Tianqu XS809W (In-Depth Review)
What do you do if you think the DJI Mavic Pro looks cool but aren’t willing to part with $1000 for one? Well, you get a toy version of it, of course. The Tianqu XS809W is one such toy quadcopter that’s clearly inspired by the Mavic Pro.
It may not have the advanced features such as GPS, a camera gimbal system and obstacle avoidance but it sure does look very similar to the Mavic Pro. It even has a diagonal motor distance (260mm) that is slightly smaller than the DJI (335mm). All that for just $50 shipped.
- Dimensions: 320 x 330 x 55mm / 135 x 185 x 55mm (folded)
- Platform: Quadcopter
- Diagonal motor distance: 260mm
- Propulsion: brushed motors / 145mm 2-blade propellers
- Weight: 149g (without prop guards)
- Battery: 3.7V 900mAh 1S Li Po
- Charging time: about 60 minutes
- Flight time: about 10 minutes
- Control distance: approximately 100m
- Camera: 0.3MP WiFi FPV
- Transmitter power: 3 AA (not included)
Apart from the DJI-inspired styling and folding motor arms, the XS809W has pretty much the same features that any other toy drone in this price range has. It has a 3.7V 900mAh slot-in battery which provides it with a flight time of about 10 minutes. Although easy to install, I find the battery a bit hard to remove.
It can perform 3D flips, has headless mode, 3 flight speeds (low, medium and high), accelerometer (gravity) control and one key return. One thing missing, though, is altitude hold which isn’t exactly a big issue since flying without altitude hold is a lot more precise. This really depends on the pilot as some may prefer to fly without the feature while some, particularly beginners, are more comfortable flying with it.
The XS809W is also equipped with a 0.3MP WiFi FPV camera that lets you view its FPV feed via the XSW UFO app. The camera’s tilt angle can also be adjusted manually. Since this is just a toy drone, don’t expect the same image quality and performance as what the Mavic Pro offers. Image quality is decent for a toy drone but not exactly something to shout about.
One really neat feature of the XS809W is its transmitter (remote controller) which resembles a Bluetooth gamepad and fits comfortably in the hands. The size is just right and the transmitter has some pretty good ergonomics.
It also has its own built-in phone holder that can be folded in when not in use and fits most smartphones in the market today.
One thing to like about toy drones that don’t feature altitude hold is that they’re a lot more precise when flying. Not having altitude hold may make it a bit hard for beginners to fly but with some training, most beginners would probably appreciate the level of precision they get when flying without the feature.
The drone’s propulsion does a decent job and it feels quite responsive and agile. There is no hint of sluggishness with the XS809W, making it a good trainer drone for practicing your flying skills.
3D flips are also very zippy with the XS809W although I’ve experienced some strange behavior with it sometimes. When performing a flip with the throttle stick well below 50%, the drone tends to shut off its propulsion for some reason, causing it to plunge and crash. I find that when flipping, keeping the throttle above 60% seems to prevent the shutdown from happening.
Orientation is quite good with the XS809W thanks to its front and rear lights which are located under the motors. They do a decent job in showing you where the front is facing.
The Tianqu XS809W is equipped with 0.3MP WiFi FPV camera. This means you can see what the camera is seeing once you connect to the drone’s WiFi FPV feed via the XSW UFO app. Unfortunately, flying this drone entirely on FPV is not advisable since the camera lens has a narrow field of view, making it difficult to pilot it. This is especially true if you’re flying indoors or through tight spaces.
FPV flying is only suitable for open wide spaces such as large fields. The app also allows you to pilot the drone entirely using your smartphone in transmitter emulator mode. This is not exactly the best way to pilot since the emulator lacks the tactile feedback of conventional transmitter control sticks. Besides the emulator, there is also the accelerometer (gravity) control mode which lets you pilot the drone by tilting your smartphone.
The app is also used to capture and store photos and videos from the camera when a memory card is not present on the drone. Being a toy drone, the camera on the XS809W doesn’t produce impressive image quality but is sufficiently enough if you want to see where you’re heading in FPV. Above are some sample images taken with the XS809W.
The Tianqu XS809W is an excellent Mavic Pro look-alike if you admire the looks of the DJI but are not into serious aerial photography. At just $50 shipped, the XS809W features foldable motor arms and excellent flight performance with WiFi FPV to boot.
It features a highly integrated design which is good since this approach means there are no wires or parts sticking out that you need to connect manually. Even the battery features a slot-in design and can be charged with a micro USB cable plugged into its side so there is no need for a special charging cable. Simply any micro USB cable will work.
It may not feature anything else that’s special compared to other toy drones in this price range but I suspect many will want to buy it purely for its DJI-inspired looks. The Tianqu XS809W can be purchased at GearBest for just $50.54 shipped.
Features and Performance7.7 /10
Flight Time9.0 /10
Build Quality8.5 /10
- DJI-inspired styling
- Foldable design
- Good flight performance
- Decent flight time
- Good transmitter ergonomics
- Poor camera image quality with narrow FOV
- Basic flight features
- Slot-in battery may sometimes get stuck