There are many drones that are advertised as novice-friendly. Unfortunately, that designation usually has more to do with stripping down features than with making the drones easier to fly. Fortunately, the Navigator U31W drone lives up to its promises by being a fully-featured drone with a decent FPV HD camera that is still easy to keep in the air. Therefore, it is the purpose of this review to take a detailed look at the Navigator U31W drone and give potential users recommendations on how to use it to its fullest.
Navigator U31W Drone Main Features & Specs
The Navigator U31W drone is classed as an entry-level drone, one meant for novice pilots who are moving up from the more toy-like micro-copters on the market. With its small size and lightweight, it’s an easy transition for those who haven’t spent much time flying. Coupled with an easy-to-use remote control and a solid app-based flight experience, it’s definitely meant for pilots who haven’t spent much time with RC flying.
The drone is equipped with an HD camera, something that generally costs extra for a drone of this class. It’s able to capture good images without sacrificing too much flight time, which is a definite plus. The camera can offload its images to an SD card, making it easier than ever to capture images in flight.
Helping the camera is a solid altitude hold mode, which keeps the drone at a level height while flying. This, along with a great headless mode, makes the drone easier to fly while capturing images. There is also a good one-touch landing button that helps new pilots to bring the drone down in an emergency.
Navigator U31W Drone Specs
|7 min||Outdoor||1280x720p HD||7.4V 350mAh||75 min||3 oz||15.6×13.4×6.5 inches||30 m|
Arguments: Pros & Cons
- Has headless mode and altitude holder;
- Good remote controller;
- It is compact;
- Has FPV camera;
- Good warranty.
- Does not work well in stronger wind;
- Has no extra guards
- Too lightweight;
- Camera issues;
- No second battery.
Navigator U31W Drone Remote Control & Set-up for First Flight
You’ll notice that the remote control for this drone looks like a cross between a traditional RC plane remote and a video game controller. This is likely done on purpose, as the drone itself is generally meant for novice fliers who might have a bit more experience with video games than flying remote-controlled machines.
The controller itself is large and fits in the hands comfortably, which is good for those who want to fly as often as possible. It certainly needs the extra heft, as the top of the remote is dedicated to two large antennas and an optional cell phone holder.
The front face is very standard. From left to right, it features a left throttle stick above the headless mode/holding button, a power button, and a right stick above a take-off/landing button. The back of the controller has a speed control button and a trimmer mode button. The battery is also inserted in the back of the controller.
It should be noted that this drone can be controlled entirely through a smartphone app. It’s generally easier to fly the drone with the remote control, but you can work with the two in tandem to set up custom flight paths. If you fly with the smartphone alone, you should expect a bit less response from the drone.
Flying the Drone
After you assemble the drone, you’ll need to go through a brief pre-flight check. The manual has very easy to read instructions for assembly and pairing, which shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. Make sure to use the included screwdriver to attach all the parts firmly and to follow the instructions for pairing precisely.
The drone comes with a pre-flight checklist which should be followed exactly. Make sure to clear the camera and check that the propellers are working well. As well as practicing locking and unlocking the rotors. Once you have a hang of getting the drone in the air, make sure you adjust the trimmer to deal with any listing from side to side.
Our first flight took place in an open field on a calm day. There was very little wind to interfere with the flight at first, which made the take-off fairly easy. It didn’t take much to get the drone into the air and flying around, though we did notice some of the listing issues the manual warned about during our early flight.
As always with a drone this size, we recommend being very careful in the wind. There was a bit of a gust towards the end of our flight and it easily picked up the drone. While not as problematic as in some lighter drones, it was definitely enough of an issue that it should be noted.
What’s in the Box?
As you might expect, this drone doesn’t come with much more than what you need for flying it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course. However, there are included extra rotors, which will help you when you damage the first set. Included in the box are:
- The Navigator U31W Quadcopter;
- The remote controller;
- The Battery;
- USB Charger;
- 4 Spare Blades;
- User Manual;
- Warranty Document.
Finally, we need to say we really enjoyed our time with the Navigator U31W drone. While we wish it had a bit more heft to it and that the battery was stronger, we have no major complaints. This is a good drone for those who want something better than a toy but who are not willing to invest in a professional-level model. Do you have any experience with the Navigator U31W drone? What did you think of it? Let us know in a comment below!