SMRC usually offer their drone models with a good number of options. For instance, with the SMRC icat8, you can choose to buy it with one, two or three batteries, of course at different prices. You can also choose to buy it in black, silver or orange color.
This is the complete package since it also comes with a carry bag. If you order the package with two or three batteries, you will never need to buy anything else.
If you are an aerial shooting enthusiast, this drone might help you since SMRC says it comes with an 8K ESC HD camera. However, there is no way to verify this resolution. In the past, we did a review of the Autel EVO 2, which also comes with an 8K camera. It has a video resolution of 7680 x 4320P and a photo resolution of 8000 x 6000.
There are so many other good things going for this drone and it does cost a substantial amount of money. One downside though is that it does not come with a built-in rechargeable battery for the remote controller.
For the money you will pay and with the advanced features that the icat8 comes with, using 4 AAA batteries for the remote controller feels like a letdown.
Keep reading to see the other features that this quadcopter comes with, as well as its design and build quality.
SMRC icat8 Features & Technical Details
This is where everything starts! Before you consider the price, always look at the features. Apart from the good looks, what else does this drone come with? While it has an 8K camera, does it have a two-axis or three-axis gimbal? What is the FPV experience like? Find out about all these here:
Design and Build Quality
This is a foldable aircraft. The size reduces down considerably to make it easy to pack and travel with. When unfolded, it measures 14.2 by 13.0 by 2.8 inches.
When you fold it, the size reduces to 3.4 by 6.7 by 2.8 inches. This is a heavy drone, so it flies fairly well even when there is wind. On the flip side though, you will definitely have to register it with the FAA before you can fly it.
The fuselage is made with high quality ABS plastic. It is resilient and it will protect the internal electronic parts of the drone well if there is a crash.
As mentioned earlier, the drone is available in orange, black and silver colors. For storage and transport, you get a high quality bag that measures 11.8 by 9.1 by 3.3 inches. If you are keeping the drone in storage for some time, remember to remove the battery.
When you get your package, it will come with the drone itself, battery/s, remote controller, USB cable, 4 propeller guards, storage bag, screwdriver, 4 spare blades, and user manual.
Battery and flight time
Despite the long charging time of 240 minutes/4 hours, the flight time makes the wait worth it because you will get 35 minutes of flight.
This is a high capacity 3.7V 3000mAh battery. High capacity batteries take long to charge. However, since this is a modular battery, you can get two or three batteries so that you can fly it with one while the other one charges.
These batteries are safe to handle since they also have built-in overcharge protection. You can also charge them anywhere, including in your car or with your computer.
Some situations such as flying the aircraft in windy conditions or doing stunts can deplete the battery faster.
The 8K camera is the best-selling feature for this drone. First, it comes with a three-axis gimbal. What this means is that the camera auto-corrects itself if the drone pitches, rolls or slants. Thus, your aerial footage is going to retain the right orientation even when the drone slants. The gimbal also removes all distortion that might be caused by vibration and shaking.
The field of view of this camera is 120 degrees so you get footage with good background. The vertical angle of the camera is also remotely adjustable by up to 90 degrees. You can set the angle to get the best view possible.
Using 5GHz WiFi can give you an excellent FPV experience over a long distance. To enjoy FPVm you have to download the right app. It will enable you to enjoy FPV over a distance of 3000 meters.
This drone comes with a compact remote controller. The smartphone holder is located on the top side so there is minimal interference from your hands when you are operating it. There is a small rectangular display screen at the bottom.
It displays information such as battery voltage, drone distance and even height. Such information can help you to know when to bring the drone back home.
Even though the remote controller does not look cluttered at all, there are all the buttons that you need to fly this quadcopter. For instance, there are keys for horizontal and geomagnetic calibration, one for GPS switch, a switch for speed, keys for electric adjustment of the camera, and of course the steering and the throttle rods.
The overall control range of the remote controller is 5000 meters. You will also have to order 4 AAA batteries for the remote controller since it does not ship with them.
The SMRC icat8 drone comes with quite a good number of flight functions. Some are for safety, some for fun and some are for hands-free flight. Here are a few of them:
A drone with GPS positioning is going to record accurate flights. It will maintain its flight path accurately even when you are flying it in hands-free mode.
Follow Me Mode
You can access this function through the app. The drone will lock to your smartphone GPS module and follow you everywhere you go.
Engage this function when you want the drone to maintain a certain vertical height when flying. That way you only have to worry about the horizontal flight.
You do not need to worry about the drone’s position even when you change yours. Just engage headless mode and the drone will align itself to the position of the pilot.
Open the map interface on the app and then draw a line of the screen. When you launch the drone it will follow that flight route.
Three speed mode
You can start flying the drone at low speed as you learn how it handles. Later, you can try the faster speeds for more fun.
In circle mode, you can get the drone to fly around a monument, a landmark or a subject in circles, taking footage from all directions.
Automatic takeoff and landing
This is a good function for a beginner. You can use the one key takeoff and landing to launch the drone.
Return home key
To get the drone to come back, just press the return-to-home key. It will turn and come back home immediately.
This drone has been equipped with level 8 wind resistance. It can fly well in low and moderate speed winds. It can also fly over water.
SMRC icat8 Pros
- You can use the battery using different devices
- It has an SD card slot
- The drone comes with high quality brushless motors
- Good wind resistance
- High quality camera with three-axis gimbal
- It has a long flight and FPV ranges at
- Long flight time of up to 35 minutes
- It can fly upward, sideward, backward and forward
SMRC icat8 Cons
- Long battery charging time of 240 minutes/4 hours
Who Should Buy The SMRC icat8
This is a good drone for advanced pilots. It comes with pretty exciting features such as the long flight range, advanced camera with 3-axis gimbal, and brushless motors for excellent flight performance.
Even beginners can use this drone and have a great time. They just have to be more careful when flying it. If you are looking for a drone that you can keep for a long time without the need to upgrade, try this one.
If you love to record your outdoor adventures, the icat8 is good for you. If you are a farmer, you can fly the drone to the far ends of your farm to inspect your crop.
Conclusion and Recommendation
If you are a beginner, use the drone in low speed mode. You can try the medium and high speeds after you know how to fly it.
Do not fly the drone before you read the user manual. That way, you will know how to calibrate it and how to use the different functions for a more enjoyable flight.
We recommend that you don’t fly your drone out of sight and that you choose a wide open field to fly it. Empty spaces are better because you cannot spook animals or people.
Another recommendation is to buy an SD card so that you can store footage in its original resolution.