Syma X8HG Quadcopter Review

Last update: August 3, 2016 by QuadHangar

Editor rating

4/5

User's rating

PROS

Affordable
Altitude control (barometer hold)
Remote controller has a phone holder
Good quality video

CONS

Descent can be tricky because of the barometer hold
Flight distance officially only 70m (although I got to about 100m)
Flight time is relatively short

VERDICT

For a budget video quadcopter, Syma did a great job on the Syma X8HG. It offers a lot of value for its price.

And if you're not into recorded video, you can even save some money by getting the X8HC instead (I'll explain the meaning of the letters in this post).

Syma X8HGAs you know quadcopters are always evolving, regardless of the price range they fall in. As a quadcopter manufacturer, Syma is no different. They constantly improve their drones as well.

The Syma X8HG is an example of that. It has some improvements over  last years model (the Syma X8G) that I’ll look at, as well as the other features of the Syma X8HG, in this post.

Buy Syma X8HG on Amazon

 

Last year I tested and reviewed the Syma X5C. The Syma X8 is pretty much the bigger brother to that quadcopter. So I figured that I’d try the X8HG instead this year.

I’ll look at the changes since last year and see how the Syma X8HG handles compared to the Syma X5C. But before I do that I’ll go over the different letter designations (G/W/C/H).

Syma releases 3 versions of each model quadcopter. So in the Syma X8 series this year, we have the Syma X8HC, the Syma X8HW, and the Syma X8HG. The H in the new number stands for (altitude) hold. These quadcopters will hold the same altitude when you don’t provide any throttle input.

The other letters, C/W/G, refer to the camera quality.

The Syma X8HG comes with an 8MP camera,the Syma X8HC with a 2MP camera and the Syma X8HW has got a 1MP camera. That’s the difference in the cameras.

What you should also know is that these cameras are modular. This means you can remove them and replace them with another camera. You can even put 3rd party cameras like the GoPro (or SJCam if you’re on a budget) on the Syma.

When I got the Syma X8HG out of the box the first thing that stood out was how much bigger the Syma X8HG is. With a wingspan of 350mm it’s the same size as the DJI Phantom. And although I should have know that before I received the quadcopter I apparently expected something smaller anyway. Just because of the size the Syma X8HG looks more like a “real” quadcopter and less like a toy than the Syma X5C does. The Syma X8HG’s  white/red remote controller, on the other hand, looks more toy like to me than the black/grey controller of the Syma X5C.

Remote Controller

Speaking of the remote controller, that’s where we find one of the changes. The new remote controller comes with a spring loaded throttle stick. When you let go of the stick it’ll go back to the middle position while the Syma X8HG’s altitude hold keep the quadcopter hovering at the same height.

And that covers the changes. Attitude hold and the spring loaded throttle stick are all that’s different. This also means that if you don’t want altitude hold you could save a couple of dollars and buy the Syma X8G instead, but I don’t recommend that as there is a good reason to go for altitude hold.

The Syma X8HG doesn’t have a gimbal. This means the video will not be as smooth as the video you see on YouTube from drones like the DJI Phantom 4 or the Yuneec Typhoon H. Having the ability to let the quadcopter hover at the same altitude helps a bit here and makes the video a bit more stable.

Obviously, it’s also nice that I can let go of the stick when something distracts me, without the quadcopter crashing down.

Top Features

At it’s price the Syma X8HG has the same amazing capabilities the previous models did. It was just improved to be an even better quad:

  • 6-axis gyroscope for maximum flight stability
  • HD camera included: 8MP
  • Easy to Fly
  • Remote control included with max distance of 70 meters (although I went up to 100)
  • Altitude hold
  • Blade protectors: plastic propeller guards to protect things, people and pets if you accidentally end up close to them (avoid doing this)

These specifications make one thing clear, the Syma X8HG is another all-round economic quad from Syma. It’s meant for beginners and intermediate pilots and delivers far better video than the Syma X5C. Unfortunately, it’s a quadcopter that seems to be overlooked by many people. I’m not sure why as it delivers great quality and value for it’s price. With good video quality this drone is definitely one of the better budget video quadcopters available today.

What’s in the Box

The quadcopter package consists of:

  • 1 x SYMA X8HG Quadcopter
  • 1 x Camera
  • 1 x Mobile phone retaining clip
  • 1 x Transmitter
  • 1 x Card Reader
  • 4 x Propeller Guide
  • 2 x Landing Gear
  • 1 x Battery
  • 1 x Screwdriver
  • 1 x USB cable
  • 1 x Manual

After putting 4 AA batteries (not included) in the remote controller I was ready to fly.

Like the Syma X5C the total time to get ready to fly was about 5 minutes.

Syma X8HG headless mode

Build quality

The drone is very light for it’s size! The total weight, with the battery in the quadcopter,  is about 1.4lbs (a little over 600 gram) which makes it very easy to carry around. It’s also very well built and the propellers were properly balanced right out the box. The remote controller is light and, like the quadcopter, well built. And Syma has removed the fake buttons & switches that were on the Syma X5C’s Remote controller so there is no need to wonder what those are for anymore.

All the Syma X-series quadcopters are built with a modular design. This means that you can easily replace and swap out parts. Of course, this makes it perfect for beginners as crashes are part of the learning curve for anybody that starts flying with quadcopters.

And if you already own an older X8 model you’ll find that that the propellers are interchangeable. This might save you some money on spare parts. I haven’t tried swapping out the other parts yet but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if those are interchangeable as well.

And if you already own an older X8 model you’ll find that that the propellers are interchangeable. This might save you some money on spare parts. I haven’t tried swapping out the other parts yet but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if those are interchangeable as well.

Excellent Flyer

The Syma X8HG  is a mid-size quadcopter and is very stable, mainly because of the 6-axis gyroscope. Although it can be flown indoors I don’t recommend it. The size, as well as the downwash it produces, make this quadcopter less than perfect to fly indoors. I suggest you stick to using it outdoors.

And when you fly it outside, the Syma X8HG Quadcopter is excellent. Like other Syma products, it’s reliable and responds well to the stick inputs. And, because of it size, it can handle more wind than the Syma X5C. This doesn’t mean you can fly it in a storm but it does mean you’ll be able to take it out a lot more. It was easy to fly and hover the drone around. The control stick has the

The quadcopter has 2 different speed modes and is  super easy to fly in either. The slow mode is great for beginners as they have more time to think and it’s also great for video as it will be a bit smoother. The fast mode won’t turn it into a race drone but is more fun to fly for intermediate pilots. In both modes the altitude hold works really well and flying the Syma X8HG is a fun experience.

 

The camera too works well and the video quality is very good for a drone in this price range. The only problem I found is that it takes a while to adjust to changing lighting conditions. But if you keep that in mind it should not be a problem at all. And if the camera not good enough for you then you can always put another camera, like the GoPro, on the drone.

Of course, it still doesn’t make sense to compare the resulting videos with the gimbal stabalized footage of the DJI Phantom for or the Typhoon H. But the Syma X8HG can get good quality aerial video at a fraction the price.

I was able to fly the Syma X8HG around while  recording video for about 7 minutes. By then the quadcopter was almost out of power. The flight time becomes a little bit less if you fly FPV the entire time but this is to be expected. Still, when you get the Syma X8HG I recommend you definitely get some more batteries as well. They’re not expensive and are definitely worth the money as they’ll increase your flight time.

One thing that I should mention, if you keep the throttle stick all the way down for 3 seconds it will shut down the engines. Even in flight. So make sure you avoid doing this or you could crash your quadcopter quite hard.

So after thoroughly reviewing this quadcopter I can say it’s a great budget video quadcopter. And it can’t compete with the expensive DJI and Yuneec models but it can give any drone in the same price range a good run for it’s money!

Buy Syma X8HG on Amazon


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Syma X8HG Quadcopter Review
5 (100%) 3 votes

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