Hubsan Zino Drone Review
We review the Hubsan Zino – Can this Fully Featured drone justify the price?
Hubsan Zino Pro Review
Don’t want to read the whole Hubsan Zino Pro review? Here are the highlights:
• 4K UHD camera with 30FPS recording.
• 3-axis gimbal camera for stable video and smooth tracking.
• Extreme 4 km range with 23 minutes of flight time.
• Intelligent flight modes for various smart flight patterns.
• UHD 5G streaming video over the entire flight range.
• Intelligent fail-safe in case of loss of signal or low battery.
• Best value for money on the market in 2021.
- Hubsan Zino Drone Review
- Don’t want to read the whole Hubsan Zino Pro review? Here are the highlights:
- What Are the Capabilities of the Hubsan Zino Pro Drone?
- User-Friendly Design
- Intelligent Flight Modes
- Programmed Flight Path
- Ultra HD Photography
- Nothing Missing
- What’s Included in the Package?
- What’s Noteworthy About the Hubsan Zino Pro Drone?
- What About the Camera?
- What About the Lights?
- How Do You Control the Hubsan Zino Pro Drone?
- How Does the Return to Home Function Work?
- Fail-Safe Protection
- How Are the Batteries Charged?
- Product Reviews
- How Can the Drone Land Visually?
- Is the Remote Control Rechargeable?
- How Can You Locate the Drone If It Does Not Return?
- The map in the app will show you the location where the signal was lost..Can I Use My iPhone?
- Can You Get an Extra Battery for the Controller?
- Does It Come With Lens Filters?
- Why Should I Not Connect My Phone Directly to the Drone?
- What Are the Technical Specs?
- Our Verdict
What Are the Capabilities of the Hubsan Zino Pro Drone?
So here you are, out in the park with all batteries fully charged and an empty memory card. What can you do with the Hubsan Zino Pro?
The Hubsan Zino Pro drone review demonstrated that this quadcopter may well be good enough for professional use but does not need a professional to operate it. The Hubsan designers didn’t make any assumptions about the operator’s skills and experience without compromising on any advanced features.
Automatic take-off and landing, as one would expect, can be initiated with a dedicated button on the remote. The Hubsan Zino will ascend to a set altitude and use its GPS to return and land at the saved take-off position.
Low Battery Automatic Return Home is triggered when the battery level approaches the minimum calculated to safely return to the home position.
Loss of Signal Automatic Return Home uses GPS to return towards the take-off site when the connection with the remote control is lost. Should the drone come into range of the transmitter signal again, the return will be aborted and it will go into altitude hold, awaiting a new command.
Headless mode is another standard feature that the Zino has not omitted. In this mode, the drone responds to your control signals directly; that is the drone moves away from you if the joystick is pushed away and vice versa.
Altitude Hold uses onboard sensors, in particular the ultrasonic sensors located on the underside. Just take your hands off the controls to have the drone hover in place and be free to focus on operating the camera.
Intelligent Flight Modes
If you want to fly drones just for the challenge, then you could buy a cheaper model without all the automation and precision controls. But the Hubsan Zino is programmed to intelligently get the camera in the best position for you to take some stunning photography without any stress.
The standard Active Tracking and Orbit modes are well implemented to respectively follow an identified object or circle around a point marked on the map in the app. The camera on the aircraft will keep the subject centred in the camera frame at a predetermined distance of between 5 and 15 metres.
A Follow-me mode can also be initiated for the drone to follow and film the holder of the remote control from a set distance. Since the aircraft can reach up to nearly 40 kilometres per hour, it could follow you on a bicycle. But do keep in mind that the drone has no obstacle avoidance.
Programmed Flight Path
You can also program the drone to follow a customized flight path to allow you to concentrate on operating the 4k camera.
A Waypoint mode allows for controlled aerial camera work by plotting a flying path and altitude for each waypoint in the smartphone app. This leaves you free to concentrate on the subject you’re filming without worrying about flying the drone.
To memorize a track, simply tap on “Memorise Waypoints” in the app and the flight path will be accurately recorded. You can then upload the recorded track to the drone and have it repeat the flight continuously.
The Line Fly mode allows you to set the angle, distance and speed of the aircraft from the current position.
Vision Auxiliary Landing uses an apron marked with a bold, black H to identify the landing zone from a distance of less than 10 metres. When the drone is close enough, it can search for the apron and land on it precisely. Do make sure the quadcopter has been well-calibrated and aligned.
Ultra HD Photography
It’s nice to have a solid and well-performing drone, but if the images that come back lack detail and the video is jerky, then you’ll want your money back. Not with the Hubsan Zino Pro, however.
The 4K Ultra High Definition camera captures fine detail in rich colours. Images are sharp and vivid, although in very bright conditions like you find on a sunny beach, the optional filters will give a better tonal range.
An Advanced Image Transmission System overcomes problems with lag, interference and range using 5G Wi-Fi real-time transmission. By plugging your smartphone into the control unit with one of the provided cables, you can get high-definition streaming video. The result is an exceptional first-person view experience from up to 4 kilometres away!
In Panorama mode, you can set the camera’s angle, range (90 degrees to 360 degrees) and speed (2 to 30 degrees/sec) to rotate in place and record video continuously during the rotation
At this stage of the review we normally make a point to balance out the advertised features with the real shortcomings. But for the Zino Pro that would just be nitpicking.
Sure, there may be some feature that for you would be worth paying three times the price for a DJI Mavic, but for most of us, this is as good as it needs to be – excellent flight performance, excellent photography and an excellent pilot experience.
The Inner Workings of the Hubsan Zino Pro Drone
Let’s take a closer look at some of the capabilities of the Zino Pro.
What’s Included in the Package?
Along with the drone and its remote controller, you will get a rechargeable battery for both and a battery charger with an AC adapter. Two pairs of spare props with a suitably sized screwdriver are also included. In addition, you also get three types of cables to connect different brands of phone to the remote controller.
What’s Noteworthy About the Hubsan Zino Pro Drone?
Compared to its predecessors, the Zino is a mature design. Folded up, it sits compactly in your hand, and it unfolds to just over 30 by 20 centimeters, weighing 710 grams without the battery inserted.
As one would expect of this class of quadcopter, it has brushless motors that make for a smoother and more power-efficient flight. In fact, it travels at up to 36 kilometres per hour (10 metres per second).
The power of the drone’s brushless motors also enables it to automatically maintain position and hover in place in a level 5 wind, or a 20-knot breeze, for the mariners among you.
What About the Camera?
There’s nothing about the drone one can complain about, but what makes it truly stand out is the 4K camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, giving precise control over pitch, roll and yaw. The orientation of the camera can either be adjusted manually or left to the intelligent camera modes built-in.
The 3 axes reduce blurring of video capture by compensating for drone movement. Gimbal movement is slow and smooth. The gimballed camera comes with a separate protective cover.
Additionally, the 4K Ultra High Definition camera can detect horizontal lines and then maintains their level even when the drone is tilted.
Ultra HD Video
The camera records 4K video with 30 frames per second in high resolution. That is good enough to extract 4K HD photographs, making sure you’ll never miss that magic moment.
The camera quality is possible thanks to a dedicated video processing chip from Ambarella and an image sensor from Sony.
With the X-Hubsan app, you can set all the video parameters you can wish for, like resolution, white balance, colour, etc.
In bright conditions, the lens can be fitted with optional filters to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor. This will give you more artistic freedom by controlling the camera’s aperture, exposure time and sensor sensitivity.
To store video recordings on the drone itself, you would use a TF card, also known as a micro SD card. But to record 4K data streams, you need to make sure it’s at least U1 or Class 10 standard. Up to 128GB memory cards are supported.
Is the Phone App Any Good?
Another outstanding feature is the X-Hubsan app that you can install on your Android or iPhone. With so many flight modes and control parameters, easy to use controls are important.
The app gives you continuous status readings for signal strength, battery levels, active flight modes and number of satellites locked in. The aircraft’s speed, direction and camera orientation are also shown on the live display.
Aircraft calibration, the GPS accuracy test and compass calibration are also initiated from the app.
What About the Lights?
There are four LED lights on the respective rotors, blue in front and red in the back. The lights are informative, flashing when the drone is powering up and when it is calibrating.
The lights also indicate the active flight mode and warn you when power levels drop or the transmitter signal is lost. Also, when recording video, the red lights blink.
How Do You Control the Hubsan Zino Pro Drone?
The remote is nothing fancy, but does the job perfectly well, with two joysticks to control direction and several manual controls. The return to home button and the automatic take-off and landing key are either side of the power key.
Switching to sport mode temporarily overrides the speed and range controls configured in the app.
There are separate buttons for video and photo recording, as well as a wheel to adjust the angle of the camera 3 axis gimbal.
How Does the Return to Home Function Work?
When the drone takes off, provided there are at least six GPS signals detectable, the GPS coordinates of the take-off location are recorded. You can set the preferred altitude for a safe return in the app of the Zino, depending on the terrain you’re in.
One-Key Return to Home
Press the button on the remote to make the quadcopter return. If the drone is more than 20 metres away, it will rise to the configured altitude and fly in a straight line toward the recorded take-off point.
When the low-battery alert is triggered, a warning will appear on the phone app display and the drone will automatically return to the home point at the set altitude, unless there is no GPS signal or the battery level is too low.
The actual battery alert level is dynamically calculated from distance and altitude to ensure that enough power remains for the return leg.
If insufficient battery charge remains for a safe return, the aircraft will descend and land. If the battery level is below 10 percent, it will turn off the video feed too, but maintain the link with the remote control.
The fail-safe mode takes over when the drone loses connection with the remote control for more than 5 seconds, and triggers automatic return. This can happen if the remote unexpectedly fails, or the signal is lost due to an obstruction in the line of sight.
As soon as the link is re-established, the return is aborted and the aircraft will hold position, ready for the operator to take control again.
If there is no GPS signal when the link is lost, the unit will descend to the ground but remain linked to the remote control.
How Are the Batteries Charged?
The 3000mAh battery provides the drone with up to 23 minutes of flying time but needs to be removed for re-charging. A dedicated battery charger must be used and will take about 4 hours until an LED indicates full charge.
Pros and Cons
Nothing is perfect, but the pros certainly outweigh the cons for the Hubsan Zino Pro.
• 4K video and photography.
• 30FPSin high 4K resolution or 60FPS with reduced resolution.
• Exceptional range with HD video streaming.
• Remote has a rechargeable battery.
• No need to buy anything extra, like an AC adapter, disposable batteries or charging cable (except for a memory card).
• Can optically recognize and target a landing apron.
• Smartphone app is easy to use.
• Wind resistant altitude hold.
• The manual is written in poor English.
• The phone mounts below the remote control while many users prefer it above.
• Only comes with one rechargeable battery.
Owners of the Zino speak highly of the performance, build and image quality, comparing it favourably to the market leader, the Mavic drones from DJI.
Even first-timers found the drone easy to operate and quickly gained confidence. The user community on YouTube is much appreciated for giving peer support. However, not everyone has a perfect time with this unit and there are reports of buyers ending up with a poor build which should prompt a quick return to Amazon.
How Can the Drone Land Visually?
If the function is enabled in the app, the drone will always search for the landing apron to land on, a large black H on a white background, when it is within 5 metres. If the apron is recognised and within range, the unit will aim to land exactly on it.
Is the Remote Control Rechargeable?
Yes, with a USB cable and a charger. Allow 2.5 hours if using the supplied charger.
How Can You Locate the Drone If It Does Not Return?
The map in the app will show you the location where the signal was lost.
Can I Use My iPhone?
You can download both an iPhone and an Android version of the X-Hubsan app and it comes out of the box with cables to connect all commonly used types of smartphone.
Can You Get an Extra Battery for the Controller?
Yes, both via Amazon and through the manufacturer’s website.
Does It Come With Lens Filters?
No, they are for specialist use and can be ordered separately online.
Why Should I Not Connect My Phone Directly to the Drone?
Because of the built-in antenna and the stronger transmitter, the remote control allows a much stronger data link and so greatly extends the aircraft range and the quality of the streaming video.
What Are the Technical Specs?
The key technical specifications of the Hubsan Zino Pro drone that you should compare against other models are:
• Brushless motors.
• 10m/s max flight speed.
• 23 minute hover time (windless).
• GPS and GLONASS positioning.
• 3840 x 2160 resolution (4K).
• 30 FPS recording at 4K.
• 3S lithium battery with 3000mAh capacity.
• 4 km max signal range (without interference or obstacles).
Is There a Warranty?
If you purchase it on Amazon, then you have a 30-day right of return.
Where Can You Buy It?
You can get the Hubsan Zino Pro Drone on Amazon.
You can imagine our relief as a reviewer when you find a product that truly deserves your recommendation and so this Hubsan Zino Pro review was a real pleasure to complete. So, if you want top-notch photography, reliable performance and user-friendly operation, you can’t go wrong with the Hubsan Zino Pro.