In my experience so far, the MJX Bugs 2 has been one of the top drones under $200, or even under 400$ that I know of.
It's definitely not perfect, but this drone has all the main features you'd really need in a drone. In comparison, you could pay $1000 for a DJI drone that has proximity sensors and a gimbal, but the price difference is colossal.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Bugs 2 drone
- Cheap Price ( $2̶3̶0̶ $190 from here with this coupon code: RC18OFF)
- GPS function
- button return to home and failsafe return ( if battery low or connection lost)
- big range ( more than 1km with no interference)
- real time telemetry data ( altitude, distance, battery and signal)
- Live feed option with phone or micro SD card storage
- good wind stability
- long battery life ( almost 20 minutes)
- headless mode for beginners
- Camera is not stabilized ( can't attach any gimbal either)
- There are no proximity sensors
- No functions like "follow me" or "circle around object"
After releasing the amazing Bugs 3, MJX has surprised us again with another low budget brushless drone which I would recommend to my best friend as a first budget camera drone.
There are basically 2 versions of this quadcopter you can get
Bugs 2 with live feed (B2W)
This is supposed to be the "professional version" that can connect to the phone through wifi
Check here for the curent price of B2W
Bugs 2 with no wifi
The B2C is the same as the B2W, but it has no wifi and you can only record video on the micro SD card
Check here for the curent price of B2C
I think it's very important to see what you're recording, so I recommend you buy the Bugs B2W.
How well does the Bugs 2 handle flight?
It can fly for quite some time. The official time is about 20 minutes, but I found out that I can usually go somewhere under 18 minutes, depending on how I fly.
The range on it is very good for this price range. It's advertised to be over 1km , but I never tested it more than 400m.
The good thing about it is that if it loses signal it won't fly away like most drones under $200, but thanks to the GPS it actually returns to home.
Talking about GPS functionality, I have found that I constantly have over 12 satelites connected and it's recommended to have at least over 7 for a secure connection.
It hovers pretty stable most of the time in an area with a maximum range of 1 to 2 meters at most. But there are times now and then where it seems to just do really big circles around, I'm talking 10 or so meters in radius.
That usually happens when at higher altitude, but it's not really frequent.
So, if you want to let it hover and do something else in the meantime, make sure you raise it in a wide open area where there are no cables, trees or buildings around at least 50 m radius.
If you're having issues with connecting to the camera wifi do the following:
- Download the software on the right
- Put it on a micro SD card and instert in drone
- power the drone on and leave it for 5 minutes
- restart the drone
To cover all the most asked for aspects of a drone, in general, let's also talk about the camera.
It's a 2 mp 1080p true full HD camera. I'm saying true full HD, because many chinese drone makers tend to get a 480p camera and upscale it to HD.
MJX is a very trustworthy company in my experience and I was not payed to say this.
And at 190 USD I don't really know a drone that has all these functions and a camera this good.
I would have prefered it to have no camera, but only an action camera mount so I can put whatever camera I want on it.
I'll try to talk with the company and maybe they will make this model in the near future.
- An in-built camera has the benefit of being able to see live feed from your phone
- The bugs 2 camera also is more compatible with the drone, so you won't find yourself not recording when in the air
- an 1080p camera is pretty damn good for most people
- however, the camera is modular and it can be replaced with a better one, if MJX will release it in the future (still can't be much improved if there won't be any stabilization)
- a built-in camera can't be upgraded as easy as an action camera
- the camera can't be detached for external use
Transmitter - how to control the drone
The controller is pretty basic and easy to use. It comes with a mount for your phone and an LCD screen that shows important information.
On the transmitter LCD you can check out
- Signal strenght
- Battery level for both the drone and the Transmitter
- If the camera is recording or not
- Distance and curent height from the point you took off.
- Number of satelites connected
Even though the drone comes back to the take off place if the battery is running too low.
You can also check if you're recording or taking pictures and how many satelites you have connected.
It also shows telemetry data, like the altitude it's at and the distance from you. This way you can fly safer and it's also pretty satisfying to brag to your friends about how far you have been able to fly.
The buttons I found myself using the most are the Camera button and the return to home.
A thing that could be annoying is the fact that you have to calibrate the compass before every single flight.
This takes usually about 10 seconds for me and you have to turn it 3 times at first and then hold it vertically and turn it 3 times again.
I got used to this though and it's actually a good thing to do because you make sure you won't fly with a broken compass.
Don't forget to always have inserted an SD card when you want to record. It can use Cards up to 32 gb, but you won't ever need that much storage space.
The last point I want to make is very important, and it's about the motors this drone has. Brushless motors are WAY more powerful and way more durable than the cheaper counterparts, the brushed motors.
This makes it a drone that will last a whole lot of time.
This being said, I'm pretty happy with how this drone turned out to be, it's defintely not perfect, but compared to what's on the market right now, for $190 it's quite a steal.