Syma X5C Explorer – The classic entry level drone

The Amazon bestseller Syma X5C Explorer convinces with great features and robustness for little money. Whether beginner or advanced – the Syma X5C Explorer is exactly the right choice for all those who are looking for a camera drone for an affordable price, but do not want to give up anything.

The quadcopter is delivered as a Ready-to-Fly (RTF) version and can therefore be used immediately (only four 1.5 V AA batteries for the remote control are still needed). It has two different modes (Mode L/Mode H), so that beginners as well as professionals get their money’s worth. The two modes differ in the changing flight characteristics. In Mode H, the flight behavior is more precise and direct – but the copter is also less forgiving of control errors. The mode set in each case is displayed on the remote control.

A good drone costs good money – right?

Basically, the above guiding principle seems to apply for now, if you look at current top drones à la DJI Mavic 2 or Phantom 4. Therefore, the offer from Syma is interesting when it says that with the Syma X5C, a drone from the low-price segment has come onto the market, which not only has a lot of accessories, but is also said to have excellent qualities, judging by the low price of less than $60. Reason enough to take a closer look at the Syma X5C.

The scope of delivery is already a clear plus

The drone’s scope of delivery already stands out positively. The Syma X5C comes as a complete set consisting of drone, which is delivered as a Ready-to-Fly model, controller and all kinds of accessories. The accessories here include a USB charging cable, a USB card reader and a 4 GB memory card, four spare rotors, AGETECH SafeFly sunglasses, two batteries for the drone and an instruction manual.

Thanks to the memory card and the reader, you can take pictures with the camera already permanently mounted on your first flight and view your photos or movies with the reader while still on site on your notebook. If you keep the price of the drone in mind, the scope of delivery of the Syma X5C can hardly be topped. By the way, you can purchase a suitable carrying case for relatively little money from one of the popular online retailers.

What the Syma X5C can really do

The Syma X5C is a classic quadcopter with a built-in HD camera and a 6-axis gyro system to stabilize the drone. Flight stability and steering understanding of the drone are good, commands to the remote control are implemented quickly, while there are two flight variants that you can set yourself. You can operate the drone in two different modes. You can choose between Mode H and Mode L.

In Mode L, the flight behavior is more tailored to the skills of beginner pilots. Control commands are not executed with absolute precision, so minor control errors are more forgivable. In general, the flight behavior in mode L seems less precise, which is rarely a disadvantage for beginners. In Mode H, on the other hand, the flight behavior becomes much more precise and direct, which also means that the drone reacts to the smallest control commands. This is an absolute must for experienced pilots, as they usually know exactly when and how to control their drone. This is how Syma ensures that the X5C can inspire both beginners and advanced pilots.

Thanks to the high flight stability, you can also easily fly 360-degree loops or similar stunts with the Syma X5C, without having trouble stabilizing the drone afterwards. In general, the drone from Syma comes along with about 92 grams rather as a lightweight, which of course makes the transport much easier. However, this makes flying hours in bad weather rather uncomfortable. The drone still works flawlessly in light winds. However, it becomes difficult to keep control in stronger gusts.

The features of the Syma X5C

The flight time of the Syma X5C Explorer is specified by the manufacturer as 8-10 minutes. Thanks to the built-in battery warning, the drone indicates when the batteries are almost empty. We recommend replacing the included 3.7 V, 500 mAh batteries with larger 600 mAh battery if you are dissatisfied with the flight time. For the hobbyists among you, there is also the possibility to install larger 750 mAh batteries by making a few changes to the battery compartment. This way, the flight time can be extended by a few more minutes. For one charging cycle of the included battery you need about one hour.

Within a radius of about 87 yards (80 meters), you can perform all kinds of flight maneuvers with the quadcopter and even 360° loops are no problem with the Syma X5C Explorer. A 6-axis gyro system provides the necessary stability. It is possible to remove individual components such as the camera, the landing gear or even the rotor protection to improve the aerodynamic capabilities of the copter and perhaps get a few extra minutes of flight time due to the weight savings.

Syma X5C (Explorer) – 3D Flip function.

Due to the installed position lights, the copter can still be flown well in the evening twilight. The Syma X5C Explorer also has an automatic motor stop function, which switches off the motors if a rotor cannot rotate. The weight-optimized design makes the quadcopter perfect for indoor and outdoor flights.

The camera of the Syma X5C

The Syma X5C Explorer has a 720p resolution HD camera with sound recording and can take photos in 2560 x 1440 pixels. The camera can be easily operated via the included remote control by moving the copter in the appropriate direction. The package also includes a USB charging cable, a card reader, and a 4 GB memory card. With this feature, you can immediately transfer the captured images and videos to your own computer for viewing.

Transferring the live image from the camera to a tablet or smartphone (FPV flight) can be easily realized by purchasing the corresponding accessories.


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Range and flight time of the Syma X5C – the manufacturer is partly a bit off the mark

Syma X5C (Explorer) – remote control.

The manufacturer claims a flight time of 10 – 12 minutes for the drone. This may work if the various extras like the camera and the landing gear are not mounted and the drone is in a space without any air resistance or wind or similar. However, when constantly moving, with the camera on and fully mounted, the Syma X5C barely gets past a flight time of around 7 minutes.

The charging time of the battery is quite long at around 120 minutes. It’s a good thing that a replacement battery is included. Beyond that, it is advisable to purchase a few more spare batteries so that the flying fun does not have to end after just a few minutes. If you want to buy a drone that has a longer flight time, we advise you to buy one of the current best drones, even if they are of course a bit more expensive.

As for the batteries, they are 3.7 V, 500 mAh LiPos. You can easily replace this with a 600 mAh battery from the same manufacturer. With this, you increase the flight time already a few minutes. For hobbyists, there is even the possibility to use a 700 mAh battery with a small modification to the battery compartment. Then you can achieve a flight time of around 12 minutes even with a full outfit, light wind, camera turned on and constant movement.

The manufacturer specifies a range of around 87 yards (80 meters). Fortunately, this can still be exceeded. 110 yards (100 meters) and just above are possible with the Syma X5C. A more than good result for a drone in this price segment.

Small features – from the camera to the evening flight

We have already mentioned that a camera is already installed. But not that it is an HD camera with 720 p resolution with sound recording. The camera can take photos in a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The only drawback of the camera is the fact that it does not have its own gimbal – which would also be very surprising in this price range – and can therefore naturally only take what the fixed preset camera angle just gives in terms of pictures. A circumstance that can be absolutely gotten over for a hobby drone.

Another interesting extra are the built-in LED position lights. This also gives you the option of letting your drone rise at dawn or dusk. An excellent option for very atmospheric aerial photos at sunrise or sunset. With the appropriate equipment (cell phone or tablet plus the necessary app), you can also follow your flight in the live image via the camera. Especially for flights at dusk an absolute pleasure.

That remains to be noted:

The Syma X5C quadcopter is a drone that is offered by the manufacturer for under $60. The Syma X5C not only comes with a really good scope of delivery, but also with a high standard for a drone in this price category. Especially the fact that you can switch between two flight modes here makes the Syma X5C just as attractive for professionals as for beginners. The battery life is okay and can be extended with little effort.

The range and the extras offered beyond that can be classified as far above average for comparable drones. The bottom line is that a good drone is offered here at a perfect price-performance ratio. You can’t go wrong with this purchase.

Technical data

  • Remote control: 2.4 GHz – 4 channel
  • LiPos: 3.7 V, 500 mAh
  • Resolution: video 720p (1280 x 720), photo 2560 x 1440
  • Megapixel: 1.2
  • Format: 4:3
  • Charging time: approx. 60 minutes (charging via USB)
  • Flight time: 8-10 minutes per battery
  • Range: over 87 yards (80 meters)

Scope of delivery

  • Syma X5C Explorer with HD camera
  • 2,4 GHz white remote control
  • 2 batteries (3,7 V, 500 mAh Li-Po)
  • Micro SD memory card 4 GB (already inserted)
  • AGETECH SafeFly sunglasses CE certified
  • USB charger
  • USB SD card reader
  • Spare rotors: 4 pieces (incl. screwdriver)
  • Instruction manual