XK Drone X260B WiFi FPV (In-Depth Review)
The XK X260 is a 245-size toy-grade quadcopter that comes in three variants — X260 Standard, X260A 5.8G FPV and X260B WiFi FPV. The X260 Standard does not come with any camera and is the most basic kit of the three. The X260A comes with a 5.8GHz FPV camera that features a LCD screen while the X260B, which this review is based on, features a WiFi FPV camera.
Priced below $100, the X260B is clearly aimed at competing against Syma’s X5 range and it does so with panache. I’m not quite sure why XK decided to name it the X260 since it has a diagonal motor distance of 245mm. Perhaps the name X260 is easier to remember or it could be purely for marketing purposes.
On the surface, the X260 shares a striking resemblance with its bigger brother — the X380. In fact, it looks very much like a scaled-down version of the X380 and has the same faux carbon fiber pattern as its bigger brother. The glossy body shell itself feels well built and although the X260 is a toy-grade quadcopter, nothing on it feels terribly flimsy or cheap. In your hands, it gives the impression of quality and confidence.
At the rear of its body is a large indicator LED that blips when the quad is flying and stays solid green when it’s on the ground. The battery bay faces the front and houses a 3.7V 730mAh battery with a JST connector. It is spacious enough and installing or removing battery is an easy affair. The battery door also has some vents which allow some ventilation for the battery just in case things get a little hot.
One thing that’s conspicuously missing on the X260 is a power switch which is odd since power switches have become a common feature these days even on smaller toy-grade quadcopters. Turning on the X260 is done the old school way — by connecting the battery.
Propulsion is handled by 8mm x 20mm coreless motors which provide a lot of thrust. These motors are 1mm larger than what the X5C-1 has which means the X260 has the edge over its closest rival when it comes to propulsion. However, the X260 weighs a hefty 120g (with battery) compared to the X5C-1 which is lighter at 98g. This means the X260 comes very close to matching the X5C-1’s power to weight ratio.
- Dimensions: 356 x 350 x 86mm (with prop guards)
- Diagonal motor distance: 245mm
- Motor size: 8 x 20mm coreless
- Weight: Approx 120g (with battery and camera / without prop guards)
- Flight time: 8 to 12 minutes
- Battery: 3.7V 730mAh 20C Li Po
- Charging time: 30 – 60 minutes
- Control distance: approximately 300m
- Transmitter power: 6 x 1.5V AA batteries (not included)
One feature that truly sets the X260 apart from other drones in the same price and size range is its barometric pressure sensor — a feature that is normally found in larger and more expensive drones such as the Phantom 3. The barometer allows the X260’s flight controller to accurately gauge its altitude thus giving the quadcopter a much smoother flying characteristic when compared to other toy-grade quadcopters. This makes the X260 a real joy to fly and highly precise and stable in its handling.
For beginners who have yet to develop a good sense of orientation when flying their quads, the X260 features “headless” mode — a feature which allows you to fly the quad without worrying where its front is facing. When headless mode is turned on, the quad will fly in any direction you order it relative to your transmitter’s position, irrespective of where its front or “head” is facing. So if your quad has its front facing right at you, it will move to the left if you push your right control stick to the left.
“Headless” mode is really useful when you lose visual orientation of your quad due to distance. However, I advise beginners not to develop the habit of flying in this mode too often since this is simply a great way to develop bad flying habits.
Like most other toy-grade quadcopters, the X260 can perform the usual aerial acrobats such as automated flips. To perform a flip, press the right shoulder button on the transmitter and move the right stick to the direction you want the quad to flip. Thanks to its large 8mm motors, flips are smooth. However, the X260 tends to struggle a bit when recovering after every flip due to its weight, especially with its camera attached. Things get better when the camera and prop guards are removed, giving the X260 a lot more agility and a lighter overall weight.
The X260 features 4 speed modes — 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%. Having so many speed modes allow you to tailor the X260 to your flying style. 40% is a good mode to use when you need the X260 to hover and fly around steadily and precisely. At 40%, the X260 flies at its slowest speed which is ideal if you want to take videos or photos or when you’re flying through tight indoor spaces with plenty of obstacles and walls.
At 100%, the X260 flies at its fastest. Flying angles become aggressively steep and the quad becomes touchy and highly responsive. This is a mode suitable only for open wide spaces such as large fields where the X260 can zoom around at high speeds. Flying indoors in this mode is not recommended unless you have the reflexes of a spider.
Another neat feature the X260 has is its “automatic return to home” feature which allows the quad to return to its launching point at the press of a button. It’s important not to confuse this feature with the more accurate “Return to land” GPS feature found in more sophisticated drones since the X260 does not come equipped with a GPS module. “Automatic return” in the X260 works by estimating the quad’s position using its compass readings which can sometimes be way off.
This feature is not highly accurate and the X260 may sometimes land far away from where it first took off. The “automatic return” feature is useful if you lose orientation or control of your quad and want to bring it back safely.
Unlike most other toy quadcopters that simply drop out of the sky when flying out of their control range, the X260 will land automatically when it loses contact with its transmitter. This is a great safety feature to have in case something goes wrong with the transmitter or if your quad flies away for some reason.
The X260 comes with a 4-channel 2.4GHz transmitter that’s very similar to the ones that come with various other RC toys from WLToys (XK is a sister company of WLToys). As I’ve mentioned in my other reviews, this is one transmitter that won’t win any awards for its looks but is nevertheless reliable and gets the job done.
The transmitter is powered by 6 AA batteries and features a blue LCD screen at the bottom that displays important information such as transmitter battery level, speed mode, throttle level, trims and so on. A number of buttons are available for various features. There is a total of 4 dedicated buttons that allow you to toggle between the 4 different speed modes.
It also has an impressive control range of about 300m and is compatible with the Futaba S-FHSS protocol.
Another interesting feature the X260 has is the GX-UFO app which can be used as a substitute transmitter. The app is available on both Android and iOS and with it you can control the X260 with your smartphone very much like how you would with the conventional transmitter. To use this feature, the X260’s WiFi camera must be attached and turned on as it acts as the interface between the X260 and your smartphone.
The only drawback to this feature is the high WiFi latency which greatly affects the control of the quad in a negative way. Latency can be as low as a fraction of a second up to about 1 second or more, depending on how far your phone is from the quad. This means the quad may not respond quick enough to your control inputs. For example, you may move the right control stick forward but the X260 may only respond half a second later which means piloting the X260 with the app can be very tricky and unpredictable.
For this reason, the GX-UFO app, which is also used to control the camera, isn’t very useful as a substitute transmitter and appears to be more of a gimmick.
Camera and FPV
The X260B comes with a neat-looking WiFi FPV (First Person View) camera that comes with a built-in WiFi antenna. When powered up, the camera broadcasts its very own WiFi hotspot where you will be able to view the FPV feed via the GX-UFO app that is available on both Android and iOS.
Like other WiFi FPV quadcopters, the X260 does not store the photos and videos that you take on a memory card on board the camera. Instead, the files are stored on the smartphone or tablet that you use to control the camera. This is both good and bad.
Good because smartphones generally have more storage space than most memory cards supplied with toy-grade quadcopters and they are also a safer and more convenient way to store your files. Bad because the app will just record everything it receives from the camera. This includes video that has been affected by poor latency in transmission which often results in videos that look like slideshows.
Drones that transmit FPV feed over WiFi generally suffer from high latency issues and the X260 is no exception. Latency is lowest when the quad is within several meters of your smartphone and increases as it goes further away or when there are walls or large objects in between the quad and phone. It gets particularly bad at distances of 50 meters or more. At such distances, the FPV feed is reduced to a slideshow of images that refreshes itself every one or two seconds.
Due to this latency problem, it is not recommended to fly the X260 by relying entirely on FPV as doing so will almost certainly guarantee crashes, especially when flying with buildings, walls or obstacles nearby. The X260 should always be flown within line of sight. The WiFi FPV feature, however, is still useful when you want to align or frame your shots properly.
For those who want a genuine FPV experience, the X260A is the way to go as it features a 5.8GHz FPV camera which guarantees low latency on its FPV feed. Being a 5.8GHz FPV drone means the X260A is also compatible with FPV goggles.
Despite its few drawbacks such as the gimmicky GX-UFO transmitter app and high latency WiFi FPV, the XK X260B is overall a very well-rounded package. It flies great, especially with its camera removed. The X260’s barometer is a big plus and gives it the edge over other toy-grade quadcopters when it comes to flying performance.
Its body shell is well-designed and comes with an attractive glossy carbon fiber pattern that gives it a sophisticated premium look. Its ventilated battery bay is also well positioned and comes with a well-designed battery door that ensures easy access to the battery. One thing missing here is a power switch.
The X260 is also compatible with accessories from WLToys such as the bubble blower and this is a big bonus in case you get bored just using the supplied camera.
Overall, the X260B makes for a great toy-grade quadcopter. It is an affordable introduction into the world of aerial photography. For those who want to do some serious sport flying, there is the X260A which is the most affordable variant. Those who want to do some serious FPV flying can opt for the more pricey X260B which features a 5.8GHz FPV camera.
Since I started flying the XK X260, it has quickly become my favorite sub 300-size toy quadcopter. Its smooth and stable flying characteristics give it an edge over its rivals in the same size category. This is one beginner’s model that I’d recommend for anyone who is looking to buy their first quadcopter.
XK Drone X260B WiFi FPV
Features and performance7/10
- Excellent flight performance with barometric pressure sensor
- Good build quality and looks
- Reasonably priced
- FPV suffers from high WiFi latency
- No power switch
- Gimmicky GX-UFO app
- Camera files not stored on memory card