UDI U818A Review : The Drone That Brings Out The Kid In You

Before I get into the full review of the UDI U818A quadcopter, let me tell you a quick story.

“Catch me if you can!” I yelled to my buddy.

I accelerated, sending my UDI U818A quadcopter in the general direction of bulging Cumulus clouds on the horizon. My friend, Brandon, was flying a different brand of quadcopter drone, one with a brushless t-motor, and he took off after me. It was like a WWII dogfight, minus the fatalities. See, the thing with smaller drones such as these (as opposed to full drones like the DJI Phantom 4) is that you have more room for playing around.

u818a review


I turned a nice 360 roll, and dipped down, pulling back in the direction I’d come from, leaving Brandon confused and in the metaphorical dust. Later, we played chicken, and we joked above dive-bombing cars on the country road a hundred yards off from our airspace. We were like kids for the afternoon, and that’s what flying drones can be all about.

UDI U818A: A Great First Copter

These days, people are very serious about their drones, often using them for pro-quality photos and videos. And that’s great. The UDI U8181A drone works a bit differently. It’s very light and nimble and fast and would work as a great first copter for a youngster or for anyone just getting into drones. It does have a camera, a 2MP HD, and it also is VR compatible, meaning you can use a VR headset and experience what the drone is doing as though you’re right up there.

Because this isn’t exactly a souped-up beast, it doesn’t require FAA registration.


UDI U818A Flight Basics

This is a pretty cool and controllable copter because it’s not going to rocket off out of view so fast it makes your head spin.  It handles like remote-control copters in a way that makes it good for beginners.

It’s definitely very responsive to your controller’s instructions.  Without having incredible power, it does really want to go, and it can have a side-to-side sweep to it. In fact, it’s so light weight that it’s a bit sketchy for windy days.  In fact, if you have a big, clear room, you can actually practice takeoffs and basic maneuvering indoors.

Stability, Safety & Control

The U818A has a 6-axis stability feature and guarded propellers; that’s why I felt good chicken fighting with my friend.  The WiFi controller is 2.4 Ghz, with 2 350m Ah batteries and allows the most novice of pilots to start flying without having a lot of experience, making it one of the most ideal starting copter on the market. However, if you have a few hours under your belt, you may consider a more advanced drone such as the DJI Phantom 4 for a better flying experience.


Flipping

One of the U818A’s claims to fame is it’s 360 flip function. It’s a little trick it does at the push of a button. Everyone likes a good 360: it makes you look like you’re more experienced than you may really be, and if you're shooting video at the time, it’s a great way to make all who watch it seasick.

Camera / Video

This lightweight copter is fun to fly.  But it’s not going to be used by seasoned photographers and especially not videographers.  I mean, the shots are crisp enough, particularly the stills.  However, for video, it’s for entertainment only.  You can shoot some things to show your buddies and get used to shooting with a drone.  But it doesn’t have a gimbal system and you’re going to get a fair amount of shake with actual video.

Camera's Resolution

As far as resolution, we’re looking at 1280 x 720, 30 frames per second.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but the company doesn’t market the quad to pro videographers.  This one is really about fun and when you consider the camera's price, it is true value for money.

Virtual Reality

When people shoot video with a drone, to some extent, they’re trying to achieve a virtual reality, or an experience that they’d have a hard time having themselves.  If you’re not going to go hang-gliding or flying a small plane you’re not going to see the world from the angle a drone does.  So that’s a main motivation for taking drone video to begin with.  This baby does something that not many others do that adds considerable value. 


Sensation Of Flying Through Virtual Reality

As it happens, I do have a headset, so I was able to test out the VR.  I didn't think I would be doing a UDI U818A review with a headset that's worth more than the drone itself!

This basically entails having a point-of-view as though you were a bug sitting atop the drone.  You definitely get the sensation of the air flying at you, and you can pretty much feel the twisting and turning.  You can turn yourself around nearly 360.  If you’re already a headset owner, that might give you extra reason to buy this particular drone.  It’s something to experience.  But the non-VR aspects will probably be used the most by the majority of users.

All in all, this is a fun, lightweight machine that has quite a bit of play in its navigation.  That can make it a bit maddening, but also fun.  And it can help train a beginner.  If you should happen to land it on someone’s property or some place it doesn’t belong, its svelte stature ensures it will do the bare minimum harm.
 
Finally, the UDI U818A is priced so low that it’s an accessible way in to the drone experience.



Other Reasons To Fly The UDI U818A

So we take a look at other reasons to fly the UDI U818A drone which are listed below.

  • 30 meter flight distance: Giving you the ability to fly the copter without having to move much, but also providing a short enough range not making it dangerous to fly.

  • Modular Design: This make having a copter very cheap, if any part breaks it is possible to replace that part, rather than having to buy a new UDI U818A copter.

  • Decent Flight In Wind: For its price, it is surprising how well the UDI U818A can fly in winds of up to 5 mph. Considering the light-weight design, it is impressive how it copes with the wind.

  • Built In Camera: Most quad-copters at this price range do not come with a camera, so it is truly a bonus getting one.

Also, do not forget to take a look at our independent top drone reviews, we break everything down making it that much easier to picking the drone that perfectly suits your needs.

August 3rd 2016 Update: There is currently a special bundle for the UDI 818A HD which includes the headless mode, the return to home function, an upgraded HD camera AND additional power allowing you to fly it four times longer. It's a pretty good deal for those willing to jump on it.