Man o man, it just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it… The UDI U816 4CH Mini Quadcopter UFO RTF 2.4GHz with 6-Axis Gyro. If I just had a nickle for every time I head a kid running around the mall begging for a Remote Controlled UDI U816 4CH Mini Quadcopter UFO RTF 2.4GHz with 6-Axis Gyro…I would have enough money to buy a computer and look up what in the world is a UDI U816???
Luckily, the fine folks over at UDI sent us the U816 and it turns out it is a really cool, tiny remote controlled flying UFO (sort of looks like a flat helicopter, but is technically a quadcopter) that has four rotors and can do 360 degree flips at the press of a button.
Let’s take a look at our hands on video review of the R/C UDI U816 Quadcopter…
Clearly we had a blast flying and flipping the R/C UDI U816 Quadcopter!
If You Don’t Like Reading Manuals, You Will Love Not Reading The U816 Quadcopter Manual
Does it drive you crazy when your kids get a new toy or gadget and despite your advice, refuse to read the manual? They jump right in, inevitably have questions and you then get the satisfaction of saying – “I told you to read the manual!”
I have bad news Moms and Dads, the U816 will prove you wrong. There is no reason to read the manual. Oh, not because the U816 is so easy to use, but because the manual is so poorly translated from Chinese it makes absolutely no sense. Here is a direct quote from the manual…
“Put the UFO on the flat floor steaditly, And let the led light on the receipt board shinning quickly to slowly.The UFO has enter into the remote cobtroll condition.
After connecting the power,pls check the rolling direction of the blades.Ahead of the left/the back of right blades clockwise roration.,Ahead of right and back of left side anti-clockwise roration.”
Got that? We are not making this up, that is a direct quote, with the exact spelling, punctuation and grammar used in the manual and it is not the exception, it is the rule. So the manual is a nightmare, luckily, if you are familiar with RC helicopters you will be able to figure things out and flying the U816 is a million times more fun than trying to read the manual.
The Full Specs on the UDI U816 Quadcopter
The UDI U816 is not a toy you are going to find at Target or Toys R Us. This is closer to a hobby grade R/C toy that is imported from Hong Kong and available via the RC-Fever.Com website. Let’s quickly go over the specs of the UDI U816 UFO –
- 4 Channel Mini R/C Quadcopter
- 6 Axis Gyro Stability
- 2.4 GHz Remote Control
- Item Size : 9.6*9.6 CM
- Weight: 34g
- Battery for Helicopter: 3.7V 240mah Li-po Battery (2 included)
- Battery for Transmitter: 4 AA (NOT included)
- Flight time: around 6-9 minutes (per battery)
- Charging time: around 60 minutes (to fully charge two batteries)
- Function:Up/down, Right/left turn, forward, backward,fly upside down (Loop)
Our Impressions, Once You Trim the UDI U816, It Is Incredibly Fun To Fly
When we first tried to fly the UDI U816 it was a frustrating experience. The UFO kept taking off to the right and it was very hard to control. On the plus side, this lack of control gave us a chance to test the durability of the UFO – we extensively crash tested it and and it did not break!
Luckily, we quickly figured out we needed to play with the trim controls on the remote and once we got the U816 trimmed right it was like night and day. Properly trimmed, the U816 is a pleasure to fly – indoors and outdoors. As the video shows, we were able to control the U816 and had a blast doing 360 spins and zipping it all over the yard. It still takes practice and patience to become an ace pilot (recommended for ages 14 and up), but once you get the trim right, it is a fun little UFO to fly around.
Long Live Gyro Technology and Spring Free Altitude Levers!
We first became fans of gyro stability and spring free altitude levers in the Air Hogs Heli Replay. The UDI U816 also features 6 axes Gyro technology and a wonderful spring free altitude lever on the remote. The fact that we could fly the UDI U816 outside, in light wind and still have great stability and control was very impressive. In truth, you really want to fly the UDI U816 outside since it can go so fast, it is hard to enjoy it in a small indoor space.
A Nice Touch, A Remote Control With an LCD Screen
As the video shows, the U816 comes with a remote that has a large LCD screen. Yes, you can see the level of the altitude lever, but we found it most helpful when trimming the helicopter. A nice visual display shows how far off center you have trimmed the helicopter. Of course, there is the cool factor of just having an LCD screen – the kids loved having the display on the remote, even if they didn’t look at it much.
One other cool feature of the remote, it is a radio frequency remote, not an Infrared remote like some of the other consumer RC toys use. The advantage of a radio frequency remote is that you don’t need a direct line of site with the helicopter and it is not effected by bright lights.
The UDI U816 Quadcopter, A Great Deal of Bang for the $43 Bucks
Given the LCD on the remote, the quad rotors, the 6 axes Gyro, the two batteries and the super cool ability to just press a button on the remote and have the U816 do a full flip, you might expect to pay handsomely for this RC toy. In truth, the UDI U816 currently sells for about $43 and at that price you definitely get a great deal of R/C flying fun for your buck!
The Catch? The UDI U816 is Rough Around the Edges, Literally and Figuratively
The manual is not kidding when they say “Remote controll UFO model is of high dangerous product,operater need to fly far away from crowd” and I have the cuts on my leg to prove it! Yes, I did manage to fly the UFO into my leg and get a cut, so the UFO is literally a little rough around the edges.
The bigger issue is how the U816 is rough around the edges from a production stand point. Here are some of the issues we encountered in testing –
- Manual is poorly translated and very hard to understand
- No on/off switch on the UFO (you need to unplug the battery)
- Sync Issues With Remote, We Had to Try Multiple Times to Get The UFO and Remote to Work
UPDATE: Read the very helpful comment below from John Nevill. He was able to decode the manual and explains how to avoid any problems with sync and trim issues. Thanks John – this makes the U816 UFO even better!
Conclusion: The UDI U816, Despite Some Issues, Would Be A Blast For RC Hobbyist
To be honest, after opening the UDI U816 and reading the manual, we were prepared to write a scathing review. The manual is terrible, the UDI U816 looks like something that would break after the first crash, the remote did not immediately synch with the UFO and once it did sync, the UFO was hard to control. Not a good first impression, but then we trimmed the quadcopter. Once we got the U816 trimmed, we quickly forget about the manual and remote issues as we were having too much fun flying the UDI U816 all over, inside and outside and doing incredible 360 spins with just the push of a button.
We have been flying the UDI U816 over a week and have crashed it multiple times, got it stuck in a tree and somehow it is still working. So, while it may not look durable, it is. The remote sync issue still gives us trouble, but somehow after a few tries it always does sync up. [Update: Read the comments below from John Nevill, explains how to avoid any sync issues. Thanks John!] Is the UDI U816 rough around the edges and does it require patience? Absolutely. Once you get everything figured out, is the UDI U816 a super fun, inexpensive and stable quadcopter, that has the incredible ability to do 360 flips with the push of a button? Absolutely! If you have kids, 14 and over, who are RC hobbyist, they will have a thrill piloting the UDI U816.
The UDI U816 Quadcopter Sells for About $43 at RC-Fever.Com