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Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Review

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Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Review - 8_result

You should buy this drone I crashed and here’s why.

So first things first, I crashed the drone. Hard. Totally my fault. In fact, after crashing the drone once, I crashed the drone again, broke a bunch of things, put the drone back together, crashed it again, and surprisingly it still works. I have nothing (well almost nothing) but praise for the Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro.

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Review

This drone is so incredibly easy to put together and fly. I did it without even looking at the manual and this was my first experience unboxing a drone and taking it out to fly. The instruction manual is very comprehensive and while it does feature some strange english grammar and vocabulary, it gets the main point across.

“A Beginner friendly, video friendly drone”

Big thanks to Gearbest for providing this review unit.

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Unboxing

This quadcopter comes completely ready to fly (RTF) with everything you need included in the box. The drone itself is situated in the bright red hard-shell case with accessories and other things inside and this hardshell case can be used to transport the drone around as well.

It does not come assembled but assembly is simple; unfold the props, screw on the propellers and landing gear, and snap in the gimbal and you’re ready to fly! Please note that the first thing you should do is not build the drone but charge up the battery (in the drone, camera, and controller) as that will take at least an hour, and if you want to fly immediately that will be what is preventing you.

That way the drone is charging while you are constructing/inspecting the drone and its contents. The controller, watch and action camera are located in another box.

“Ready to Fly”

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro: The Drone

This is one hardy drone. Before the drone experienced the near death experience of falling out of the sky around 30m above the ground, I flew it into a tree. After reading countless articles, I realized something. The Dragonfly is much hardier than I gave it credit for. Back to the story with the tree, I flew it close to the tree, panicked, and then flew it straight into the tree, it slashed through leaves and branches like Scyther performing Fury Swipes after multiple Sword Dances.

It finally hit the ground, blades punching into the barely thawed ground and coming to a stop. No damage. At all. Well minor scuffing, but for all intents and purposes, it was OK. I breathed a sigh of relief and continued flying it with renewed (and perhaps ill fated) confidence.

The second crash (more details in the sections to follow) occured at a height of 50 meters, and the third crash saw the drone being slammed into the wall of my house. I lost the landing gear, but she still flies. The Dragonfly is built like a tank. Or at least as tanky as a drone can be.

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro: The Controllers

The controller is moderately large. It doesnít have a lot of buttons and looks very simple and inviting to use. There is an included accessory for you to mount a phone as well as the antenna at the back. There is a small screen that shows the required info as well. Both the thumb sticks are easy to use and easy to control as well while the gimbal rollers on the shoulders are a tad sensitive, resulting in larger than required movements whenever used.

There are three buttons on the device, auto takeoff, auto land, as well as hover. There is also orbit, which causes the drone to orbit around a point in a 5m radius, and this is done by holding down the auto takeoff button. Return home functionality is activated by pressing and holding the auto land button and will cause the drone to rise to a height of 15m and return to its takeoff point.

The watch controller is made out of rubbery plastic and has a fabric band. It feels decent quality and allows you to control the drone quite easily as well. Instead of two joysticks there is only one and the rotation and altitude are controlled using buttons. There are also follow me and orbit buttons as well.

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Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Getting Ready to Fly

Getting the drone flight ready is very easy. Turn the drone on then turn your controller on, and the drone will beep 3 times to signify its flight readiness (and another 3 times to signify the gimbal is ready if you are using it). Because this is a beginnerís drone, the drone will not take off unless you get a lock of at least 6 GPS satellites and this is signified on the controller.

However, once the drone gets a lock, you can either press the auto takeoff key or pull the stick to the bottom right and the drone will take off. Orientation is also helped greatly by the lights below each prop, with the red lights facing forward and the blue lights facing backwards, incredibly helpful for a beginner like me.

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Flight Performance

The Dragonfly Pro is incredibly easy to fly. In the default flying mode (which would be easy mode with GPS enabled), the drone responds very quickly and responsively to the controller. The drone will also automatically stay in place if you stop interacting with the controls, and it does drift from its original position by 2-3 feet or so, but height wise it is rock solid. This isnít much of an issue when you are outdoors in an open field or high up in the air, but indoors it might be an issue.

Especially easy for beginners are the auto takeoff and landing functions. Auto takeoff automatically lifts the drone off the ground and hovers a few meters off the ground. Auto landing makes the drone hover at a specific height and automatically land, the drone will “hop” a couple of times to ensure its landing on flat ground, and it works almost all the time, there was once when it set down on a hole hidden by grass (dug by my dog) and it landed successfully then promptly flipped to its side. Auto return also works, it automatically returns to the original position within about 2 meters.

There are a couple of other tried and true functions here such as follow me, auto rotate (circling yourself), and point of interest and they work quite well. One of the biggest downsides of this drone are the lack of object avoidance sensors, meaning that this drone will happily fly straight into a tree when in one of the auto modes. Do make sure the area is clear of potential hazards.
There is also advanced flying mode where all artificial limits are removed and the theoretical max speed is about 75km/h.

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Battery Life

With a 5200mAh 11.1V battery, the battery is a fair size and Simtoo claims a flight time of around 25 minutes. It is able to last about 18 minutes with the gimbal mounted on and around 22 minutes without. In terms of payload the battery life does take a hit as well but nothing too great.

The controller will tell you when the battery life is low, in which case you should land it immediately, even though I could still fly it around for about 3-4 minutes before the drone forced itself to land. The battery is really hard to take out as well.

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Photography/Videography

I have mixed feelings about the included gimbal and camera. On one hand, footage taken is steady. The gimbal does a decent job eliminating any shake or Jell-O. Yes, its slightly less than rock steady but footage is good. I am slightly annoyed by the sensitivity of the gimbal controls on the controller (way too sensitive) but that can be dealt with through practice.

The camera is capable of taking 4K video at 25fps but does not fare well in low light at all. As a result, this drone is completely useless for nighttime flying, although its still good enough for sunrise/sundown moments.

Now here is where I really start disliking this camera/gimbal combination. The gimbal comes with a MicroUSb connection sticking out so that it charges the included action camera. This also means that no other action camera will fit on this unless the plug is removed (which it canít without cutting it off). However, this plug serves no purpose other than to charge the camera and it will work without the camera as well.

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Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro App

You connect to the camera through WiFi and can see what the camera is seeing. The feed is real time but thereís a lag of about Ω a second, making it next to useless for flying. You will still have to visually see the drone to fly it effectively.

However, what this live feed is good for is framing shots. It was a life saver when I could see what the camera is seeing then adjust the gimbal/drone as I saw fit to get the perfect shot.

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Crash Royale

I was in a deserted park near Toronto (its wintertime, so no reason to go to a park) and I brought the Dragonfly for some footage. There is a river nearby so I thought it would make some nice footage. I was having some problems with my SD card so I started the recording before turning the drone on, and then quickly took off. I first tried to fly towards the river, but with dense trees and underbrush I turned around.

So I thought I would rise to about 40 meters and take some footage by rotating the drone. While in the middle of the rotation, my remote controller suddenly showed “LAND”. At first, I thought it had low battery, so I immediately lowered my altitude. Suddenly my drone listed to one side and I thought I had lost control of it, but then a sudden huge gust of wind blew me the same direction as well.

I tried compensating by flying back towards me but I saw my drone flip sideways (the camera still stabilized by the gimbal so the camera is still facing the correct way). I thuoght that it had lost connection with the controller but the controller hadn’t lost connection yet. Suddenly, a gargantuan blast of wind blew me sideways and I realized my mistake; it was way too windy.

The drone dropped sideways out of the sky, I heard it clip the top of some trees and then drop out of view. I spent a good 10 minutes looking for it before spying the blue light coming from the action camera, and I saw the poor hardy drone scattered across the ground. Surprisingly, only one prop arm was broken and the gimbal had sheared off at the rubber flex. Most of the other items had simply popped out and were not damaged.

I took it back home, dusted off the parts, and put the drone back together. The broken prop arm fit back without even needing duct tape, and voila, it took off again! There were strong winds, but at this point I didn’t really care about crashing it again so I flew it anyway.

Another strong wind blew it against the second storey wall of my house and it smashed into the side of the house, losing all the landing gear and falling onto the floor. I was afraid that the drone was truly dead this time, but no, it still works. I just have to figure out some sort of makeshift landing gear for this so I don’t damage it. Like I said, this drone is extremely hardy.

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro The Aftermath

The drone still works. the gimbal is done for, but after copious amounts of duct tape, the broken prop arm is back in place the drone still lifts off. It lists to one side frequently, but I’m much less careful with it now since it is almost a writeoff.

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Verdict

I absolutely love this drone and flying it is just so incredibly fun. This is my first foray into the world of drones, and Iím quite thankful that the Simtoo Dragonfly Pro is so beginner friendly. That being said though, itís not cheap, starting at $450.

However, it doesnít have a lot of competition in this price bracket, the FreeX and Bugs 3 come to mind. Similar drones with gimbals, camera, and beginner friendly features enter around $600 and up. I do have my eye on the Autel X-Star, but that one is about $700. Let me know what you think of in the comments below and I canít wait for Simtooís next drone.

“Not cheap”

Simtoo Dragonfly Drone Pro Gallery

Use promo code Dragonfly to get a $82 discount!

Review written by Zi Jin Cheng

  • Aussie648

    Do yourself a favor Zi Jin Cheng…….. buy the Hubsan 501s Advanced!