The latest budget drone to hit the shelves is here and we give it the full review treatment.
When it comes to drones at the lower end of the budget spectrum it used be very easy to go very wrong when choosing one. These days, the standard of lower priced drones is much higher and you can actually get quite a lot of tech at around the £20 to £30 price point. Of course, these quadcopters are not trying to compete with the big brand DJI drones of the world but we are always keen to test out something new to the market – especially when it costs less than £30!
So when the VN5 Harrier landed on our doorstep we were quite keen to get it in to action. A sub £30 drone with a camera – fantastic… so we put it through its paces.
Out of the Box
The Harrier VN5 comes very neatly packaged and looks pretty cool on first inspection. The first thing you notice is how lightweight the entire package is despite it being a pretty bulky box.
In the box you get the drone with four propellers attached as well as extra set of propellers in case of damage. You also get the legs to the drone that you need to attach (sounds easier than it actually is) and the remote controller which is pretty small.
The camera came ready attached on our model but it is detachable if you wish to fly without the extra weight. You also get one battery and a USB charger with LED indicator.
On first sight you would find it hard to not be impressed with the visual appearance of this drone. The VN5 looks really good with its black body and turquoise and black propellers. Once the legs are attached it gives it a more menacing appearance and so we give it top marks in the style stakes.
Designed as an outdoor and indoor drone, the VN5 is a lot bigger than most of the other drones on the market at this price point. On first flight we found it quite tricky to control inside but once you have adjusted the trimming and got to grips with the tiny controller it is manageable. Outdoors is a different story and we were in our element right from the off and were soon ready to increase the speed (there are 3 settings).
The VN5 is aimed at someone who wants a bit of fun with their entry level drone and it succeeds on every level with this in mind. With one touch loop the loop and some pretty nifty rolls and flips there is lots of fun to be had with this UAV. The camera is of course fixed but actually provides some decent shots in well lit environments. You have a button for video and one for photos on the controller and although you might be shooting blindly it is quite entertaining watching your footage back. An SD card is required for filming and this is not included in the package.
The biggest disappointment with the VN5 is that the battery life is only 5-6 minutes. Whilst this is typical of a budget drone it is let down further by the 2 hour charging time. You can of course purchase extra batteries but the two hour charging times is definite issue.
You have one key return to home which is very helpful and the range of the VN5 is 40 metres which is pretty impressive. We found the controls to be very responsive.
Flying the VN5 was a joy after the initial calibration and the only thing that was missing for us was the altitude hold. This made flying indoors quite tricky but outdoors was a lot of fun. The drone is well built and well designed with the plastic being quite flexible – this meant that despite our several crashes there was no lasting damage to the unit.
We enjoyed getting to know the VN5 and will be sure to be taking it out again soon. It won’t win any awards but as a starter drone you can’t go far wrong here. Thanks to Hawkin’s Bazaar for providing us with a VN5 to test.
Overall, the Harrier VN5 is an excellent drone for novices. It has a camera, it looks cool and it performs some great stunts. At the price tag it is hard to fault it and other than a long charging time there is little to say that is negative.
If you are looking for a good budget drone that will test your piloting skills then the VN5 could well be for you.