EACHINE E520S – Cheap DJI Mavic clone for beginners
The foldable Eachine E520S quadcopter looks a lot like the DJI Mavic Pro or DJI Mavic 2, but is much cheaper. Available in either black or white, the camera drone features GPS and is operated via smartphone and included remote control. Whether the Eachine 520S’ similarity to the popular DJI drones goes beyond the related design, we will clarify in our detailed product description.
Several versions are available
Eachine quadcopter is available in different models. Therefore, please make sure to choose the right model when you buy it. The Eachine E520S is offered with either a Full HD or 4K camera. There is also a 2.4 G and a 5G version to choose from. Here, the possible maximum ranges for the control as well as the transmission of the LFPV live image make the difference. There are also bundles with two batteries instead of one.
The Eachine E520S weighs about 280 grams with battery. When folded, the foldable drone measures 15 x 11 x 7.5 cm. The built-in 7.4 V, 1200 mAh LiPo battery provides enough power for about 14 to 16 minutes of flight time and can then be recharged in about 120 to 150 minutes via USB charging cable. That’s a bit long and would definitely go much faster with a dedicated charger.
The range at which you can control the EACHINE E520S is about 220 to 330 yards (200 to 300 meters). The transmission of the FPV live image works in the 2.4 G version up to about 77 yards (70 meters) away. When using the 5G standard, the FPV image can be received up to a maximum of 273 yards (250 meters). Even though these values are clearly below current top drones, they are still sufficient for flying on sight and are quite reasonable for the relatively low price in our opinion.
While we have nothing to criticize about the design of the copter, the quality of the individual components is not on the highest level. The workmanship is quite decent, but it remains to be seen how the plastic will behave over time and after one or two crashes.
The foldable quick-release propellers with self-locking mechanism are extremely practical and can be quickly attached and removed. On the front, the E520S has two LEDs that help you better see the drone in the air. The Eachine E520S does not have obstacle detection, but that is not to be expected at a price of about 200 dollars. For copters with anti-collision protection, you have to dig much deeper into your pocket and buy a more professional camera drone, which then usually offers even more additional features.
Eachine E520S camera and flight modes
Depending on the version, you can get the E520S quadcopter with either a 1080p or a 4K camera. The 4K version records videos in up to 2560 x 1440 pixels. Unfortunately, a microSD card for storing the recording material is not included and has to be purchased separately.
Unfortunately, the camera cannot be adjusted or tilted during flight. Neither a mechanical nor an electronic image stabilization (gimbal) is available. Video recordings with the E520S will therefore always show slight shakiness and, despite high resolution, will not match the quality of a much more expensive drone with a camera.
Thanks to GPS, however, there are some interesting flight modes to choose from. For example, the Eachine E520S is capable of holding its position independently. This feature allows you to take relatively stable pictures in certain situations despite the lack of a gimbal.
Furthermore, the copter has a Return-to-Home (RTH) function to automatically fly the drone back to the launch position at the push of a button and land it safely on the ground or an existing landing pad. Beginners will be especially pleased with the headless mode. In this mode, it doesn’t matter which side of the drone is currently facing you for control. If you press the control joystick to the left, the drone will always fly in that direction as seen from you, no matter how it is currently oriented. Of course, this works the same way in all other directions.
Waypoint navigation is also available, allowing you to determine the flight route, altitude and speed in advance. In Orbit Mode, the drone automatically circles around you, and with Smart Tracking Mode (often called Follow Me), the quadcopter follows you wherever you go. It should be noted here, however, that the Eachine E520S does not work quite as accurately in this mode as you are used to with DJI’s ActiveTrack or ActiveTrack 2.0 mode, for example.
The remote control
Like the copter, the remote control is solid, but not at the highest level. The mount on the bottom offers space for many common smartphones, but does not seem quite as stable as some higher-priced drones.
The controller of the Eachine E520S is clearly laid out and, in addition to an on/off switch, has two control sticks as well as various other buttons and sliders for access to additional functions. Four 1.5 V AAA batteries (not included) are still needed for operation.
A simple charge indicator provides information about the battery status of the drone. Furthermore, there are buttons for takeoff and landing as well as RTH and headless mode. The shoulder buttons are used for taking photos and videos as well as activating the orbit function and changing the speed mode. A button for compass calibration and an emergency stop button are also present.
Scope of delivery
- 1 x Eachine E520S
- 1 x remote control
- 2 x 7.4 V, 1200 mAh LiPo battery pack
- 1 x USB charging cable
- 4 x propeller guards
- 2 x spare propellers
- 1 x screwdriver
- 1 x instruction manual
The Eachine E520S is an excellent drone for beginners. Although we mainly miss a mechanical gimbal for stabilizing the camera shots, the camera is more than sufficient for first experiences in terms of aerial photography. Whether you opt for the Full HD or the 4K version is up to you.
The flight time of 14 to 16 minutes is decent and thanks to the foldable design, the drone can be conveniently transported and taken anywhere. The intelligent flight modes work, but their precision still needs improvement.
All in all, we can say that the Eachine E520S is an excellent beginner drone at a fair price. If you don’t need the best of everything, you’ll be happy with the E520S and perhaps switch to a more expensive model later.