The Eachine H8C Mini is Eachine’s (which happens to be a Banggood.com brand) first RTF drone with camera. It’s extremely affordable, and targeted at first-time RC drone fliers. Eachine have for long seen first-time buyers as their primary market, before they entered the racing arena with the Racer 250.
Coming back to the H8C Mini, unlike most other beginner quadcopters, this one actually has a camera on it. And thus, a first time flier can get in the air and take pictures while at it — something that would break your bank around 6 months back.
All that, and more, is now possible thanks to this $27 gadget. Below is a demonstration video made by the factory, take a look:
I spent some time with this very RC quadcopter drone, took it for a lot of flights, and here’s what I think about it.
Eachine H8C Mini Review: Specifications
Eachine H8C Mini Review: In The Box
Here’s all that you get inside the box of this quadcopter drone:
- Eachine H8C Mini RC Quadcopter
- Battery (built-in)
- USB charging cable
- 2 x Replacement Props
Keep the replacement props handy, for you never know when you’ll need them. Heck, you should consider getting a few more sets (they’re really cheap) of these props, especially if you’re going to learn flying on this.
As for the manual, I reckon you learn/write down the functions that each of the buttons on the controller perform and let the manual fly with the wind…
Eachine H8C Mini Review: Build Quality
Being a very affordable camera quadcopter drone, you cannot expect great build quality on something like the H8C Mini. The plastic on the body of the aircraft may seem low-quality because it’s flex prone, but that’s how it should be; you don’t want a brittle-bodied quadcopter which will break in a few crashes.
As for crashes, I’ve had a few myself (admittedly a few have been due to lack of skill ;)) but the H8C Mini holds up just fine. One issue that you’re going to have is the bendy prop guards. While prop guards are an invention that beginners thank their lord for, bendy ones, like the ones on the H8C Mini, can be a little tricky to deal with. You’ll have to spend time holding them in place so they don’t rub against the props (and cause trim issues in-flight).
While the build quality on the aircraft isn’t anything to write home about, it’s definitely something worth paying $27 for
In a nutshell, while the build quality on the aircraft isn’t anything to write home about, it’s definitely something worth paying $27 for. In exchange, you get to fly in the air (figuratively speaking, of course), take aerial selfies of yourself (dronefies?) to put on on your Instagram, and the most valuable of them all: learn how to actually fly a drone… without breaking your (or your dad’s) bank.
Eachine H8C Mini Review: Flight Characteristics
Unlike many micro quadcopters in its range (the Hubsan X4 for example), the H8C Mini doesn’t feature direct-drive motors, but geared ones. In layman terms, the motors don’t directly power the props. But instead, the energy is transferred via gears. This is done to keep costs low (gear-driven props require smaller, i.e., cheaper motors). The H8C Mini uses 6mm motors.
While intermediates and experienced pilots will notice this right out of the box, geared motors are in fact a boon for beginners. Why? Because, the throttle doesn’t respond as aggressively as it would do on a direct-drive quadcopter.
In essence, everything about the H8C Mini shouts “beginner”
This makes the H8C Mini a bit of a ‘lazy’ flier — nothing too bad — which is more suited to flying in open areas rather than indoors. That said, despite the small motors, the H8C Mini can fly OK in a bit of a breeze. Just don’t expect it to fly like a boss during a tornado and you’re good.
The motors (and the entire aircraft) are a little noisy, and that’s again thanks to the gear-driven props. So if you take the quadcopter out of the box only to find that it makes a ‘rattling’ sound in the air, don’t get worried.
The quadcopter also has some really powerful LEDs, which diffuse light through the shell and make it really easy to control it in the night.
Eachine H8C Mini Review: Controller
The H8C Mini ships with a (ugly) but surprisingly good transmitter. I expected a quadcopter drone as affordable as the H8C Mini to have a tiny controller (the kind that you get with a Cheerson CX-10), but I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice and ergonomic controller in the box of the H8C Mini.
The advertised controller range is 100 meters, and from my experience with this quadcopter the real life range is in agreement with what’s advertised. As for the design and ergonomics of the controller, it has a very sci-fi-toy-ish look to it (did I just invent a term?), but as you’ll have made from reading this section, it does its job pretty well.
You can of course drill a hole and have the antenna wire stick out, but I don’t think that’s really needed.
Eachine H8C Mini Review: Camera
Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of the camera fitted on the H8C Mini. I found that it doesn’t have great picture quality, and it also suffers from an extreme downward-pointing angle which makes it usable only when flying at great heights.
It takes pictures at 1280 x 720p (2 mega-pixel), but there’s clearly some software interpolation going on here. In a nutshell, don’t expect too much from the camera.
Eachine H8C Mini Review: Flight Times/Battery
The H8C Mini ships with a 250mAh battery, which takes around 45 minutes to charge fully. In flight, the battery loses its charge in around 5-6 minutes, depending on how you fly it, wind conditions, etc.
Once you get a hang of it (and when you have a few prop guards as spare) don’t hesitate in removing the prop guards. Not only will the H8C Mini feel a lot faster due to the reduced weight, it’ll also fly for a bit longer.
the battery loses its charge in around 5-6 minutes, depending on how you fly it, wind conditions, etc
To access the battery, you must take off the battery hatch cover (the central part of the aircrafts body). There’s enough space for a 300-350mAh battery in there, if you’re the DIY-kind.
Eachine H8C Mini Review: Picture Gallery
LEDs and Other
Eachine H8C Mini Review: Verdict
As is very apparent from the entire review, I feel that the Eachine H8C Mini is a great quadcopter to learn on. While there have been many such quadcopters that are forgiving towards beginners, the advantage the H8C Mini has is that it comes with a camera (not the best one at it admittedly) and a controller that’s very usable and not too small.
I would’ve liked four spare props (the box comes with two only) as is the norm with almost all other entry-level quadcopters. Nonetheless, I still don’t think you’d be paying too much for this $27 quadcopter.
- Powerful LEDs for night flights
- Beginner friendly
- Geared props make it a little slow for intermediates
- Camera not the best