Hubsan’s New Zino Drone Releasing Soon
You may have heard of Hubsan for their small but efficient toy drones, as seen in their X4 series. Well, that series has been upgraded into GPS-capable models, which got mixed results. What we’re going to review here is the company’s first ever Kickstarter funded product, the Hubsan Zino. This looks to be a great drone for the price and may provide some much needed competition to other portable drones. How does it fare with one of the most popular drones in the market right now, the DJI Spark?
Who is the Zino for?
The Hubsan Zino is for drone enthusiasts looking for an entry-level drone but are not ready or do not want to buy the popular DJI Spark. This drone is heavily marketed to rival the DJI Spark. It’s a drone that provides excellent value for its specific set of features, but is it too good to be true?
I think it’s interesting that Hubsan decided to use Kickstarter to fund this new offering, when in fact they are an already established brand and has produced quality drones over the years, such as the H501s drone. While this model had issues, it was still gained popularity for its first-person view features.
In addition to their Kickstarter campaign, the Zino was also funded via Indiegogo. It didn’t earn that well compared to their Kickstarter initiative, but the Indiegogo campaign still helped developed the drone.
What You Get Out of the Box
Upon unboxing the Zino, you will immediately notice how it looks quite similar to DJI’S Mavic drones. At the same time it was engineered to be an improvement upon the H501s and seems to be great competitor (at least on paper) against the DJI Spark. It has an innovative folding structure, with arms and propellers that can fold themselves perfectly into the body. The Zino’s smooth body lines are said to reduce air resistance.
You will also notice the product’s lightness, which is said to contribute to its remarkable speed and flight time. There’s also a compact controller in which you can mount your smartphone to get a view of what the Zino is capturing.
The Hubsan Zino comes with an improved 3-axis gimbal to make sure that all your shots are stable. The body of the drone is primarily made with polycarbonate materials for ultimate impact- and shock-resistance. To provide better internal circulation, specifically heat distribution, this drone has built-in vents on its surface. It’s equipped with a GPS, barometer and a compass, which can all be controlled using an improved UI.
Overview of Features
The drone business is considered one of the toughest consumer markets to compete in. Because of the continuously evolving technology, these products become old so fast, which is why newer products are regularly introduced by many brands out there. Let’s take a look at how Zino fares in the market.
Range: The Hubsan Zino boasts a flight range of 2500 meters, but videos can only be transmitted at 1000 meters or lesser.
Flight Time: It can fly for a maximum of 23 minutes, beating Spark by seven minutes and Mavic Air by three.
Video Quality: The Zino offers 4K UHD video of up to 30 frames per second and is equipped with a follow mode and a visual tracking mode. Its camera can capture wide angles with a range of recording, control, and flight features.
Photo Quality: Using its compact controller, you can mount a smartphone onto the Zino to view it in FPV. Its viewing angle boasts 89 degrees with a wide aperture of F2.2. It can capture shots at 30 frames per second with the highest resolution set at 3840x2160.
Weight: The Zino is lighter compared to the Mavic Air and Mavic Pro 2 at 700 grams.
Foldable: This will make an excellent drone to take hiking or pack with you when traveling.
Navigation and Stabilization: one of the many perks of the Zino its pre-programmed waypoint navigation and GPS-stabilization, which makes it an efficient partner when it comes to pro-level videography.
Point of Interest: Users can set a point of interest which this drone can track and capture. When set, the Zino will travel to where the point of interest is and take shots of it.
Altitude Hold Mode: As with most drones these days, the Zino can stay on its set altitude on its own, only adjusting if it has too, especially when the weather is unpredictable.
Headless Flight: Unlike airplanes or choppers, the Zino doesn’t have a definite orientation, which means it can fly properly without the user having to worry of adjusting where it’s facing. This eliminates the chore of having to rotate the drone once in a while.
Automatic Landing and Takeoff: When the connection is lost while mid-air, most drones would crash especially when it runs out of power. Hubsan addressed this issue by integrating the drone with an auto landing and takeoff feature.
Tutorial/How to Use the Hubsan Zino
Hubsan Zino vs. DJI Spark
Hubsan has clearly stepped up their game and has produced a drone that is relevant to the behavior of today’s drone users. Their previous model, the H501S, has been in the market for several years, but no improvement has been made. The previous models are fun drones to play with, especially if you’re the type keen on Brushless Motor GPS drones but don’t exactly have the budget.
However, Hubsan’s previous drones did not have a Gimbal or electronic image stabilization, which made getting decent shots and smooth videos impossible to capture. The company attempted to change all these with the H109 models, who they rivaled with the DJI Phantoms, which ended up rather disappointingly.
The Zino, however, seems like the proper rival for the DJI Spark. Finally, the company has made a real alternative to DJI’s best-rated products.
Another thing that makes the Hubsan Zino an amazing product is how it costs less than DJI drones. Since it is an entry-level drone, newbies in the hobby of droning are more likely to buy the Zino, which cost a fraction of the Spark. Still, it can capture tremendous and seamless shots, especially for a drone with a budget-friendly price point.
Tips and Tricks
When flying the Hubsan Zino, below are some tips and tricks that could be useful to you.
Look for wide open spaces away from transformers, cell phone towers, and power lines
Make sure there aren’t any tall trees if possible
Stay away from pedestrian traffic
If possible, don’t play with the drone in high winds. For newbies, it’s advised that your first flight should be done in weather where the wind is relatively minimal, especially if you have a lightweight drone.Make sure to have as much space as possible -- no drone is too small. You have to make sure that the drone can move freely in any direction so you can practice controlling it.
What is the Hubsan Zino release date?
You can pre-order now through Banggood.com.
Where should you fly your Hubsan Zino?
The ideal place to fly your drone should be in a vast open space where there are as few people around as possible. Try to avoid playing the Zino in residential areas where it’s populated, as well as airports, schools, commercial districts, and other places where there are events. You should also keep in mind not to fly your drone in national parks, where it is considered illegal. And according to FAA, your drone should not fly below 400 feet.
Your drone shouldn’t be anywhere near places where it will endanger people in case it crashes.
Are there places where drones are prohibited?
As mentioned, it’s best to avoid flying drones away from people. It is illegal to operate a drone near the White House and at national parks. It is also prohibited to fly drones over stadiums, and you must keep a 5-mile distance away from the airport.
Can a drone fly in any weather?
No. You should only fly your drone in mild or moderate weather types. Don’t attempt to operate your Zino in the rain or when there are strong winds. Although snow in the ground is fine, manufacturers advice not to fly drones when it’s snowing.
Is the Zino okay on its own or do I need additional accessories?
It’s best to buy some extra batteries for your drone. If you can get an extra charger, do so as well. Your Zino might also need a backpack or a hard shell, or any type of carrying case.
For a drone not that expensive, the Hubsan Zino’s specs are quite impressive, especially its 4K resolution. It’s a real competitor for DJI drones, and already, some reviewers are calling it a Spark killer due to its closely similar features.
The Hubsan Zino Drone is a high-quality model with a compact and convenient design, which makes it easy to transport and store. Of course, these features aren’t merely due to the company’s generosity. In recent years, the drone market has become so advanced that manufacturers are continuously competing to be on the top spot -- loading their drones with high-end features while making sure the price won’t hurt too much.
For now, DJI may still be the top-contender for all drone projects, but the Hubsan Zino seems to be looking to move in on its turf.