In contrast to other drones in the market, it has pretty standard features for a toy drone but it is its inbuilt camera that gives it the cutting edge over its competitors.

The drone, as discussed above, was launched a couple of years ago and since then a number of feature-rich drones have been introduced in the market. The durability, though, is a feature that attracts the dronies to buy this drone even after the lapse of couple of years since its release. This drone is tailor-made for you if you are looking to improve on your flying skills, capture photographs, record videos or have been hit by severe budgetary constraints.

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