JJRC X12 Aurora/Eachine Ex4 drone review( Cheaper Mavic Air Alternative)

(19 customer reviews)

Last Updated on by Paul Archer

Add to compare
Add to compare
Camera 1080p
Battery life 25 min
Stabilization 3 axis gimbal
Range 1000 m
Camera quality
Gimbal stability
Build quality
+ Positives:
  • 3 axis stabilized footage
  • the camera isn't fisheye(yes!)
  • foldable design
  • long range (1.2km)
  • great battery life
  • comes with case
- Negatives:
  • photos are basically screenshots

USD 249.99 Free Shipping, Wholesale Price, JJRC X12 AURORA 5G WIFI 1.2km FPV GPS Foldable RC Drone With 1080P 3Axis Gimbal Ultrasonic Optical Flow Positioning RTF – White Two Batteries With Bag

What you'll learn in this review

This JJRC x12 Aurora review is going to answer all your questions regarding this drone:
  •  including all specs
  • how to use it
  • compared to similar drones
  • recommended accessories
And more…
The aurora is a wonder of a drone thanks to it’s 3 axis stabilized gimbal, great range and precise GPS.
You can check out my best drone swith return to home if you’re looking for GPS Quadcopters.
It’s also the same drone as the Cfly Faith, but rebranded, so whichever you find cheaper online, buy that!
It won’t record world class footage, but I definitely included it in my top drones under $300 list and it probably will stay there for a whole lot of time.
Don’t forget that you’ll also find a quick comparison table I made with the Aurora versus it’s main competitors (the fimi a3, Cfly Dream and Hubsan zino)
Down bellow.

JJRC X12 Aurora Specs and Features (vs competition)

Camera 1080p
Battery life 25 min
Camera Stabilization 3 axis gimbal
Range 1000 m
Format Foldable Drone
Drone Type Beginner Drone
Transmitter Remote + 5G Phone (802.11ac)
Weight Over 250g
GPS Comes with GPS
Obstacle Avoidance Stability sensors underneath
Speed Over 30 km/h
Motors Brushless

Battery Life

The battery for this drone is proprietary and doesn’t come with smart discharging or anything like what you can find in much more expensive DJI drones.
But I like that way, because it’s way cheaper to get spares.
What’s the actual flight time you should expect?
The manufacturer put it at 25 minutes in perfect conditions, which is usually true.
However, that is in perfect conditions, probably until it goes to 0% battery life.
From real life tests expect no more than 22 minutes, which is still a whole lot for how small this drone is.
Most reviewers and myself got around 20 minutes, so it’s reliable to say that’s the standard you should expect too.

Range (Flight Distance)

The JJRC X12 Aurora has an FPV range of 1200m.
That’s exactly how much the manufacturer said it has, and it seems they were true to their word again.
And that’a actual range of the FPV signal, not only the drone itself.

How much does it weigh?(is it under 250g?)

The X12 Aurora from JJRC weighs 415grams, so it’s over the legal limit to fly without a permit in the US.
However, because it’s so small in size and not intrusive to other people, you have a better chance of not drawing any attention to yourself.

How good is the GPS accuracy

The drone comes with GPS+GlONASS( russian satelite system) which makes it as stable as any DJI quadcopter.
It can hover pretty precise without any toilet bowl effect and returns to home within a distance of maximum 2m from the point it left from.

Does it come back after losing signal?

Yes, the X12 Aurora does come back by itself if it loses signal, to the point where you launched it from.
Besides the return to home button, there’s also this safety mechanism that lets you sleep better at night.


Doesn’t it?

Does it return on low battery?

Yes, the JJRC Aurora and Cfly Faith, both return to home if the battery gets to a certain level.
It’s usually 15 to 25% that drones tend to prompt to return to home by themselves.

What's the maximum height it reaches?

The maximum height the drone reaches is 500m, but there’s a setting that initially only lets you fly for 120m.
What’s the maximum height you can fly in USA?
You should limit yourself to 120m, as that’s the max you are allowed to fly in the United States legally.

Does it come with optical flow stabilization

Yes, the X12 does come with optical flow stabilization that’s done by a camera underneath.
What’s that, you ask?
It’s basically a camera that shoots stills of the ground to help the drone find a pattern and remain steady in the same position.
It works at heights no bigger than 10m, but if you have GPS, it’s just a bonus anyway.
However, it also comes with 2 ultrasonic sensors.
These help it calculate the exact altitude by bouncing the sonar to the ground and back to the drone. It also uses a barometer in combination.

What are the best alternatives for the JJRC X12 Aurora (table comparison)

The 3 best alternatives for the X12 Aurora are the Fimi a3, the Hubsan Zino and the Cfly Dream.
I have compiled the main specs you should take note of bellow in that useful comparison table.
Each has their own benefits and they all make some of the best drones under $300 in my opinion.
For example, the Cfly obtain is the only one under 250 grams, which means it’s legal to fly in the States without registering it.
The Hubsan zino is the only one with 4k footage (the best camera out of all)
And the Fimi A3 comes with the Best controller, least FPV lag and can use goggles with it.

Add to compare

Bellow you can find a filtering system for the main competitor drones I reviewed and you can press the “Add to compare” button if you want to do so.

X12 Aurora
Add to compare
Fimi A3
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Cfly Dream
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Hubsan Zino
Add to compare
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JJRC Aurora Camera specs(3 axis stabilization)

The camera is the main focus of this drone, and that’s the 3 axis image stabilization it comes with.
Is it perfect?
Definitely not, but I could definitely say it’s really rare to find one at this price that comes with proper 3 axis stabilization and all these features included.
The gimbal works by having 3 motors working simultaneously to help keep the camera facing the same direction (a bit like a chicken head).


Image stabilization is in my opinion the most important factor in a camera drone.

How good is the footage and photos

Photo taken by Quadcopter 101
The 1080p camera is definitely under what you can see on the likes of DJI Spark (that one comes with an actual 4k sensor).
But it’s more than usable, and one of the main reasons why you can actually take great, almost professional looking footage with it is the fact that it doesn’t come with the fisheye effect that most drones tend to come with.
The colors can be adjusted in post processing, but the FPS is smooth enough, doesn’t have any bugs from what I’ve seen and most people don’t seem to complain.
Here’s a video review and footage to help you get a better view on the matter.

Can the camera be upgraded?

I really wish they would have invested maybe $50 more in the quality of the camera itself and it could have actually been a proper DJI Spark competitor.
Unfortunately, right now I don’t know of any way to upgrade the camera and still maintain the gimbal.
It’s also too light to mount an action camera on it, although it does come with really powerful brushless motors.
Print screen by Captain Drone

What smartphones work with it?

Short answer: any phone that supports 5g 802.11 ac wifi.

All the iphones have this frequency and usually newer android phones, but there are meny exceptions.

If you want to check your phone compatibility, go on GSM arena, search for your brand and then look in the specs if it has 802.11 ac wifi (the AC part is important).

And no, it’s not Air Conditioner.

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Parts and Accessories

Best accessories for the Aurora

Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, the JJRC Aurora doesn’t come with many accessories online, as it’s really recent on the market.
You can find spare batteries, charger and spare propellers.
But one of the reasons there aren’t many accessories for it is that it already comes with a lot in the package.

Spare Battery

You need at least one of these, as you might find yourself not having enough time in the air.​

A good carrying case

This is a great way to carry this quad around, with a few spare batteries also.

Props and other spares

If you don't want to wait up to 2 hours at a time for one battery to charge, why not do a few more in paralel.

Design and Unboxing

The Aurora is a really tiny drone while folded down.
It’s 17.2 X 9 X5.5 cm which makes it the smallest drone in this price segment with these flight capabilities, and especially a 3 axis gimbal.
This mean it might just fin in a bigger pocket.
The look is obviously inspired from the DJI Mavic Air, and the option to pick from 2 colors is nice to have.
I personally prefer the black version.
The build quality is really good and  it’s impressive how smooth and well designed the plastic its made of is.
One really nice feat is that it comes with an included carrying bag.
  • Battery (multiple, depending on the package)
  • Charger
  • Screwdriver
  • Remote
  • Spare props
  • Included Case
  • Drone
  • Phone holder
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Transmitter And Mobile App

The controller for the Aurora /CFly Faith is quite special in a few ways:
  1. It comes with a rechargeable battery (no need to buy external ones)
  2. It has a built in 802.11ac wifi relay
    • This means you will have to connect the phone to the controller
    • And the controller will relay the signal to the drone and vice versa
    • This will make for more stable signal overall and that’s why the FPV range is 1200m
It also comes with some of the basic but really useful buttons to use like:
  • mode switch to use altitude hold instead of GPS
  • landing and launching button
  • button for taking photos and video
  • return to home button
  • scroll wheel for turning the gimbal up and down

How to connect to the app

The app is called Enjoy-Fly on google apps tore and Itunes, but you can also use the Cfly app, since is the same exact drone.
As mentioned before you can restrict the drone altitude to whatever you want, the maximum being 500m.
In the settings of the app you can also change between flying mode one and mode two.
There’s also the option to do both compass calibration and Gyro Calibration.

What flight modes does it come with?

The standard flight modes most GPS drone come with, but this time they work quite well, mainly thanks to the smoother footage quality.
Follow me
The follow me actually also turns around to see the subject followed (the transmitter with the phone). And does a pretty smooth follow motion, not jerky at all.
Of course, it’s far from perfect, but actually usable, compared to cheaper camera drones.
Circle me
This mode is limited in a radius of 15m around the subject and you can change the height the drone flies at in real time from the app.
Waypoints, well…
I don’t really use them, but it’s an included option, if you’re that type of person.
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Price, Manual and Instructions

How to start flying the X12 Aurora

1.Start the drone by pressing on the button for a few seconds.
Do the same with the transmitter. Let them pair.
2.The gimbal will start calibrating and moving around. Don’t panic. Lol.
If you experience any issues with that, just make the camera face forward and up a bit and then you won’t get any errors during the calibration.
3.Connect to the remote wifi from the phone (Make sure your phone works with 802.11ac wifi)
4.Do the Compass calibration dance.
First turn the drone around 3 times while paralel to the ground, and then 3 times while it faces the ground.
5.How do you start the motors?
You can only start the motors after you did the compass calibration.
To start the motors you need to bring both sticks down and to the exterior corners.
Then you can use the launch button or do it manually by the left stick.

How to turn the GPS on or off?

You can turn the GPS onor off by the press of the “m” button ont he transmitter.

How to change the camera angle?

You do that by the conveniently placed scroll wheel on the top left side.

Who should buy it (is it worth the price)?

There are certain main reasons why you’d want to buy the Aurora and who it’s best fitted for.
  • If you want to inspect your roof or a building for yourself or a friend
  • If you want to take videos and photos for a vacation
  • If you want to explore a town or have a different perspective on a landscape
  • for selfies and taking videos for your vlogs
Price history for JJRC X12 AURORA 5G WIFI 1.2km FPV GPS Foldable RC Drone With 1080P 3Axis Gimbal Ultrasonic Optical Flow Positioning RTF - White Two Batteries With Bag
Latest updates:
  • $302.99 - December 19, 2019
  • $249.99 - October 20, 2019
Since: October 20, 2019
  • Highest Price: $302.99 - December 19, 2019
  • Lowest Price: $249.99 - October 20, 2019

Where to buy it from?

Who should buy it (is it Because it’s a recent drone, there aren’t that many places you can get it from.

However, I found the drone to be the cheapest on geekbuying, this might change, but bellow are the daily updated best price offers I could find. the price)?

Is there an official manual to download online?

I haven’t found any online at the time of writing this article, but you can check if there are any in the official JJRC Manuals page.

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Readers Questions answered

Can you fly the drone without connecting to the wifi and app?
No, this is a bit strange, but this drone cannot be flown without connect it to the app.
Is it legal to fly in US?
Yes it is legal to fly it in the US, but you will need a permit for it (because it’s over 250grams).
You also need to respect the limit of 120m altitude.
Can it be used for professional video/photo?
No, this drone isn’t really in the professional cateogry, you need to invest a bit more to get into that range.
Does it have altitude hold?
Yes, the drone does have both a barometer and sonar for maintaining altitude.
Does it come with a case?
Yes, the drone does come with a great case included.
How many batteries does the X12 come with?
Depending on the price and the package you’re willing to get, you can get up to 3 batteries in the package and evne more spare ones.
Check out the following article guides that will turn you into an expert!
9.5Expert Score
JJRC X12 Aurora/Eachine Ex4 drone review( Cheaper Mavic Air Alternative)
JJRC Aurora X11 - The 3 axis gimbal drone we've been waiting for!
Finally a cheap 3 axis stabilized GPS drone that doesn't come with a fisheye lens and actually has usable footage. The range is absolutely amazing, reaching more than 1km, which is more than enough for most people.
Camera quality
Gimbal stability
Build quality
  • 3 axis stabilized footage
  • the camera isn't fisheye(yes!)
  • foldable design
  • long range (1.2km)
  • great battery life
  • comes with case
  • photos are basically screenshots
Paul Archer

Paul Archer

I'm a big drone enthusiast, the owner of DronesGator.com and I also make weekly videos on my drone YouTube channel.

Specification: JJRC X12 Aurora/Eachine Ex4 drone review( Cheaper Mavic Air Alternative)



drone typeBeginner Drone
image-stabilization3 axis gimbal
SpeedOver 30 km/h

25 min

obstacle avoidanceOnly has stability sensors

1000 m

Remote TypeRemote + 5G Phone (802.11ac)
WeightOver 250g

Videos: JJRC X12 Aurora/Eachine Ex4 drone review( Cheaper Mavic Air Alternative)

Photos: JJRC X12 Aurora/Eachine Ex4 drone review( Cheaper Mavic Air Alternative)

19 reviews for JJRC X12 Aurora/Eachine Ex4 drone review( Cheaper Mavic Air Alternative)

3.1 out of 5
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  1. Daniel

    Hello, I have had the Aurora x12 drone for 2 weeks, and I have not been able to start the engines. When I turn it on, the blue drone light flashes while the start melody plays, then goes to red / yellow light and does not connect to the control knob. Because of all this, I cannot calibrate the compass or the gyroscope. Manual mode (without GPS) does not work either. Can anyone help me? What steps do you follow to calibrate the drone? Does the blue light flash you? What do the red / yellow lights mean?

    Helpful(10) Unhelpful(4)You have already voted this
  2. Craig

    Hey Daniel, I know it sounds silly but try taking your SIM card out of your phone and turn the Wi-Fi on. You should be able to connect Wi-Fi on your phone to the controller. Then once Connected to Wi-Fi turn the Enjoy fly app on. It should say connecting and the start to fly or something like that.
    A mate of mine has just bought this drone and a brand new HTC mobile phone that does have 5G Wi-Fi and it’s been an absolute nightmare trying to get it to work over the last two days. We’ve tried so many different combinations of sim cards and phones that we were just over it. Then by mistake we got it to work (sort of). We got the Wi-Fi connected but as soon as we open the app it just says “connecting” and won’t go any further or crashes the app. It seems to work seamlessly on my Galaxy a 70 phone but not on my mates new HTC that does have 5g. That was until we tried something by accident and connected the phone without the SIM card in it. So this makes me think, maybe we need to turn off Mobile data or something like that. Haven’t tried doing that with the sim in yet as we ran out time and I went home. I think he just gave up and hasn’t touched it since. It’s a real shame that it’s such a good drone but such a peice of crap app that you need to try and use it.
    Someone should make a good app for this drone. You could sell it for heaps.
    I hope this helps the massive amount of people who are having this problem.
    I gave 2 stars for the drone because the app is pathetic.

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  3. Peter Mainwaring

    I’m waiting for delivery but my phone is 802.11 but not ac. I’ll try your suggestion and torn off mobile data and see if it works. I should have mine by Wednesday so I’ll report back. Although I have a DJI flamewheel Quad and Hex. I didn’t find out until today that as I’m in the UK I need to do a test to get accreditation tonight, before the 30th of Nov to carry on flying. I went through the process online, during the football half time break, and now I’ve got my operator and flyer ID. 🙂

    I must say that although there are not many comments the ones that are here are really informative.

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  4. Paul Archer

    It’s actually quite a great drone, guys. Have you even tried it?

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  5. Peter Mainwaring

    I have not flown it yet Paul as I only got mine yesterday. Although I have done all the preliminaries like binding the quad to the controller and connecting my phone to it. Weather is looking good at the moment so I’ll probably give it a whirl over the weekend.

    I have been looking for a guide on how to remove the props, but I’ve found nothing so far. They do look as if they screw directly onto the motor shafts, but if you have any info, it will save a bit of time.


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  6. Peter

    Enjoy-fly v. 1.3.7 is not working icw my Android 8.0 phone (Samsung S7 Edge)
    I just installed v. 1.3.4 and it works on this phone. Maybe this is the answer to Daniel. From JJRC the gave me the advice to make use of v.1.3.9. Great but not realistic because this version is nowhere available.

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  7. Peter

    Enjoy-fly v. 1.3.7 for the X12 is not working icw my Android 8.0 phone (Samsung S7 Edge)
    I just installed v. 1.3.4 and it works -basic- fine on this phone. Maybe this is the answer to Daniel. From JJRC I was suggested to make use of v.1.3.9. Great but not realistic because this version is nowhere available.

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  8. Vie

    hey Peter can u show me how to install v1.3.4 please

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  9. peter

    Save your money. The drone itself pretty good, BUT without working software renders this drone absolutely USELESS. This is an expensive paperweight. You have to keep restarting the app, most of the time it hangs up on CONNECTING… so then just keep restarting and maybe 15 minutes it might connect, then enjoy your 25 minute of flight time. This drone should not be sold until the software is complete. Developers are still working on it. Follow-me mode? HAAAA it’s not even programmed yet. How can you advertise features you haven’t even programmed. What a joke. I wish this wasn’t made in China so I could actually track down the real company so I can punch someone in the esophagus. But nope, good luck tracking down JJRC. P.S. I’m selling a barely used JJRC X12 with 3 batteries and travel case for $199 if anyone is interested 😉

    + PROS: Looks cool
    - CONS: Doesn't work
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  10. Peter Drukker

    V 1.3.9 now available. As always first read the full manual. Have a look on Youtube. On that medium some things will get more clear. Make your first flight and test how the rc is working. E.g. lifting the drone automatically and manually. Test everything with the drone above your head of 5m or higher. Keep a distance of 10 meters. Everything works fine but the official quick manual is inefficiënt to make tour frist flight. Get familiair with the app first before guessing show things might work. Support from the helpdesk is only a dream/waste of time.

    + PROS: Stable drone
    - CONS: Hard to get the knowledge due to poor instructions in the quick reference.
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  11. Mrharri

    Have flown my new x12 a couple of times and it has worked flawlessly (almost). In my second flight the camera worked but the gimbal didn’t as it wouldn’t respond to the scroll wheel (up and down). I landed to drone and made the camera face forward and slightly elevated as someone suggested. After that the camera worked fine. I could not be happier with the X12.

    + PROS: Works as advertised Pics and videos are great for a drone under $300. Many features such as optical flow.
    - CONS: None so far.
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  12. Reg

    I cannot find the Enjoy Fly App anywhere, when I try to open it in Google Play It Says: We’re sorry, the requested URL was not found on this server.

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  13. Pepperop

    @Reg: search for enjoy-fly instead of
    enjoy fly !

    + PROS: Good value for the money
    - CONS: -software/app reeds to have attention -manuel reeds to be more precisie -drone doesn't have a more aggresive and more direct mode
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  14. HarryTheSpider

    What a brilliant Drone/Quadcopter, does everything it say it does and does it well. I’m to drones but have seen many used and this is much better in every way. I use ‘C-Fly’ app as the drone is manufactured by C-Fly and it fully works. There are full user manuals on the C-Fly web site.

    + PROS: Looks Great Flies Great Gimbal works very well and the camera is as good if not better than most A complete kit I paid £326 + £10 delivery for the full kit and 3 batteries.
    - CONS: I believe the video recording is not the highest bit rate
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  15. Scott Schmidt

    I think it is a great drone for the price. Easy to fly for a beginner. Watch YouTube video to set up (instructions miss some points). Camera quality is very good for price.White wash toward sun though. Flying height and around 1/2 mile range is very good. Flight time is around 20 minutes, which is very good for the price. However, I had problems third flight, the camera went sideways and would not go up and down by controller. I did not crash it or mishandle it, so not sure why camera is having issues. Worked well the first 2 flights.

    + PROS: Good price. Good picture for the price. Does get white washed by sun. Easy to fly.
    - CONS: Having trouble with camera 3rd time I have flown it. Camera went sideways and will not go up and down with wheel on controller. Have not tried a fourth time yet, but was frustrating this happened on the third flight.
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  16. George bitsikas

    The range is up to 350 meters in all flights. Then automatically return home. Video is OK for amateur.

    + PROS: Nice flight, video
    - CONS: Not the range it promises.
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  17. Matlaaab

    The GPS is very hard, you must wait à long long time before it’s connected, the drone muste be ré calibrated every fly, it must be donne correctly or it will go right or left alone..
    Thé camera is very very bad, colors are horribles, the app disconnect à lot of time durring fly, so don’t pilot thé drone via the app, always use RC !

    + PROS: Gimble good, drone stable
    - CONS: GPS, camera quality
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  18. Jim

    I have only used the drone indoors and anxious to see how it works outdoors. Didn’t calibrate yet so it does drift a bit upon startup. Not sure where the six-digit number code is to pair. Maybe someone can chime in and give me a heads up.

    + PROS: Stable, gimble works, 20+ mins flying indoors.
    - CONS: The drone could provide a decent user manual considering the cost is over $200. That's not to much to ask.
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  19. Steve Y

    My review is for the quality of materials and feel of the drone only as I have only had it a couple of days and not yet managed to get it to fly in GPS mode … I run through all the procedures as shown in the information/videos on line and everything seems fine … camera moves but the motors only start up out of GPS mode … I am using the C-Fly app as the JJRC X one does not even connect … Any thoughts anyone??

    + PROS: Nice looking aircraft and very good quality for the money
    - CONS: Very poor and limited instructions make this almost impossible for the novice to fly successfully or otherwise. The app seems very poor so I don't see how this can be sold with this very key feature not working. Please can we have a fully functional App ... or am I missing something??
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