The first thing you notice about the HB HOMEBOAT U818S quadcopter is its physical appearance. In today’s day and age it is difficult for a drone to physically stand out from the crowd, but the U818S manages this with ease. It features a striking black colour with orange edges, with four gyroscope blades that extend out across its 46cm chassis.
The U818S has a strong motor and high power output. This means it performs excellently, maintaining normal flight speed and stability, even in strong winds and rain. You can also choose between high speed and low speed flight modes, depending on what you want to achieve with your drone (for example, racing across the sky or taking your time filming footage from a bird’s eye view).
The U818S has a maximum remote control distance of 100 metres, and can be flown continuously for up to 12 minutes before the battery will require changing. Although the model comes with a charger cable and can be recharged quickly, it has to be said that other drones will fly for longer periods of time.
This quadcopter is easy to manoeuvre in all directions, and usefully it will hover in place when you aren’t pressing the throttle for easy capturing of photos and videos. Having said that, the U818S will also perform 360 degree flips and barrel rolls at just the press of a button – a perfect way to impress others if you are flying with an audience!
Unlike most quadcopters, the HB HOMEBOAT U818S comes complete with two controller parts. The first is a standard controller with throttles and directional pads, whereas the second controller comes with an additional screen for viewing through the drone’s camera as you fly. This provides a first person view for an immersive flying experience, and lets you review your footage as you film it to ensure you get the perfect shot.
This additional controller also features a “go home” button. This useful feature will return the quadcopter to its original point of taking off, making it ideal if visibility suddenly becomes poor or you begin flying close to an obstruction. However, you should remember to set the GPS coordinates every time you take off, as they do not automatically update each time you use the drone.
Like many similar drones, the footage is streamed to the controller through its built-in wifi connectivity. However, unlike a lot of drones within a similar price range you cannot use your smartphone or tablet to control the drone or view the camera footage through an app.
The U818S features a 5 megapixel video camera, which admittedly lags behind some other similar drones which boast high definition cameras. However, the drone still produces videos and photos of a decent quality. However if you are a keen videographer, you could also take advantage of the extra camera mounting point on top of the chassis. This allows you to attach a GoPro or similar device to the top of the drone for additional filming.
HB Homeboat US18S
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