With all the talk of drones lately, we thought it’d be fun to get a mini copter in the office to review. So Air Hogs sent us one of their quadcopters, the Helix X4 Stunt. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
I’m going to call it the Helix. Keep in mind that I’ve got zero remote control airplane experience, but the Helix is supposed to be super easy.
It’s not the most precise instrument, honestly. It doesn’t hover in a consistent pattern, so you’ve got to work the lift and banking constantly. It’s tough to go forward in a civilized manner at first. Usually you just crash. Luckily the Helix is basically just plastic and styrofoam, so it can handle most indoor impacts.
You won’t outrun anything faster than a big wheel, but you can pull off a few tricks with the push of a button. Unless you’ve got Victorian ceilings or an outdoor space, recovering from these pre-programmed stunts proves stressful.
Charging is pretty quick; you get a USB cable with the copter so you can charge the Helix through your computer or a wall outlet if you’ve got an adapter laying around.
And you’re gonna be making good use of those -- you’ll only around get 10 minutes of flight time before you have to recharge. The Helix has a lithium polymer battery, which means it’s light and you won’t waste money on batteries.
Overall, I do like the Helix. At $79.99, it's on the expensive side for a toy, but you have to consider that it’s much better than the $30 helicopters you’ll find at the mall. It’s not hobby-grade either, but even entry-level hobby copters cost around $120.
The helix isn’t perfect, but it’ll last long enough for you to figure out if you want to step up to a hobby-level machine.