Battery: Built-in 150 mAh, 3.7 volt (Reverse polarity, don’t get the chargers mixed up!)
Flight time: 5-6 mins
Charge time: 30 mins
Transmitter rates: 3 (changing yaw rate)
Transmitter compatibility: ?
Headless mode: Yes
Did you say that by exposing the antenna you’ve resolved the flyaway issue?
Yes, this solved the issue for me.
At first glance, the JJRC H20 looks bigger than its competition (like the MJX X900 or the Revell Nano Hex)… but looks can be deceiving! Upon closer inspection, it’s revealed the distance between the propellers (and the size of the propellers) is actually about the same. It’s just the body that’s bigger.
In terms of design the H20 is very similar to the MJX X900, in turn very similar to its bigger siblings the MJX X800 and X600. JJRC isn’t exactly known for making products with a premium feel though, and this definitely holds true here as well. The touch of class of the MJX X900 has here been replaced by a layer of shiny paint (red or gold) on top of some pretty cheap feeling plastic.
As I we’ve learned from other JJRC products though, you should be careful about equating the impression of the quality of the product with the actual quality of the product. I mean, the JJRC JJ-1000 is one of the cheapest feeling quadcopters I’ve reviewed, but also one of the best in terms of flight characteristics.
Despite the aesthetical similarities to the MJX X900, there are some major functional differences:
The perhaps major…est? difference is the fact that the 150 mAh 3.7 volt battery of the JJRC H20 is removable and not built-in. This is uncommon for nano multirotors: I believe some UDI models have the feature, but that’s about the only example I can think of. Anyway, this carries many advantages, like facilitating replacing a faulty battery or enabling you to keep spares, thereby being able to fly for longer without having to charge in-between.
An arguably minor…er? difference is the prop guards that come included with and pre-mounted on the hexacopter. At least to me, this is also a nano hexacopter first. It’s a nice inclusion – especially for beginners – that’s going to prevent minor brushes with walls and ceilings from turning ugly when flying indoors. On serious collisions though they’re not going to be of much help, instead adding insult to injury by bending in, hindering the propellers from spinning freely.
The transmitter may look like your typical nano transmitter (which returning viewers know I’m not a fan of), but is actually considerably up-scaled from those. See? Here it is compared to the transmitter of the Cheerson CX-10C. In this bigger size, I must admit it’s pretty nice as far as toy multirotor transmitters go. I guess size matters!
In addition to the usual clicking sticks, used here to activate headless mode and “return to home” (more on this in the flight test), you also got actual working shoulder buttons for changing between rates and performing flips. The transmitter is mode 2 only and runs of 2 AA batteries. I haven’t been able to bind the hexacopter to any other transmitters that I own.
Let’s have a quick look on what you get with the JJRC H20: Hexacopter, transmitter, set of spare propellers, screwdriver for detaching and reattaching prop guards, USB charging cable, instruction manual and lastly, a nice compact box you can conveniently transport it all in.
Before continuing on about the flight characteristics of the H20 I should come clean about my preconceived notions about the manufacturer. Lately I’ve gotten the impression that the product development process at JJRC has been reduced to making a clone of an existing product and dialing up the rates like crazy to generate some buzz. They did it with the JJRC H8, a souped-up clone of the Bayangtoys X7. It could be argued they did it with the JJRC JJ-1000, a souped-up clone of the Landbow X-Dart NEXT.
With that said, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the JJRC H20’s flight characteristics! Sure, the highest rate feels more for show than to actually be practical to fly with, but that’s just one of the three rates of which there are great variation in-between: The lowest is slow enough to be useful for beginners yet not frustratingly so for intermediates. The middle rate – the one demonstrated here – is just right for me, a very good compromise between speed and maneuverability.
The yaw speed does change between the rates, from a tad on the slow side on the lowest rate to absolutely crazy on the highest rate. Regardless of rate however, the JJRC H20 is amazingly stable, possibly partly due to its nature as a hexacopter, and holds an almost perfect hover.
Let’s now talk about the great weakness of the JJRC H20, alluded to in the intro: Its range. Beyond the 10 meter mark, there’s a significant risk you’re going to run into trouble with this model. The loss of signal would’ve been bad in and of itself, but the issue is actually a one-two punch, the other part of which being poor handling of said loss of signal. The JJRC H20 will not simply drop to the ground when out of range, but instead keep on going for several more seconds. This is the cause of so many fly-aways.
What you see here is actually my second JJRC H20. The first one met with a fate very similar to those shown in the intro (only I didn’t have the presence of mind to capture it). When I received my second and it turned out to suffer the same issue, I decided to try a fix I’d seen online: Making a hole in the top of the transmitter and exposing the antenna through it. This seems to have basically resolved the issue altogether.
Before I wrap this review up, I just quickly want to mention headless mode and “Return to Home” which are both present and working. Two points of note though: One: The direction is locked-in when you bind to the hexacopter, not when you activate headless mode. Two: The aircraft seems to lose its sense of direction quickly when you play around on the highest rate (the one with the crazy yaw).
Replaceable battery, improved transmitter design, excellent flight characteristics… In summation I got so many good things to say about the JJRC H20… and one really bad one which kind of overshadows the rest. Yes, I’m talking about the range issue. Is it likely to affect yours, should you buy one? I’ve had two from different retailers bought months apart and both have suffered from it, so in my experience “Yes”.
Then again, there’s always the chance… or you might be able to fix it with a simple modification. Get lucky, get crafty or get something else.