Let us guess: you’ve had your fair share of experience with multiple drone types, including content creation UAVs that cater to some of the most popular niches in the drone flying scene. Sure, they’re fun and all, but it doesn’t really get your blood pumping, does it? If so, drone racing might just be for you.
Racing drones aren’t your typical run of the mill UAVs that can do every bit of everything just right, as they are specialized for mobility and speed. Most carry beefy battery capacities to supply the motors with consistent power, as these drones tend to burn through their reserves just as fast as the fly. Of course, their designs are tweaked for aerodynamics to give them an edge over the competition in these situations.
One such drone is the Walkera F210 3D, a dedicated ready-to-fly racing drone that is said to be among the top performers of the bracket. But how does it fare in real-life situations? Help yourself with our comprehensive Walkera F210 3D review to find out.
|Weight||Unloaded: 370 grams|
|Size||Length: 182 mm|
Width: 182 mm
Height: 103 mm
|Speed||Max: 90 kph|
|Signal||Range: ~800 meters|
Operational Frequency: 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz
|Battery||Flight time: ~9 mins|
Capacity: 1300 mAh
|Recording||Camera: 700 TVL, 120° FoV|
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Walkera F210 3D Features
F3D Flight Controller
For racing applications, drones need to have the best intuitive flight controllers onboard. This bird has an F3D controller installed in it, giving it a wider set of capabilities needed in high-speed flight, especially sensors that deal with the drone’s balance and movements.
This makes the UAV super agile and versatile while in the air, which is vital for racing applications. Furthermore, it allows the pilot to dial in his custom settings for that better overall flight experience, as you have the option to plug it to your PC for the convenience of advanced users.
This racing drone sports a modular design, from some of its moving parts to electronics. The brand decided it to be as such as racing applications can prove to pose a greater risk of crashing. With a modular design, the user can easily swap damaged parts, which are isolated from the main structure due to this design choice.
This means that impacts and collisions are handled better, as the force doesn’t necessarily translate throughout the whole structure, but is instead isolated by the removable components.
OSD (On-Screen Display)
The drone has a separate OSD unit to stream the live FPV view of its camera, giving you a comprehensive rundown on the whereabouts of the craft, as well as status readouts like a battery level indicator, horizon line overlay, and a signal range alarm function, among others.
The Walkera F210 3D sports a 1300 mAh 4S LiPo battery that provides it somewhere between 5 to 9 minutes of flight time, depending on the aggressiveness of your flying. This is rather reasonable as the drone has a high top speed, which can quickly deplete its energy resources in a few laps.
The 4S battery of the drone means that it has a higher voltage output than traditional 3S batteries, with 16.7 V for the former and 12.6 V for the latter at full charge. A larger voltage value means more current being pushed to the motors, resulting in better performance but a faster rate of depletion in return.
It is always wise to secure additional battery packs for racing drones as the rather brief flight time might not be enough for those who want to do more rounds in the air. At least you won’t get stuck in waiting for a full recharge of these battery packs.
The Walkera F210 3D has a 700 TVL camera, which is an analog standard commonly found in CCTV systems. This equates to around 976 x 582 pixels of digital resolution, which is slightly lower than the 720p standard, which means that the drone isn’t really the best in terms of video capability. Totally fine since the main usage of the drone is for racing, making the need for better imaging range less of a necessity for this bird.
Other features of the drone’s camera are the 120° field of view angle and night vision, which has us scratching our heads as who in their right minds would race drones in such lighting conditions. The photosensitive sensors provide an essential function of adapting to the brightness of the light source, however, allowing the pilot to focus more on flying.
The Walkera F210 3D ships with the basic DEVO 7 controller, which is a generic-looking controller for most run-of-the-mill drones. It does provide the basic functionality, however, sporting the dual joysticks, specialized function buttons, and a monochrome screen for basic status displays on the go. You can also grab the DEVO 10 controller, which is slightly beefier in features, not to mention a color display in the mix.
The DEVO 7 works fine for basic stuff, though, so you can stick with it unless you want the pizzazz of its premium cousin. The F3 Flight controller onboard the craft takes care of the settings that the drone flies on but is open to tweaking as well. This is good news for advanced users, as the controller defaults can be tuned to your taste with the Clean Flight software for PC.
That being said, the drone flies just fine without any kind of coded alteration, so if you’re just someone who wants to enjoy the adrenaline-pumping fun of drone racing, you’re pretty set flying it out of the box.
Design and Build Quality
As mentioned earlier, this racing quad has a modular build design that makes it somewhat “crashproof”, as this limits the damage, if ever there is any, to the parts that come off during a collision. That doesn’t mean that the Walkera F210 3D is a flimsy drone, however.
The drone is mostly made up of carbon fiber and aluminum parts, which contributes to the overall rigidity of the structure without sacrificing performance by way of added weight. A specialized frame protects the drone’s precious internals, especially the electronics which make up the drone’s basic operational unit.
LED units are also present on the UAV, but offer much more than illumination in night flight, as these LEDs also function as status indicators, as well as directional indicators that tell where the drone is banking towards.
The Walkera F210 3D performs what it’s supposed to with a balance between finesse and aggression. Response level is top-notch, with your controller inputs being translated into aerial maneuvers in real-time which is especially important for racing drones to avoid collisions while getting the edge over the competition. It has an effective signal range of about 800 meters as well, giving you a significant amount of ground to cover.
As for flight performance, the drone has a beginner mode with an assistive high horizontal balance for stability, but once it gets unhinged, this bird can go up to 90 kph without breaking a sweat. There is also an intermediary mode for a middle ground that introduces 3D flips into the equation, adding flair to this swift flier.
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Going into racing drone territory is rather tricky, as it is awkwardly priced and spec’d compared to the conventional drones we know and love. Some might be in for a head-scratching session in putting 1 and 1 together with racing drones, as the end product doesn’t really make much sense with the setup we’re familiar with.
That being said, this UAV is a full-fledged racer in terms of specs and build design, with engineering choices making sense once you understand what the specific design points are for. Certainly, the drone lacks some flight features that made flying easier with the casual and content creation birds we’re used to, but this doesn’t necessarily equate to compromised performance.
As far as racing is concerned, the drone does what its competitors can or even edge them out in straight races, with its lightning-fast speed and maneuverability. Crashes are pretty manageable as well, with the modular design doing heaps in keeping the drone functional after multiple mishaps. This bodes well for customization nerds too, giving them the freedom to tweak the drone to their desired configuration.
All in all, we think that the Walkera F210 3D is a sane choice for a racer, with all the needed functionality and specs loaded for you to start your own aerial Indy 500 or F1 out of the box.
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