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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

Joshua Goldman

Managing Editor / Advice

Josh Goldman helps people find the best laptop at the best price -- from simple Chromebooks to high-end gaming laptops. He's been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software for more than two decades.

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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
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