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My very first large quadcopter was the Syma X8C. It didn’t take me long to realize why the X8 series from Syma was so popular.  It was a great flyer with excellent range that could carry a cam and flew long with easy to see LED’s. (UPDATE: Syma X8HG Review now live!)

So I was obviously excited when I received Syma’s newest X8 series drone today, the Syma X8HG (buy one here). The X8HG is the immediate successor to the X8G Camera drone with the added feature of Altitude Hold.

Syma X8HG Unboxing and Initial Impressions

Syma X8HG box (front)
Syma X8HG box (front)
Box side view
Box side view

The X8HG comes in a sturdy box with nice graphics and information as you’d come to expect from the X8 series drones. Upon opening the box you’re presented with a gorgeous looking candy-apple colored drone packed inside styrofoam which provides excellent protection for the quad during shipment.

Inside: Top view
Inside: Top view

The X8HG itself feels very well built and as mentioned earlier, looks fantastic. The chrome stripes accent the candy-apple red color amazingly well.

X8HG shell
X8HG shell (front)
Syma X8HG shell (rear)
Syma X8HG shell (rear)

Packed behind the Syma X8HG quadcopter are two full set of prop guards and a box containing the AC to DC wall adapter for the battery charger.

Syma X8HG prop guards
Syma X8HG prop guards
AC/DC wall adapter for the Syma X8HG battery
AC/DC wall adapter

Located in the rear of the styrofoam packaging is the transmitter, 8 propellers, 4 landing legs, 1 balance port battery charger, a 2000mAh 2s Lipo, the 1080p cam and 2 bags containing assembly screws, a microSD card and phillips screwdriver.

Syma X8HG rear contents
Syma X8HG rear contents
Syma X8HG black propellers
Syma X8HG black propellers
Syma X8HG: Package contents
Syma X8HG: Package contents

The transmitter feels nicely constructed and similar to most lower end hobby grade transmitters. Nothing much has changed about the Tx from the previous X8 series controllers except the throttle stick is self-centering which assists the barometer to help the drone to hold altitude accurately.

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Syma X8HG Transmitter
Syma X8HG Transmitter

As mentioned, the battery is a 7.4v 2000mah 2S Lipo which provides sufficient power and nice flight time to the X8HG’s powerful brushed motors. The X8HG uses the same brushed motors as the previous X8’s.

Syma X8HG X8G battery 2000mAh 2s Lipo
2000mAh 2s Lipo

The included HD cam mounts to the bottom of the drone using the supplied mount which has a rubbery dampener inside that helps to reduce any jello-effects while filming. The camera looks nice and is lighter and thinner than comparable action cams such as the SJCAM SJ4000 or Xiaomi Yi. The lighter weight (30g) is a huge bonus to reduce strain on the brushed motors and still insure adequate flight times.

Syma X8HG HD cam (front)
Syma X8HG HD cam (front)
HD cam (rear)
HD cam (rear)
HD Cam (side)
HD Cam (side)
HD cam weighs only 30g
HD cam weighs only 30g

The HD cam has a switch on the side for selecting between 1080p/720p and next to that is the microSD card. Syma includes a generic 4GB MicroSD card with the cam that provides adequate storage space for your videos. On the top of the cam is a mini USB port that plugs into the belly of the quad for remote starting video or pics from the transmitter. The HD cam carrying case is sturdy and holds the cam nicely but due to the cam’s smaller size it won’t hold other aftermarket action cams.

The instruction manual is just like the ones in previous versions. It’s not the best, the English is rather poor, and it’s not always easy to find some things such as gyro calibration which is included on a red paper insert since it was left out of the instruction manual. Syma could have improved on the instructions like many other manufacturers have begun doing lately so that was a disappointment.

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The included battery charger supposedly takes around 3 hours to charge so it’s not very fast. If you own a hobby grade charger such as an iMAX B6 and it can connect to the bizarre “banana plug” style connectors then I highly recommend using it to charge your battery. Luckily, I made my own charging wires for my X8C to use with my iMax B6AC so I’ll be using the Imax to charge balance charge my battery pack.

Syma X8HG fully assembled
Syma X8HG fully assembled

The X8HG was extremely easy to assemble and looks even more fantastic once fully assembled. The X8GH weighs in at solid 633g with the battery installed so it is well over the 250g limit that requires FAA registration in the USA.

Total weight (assembled with battery)
Total weight (assembled with battery)

I can’t wait to get it up in the air and see how it flies, does the altitude hold work well and if the video and photos look as good as I expect. If it’s like the X8G then I suspect the video will look quite good with limited jello. Stay tuned, as I’ll be back with the flight review and overall thoughts shortly.

You can get yourself a Syma X8HG from GearBest for around $114.