JJRC JJ-1000 Quadcopter Review

Quick facts:

Battery: Replaceable 250 mAh
Flight time: 6-7 mins
Charge time: ~60 mins (!)

Transmitter rates: 4 (variable yaw rate)
Transmitter compatibility: WLToys v262, JJRC H6C etc.
Headless mode: Yes

Competitors: Hubsan X4

FAQ:

What’s the difference between the JJRC JJ-1000 and the JJRC 1000A/B?

The JJ-1000 is an updated version of the JJRC 1000A. The only differences are that headless mode and return to home has been added as well as some cosmetic changes. The only difference between the old A and B versions is the transmitter which has a LCD on the A version.

Video review:

Transcript:

Maybe you’ve seen this quadcopter online. Maybe you’ve heard buzz about some quadcopter called the JJ-1000. Maybe you’ve asked yourself what’s that all about? Who is it for? Should I get one? Welcome to this review and flight test of the JJ-1000 micro quadcopter from JJRC!

The JJ-1000 – released this year – is an upgraded version of the JJRC 1000A which has been on the market for about a year or so. The only differences between the two are that headless mode and return to home has been added as well as some very minor cosmetic changes. It seems some retailers treat these as two separate models, while others have just started shipping JJ-1000s instead of 1000As. As a side note, I think the 1000A was actually itself a clone of an already existing model, the X-Dart Next.

The JJ-1000 is a low cost machine: I bought this BNF – which stands for bind-and-fly – and got everything you see here including shipping for $14. $14! As you may notice though, I’m missing some key components to be able to fly:

Firstly, a battery: Normally a battery is included when you buy a BNF set, but not in this case for some reason. I got this along with the quad itself for about $2 and use my Hubsan X4 charger to charge it. I don’t know if there’s some compatibility issue, because it takes around an hour which seems a little long considering the battery is only 250 mAh. With this I get 6-7 minutes of flight.

Secondly, you need a transmitter: A nice feature of the JJ-1000 and – I think – a contributing factor in its popularity is that it uses the WL Toys 2X2 protocol. So, if you own a WL Toys quadcopter (or one of many other models that uses the WL Toys protocol), chances are you already own a transmitter – and a pretty nice one at that – that can fly this model and can avoid paying for yet another transmitter. This one here is from a WL Toys v262 quadcopter.

Worth noting is also that no instruction manual is included with the BNF version of this quadcopter.

The low cost of the JJ-1000 is definitively reflected in the quadcopter itself. It’s a no-frills machine with an overwhelming impression of being just a piece of plastic with motors and a chip stuck into it. No landing gear or rubber feet, no battery door or on/off switch (the battery cable’s just hanging there) and no elaborate design or paint job. It even makes a kind of hollow, rattling sound flying. Still, it got every potential for great flight characteristics: Low weight, sturdy flat-tip propellers and bright easily-distinguishable LEDs.

The BNF version comes with this matching prop guard frame and the type of reusable box I love that offers excellent protection for the quadcopter and size-wise is just perfect for throwing into your backpack before heading outside.

Let’s now move on to the flight footage!

You know how some quadcopters are multi-purpose? They can be flown in different ways depending on the purpose or situation. Well, this is not one of those quadcopters. The JJ-1000 feels built for one thing and one thing only: crazy exhibition flying. This is not a machine for slow indoor flying or mounting a camera to, this is for zooming around and pulling off stunts. It wants to be free!

For me, flying with a v262 hobby-style transmitter, the JJ-1000 handles very well. I get four rates, of which the two lower feels a little slow (especially the yaw rate), the next is just right for me and the highest – 100% – makes the quadcopter amazingly zippy. But even at full speed I have never experienced the quadcopter behaving unpredictably or reacting inconsistently to commands. If you crash – which is likely considering the type of flying you will want to do with this quad – it’s most likely on you!

Regarding crashes I haven’t put mine through a lot of them, but the hits it’s taken it’s done so as a champ and I don’t mine’s unique: what I can gather from online discussion is that this quadcopter is quite durable.

I have a few minor criticisms regarding the JJ-1000’s flight characteristics: The battery cable is a little bit long and risk making contact with the propellers during flight, the uniform design and paint job makes it unusually hard to tell direction when flying in daytime and – for whatever reason – mine has something wonky going on in flip department (sometimes they’re really tight, sometimes their kind of sloppy resulting in loss in altitude). But these flaws are easy to look past and definitively not deal-breakers.

I was not able to test the headless mode or return to home function (possibly because it’s not supported by the transmitter I use), but I doubt you will be buying the quad for these features anyway.

In summation, the JJRC JJ-1000 is easy to recommend to anyone who likes stunts, aerobatics or general sport flying. If you’re a beginner, this might not be your ideal choice for learning the ropes. But for people into the hobby already owning a compatible transmitter and thereby able to get this bind-n-fly on the other hand, I have very little in terms of compelling arguments to abstain from this little beast.

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