The Diatone Q33 RTR is a micro RC car, similar in dimensions to a matchbox or hotwheels toy. This car is a buggy style which by no means suggest that you can run offroad with this car but it does make it more durable and simple than closed body style cars. It claims to run for 60 minutes and is available in regular car, FPV car and FPV car & goggle kits. All cars come with remote, inbuilt battery and charger - everything you need to run except AA batteries for the remote.
If you are strictly into RC cars you probably won't recognise the Diatone brand but if you ever dabbled in quadcopter then you will. They are in fact one of my favourite brands in that category because of their balance with price and quality. The Diatone Roma F5 and F4 LR are some of my favourite quads. So far as I know this is the first RC car they have released and was done as part of their 10th anniversary. This is not the first micro RC car I have reviewed, I looked at the Turbo Racing C71 1/76 scale as part of review on the MyRCFamily youtube review. This is however the first buggy that has been released in this size. Don't expect off-road capability but do expect better durability and reliability, something the C71 struggled with. I'll keep this review short and simple since this can be considered a toy grade RC car since it can't be easily upgraded or have parts replaced. Read on for more...
What's in the box? Not much!
A closer look at the car
Rather than breaking this car down by each system I'll look at it as a whole since it is harder to spearate out the systems being small and toy grade so here goes
Steering is fully proportional which is pretty impressive for a car this size and makes it feel much more hobby grade. This means if you turn the remote wheel a little the car wheels turn a little. A lot and it turns a lot, and so on.
Throttle is also fully proportional, forward and reverse as well as brake. Brake isn't that useful on a car with that little momentum but it's a nice thought! One very important thing you must do is enable what Diatone calls "Brust mode" (I think they mean burst mode). This is because the car ships with a 60% throttle limit which is frankly pretty lacklustre. To enable burst mode hold down the multifunction button when you turn the remote on. If the light on the remote flashes then you are in burst mode. If it's solid that is "beginner" mode with the 60% throttle limit. I get why you have throttle limits in big cars - it's so you do less damage to the car and surroundings when you are learning. Needless to say you aren't going to damage car or surroundings with this little guy. Just do the right thing and switch to burst mode. See below for the difference.
Under the body. The non FPV package comes with a spare body. Mine is white and so easy to paint if you want to customise. Changing it is pretty simple, just remove the two small philips screw at the rear and then release the clip at the front and reverse. While I was in there I thought it would be a good opportunity to show you some more detail of the car:
Speed. Usually I'd test the top speed of an RC car using a GPS speed meter but even the relatively small SKYRC GSM020 (which I cannot find at the moment) would dwarf this car in size and weight. Measuring it the old fashioned way (distance/time) I got 6km/h. Clearly that's not very quick but you need to consider that this is not a car for large outdoor spaces, on the contrary it is indoors that you are likely to play with and when your obstacles are chair legs and lego tracks that you set out it offers a decent amount of speed, particularly on hard surfaces. The speed of the FPV car with the camera on top will be less by comparison due to the extra weight it needs to carry.
Surfaces. This car runs pretty well on carpet depending on how thick it is compared to the turbo racing C71 and mini series which could really not run on carpet at all. This is because of the bigger tyres and greater ground clearance the buggy style offers. Even though this look like an off-road buggy please don't come with expecations that this will be able to run on the conditions - not enough power, not enough ground clearance, not enough grip and no suspension!!
Racing with other cars. These cars are fun to play with on their own but even more with 2 or more. The good news is that since the use a 2.4GHz control digital signal they will not interfere with one another and so you can race as many together as you like. Remember, you don't need a big space to run nor do you need to worry that someones car is not running correctly - these little guys are pretty reliable.
Just to be clear, if you are looking at the FPV camera model, these are limited to 4 channels compared to the 50-odd that we are familiar with in the drone world. That would be the maximum number you could run in FPV mode at a time and even then there may be some bleed over with signal.
I've tried to give you as much technical information as I can here so that hopefully you can come to you own conclusion on the Diatone Q33 micro RC car. If you can't make a decision however I can give you my opinion. Firstly, it's not a cheap toy RC car at around $70 (more if you want FPV). It lacks upgradeability and serviceability, it's not particular fast and you are limited to smooth surfaces. It is however a lot of fun and allows you to enjoy RC cars whatever the weather and regardless of the amount of space you have available. This means that you spend less time repairing, tuning and travelling to you location to drive and more time actually driving. For this reason I see 3 distinct use cases:
If you are looking for a discount on this car, I will post any coupon codes or flash sales for it over here on my coupons and discounts page. Remember buying from any of these links supports my page without any cost to you and is appreciated especially since I don't ask for money via patreon and the like. If you want to get involved in this discussion, feel free to join the QuadifyRC Facebook Group Here or like my page below.