If you’re looking to get into the world of quadcopters, the JJRC H8D is a great place to start. This entry-level drone is designed to be easy to use, affordable, and exciting without being too complicated. While this drone isn’t top of the line by any means, it is a beautiful entry into an otherwise expensive entry hobby.
What is the JJRC H8D and How Does It Work?
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Generally speaking, this drone works just like any other drone. However, if you’re new to the world of piloting the skies, it’s essential that you understand the learning curve associated with flying. It’s also important that you know where you can and can’t fly a drone.
As we mentioned above, the manufacturer designed the JJRC H8D with the beginner pilot in mind. But don’t let its novice level features fill you with dismay. As far as entry-level drones go, this one is fun to fly and a handy device to learn with. Plus, its affordable price tag makes it an appealing option for people interested in drones that also follow a strict budget.
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As the quadcopter moniker suggests, this drone uses a combination of four motors combined with plastic propellers to take flight and explore the sky. Users control the drone by using joysticks on a remote transmitter.
In addition to its flying capability, this quadcopter comes standard with a camera so that you can see what your drone “sees.” The camera quality isn’t exactly top-of-the-line, but for an entry-level product, casual users will find that it is more than adequate. Additionally, you can record video and take still shots with the built-in camera.
It’s important to note that this particular quadcopter is an older model. In fact, it first debuted in 2015. Still, it was on the cutting edge of technology then and falls well within standards of a “decent” drone today. However, it’s important to understand the limitations of this drone as well as its benefits.
Even though this drone is relatively limited in capability, it’s a good idea to check into any local, state, and federal regulations that you must follow. Also, be aware that if you are new to flying, it can be relatively easy to lose track of your drone. Spend an adequate amount of time getting to know the controls and capabilities of this little machine before venturing too far.
Also, be aware that this drone (like many others) is powered by a lithium polymer battery. Unlike some other types of batteries, Li-Po batteries require a bit of special care. Be sure to understand how to correctly charge, discharge, and store the battery that comes with your drone and any additional batteries you choose to buy.
What Makes the JJRC H8D Unique?
To begin our review of what makes this quadcopter unique, let’s start with an overview of this drones specifications. Below you’ll find a list that outlines this drone's specifications.
- 4 GHz Frequency (Drone to Transmitter)
- 6-Axis Gyro
- 8 Minute Flight Time
- 110 Minute Charging Time
- 300 Meter Remote Control Distance
- 23-gram weight
- Multiple Functions Including 360 Degree Rolling Action
- 0 MP Camera
- SD Card Reader
- 8 GHz Real-Time FPV (Video Feedback to Transmitter)
- Optional 3D Mode
- Headless Mode
It’s worth noting that this model comes packaged with a few additional items to improve your overall experience. These items include but are not limited to:
- FPV LCD Screen
- 4V 500mAh Li-Po Battery (1)
- 2 Pairs of Spare Propellers
- 2GB SD Card
Without getting too technical, we can tell you that for its price, this drone will offer novice hobbyists an impressive experience. Below we’ll explore a few of these specifications in depth to give you a better impression of this unique flying device.
Six-Axis Gyro Stabilization
Ask anyone who’s tried to fly a drone and you’ll find out just how challenging the task can be. In part, this is due to the variability of operating conditions and the drone’s ability to compensate for unexpected changes in acceleration. When talking about quadcopters, it’s important to remember that acceleration technically refers to any difference in speed or direction.
All drones contain either three-axis stabilization or six-axis stabilization. And while the comparison of these two systems can get quite technical, the most important thing to know is that drones with six-axis stabilization are more stable than their three axis counterparts.
Because the JJRC H8D features six-axis gyro, you are less likely to end your flight with a crash landing. Additionally, this stabilizing feature means that if the wind picks up while you’re flying, you’re more likely to maintain control over your quadcopter.
Charging Time vs. Flying Time
If the flying time of this drone seems short to you, don’t fret, it is. But, it’s important to understand that in general, most drones have a reasonably short flying time. As of this writing, many entry-level drones offer around 10 minutes of flying time. Some are much shorter, a much lower number of beginner-friendly drones provide 12 minutes.
When compared to the lengthy charge time of 110 minutes, a brief 8 minutes of flying time may feel like nothing. However, it’s important to set your expectations before planning your first take off. Keep in mind, this drone is exceptionally easy for beginners to fly and it includes a decent camera and real-time FPV.
When it comes to functionality, this little quadcopter shines. As you can probably already guess, this drone will go up and down, side to side, and forwards and backward. Additionally, this drone supports an optional 3D mode, 360 degrees rolling action, and a one-key return.
To make flying more comfortable for drone operators with little experience, this model also features a headless mode. With headless mode engaged, the drone will move in the direction that the user pushes the transmitter joystick. By using this mode, users do not have to understand where the “nose” or front of the drone is facing.
When compared to a top of the line flagship model, the price of this drone is incredibly moderate. In fact, the price tag attached to this drone is just under $. If this price tag seems a bit steep for something that could end up in a fatal crash upon its first use, keep reading.
Unlike some drones, this model comes with almost everything you need to start flying, recording, and taking still shots of the sky. In fact, the only thing that isn’t included is a battery for the transmitter. When you compare this to bare-bones “kits” that require you to buy several additional tools to start flying, it’s clear that this drone represents excellent value for its cost.
It’s also important to understand what you aren’t getting regarding quality. In other words, if this drone seems like a steal, reflect on its limitations. The JJRC H8D is indeed an entry level product. You may be able to pull off a few low-key stunts, but if you want a drone top-of-the-line drone, you’ll have to pay a top of the line price.
When it comes to pricing, you may also want to think about the added price of additional Li-Po batteries and other replacement parts. Because this drone is decidedly beginner-friendly, there are not too many parts that are replaceable on it. However, if you wind up in frequent crashes, you will need new propellers before too long.
Overall, most drone experts agree, this drone is very affordable. It’s an especially good value when you consider the fact that it’s ready to fly directly out of the box.
When it comes to the world of drones, opinions are abundant. Aside from criticisms concerning drones in general, it seems that every drone on the market is subject to harsh critiques. On the flip side, nearly every drone has its fair share of dedicated lovers as well. Following this well-established trend, this quadcopter is loved by many and hated by others.
Those Who Love It
Thanks in large part to the affordable price and novice-friendly nature of this quadcopter, many people love this drone. And for a good reason. This drone is relatively easy to fly, packed with helpful features, and offers a good experience for a comparatively low cost. Customers also love that this drone is ready to use straight out of the package.
Experience quadcopter pilots note that this drone represents excellent value for its cost. This value is especially present when it comes to flight stability, ease of use, and overall range. Plus, as we’ve already mentioned, it is an excellent learning tool for those who are new to the world of FPV quadcopters.
Those Who Hate It
When reflecting on the downsides of this particular drone, it seems that many people face similar challenges. Most notably, the motors that come standard on this piece of equipment are not very durable. In fact, many users report that their motors burned out within just a few uses.
Another common complaint reflects upon the reliability of the one-touch home return feature. More than one users tried to engage this option only to have their quadcopter fly off into the distance to an unknown location. However, it’s worth noting that this may be a consequence of misuse rather than malfunction.
One final complaint that some users make involves the brightness of the FPV viewing screen. Some users find that the screen is too bright to offer a high-quality picture on sunny days that are good for flying.
When you take into consideration the vast array of customer reviews of this product, you end up with a pretty average rating. Most people like this product, some people love it, and few people carry a lingering distaste for this particular drone. All in all, the public perception of this drone is comparable to the opinion of other entry-level drones.
How It Compares
We’ve already touched on some of the ways that this drone compares to others in the sections above. However, we’ll quickly recap the general overview of what this drone has to offer when compared to other drones of similar price and quality.
In general, this drone is more affordable than other entry-level drones. Plus, it offers a high-quality flying experience that cheaper drones fail to capture. Additionally, this drone is incredibly stable and easy to fly considering the relatively large amount of power it offers. As a final note, this drone doesn’t require a smartphone to engage the FPV features, which is nice.
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On the other hand, this drone has a shorter flying time than other entry-level drones available at similar price points. And, the tendency for the motors to burn out early on makes some customers wary of this product. But, for its low cost, most people still consider this quadcopter to be a fantastic deal.
What makes this drone stand out are the various features it boasts. For example, the six-axis stabilization gives this product a boost over others of similar quality. And the impressive range that this quadcopter has more than compensates for its relatively short flying time.
All in all, this drone compares favorably to others in the same entry-level bracket. However, as we’ve already mentioned, setting your expectations correctly before your first flight will help you find joy in this (or any other) drone.
What We Think
While this flying device certainly has its fair share of both pros and cons, we think it’s an excellent choice for beginner drone pilots. The remarkable stability, intuitive flight controls, and low-delay FPV make this a great product to learn with. In other words, it is fun to use but will still teach you the ins and outs of piloting.
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That being said, if you are already familiar with FPV drone flying, this may not be the best choice for you. After all, this drone is relatively limited when compared to more expensive models. Still, if you’re interested in getting an entry-level drone for friends or family to practice with, this could be an excellent choice.
This is a good drone. It isn’t the best drone on the market, but it also isn’t the worst. It has a lot of useful features and is a great way to learn about the world of drone piloting. Plus, its relatively low cost makes this a low-risk purchase for many buyers.