The HUBSAN H501A Ultimate Review
Right after getting my P107 License, I went out and spent $1000 on a professional drone.
I hadn’t had much experience as a pilot & guess what?
I wrecked my drone within 15 minutes of my first flight.
Don’t make the same mistake as I did.
Today there’s a lot of great drones one the market with premium features. Looking at my experience, I wish I would have purchased a drone like the Hubsan H501A before purchasing a more expensive UAV. It would have saved me a lot of money.
The Hubsan H501A is a great option for beginner pilots wanting to hone their flight skills. It gives you many premium features that are also available in higher end models.
It even has intelligent flight modes that are usually only on higher priced UAVs.
Many consumers rave about the features of this drone for the low price. It’s a great value for your money. Keep in mind that you do get what you pay for. For under $200 your not going to get professional flight control or image quality. But you will get a great starter drone that will warm you up to some of the same features.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THIS ARTICLE
- LETS COVER THE BASICS : I first go over some general guidelines to remember when buying a drone . We also discuss who the Hubsan H501a is best for.
- GETTING TO KNOW THE PRODUCT : We explain what comes in the box , Build quality and design, and then go over setting up the drone for the first flight.
- EXPLORE THE DRONE CAPABILITIES : Go over the top features the H501A offers. We discuss the Camera and Video quality, the flight features , GPS system used and a few other special features
- DISCUSS OTHER OPTIONS : Suggest some comparable models from other brands. Its always a good decision to see what else in on the market in the same price and feature range.
Before we go into details about the Hubsan H501A review let’s look at some general things to consider when buying a drone.
- LETS COVER THE BASICS: Smart Tips for Drone Buying
Before buying a drone you should consider your skill level and determine what features are important to you. Below I have put together some common features I feel are most important.
- Safety features
- Camera and video quality
- Flight features
- Ease of use
Any size Quadcopter can cause damage to property and harm people so that is an important element to consider safety prior to buying your drone.
- GPS return to home auto landing
- Obstacle Avoidance
- Propellor guards
- Led lights for night visibility
Camera and Video Quality
Its important to know what kind or resolution and image quality you are looking for when drone shopping. The higher the image quality, usually this higher the price climbs. Camera and video quality is usually based by…
- Video Resolution and frame rate
- Photo megapixel count
- Color science and dynamic range ( more advanced image quality )
There are a lot of unique flight features that Unmanned Aircrafts offer in today’s marketplace.
Many drones can fly on autopilot and help you navigate in the sky. We recommend learning about the features on the market prior to buying. Common flight modes are listed below
- Intelligent flight modes (usually called waypoint programming)
- Auto take off
- Return to home point landing
- Altitude hold
- Switch Orientation “headless” mode
- Sport mode
- Subject tracking (follow modes)
- Headless Modes
- Circle mode
Ease of Use
The final feature you should consider when buying a drone is Ease of Use.
In general the better of a pilot you become , the more advanced settings you can handle.
We recommend buying a drone based on your experience in the air. When a drone is easy to navigate , it decreases the risk of damaging people or property. Also you will have more fun and won’t fly frustrated.
Flying a drone should be fun but safety should be taken seriously as well.
Now that we’ve gone over some smart tips for Drone buying lets take a look at the Hubsan H501a in all its glory.
Assess your skills.
When buying a drone you need to make sure the product matches your skillset.
The H501A is a beginner level drone that is great for those who want to learn how to fly. It has many features that will help you get familiar with flight technologies of higher end drones on the market. Keep reading to explore the product in further detail.
THE PRODUCT : Getting to know the HUBSAN H501A
What Comes in the Box?
1 X H501A Brushless RC quadcopter
1 X 7.4V 2700mAh Li-Po Battery
1 X HT005 WIRELESS Relay (helps increase flight range)
4 X Propeller ‘A’
4 X Propeller ‘B’
1 X USB Cable
1 X AC Adapter
1 X Balance Charger
1 X Prop Wrench (for propellers)
1 X Camera Filter
1 X Instruction Manual
1 X Mini ND Filter for Lens ( helps see in high sunlight)
Enclosed in the box is all you need to get the drone flying.
The size is very compact measuring 8.6 X 8.6 X 2.75 inches and weighs .90 lbs
Build Quality and Design
The Hubsan H501A offers a clean black and gold color scheme. Aesthetically the UAV is compact and minimal in design. The LED safety lights are built into the landing legs. I thought that was a cool feature.
There are cooling vents on the bottom of the drone. An important feature to minimize the risk of overheating.
The overall build quality is good. Hubsan as a brand has been building a reputation for making high quality products for a low price point. The H501 has a modern design that is sleek and compact. Most consumers are very satisfied with the build quality and design.
Setting up Drone for first flight
Setting up the drone for your first flight is very easy.
When you pull out the drone for the first time you will notice that a few things need to be assembled.
- You’ll need to first charge all your batteries to full charge.
- Set up the phone cradle and download the X-HUBSAN app.
- You will also need to install the propellers and tighten them into place (with included tool). There are two propellers marked A and B . Make sure they are locked into position prior to flight
- Calibrate – Once your batteries are charged up and installed you will be prompted to calibrate the drone .
A super easy setup process. We recommend reading the owners manual prior to the first flight to understand the manufacturer’s recommendations.
EXPLORE THE H501A CAPABILITIES
Top Features of the HUBSAN H501A
The H501A has many premium features common to higher priced drones . The consensus from reviews is that it is a great value for the price. Explore the Bells and whistles below.
Top Safety features
- 4 LED LIGHTS
Having a drone with lights makes it easier and safer to navigate at dusk or in low light situations. If you can’t see your drone when you’re flying it’s much easier to crash. One cool design feature is that the LED lights double as landing legs.
- GPS Auto Return Home
- FAILSAFE mode
Drone will automatically return home upon command or if running low on battery or lost connection to the controller – Trust me this feature will save you many times.
- One touch take off
Easy take off by pressing one button to hover 5 feet.
Camera and Video Quality
- 1080P HD camera
- 24p 25p 30 p 48p 50p 60p (frame rate options)
- 2.1 megapixel images
1080P is high definition giving you a better image and is considered a standard in high quality. Many other drones in the past have only offered 720 in resolution for this price point. This drone also gives you various frame rate options to change the format of your footage.
- Max Flight Distance .18 miles
Camera can be adjusted in flight . This is a great feature vs using a camera that is fixed and unable to maneuver.
- Real Time FPV
See in real time your flight via Live stream to connected controller.
- Good Battery Life
Many drones in today’s market dont get that great of flight time. Even the DJI Inspire 2 which is a fully professional drone gets around 20 minutes. Usually 30 minutes is about as good as it gets. This drone gets about 20 minutes of total flight time which is great . Most drones under $200 get you around 8-15 minutes.
- Multi GPS systems
Hubsan Drones with GPS functions support GPS ,GALILEO, GLONASS total 3 types of GNSS work simultaneously.
- APP Compatible
Can be connected via wifi via the X-HUBSAN APP
- Orbiting Mode 360 Degree
When entering into orbiting mode the drone will fly to designated height and circle around a targeted object.
- Return to Home –
Up to 980 max distance foot range RANGE 390 feet maximum height . This is the max distance a drone can travel and communicate with a controller.
- Headless Orientation Control Mode –
This function allows you to control the direction of the aircraft without worry about which side is the head or tail. This is helpful because flying an aircraft can sometimes be hard to orient which direction to fly. You may push the joystick to the left but aircraft flys to the right. Headless mode makes it much easier to fly.
- Follow me function
This function is usually only available on higher priced drones. It gives you the ability to lock on a target and have the drone follow you or another target. Its like having your own personal photographer recording your every step.
- Functional Waypoints
The Hubsan H501A offers waypoint Mode.
This mode lets you place points on your smartphone via GPS MAP to control a flight path of your drone. ( another feature usually seen in higher priced models)
- 5 WAYS TO FLY
This drone gives you 5 ways to set up a controller configuration. The benefit of this feature is you can choose what configuration you like best. You have the ability to upgrade your controller if you wish.
Ease of Use
- Controllers Easy to Operate –
The controller buttons and controls are all in very ergonomically comfortable locations. Many people compare the controller to a video game system.
- Suitable for all skill levels
Both kids and adults can easily operate and learn this drone . Most people can master all functions and flight modes with 10- 20 flights.
- X HUBSAN APP
Easy to download app X- HUBSAN Available on IOS and Android . The app is very easy to navigate and use . All the menu systems follow a very logical format and is easy to learn very fast.
We’ve gone over many of the positive features of the drone and why its a great value. Now lets go over some of the CONS of the H501A. We made a list of features that are popular in the drone world that is falls short on.
- No collision avoidance – Usually this feature is on higher priced drones. These drones have sensors that help drones avoid obstacles while in flight. The H501A does not have this feature which is helpful for drone pilots. You have to watch our where your flying and make sure you dont crash into anything.
- Handles not the greatest in strong wind – In moderate to strong wind the handling is not the best .
- Does Not come with a memory Card – Out of the box you can still record directly to your phone while flying , but if you want to record to a SD card you’ll have to buy one separately. The correct card is a micro sd card 16gb – 64 gb. Must be purchased separately.
- Screen Lag – When flying this UAV there is a slight lag in transmission from camera to controller screen . Its not terrible however it can get worst is the wifi signal is weakened. This may make is more difficult to operate
- No image stabilization of camera.
- No control over camera Field of View. Camera is fixed and the only way to change view is by rotating aircraft.
I searched all over the internet to see what other people had said about the H501A and it receives mostly 4-5 star ratings. I have included a few screenshots of some feedback from happy customers. For the most part everybody who purchases this drone feels that it is a great value for the price.
The Hubsan H501A is a great value drone that offers many great features usually available in higher priced models.
When learning to fly , there is a high probability you will crash a few times. It’s better to bang up a cheaper drone when you’re learning , so when you upgrade you will have better pilot skills.
It has decent quality 1080p video and 2 megapixel pics. It won’t get your professional imagery , but it’s great for hobby and recreational purposes.
This drone priced under 200 gives you many fun features without breaking the bank. It has some cool features and even comes with a little ND filter to use when shooting in the sun.
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