Snaptain A15F – Cheap Follow Me Drone for Beginners
The Snaptain A15F is an affordable drone with camera that is great for beginners. The foldable quadcopter takes photos and videos in Full HD and offers live transmission of the camera image (FPV) to your smartphone.
Design and weight
In terms of color, the A15F comes all in gray. Only the propellers are in matt black. The four arms can be folded for space-saving transport. When folded, the quadcopter measures 13 x 13.5 x 6 cm. When unfolded, the drone measures 37 x 32.5 x 7 cm.
On the front, there are two bright LEDs that ensure good visibility of the copter even at dusk. Small LEDs are also installed on the four arms, which shine in white at the front and red at the back. The front LEDs can be turned on and off at the touch of a button to save energy during the day.
The weight of the drone is about 170 grams. The optional attachable propeller guards should be used primarily for indoor flights, as they protect the drone from damage in the event of collisions with walls or furniture.
Features and flight characteristics
The Snaptain A15F has various features that make operation much easier, especially for beginners. For example, takeoff and landing of the drone work conveniently at the touch of a button. In terms of speed, you can choose from three different modes.
Unfortunately, the Snaptain A15F does not have a GPS module, but it does have an optical flow sensor, consisting of a small ground camera on the underside. The camera continuously films the ground during flight and thus supports the drone when flying close to the ground (lower than 10 meters).
In addition to the obligatory control joysticks, the remote control of the A15F drone has various other buttons to activate the individual functions. For example, there are separate buttons for triggering photos and videos, and there is also an emergency stop button to immediately turn off the brushed motors.
For viewing the live FPV image, the controller has a fold-out mount that can conveniently hold a smartphone. Before you can view the real-time image, however, you first have to download and install the “Snaptain Mate” app. The app is available for free download in the respective app store for both Android and iOS devices.
Three 1.5 V AAA batteries or rechargeable batteries, which are not included, are still needed to operate the controller.
By the way, you can also control the Snaptain A15F with your smartphone only, without a controller (G-Sensor Mode). However, we especially recommend beginners to operate the drone via remote control, as this gives you more control over the drone.
Flight time and range
The flight time of the Snaptain A15F is about 12 minutes per battery. Since the drone comes with two batteries right out of the box, you can enjoy up to 24 minutes of flight time before the batteries need to be recharged via the included USB charging cable. By the way, you are conveniently warned by a beep when the charge level is too low, so you still have enough time for landing.
For the charging process, simply connect the charging cable to your smartphone power adapter or connect it directly to a PC, laptop or powerbank. The charging time is approximately 90 to 120 minutes.
The control range is about 87 yards (80 meters). At altitude, up to about 200 feet (60 meters) is possible. The range of image transmission does not work quite as far and varies depending on environmental conditions. In general, it is best to always fly on a flat and open surface, as obstacles such as trees or buildings have a negative effect on signal transmission.
The camera of the Snaptain A15F
The camera of the Snaptain A15F takes photos and videos in 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels). Its field of view (FOV) is 120°, which makes it very wide-angled. Before starting, the camera can be manually adjusted 60° vertically to capture different perspectives.
The quality of the recordings is perfectly fine for this price range, but of course it is nowhere near the recordings of more expensive drones with a camera.
Since the Snaptain A15F does not have a slot for a memory card, photos and videos are stored directly on the smartphone. On the one hand, this is convenient, but on the other hand, this way all image jerks caused by a disturbed signal transmission will be included in the videos.
Although the Snaptain A15F is an inexpensive entry-level drone, it has a kind of Follow Me mode that allows tracking people or objects. Objects or people can be selected on the smartphone’s display and are then followed and filmed by the drone.
However, it has to be mentioned here that the mode works in principle, but does not come close to the possibilities of DJI’s Active Track mode or the Follow Me modes of other large manufacturers.
On the other hand, the existing headless mode of the Snaptain A15F works very well. In this mode, simplified control is available to you as a pilot. Normally, when performing directional changes to the left, right, front and rear, you always have to pay attention to how the drone is oriented in the air, i.e. where the front of the drone is pointing. When headless mode is enabled, however, this is not necessary, as the drone will always fly in the direction you press, regardless of how it is currently oriented.
However, we recommend that you do not fly in headless mode for too long and also learn how to control the drone normally, as by far not every multicopter has headless mode.
Another flight mode is the circle flight function. In this mode, the drone can fly around you independently in a circle with a diameter of about five meters.
Also available is the Draw Flight Path (Trajectory Flight) function. In this mode, you can draw a simple flight path in the app, which is then flown automatically by the Snaptain A15F.
Another nice gimmick is the built-in voice control. However, it only works with selected terms: “take off”, “land”, “forward”, “backward”, “to leftside”, “to rightside”.
A simple gesture control is also available and allows triggering photos and videos. Form your fingers into the “Victory sign” and the drone will take a photo. If you hold your outstretched hand towards it, it will start or stop video recording. However, both gestures only work if you stand at a distance of about 1.5 meters in front of the drone.
Scope of delivery
- 1 x Snaptain A15F drone
- 1 x remote control
- 2 x 1100 mAh battery
- 1 x USB charging cable
- 4 x propeller guards
- 4 x spare propellers
- 1 x screwdriver
- 1 x user manual
The Snaptain A15F is an excellent drone for beginners and is perfect for gaining your first experience with a camera drone with FPV live image transmission.
The quality of the photos and videos, which are both recorded in 1920 x 1080 pixels, is perfectly fine for a drone in this price range, but of course does not come close to the quality of a much more expensive drone with a camera. For first tests and experiences, however, the recordings are completely sufficient.
We really like the fact that the drone comes with two batteries, each of which is sufficient for about 12 minutes of flight time. The presence of a Follow Me mode is also positive, even if it does not work perfectly.
All in all, the Snaptain A15F is a solid beginner drone for little money and therefore offers good value for money. We can highly recommend the foldable drone and wish you a lot of fun flying it already!