Battery: Built-in 220 mAh, 3.7 volt
Flight time: 7+ min
Charge time: 35 min
Transmitter rates: 3 (variable yaw)
Transmitter compatibility: ?
Competitors: SY X31
This is the – somewhat redundantly named – FQ777 FQ11, a toy grade brushed, direct drive quadcopter between the micro and nano size classifications. Size is not a fixed concept with this one though: its arms are foldable, which goes well with the fact that it’s also stored and transported in the transmitter. The manufacturer, FQ777, has worked up a decent reputation at this point, so this should be interesting.
Welcome to this review and flight test of the FQ11 quadcopter from FQ777!
Though not distinguished by different model numbers or designs, the FQ11 actually comes in two flavors at two price points: one with and one without WiFi FPV (with this being the former). I feel I covered FPV generally and WiFi FPV especially to death in my review of the FQ777-954, one of the first nano quadcopters to sport this feature, so watch that if you want to know more! Furthermore, each variant also comes in several different colors: In addition to the plain black pictured here, it’s also offered in the three distinctly Apple inspired choices gold, rose or silver.
Regardless which variant you get, the main thing to set the FQ11 apart from the competition is how its arms can be folded. Size-wise, it shrinks from almost micro size to almost nano size when folded. I’ll be honest, I did have some preconceived notions regarding the durability of a folding mechanism on a $30 Chinese toy quadcopter. Of course only time will tell how long it’ll actually last, but I was at least pleasantly surprised by how sturdy it feels.
As for the actual benefit of those few extra centimeters? From what I’ve been able to gather, the increased motor-to-motor distance should primarily help with stability, but also allows for larger propellers than on a nano which should also improve efficiency (as in increased flight times). More on this in the flight test portion of the review!
It’s understandable that FQ777 had to make some sacrifices in the name of foldability with the FQ11 and one of them is low light visibility: The LED lights have been relegated from their customary placement on the arms to the body of the aircraft. FQ777 has made the most of a bad situation, color coding and ensuring the lights are reflected by the light undercarriage, but it’s s till no complete success. I understand the non-FPV variant do have an additional light instead of a camera in the front though, which should remedy things somewhat.
For the transmitter, FQ777 has – true to form – decided to go with one that can also store (and charge!) the quadcopter when folded up. It’s another one of the manufacturer’s signature awkward looking, cryptic monstrosities, but it’s actually perfectly serviceable for everything but looking at once you learn your way around it. One noteworthy highlight is the longer, non-slippery sticks, addressing a common criticism of previous FQ777 models. If you get the WiFi FPV version you also get this adjustable mount that clips onto the back of the transmitter. It seems to hold devices up to around 6 inches, which means smartphones are in but tablets are out.
The included accessories consists of a regular USB charging cable (in addition to the charger built into the transmitter) that in what have to be a world’s first is not yellow, a mini screwdriver for accessing the battery compartments on the transmitter (Yes, there are two of them), a sadly very poorly translated user manual and the obligatory set of spare propellers.
Similarly to FQ777’s other recent multirotor, the 126C hexacopter reviewed on this channel a couple of months back, the FQ11 is an overall very competent flyer with sporty rates, similar to the Eachine H8 Mini in terms of handling. I wouldn’t recommend it as someone’s first quadcopter or primarily for flying indoors with, as even on its lowest rate it’s quite zippy, but for someone with a bit of experience behind the sticks outdoors it’s a lot of fun.
The three rates are well-measured, consistent and decently differentiated, save for the yaw which on the higher rates feels a bit on the fast side. This is perplexing, as FQ777 have already put a super-fast, show-off yaw rate in as a separate feature: “Tail-wagging”, as it’s called in the user manual, is activated via a dedicated button on the transmitter and makes the yaw speed go “Super sayen”.
…but this is not the only trick up this quadcopter’s sleeve: Auto-flips are in and of themselves nothing special, but deserve mention on the FQ11 for being unusually fast and tight, similar to the H8 Mini or Bayangtoys X7’s. Hopefully, you’ll be able to spot them throughout this flight! Too bad flips are performed by clicking the right stick, which make them impossible to pull off while also applying pitch.
An overly sensitive throttle was a criticism I had about the 126C, and unfortunately this seems to have carried over unaddressed to the FQ11, making the quadcopter jumpy, especially towards the beginning of the flight. On one hand this does provide an impression of power, but – on the other – can also be a nuisance when flying indoors or in close quarters.
The bigger, more efficient propellers allowed for by the foldable arms, probably in combination with the larger-than-usual 220mAh battery, seems to be giving the FQ11 a real boost in flight times: 7+ minutes may not sound like much, but in this size class must be considered impressive. If you’re coming from another nano or small micro, you will definitely notice the difference!
…and then there’s the WiFi FPV, should you decide to get that version. It’ll set you back another $10 or so and for that you get the possibility to connect your quadcopter to a smartphone app which in turn allow you to view and record what the quadcopter sees as well as control it through either touch controls or using your device’s sensors. In other words, pretty much the exact same experience as with the previously reviewed FQ777-954 or CX-10W. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion the same supplier is behind all of these WiFi FPV solutions, seeing as the apps all look the same.
As stated in previous reviews: it’s impressive for what it is and perfectly fine for goofing around with, but shouldn’t be mistaken for tried-and-true analog FPV. Due to round-trip latency and limited field-of-view, don’t expect to be able to fly solely off the screen, especially without practice. Personally, I think this kind of functionality makes more sense on a docile flyer like CX-10W.
Finally, I feel I have to mention range. I usually try to put range in relation to intended use: if it’s a tiny quadcopter flown by line-of-sight range doesn’t have to be hundreds of meters, if it’s a larger aerial photography or FPV platform on the other hand, the expectations change drastically. With the FQ11 I feel it’s on the short side, listed as 30-50 meters but is on my unit probably a bit shorter than even the low end of that. Even just flying normally, I occasionally graze the range’s edge and the controls turn unresponsive for a second. Is this something that’s going to bother you? I guess that depends on your flight style.
In conclusion although I’ve presented a few nitpicks about the FQ777 FQ11, like the subpar lights, sensitive throttle and shorter-than-preferred range, I still feel its strengths, mainly that it flies really well and for surprisingly long, wins out.
All-in-all, it’s another solid entry into FQ777’s line-up and a good purchase if you’re looking for a small, sporty and portable outdoor quadcopter.