XK Alien X250 Standard (In-Depth Review)
When shopping for a toy quadcopter you may, at one point or another, find yourself asking this question — What looks and flies better than a Syma X5C/X5SW?
The answer is — there are a number of hidden gems out there that outperform the X5 quads but thanks to Syma’s strong presence and branding in the toy drone market, they’re mostly overlooked by consumers.
One such model is the XK Alien X250 which not only looks awesome but flies remarkably well too.
If you’re not already familiar with the XK brand — it is the luxury arm of WLToys, very much like Lexus is to Toyota. The brand was launched some time last year and being the crack division of WLToys means XK produces some really impressive toys.
- Dimensions: 194 x 194 x 65mm
- Diagonal motor distance: 240mm
- Motor size: 8.5mm
- Weight: 111g (with battery)
- Flight time: approximately 10 minutes
- Battery: 3.7V 780mAh Li Po
- Charging time: 60 minutes
- Control distance: 300m (manufacturer claimed) / 70m (tested)
- Transmitter power: 4 x 1.5V AA batteries (not included)
Fortunately for consumers, XK products aren’t terribly expensive despite the brand’s “premium” reputation. The Alien X250-A, for example, sells for roughly $120 shipped. Now that’s a reasonable price for a 5.8GHz FPV toy quadcopter that comes with an FPV monitor and designed to look and feel like a premium product.
The variant featured in this review is the X250 Standard which is the base model that does not include a camera. The X250 is also available as a WiFi FPV variant.
XK claims that the X250 has a control distance of 300m. This is quite an impressive claim since most toy drones this size have a range of no more than 100m so I decided to put it to test. With an assistant at hand to hold the drone and a clear line of sight, the X250 maintained contact with its transmitter up to a distance of 70m (230ft.). It completely lost radio contact at 80m.
With that said, I’m not sure if the 300m claim is a typo or just plain false marketing.
The Premium Factor
This is what sets the X250 apart from its rivals. It simply looks and feels a lot more premium than most toy drones that we’re so used to seeing.
The X250’s minimalist form has a futuristic stealth fighter appearance. No bloated x-shaped body here. Just sleek lines and curves in the right proportions that intersect at the right places.
There are no conventional landing skids since the motor mounts double as landing legs themselves. I’m a big fan of this design approach since it makes it almost impossible for the drone to topple over during hard landings. Try landing a Syma X5C hard and it will probably topple over with propellers scraping hard on the ground surface.
Not a very nice sight for any drone pilot.
Front and rear LED lights are beautifully integrated into the motor arms and there is a battery carriage at the bottom that also doubles as a camera mount. This mount can also be used to attach WLToys accessories such as a bubble blower.
Even the transmitter shares the same design aesthetics as the quad itself. Transmitters that come with Chinese toy drones are generally quite ugly but that’s not the case with the X250’s transmitter. It looks like it was designed by someone who produces stuff for a James Bond film set.
Overall, the X250 has a very neat and svelte appearance. Its looks may not appeal to some but it certainly is unique and stands out from the rest. In other words, the X250 is in some ways the equivalent of quadcopter porn.
Another strong point in the X250 is its flight performance. It is remarkably stable and precise in the air despite weighing roughly the same as a typical Syma X5SW. Everything about the X250 seems precisely dialed in that it is simply great fun to fly. The X250 is just one of those toy quads you want to own just for the fun of flying.
It also looks great in the air, with its well-designed LED lights (yellow in front and red at the rear) doing a good job in visually helping you with the drone’s orientation. Should you need to conserve some battery power, the LED lights can also be turned off manually.
The X250 is also capable of the usual aerial acrobatics such as 360-degree flips. To perform flips, press the right stick inwards and then move the right stick in the direction you want the X250 to flip.
Unfortunately, I was unable to perform flips with the X250 since the right control stick on my transmitter was faulty (pressing it inwards does not trigger anything). This appears to be an isolated case involving a faulty transmitter.
The X250 also comes with headless mode and one-key-return features. Bear in mind that the one-key-return feature here does not use GPS guidance. The feature is merely used to bring the X250 flying back in the direction of the pilot’s original position. Although it will not cause the drone to land precisely where it took off, it is still a great feature to have if you’ve somehow lost orientation or control of your drone and need to bring it back safely.
If you’re looking for a toy drone that looks great and flies great, the XK X250 may just be the right choice. It’s really quite hard trying to find anything that looks and flies better than it. Priced at less than $80 for the Standard version, the X250 is certainly very affordable yet still stands out against its rivals in terms of looks.
It not only flies great but is also capable of carrying a camera (both WiFi and 5.8GHz cameras available) and also some other fun accessories from WLToys such as a bubble blower and grappling hook and basket set.
Overall, the XK Alien X250 makes a fantastic drone for beginners and can provide many hours of fun thanks to the optional WLToys accessories. For its affordable price, neat design and great flight performance, you really can’t go wrong with it if you’re looking for a decent beginner drone.