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WLTOYS Q333a "Future 1"

The new WLtoys Q333-A aka “Future 1” is a rather interesting quadcopter. No doubt WLtoys was trying to emulate the look of DJI’s high-end Inspire drones. It has a design very similar to that of the DJI Inspire 1, and retracting landing gear just like the real Inspire.

However, it’s still a toy grade drone so it lacks all the features and high-end bells and whistles that come with the real Inspires. That’s not to say it’s not a fun and cool drone, though!

It comes in a few different variants; ranging between $90 for the entry-level version, and going all the way up to $160 for the 5.8GHz version we’re testing here.

(Note: At the time of writing, a the $160 Q333-A version being tested here is being sold for $105 as part of a flash sale.)

You can get one for yourself from Gearbest.

I’ve been flying one for a couple of weeks, and I found it fun to fly. It’s also cool to trick friends and neighbors into thinking you’re flying a mutli-thousand dollar drone. 😉

WLtoys Q333-A Drone Review

Specifications

  • 5.8GHz FPV transmission
  • 0.3 mega-pixel camera
  • Dimensions: 45 x 45 x 14 cm
  • Weight: ~600g
  • 7.4V 2S 2000mAh battery
  • Controller-mounted FPV monitor
  • Retracting Landing gear

Price: Starting $90

Packaging

WLtoys Q333-A Drone review: Packaging top view
WLtoys Q333-A packaging (top view)
WLtoys Q333-A Drone review: back view
Box (back view)

The Q333-A is packaged nicely inside a fairly large box with a handle on top. The drone is quite large so it’s surprising the box isn’t bigger. The box has nice graphics and product information as you’d come to expect from a WLtoys product.

WLtoys Q333-A Drone review: box side view
Q333-A box (side view)
WLtoys Q333-A review: Q333 vs Syma X8
WLtoys Q333-A vs the Syma X8HG

As previously mentioned, the Q333-A is a large quadcopter (with dimensions of 45 x 45 x 14 cm) and it’s also heavy (1.6kg), weighing in at a hefty 630g so it does require FAA registration in the US. In the pic above you can see the Q333-A side by side with the Syma X8HG, and the Q333-A is definitely bigger with a wider base.

The Q333-A comes with a extra set of props, a 4GB microSD card, microSD card reader and two chargers (one for the quad’s LiPo and the other for the built-in rechargeable battery inside the FPV screen).

READ  Dowellin DWI DF32 drone, 5.8GHz FPV version of the Syma X5?

WLtoys Q333-A Flight Times & Impressions

The Q333-A comes with a 2s 7.4v 2000mAh proprietary battery that inserts into the top of the quadcopter. The battery takes approximately 3 hours to charge and you can expect a flight time of around 9 mins with a 20 second low voltage alarm for a total flight time of nearly 9:30 which is very impressive given it’s size and weight.

If you turn off the LED’s you might be able to push 10 mins. The LED’s are one of the coolest features of the quad, much like the recently reviewed XBM-55 quadcopter. They are bright strip style LED’s with Green in the front and Red in the rear.

WLtoys Q333-A review: LED's top view
LED’s (top view)
WLtoys Q333-A review: LED's rear view
LED’s (rear view)
WLtoys Q333-A review: LED's front view
LED’s (front view)

The 720p HD cam is located in the nose of the drone which is a bit of a odd location given that the the body of the Q333-A can raise and lower in 3 positions during flight. The camera shoots decent video, but it’s not wide angle which would be more ideal for an FPV flyer.

The fact the body can be lowered down below the landing gear à la the DJI Inspire would have made it ideal to mount a higher quality wide angle camera on the bottom so you can film and lower the body and then not capture any of the landing gear in the video… which then gives the lowering and raising of the body a purpose beyond simply being a novelty as it is under the current setup.

Overall the camera isn’t bad but there is some jello but not terrible. You may be able to eliminate some of this jello wobble by balancing the props.

WLtoys Q333-A Controller

The Q333-A’s controller is a rather standard WLtoys-style controller. However it has a nice grip to it that feels good in your hands. It has quite a few buttons that I discuss in detail in my full video review below. The buttons are large and easy to access despite the somewhat odd location for the speed/rates buttons which are located on the 4 of the 6 face buttons at the bottom.

READ  HT F807-FPV with 5.8GHz FPV costs $110

The other two face buttons are for disabling the LED’s and using One Key Return and Headless mode. The 5.8GHz FPV monitor attaches to the top of the controller. It fit securely and doesn’t make the controller feel too top heavy. The screen however isn’t very bright which makes it a bit difficult to see (though the included fold out sun shield helps to reduce the glare).

The FPV signal is very good thanks to the stream being transmitted over a 5.8GHz frequency. There’s no issues with interference with the 2.4GHz controller and vice-versa, which is commonplace with the WiFi FPV flyers so you can expect to get good FPV and flying range with this drone.

Now that I’ve discussed the basics of the WLtoys Q333-A let’s move on to my full table and flight review where I discuss all the finer details including some sample footage from the 720p on-board camera.

WLtoys Q333-A Drone Review

Summing it up…

Pros:

  • Retracting landing gear (eye candy more than anything else, though)
  • Decent 720p camera
  • Very impressive flight times of 9-10 mins
  • Excellent FPV range with clear video
  • Nice controller that feels good in your hands
  • Bright strip-style LED’s on each landing gear foot
  • Very usable FPV monitor

Cons:

  • The body raising and lowering is a novelty, and serves no purpose whatsoever under the current setup (with the camera in the nose)
  • Uses a proprietary battery
  • Camera not wide-angle, and does contain some jello
  • Requires FAA registration in the USA
  • Lacks Altitude Hold mode
  • Uses brushed motors

Overall the WLtoys Q333-A is a interesting drone and I love the look which is very much trying to mock the look of the DJI Inspire. It flies very well with a nice yaw rate. It seems to have plenty of power and it’s quite sporty with an impressive flight time.

It’s a shame they didn’t mount the camera to the bottom therefore making the the ability to raise and lower the body useful.

The WLtoys Q333-A can be purchased from GearBest.