Snaptain S5C Drone Review | What To Know Before Buying
The Snaptain S5C drone is right now the most popular drone sold on Amazon. It is selling like hotcakes and there are good reasons for this. It has 720p video, altitude hold, FPV capability (FPV headset not included) and more. This drone can be had be had for less than 100 bucks and is a great value. Its longest dimension is 13.9 inches. It is 9.7 inches wide and stands 3.3 inches from the ground. At 127 grams with battery included it is also lightweight. While this weight is good for carrying the drone around, it is not good for wind resistance. Do not attempt to fly this drone in a heavy or even moderate wind. Chances are the wind will carry it out of range or crash the drone against something. This drone is relatively new according to Forbes, being one of the best available drones for beginners in 2019. It is also manufactured in China.
As with many electronic devices manufactured in China, one gets a lot for one's buck with this drone. There are many features one can learn to master, so it is great for the beginner drone pilot both in terms of functionality and in terms of potential skill advancement. Technically this product was made for ages 14 and up, but many younger children will have no problem adapting to this product. Even more advanced drone pilots can enjoy this product in the right circumstances. For instance, it is highly portable and can be taken just about anywhere to explore anything one would like to explore.
Let's talk about everything included with your new Snaptain S5C drone. There is the drone itself with propellers. Some things will need to be attached but no much. It is strongly suggested that beginners attach propeller guards. There are 4 propeller guards included in the package. The propeller guards keep the propellers from being damaged if the drone runs into something or crashes to earth. Beginners who may have difficulty controlling the drone properly should take heed of this and attach those guards.
In case a propeller gets damaged or goes missing there are four additional propellers in the package. There is also the drone landing gear that needs to be attached using screws that are included. There is a small screwdriver included as well to attach the two landing rails. There are also two batteries. One goes in the drone in a compartment above where the camera is attached. The other battery is just an extra that may be needed depending on what one is doing. There is a charging cord for these batteries as well. There is a manual that instructs one about the drone in several different languages.
A major piece of equipment included in the S5C kit is the controller. The controller at first looks like a game console. But one will quickly adapt to learn how this controls the drone. There are two blue protruding controls that are essentially like joysticks. One is for controlling the direction of the drone. The other controls the drone’s ascent and decent.
There is a 4-way trim button and individual buttons for taking pictures or video, for automatic take-off and automatic return. There is a button to stop the rotors as necessary and for power on, power off. In the middle of the controller is a lever that folds up and above the top. This lever has an adjustable top that you can attach a cellphone to. At the top edge of the controller are controls for drone speed and to allow for 360-degree flips.
Items not included are the micro SD card for the camera or three triple A batteries to run the controller. The batteries are easy to install. Simply press the tiny blue button on the back of the controller to remove the lid to the battery storage compartment and insert the batteries. There is a card included to help one get a micro SD card for the camera and other paraphernalia if one responds to the offer on that card.
A good source to look over the features of this drone is on EDrones. To summarize the range of the S5C drone is about 80 meters using the controller. Also, the drone can be controlled through a cellphone using Wi-Fi. According to this first Youtube video the Wi-Fi signal is not exactly stable and may disconnect at times. In order to use your cell phone to control your drone you must download onto your phone the Snaptain S5C app. This app puts on your phone the same controls that are on your controller, and it has virtual joysticks for controlling the S5C's flight.
According to the above video there are various means of controlling one's drone through your cellphone. For instance, there is a microphone feature that allows one to give the drone verbal commands such as "take-off", "forward", "back", "right", "left" and so on; however, the reviewer believes the range of these commands is much more limited than commanding the drone manually. There is also a gyro mode that can be accessed through one's cellphone. Gyro mode allows one to turn and tip the drone by doing the same to the phone. For instance, if one goes from holding one's phone flat, face-up and tips it forward, the drone will tip forward as well and move in a forward direction. Tipping the phone back allows the reverse to happen. Tipping the phone to the right or the left does the same to the drone and causes it to go right or left.
The camera on this drone is a 720-pixel FPV camera that allows for decent quality pictures and video for the money. The camera can be manually adjusted as one prefers. By pointing the camera straight ahead you will picture the horizon. You can point the camera down at various angles to inspect the landscape. FPV means that one will be able to see everything the camera sees right on your cellphone and it should be recorded. But according to the above video the reviewer lost all of this content for some reason. Therefore, it is best to put in the camera a micro SD card to record everything. This will guarantee that no images are lost. To take a picture with the camera simply press the applicable button on the controller or in your phone's app once. Holding that button in longer causes video recording to kick in. When video is being recorded you will see the rear red lights on the two rear drone arms flashing. On the front of the drone, where the camera is, the lights on the two arms are a solid blue.
Other features that are of interest on the Snaptain S5C drone include an altitude hold feature. This allows the drone to hover at a certain altitude. It does so with impressive stability and for great picture and video quality. There is also a feature using one's phone that allows one to draw a flight path for the drone and it will follow that path exactly. Another feature is called gravity control. This helps with the stability of the drone.
Now it is time to compare the Snaptain S5C drone to the competition. We will discuss the Altair AA108. Per this second Youtube video we see right away that this drone comes right out of the box with propeller guards attached. That is because this drone was specifically made for beginners. It is obvious that the Altair AA108 drone is smaller than its Snaptain counterpart. The battery is larger in proportion to the drone and battery life and range are better than the S5C. With the Altair, range is more like 100 meters and the flight time is better than 8 minutes compared with 7 minutes for the S5C. Unlike the S5C there are no landing rails to attach. There are landing pads to attach to the craft's landing stubs.
Ultimately, the Snaptain S5C drone is cheaper than just about anything out there except for mini drones. It is also very versatile. The beginner drone pilot can do well with this drone and as they acquire more skills, that same pilot can increasingly do amazing things. For those reasons, the Snaptain S5C drone is an amazing buy. If you are looking to step to a drone with even more feature you could always have a look at the Altair Aerial AA300 drone.