If you are searching for an affordable drone with a wide variety of functions that is accessible for beginners, you should consider UDI RC’s current line. This company was established in 2010 as a manufacturer of RC helicopters and vehicles. In recent years, UDI RC has shifted their primary focus toward drones and boats. The company presently offers more than 10 drones of all sizes with a variety of camera and controller features.
Find the right drone for pilots with any level of skill or interests in aerial photography, first person view, racing, or immersive 3D. The company offers a range of camera qualities and options for streaming first person views to mobile devices as well as a racing drone with 5.8 GHz transmission capable of streaming live footage straight to a FPV headset. Read on to learn more about UDI RC’s current models.
A Variety of Sizes
One of the best aspects of UDI RC’s collection is that you can get models with photography or performance features that fit in the palm of your hand, are foldable and portable, or are standard full-size drones. The company’s smallest models include the Piglet U36W and Firefly U46W. Both ship with controllers and can also be controlled with an Android or iOS mobile device with the Flyingsee app.
Piglet weighs in at 24g (0.85 oz) with measurements of 66 x 66 x 37 mm (2.6 x 2.6 x 1.5 in) and comes in yellow, blue, or green. Firefly also weighs 24g, but is slightly larger at 91 x 80 x 31.8 mm (3.58 x 3.15 x 1.25 in) and is available in red, blue, yellow, or green. Piglet can fly for seven minutes on a full charge, while Firefly has a flight time of approximately six minutes.
The UDI WING-D or U29 and U29W are foldable pocket drones. The U29 is heavier and larger than the Piglet or Firefly models at 96.2g (3.39 oz) and 164 x 195 x 41 mm (6.46 x 7.68 x 1.61 in). This model also ships with a virtual reality headset. The U29W is the same size, but relies on a mobile device as a primary controller and does not include a headset. All of these small models offer first person view capabilities.
The core of UDI RC’s collection is the Basic U818A HD drone. This model weighs in at 131.5g (4.64 oz), measures 340 x 330 x 60 mm (13.39 x 12.99 x 2.36 in), and is capable of flying for six to eight minutes on a full charge. The standard version of this model does not allow for FPV streaming to a mobile device or screen, but can now take 720p HD photographs and videos.
For an updated version of the U818A that allows you to stream footage to your smartphone, you should consider the Discovery-wifi. The controller on this model has a phone cradle to allow drone pilots to easily view first person footage. Dedicated aerial photographers might be more interested in the Discovery2, a U818 Plus model featuring rubber damping on a 120 degree wide-angle HD camera lens. The controller on this model also includes a smartphone cradle. The Discovery2 weighs 248g (8.74 oz) and measures 335 x 335 x 127 mm (13.19 x 13.19 x 5 in), making it considerably heavier and slightly larger than the U818A.
A racing drone is another type of drone that might appeal to some pilots. UDI RC’s navigator U31R combines HD photography with fast speeds. The U31R ships with a 120 degree wide-angle 720p HD camera and offers a one-button altitude hold feature. This is also the only model in the company’s current line-up with 5.8 GHz transmission that allows pilots to stream live footage to an FPV headset in addition to a 2.4 GHz band for the controller. The headset that ships with this model is compatible with most drones capable of transmitting at 5.8 GHz. The U31R weighs 88.5g (3.12 oz), measures 183 x 198 x 43 mm (7.2 x 7.8 x 1.7 in), and can fly for up to seven minutes on a full charge.
Aerial Photography Drones
UDI RC also has several standard-size aerial photography drones that enable pilots to take HD photographs and record videos. Only the upgraded Kestrel U28-1 has a 4.3 inch LCD screen built in to the controller. Several other standard-size models ship with controllers that have cradles sized for smartphones, including the Discovery-wifi U818A and Discovery2 U818A Plus, Navigator U31W, Predator U842 WiFi, and the U31R 5.8 GHz Racing Drone.
The smaller and foldable UDI WING-D U29 also comes with a controller with a smartphone cradle. The U29W is only controlled through the Flyingsee app on a mobile device and does not ship with a designated controller. UDI RC’s pocket drones Firefly U46W and Piglet U36W can either be controlled with a small controller without a cradle or the Flyingsee app.
Whether you are shopping for a pocket-sized camera drone or a foldable or standard-size model, you can find UDI RC drones that have the camera and network features you need to capture or share footage in HD. A number of these models also feature altitude hold modes or even a six-point axis gyro with posture control to help to stabilize your footage.
6-Point Axis Gyro Control
A six-point axis gyro is built into the Kestrel U21-8, Navigator U31W, and Predator U842Wifi, making these models more stable and easier to control. All of these standard-size 2.4 GHz models have flight time between five and eight minutes, depending on the design of the craft and battery type.
The upgraded Kestrel with an improved wide-angle HD camera weighs 52.8g (1.86 oz), measures 165 x 156 x 64 mm (6.5 x 6.14 x 2.52 in) and can fly for anywhere between five to seven minutes, depending on conditions and modes. The Navigator U31W is a solid model for capturing aerial footage, weighing 85g (3 oz) and measuring 183 x 198 x 43 mm (7.2 x 7.8 x 1.7 in) that achieves about seven minutes of flight time. The Predator U842Wifi is a much larger option, weighing 355g (12.5 oz) and measuring 486 x 486 x 122 mm (19.1 x 19.1 x 4.8 in) that can stay in the air for up to eight minutes.
Most UDI RC drones offer an assortment of automated flying modes. One-button automated take-off and landing modes allow beginners to start flying with confidence that they can get a new drone up in the air and back on the ground safely. Most models allow for headless mode, which aligns the movements of the drone to the controller. Regardless of which direction is forward based on the orientation of the drone, the drone will move forward relative to the controller.
In addition to these modes, which are intended to make these drones easier and safer to fly, many models feature low and high speed modes as well as a mode that causes the drone to do 360 degree flips forward, backward, to the left, or to the right. Most UDI RC drones also have a range of safety features and helpful alerts including an emergency stop mode and an alarm that sounds when the batteries are getting low during a flight or when the craft has gone out of range.
Ease of Use
Nearly all of the UDI RC drones feature either plug-in or integrated propeller guards to provide some protection against collisions or crashes. Pilots of models with plug-in guards have the option to remove these guards to boost the speed and performance of the drone. New or inexperienced pilots may benefit from leaving these guards on, especially when flying in areas with many obstacles.
Most of the drone batteries in the UDI RC line-up charge through USB and can be charged using many different types of adaptors. Certain models can charge more quickly with a 5V 2A AC adapter, which is sold separately.
Performance and Value
UDI RC drones are remarkable for the balance they strike between features and value. If you are interested in getting the most drone for your money, you are likely to be satisfied with one of the models in the company’s current line. Several important considerations include the size of the drone, length of the flight time, whether you want to have a first-person perspective, and the quality of the aerial photography. Whether you choose a small camera drone or a model that has a stabilized camera and offers more control, you may be surprised by the quality of the features that led you to buy the drone as well as the overall experience of flying a UDI RC drone.
UDI RC products are mainstays on the aviation hobbyist and toy markets. The company offers ODM and OEM one-stop service on all of their drones. Spare parts are widely available for many models, making these drones ideal for pilots learning to fly. UDI RC is a Chinese company based in Shantou City, Guangdong Province. The company’s research and development arm is located in Shenzhen.