The Syma X5C has been around for a while, and when it went on sale on Amazon for $60 I figured I’d give it a shot. My brother has the JJRC H8C, and I thought it would be fun to compare the two. They are both in the same class, about the same size and weight, cost the same and sport very similar cameras. The major difference being that the JJRC H8C runs on 2s batteries as opposed to the Syma X5C’s 1s setup. I have a ton of 1s batteries laying around so I figured it would be easy to get a lot of flying in.
Our maiden flights quickly revealed the difference. From a flight characters standpoint both quads are pretty similar. Neither is particularly fast or punchy. The Syma X5C seemed a bit more stable out of the box. It only took about 2.5 minutes for the major difference to surface. We were flying in the parking lot next to my apartment. It’s a decent sized parking lot holding around 30 cars, spanned on both sides by apartment buildings. I fly my Hubsans all the time there and their range is easily sufficient to stretch well beyond the limits of the parking lot. The Syma X5C however barely made it halfway down the lot when it lost control.
As I was making an outward pass it just kept on going. It was clear that I lost radio control and it was just going to keep going on the trajectory it was last heading. I ran to try to catch up to it, but it quickly shot off and got snagged on the top of the closest tree. I normally don’t fly with prop guards on, but since it was new I thought I’d buy myself a few extra flights by using it. Instead I had just added the perfect branch snaggers to my quad.
It was late and dark and we decided there was no easy way to get it out of the tree so we headed in and called it a day. The next morning my brother gave it a better look and realized he could easily climb the tree and shake it free. When I got home from work he was pleased to present the rescued Syma. We immediately headed up on my RoofTop to give her another try. I was clearly aware of the danger and was keeping it on a short leash. Again within only a minute or two of flight it lost connection and headed off on its own path.
This time it landed on the roof of an un-scalable neighbor’s building. It was going to be there for a while and I was sort of relieved to be done with it. I love flying Hubsans, they are quick, agile, and tough as nails. They can handle tons of crashes, and have a control range that is father than VLOS could need. This stupid Syma was just a disappointment and I just wrote it off to a failure.
I told a few of my neighbors that if anyone could get it off the roof it was theirs. I would give them the Tx, the extra props, and even a fresh battery. It would be up to them to fix the control problem or be responsible for its next flyaway. Weeks rolled on and we had nothing but rain for most of them. I figured with all that exposure to the elements it was probably a lost cause anyways.
Then one day I received a text with this picture.
I headed up on the RoofTop with my Tx in hand and went to go see what the scoop was.
Here is a video of the results.