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Syma X13 Review: Budget quadcopter with headless mode

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Syma makes some of the best quality entry-level and mid-range quadcopter drones. The Syma X11 that I reviewed previously is testimony to that; the X11 is a sturdy and well built quadcopter drone, perfect for beginners.

Today I’ll be talking about the all new Syma X13 quadcopter drone, also sold as the X13 Miracle and X13 Storm if I’m not wrong (with the only difference being the color schemes). It costs around $30 shipped on most online stores, and seems like an alternative to the X11.

How worth is the X13 of its price tag? Lets find out.

Syma X13 Review: Specifications

ModelSyma X13
SizeMicro
CameraNA
Battery200mAh, 3.7V
Charging time~35min
Flight time~7min
Flips?Yes
Speed modesTwo
Headless modeYes
RTF/BNFRTF
Price $29.90 shipped

Syma X13 Review: Unboxing

Syma X13 Review: Build Quality

There’s a tonne of OEMs making RC toys and quadcopters in China at the moment, and the quality of many of these toys is questionable. Syma however stands in a league of its own, and as always, delivers excellent build quality on its quadcopter drones.

What makes having a top-notch build on Syma products even more important is the fact that most of Syma’s quadcopter drones are entry-level and targeted at first time pilots. That means there have to be a tonne of crashes with these quadcopters have to bear… without dying on the pilot.

Syma X13 (8)

The Syma X13 is, needless to say, extremely well built. Just like the X11, the X13 too has prop guards in the box. However, the prop guards on the X13 aren’t the ‘frame’ type, but instead individual units that fit on to the arms. Taking them off is a little more cumbersome, but I’d imagine beginners wouldn’t want to do that.

The prop guards are perfect — not too hard and not too bendy. However, if you have a massive crash or something, the prop guards might get bent a bit and make the blades brush against them. Had that a couple of times myself during the 2 weeks of flying this, but needless to say the guards can be bent back into position.

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Syma X13 (2)

Overall, the Syma X13 has a very nice build, more than just satisfactory.

Syma X13 Review: Flight Characteristics

The Syma X13 isn’t a lot different from the X11, in the sense that the quad is pretty responsive and easy to control. It’s characteristics allow for beginners to learn on this quadcopter, especially on low rates. Speaking on rates, there are two modes on the Syma X13, low and high. You can switch in between these rates by pressing the top left button on the controller.

The X13 however isn’t the fastest and most precise quadcopter drone you will find. It is easily second to the X11 on that regard; this is something that makes the X11 a better indoor flier than the X13.

Syma X13 (5)

It comes with gear-driven props, which add to the flight time but make the quadcopter drone a little more delicate. Also, you have to be very careful about not letting any strands of hair and the likes into the gear mechanism. That happened with me once, and the motor got really hot, and taking the strand out was a pain.

The one problem that I encountered with the X13 has to do with its gyroscope. There will be times when you take off and the quadcopter will keep skewing to one side (right side, more often for me) regardless of how much you trim. A re-calibration will often fix the issue, but admittedly it is something very annoying sometimes.

In a nutshell, it would be fair to say that the Syma X13 is better suited for an outdoors environment than indoors. By outdoors, I mean in greater space; the performance of every quadcopter drone is hindered in the winds.

Headless mode

Headless mode can be activated by pressing and holding the top left button on the X13’s controller

The USP of the Syma X13, and the differentiating factor between this and the X11 is the headless mode function that the X13 has. Headless mode can be activated by pressing and holding the left top button on the X13’s controller, after which you will hear the controller beep multiple times.

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Click here to know what headless mode means

Function wise, headless mode is near perfect on the X13. Just ensure that the X13 is facing away from you before you enter headless mode, and you’re good to go!

Syma X13 Review: Flight Demo

Syma X13 Review: Battery

Syma X13 (17)A bit of cellophane tape makes battery management a LOT simpler

The Syma X13 comes with the same 200mAh battery as the X11. This means that the battery takes the same 35-37 minutes to charge, and returns around 7 minutes when flown aggressively with the prop guards on (and about a minute more when you’re flying it sanely).

Geared props are what make this, i.e., long flight times possible. Also, you’ll notice that throttle punches (i.e., when you give sudden throttle) aren’t as sudden as other non-geared prop quadcopter drones. However, I’d take a longer flight time over that any day, and you should too.

LEDs for night flights

Syma X13 Review: Conclusion

Syma X13 (13)

The Syma X13 is a great entry-level quadcopter drone for anyone looking to get into the quadcopter hobby. It comes with headless mode which is a very popular feature on entry-level quadcopters now, and unlike other quadcopters headless mode on the X13 functions very well.

The Syma X13 will make for a very good first quadcopter, but if you’re a seasoned pilot you might want to look at other options.

Thanks to Geekbuying for the Syma X13 sample.

  • Francois Du Plessis

    Can one charge the battery with a 2 amp USB port/ cellphone charger? Or will it harm the battery in the long run?

    • it most likely will harm the battery in the long run, but they’re fairly cheap (especially when bought in a bunch) so I personally don’t mind charging them using 2A chargers. However if battery longevity is an issue, stick to charging via your computer’s USB port.

  • M10CR7

    Syma x11 vs syma x13 vs the cheerson cx10. What would u suggest for a complete beginner?

    • Go with the Syma X11 (or the CX-10 if you really want to fly indoors).