I’ve been seeing a lot of these so-called “inverted quadcopters” lately but have yet to fly one (although a few have been reviewed at RC Drone Arena before). Well, I just got my hands on one finally by the name of the Gteng T903 Vortex so I was excited to open it up and get it in the air and see if the inverted flying feature was just a gimmick or if it has real-world usefulness.
The Gteng T903 Vortex’s box is one of the best product boxes I’ve seen for an RC toy. It is extremely informative and well labeled. You could pretty much fly it just by the instructions on the box alone.
Inside the box you’ll find the Gteng T903 Vortex quadcopter, controller, USB charging cable, a bag with 4 spare props and a phillips screwdriver, the battery and possibly the most impressive of all, the instructions.
Yes, the instructions, they are fantastic. In fact, they are the best English instructions I’ve seen from a Chinese RC toy. They do not appear to be translated but rather written by an individual who’s native language is English. Not only is the manual well written but it’s also well detailed. It includes nice diagrams and it covers all the finer aspects of the quad, even so far as suggesting using a 2.0 amp USB wall charger to decrease the charging time.
Moving along to the quad itself, you’ll find a beautiful looking, sleek and well designed micro quad. The green finish is shiny and looks sharp, even down to the Gteng logo on top. The T903 has green props in the front and black in the rear to help assist with orientation. The props measure 58mm in length. Above each prop is a prop guard that is part of the frame so they can’t be removed.
The prop guards don’t seem to provide a lot of protection and are flimsy, but they do serve as a sort of extended landing gear when flying inverted.
On the bottom, the Gteng T903 Vortex has a battery bay which makes installing and removing the battery a breeze. Above the bay on the rear is the battery plug which is very easy to use. The T903 doesn’t come with an on/off switch like many quads in it’s class but it’s so easy to plug in the battery I find this small oversight a very minor issue.
The Gteng T903 Vortex weighs 43 grams with the battery installed so it’s very light and is well under the FAA limit that requires registration in the USA.
The battery is a 3.7v, 380mAh 25c LiPo that provides approximately five and a half minutes of flight time with a long 40 second Low Voltage Alarm.
The quad’s LED’s flash during the LVA signaling it’s time to land. The battery weighs 11 grams while measuring 40 mm long, 8.74 mm wide and 8.35 mm thick.
The T903 has bright green LED’s on the top of each arm near the body. Not the most ideal location if you fly exclusively upright as I’d prefer the bottom of the arms but since this is an inverted quad and can be flow either way then the LED location is less important. Maybe the coolest feature in my opinion are the blue LED’s in each “eye” on the front.
Not only do these blue “eyes” help greatly with orientation when flying in low light but they also look wickedly cool!
The Gteng T903 Vortex comes with a small-yet-comfortable controller. It fits nicely in my hands. The gimbal sticks are easy to reach and are long enough for pinchers while still providing thumb spots on each stick for thumb flyers.
It includes trim buttons for the pitch, roll and yaw. The throttle trim serves as the headless mode and One-Key-Return buttons. The quadcopter drone has 3 rates (beginner, intermediate & Expert). To change rates you press down on the throttle stick and listen for the number of beeps.
By pressing down on the right stick you will enter the quad into 3D flips mode. Just press the stick once then press the stick in the direction you want the quadcopter to do a 360 flip. The quad can do 3D flips while flying upright as well as when flying inverted.
On the top of the controller are two shoulder buttons on left and right side. These buttons flip the quad 180 degrees allowing you to fly inverted or bring the quad back upright. You can use either bumper to execute a 180 inversion. The only difference between the bumpers is the direction in which the quad will flip to enter its inverted state.
In the middle is the power button. To bind the controller with the quad you simply move the throttle stick up and down once. To recalibrate the quad’s gyros you move the sticks down and outwards until the LED’s flash. The controller is powered by two AAA batteries.
The Gteng T903 Vortexx is a lovely flyer. It’s fast, extremely silent and and acrobatic when flying in Intermediate or Expert rates. It executes 3D flips very well and seems to fly equally well both inverted or upright though it’s a bit noisier when flying inverted which I believe is the result of not using true “3D” props.
I find it a blast to fly and even more fun to fly at night when you can truly appreciate it’s LED’s, especially those blue “eyes”. The flight time of 5.5 minutes is adequate, though ideally you’d hope for a little bit longer flight time.
The yaw and pitch increase with rate and the quadcopter becomes very sporty as you increase rates. The beginner’s rates is for exactly that; beginners. The yaw is very slow and there’s not much pitch but for a beginner that’s what you’d want.
Once you switch to intermediate rate the quad becomes much sportier with much faster yaw and much more pitch. This increases even more so when flying in expert rate. I find myself mostly flying in expert though intermediate is also more than adequate… but beginner’s rate is simply too slow for experienced pilots.
The T903 also seems like a durable almost rugged quad, withstanding crashes with no issues or damage. Not that I’m prone to crashing quads often, but it does happen as you’ll see in the following flight video. So without further ado, let’s move along to that video footage.
Let’s move along now to the pros/cons and final analysis and thoughts.
- Nice-looking sleek design with great LED’s
- Agile, acrobatic and fast flyer (especially in expert mode)
- Can be flown indoors and is a great flyer outdoors
- Inverted flying works great and makes landing easier
- Extremely silent (which is great for flying indoors)
- Removable battery and easy to use “slide-in” battery bay
- Lack of an ON/OFF switch
- Flight time could be better (5:40 min)
- Inverted flying is not as silent as upright
The Gteng T903 Vortex is a nice little quadcopter, with speed, nice ability to fly upside down, and of course, super bright LEDs that help with night flights.
The Gteng T903 Vortex is available for $20.27 at GearBest, who supplied the sample for review.