In a highly competitive industry where drone makers are falling over themselves to produce unique consumer drones, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Yet, SNAPTAIN does it with their drones all the time. As you will see in this SNAPTAIN SP500 drone review, it is quite possible to have a feature-packed flying toy that stands out.
From a glance, this may look like a regular beginner drone. However, when you toss in some features like GPS, geo-fencing and several others, it becomes a really awesome drone. If you want a beginner drone to learn how to fly and not have to upgrade to a bigger one, get this one. Even when we compare it to the SNAPTAIN SP660 drone that we reviewed earlier, the SP500 is clearly in a class of its own. Of course, we will see more about the features of this drone in the upcoming section.
SNAPTAIN SP500 Features & Technical Details
In this section, you will see information on the physical features of this drone. You will also see the automated flight functions that make the SP500 worth spending your money on. Keep reading.
Design and build quality
First, this is a foldable drone. That makes it easy to pack in your bag when you are traveling. When you fold it, the blades stay alongside the body of the drone. You do not need to remove them. When it is folded, it measures 7 by 5.5 by 2.2 inches and when it is unfolded, it measures 13 by 13 by 2.2 inches.
The build of this drone is quite sturdy. With all the rigors that come with flying a drone, you can be assured that this drone will go through it all without a scratch. It has a strong ABS plastic casing for the exterior that protects its delicate interior parts.
Register the drone with the FAA to use it in the USA. A drone that packs more weight performs better when you are flying it in the wind.
This is a camera drone. It comes equipped with a 1080P HD camera. It takes decent photos and videos. With a wide angle of view of 110 degrees, well, you can capture footage with some good substance. The camera lens is also adjustable vertically by 40 degrees. You can choose the angle that gives you the best footage. Since the drone has a 1-axis gimbal stabilizer, even when it flies in slight winds, it can still capture good, distortion-free footage.
Through the 5G WiFi transmission, you can get awesome FPV time. Use your smartphone to see what this drone can see as it flies. Please note that when the drone is flying, you will get the streamed video in 720P quality.
The battery and flight time
Actually, it is the batteries and flight time. This drone comes with two batteries and each can give you a flight time of 15 minutes. There is no hindrance too if you would like to buy an additional one or two batteries to make the flight time even longer.
These are modular, 7.4V 1000mAh batteries. They are safe to handle and easy to remove and insert in the drone. The charging time is a bit long at 2.5 hours for one battery. That is why you should always have extra batteries.
Remote controllers do not come better than this for real. Its design is different from the many controllers that we have been used to. If you care about style and looks, you should love this controller. It has a clip-on smartphone holder that can also fit an iPad. The user interface is quite good too, with every button and key clearly laid out. Working this controller is so easy, even for beginners. Using the 2.4GHz frequency, the remote control distance is 220 meters.
The remote controller has a rechargeable battery. It is an internal built-in battery so it is not removable. All the same, it beats having to use AA or AAA batteries.
Flight features and functions
You will get a horde of automatic flight functions with this drone. Each of them contributes to make this drone as much fun to fly as possible.
GPS enabled flight and auto return
Nothing is new here since many drones are GPS-enabled. You will feel confident flying the drone since GPS and auto return make it hard to lose. When the drone battery runs low, it will turn back, probably at 20 percent charge and come home. If it loses signal with the transmitter, it will turn back and come home.
Trajectory Flight and Follow Me Mode
Open the app, draw a flight path along the path that you would love the drone to follow. It will follow that route when you launch it.
When you engage the Follow Me Mode, the drone flies after you keeping a nice distance. When you move faster, it moves faster and vice versa.
In addition to the trajectory flight and follow me mode, the orbit mode is also another way for you to fly this drone hands-free. Just pinpoint an area on the app that you would like the drone to circle capturing footage from all angles, and it will do just that.
Get the drone to stop a short distance and take selfie photos and videos at the flip of a finger. Show it the palm gesture and it starts taking photos. Gesture control makes it easier to capture family photos and videos with the remote controller out of the way.
Designate and lock the height that you would like the drone to fly. You just have to worry about the forward flight of the drone, rather than try to hold the height of the drone manually.
When the drone is out of your sight, just engage headless mode and so it flies in orientation to the position of the pilot. Forward becomes forward and you don’t have to worry about the direction that the drone faces.
Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners
I could not ask for better than this. I was looking for a beginner drone yet one that I would not have to upgrade even after learning some tricks. Greta S.
Good camera, two batteries and awesome build quality. The only thing I would have wished for is brushless motors, but it is what it is. Will M.
This is my second SNAPTAIN drone. I feel that I have finally found a drone maker who understands my needs and my wallet size too. John G.
I bought this drone after my wife left me. It was my comfort gift and I love it. I feel as if it gave me a reason to go on. Stephen H.
I think everything about this drone is just right, from the pricing, the features to the flight functions. I have had it for a month now and boy! You should see my video and photo collection already. Connor O.
SNAPTAIN SP500 Pros
- Two batteries with a flight time of 30 minutes
- Folds into a nice and small size
- Gesture mode is nice for taking selfie photos
- Quite sturdy and durable build
- Camera takes decent videos and photos
- Has nice colored blinkers over each propeller
SNAPTAIN SP500 Cons
- It uses brushed motors
- While camera lens is adjustable, you have to bring the drone home to adjust it
Who Should Buy The SNAPTAIN SP500?
Anyone who loves a good and high quality drone should get the SP500. It has many flight functions that make it fun to fly for advanced pilots and easy enough for newbie uses. If you need an aerial camera that you can use for your family photos and videos, this one will not disappoint you. It transmits real-time videos at 720P resolution.
Conclusion and Recommendation
As you have seen from the features and the flight functions, the SNAPTAIN SP500 is a very exciting drone. However, you need to remember some recommendations before you fly it. First, find an open space without many obstacles. Also fly it in the daylight if you want to capture good footage. The blinking LEDs can help in night flights, but the footage would be poor. As we always advise you regarding small drones, don’t fly it in the wind, GPS or not – it can fly away for good.