For those wanting to get into the droning community, a plethora of beginner drones are being offered at tempting price points, but most of them either lack the necessary features or skimp out on build quality. However, a few good birds have been the talk of the town lately, impressing enthusiasts and beginners alike.
Among these drones is the SNAPTAIN S5C.
Not to stereotype, but the opinions are often divided from either side of the fence with cheap Chinese products. Does this product stand up to scrutiny?
Check out whether it lives up to expectations in this honest SNAPTAIN S5C review.
|Weight||Unloaded: 127 g|
|Size||Length: 13.9 in|
Width: 9.7 in
Height: 3.3 in
|Signal||Range: ~80 m|
|Battery||Flight time: ~9 mins|
Capacity: 550 mAh
|Recording||FPV camera: 720p HD|
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SNAPTAIN S5C Features
While piloting with a controller or smartphone is easy enough, thrillseekers will be happy to know that the SNAPTAIN S5C is a VR compatible drone. This calls for a more immersive piloting experience, taking you from the ground to the cockpit (well, almost) for a more realistic view of your drone’s flight path.
One Key Takeoff/Landing/Return
It doesn’t get more beginner-friendly than this. The SNAPTAIN S5C has a dedicated One Key Takeoff/Landing/ and Return function. Just press the button on the controller and you can take off and land your SNAPTAIN S5C without worrying on how to properly maneuver it.
While the SNAPTAIN S5C isn’t technically a photography drone per se, the handy Altitude Hold function allows you to let the craft hover in place, keeping it still in its position and allowing you to take clearer pictures and videos while operational. The 6-axis gyroscope of the SNAPTAIN S5C makes this feature possible.
Voice & Gesture Control
Hold it right there. A sub-$100 drone that has voice and gesture control? Using the dedicated smartphone app, you can enable the voice and gesture mode.
For the voice activation and gesture modes to work, you need to be somewhere between 1 to 3 meters of the drone. The drone has presets for both modes, so you can follow them in order to be recognized by the tracking algorithm.
The SNAPTAIN S5C’s gravity sensor allows you to control it by moving your smartphone at certain angles. This shadow-mimic mode is fun to experiment with and is certainly new territory to try, from the generic controller-based movements you are limited to.
It’s surprising that a drone as cheap as the SNAPTAIN S5C has a headless functionality built into it. This feature is a great way to ease any beginner pilot into controlling the drone, as you won’t need to worry about the drone’s front-end orientation to fly it.
Wifi Warning System
For first-time owners, it’s a nightmare to lose your drone on its maiden flight. To help you with that, the SNAPTAIN S5C’s Wifi warning system issues a warning when the signal level drops to one bar, from the full four bars. If unclear, most drones pair with your controller by Wifi, not Bluetooth.
For a drone this cheap, you won’t expect intuitive flight features from it. Still, the SNAPTAIN S5C surprises you with its Trajectory feature, where you can draw a flight path on the smartphone app and the craft will follow it.
That’s enthusiast-level goodies you’re getting for a bargain.
The 550 mAh LiPo battery of the SNAPTAIN S5C offers 9 minutes of flight time, give or take. Though not wildly impressive, it’s still a reasonable amount of time to keep the drone aloft. The cheapest drones usually come in with 5-7 minutes of continuous flight time.
In the package, a spare battery is included, so your flight time is easily doubled. These batteries each take around an hour and a half to charge.
The SNAPTAIN S5C’s 720p HD camera isn’t the best out there in terms of quality and performance, but hey, it isn’t all that bad considering the super-affordability.
It can take decent footage and stills, and more so in a stable hovering mode. The camera also gives you access to the FPV, allowing you to keep track of your surroundings as you maneuver your drone around.
While all of that is great, the 80m transmission distance does limit the amount of exploration you can do.
Ease Of Use
The SNAPTAIN S5C’s controller leaves a lot to be desired in the looks department, as it looks like a knock-off gaming console controller at best. The layout is what you would expect from a generic drone controller, with the dual joysticks and various dedicated buttons. It also includes a smartphone mount for convenience.
Control and response are exceptional though, and when paired with its ergonomic design, the SNAPTAIN S5C becomes a dream to fly. Its novel and simplistic approach heightens its charm, and becomes bearable after a few hours of use.
Of course, with its various smart features and gimmicks, the flying experience becomes more of a lighthearted entertainment activity rather than a technical one. From easy landing and takeoff modes to features like voice recognition and gesture detection, one can only imagine how the designers managed to pack that many goodies in one loot bag.
Design and Build Quality
The SNAPTAIN S5C boasts an ABS plastic construction, which is uncommon for a drone in this price range.
Most toy-grade drones opt for cheaper plastic to curb manufacturing costs, but the S5C doesn’t skimp out here. This is a step in the right direction, as drones like this do not have the capabilities of obstacle detection and self-preservation, in which crash-proofing it would be fitting.
More than its build quality, this drone is stylishly crafted to fit a futuristic vibe. Sleek yet defined by lines and contours, it relies on a matte black scheme highlighted by tones of blue for that neutral and classy spacecraft aesthetic.
No matter how sturdy the build is, the manufacturer included some consumables in the package, including spare propellers, propeller guards, landing pads, and even an extra battery in the event of damages or faulty parts.
Do note that the SNAPTAIN S5C is a bit on the lighter side of things, weighing in at about 127g. You might want to think twice about flying it in windy — or even breezy — conditions.
The SNAPTAIN S5C is, by all means, an easy drone to fly. The aforementioned simplistic controls and smart features all enable the pilot a plethora of safety nets, especially for beginners.
It offers three speed modes in which you can set depending on your skill and confidence level. It’s a snappy drone, following your controller inputs or smartphone movements (via Gravity mode) instantaneously.
The SNAPTAIN S5C is a very stable drone as well, given its size and weight. This is perfect for capturing decent stills and videos with its 720p camera.
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We’re surprised how a product like the SNAPTAIN S5C could easily fit into the budget section of things and yet dish out an amazing set of features and specs. This Chinese newcomer is surely giving other toy drone manufacturers a run for their money.
See, this is what we like seeing. We’re all about spending every penny wisely.
It’s not just a slap-this-here-and-there feature job, but a carefully thought out and balanced design. It has the essentials of a functional drone, yet lets you taste premium features without giving out too much.
In a way, the SNAPTAIN S5C does a favor for the whole drone community: it gets you hooked on the hobby so you progressively seek better models for your specific needs.
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