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 with Return to Home.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
If you want a better camera drone from JJRC at similar prices, I recommend you check out my review on the JJRC x17 drone.
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.
Curently the drone can be found both on BangGood and on Geekbuying.
JJRC x9 has pretty much the same manual ast the Cfly so check out their official manual page to download it.