Spedix Black Knight 210 Carbon Fiber BNF FPV Quad Review
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
Stock Black Knight 210
Glacier 3s1600mah battery
Stock 2 blade propellers 5/4.5
DAL 5040 3-blade propellers 5/4.5
TBS Triumph Antenna
- Ready to bind to DSMX radio and fly
- 700TVL camera and 40 channel video transmitter installed
- New Naze Rev6 flight controller with integrated MinimOSD
- Reinforced 2204 2300KV motors
- BlHeliS ESCs supporting One Shot
- Built like a tank
- Adjustable FPV and action camera mount
- DSMX compatible sat with binding button
- Ready to fly in about 15 minutes (more if you have never used CleanFlight)
- High quality parts, sturdy, DSMX RX
- Extremely customizable flight controller
- Last between 6-8 minutes with 1800mah
- Light weight and agility design
- No manual
Okay, my disclaimer for this BK210 (Black Knight 210) review is, I am not an expert racer (YET... though I just won my first competition a few weeks ago), and I only recently started spending more time behind my goggles. I am writing the reviews of the Black Knight 210 and the S250 Pro to a relative newbie to the world of race drones. That said, neither the S250 Pro, nor the Black Knight 210 are beginner quads. They can be tamed down for beginners to fly them, but what I have seen experts do with these Spedix quads, puts them in the category with the other high-end race drones. That said, these reviews on these two Spedix quads are going to be almost identical as they share the same motors, camera, and VTX. There is a little difference in materials, and different ESCs, but the biggest difference for me is just the size and how that effects the equation. The weights of the two quads are close. The Pro comes in at 422g + battery (3s1800mah at 5.13g) for a total of 427.13g. The Black Knight 210 comes in at 398g + battery (I use the smaller 3s1600mah at 4.4g) for a total of 402.4g.
I decided to get the 210 a few days after I got the Pro. I was already loving my new Pro, but when I saw a guy flying the 210 at my field, I knew I had to have it. At first I figured I'd sell whichever of the two I liked least. Well, I have ended up keeping both with no plans of selling either one. I love how sleek the BK210 looks in all black and how solid and tight it feels. I love that it comes with everything and how you can adjust both the FPV camera AND the action camera mount (which is stationary on the Pro model). II must say I am also quite tickled pink with the price of this one, currently just $20 more than the Pro at $199.99. Okay, enough blabbing, let's get to it.
The Spedix line of quads come in a pretty nondescript box with an embossed logo. It's good to know they aren't wasting money on packaging. In the box you get some extra props and some harnesses if you choose to wire your quad differently. The quad itself comes fully assembled minus the props, and one of the side panels. That is intentional as you are going to need to hook it up to CleanFlight (both Mac and PC compatible) to do the programming. I think they come preprogrammed, but don't take any chances, and go ahead and go through the procedure anyway. If you are like me, and don't know you're way around CleanFlight, you should make sure to go back to the product page HERE and watch the series of videos that BuddyRC has done. Initial setup is identical for both the Pro and the BK210. The videos are extremely helpful and should get you in the air within 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your familiarity with CleanFlight.
The quad itself looks gorgeous and it looks and feels really high-end. It feels heavier than the Pro moderl even though it's not. If Spedix is taking short cuts or cutting corners to save us money, I don't see where. A friend of mine bought the Blade Vortex 250 at the same time I got the 250 Pro and Black Knight 210... his total expenditure, $499, and my total... $380. He got a great quad + some expensive branding, and I got 2, TWO, dos, deux, SWEET ASS quads (can I say that... of course I can, it's my page)!!! He also flies Futaba, so he had to buy a receiver, my two Spedix quads, bind right up to my Spektrum DX9.
Flight (Line of sight):
The BK210 is all black, which would usually make orientation a bit more difficult, but what makes orientation easier with the 210 are the array of bright LEDs on the back of the quad. Unlike the Pro, there are no LEDs under the arms. You can still do some nightflying, but you might want to add a light or two in the front if the rear lights are not enough. I haven't had any issues myself with flying in the dark. The rear LEDs are programmed to serve as turn signals out of the box, which is an awesome feature.
If you are coming from the original S250, or even the new Pro, you will find the 210 flies faster and feels more agile. I can't put my finger on why the 210 feels different than the Pro, but it just feels sportier and more slick as you toss it around in the air. Even with autoleveling turned on to stock settings, you can stop almost instantly, turn on a dime pull out of a drop with tons of authority. I have flown my 210 with both stock 2-blade props and with aftermarket 3-blade props. As I fly only on 3s, I really don't feel a major difference in top speed, but punching out feels a tiny bit better with the 3-blade. This is more noticeable on the 210 compared to the Pro. To be totally honest with you all, I just went with 3-blade because they look cool and come in tons of colors.
Flying on agility mode is predictable if you have experience flying in that mode. If you have never flown in agility mode, is a lot like flying a collective pitch helicopter without 6 axis stabilization. If you have never done that either, if you are going to try agility mode, I recommend you try it over grass in a wide open space. I can fly decently in that mode, but it stresses me out too much, so I generally stay in autostabilization mode, even when racing. What I love about the BK210 compared with the original S250, is how easy it is to stay at a level altitude while speeding across the field.
So when I first started flying FPV with my S250 original, I didn't know much about race quads and the the massive amount of parts out there to make your quad better. I had used the original camera mount which pointed level with the quad. It was almost impossible for me to fly with any precision as I was constantly staring at the ground. On my first FPV flight with the Pro, I left the camera at the angle it shipped with, maybe about 20 degrees or so. The tilted camera plus the programming and quad itself, made me feel like I had been flying racequads for months. It was easy to stay level, easy to shoot between obstacles and just generally easier at maneuvering around the field since I could keep my eyes on the rest of the field versus just the ground. As I have continued practicing, the adjustable camera mount has made it a cinch to adjust to the race course. On shorter, tighter courses, I angle the camera more level with the quad, and the longer faster courses allow me to angle the camera more for those high speed straight-aways.
If you are more of an expert, don't judge me for my novice flying in the videos below. I will try to add a stunt video hopefully in the near future. My currentvideos don't come close to showing what this quad can do. I am working to get videos of the "drone guy" at the local shop to flying the Pro and Black Knight. There is nothing these can't do that the $500 buck quads do. If you are newer to quad racing, these videos were done on my first few flights with the Pro and 210, and you should be able to fly like this in no time at all, provided you have some multirotor experience. One thing I did upgrade btw was the antenna. It was fine with the stock antenna, but I feel like I got a little less interference once I installed the TBS Triumph antennas. They are also smaller and easier built for withstanding crashes.
Speaking of crashing, I actually haven't done much of it, but I have a friend who has beaten his Pro pretty badly and has only changed props. The BK210 is actually built more solidly than the Pro, so I really don't foresee any catastrophic damage in the future. The Pro is built strong, and the Black Knight 210 is built even stronger. It truly feels like a tank, but a it's a pretty tank that hauls ass and takes names.
I would honestly like to list a more complaints on these Spedix quads so this doesn't read like a commercial, but there just aren't any significant items worth mentioning. This quad looks, feels and flies amazingly and just stuns me with it's price. Even if you already have a fancier quad, you should own one of these and a Pro. Even if you have no interest in FPV, these quads are great to get for line of sight. You will not find anything this good even as a casual flyer for anywhere near this price from Blade or Immersion RC. If you buy this for line of sight, you will always have the option of getting some goggles later. Don't waste your money with gimmicky offerings from bigger companies. Spedix makes a great product and it has become more evident by the amount of retailers now carrying their quads. While there are several sites carrying them, I would recommend going to www.gothelirc.com.