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Syma X5C Explorers review: An incredible bargain for a camera drone

Yes, it's a toy drone with a toy camera. But it's also way better than you'd expect for less than $50.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
2 min read

Spending $500 to $1,000 on a camera drone, especially if you're just looking to have a good time flying around your yard, is a lot to swallow. That's what makes the Syma X5C pretty awesome. At around $50 (AU$70 or £40) you get an easy flying quadcopter with simple controls and enough power to handle light wind -- and it has a 720p HD camera. It even comes with a 4GB microSD card for storage.


Syma X5C Explorers

The Good

The Syma X5C Explorers is extremely affordable for what you're getting, including a 720p HD camera. It's durable, but all of its parts are available for repairs when you need them. Stable enough to fly indoors or outside.

The Bad

Flight time is about 7 to 10 minutes with a 90-minute charge time.

The Bottom Line

For aerial photography on the cheap, the Syma X5C is a toy drone quadcopter that's better than its price suggests.

At that price, you're obviously not getting the same powerful features as a DJI Phantom and it definitely feels every bit of its low price. It is, however, fairly durable, so if you're new to flying a quadcopter it can take quite a lot of punishment.

If you do break something or a motor burns out, Syma has made every part available for replacement and the included print manual has a diagram for how to break it down. You can also buy an updated camera with Wi-Fi to give you a first-person view (FPV) from the camera to an iOS or Android device.

The camera's image quality isn't great and there is no stabilization, which makes for some shaky results. They're fine for viewing on a mobile device and considering the whole thing costs less than $50, I'm not really complaining.

The drone's 3.7-volt 500mAh battery pack will get about 7 minutes of flight, though removing the prop guards and landing gear and detaching the camera will get you a few minutes more. Recharging takes roughly 90 minutes, but extra batteries are cheap and easy to find.

The Syma X5C is an incredible deal if you're looking to get in the air and start grabbing aerial photos and videos.


Syma X5C Explorers

Score Breakdown

Design 9Battery 7Features 8Ease of Use 9