Cheerson and mini drones go along quite well, or so I would believe. Cheerson, for a long, long time, were known as the makers of the world’s smallest quadcopter drone, the Cheerson CX-10 (review). The uber-tiny DHD Drone D1 (review) beat the CX-10 earlier this year to now hold the tag of the smallest drone commercially available quadcopter drone… but that hasn’t stopped the Cheerson factory from making a DHD D1 rival of its own and more importantly, the Cheerson CX-10C.
What’s so important about the CX-10C, you ask?
Well, the CX-10C is currently the world’s tiniest drone to have a camera. It’s literally a CX-10 but with a camera — you can imagine how tiny it is.
The icing on the cake is the pricing; the CX-10C is under $30 shipped to you, which makes it an interesting proposition especially for people who are looking to get into the quadcopter hobby with a relatively cheap aircraft with a camera.
I spent a few days with the CX-10C, and here’s my review of it.
Cheerson CX-10C Review: Specifications
- Model: Cheerson CX-10C
- Size group: Nano
- Camera: 0.3 mega-pixel
- Battery: 120mAh
- Charging times: ~30 minutes
- Flight times: 3 minutes (with camera turned off), 2.5 minutes (with video shooting)
- Flips: Yes
- Speed modes: Three
- Headless mode: No
- One key return: No
- RTF/BNF: RTF
- In the box: Cheerson CX-10C quadcopter, transmitter, USB Charging Cable, 4 x spare blades, user manual and screw driver
Cheerson CX-10C Review: In the box
The box that you get the CX-10C in is a really attractive one, and will remind you of your collectibles days. Inside the box, you get the CX-10C quadcopter drone itself, a transmitter, a standard USB cable for charging the quadcopter, four spare blades (get more of these), and lastly, the users manual.
If this is going to be your first quadcopter, I reckon you go with a mode 2 transmitter (i.e., throttle control on the left) because that’s the most popular, and thus most accessible.
Cheerson CX-10C Review: Flight Characteristics
The CX-10C, in every way, will remind you of the CX-10 in the way it flies… for the most part. That’s because the CX-10C is heavier than the CX-10 (a LOT heavier relatively; remember we’er talking about a nano quadcopter here, each gramme matters) and thus, has distinct characteristics from its non-camera cousin.
The benefit of the added weight is that the CX-10C is now way more stable in the air. It is almost as fast as the CX-10, and since it is going to be your first or second quadcopter, it won’t leave you wanting for more speed.
The controller allows you to switch between three speed modes. If you’ve flown a quadcopter before, you will want to be flying the CX-10C in either medium or high rates. On the other hand, if this is your first quadcopter, I recommend you to use the first (i.e., slowest) speed mode… and be sure to do this outdoors.
In all, I find the CX-10C pretty fun to fly but not as much as the CX-10. The way the CX-10 zips around, the CX-10C clearly can’t. But that’s a trade-off you have to make to get the extra addition: the camera.
Cheerson CX-10C Review: Flight Times/Battery
Looking at the size of this thing, you’ll be thankful if it flies! Jokes apart, the CX-10C is advertised to do around 4 minutes of flight time on a single charge… which is a bit of an overkill. Of course, a lot depends on how you fly it, whether you use the camera or not, and if there’s a lot of wind blowing in the surroundings. In any case, I haven’t yet managed four minutes of flight on the CX-10C.
A more realistic figure would be three minutes, and that’s when you don’t use the camera. I’ve managed to consistently breach the 3-minute mark while the camera isn’t in use. But if you aren’t going to use the camera, you might as well get a CX-10!
So let’s talk about how it fares when you’re shooting video on the CX-10C. The answer? It does something around 2 minutes 30 seconds (2.5 minutes) with the camera shooting all the while.
Keep in mind though, it is imperative to give the CX-10C time to cool down before you take it for another flight… or for that matter, put it to charge again.
Cheerson CX-10C Review: Camera
You’ll have a lot of fun with the CX-10C camera, but the key is to not have any expectations… because, for now, the CX-10C is more or less a proof of concept. That said, the 0.3 mega-pixel camera takes some OK photos and video that you can have fun with.
Cheerson CX-10C Review: Controller
The controller you get with the CX-10C looks exactly like the one that ships with the CX-10. The difference is that this time it feels better quality (heavier, basically) and roll trims give way to the video and photo buttons.
As is the case with toy-grade quadcopters, the CX-10C’s controller is made for folks like to use their thumbs to control the joystick (as opposed to ‘pinching’ with the fingers).
Cheerson CX-10C Review: Gallery
Cheerson CX-10C Review: Verdict
The Cheerson CX-10C is what I call a ‘novelty’ quadcopter. Hobbyists might not bother much about this aircraft, but if you’re starting out with the hobby, the CX-10C is a must-have for you. Now that winter’s around the corner, you will also need something that you can fly around the house… and make some fun family videos while at it.
That said, I recommend you practise your pilot skills on something like a Syma X11 (review) or a Syma X13 (heck, even a Cheerson CX-10 would suffice — but be sure to get prop guards too) before moving on to the CX-10C. That’s because the CX-10C is a very delicate piece of kit and won’t really take a lot of crashes before breaking down.