Xiro Drone Xplorer V by Rapoo review
Possibly the best all-round drone for newcomers
Drones are fast becoming commoditised which is amazing considering the technology behind them. Even the little ones manage to stay impressively stable in a strong wind.
The Xiro Drone Xplorer V by Rapoo is probably best described as a mid-range unit with a Full HD camera gimbal. It’s too big to fly inside (unlike the nifty Parrot Mambo) but it’s too small to carry a massive camera rig. However, this also places it in the Goldilocks feature set of fast, responsive, with reasonable quality camera.
It has a range of 120m a flight time of 25 minutes and a zippy top speed of eight metres per second – it won’t win any races but it’s more than fast enough for most people.
Control is by a rechargeable dedicated remote control which comes with a WiFi range extender to enhance the range of the drone. The Xiro app is then installed on your phone. Some of it is intuitive and self-explanatory but other parts are not.
There are the usual two control sticks plus three main buttons – one for automatic take off and landing, one for resetting the orientation (useful for when the drone is a long way away from you and you need to be sure that forward still means forward). There’s also a return home button. When the battery is running low the remote will vibrate.
The drone has four sets of LEDs on each wing – two red and two green – which you can see from a considerable distance.
Manual flight is very responsive and intuitive with low swoops and fast reactions possible despite the not-inconsiderable bulk of the machine. It’s also very well built and weathered two somewhat-extreme crashes with the main chassis remaining intact (the same can’t be said for the fragile camera gimbal).
The Xiro app is hit and miss depending on which device you use. Functioanlity is extremely limited on the Android version of the app and doesn’t let you do much more than record photos and video. There is a GPS map feature but this never worked properly for us – it showed us GPS points on a blank map but that was it.
The iOS version is much better and more intuitive. It allows you to easily plot a route on a map and set heights for each waypoint. The app also lets you do cool things like track an object and then either follow it in a straight line or circle it.
The camera is impressively smooth and responsive and quality is generally good. It won’t match some of the best photos taken by drones with mounted SLRs, but you’ll still be able to get decent quality from some impressive vantage points.
Read more: eHang GhostDrone 2.0 review
At $700 for the full kit, it’s still reasonable value and not out of date considering that it’s been on the market some time. It’s worth having a look at Xiro’s own instructional videos to get an idea of whether it will suit your needs or not. Ultimately, at this price, with this feature set and level of performance we’re happy to say it’s one of the best all round drone packages in a crowded market. But only if you’re using iOS.
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