I'm a scientist by training so not usually one to use hyperbole (especially where it feels click-baity in titles) but I really do mean it here: This is the best value quad I've reviewed so far this year. It is not the best long range, it is not the best free-style and it is not the best racer. But for those occasions where you are looking to fly in a small to medium park, empty office or commercial area out from your back yard which is 90% of my fling, this is the ideal tool for the job.
The HappyModel Sailfly-x is a "toothpick class" ultralight micro quadcopter. It has an all up weight of 38g without battery and can take 1s, 2s or 3s batteries. It is available with onboard FRSKY, FlySky or DSM reveivers or without a receiver where you can add crossfire or anything else. It is a fairly complete kit (see below) and is available for just $88 at full retail. Availability seems to be somewhat limited to Banggood at time of writing but my guess is that many retailers will pick this one up.
For this review I'll break down what is included, the specs, document differences from the stock betaflight and then cover off in the actual review performance on 2s, 3s, FPV performance and close with a summary and my recommendations. I'll also list spares and upgrade parts as the become available.
Specs and what this means
I have decided to piece together a bang for your buck freestyle build to coincide with the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. My objective for this build was not to build the cheapest quad but the best value. This means parts will be from recognised brands with a good track record of performance and reliability with a good degree of future proofing. To be clear, this is not a $99 build, it is more like $150-$170 but will be more reliable AND outperform any pre-built quad and will easily hold it's own against something double or triple the price - I like to think of it as the Sweet Spot.
This Sweet Spot Quad will be split into 3 parts:
For each key component I'll show you what I chose, a cheaper option and a more premium option with price indication and justification. Let's get straight into it!!
The Hobbymate Asteroid is a new 3 inch quadcopter that is available in kit, BNF or PNF formats that is available with motors and electronics suitable for 4s or 6s (!) operation. Following on from the awesome Hobbymate Comet (built here and reviewed here) this is another premium set of components at a spectacular price. It is available exclusively from HobbyCool.com here:
In part 1 of this blog here I looked at the build and betaflight setup process in full. In this part 2 I'm taking a closer look at the components and review in general.
On the bench
From a specs standpoint this is a pretty special kit but that only tells half the story. I'll walk through the components and talk about their strong and or weak points
This is a review for the Fullspeed Toothpick, an ultralight fully featured micro quadcopter that is 2s and 3s capable. It is available from the following retailers:
The toothpick is the latest release from Fullspeed, the company that bought you the Leader 120, the Leader 2.5 and 3.0 as well as the Tiny Leader. In a departure from the naming system their newest micro qudcopter is called the FullSpeed toothpick as a nod to the motor/prop combination that has been extensively test by Bob @ kababfpv.com (with his blessing). The outcome of using this mix of components is meant to be efficiency, control, surprisingly good power and safety. More on this in the review that follows.
I'll give my quick thoughts on the components below and will point something unique out with this build compared to others in the class - it has indivual components rather that a range of all in one gear we've become so familiar with on the Mobula7, Tinyhawk, Trashcan and even the new Sailfly-X. This means you can replace or upgrade component by component as required.