The Cheerson CX-10WD is a small little drone that belongs to the range of CX-10 drones. There are now many CX-10 drones so the real question is, is the CX-10WD any different from it’s competitors? Well, at first glance the answer is no. It is small with a wireless chip that allows the pilot to control it from his smartphone (which also allows video playback on the screen.) This is pretty standard stuff really. So lets find out if it has anything new…
The CX-10WD is a quad copter that measures 4.5 cm diagonally. With its props, it will fit into a square which is of length 5.2cm and of height 2.9cm. The entire unit is covered in a small plastic shell (that also covers the engines, power and so on.) This is cool since you don’t see the battery since it is enclosed in the plastic shell which makes the quad look more aesthetically pleasing. At the front of the the CX-10WD there is a camera which has been integrated into the build. On the right, there is a connector to recharge the battery – Cheerson provides a USB cable for this. Also, there is an on/off switch. The left flank of the drone has an antenna that passes under the body of the quad. The entire drones is just 19 grams.
Although the CX-10WD can be controlled with a smartphone, Cheerson also had a nice idea to provide you with a real 2.4GHz radio. This is great since a remote control is always way more accurate than a smartphone. In addition to this, the remote control has two other differences. Firstly, it will put the CX-10WD in a trap for transport and secondly the joysticks all return to neutral, suggesting that it is only possible to fly in a 2 or 1 mode. It also offers an adjustable size plastic holder to place the smartphone which is great to view the camera of the drone whilst controlling it. The radio itself is quite unique. It has two buttons, the left one reads a 2/1 mode and the right displays arrows. The power required to run the radio is 2AA batteries. An on/off button is located inside the hatch to transport the CX-10WD.
You need to download the CX-10Wifi app from the Appstore or Google Play. After turning on the CX-10WD and the radio go to the wireless settings on your mobile and select the CX-WD10. Launch the app and press play. The interface is pretty easy to understand it has a joystick, some basic buttons and your drone’s camera video. Push the joystick throttle and then return it so that everything is neutral – now you are ready to take off. Don’t try to push the throttle – nothing will happen. The takeoff is fully automated. Press the top right button on the screen and your CX-10WD will lift around 20cm off the ground. To land, push the lower right button. Again, this process is fully automated.
Once the unit is in the air, it goes into a hover (it may drift slightly.) Then simply use the controls to move it around. I think that the CX-10WD flies really well. It has an automatic height control which is pretty good (since it uses a barometric altimeter.) However, it sometimes suffers from small falls of several cm and it climbs down very slowly. But overall, when you leave it to hover, it manages to pretty much stay in the same place.
The CX-10WD offers neither automatic return to the starting point or headless mode. This is not a problem since these tools on small multirotors are, without exception, very inefficient. The unit is anyway pretty stable and slow which is great for beginners since it is rather easy to fly. However, if you put it in its fastest mode (for those of you who are more experienced pilots) then you will notice that it picks up speed very quickly whilst the yaw remains unchanged. By pressing the right stick, it is possible to trigger a pirouette. As usual, on this type of machine, doing a pirouette is fun at first and it amazes everybody – but you quickly get tired because the handling is fully automatic including the restoration from the pirouette. I personally would have liked to see an option where you can disable the automatic height management function too.
The Video Playback
Wireless realtime feedback on almost all multirotors is very rarely real time (with the exception of some advanced products such as those from DJI and Yuneec.) On the CX-10WD, my first
impressions were quite good – the latency seemed small. My measurements indicated that it varied between 90 and 150 milliseconds. This is much better than any of the previous CX-10 drones on the market. However, the latency significantly increases with the distance. From around 20 meters away, the link between the 2.4GHz radio and the drone falters in an open environment. The CX-10WD is intended for indoor fights and from very short distances away. I would recommend that the drone never goes further than 10 meters away from you at any given point.
There is no onboard recorder or memory card, but it is still possible to keep track of all your flights. Your phone records a video in 720 x 576 pixels at 25 frames per second. On a smartphone, the picture is very nice with lots of vibrant colours and a proper resolution. The stability of the unit is also quite nice. However, once the video is transferred to a larger scree, the result is obviously less satisfactory. The colours become intense and the exposure needs changing. The compression is very visible when the image moves a little faster. Nevertheless, this is probably the best video quality that I have ever seen on such a small device! The pictures are taken in the same resolution with the same quality and defects.
Issues With The CX-10XWD
There are some issues with the CX-10WD that I would like to point out. Firstly, it only flies for around 4 minutes. The battery is not removable meaning you then have to wait for another 25 minutes for it to load. This is a long time when you wan’t to fly!
Next, the radio is always in mode 2 when it is turned on. If you want to drive in mode 1, you have to press the Mode 1 button in the ignition.
Also, the camera angle could have been a little larger to see more easily indoors. Also, sometimes there are dropped frames during recordings. When this is the case, the video simply lacks small parts or becomes shorter. The last annoying issue (as previously explained) is that it is not possible to disable the automatic altitude function.
Should You Buy The CX-10WD?
Yes! This multirotor is probably the most efficient one in its nano class. The video feedback is better than any other CX-10 model and the video/drone is very stable due to its automatic altitude function. It is not flawless but I can advise that totally inexperienced pilots who have not necessarily practiced (but want to practice) should buy this drone without hesitation. It is also pretty cheap coming in at just $38.99 from Banggood.