I recently got into micro quads just a couple short months ago with my purchase of a Heli-Max 1SQ. I enjoyed flying so much that I figured I would expand my micro quad family to two with the Hubsan X4 version 2. I like the micro quads as I can fly them easily in my home or garage, but I can still take them outside and open them up a little bit more as long as there are no high winds present.
I am new to flying RC's, and this comparison comes from the perspective of someone who has very little flying experience. So this is aimed less at you guys who are experienced flyers and more at those who are just getting into flying or are curious about it. I am no expert by any means, RC Crawling is my area of expertise and even there I won't say that I know everything.
So here we go!
Heli-Max 1SQ Vs. Hubsan X4 V2 (H107L)
Packaging and what is included:
I'll start right from the beginning. The packaging! The 1SQ comes in a box that also doubles as a carrying case, which is very convenient. It both protects the quad and TX, but also has spots for the batteries, charge, included screwdriver, etc. This is one area where the Hubsan lacks, as you can see the box came to me from China pretty banged up. And the box doesn't lend itself well to being a carrying case for the quad. Not that I intend to take them far from home but it is nice to have that with the 1SQ.
Both boxes include the quad, TX, requisite manuals, 1 battery, a USB charger, and an extra set of blades. The 1SQ also comes with the aforementioned tiny screwdriver for working on the quad and batteries for the RTF TX. The single battery for both doesn't lend itself well for getting a lot of flying time in, so more batteries are a immediate necessity for both quads, as well as a second charger or parallel charging cable to charge multiple batteries at once.
Fit and Finish:
The obvious reaction to the photos is that the Hubsan is much smaller than the 1SQ. But the quality of both is very good. They both look cool first off. The 1SQ gets the nod in the looks department, with its futuristic looking shell. But both look very good and feel quite solid in the hand. The shell on my 1sq has cracked at one of the points where it connects to the body, but it still works fine, and that is easily replaced. The Hubsan on the other hand if I were to crack the body I would need a whole new shell and I would have to take everything out of it and place it in the new shell. Blades on both are fairly sturdy and I have not broken a blade on either quad. Though the blades on the Hubsan do tend to come off easier in a crash than those on the 1SQ.
I am using the RTF Mode 2 TX's for both quads. The 1SQ also comes in a BNF version if you already have a DSM2 compatible TX (Spektrum, etc). Both TX's, while cheap, feel good in the hand. Having flown both quite a bit I give the nod both for comfort and control to the Hubsan. The video game like TX just feels better in the hand. The 1SQ's TX is good, but the controls don't feel quite as reactive as the Hubsan, and its a bit clunky. Trim adjustments for both are simple and straight forward. The 1SQ has two settings for different trim, so you can set one for lower trim and one higher for flying indoor vs outdoor. The Hubsan has a similar setup one trim set for indoor and starting out and an "Expert" mode where flight is much more aggressive and a simple push of the stick all the way back and forth or side to side and it will flip or roll. Very cool for impressing your friends.
Sidenote: The TX setup for the Hubsan is mandatory, which takes some figuring out. The instructions are ok, but they could be better. And even after the setup it still takes some trimming to get the quad hovering correctly. Also the 1SQ TX runs on 4 AA, and the Hubsan runs on 4 AAA.
Batteries and chargers:
Both quads come with 1 battery and a USB charger. The 1SQ charger lights up after the battery is plugged in and flashes once charging is completed. The Hubsan charger lights up after charging is completed. The quality of the 1SQ charger seems better, but they are both ok.
For batteries I have only used the Heli-Max branded batteries in my 1SQ. My LHS had them so I purchased a few extras along with a second charger. I HAVE NOT flown the Hubsan with the RTF batteries, instead opting for some 260mah 35-70C batteries from HobbyKing. The stock batteries for the 1SQ provide about 7min of flight depending on conditions. The Hobbyking batteries for the Hubsan provide similar flight time, 8-9min.
Getting started and flight:
The 1SQ was very simple to get started. simply place the included batteries in the TX, charge the battery, plug it in and you are RTF. To start I set the trims at 30. And once I started flying it took NO trimming to get it hovering correctly. The quad is very stable, and was very easy to adapt to even for a novice like myself. It took a few days of messing around with to get comfortable and since then I have been very comfortable flying it, even in winds up to 10mph. Any winds higher than that and you are asking for trouble. I have found that now, even as my trims are set much higher, that it is not as controllable and nimble as I would like it to be. Banked corners are not as easy as I would like. Also the lack of LED's for orientation for night flying is a definite downer. I tried the RAM LED set for it, but the adverse affect on battery life had me taking it off a couple days later.
The Hubsan requires a binding and calibration before you can get flying. And once that was completed it still had to have the trim adjusted to get it to hover correctly. After that it is a breeze to fly. I went straight to "Expert" mode and started doing flips and rolls immediately. The ability to fly quickly and execute banked turns is easily learned. Wind is also a problem, but despite its small size it still performs better in wind than the larger 1SQ. I still would hesitate to fly it in winds over 10mph. The LED's make orientation at night very easy and I can fly it much higher than I would the 1SQ. Also the LED's begin flashing when the battery is getting low, which is a indication that the 1SQ lacks.
For those who are just getting into flying, or don't plan to fly at night including LED's on a quad might be a feature that is overlooked. As previously stated the lack of LED's for orientation is troubling with the 1SQ. I do a lot of night flying as I have kids, and including LED's for both orientation and low battery indication is a big selling point for me. The Hubsan's LED's (blue in front, white in back) have made it so that when flying at night I pick up the 1SQ a lot less. It is just easier to fly the Hubsan at night.
Price and Purchasing:
I purchased my 1SQ from Power Hobby on Ebay with two extra batteries included for $99. It can also be purchased from Amain, Tower, and many other sellers on Ebay. It is readily available and you can have it at your house a few days after purchase.
The Hubsan was purchased from banggood.com for $43 dollars and had to be shipped from China. So it took several weeks for me to recieve it. You can buy them from resellers in the states on Ebay for twice the price if you don't have the patience to wait.
Both quads have their ups and downs. But if I could only own one, both because of the price, and the fun factor that comes with it, I would choose the Hubsan. The ease of flight and maneuverability is worth waiting three weeks for shipping. If I could do it over again I would have purchased the Hubsan first.
Like I said, I am new to this. But I hope this will helps someone like me who is just curious or looking to buy one of these fun little quads. If there is something that you feel that I left out, or needs to be elaborated on feel free to comment. I don't intend on getting into hardcore flying, when I bought my 1SQ I was just looking for something to fill my time during the summer when I don't like to run my crawlers because of the South TX heat. What I found was a part of the hobby that I really enjoy. And that is what this hobby is all about, having fun!!!
Axial Wraith "Rock Punisher", UGC Fastback II AX-10, SCX-10 Chevy, Losi Trail Trekker, Associated RC8.2e, F-350 Mattzilla Truggy, Latrax Alias, Heli-Max 1SQ, Hubsan X4 V2
....I am a hopeless addict....