Also known as the H107D, the X4 FPV is Hubsan's latest mini quadcopter. It builds on previous versions and addresses quite a few of the criticisms. It now has rubber feet but, much more importantly, it offers a live video feed to the 4.3in colour screen built into the controller. That's why it's called the X4 FPV: first-person view.
You'll see the X4 FPV offered for around £90 online, but this doesn't include the remote control. Unless you already have a controller, the package actually costs £159.99 from CML distribution, which kindly supplied us an H107D kit for review. Hubsan H107D X4 FPV Drone
The quadcopter itself is miniscule, roughly the same size as the Revell X-Spy. It comes with a propeller guard which is useful to use while learning to fly the copter. You have to use the included tool to take off the rotors as the guard isn't fitted by default.
Video is higher resolution than the X-Spy, but at 640x480, it's nothing to get excited about. You can record the video, but you'll need to install a microSD card in the slot in the controller. That wouldn't be a problem if the quality of the video signal were better. In our tests, the signal was choppy and all the interference gets recorded to the SD card. You'll see the least interference if you fly outdoors far from buildings in an open area
video is stored in AVI format in 640x240 format so you need to find the right video converter if you need to view it on your computer or upload it to Facebook or YouTube. Given the indegent quality, you will most probably decide never to bother. Actually, it's such a faff that Hubsan includes an addendum to the manual to make clear all this.
The manual, surprisingly, is written in good English and explains all you need to know in order to find out to fly the quad along with sensible advice to avoid breaking or losing it. The controller has two modes, although we stuck with the default 'Mode 2' which is good for beginners. There's even a specialist mode that enables you to configure the controller sensitivity and that means you get full control of the drone for additional accurate flying. This means you can grow in to the X4 FPV as you have more skilled in flying it, and perform flips and loops. This video shows the amount of precision you can perform with some practice. We don't recommend flying a quadcopter over water though!
We found the X4 FPV was somewhat better to control than the X-Spy, but like its rival, you will discover the training process slow going as you get only seven minutes of flight time taken between charges. At least recharges are faster at 30-45 minutes. It's very difficult to make it hover, as it drifts around like the majority of 'dumb' quadcopters, and it's really too small and light to cope with flying outdoors in windy conditions. (This pertains to most quadcopters, of course.)
The glad tidings are that spares for each and every part are accessible, with batteries costing less than ?3.30 if you get in bulk. You will want to purchase some rechargeable AA batteries suited to high-drain devices, as the controller will end a couple of alkalines in minimal time. You can't switch off the live video screen to save lots of power, however the screen has a good timer which starts as soon as you power it on, which means you can keep tabs on how long you have before battery is going to run out.
If you actually want to, you can purchase a couple of Hubsan H105 FPV glasses to get the true first-person view. We didn't try these, but others say that the relatively narrow field of view from the built-in camera makes this quite tricky.
Overall, the X4 FPV is an excellent starter quadcopter, but it isn't great if you are likely to shoot aerial video as the product quality is too poor. Instead, the video is only designed for first-person flying. In the event that you do want an entry-level quadcopter for reasonable aerial video, turn to the WLtoys V666.