9 Best Underwater drones in 2021 (and what to avoid)
Th ZLRC Beast SG906 is a recently released drone on the market that you can still find very cheap online.
The specs of this quadcopter are absolutely insane, and even though you shouldn't get your hopes up this is going to compete with other 4k drones out there… considering the price, it's definitely going to make it to my top drones under $200 list.
We're talking about a GPS, position hold drone with a ton of battery life, and a camera that can be moved in the air.
There's no gimbal involved to stabilize the video, but considering you can shoot up to 4k, post-processing stabilization is very doable indeed.
In this section we're going through the specs of this drone and find out what is true and what is just marketing. I'm also going to tell you what you should be looking for in this price range and cover some of this drones competition along the way.
The battery life is said to be 23 minutes in perfect conditions.
However, in real-life conditions, I would expect no more than 20 minutes.
There are indeed spare batteries online and I'll leave links to those down in the accessories section.
This is one of the strongest points of the ZLRC Beast quadcopter, as it flies more than almost anything else from the competition and that can be great for beginners who want to perfect their flying skills.
The actual range of the drone is about 600m, but I Limited it to 300m because that's about as much as you can normally get with the Wifi transmission.
You'll need a 5G 802.11ac wifi capable phone to make the FPV work with this drone.
In terms of GPS and flight stability, the drone is quite safe and reliable.
It flies steady and can return to home in case anything happens and you lose signal.
It doesn't have any obstacle avoidance technology in place, so better pray there's nothing along the way when it returns to home.
Here are some of the best drone alternatives to the ZLRC Beast, compared both in an easy to share image and in a sortable table.
I chose most of the drones in the same price category to make things fair.
I chose the ZLRC Beast vs the SJRC F11 which is one of my most popular reviews so far.
Also picked the BUgs 5w, a really gread drone with amazing video even if it's limited to 1080p (but not foldable unfortunately).
And I also compared it versus the JJRC X11, a 2k foldable GPS drone.
In this section we're taking a look at the camera of this drone, how well it can record, take photos, the stabilization and who is it most suitable for.
This camera is quite unique, especially for this price range.
The modular design means it's easy to replace if it gets broken and can be upgraded in the future.
It also comes with the optical sensor you can see at the bottom between the two antennas.
That makes the toilet bowl effect you can see on some GPS drones go away (at low heights at least).
You still have to do a proper GPS calibration before flight.
Amazing enough but there is an option to stabilize the video though Eis (electronic image stabilization) that is mainly done by your phone.
This means the live feed will get a bit laggy when flying normally.
Otherwise, the drone doesn't have any gimbal or other form of image stabilization.
The footage will have some black bars entering the image from time to time, so I'd actually recommmend doing the stabilization in post processing if you can.
The maximum footage resolution is actually 2k, but it cal also record in 1080p.
It does have a 4k camera, but it's only used for taking 4k photos, but not videos.
A really unique feature of this drone is the ability to move the camera to 180 degrees and swivel it from the transmitter itself.
This is a feature you can find in the Parrot Anafi and allows for some really interesting shots where the drone can actually look up. This could be interesting to fly underneath some trees or bridges.
As previously mentioned, the camera is modular so you will certainly have the option to upgrade it in the future.
Unfortunately, there is no alternative at the current time.
But if you really want to record better footage you could remove it and replace it with a lightweight Action camera.
There seems that the micro SD card slot is nowehere to be found on the drone, and that is because it doesn't exist!
I know, shocking!
This drone sends all the footage directly to your phone though wifi.
Speaking about wifi…
This is a more in depth view on each of the drones we looked at before and my personal experience with them. Have a look at all of them, as each is great in it's own way.
Specs alone aren't enough to tell a story, testing a drone and seeing how it actually shoots video is what's more important.
This transmitter has a pretty good form factor, and I really like the phone bracket, as it doesn't press on the side of your phone like most others. It won't turn the phone off by accident by pressing the side button.
There's also a tiny LCD screen at the bottom that reminds me of the MJX Bugs Series. This is great, as you can see how far the drone is from you, even if the app has disconnected. You can basically fly it even without visual feedback, although I don't recommend it.
It comes with the one key return to home button, that's absolutely great.
One downside is that there are buttons for switching the camera angle, not a scrolling wheel, which means the movement is not gradual so you can't make smooth videos while moving the camera up or down. But at least there is the option of doing it.
The app is called HFun+ and can be found for both iphone and android at the curent time.
In the basic settings you can change the languege between english and chinese, check for firmware upgrades and more.
A really unique setting I've never seen before in this price category is the image stabilization.
It does a pretty decent job at stabilizing the footage, although there are some black bars showing up if you move too fast.
When it comes to features, the SG906 Beast deserves its name.
Although things like gesture control don't work as good as those from DJI, I must admit it comes with a lot of very interesting features.
The follow me and point of interest ones can prove to be quite fun to play with and might make for some nice footage to share with your friends while you follow the car around or yourselves.
Waypoint flight is not something I usually use, as I usually appreciate drones at this price point by how good they have their basics.
By basics I mean battery life, camera quality, build quality, GPS stability and so on. And this drone excels in almost all of these, even though it has more work to do in the camera department.
In this section we'll cover whether this drone is worth its price, where you can find it's manual and instruction online and pretty much what's the best place to buy it from.
It's undeniable that the price of this drone is what makes it so special, as I must admit that when it comes to specs and overall build quality, this is a drone that over-delivers.
The package it comes from can vary depending on what you choose.
For example, if we take a look at the options at banggood:
Is this drone worth the price?
I don't really think you can get better for under $150.
All the specs, the flight stability, a modular camera that even comes with the ability to stabilize video (to some extent) make it a great choice.
Having GPS for return to home and flight stability is also a great feature for beginners to have.
Where to buy it from?
This time, if you're not in much of a hurry I recommend buying from banggood if you don't want spare accessories.
If you want spare batteries, case and so on, check out Geekbuying.com
In this section we'll cover some of the concerns and questions people usually have regarding this drone or just some questions about drones in general.
Yes, the modular camera that it comes with allows for upgrades in the future.
The drone actually records in 2k resolution (but it looks 1080p).
No. There is no gimbal, but there is an option to stabilize it directly in the app.
This drone comes with 23 minutes of battery(some of the best for the price).
Unfortunately no, It sends all the footage on your phone directly.
Any modern smartphone that supports 5G 802.11 ac wifi (you can search for that on google).
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Get my Free "Before flight" drone checklist