This being my first drone review for The Buttonsmashers, I’m really not sure how I should construct it, but I guess the most import thing is to get started.
Let’s start at the beginning…
The first thing I noticed when the drone (quadrocopter) arrived was the size of the box. This is a big!
I think if you’re ordering one of these you should keep in mind that the size of the box is going to be surprisingly large. First there is the packaging that the drone comes in, and then there is a cardboard box to protect that box. Both combined make for a ginormous package. Given the size of the drone I’d have preferred a box that was more vertical and thus it would take up less space and would be easier to carry when collecting it from the postal service… That may have required a bit more assembly, but I’d take that trade off if I had to go collect this from my postal service.
My packages are usually delivered directly to me, but I’m assuming some of you may collect something like this at a shipping or postal service, because this thing is not going to fit in you mailbox. (⊙_◎)
Packaging aside, let’s talk about what comes in it. You get the mostly assembly quadrocopter, a camera (with shock absorber & 4GB micro SD, “Thanks for the memory”), extra propeller blades, a charger, Legs, 1 battery (this is something I have an issue with. I’ll explain in a bit), the controller, a USB SD card reader, and the user manuals.
One of the things that makes this a good start for beginners to drones is that as mentioned before, the device comes pretty much fully assembled. The only assembly I had to do was attach the legs and camera. The latter was a bit of a hassle, because I couldn’t find anything in the manual about how I should attach it to the drone. The only mention of it in the manual was related to where it would be located on the quadrocopter. I eventually figured out that I had to connect the shock absorber to the bottom of the battery cover with “4 screws”. It’s not clear where 2 of the screws go, but after careful examination I found that there is space between the foam and the plastic that make up the shock absorber. After this step is completed the camera should be easy to attach and detach.
That’s pretty much all the assembly needed.
OK let’s move on….
We did the stereotypical guy thing and didn’t read the manual first, and almost lost the quadrocopter during our inaugural flight. (there’s a story about that on our podcast, That Beautiful Life. The manual mentions a mode called Orientation Mode. Make sure the drone is in this mode before flying it if you’re a beginner, because you will lose control of it, and either lose the drone or damage it. Lucky for us we eventually figured the dynamics of flying it before it was too late, but don’t make the same mistake as us… READ THE MANUAL!
Having this small dog sized device hovering in the air around you, flying this way and that is exhilarating. I will admit it was not what I was expecting, but I did enjoy myself, minus the injury (listen to the podcast). The drone was moderately challenging to learn to operate, and I’m sure with more practice I will eventually master it. We didn’t have much time or available space near us to fly it frequently, but you can bet we’ll be using it every chance we get.
As for the camera is footage collected from the drone, it is also surprisingly good in quality. It’s not the best out there; however, it’s really good when you consider the price point of this drone. We were able to get some good footage of the area around us as it flew by. The record feature is controlled by the controller along with a snapshot feature, which was a nice touch; however, I will admit that I didn’t like that the controller didn’t indicate to me when it was recording or taking a picture… wait were you expecting a “but” here? There is none. It’s something that should have been there that wasn’t, and I will like to see it on Zoopa drone controllers in the future.
Another feature that was surprisingly missing from the drone was an on off switch. How, how was this left out? Trust me it’s not fun having to unscrew the battery cover, disconnect the battery, then reconnect it when ever you want to reset the thing. During our first flight with it, I eventually got annoyed at this shortcoming and ended the testing sooner than planned. The lack of a power switch on the drone made what should be an overall good experience tedious.
Oh and that’s not the last thing that bothered me about the Zoopa Q600 Mantis. Oh, there’s more… The next offender to my fun was the battery situation with the controller. It uses 6 AA batteries. This decision to not include a rechargeable battery in the controller is another thing that baffled me.
I want to assume it was to save on cost, but I think it makes the device seem cheaper than it should. People like paying less for stuff, but we all like to feel like we got a good deal even if we didn’t spend much. Having a rechargeable battery in the controller would have added that premium feel, and they could have also scaled it down a little. I found the controller to be a bit too big from a visual aesthetic, and portability prospective.
As for the drone itself, it is made of plastic, but I liked that about it, because it felt solid and was able to crash into stuff quite regularly without breaking. It also has these four lights on it which allow for it to be very noticeable while flying it at night. Not counting the 5th light above it, because we couldn’t see that While it was flying.
My overall opinion on the Zoopa Q600 Mantis is that it is a good drone for beginners who want something bigger & better than those regular hand sized drones. It also helps that you can usually find this drone reasonably priced at $130 USD or less on Amazon. It may have quite a couple shortcomings that can break the experience, but some may be able to overlook them, and find some really good fun with this racing drone. As for me I’m looking forward to trying my hands at a couple other drones in the future, hopefully without those aforementioned shortcomings.
The Zoopa Q 600 Mantis used for this review was supplied to us by Zoopa/ Snakebyte.
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