JJRC X9 Heron review (still amazing in 2020?)

jjrc x9 heron drone review

The JJRC X9 Heron is a another DJI Spark clone that’s much cheaper than the original, yet it still holds the 2 axis gimbal stabilization, brushless motors and GPS positioning.

This is actually almost the same as the C-Fly Dream drone that I have reviewed a while back.

It has almost the same specs and look, but at a cheaper price. Don’t expect the same quality out of it though.

In this article I’ll help you decide what to buy and what the advantages and disadvantages of this drone are.

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Pros

  • 2 axis stabilized video
  • good 1080p camera
  • small and lightweight (259g)
  • optical flow camera

Cons

  • GPS is not very stable(doesn't come with GLONASS)

JJRC X9 Heron Specs (vs Competition)

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If price wouldn’t be an issue, you should definitely buy a more expensive drone like the XIaomi Fimi A3 that I love or even a Dji spark.

However, considering you can find it at about $200, for certain budgets it can be a good choice. Especially since it has a decent battery life and the gimbal stabilization is quite good, something I don’t think any other drone under $200 has.

It also comes with an optical flow camera underneath to keep it flying more steady.

However, having a cheaper GPS module means it doesn’t benefit from the russian satelite system called GLONASS so it has less satelites to use.

I consider this to be its main drawback compared to other more expensive GPS drones. So expect less accuracy overall from flying this thing. But we should be at least happy that it has a return to home system.

Battery

Battery life for camera drones should be at least 10 minutes per flight.

 

The JJRC X9 Heron can go as much as 15 minutes in perfect conditions

Range (Flight Distance)

You'll lose the Heron out of sight after 200 meters or so, but you will have visual signal for the Phone App up to 300m.

 

And if you still want to go further, the remote range is actually 600m maximum.

 

So the usable distance is limited at 300m, but you'll have signal for drone return home up to 600m.

Can It be flown inside?

No, I don't recommend to fly the Heron x9 indoors as it requires GPS to fly it.

 

Unless you're an expert and want to deactivate GPS and fly it indoors, there is no need to do that.

Does it come back after losing signal or low battery?

Yes, the drone returns both on low battery alert and signal lost. However, make sure to keep an eye on it at all times, as I've noticed it doesn't return to home very precise every time.

 

This means you'll have to guide it yourself to land most of the time.

JJRC x9 heron vs C-Fly Dream - what's better?

The question of which one is better is easy to answer, the C-fly Dream is considerably more expensive, so obviously better.

But how much better?

  • comes with both GPS and GLONASS ( compared to only GPS on the JJRC X9 Heron)
  • slightly better range 500m vs 300m
  • better quality transmitter

Skydio 2 Vs other competitors

This drone is one of my favorites in the price range of under $200 (article comparison opens in new tab).

 

This being said, you might simply want to invest in something else that suits your needs or simply add some more money and look for a better drone in the $300 range.

 

Add to compare

Skydio 2
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Dji Spark
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Camera Quality

The camera quality is not so bad, but there are certain areas of the screen that are blurry as you can see on the right side. That’s something that didn’t show up in the footage of the C-fly Dream drone.

The drone does have a very stable footage overall and I think that’s quite unique for this price range. If you’re interested in smooth video, this is something you might need to take into account.

Transmitter And Mobile App

The transmitter is made from plastic and is average in quality, but does the job intended. 

It comes with a return to home button and a way to manually change between standard altitude hold and GPS mode.

There’s also a button to take photo and video from and a scroll wheel for changing the camera angle.

jjrc x9 heron controller

Design and Unboxing

The drone comes in a small package with a hardcase that keeps it secure.

 

A design disadvantage of the drone can be the fact that it's not foldable, as it occupies more space.

 

However, Keep in mind that this made it cheaper and also more durable in case of crashes!

  • Battery x1
  • Micro USB cable
  • Pairs of Spare props x1
  • Drone
  • Manual
jjrc heron design features

What phones can the JJRC Heron connect to?

If you don't have a 5g wifi phone (802.11ac wifi) you won't be able to see the live feed. If you want to check if your phone has it, put your phone on GSMarena and search for “802.11ac” and if it has it, you're good to go.

 

Is it legal to fly in the USA?

Unfortunately, the drone is barely over the 250g maximum limit for flight in the United States, this means you need to register it still.

 

However, this doesn't mean it's illegal to fly, just make sure you respect the local regulation.

 

Being such a small drone, it's easy to carry and fly in most countries, many times without a permit, thanks to its low weight.

 

JJRC Heron Price, Manual and Instructions

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

This drone is for people on a really tight budget who still want some image stablization and to experiment with a capable camera drone. It's far from being a DJI spark competitor, but for this price, it did make the top of my list. 

 

It's a camera drone that you take with you in the park, exploring and having fun with, but not something that you would use professionally.

 

  • Great for testing and learning how to fly
  • For people who want to explore certain higher places

Where to buy it from?

Curently the drone can be found both on BangGood and on Geekbuying.

Check both links bellow as the prices change weekely:

Is there an official manual to download online?

JJRC x9 has pretty much the same manual ast the Cfly so check out their official manual page to download it.

JJRC x9 Heron

jjrc x9 heron drone review
  • 1080p camera
  • 2 axis gimbal
  • GPS
  • Return home
  • Brushless motors
  • 259 grams
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