Syma X500 – entry-level drone with 2 batteries under 250 grams
The Syma X500 is an entry-level camera drone that can capture 4K photos and Full HD videos. The foldable drone is capable of FPV live image transmission and comes with two batteries for up to 52 minutes of flight time.
Design and weight
From the outside, the Syma X500 is reminiscent of the Mavic models from the Chinese drone manufacturer DJI, although they are in a different league in terms of price. The drone comes in a light gray color. The top of the 36 x 30 x 7 cm quadcopter features the company logo as well as the on/off switch.
The Syma X500 is made of sturdy yet lightweight ABS plastic. Without the propeller guard, the drone comes to a take-off weight of 205 grams. Due to its light weight, the drone is relatively susceptible to wind, so if possible you should only fly with it on relatively windless days.
The installed brushed motors are a bit louder than the brushless motors installed in many other drones. For a price around 200 dollars, we would have hoped for a bit more here.
Two green LEDs below the front motors ensure good visibility of the drone in the sky. For transport, the arms can be folded and the drone including controller and accessories can be stored in the practical carrying bag.
Equipment and flight characteristics
The Syma X500 has a variety of features that make it easy for you to use the drone and ensure a pleasant and safe flying experience.
Takeoff and landing work easily at the touch of a button. Once the drone is in the air, it holds altitude all by itself without having to operate the thrust control on the remote control (Altitude Hold).
Thanks to the built-in GPS module, the Syma X500 can be precisely controlled and accurately positioned. The drone gets additional stability from the Optical Flow Sensor (a small camera) on the bottom. The ground camera continuously films the ground to determine and stabilize the drone’s position. This is especially handy for indoor flights where GPS is not available.
Using the Return to Home mode, the drone can independently return to the launch position and land safely if desired. By the way, the drone will also start the automatic flight home in case of a sudden loss of signal or even if the battery charge level is too low. Thanks to these two safety features, you run no risk of accidentally losing the drone.
Depending on your own skills, you can choose between two different speeds at which you can control the drone.
The remote control has a minimalist design. It has fold-out handles on the bottom and a pull-out holder for smartphones on the top. The antenna for communicating with the drone is on the back.
We really like that the controller has an integrated battery and can be charged via USB charging cable. So no extra batteries are needed at all.
To view the live FPV image of the drone on your smartphone, you first need to download the “Syma FPV” app, which is available for free for iOS and Android devices for download in the respective app store.
The live stream of the drone camera is transmitted to the smartphone in 720p. If you are the proud owner of VR goggles, you can also use them with the Syma X500.
Flight time and range
The flight time of the Syma X500 is up to 26 minutes – per battery. Since the drone comes with two batteries at once, you can enjoy up to 52 minutes of flight time before the two 7.6 V, 1700 mAh LiPo batteries need to be recharged.
Please note, however, that these figures are absolute maximum values. In practice, about 20 minutes of flight time per battery is more realistic.
The two batteries are charged using the two included USB charging cables. Syma does not provide its own power supply. Therefore, simply use an existing power supply, e.g. that of your smartphone. One charging process takes approx. 180 minutes.
The control range is about 383 yards (350 meters). At altitude, a maximum of 330 feet (100 meters) is possible.
The FPV live image can be received up to distances of about 330 yards (300 meters), which is already relatively far for a drone in this price range. The range is made possible by using the 5.8 GHz frequency band, which allows for improved video signal transmission.
Thus, the designation “5G” for this drone does not mean that you need a 5G-capable smartphone, but that your phone only has to be capable of the corresponding WiFi standard for using the 5 GHz frequency. This is the case with almost all smartphones in use today.
The camera of the Syma X500
The 4K camera of the Syma X500 captures photos in 4096 x 3072 pixels and videos in 1920 x 1080 pixels. The camera’s field of view (FOV) is 120°, which makes it very wide-angle. The front camera can be manually panned 90° during flight using the shoulder buttons on the controller.
Your shots are stored either on a microSD card (not included) or directly on your own smartphone. Please note, however, that the photo resolution when stored on the smartphone is only 2048 x 1080 pixels. Videos are still saved in Full HD in the absence of a memory card, but shakiness due to a fluctuating signal strength remains in this case.
The quality of the videos is quite good, even though the recordings will always be a bit shaky due to the lack of a gimbal. The quality of the photos, on the other hand, is average at best. Even though the recordings are made in 4K, the pictures do not look as sharp and true to color as one would have wished.
Automatic flight modes
Thanks to the built-in GPS module, the Syma X500 is capable of several automatic flight modes that should help you make exciting video sequences.
In Follow Me mode, the drone independently follows the signal of the remote control and thus you as the pilot, while simultaneously recording a video of you.
Tap-Fly (Flight Plan) mode allows you to draw a flight path on an interactive map in the app before the flight. Then, the Syma X500 will independently fly the individual waypoints.
In Circle mode, the drone can circle an object or a person and take a video recording at the same time.
For some variety in between, you can also perform a few 360° overshoots. A corresponding button can be found on the remote control.
The so-called headless mode is especially recommended for beginners, as it allows for simplified control of the drone. If you activate the headless mode, it does not matter how the drone is oriented in the sky at the moment for control commands to the left, right, front or rear.
While normally you would always have to pay attention to whether the front or rear of the drone is facing you, in headless mode it doesn’t matter. The drone will always fly in the desired direction. However, we recommend that you don’t fly in headless mode for too long and also learn the normal drone controls, since not all drones have headless mode by a long shot.
A nice extra is the gesture control for taking photos and videos. If you form the “Victory sign” with your hand, the drone will take a photo. To start and stop video recordings, you simply hold out your open hand to the drone.
Scope of delivery
- 1 x SYMA X500
- 1 x Rechargeable remote control
- 2 x rechargeable battery (1700mAh, 7,6V)
- 1 x Bag in black
- 4 x propellers(2 x A and 2 x B)
- 2 x USB charging cable
- 4 x propeller guards
- 1 x User manual (English)
The Syma X500 is a rugged entry-level drone with a 4K camera that captures video in Full HD and photos in 4096 x 3072 pixels. The drone has GPS, comes with no less than two batteries for up to 52 minutes of flight time, and offers live FPV broadcasting.
The camera makes decent videos for this price range, while the quality of the photos can’t quite keep up. The drone features a return to home mode, handles autonomous flight modes like follow me and tap fly, and there is also a headless mode for beginners.
All in all, the Syma X500 is an excellent camera drone for beginners who want to gain their first experience. However, if you are looking for a drone to take high-quality aerial photos, you should rather buy a more expensive drone.