JJRC is a respected dronemaker that has been making all types of hobby drones for many years.
They have basic quadcopters for beginners and they have some with advanced features. The JJRC X21 is one of the latter since it comes with omni-directional obstacle avoidance.
In their lineup, you are going to find quadcopters such as the JJRC X19, JJRC A353GW, and JJRC X16 which we reviewed earlier.
The X21 is small, sleek and well built. It is packed with dual cameras, brushless motors, 5-inch foldable props and many other features.
Another of the most notable features is the camera. This drone comes with a high quality 4K camera. If you are looking to get your foot into aerial shooting, you can start on this beautiful drone.
Every drone has its flipside. This one is not any different because the remote control uses 2 AA batteries. This looks like an advanced hobby drone with obstacle avoidance, long flight time and many more. We feel that a remote controller with an integrated rechargeable battery would have been much better.
Another thing is the low takeoff weight of this drone. It is about 165g, which is too light and might be hard to trim in the wind. However, as you read along, you will find out how good the flight performance is because of the brushless motors.
Keep reading as we look at its features and functions
JJRC X21 Features & Technical Details
First, when you go to order this drone online, you will find that it comes in different packages. One of them has two batteries and an obstacle avoidance system. The second one is that the drone can also come without obstacle avoidance and with just one battery. It all depends on your budget.
Design and Build Quality
The X21 is foldable by design, which makes it a marvel for traveling. When the quad is folded, it measures 5.8 by 4.3 by 2.2 inches. Unfolded for flight, the size is 13.2 by 13.2 by 2.2 inches, so it is big enough.
The weight of this drone is 165.4 grams, so it is also not too heavy to travel with, but note that with all the accessories, the weight is 740 grams. It also comes with its travel bag that can fit the quadcopter itself and all of its accessories. Besides, with such a low weight, you do not need to register it with the FAA.
The aircraft is fitted with 1503 brushless motors. They are silent, powerful and they do not overheat. These motors can last a long time with minimal care and maintenance.
The fuselage of the drone is made with high quality ABS plastic. If there is a crash (which can happen when you get one without the obstacle avoidance), the hardy plastic can help to protect the interior parts.
There are nice LED lights, about four of them on the top part above the nose. They light up beautifully making it easy to see the drone when you are flying it in low lighting.
This drone has been equipped with two cameras. There is the nose camera, which is also the main one and there is the bottom camera, which helps in optical flow positioning. To get a better FPV experience, you can switch between the two cameras from the remote controller.
The nose camera is fixed on a 3-axis gimbal, so you are going to get stable footage. 3-axis gimbals can control the yaw, roll and pitch. If the drone slants, the camera corrects that very fast.
You can adjust the vertical angle of the camera by up to 90 degrees remotely, from the remote controller. This will enable you to find the best view possible.
The FPV distance is 500 meters, which is quite impressive. The FOV video resolution is also very good at 1080P (at 30FPS). This drone can help you get started on amateur drone photography.
The nose camera has a real 4K resolution. You can capture stunning footage, full of color and detail with the X21. The panning angle of the camera is wide too at 120 degrees, so you will always get the best view when the drone is in flight.
Batteries and Flight Time
As we said, you can get this drone with one or two batteries. These are high capacity, 7.4V 2800mAh batteries, which can give you a flight time of 20 minutes.
Most people prefer to get three batteries so that they can get an hour of flight time. The charging time for each battery is a maximum of 180 minutes.
These batteries are safe, with built-in overcharge protection. The only downside is that even if you order the package with two batteries, you get one charging cable.
Ordering the package with two batteries is going to cost you more money, but the extra 20 minutes of flight time you will get will be worth it.
The remote controller is one of the two ways to control this drone. The second way is using the smartphone remote controller.
Since this one is fitted with a small LCD screen in the middle, you can see vital data such as the height of the drone, the distance, the speed and so on. Even when you are flying the JJRC X21 quadcopter blindly (without the app), you will always know where it is.
The smartphone holder is on the downside of the remote controller. This is slightly disadvantageous since you have to raise your eyes from the phone too long if you need to locate the drone in the distance.
You will need to buy two 1.5V AA batteries separately because this is what the drone uses. For a remote controller that also has a screen, a rechargeable built-in battery would have been much better.
By size, this remote controller is small and sleek. On the face, it has 4 buttons and the throttle and trim wheels. The rest of the buttons for various functions are located on the edges. Also, it has real antennas.
Flight functions make drones so simple to fly, even for beginners. This one has many functions that help with safety and they make the quadcopter a lot of fun to fly. Here are some of these functions:
GPS Positioning and optical flow
GPS positioning enhances accuracy during flight, especially when you are using trajectory flight and other hands-free functions. Optical flow enhances stability during flight. It also ensures that the drone hovers well to take high quality photo or video footage.
Get the drone to follow you. It does this by connecting to the GPS module in your smartphone. It will keep a decent distance and follow you wherever you go as long as you are holding the smartphone or remote controller.
With circle flight mode, the drone gets to fly around a monument or a landmark of your choice shooting footage. It will take good video from all angles.
With headless mode engaged, you do not need to adjust the position of the drone before launching it for flight. If you change your position, the drone adjusts itself automatically to align with your position.
To get this drone to fly in waypoint mode, open the map interface on the app and tap the screen in several places. Connect the dots on the screen by drawing a line to connect the dots. The drone will follow that route when you launch it.
One key return
If you need to bring the X21 back home, just punch the one key return and it will turn. Use this button to bring the aircraft back home if the battery runs low or there are problems with signal.
One key take off and landing
This is the best function and key for beginner pilots. When you punch it, the drone launches and hovers at a height. If you press it again when the drone is in flight, it comes back to the position where it was hovering when you launched it.
Equipped with three-level speed, you can start flying it on low speed, medium and eventually high speed, depending on the level of your skill.
Low battery return even if the battery runs low and you forget to punch the return home key, this drone is going to turn and come back automatically. You cannot lose it easily.
If you intend to fly the JJRC X21 quadcopter in places with buildings, trees and other obstacles, you had better get the one with obstacle avoidance. It can detect obstacles from below, above, sides, front, and back.
JJRC X21 Pros
- It comes with a high quality storage bag
- Good safety functions including obstacle avoidance
- It is easy to fly with the remote controller or with the app
- Speed settings to accommodate pilots of different skill levels
- It performs well thanks to brushless motors
- Takes good footage and gives high resolution FPV
- Well built for durability
JJRC X21 Cons
- There is no information about SD card support
- It cannot perform 3D stunts
Who Should Buy The JJRC X21?
This is a high quality but affordable drone with many features and flight functions. It is a delight to fly for both experienced and beginner pilots. With safety functions such as GPS positioning, return to home key, obstacle sensors and low battery return, you can keep it for a long time. Even if you get the one without the obstacle sensors, it is still a good deal for you. You can fly it in a large open space to prevent crashes. The powerful brushless motors make this drone easy to fly even in the wind.
Conclusion and Recommendation
We recommend you get this drone with two batteries so that you can enjoy a longer flight time. For a slightly higher price, you can also get the one with an obstacle avoidance system for safety. Download the JJRC Drones app so that you can enjoy FPV and unlock many more functions. Flying the JJRC X21 is a lot of fun because it has powerful brushless motors. However, start flying it on the low speed setting to see how it handles. Also, avoid flying it in high winds.