Huiying Toys HY-852 Quadcopter Review

Quick facts:

Battery: Replaceable 300 mAh (3.7 volt)
Flight time: 5-6 mins
Charge time: 40-50 mins

Transmitter rates: 3 (fixed yaw rate)
Transmitter compatibility: Other Huiying Toys multirotors
Headless mode: No

Competitors: Hubsan X4, JJRC JJ-1000

Video review:

Transcript:

If you’d asked me some time ago what my most anticipated quadcopter was, I would’ve said the Huiying Toys HY-852. I was so excited for this thing! But due to some inexplicable distribution mishap you simply couldn’t get ahold of it. The lucky few who did raved about its agility and power, the rest of us had to wait – for months. During those long months, a lot of things happened. Many people’s patience ran out and their interest began to wander as other exciting models were announced and released.

Now the wait is finally over. Was the quadcopter deserving of its wait and hype or was it all hot air? Welcome to this review and flight test of the HY-852 micro quadcopter from HuiYing Toys!

For all the excitement I felt for the HY-852, I always hated its design. I felt it was loud and tacky with its “alien creature” look and primary colors. Seeing it up close though, I must say it grows on you! It looks like nothing else out there – you got to give ‘em that – and there’s something distinctly toy-like about the body that tickles my inner child. This is something I would’ve saved my weekly allowance for!

Apart from the purely esthetical, there are some more practical aspects to note regarding the design:
The battery – a 300 mAh LiPo – is removable (which in itself is a good thing), but the battery compartment is a very tight fit. Anything even marginally bigger than the dimensions of the included battery is a no-go. Keep this in mind if you’re getting spare batteries! I actually got worried I’d damage the battery connector inserting and removing the battery, so now I just leave it inserted all the time.

Much like any other quadcopter, the HY-852 sports a number of LEDs to facilitate night flight. These are unusually elaborate with green in the back, blue in the front, white in the eyes and some subtle bleed through the Mohawk-thingy on its back. These show up perfectly clear from underneath, but not as well from other angles. In these situations, the elaborate light scheme can add to the directional confusion. No big problem, but something to get used to.

In daylight, when the LEDs are not visible, the HY-852 becomes even harder to tell the direction of! Partly I have myself to blame here for choosing the black version (it also comes in red, green and blue), but mainly I think the problem stems from the fact that the body is painted entirely in one color and that the design is so uniform (at least seen from afar). On the other hand, I know many tend to keep more sporty quadcopters like this in a constant forward momentum, maneuvering using the yaw. If this is your flight style, you will not have a problem with this.

I also have to say something about the build quality of the HY-852. Much like its competitor the JJ-1000, it gives a very cheap impression and makes a hollow rattling sound when flying. Does that mean it’s fragile too? Swear word no! Due to some experimentation I’ll show you later and ordinary human error, I’ve subjected this quadcopter to several violent crashes (you can probably see signs of them on here). Apart from propellers going flying, this doesn’t seem to have caused any harm. It can take a beating!

With the quadcopter comes the exact same transmitter as with all Huiying Toys quadcopters. I’ve already talked about it at length in my review of the Huiying Toys HY-851, so check that out if you want to know more. Short version: I like it a lot, if not for the oddly placed trim buttons. You’ll also get a USB charger, capable of charging the included battery in about 40-50 minutes (in turn providing 5-6 minutes of flight), a very standard-looking one-piece prop guard which screws onto the body, a full set of spare propellers, a screwdriver for mounting the prop guard and opening the transmitter battery hatch and an instruction manual covering all of the Huiying Toys models released to date. It all comes in a non-reusable box with all kinds of humorous spelling and grammar mistakes. “Funny Mini Droes”? Ouch!

Anyway, enough of this! Let’s move on to the flight footage before it’s time to sum up and give a verdict.

For anyone holding their breath, let’s just get it out of the way straight from the get-go: The Huiying Toys HY-852 flies great! The three rates feel dialed-in perfectly and, although the yaw doesn’t change with the rates, it’s reasonably fast and set just right so to fit almost any situation. If you’re going to have a non-changing yaw rate, they’ve found the best possible compromise.

The quadcopter has a somewhat sporty profile but with a pitch not quite as deep as on – for example – the JJ-1000, making it slower and more gradual in building and countering momentum. But what’s lost in speed is gained in accuracy: It holds a nice hover and maneuvers quite precisely when needed to. I don’t feel that you have to be an experienced flyer to get something out of it.

Like any sportier quadcopter, the HY-852 is preferably flown outdoors in large open areas and it handles wind exceptionally well despite its low weight. Don’t hesitate to take it for a ride under less-than-optimal flying conditions! It also flips nicely in all directions: a kind of slow and controlled, almost leisurely flip. Quite unique!

So don’t I have anything negative to say about how the HY-852 flies? Well, these are minor qualms, but I’ve noticed that my unit can start to drift a little after some aggressive flying, like it’s lost its calibration somewhat (easily fixed by landing briefly). Range is another point of concern: I’ve experienced some drop-outs at what felt like less than the specified 60 meter range (but then again, what toy quadcopter actually delivers on its advertised range?).

…and now for a little bonus:

I’d heard much about how powerful the HY-852 was supposed to be and seen a video of it lifting one of those 808 keychain cameras. Since I already had the camera at my disposal (it’s what I shot this with), I just had to try it out for myself! I strapped the camera to underneath the quadcopter with a piece of Velcro and lo and behold! Now before you go and do the same, be aware the added weight puts the motors under a lot of strain which ultimately might shorten the lifespan of your unit. Flight time is of course greatly reduced and it takes some special take-off arrangements, but it works and – most of the time – it works real well! This got to be the best picture quality you can get out of a quadcopter this size!

In summation I think it’s evident that there’s a lot to like about the Huiying Toys HY-852. Who’s it for? Heck, I’d like to answer that question with another question: Who’s it not for? If you’re looking for a well-handling, powerful, durable, inexpensive micro quadcopter, this is it. The only competition I can think of on top of my head is the JJRC JJ-1000. There are some pros and cons to consider, but in the end it’s going to set you back more if you don’t already own the transmitter. The value for money is hard to argue with here and only one of the reasons why the HY-852 lives up to the hype!

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