Snaptain S5C Review
A Solidly Built Drone for First Time Pilots – we review the Snaptain S5C
Snaptain S5C Drone Review
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Want to get into drone flying but test the waters first? Or do you want to check if the S5C drone ticks all the boxes on your list? We checked ours and were satisfied that we found an affordable entry-level drone that we can recommend. Read through our Snaptain S5C review to find out why.
The Snaptain S5C drone in seven points:
• A robust quadcopter with fixed arms.
• Push-button take-off and landing.
• 360 flip, altitude hold and one-button return.
• Streaming Wi-Fi video but without onboard storage.
• Trajectory flying, first-person view and headless mode
• Voice and gesture control.
• No GPS, collision avoidance or video stabilization.
The Snaptain S5C Drone in a Nutshell
Snaptain produces inexpensive drones for every type of drone-user. The S5C drone is aimed at beginners and intermediate flyers. The fixed arm design and materials used make for a robust model.
The drone is equipped with the expected flying functions and camera, as well as VR technology. You can choose to control it with your phone or the remote. Voice and gesture control are a welcome bonus.
What Can You Do With the Snaptain S5C Drone?
Once you get the Snaptain S5C out of the box, you just need to charge and install the battery to get ready. Don’t forget to also have some AA batteries ready for the remote control.
But for now, you want to know what you can do with it?
Let’s go flying …
One-touch take-off and landing these days is standard and the Snaptain S5C does not disappoint. Pressing the launch button brings it up a metre or so off the ground, ready for the next action. Press the button again and the unit comes safely down to the ground.
Responsiveness varies with speed setting. As you step through the three available settings, the over the ground speed will increase, but so will the reaction to control signals. Be warned!
Hold that position. Provided there is no wind to interfere and you get the trim right, the Snaptain S5C can hover in place using its 6-axis gyroscope. This is great for taking aerial photos. The drone will also maintain that altitude as you manoeuvre it with the remote control.
Control the drone remotely with two joysticks on the remote. Those familiar with flying quadcopter drones will find the handheld unit easy to operate.
Don’t lose your head, in the so-called headless mode. When you switch the controls to fly headless, the Snaptain S5C responds to the remote as if it were on a leash. Pull back on the joystick and the drone comes directly towards you.
Get the drone to follow a trajectory by drawing a flight path in the app on the screen of your phone.
Aerobatic fun is possible with the one-button 360-degree backflip. You could try one manually as well, but make sure you have plenty of altitude to recover.
Use your app with gravity sensors. In this mode, you can use the livestream from the camera to put yourself into the pilot seat and fly the craft by moving your smartphone. Now imagine doing that with the 3D headset!
Get an immersive flight experience with a 3D virtual reality headset. You can enable the split-screen view in the app and then insert the smartphone into a compatible headset. Provided you maintain a healthy distance from obstacles, the view from the single camera is a very realistic simulation of a bird’s eye view.
Enjoy Your Flight!
You can expect a fairly long flight time of up to 15 minutes, which places the Snaptain S5C drone well above average in its price class. Extra batteries are still worthwhile, so you can make the best of it when you hit good conditions.
A Wi-Fi loss-of-signal alert warns you when you risk losing control of the drone due to loss of connection. As soon as the signal strength drops to one bar, the alarm will be triggered so you can bring the drone back into full-strength range.
More Than You Bargained For
Control the drone with your voice. How cool is that? Impress your friends and your grandmother by making the drone take off, fly around and land again by just using your voice.
It gets even better when you can ask everybody to say cheese and then make a V with your hand to trigger the onboard camera. Just position the drone in altitude hold a couple of metres or so in front of you to take the photo.
Want to record a video instead? Just gesture towards the drone with the palm of your hand while the gesture mode is enabled.
Not included at this price point, however, are GPS, collision avoidance and follow me capability. Not that we’re complaining…
The Inner Workings of the Snaptain S5C Drone
Let’s take a closer look at how the Snaptain S5C Drone is built.
What’s Included in the Package?
The drone comes pre-assembled, so you only need to insert the battery. Even the blade protectors are already attached. The drone, without the battery, weighs in at 127 grams.
In the box, you will also find a second battery and four spare propellers. Not included are any spare blade protectors, which we would have liked to have to hand, just in case.
Do make sure you don’t leave the accompanying small screwdriver behind that you will need to fit the replacement props.
How Do You Control the Snaptain S5C Drone?
The remote has the standard two joysticks to control direction and acceleration.
Apart from the power switch, additional buttons are configured for:
• Take off and landing.
• Taking photographs and video.
• Toggling headless mode.
• Speed settings.
• Propeller trim.
• 360 flip.
• A one-key return.
The phone mount on this drone remote sits above the unit, which many users prefer over the reverse arrangement.
We want to commend the designers who avoided the need for a screwdriver when it is time to replace the batteries in the controller. You can simply use a pen or any sharp implement to release the catch that is recessed into the housing of the control.
What Is It’s Range?
The 80-metre radio range from the dedicated controller is fairly average. When you use the app on an Apple or Android smartphone with a two-way direct Wi-Fi, the range of the Snaptain S5C drops to 30 metres.
How Does the Camera Work?
The camera is mounted on a gimbal that needs to be adjusted manually before take off. That means you will need to decide in advance whether you want to take vertical aerial photographs or have a forward view for a good first-person view.
Any photos and videos you take are saved on your camera when the app is running and connected by Wi-Fi. So that means if you’re flying out of Wi-Fi range, you cannot use the camera.
Another draw-back due to lack of onboard storage is that the video quality is affected by the signal quality, which deteriorates quickly as distance increases.
The camera lens allows for wide-angle shots. The detail you get is limited by the resolution of the 720p HD camera, which is adequate but not comparable to the high-definition results you get with a 1024p or better camera.
A nice feature is that when you are recording a video, the rear red lights on the drone arms start flashing.
What About the Lights?
The LED lights are mounted on the arms of the S5C drone, white in front and red in the rear. Unfortunately, they are not very bright, but perhaps that avoids unnecessary battery drain.
How Are the Batteries Charged?
A USB cable is included that allows you to charge the batteries from any USB outlet. Allow about 90 minutes for a full charge.
Pros and Cons
The Snaptain S5C has a lot of good points going for it, but you need to weigh that against what’s lacking to see if the balance matches your budget.
• Easy to fly for novice pilots.
• First-person view on the app.
• Good-looking design.
• Altitude hold.
• Affordable price.
• Voice and gesture control.
• Made with high-grade plastic.
• Very sensitive to wind.
• No follow-me mode.
• No onboard SD card.
• Camera angle can only be adjusted manually.
• No onboard storage of photos and videos.
• Camera only 720p.
Owners of the drone reported good experiences, at least compared to other budget drones. The free gift scheme in return for positive reviews by Snaptain, however, does build in a bias that could affect the overall rating.
Some reviewers had negative experiences with manufacturing issues straight out of the box, but Amazon covers that with their 30-day guarantee.
Can You Trim the Quadcopter?
Yes, there are four buttons on the remote control to let you trim the S5C drone in flight.
Is There an Emergency Stop?
Just press and hold the return button.
Does It Come With Video Stabilization?
No, this feature is not included.
Is There a Warranty?
If you buy from Amazon, then the standard 30-day money-back guarantee applies.
Where Can You Buy It?
You can get the S5C drone on Amazon.
This Snaptain S5C drone review showed that this unit promises a lot of fun straight out of the box. It may be missing a few features found in premium models, but that’s not unreasonable at this price. The S5C drone is solidly built, with plenty of features to keep first-timers or intermediate pilots entertained.