GoolRC T32 (In-Depth Review)
The GoolRC T32 is one of the latest foldable toy drones in the market today and sells for less than $60 shipped. Now that’s quite a good price to pay for a toy drone that has Syma X5UW aspirations. In fact, the T32 even has a very similar price with the X5UW.
Although the X5UW has plenty of refinements, it is not foldable. This makes the T32 a very attractive option for those looking for a worthy X5UW alternative. The T32 even features a WiFi FPV camera with the same HD 720P resolution as the X5UW.
- Dimensions: 300 x 310 x 120mm (without prop guards)
- Platform: Quadcopter
- Diagonal motor distance: 225mm
- Flight features:
- Altitude hold
- Headless mode
- 3D flips
- 3 flight speeds (High, Medium and Low)
- Accelerometer control (via smartphone)
- Propulsion: 8mm coreless (motors) / 145mm propellers
- Weight: 131g (with battery/without prop guards)
- Camera resolution: HD 720P
- Battery: 3.7V 850mAh Li Po
- Charging time: 60 minutes
- Flight time: about 7-10 minutes
- Control distance: about 50 to 100 meters
- Transmitter power: 4 AAA batteries (not included)
Toy drones have come a long way since two years ago and the level of refinement these days is simply way better than it used to be. The T32 is a prime example of this progress. There is a power button on top of the fuselage, the body has a nice glossy finishing and everything seems put together quite well for a toy drone.
Beneath each motor arm are LED lights that help in keeping you oriented with the drone — red lights for the rear arms and blue lights for the front. The motor arms fold in nicely with the rear arms designed to fold on top of the front arms. When setting the arms in position before a flight, make sure they’re fully extended and in place. When not set properly in position, flight performance will be affected.
The landing legs have a minimalist design and slot into the body at the bottom via four holes. No tools are required for installing the legs. Although the legs do a reasonably good job, it would have been better if they were lower like on the X5UW. This creates for a more stable drone that is less likely to topple over when landing hard.
Overall the build quality and design of the T32 is quite good. There are even small ventilation holes at the bottom of the fuselage. The only weakness I feel is the battery which connects using a 2-pin connector. The T32’s battery sits in a compartment at the rear which is closed off by a small door. This approach is a bit old school since more and more brands such as Syma have started designing their own slot-in proprietary battery casings that look a lot more neat and convenient to use. Nevertheless, the T32’s battery bay is not too bad a design since it doesn’t look untidy when the door is closed.
One flaw that I think needs highlighting is the supplied USB charger. This charger tends to heat up quite a bit when plugged into a 2A power source. It is only lukewarm when powered by a 1A source but can reach temperatures of 70C or higher when powered by 2A. This is probably due to a lack of a heat sink or any form of heat buffer. With that said, I recommend the USB charger to be used only with a 1A source and nothing higher than that.
The supplied transmitter (remote controller) is powered by 4 AA batteries and has a very similar design to the new generation of Syma transmitters and feel quite comfortable in the hands. A key difference is that the T32’s transmitter has far more buttons.
The T32 comes with altitude hold and this is one key feature that makes it a great drone for beginners. Altitude hold on the T32 does a reasonably good job and is fairly accurate. 3D flips feel a bit cumbersome and sloppy, thanks to the altitude hold. This could also be due to the T32’s heavier weight — it is roughly 15g heavier than other toy drones of similar size such as the X5UW. Nevertheless, flips aren’t entirely bad and the T32 doesn’t plunge dramatically after each flip. It just needs more airspace when flipping due to its bigger flip circle.
The T32 features 3 flight speeds — low, medium and high. Low speed is best for beginners and is the easiest to fly with. High speed mode unleashes the full power of the T32 and is meant for more experienced pilots. Yaw rate is also unique for each speed mode with low giving the slowest yaw rate.
Speaking of yaw, the T32 has an interesting flight feature that I’ve never seen in toy drones — yaw movements only happen roughly half a second after you move the control stick. This slight delay seems to help in keeping your flight steady. In other drones that don’t have this yaw delay, inexperienced pilots tend to have this problem with over-correcting their yaw and flying directions again and again, resulting in some nervous flying which could lead to crashes. With the T32’s yaw delay, you’re given more time to assess and feel the situation after every yaw stick input. This results in a more stable flight, especially for those who are still new to flying multirotors.
The T32 also has headless mode, automatic take-off/landing and one key return. The T32 can also be flown using your smartphone with the T32 app which is available for both Android and iOS. The app allows you to view the FPV feed and control the camera to take photos or videos. It even has a transmitter emulator which you can use to fly the T32 via WiFi. Although this works reasonably well, it is no substitute to using the supplied RC transmitter since you don’t really get any tactile feel from the virtual control sticks. The app also allows you to fly the T32 using your phone’s accelerometer which is a more intuitive way of flying compared to using the emulator.
Another nice feature on the T32 is its HD 720P WiFi FPV camera which has similar resolution and image quality as the Syma X5UW. This is certainly a step up compared to the lower 0.3MP resolution still featured on many toy drones today. An on-board memory card slot lets you record your photos and videos on a micro SD card. Although decent for a toy drone, the camera’s image quality is not comparable to smartphone cameras or other proper cameras.
The camera has its own WiFi FPV transmitter which broadcasts video feed over WiFi. To view the video feed, you must first install the T32 app on your smartphone, connect to the drone’s WiFi hotspot and then turn on the app.
The GoolRC T32 is a decent toy quadcopter that costs about $60 shipped. It competes directly against other toy drones in that price range such as the popular Syma X5UW and is quite a good X5UW alternative for those who want something different.
The T32 has a lot of refinements that make it a good deal and its foldable design is one key feature that sets it apart from other similarly priced toy drones. It isn’t perfect, though, and features a generic battery which uses a 2-pin connector. There is also the USB charger which heats up a lot when plugged into a 2A power source. Nevertheless, the T32 is still generally a very good toy drone and is one that is very beginner friendly.
The GoolRC T32 can be purchased at Amazon and is available in red or white. Click here for more details.
8/11/2017: For a limited time only, GoolRC is offering a 30% discount for the T32 on Amazon with coupon code N948XING.