As the prices of drone keep going down, the line between drone and toy is no longer that clear. Some toy for children on Tmall label themselves as ‘drone’. Many drone lover would like to choose a low-end drone for practice. Today we are going to review a really cheap drone– Hubsan H502E, ,which only costs 699CNY ( $101 ).
Hubsan H502E

This is how it looks. It has got GPS, Camera, return to home feature and controller of 2.4Ghz. Not bad with this price!

Hubsan H502E

The packing box is 21cm*21cm*11cm, quite simple in appearance.
Hubsan H502E unboxing

It claims this is not a toy and unsuitable for kids under 14. This seems a little bit inconsistent with the slogan on Tmall, which says this is a children’s toy.
Hubsan H502E

You can see the drone and controller after unboxing.
Hubsan H502E

Airframe X1, battery X1, controller X1, power cable X1, propeller X8, screw driverX1 and screws.
Hubsan H502E

You need to install propellers on motor by yourself, remember to tighten it up with screw driver.

Please notice that anti-clockwise propellers can be installed to clockwise motor, which may lead to serious consequence like crashing. New users should be really careful for this.
Hubsan H502E

Hubsan H502E uses coreless motors, looking quite differently from the brushless motor of Phantom 3 on its right. Coreless motor is much cheaper, but also has a short life cycle. It is often seen on toys.
Hubsan H502E

It has a 720P/1080P camera to take photo or record video. But you can’t adjust shooting angle, and it doesn’t have gimbal.
Hubsan H502E

Open the cover of battery hub, you can see all the circuit boards which don’t have protection. Well, it’s sold at $101 after all.
Hubsan H502E

Still you can see wires and circuit boards inside through the heat sink. There is a Micro SD port on right. You will need another SD card to take footages.
Hubsan H502E

There is no power button on the drone. It powers on when you put in the battery. So make sure all the wires are kept in the battery hub, otherwise the drone may crash when wires whip on propeller during flight.
Hubsan H502E

Only one battery in provided in the combo. The flight time is 12 minutes, but it takes 150 minutes to charge the battery. So buying a few more batteries would be a good idea. Hubsan H502E 2S Li-Po, red cable supports the drone, white cable is used for charging.
Hubsan H502E

The controller looks like a gamepad, using 2 pairs of 7 cells.
Hubsan H502E

The controller is quite simple: power button, two joysticks, adjust button, one photo/record button and one return home button.

Before Flight

You need to prepare for following steps before flight:

  • Install propeller;

Hubsan H502E

The propellers are labeled as A or B, please install them accordingly to avoid accident.

      • You need:

Hubsan H502E accessories

Charger for the drone (must-have)

7 cell *4 for controller (must-have)

MicroSD card for photo/record (must-have)

Electricity measurer (optional)

Hands-on experience

The flight range is 215m, and its GPS is only applicable in China.

There is no matching app for Hubsan H502E, which means, there is no video transmission at all! So you can just keep it in your visual range.

Finish calibration first:
Hubsan H502E remote

Rotate the drone horizontally, just like Phantoms;
Hubsan H502E

When the left and right indicators start to flash alternately, rotate it vertically;
Hubsan H502E

The calibration succeed when indicators turn solid. Calibration takes about 30 seconds.
Hubsan H502E

Let’s try hover first;
 Hubsan H502E

With good GPS signal and no wind, it basically hovers in a small range. But sometimes it may shift a few meters. It can’t stay on the same height, too. Not so satisfying.

If you let go of the joystick when the drone flies forward, Hubsan H502E will break and fly a little bit backwards. The controlling experience is far worse than middle to high-end drones.
Hubsan H502E

Since it doesn’t have video transmission, we can’t tell where it was when it flew 20 or 30 meters away.
Hubsan H502E

It lost control when it was about 70 meters away, probably because of radio interference nearby. We pressed the return home button and luckily it went back. It seems the return home feature works well.
Hubsan H502E

It landed 10 meters away from home point. The GPS accuracy is not very good. So you may want to fly it in open area for safety.

When the flight time was about 10 minutes, the battery level was low and the drone looked shaky and fell down quickly.
 Hubsan H502E

After a few small ‘crash’ it remained intact, so it is quite endurable.

Image Quality

▼Held by hand▼
Hubsan H502E image

The photo/video button works like this: press quickly, it will take picture; press and hold, the camera will start recording. Without video transmission, you can just rely on your experience.

The image is blurry with bad coloring and bad white balance. The sky is completely overexposed.
Hubsan H502E image

▼Shot during flight▼

Zoom the image to 200%, you can see how blurry it was. Trees behind lost sharpness.

The video was very unsteady without gimbal. We shot GIF below by holding the drone:
Hubsan H502E

It seems Hubsan H502E is not even close to professional drones, it’s even inferior to DOBBY and Hover Camera. To conclude:


      • Cheap
      • Tiny and portable


      • No video transmission nor app
      • Low stability
      • Low quality of footage
      • Bad controlling experience
      • Weak propulsion with coreless motor
      • Short flight time and long charging time

Suitable for:

      • Those who would like to enjoy flight since childhood
      • Who would like to have fun with their kids

Not suitable for:

      • Who want to get some serious aerial photos
      • Who want to experience cool, advanced technology

If you are a beginner, we don’t suggest you to use Hubsan H502E for practice. It is quite unstable and very different from professional drones. Also, you can buy a flight battery of professional drones with $101, so why not?

To me, Hubsan H502E is more of a toy. What do you guys think?