ELFIE DRONE REVIEW
We take a look at the Elfie Drone from JJRC and it’s new baby sister – aptly named the Baby Elfie in our full hands on review.
Elfie Drone Review
JJRC have established themselves as a major player in the international drone market over the last few years and their Elfie drone has been one of their most popular models. They then revamped the Elfie with the Baby-Elfie drone – otherwise known as the JJRC H37 – and this selfie drone is one that has taken the brand to new heights (sorry, the drone puns come too naturally these days).
We decided to take the newest Elfie drone and give it the full review treatment – Drone Deliver style!
Read on for our full hands on Elfie drone review.
Elfie Drone Review – First Impressions
It’s probably worth pointing out before we jump straight in to our first impressions that we did have pretty low expectations of the H37. That is not because of JJRC (who we have always been pretty impressed with) or any preconceptions we had, but more that as it comes at a very low budget price, we didn’t think it would appeal to us.
Upon first unboxing, to say any possible pre-judgements were put in their place would be an understatement. The Elfie drone has all the looks of its predecessor but in a smaller and more presentable package. In a sentence, the Elfie looks great and our interest was certainly piqued.
The Baby Elfie is a foldable drone which makes it one of the most portable on the market. The dimensions of this quadcopter when folded are just 11.3cm by 5.7cm with a depth of just 3cm. When fully unfolded the dimensions change to 13.5cm by 11.3cm by 3cm. This truly is a drone that can slip in to a pocket and safely be transported about – and perhaps, when it comes to selfie drones, portability could be more important than battery life and other specifications. The added benefit of not needing a controller for the Elfie means that portability just went from ten out of ten to eleven out of ten (although you do get a controller too).
Weighing in at less than 60g there is no need to worry about impending weight restrictions on drones – so again it makes this one of the most accessible on the market.
In the box you can expect to find a motion sensing remote controller, one 400mAh LiPo battery, charging cable, 4 spare propellers, manual and carry bag in addition to the drone itself.
Flying The JJRC H37 Elfie
This was the main category of the whole review where we were expecting to be left disappointed. Again, the Elfie put us firmly in our place as we have to say we actually loved flying this mini drone.
The Elfie has an array of features you might expect to find on a more expensive model and is very nippy – something that is probably attributable to its diminutive stature and incredibly low weight. This speed does come at a small cost though and that is if you are trying to fly outdoors in testing wind conditions then you will find the stability of the drone in the air is not the greatest – but this is not a complaint levelled at only this drone and much bigger (and more expensive) drones suffer this too.
When flying indoors or outdoors in very calm conditions, the Baby-Elfie holds altitude perfectly and is incredibly stable in its flight. To make the piloting easier for younger or less experienced pilots, the H37 also features a headless mode and a motion sensor control thanks to the one handed analogue controller.
The controller is very unlike what you find on most drones and although it may feel a little strange at first, those who are new to drones will not know any different and will soon get to grips with this type of controller. We actually quite liked the motion aspect of this controller and the ability to control a drone with just one hand was something that got us pretty excited.
If you are looking for a drone to impress your friends (and let’s face it, we all want this really) then the Baby Elfie will give you a few tricks to show off with. 3D flips and stunts are all possible at the touch of a button and all look mightily impressive. The Baby Elfie also has some neat looking LED lights so flying in low lit conditions enhances the look of this drone in the air!
The camera on the JJRC H37 offers 720p HD video and 2MP stills. This is a big improvement over the older Elfie drone which is impressive to see at this price point. The only negative that the low price brings is that there is no real image stabilisation to speak of so although the drone itself is pretty stable in the air you are not going to achieve those super smooth shots that you see in the movies – but hey, this drone is going to cost you less than a family trip to the cinema.
You can still get some great shots with the camera and the fact that it can be tilted means that you can compose the perfect selfie or video from a variety of angles. Not all budget drones offer this so this is a great reason to buy this drone over other budget offerings in our opinion.
The photographs and videos you take will stream directly to the app on your smartphone and you can view in real time what the drone is seeing from your phone’s screen. The controller can still be used to take the images and as this can be done one handed you can easily hide the controller from view for the type of selfie shot you wouldn’t be able to get with a two handed controller.
There is even a beauty mode in the app software so you can choose to beautify yourself if your vanity demands it – now that has to be a major draw for any selfie drone!
The battery on the Elfie is not too shabby with around 6-7 minutes of flight time from a single charge. The batteries are modular by design so they are easy to handle and easy to store if you want to buy extras (which of course you can). Swapping a battery could hardly be simpler and we would recommend investing in at least one extra battery.
The batteries are charged directly and do not need to be in the drone for charging. This means that you can charge multiple batteries at once as they usually come with their own USB charger.
Charging usually takes around an hour to charge fully from empty which again is pretty good compared to some drones at this budget price.
The overall performance of this drone is impressive. FPV transmission works seamlessly through the well designed app and with a Wi-Fi range of around 50m extendable to around 100m if not streaming video over Wi-Fi when using the controller, there is plenty to like in terms of usability.
The suggested age range for the Elfie is 14+ and to be honest most teenagers will become quite adept at flying the Baby Elfie quite quickly – and for the more experience drone user, if you are looking for something portable this is a very good option if you want something low cost.
The Baby Elfie drone is one of the best selfie drones on the market and when you take in to consideration the super low price – it could well be ‘the’ best. With a good battery life, innovative motion controller, FPV transmission and stable flight, it was really difficult not to like this quadcopter.
Ease of use
Value for money
Great camera for selfies (with beauty mode)
Foldable and extremely portable
Charges relatively quickly
Doesn’t cope well in wind