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Cheerson CX-10A Review

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The first batch of Cheerson CX-10 quadcopters was quite a revelation. The CX-10 had surpassed the Estes Proto X/Hubsan Q4 to be the world’s smallest commercially available quadcopter, and if I’m not wrong, the record still stands.

This meant that quadcopters could now be flown indoors — be it a super hot day in Libya or or a freezing cold evening in Russia, these little quadcopters would fly no problem. Also, thanks to rising demand for globalization and falling manufacture prices, these quadcopters (not just the CX-10) would be available for well under $20 most times.

Coming back to the Cheerson CX-10, the tiny quadcopter drone sold like hot cakes (this cliché is an understatement) all around the globe. At around $16 apiece, it was a deal hard to resist… which meant a lot of rookies found themselves giving the quadcopter drone hobby a shot.

In turn, this meant that these quadcopter drones had to be tweaked to make them easy to fly… a result of which is what is now known as ‘headless mode‘, something that was introduced on the CX-10 in the form of an upgrade. The quadcopter drone also got a new name — it is now called the Cheerson CX-10A.

Cheerson CX-10A Review: Specifications

ModelCheerson CX-10A Mini
SizeNano
CameraNA
Battery100mAh, 3.7V
Charging time~25min
Flight time~5min
Flips?Yes
Speed modesTwo
Headless modeYes
RTF/BNFRTF
Price $16.50 shipped

Cheerson CX-10A Review: Unboxing

Cheerson CX-10A Review: Build Quality

Cheerson CX-10A (5)_result-5

Crashes don’t really affect the main body. It is the props (blades) that take the grunt, mainly because they’re spinning at super high RPMs.

For a toy that costs just around $15 (and that includes shipping costs) you can’t really expect much in terms of build quality. Thankfully though, the CX-10A is made out of pretty good quality plastic… if you’ve flown the CX-10, you’ll know what it feels like since the grade of material is exactly the same.

In other words, you will probably run out of spares before the chassis of the Cheerson CX-10A becomes unusable for you after a tonne of crashes. Speaking of crashes, you HAVE to get yourself a set of prop guards (these should be included by default, if you ask me) to be able to live through the innumerable crashes that you’re going to have.

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Crashes don’t really affect the main body. It is the props (blades) that take the grunt, mainly because they’re spinning at super high RPMs.

Cheerson CX-10A (9)_result-9

Something that you also have to tell yourself is that the blades will break, no matter how hard you try. A set of 40 blades goes for about $6 shipped, so you’re also recommended to get those right off the bat.

In a nutshell, the CX-10A is pretty impressive for the money build quality wise, and I’d give it a 7.5-8 on a scale of 10!

Cheerson CX-10A Review: Flight Characteristics

Hands down, the Cheerson CX-10A will be the most agile quadcopter drone you’ll have ever flown. It takes super sharp turns, performs insane tight flips and is more maneuverable than any other quadcopter drone I’ve flown. The main reason behind this is mechanics — the CX-10 is so light (around 12g) that it is as if there’s no weight behind the motors.

Cheerson CX-10A (6)_result-6

The CX-10A controller (which is pretty tiny) offers two flight modes, beginner and advanced. If this is the first quadcopter drone that you’ll be flying, you’re certainly advised to stick to beginner for the first few days at least. And if you don’t manage to break your quadcopter drone until then, you could move on to advanced.

There is quite a lot of a difference between the two modes as far as flight characteristics are concerned. Advanced mode makes the CX-10A really ‘touchy’, so to say, in response to input on the controller. Once you do get a hang of it, though, it is easier to fly it indoors on advanced mode — beginner mode can sometimes restrict the maneuverability required indoors.

Gyroscope calibration

To calibrate the gyroscope (recommended after every battery charge), you need to hold down the left stick on the bottom left, and the right on the top left for a few seconds. Once calibration succeeds, the LEDs on the CX-10A will blink.

Cheerson CX-10A (8)_result-8

Headless mode

Headless mode isn’t something I would buy the CX-10A specifically for

Headless mode is one of the most talked about features of this little quadcopter drone. If you don’t know what headless mode means, click here to find out. On the CX-10A, headless mode works pretty well… for a while.

If you move around a lot, the CX-10A will soon lose orientation. So, headless mode isn’t something I would buy the CX-10A specifically for. However, there’s virtually no price difference between this CX-10A and the older CX-10 (I think they stopped producing them altogether), so headless mode is like a bonus that’ll hardly matter to you.

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Modes can be switched by pressing the left stick down like a button.

Cheerson CX-10A Review: Battery Life

The CX-10A ships with a teeny 100mAh battery that works on 3.7V. The quadcopter is a low power, high performance system and thus, you need to be careful so you don’t spoil the internals. For that, you’re recommended to give the CX-10A short bursts of flights of less than 2 minutes (ideally less than a minute, but then where’s the fun in that?).

Cheerson CX-10A (10)_result-10

The battery albeit small, takes a while to charge to 100%… about 25-30 minutes, to be precise. That is, when you’re using a 500mA USB port on a laptop (recommended). If you use any of the ‘fast charge’ chargers that ship with phones, charging is a lot faster, reduced to almost half the usual time, but this is not recommended.

Once charged, the CX-10A will fly for up to 5 minutes on an average. If you use a fast charger to charge your battery, you might experience a poorer battery life. However, if you’re impatient and comfortable changing batteries (requires basic soldering skills), charging using phone chargers isn’t a bad idea.

Cheerson CX-10A Review: Conclusion

Hands-down, the CX-10A is THE quadcopter drone if you plan to fly indoors. Thanks to the size, the CX-10A can’t really be itself outdoors when it’s windy. However on a nice sunny day (probably early in the morning), the CX-10A can be a lot of fun to fly in an open space… perhaps something like a basketball court.

It is really an inexpensive entry-level quadcopter drone with not many faults. But if you asked me to pick one fault, I would say it is the headless mode which isn’t really perfect. Other than that, there’s virtually nothing to complain about.

Cheerson CX-10A (2)_result-2

Like I mentioned before, be sure to purchase an additional prop guard for the CX-10A which will ensure blade/propeller longevity. A set of 3x propeller guards and 4x sets of propellers will set you back by under $5.

We’d like to thank Banggood for providing the CX-10A for review. The quadcopter drone can be bought from their store for $16.5 shipped worldwide!

  • Max de Feijter

    Just a little typo…