Is the ICAT3 a good consumer drone? It looks like a good specimen. However, we cannot tell from looking alone. It is also good to look at the features.
In a world that is teeming with drones from China, the US and other places, it can be pretty hard to choose one since all of them claim to be the best. To avoid confusion, most people just go for the well-known brand names for consumer drones such as DJI, Potensic, SNAPTAIN and Eachine. However, if you do that, you will most likely miss other well built and probably cheaper drones such as the ICAT3, which we shall review here.
Among some of the things that we will look at here, we will find out whether this drone really has a 4K ultra HD camera. We shall also explore all the flight functions that it comes with. How is the build and design quality of this drone? Let us find out together.
When you order this drone, you can choose the package with one, two or three batteries. The flight time for one battery is long enough and so you might as well save your money.
Please note that this drone is rated for users starting at the age of 14 years.
ICAT3 Features & Technical Details
There is no shortage of features in this drone. However, as always, we like to look at the design and build quality of the drone first. First impressions matter a lot!
Design and Build Quality
About the design and build quality of the ICAT3 drone, we shall consider things like the material used, the size, weight and even the weight of the drone.
You will get a good impression when you unbox this drone. It is neither too big nor too small, just the perfect size that you like for traveling with. It has a beautiful gray color finish. When you hold it in your hands, it feels a bit anti-slip. If first impressions matter to you, this drone will surely impress you.
This is a foldable drone. It folds down to a small and compact size measuring 6.3 by 4.1 by 2.7 inches. It is small, easy to carry in your backpack without taking up too much space. You fold it with the blades intact so that when you need to fly it again, there is no assemblage needed.
When it is unfolded, it measures 14 by 15.8 by 2.7 inches. That is slightly more than double what the drone measures folded. It weighs 420 g, so you will have to register it with the FAA in America. You just need to register it online for a small fee.
The drone has been fitted with 1806 1600KV brushless motors. Therefore, you can fly it for the entire flight time without the motors heating up. It can also fly at maximum speed with minimal noise. Also, brushless motors last longer and they require less care and maintenance.
The final thing that we shall mention about the build quality of this drone is the choice of the ABS plastic material for the hull. This kind of plastic material is also resistant to corroding liquids, is strong and light in weight.
Battery and Flight Time
Consumer drones keep getting better with their flight times. For example, the ICAT3 comes with a 3000mAh 2S 25C 7.4V battery. It will give you a flight time of 25 minutes. The battery takes about 300 minutes to charge. It comes with a built-in balance charger and a USB cable for charging. You have to remove the battery from the drone and charge it. This is why it helps to have two batteries because waiting for 300 minutes is a bit too long.
The camera works as advertised, with 4K resolution. Precisely, it comes with 3840 by 2160P resolution for videos and 4096 by 3072P for photos. It is going to capture either footage with stunning clarity in the daytime. If you love vivid color details in your footage, this camera will meet your needs. The camera also has a 120-degree field of view and the video resolution on mobile is 1920 by 1080P.
You will enjoy a good FPV experience with this drone, as it can transmit video to your smartphone in real time. This means you can be able to see what the drone can see. The FPV distance is also quite long too at 500 meters.
The camera has an electronic anti-shake feature. Therefore, you can be assured of distortion-free footage all the time. Besides, when the drone slants, the videos and photos will not slant. They will retain their original orientation.
With the controller, you can do many things. For example, you can adjust the angle of the camera without necessarily having to bring the drone home.
The remote controller is slim in design and it has a small LCD screen that displays the important statistics such as the drone distance and height, the signal strength, battery percentage and so on. The transmitter also has keys for many flight functions that the drone is equipped with. It also has a foldable smartphone holder that can hold smartphones of different sizes.
This remote controller uses 4 1.5V batteries that you have to buy separately.
Flight Functions and Performance
The main reason for buying a drone is the thrill that comes when the blades start slashing the air. The ICAT3 drone does not disappoint. See its flight functions:
Optical Flow Positioning and One Key Return
This is one of the most important flight functions in any drone. The main function of the optical flow positioning is to give you a stable flight and precise hovering. This makes it easy for pilots of all levels of experience to fly the drone. The one key return to home also works courtesy of GPS to bring the drone home when the battery runs low. When the drone loses signal with the remote controller, it will turn back and come home.
Choose a route with great scenery on the app. Open the map feature on the app and make several dots, and then connect them. The drone will follow this route taking footage as it flies. This is one of the ways to fly your drone hands-free.
This function will allow you to fly your ICAT3 hands-free. Once you have chosen the point of interest and engaged the Surround Flight mode, the drone will fly around the object, keeping to a decent radius all the time.
With the smart follow function, the drone locks to you and follows you. It keeps a decent distance all the time. If you move faster, it increases its speed and slows down when you walk slowly. This is a good feature for people who love cycling, road trips and other outdoor activities.
This is an extra feature added to make using this drone a lot of fun. It is like a studio feature that allows you to add music in the background of your videos. Drone videos do not have sound, so this function will make a huge difference.
Mobile phone control
Go fully mobile and give your hands a rest from the remote controller. When you wave your phone to the left, the drone flies in that direction.
Precise Altitude Hold
With preset altitude hold, you just need to worry about flying the drone horizontally. It will keep to the set altitude all the time.
Auto Take Off and Landing
Just press the button for this function and the drone either takes off to hover at a certain height or comes back to land. This removes the guesswork from the picture especially for someone flying the drone for the first time.
Set a geofence feature that the drone cannot fly outside. You can set this to a radius of up to 250 meters and a height of 100 meters. This is a good function for a beginner user.
Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners
As a new release to the market, we will update this section as soon as people start ordering and posting their reviews of this drone.
- Long control distance of 1000 meters (remote controller)
- Good, multi-dimensional camera with vertical view adjustable by 90 degrees
- Able to adjust the camera angle by remote controller
- Easy to fly this drone for pilots of all experience levels
- Brushless motors make her a silent flier
- Easy to store because it is foldable
- Geofence allows you to set the range of flight for your children
- The maximum flight time of 28 minutes is quite fair
- Foldable remote controller
- While the manufacturer gives an age rating of 14 years, we feel this drone is a bit too feature-full for a newbie
- 3 hours charging time is a bit too long
- No information about supporting SD card
Who Should Buy the ICAT3 Drone
Even if you are an experienced drone pilot, you will find this drone very exciting. It has many features, some advanced ones such as the dual GPS/GLONASS system that make it a lot of fun to fly. A beginner will take some to learn how to fly and take pictures and videos with this drone. However, once they get the gist of it, there will be no looking back. They need not upgrade the drone in future since this one has many functions that the big boys have.
Conclusion and Recommendation
As you have seen in this ICAT3 review, this drone is advanced and rich in features. However, when looking for information, we could not tell whether it has an SD card slot or not. At this price, it should have one! Apart from that, this drone is a good investment for yourself or for a person that you want to gift. However, before you fly it, here are a few things that we recommend:
- Read the user manual. You should do this for every electronic item that you buy
- Fly within the GeoFence so that you can master how it flies, before going the full range
- Register your ICAT3 with the FAA if you are in North America
- Fly your drone in wide open spaces because it does not have obstacle avoidance system