Dromida XL 370 FPV Drone w/1080P Review
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- XL 370 FPV Drone with Radio
- 2S 2200mah LiPo Battery
- USB Charger
- Extra set of Blades
- Set of prop guards
- Four AA Batteries and Instructions
- Same Dromida good looks
- Comfortable transmitter
- MUCH improved DroneView camera
- Ability to control camera from tx
- Fast yet pretty stable
- Recovers well after flips
- Includes prop guards
- Barometric sensor only really effective in hovering
- Wobbly on descent
- A little on the expensive side
- Spring-centered throttle stick takes a little getting used to
For those of you that have followed my reviews, you know I have a pretty solid positive opinion of Dromida. From their small RC trucks, to pretty much all of their quads, I never hesitate to recommend their products to newbs and experienced RC folks alike.
When I saw the first announcement, I got pretty excited. As much as I love small quads, I really dig bigger quads. Mostly because like big planes, they are generally more stable, stronger, and faster. I noticed in the comments of the announcement on Facebook, that a lot of people were complaining about the price and the fact that Dromida was using brushed motors on their new, super-sized, FPV quadcopter. Being an HONEST reviewer (seems we are a rare breed these days), I like to give companies the benefit of the doubt. No pre-judgements, no assumptions, no expectations until I get my hands on it. At the current price of $249, if you order with Tower's coupon codes, you can scoop it up for about $223.
Out of the box:
Per usual, I telecommuted on delivery day so I could dive right into my box from Tower the second it arrived. As far as packaging goes, this quad doesn't come in a big clamshell style box, you have to slide the contents out in their protective plastic from the top of the box. Not an issue for me as I usually chuck my boxes unless I know I am going to donate or sell the vehicle. I knew what to expect as far as the transmitter, battery, etc, but I really didn't realize just how big the XL is. It is pretty close in size corner to corner as my Phantom 3. It comes with nice, robust prop guards, a really nice lipo battery, a charger that actually charges quickly, batteries for your transmitter, extra blades and even a USB cable... oh, and the camera already has a micro SD card installed. In a nutshell, it comes with every thing you'll need for this big birdie.
Anyway, I left the prop guards off (yep, I love living on the edge lol), stuck the battery on the charger, and grabbed my head-mounted GoPro camera.
So my first bit of confusion came when I saw that the transmitter had a spring centered throttle stick. The only other quad I have with that feature is my Phantom 3. Even though my Phantom has auto take off, I never use it because I prefer controlling every aspect of it's flight. With the XL 370, you have to first use the right shoulder button to arm the motors, then use the auto take-off left shoulder button. Even though I had calibrated my quad before the flight, when I did my first auto take-off, it drifted to the side a bit as it needed to be trimmed... so make sure you take off away from yourself or any other objects you don't want in the quads blades.
After take-off, I spent a few seconds adjusting the trim. Next I wanted to test how well the barometric sensor worked. With everything trimmed out, I was impressed at how well the XL 370 held it's altitude. To further the test, I jammed the right stick forward to see how well the quad would hold it's altitude in fast forward flight. Answer? It doesn't. It doesn't drop like a brick either, but you do have to give it more throttle as you zoom around. So any of you who have flown Dromida's larger quads like the Vista UAV and the Ominus, you know Dromida has kind of a "feel" to the way they fly. Stable, but not over the top stable, and good power, except on fast descents. The XL 370, feels just like that. It has a stable but semi-loose feel to it, which is fun. It does do a weird little bounce when you try to bank a turn as it takes that brief slow moment at the point in the turn to readjust it's altitude. You can see it in my video on my turns, they are not as smooth as usual. Not an issue, just different.
As flipping is always a highlight of flying Dromida's quads, I wanted to see how well the XL 370 flipped and most importantly, how well it recovered from a flip with the benefit of the barometric sensor. The XL 370 does pretty well here. As you see in my video, you can start your flips pretty low with this quad and the sensor will help bounce you back up to altitude pretty quickly. Make sure that you let go of the right stick once you've initiated the flip so you don't keep flipping. In part of my video below, you can see what happens when you don't let the stick center itself... you keep flipping!
So because of the barometric sensor and increased size, I get the feeling that this quad was aimed at folks who wanted a decent camera platform on a budget as opposed to just a large sport quad. Also, just to revisit my review of the first DroneView camera... this is not a true FPV experience. As this uses wifi for connecting to your phone to transmit the image, there is at least a 1 second delay in the feed. If you tried to just fly this FPV, you'd soon find yourself on the ground. The 370 XL FPV has the new version of the DroneView camera. If you read my review on the gen 1 version, you know I had very little nice to say about it. I will tell you that with the gen 2 version, they have pretty much fixed all of the things I complained about. The video quality is now on par with cameras like the Mobius, and the pictures look pretty darn good. Of course this quad is not brushless nor does it have a gimbal, but if you fly on a relatively calm day and get your quad a few stories up, you can get some really nice aerial shots. Just be careful on descents from high altitudes as the brushed motors don't have enough oomph to keep you level if you come down too quickly.
Finally, to address the biggest concern I have heard folks expressing about the XL 370. Is it worth the price tag. I won't beat around the bush, but in my assessment, NO, it is not. I wish I could agree with the other reviews you have probably already seen... but I can't. I want to as I am a pretty big Dromida fan, but I won't give them a pass just because of that. Always remember who the reviewer is you are watching and what their skin is in the game. I do not make any money off of my site, I don't advertise, I don't ask for money...this is a passion project to try to help you all make wise decisions with your hard earned dough. Now back to the quad...
I think it is a great quad, don't get me wrong, but no matter how I do the math, I don't see any way to justify the price tag. I think a price between $150 and $170 would be more appropriate. The addition of the barometric sensor is cool, but I don't see a real need or a real demand for it on a brushed quad copter. If we were talking brushless with GPS, then sure. As I mentioned earlier, the new DroneView is pretty great, and I'll definitely recommend that as a stand purchase. I hope my experience helps in making your decision! If you don't already follow us on Facebook, Youtube or Twitter, please start. Most of the manufacturers of the products we review won't repost our reviews if they are on the negative side, so by following us, you don't have to rely on just their pages. That said, have fun and spend wisely!