Hubsan FPV X4 Plus H107D+ (In-Depth Review)
Before there were Tiny Whoops, there was the Hubsan FPV X4 H107D. The H107D was probably one of the first micro quadcopters to feature 5.8G FPV with a wide-angle camera which made it great for flying FPV indoors where larger 250-size racers were simply too big to be flown in.
At a time when other brands were still churning out WiFi FPV toy drones with narrow view cameras, the H107D was considered class-leading.
That was three years ago. Two years after the launch of the original H107D, Hubsan upgraded it with altitude hold and gave it a new body, better camera and name. Enter the new FPV X4 Plus H107D+ — Hubsan’s updated flagship 5.8G FPV micro quadcopter which also happens to be the priciest 5.8G model in the micro category.
To be specific, the H107D+ costs about $110 to $130 shipped which puts it very close to the price tag of a brushless 130mm mini FPV racer such as the Tarot 130 (BNF) which is priced at around $130 to $150.
This is a pretty hefty price tag, considering the H107D+ is a micro quad featuring cheaper coreless motors. Also, its direct rivals such as the WLToys Q242G are priced well below $100. So does the H107D+ hold up to its steep price tag?
- Dimensions: 135 x 135 x 43mm
- Platform: Quadcopter
- Diagonal motor distance: 113mm
- Flight features:
- Altitude hold
- Headless mode
- 3D flips
- 2 flight speeds (Expert and Normal)
- Propulsion: 8.5mm coreless (motors) / 55mm propellers
- Weight: 58g (with battery)
- Camera resolution: 1.92MP stills (1600 x 1200) and HD 720P video @ 30fps
- File format: JPEG/AVI
- Battery: 3.7V 520mAh Li Po
- Charging time: about 30 minutes
- Flight time: about 5-10 minutes
- Control distance: about 50 to 100 meters
- Transmitter power: 4 AAA batteries (not included)
Well, that depends on how you see it. For a start, the H107D+ has a totally different level of refinement compared to other drones in its class. Hubsan is a company that puts plenty of attention to detail and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to designing drones. The H107D+ is a typical Hubsan product with plenty of fine details any drone enthusiast will appreciate. For instance, it has rubber dampers underneath each motor to reduce vibration and has a very neatly designed power button under the fuselage.
Then there is the intricate pattern of ventilation holes at the bottom of the fuselage. And that faux tinted cockpit canopy looks really cool. When you buy a Hubsan product, you’re pretty much paying for this level of refinement — something that you don’t normally get in other toy drones.
The H107D+ body is made out of the same flexible plastic used in Hubsan’s other X4 micro drones such as the H107C+. This is a good choice of material as that flexibility helps a lot in cushioning impacts. Due to this flexibility, the motor arms can actually bend a good 90 degrees without breaking. During hard crashes, the body holds together very well and the only parts that are vulnerable to damage are the propellers and motor spindles which can bend or break off completely.
The H107D+ makes use of a proprietary battery design which tucks in neatly into the rear. The battery gives a flight time of about 5 to 6 minutes — slightly shorter than the H107C+ due to the extra power drain by the 5.8G FPV transmitter. Speaking of proprietary batteries, ordering extra batteries for the H107D+ can be a very tricky affair. Due to new shipping restrictions for batteries, trying to get extra batteries for your drone can be difficult since only a small number of sellers carry it.
There are also front and rear LED lights that do a great job in orientation and a micro SD card slot for recording photos or videos taken by the camera. Overall, the H107D+ has a very well-designed body with great aesthetics.
The transmitter features good ergonomics with sticks and buttons all placed within easy reach. For a drone that carries a premium price tag, I’m surprised that Hubsan did not give the transmitter rubber coating for improved grip.
A key feature of the transmitter is its 4.3 inch integrated 5.8G FPV screen. The screen has decent clarity and viewing angles even under sunlight. It also displays important information such as transmitter battery power, flight time, video recording time and stick positions.
On the right is a mini USB port for firmware updates and a micro SD card slot which, unfortunately, does nothing although you can actually insert a memory card in it. One thing I dislike about the transmitter is the fact that you can’t turn off the FPV monitor. This means if you’re using an FPV headset when flying the H107D+, you can’t turn off the monitor to save battery power.
The H107D+ is compatible with other Hubsan transmitters such as the one that comes with the H107C+ which does not have an integrated FPV monitor. This could have been a good approach for those who want to fly the H107D+ using an FPV headset. However, it is important to note that the H107D+ will only broadcast its FPV feed when bound with its supplied transmitter. Binding it with the H107C+ transmitter will not turn on its FPV feed so you’re basically left with no other choice but to use the supplied transmitter if you want to view the feed.
The H107D+ has a very similar flight performance to its non-FPV sibling — the H107C+. Two speed modes are available — Normal and Expert. Expert mode, as the name suggests, is meant for experts since it is the faster one of the two modes.
In the air, the H107D+ feels very stable and very tame. It will not win any drag race against other drones of similar size, being significantly slower. Hubsan probably designed it as an all-rounder toy drone that will appeal to both beginners and experts. If you’re looking for a fast micro quad for some aggressive sport flying, the Q242G makes a better choice.
Altitude hold does a decent job although the H107D+ still tends to bob up and down in an envelope of about one meter even when flying indoors with no wind currents. 3D flips are also surprisingly quite good and smooth despite altitude hold.
One important thing to note is the lack of radio failsafes in the H107D+. When flying out of radio range, the drone will simply fly away in one direction instead of landing or staying put. This can lead to fly aways so it is important to always fly within radio range or within line of sight if you don’t want to lose your drone.
One key feature of the H107D+ is its wide angle 5.8G FPV camera which makes it great for flying indoors in tight spaces. Other 5.8G FPV micro drones mostly feature cameras with narrow angle lenses which means the H107D+ is in a class with very few rivals.
FPV transmission is good to about 50 meters beyond which it starts to flicker and perform poorly. Image quality is decent although things start going south in low light making flying in dimly lit spaces a challenge. With that said, flying purely on FPV indoors with poor lighting is not something you’ll enjoy with this drone.
The camera image sensor produces image quality that is quite good for a toy drone, especially when lighting is adequate. It is also very similar to the H107C+ which has led me to believe that both models probably share the same lens and image sensor. Unfortunately, the lens that came with the sample in this review appears to have some quality issues — the upper part of the frame looks out of focus or could have been smudged (refer to the sample images above).
Cleaning the lens cover didn’t help so I guess the problem could either be a bad lens or some smudging which I have yet to investigate. Camera resolution is a decent HD 720P for videos and 1.92MP for stills, making this Hubsan a level above most toy drones that still feature cheap 0.3MP cameras.
The Hubsan H107D+ is a very well-rounded 5.8G micro FPV drone. It is not the fastest flying micro around but it more than makes up for that with its excellent stability in the air. Altitude hold also works quite well and the H107D+ flips tight without plunging much. It does bob up and down in an altitude envelope of about one meter which can make precision flying a bit difficult.
With the proliferation of Tiny Whoops recently, the H107D+ is facing some serious competition. Despite this, I believe the H107D+ can still hold its ground. For one, it can fly much longer than a Whoop — 5 to 7 minutes to be exact when a Whoop typically flies for about 3 to 5 minutes only. The H107D+ is also a lot more crash-resistant, can take plenty of abuse and requires no soldering or set-ups. It is basically ready to fly out of the box.
Despite its hefty price tag, the H107D+ still remains one of the best micro 5.8G FPV quads around that features a wide angle camera and there aren’t many models around with such specs.