JJRC JJPro F01 (In-Depth Review)
When Quanum released the first version of its DIY FPV headset last year, entry-level FPV headsets quickly became very popular among drone enthusiasts. Gone were the days when you had to fork out at least $300 for a pair of Fatsharks if you wanted to do some immersive FPV flying.
These days, you can get pretty decent FPV headsets for about $100 and still enjoy an experience quite similar to what you’d get with a $300 one. The JJRC F01 is one such model that offers a very competent package for those who want to do some serious FPV flying without burning a hole in their wallet.
The F01 belongs to JJRC’s JJPro line of mini FPV racers that were released recently. Realizing that they didn’t have an FPV headset to complement their mini racers, the folks at JJRC decided to rebadge the highly popular KDS Kylin and call it the F01.
The sample F01 featured in this review was kindly sponsored by GearBest.
- Frequency: 5.8G 64 channel, full-band 5645M – 5945M
- Screen: 5 inch
- Resolution: 800 x 480 (WVGA)
- Brightness: 300cd per square meter (adjustable)
- Contrast: Adjustable
- Sensitivity: -90dBm plus or minus 1dBm
- Antenna: RP-SMA, 50 Ohm
- Video format: NSTC / PAL
- Audio: adjustable
- Power supply: 3.7 – 7.4 V (1S – 2S)
- Working voltage: 4.2V
- Consumption: 300mA
- Charging voltage: DC 5V 1A
- Charging time: 30 – 60 minutes
- Using time: 30 – 60 minutes
- Transmission distance: 1000m
- Battery: 1S 2000mAh, USB charger
Despite costing only $100, the F01 actually feels quite well built. The main head unit has a nice rubber coating that covers most of its body, making it grippy to the touch. The front features a white glossy surface and some subtle JJRC branding. The unit also comes with a removable mushroom antenna and control buttons on the left side.
The face plate has some nice padding for comfort and three adjustable straps are used to hold the unit onto your head. Comfort level is decent although not as good as Walkera’s Goggle 5. But then again this is a $100 headset and whoever designed it has done quite a good job for its ergonomics.
The F01 does not feel too heavy or bulky when worn and the straps (when adjusted properly) do a decent job in holding it on your head. The only issue I have with the straps is that they don’t appear to be durable enough for the long run. I suspect the straps will loosen up significantly after frequent use. The good news is, they can be easily replaced so if you don’t like them or if they’ve worn out, you can always replace them with better straps in the future.
The F01 comes with a supplied 3.7V 2000mAh Li Po battery which is installed in a compartment at the top of the unit and provides power for about an hour of use. It is connected via a JST connector. At the bottom of the unit is a speaker that allows you to listen to what’s happening on your drone if your camera comes with a microphone. The volume for this speaker is adjustable.
There are six buttons on the left side of the unit — two for volume control, two for menu navigation, a power button and a menu button. Using these buttons is a no-brainer and I managed to learn them quickly without even reading the user manual.
Scanning for channels is as easy as using the auto-scan feature, or selecting the channel manually by pressing the Up or Down buttons.
Reception and Display Performance
The F01’s removable mushroom antenna provides reasonably good reception up to a distance of about 1100m with a clear line of sight. A 200mW video transmitter was used for this test. Although the reception is nothing much to shout about, what really impressed me is the F01’s 5-inch display which has a resolution of 800 x 480 with adjustable contrast and brightness. Viewing angle is moderate but not too bad.
For something that costs just $100, the 800 x 480 resolution is considered impressive enough since it puts the F01 on par with more expensive options such as the new Walkera Goggle 5 where resolution is concerned. It even has a bit more resolution when compared to the $300 Fatshark Attitude V3 which displays at 640 x 480.
Image quality is crisp and clear, at least for my eyes. A non-adjustable fresnel lens helps keep things in focus. This lens is very vulnerable to scratches so care should be taken not to let hard objects or surfaces come into contact with it.
There is some light coming in from the right side of the unit where the thinner white plastic is located. This is not really a big issue since you’ll hardly notice it when the screen is on.
Whether you’re buying it as your main FPV headset or as a secondary “spectator” headset, the F01 won’t disappoint. It is a very well-rounded package for an entry-level offering although it lacks extra features such as Inter Pupil Distance (IPD) adjustment, diversion antennas and DVR that you’d normally get in more expensive headsets.
For a $100 FPV headset, the F01 has all the basic features you need for immersive FPV flying. These features, such as the excellent display (800 x 480) and easy-to-use menu controls, are all very well implemented. It also offers good ergonomics although the straps feel cheap and don’t look like they’re durable enough to last very long.
If you have any doubts about the F01’s quality due to its low price point, be rest assured that it will not disappoint where quality is concerned. The F01 is a pretty dependable headset that has some decent quality and build. The only thing missing, as mentioned earlier, are the extra bells and whistles that you usually get in more expensive headsets.
As a basic FPV headset, the JJRC F01 is actually quite impressive and delivers plenty of value. It is one model that I’d recommend to anyone who is looking for a highly affordable FPV headset that does all the basic stuff in a package that does not sacrifice quality.