The SMRC M21 is a new GPS drone with good camera, long flight time, and many advanced flight functions such as smart return, surround flight and more.
It is quite affordable, at far less than $100. It also has an impressive flight time of 30 minutes (we will find out whether this is from one or two batteries) and the 6K EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) camera legit makes it a mini drone that could be worth having.
However, this mini drone also has its flip side. For instance, since it is a lightweight drone, it performs so poorly in the wind. Therefore, it might have stability issues even in the lowest velocity wind. Another downside is that this mini drone does not come with a slot for an SD card. If a quadcopter has a nice, advanced camera, it should have a slot for an SD card to enable you to take photos and videos in the highest resolution possible.
To find out the main things to expect from this quadcopter, keep reading to see its features and technical details, as well as the flight functions.
SMRC M21 Features & Technical Details
The magic of any quadcopter starts with the features. While the M21 might only be mini drone, it still comes with some impressive features.
Design and Build Quality
This is a lightweight mini quadcopter that weighs 220g inclusive of the battery. Therefore, you can easily toss it in your jacket pocket without feeling the weight. In addition, you do not need to register it with the FAA if you are in North America.
In addition to being a lightweight, it is also foldable by design. When it is unfolded for flight, it measures 13.8 by 12.6 by 2.8 inches. When you fold it for storage, it measures 5.9 by 3.9 by 2.8 inches.
Since the drone also comes with a storage bag, you will find it easy to store and travel with.
First, this mini aircraft comes with two cameras. The main one is the nose camera that can take photo footage with a resolution of 6K. It can also take videos at 1080P. The second is the belly camera that gives you a better view of the terrain that the drone is flying over.
The nose camera can be adjusted vertically to get the best view. Overall, you will always have the best view possible.
This mini drone also supports FPV and you will have a nice experience. In addition, the FPV distance is good at 500 meters.
The drone has been equipped with 2-Axis gimbal, which is electronically stabilized. Therefore, even if the drone slants while in flight, the EIS kicks in to keep it stable. Therefore, your footage will never be distorted.
Battery and Flight Time
With a 3.7V 1400mAh Li-po battery, you will get a flight time of 30 minutes, which is impressive. In addition, you also have the option to buy it with one, two or even three batteries to prolong your flight time.
As a modular battery, you can charge it outside the drone. In addition, the charging time is 100 minutes only. Again, this is very impressive because most high capacity drone batteries have a minimum charging time of 180 minutes, with some even charging in 5 hours.
Make sure you use the provided charger for maximum efficiency. On the drone body, there are LED status indicators for the battery. Therefore, before you fly it, you can check the LEDs to know how much voltage remains.
This is a simple, no frills remote controller. However, you need to buy three 1.5 AA batteries to power it.
It has all the key functions to enable you to fly the drone blindly. Of course, flying the SMRC M21 with the app is much better, but a well-equipped remote controller also helps.
It has a foldable smartphone holder that can fit most of the latest gadgets. Therefore, you are going to have a great time when using this remote controller.
This mini drone is equipped with many flight modes that make it easier to fly for beginner adults as well as children. These functions ensure that you can have a lot of fun with the shortest learning curve.
Here are some of them, including safety functions:
This one is going to give you accurate position of the drone all the time. Therefore, you will know where your drone is all the time.
Every drone should have the smart return. It is one of the best fail-safe functions. For instance, the M21 will return home automatically if it runs out of signal range, the battery runs low or you can also bring it home by punching the return home key.
Draw a line on the screen, of course on the app and give the drone a flight path that it will follow when you launch it.
Follow Me Mode
Get the airplane to lock onto you and follow you wherever you go, capturing great footage all the time. In addition, this leaves your hands free to do other things.
One key take off and return
If a drone has this function, it becomes so simple to launch or bring back home. Therefore, this makes it easier to fly even for people with no experience.
Just engage headless mode and then launch the drone. You do not need to turn it so that the nose faces the right direction. It will adjust itself also when the pilot changes positions.
With this mode, the quadcopter flies around a monument taking footage from all angles. It is also one of the ways to fly the M21 in hands-free mode.
Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners
This drone gave me good value for money. It has never let me down but the flight time runs a bit short of the advertised time because I have only been able to get 29 minutes. Cyrus M.
It works just as advertised. It is also a steal for such a price because it has many flight functions. Abu K.
SMRC M21 Pros
- 6-axis Gyro flight system keeps the drone stable all the time
- The battery flight time is quite impressive
- You get a storage bag
- For a little more money, you can get two or three batteries for longer flight time
- 4 channel flight for forward, sideward, backward and up/down movement
- EIS stabilization for the camera is a good idea
- Camera has a wide field of view at 120 degrees
SMRC M21 Cons
- The motors are not brushless
- It does not have a slot for SD card
Who Should Buy the SMRC M21 Mini Drone?
Anyone who loves a good bargain should buy this mini quadcopter. It sells at an affordable price and it has a good flight performance. While mini quadcopters are mostly targeted at beginners, this one has many features and tens of flight functions. Therefore, even an advanced user won’t find it boring. While it has its limitations like any other mini copter, the pros far outweigh the cons making it a great buy.
Conclusion and Recommendation
From the features and the flight functions that this quad comes with, you can see that it means business. However, at heart, it is still a mini, so it is light in weight and has other limitations.
Therefore, you should never fly it out of your sight. In addition, gyro system or not, it will still misbehave in the wind. On that note, choose a calm day to fly the SMRC M21 quadcopter.
In addition, its brushed motors are a bit loud so it will spook animals and people. Therefore, choose an isolated space to fly it.