One feature that is gaining popularity in the drone space due to its added functionality in a number of applications is waterproofing, which renders the craft resistant or immune to water intrusion, depending on the waterproof rating the manufacturer packs the drone with.
Some might think that this feature is isolated to the pricier end of the spectrum, but that’s where the Goolsky JJRC H31 catches the unknowing consumer (and that includes us) by surprise.
This little drone is an entry-level offering that’s outfitted with a waterproof build, along with features that promote a user-friendly experience for the amateur. But is this UAV capable of competing with the best waterproof drones in the space?
Read on in this Goolsky JJRC H31 review to find out.
|Weight||Unloaded: 73 grams|
|Size||Length: 29 cm|
Width: 29 cm
Height: 9 cm
|Speed||Three speed modes|
|Signal||Range: ~80 m|
Operational Frequency: 2.4 GHz
|Battery||Flight time: ~10 mins|
Capacity: 400 mAh
|Recording||Camera: From 0.3-5 MP (sold separately)|
Goolsky JJRC H31 Features
While this drone is sparse feature-wise, it doesn’t forget to add a Headless Mode to allow amateurs and experienced pilots alike an easier flight experience. Headless mode makes the drone “forget” its front-end orientation and instead responds to the control inputs by relying on the pilot’s own frontal position to navigate it in the air.
Basically, when you push the directional lever left, the drone moves to the left no matter where its camera is pointed and applies to every other direction on the controls. You won’t need to constantly keep track of the drone’s 3D position when flying in this mode.
You can recall the device to your position using the One-Key Return function. While the drone has no GPS functionalities, this feature relies on the controller’s transmission signal to fly its way back to your position.
This is handy when you want to relocate or recall the drone when the battery goes low. The feature can be a bit buggy on the JJRC H31, though, as it tends to suddenly jolt and change direction when doing so.
As expected with a toy-grade drone, this fulfills its one-trick pony destiny with the 360 Flips function. Activated with a push of its dedicated button, you are free to control what direction the drone flips via the joystick.
While not a necessary function to aid in-flight maneuvers, the flips are a joy to watch, especially when considering how balanced the drone is after performing a flip, reverting to its original position without any fuss or fear of crashing.
The Goolsky JJRC H31 has a 400 mAh LiPo battery that supplies about 10 minutes of flight time, which may vary depending on your usage levels. This figure is decent enough to give you some enjoyment while familiarizing the drone’s controls, which isn’t hard to do considering the fairly simple overall design of this bird.
If you plan on getting more than 10 minutes of flight time, however, we’d suggest that you pick up extra battery packs, preferably higher capacity ones, as the charging time for these babies can take up to an hour for a full replenishment.
The drone doesn’t ship with a camera by default, so there’s not much to talk about here. However, there are readily-available modular camera units that attach to its belly via the dedicated mounting system and a port that accommodates the camera’s wires to transmit data.
These cameras range from a dismal 0.3-MP variant to the decent 5-MP shooter, though we haven’t tested them on with the drone itself.
According to some user reviews, these cameras provide a functional platform to start photography and videography practice, so there’s that.
This uses the basic remote controller that can be found in most low-end, entry-level drones. We really weren’t looking for anything special in terms of design or looks, as the necessity of a functional controller trumps anything else.
The controller has the usual dual joystick layout, along with dedicated buttons for functions like headless mode and photo/video capture.
Shoulder buttons access the speed mode toggling, as well as the 360 flips function. In the lower section of the controller sits a monochrome screen that gives you basic telemetry readouts such as battery and signal level, flight mode, and distance.
This is handy as there is no FPV or smartphone compatibility, which is no surprise considering how cheap this drone retails at.
Design and Build Quality
This adapts the standard quadcopter design, albeit a little skinny by the arms, making it more streamlined and drag-resistant.
Though we could not find any literature pointing out the actual material of the drone’s construction, it sports semi-elastic properties that makes it shock-resistant, able to withstand several crashes upon testing.
Several protective features such as the extra-long landing gear and propeller guards help in keeping the drone in good shape even after flight mishaps but take note that removing the prop guards will expose the motor housing and gears, making it prone to blockage or snagging from debris and other foreign materials. LEDs also light up the legs, which can be useful for nighttime flight.
The main selling point of the drone is its waterproof feature, though, as it allows the drone to get wet or be submerged in water without frying the electronics.
While there are no actual figures of how long or deep the Goolsky JJRC H31 can go without dying on you, we’d recommend going no deeper than 1 meter underwater, while not going past 30 minutes of soaking.
Aesthetics-wise, the drone does have the looks of its price, with the cheap, sporty, decal-covered hull which is painted with a gloss finish, simple and undeceiving.
The Goolsky JJRC H31 is super responsive to your control inputs, making it an easy bird to fly, even for those with lesser experience behind the handheld cockpit.
You can choose from three speed modes, which is handy when trying to ease yourself into the controls of the craft.
The lowest setting corresponds to the lowest speeds and sensitivity, which we suggest you should start with if you are a total newbie. The highest setting, however, puts sensitivity through the roof, making it a loose cannon when you put the pedal to the metal and try to maneuver at the same time.
Flight range is limited to around 80 meters, but don’t push your luck with the limit as actual flight performance may vary on a case to case basis.
On a good day (or location), the Goolsky JJRC H31 can net even more than the advertised radius, but still, keep things conservative. It also helps to keep the drone by your line of sight to avoid accidents or loss.
Among entry-level offerings, the Goolsky JJRC H31 sure stands out from the crowd. Not with its features, specs, or price, which is a common denominator for these starter packs. Instead, it holds an edge over the competition with its waterproofed design, offering consistent performance at wet conditions and consequently, excellent survivability.
Should you buy this? It really depends on what you intend to use it for.
If you really need the waterproof capabilities of this bird, it’s a resounding yes. The number one reason for this would be if you want to play with it regularly, whatever the weather.
Of course, you’d have to trade some features off.
But if you’re just looking for something to practice on or do leisure laps, or to take good photos and videos, we think you’d be better off with other drones that have a more suitable spread of features for your specific needs.
We may receive compensation on qualifying purchases via our links. This does not change how we review items. For more information, please read our affiliate disclosure.