Home Manufacturers Syma X11 Hornet Quadcopter Drone Review

Syma X11 Hornet Quadcopter Drone Review


Up until the start of this year, the Hubsan X4 was regarded as THE best entry-level quadcopter drone. It was recommended by beginners and veterans alike, and was affordable to add to the appeal.

However, more and more quadcopter drone makers started pushing nano and micro quadcopter drones by late 2014. The Syma X11 ‘Hornet’ happens to be one among these, and as I found out during the review of the X11 Hornet, it is one of the best entry-level drones — certainly better than the Hubsan on a couple aspects.

But, how good exactly? Lets find out in the Syma X11 review!

Syma X11 (10)

Syma X11 Review: Specifications

ModelSyma X11 Hornet
CameraNA (X11C available with camera)
Charging time~35min
Flight time~7min
Speed modesTwo
Headless modeNo
Price$29 shipped

Syma X11 Review: Unboxing

Syma X11 Review: Build Quality

Syma X11 (12)

The build quality on the Syma X11 is excellent. It is by far one of the best built toy-grade quadcopter drones that I’ve flown! Plastic quality on the drone itself is nice and far from brittle, something you really want to see on an entry-level quadcopter drone since it is expected to take a few crashes and drops. The prop guard, on the other hand, is an excellent addition to give beginners some margin for error. The prop guard feels a little more flexible and rubbery, which is in fact a good quality also.

I (consciously and by mistake) hit my house walls multiple times, and the blades are still in great condition and look like they still have it in them for a few hundred flights!

Syma X11 (13)

Another thing that impresses me is the fact that the blades/props are secured to the motors using screws, and aren’t just the snap-on type of attachments like you’ve seen on a lot of other drones. In fact, the DM007 NightHawk (which is actually bigger than the Syma X11) suffers from this problem of blades coming off in-flight, which in my opinion sucks completely.

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Syma X11 (7)

The controller too is well built and has a little heft to it. A downer, however, is in the form of the joysticks — they’re made for thumb control, and ‘pinchers’ like me have to have a hard time getting used to them. Of course if you’re comfortable with home hackery, you can make the sticks longer and remove the thumb pads to make the controllers pinch-able.

Also, the controller isn’t really great with range. around 30m is the best that it can do, after which you’ll start getting the sense of the X11 going out of control.

I’d give the X11 a good 8/10 for the build of the flier!

Syma X11 Review: Flight Characteristics

Syma X11 (2)

The Syma X11 isn’t the most agile quadcopter drone around. This means that although the size allows for it to be flown around the house, the lack of precise and agile moves means you’ll be hitting into walls and such more often than you’d like.

The prop guard does give the quadcopter drone some added safety and stability, but then again, agility and maneuverability take a hit… and so does flight time.

Syma X11 (3)

There are two flight modes on the Syma X11. If you’ve ever flown a drone before, or if you’re a fast learner, you will almost immediately want to move to the higher rate. To put the X11 into the higher rate flight mode, you need to pres the button on the top left of the controller (Pro tip for gamerheads – L1).

But obviously, the X11 also does flips… but unfortunately, they aren’t really tight and the quadcopter drone seems to lose a lot of altitude after each flip, which it tried to compensate for. So, if you do want to perform flips on the Syma X11, make sure you’re at least 6 feet from the ground.

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Syma X11 Review: Outdoor Flight Demo

Syma X11 Review: Battery

Syma X11 (11)

Putting a little cello tape around the battery makes it easy to remove it from the canopy

The X11 comes with a 200mAh battery, which takes around 35 minutes via USB to get charged to 100%. When using a standalone charger (for eg., from a phone), the charging rate is quicker, but I don’t really recommend doing that because it will harm the battery in the long run.

In general, the quadcopter drone returns around 7 minutes of flight time (more or less than that depending on the conditions) after every charge. Now, compared to some other drones of this size, this is pretty impressive. If you’re wondering how the X11 manages that, let me tell you: the motors powering the blades aren’t as big as motors on other quadcopters of this size. Syma actually use a gear mechanism to achieve the ‘grunt’ to drive the quadcopter drone.

Syma X11 Review: Conclusion

Syma X11 (1)

The Syma X11 Hornet is easily one of the best entry-level quadcopter drones in the market. If you’re a season drone pilot, there might not be much in the Syma X11 for you.

ALSO SEE: Syma X13 Review

On the other hand, if you’re just starting with the drone hobby, the X11 is perhaps the best bet at the moment. It has a great flight time, decent build quality, and also doesn’t cost much — it is just $29 shipped.

Thanks to GearBest for shipping the X11 for review!

  • Excellent quadcopter, got 2 of them, they fly realy great! 🙂 planning to make a video of it

    • Have to agree, this one’s one among the best entry level quads!

  • Daniel Plaza

    I flew mine once and it’s done. I’m not a drone person I guess. I don’t recommend using it in residential areas.

    • Honestly, I still think the X11 is THE best beginner quadcopter… but it does suffer from a lack of proper range. And hey, don’t give up yet. Pro tip: Start again with the Bayangtoys X6!

      • Daniel Plaza

        I’m not going to give up. I will be going to a big field for now on. It was a good drone but that was my first ever flight in a neighborhood full of trees and a car that ran my over lol.

        • Hah, big field sounds like a MUCH better idea.

  • pcf_Mactronix

    I have a throttle issue related to video game playing.
    Can you get a drone that you can invert the throttle on ?
    I like the X11 but I repeatedly push the throttle stick up to go down.

    • I don’t think there are any affordable models that can do that for you. You can however always build a drone of your own and configure it to your liking.

  • Angry Custmer

    I HATE THIS PRODUCT EVERY TIME SOMETHING WAS FIXED SOME THING ESLE WOULD BRAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Life’s all about ups and downs 😉