The Eachine E33C is an quadcopter that’s large enough to be flown outdoors but not nearly as expensive as drones from industry giants like DJI and GoPro at just £40. How does it fare? We took off and found out!


 

Specs & Features

  • 6-axis gyro
  • 2.4GHz wireless (6 channel) up to 100m
  • 3.7V 450mAh battery: 70 min charging time, 10 min flying time
  • 2MP camera
  • 25 x 25 x 7cm (without cover)
  • 26 x 26 x 11cm (with cover)
  • Package includes:
    • 1 x Eachine E33C RC Quadcopter
    • 1 x 3.7V 450mAh battery
    • 1 x USB charger
    • 4 x Propeller
    • 1 x User manual
    • 1 x Transmitter
    • 1 x Screwdriver

 

Design

The E33C is a pretty standard-looking quadcopter, with a lozenge-shaped body, four struts and four feet. The main body contains the gyro, battery, camera, transmitter and other gubbins. The camera is attached using a plastic latch on the underside of the body, and must be removed to access the battery.

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Meanwhile, each strut has a rotor with an optional guard that must be screwed into place. The feet are merely pressed into place, so hard landings will cause them to pop out — probably better than breaking, though!

The quadcopter is controlled with a standard Playstation-style controller: two analogue sticks, two d-pads, two shoulder buttons and an on/off button.


 

Testing & Impressions

We tested the E33C indoors and out, with most of our photography occurring one windy afternoon in August. In general, we found that the drone was quite responsive, capable of ascending and descending extremely rapidly.

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The lights on the drone make it easier to spot, and also show when it has automatically shut off to prevent damage to the rotors upon a hard landing. The basic controls work well, and it’s possible to ‘trim’ to get the drone hovering easily.

Advanced manoeuvres such as a ‘360 eversion’ are also popular just by pressing a button, which is cool.

Let’s talk about durability. The drone survived more than its fair share of rough landings in our testing, both inside and out. In most cases, the landing legs would separate at high speeds when landing on hard surfaces, but could be retrieved and refitted without an issue. The quadcopter comes with guards around each propeller which became a bit bent during use, but the flimsy plastic could be pressed back into shape. With more careful pilots, the craft’s durability shouldn’t be an issue.

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The battery lasted for about ten minutes, before requiring about an hour to recharge. Unfortunately, recharging the drone isn’t as simple as just connecting a Micro USB cable; you must unlatch the camera, open the battery door, remove the battery and then attach the battery to a special charging cable, then repeat the process in reverse to get flying again.

The third time that the drone was recharged, the camera latch broke off so the camera module was unplugged and removed for further testing — RIP. For this reason, we haven’t critically evaluated the camera. From user reports online though, the camera is low resolution but serviceable. Be careful when removing the battery for recharging, and you may consider jury-rigging an alternative mounting (e.g. an adhesive of some kind) to keep the camera more permanently in position.


 

Wrapping up

In summary, the E33C is a serviceable drone that justifies its £40 price point. Its large size makes it better than smaller drones at handling wind, and apart from its camera mount, it proved quite durable in our testing. However, its larger size also makes it inappropriate for indoor or urban use; you’ll want to go somewhere away from crowds to really take full advantage of the range and power that the E33C possesses.


 

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About The Author
William Judd

Editor-in-Chief for XSReviews. Find me @wsjudd or on G+.