“The Mantis Q feels behind the occasions, though it’s a comparatively new drone”

benefits

  • Strong battery life

  • Effectively constructed and sturdy

  • Quick in sport mode

drawback

  • No mechanical digicam stabilization

  • Disappointing 4K high quality

  • Voice management is a gimmick

Again in August 2018, Yuneec formally jumped on the moveable UAV practice and launched a foldable digicam drone. The Mantis Q, because it’s known as, is successfully the corporate’s reply to DJI’s vastly common Mavic line, and as such, it is full of quite a lot of enjoyable options that the corporate hopes will flip you away from DJI – issues like folding arms, 4K digicam, voice / gesture recognition and a value underneath $ 500. However can it actually stand as much as DJI’s fleet?

Now that Yuneec had a couple of months to easy out any kinks, we took a Mantis Q with us for an extended take a look at to see the way it compares to the competitors.

Excellent options and specs

When it comes to dimension, the Mantis Q is just not a lot bigger than DJI’s tiny Spark drone, but sufficiently small to be taken out of your hand. It is also wider (particularly with elongated propeller arms) and thicker, which provides it some fairly distinct benefits. This additional house is used for a considerably bigger battery that’s mentioned to supply a whopping 33 minutes of flight time (extra on that later) and bigger propellers that get the Mantis to a prime velocity of 44 mph, which for what’s arguably fairly quick fairly quick is an entry-level drone.

Moreover, the Mantis Q has a 1 / 3.06-inch CMOS digicam sensor that permits 4K video at 30 fps, which sounds good on paper however was a bit disappointing in observe. On account of the truth that this drone depends on digital as a substitute of mechanical picture stabilization, you lose the picture stabilization performance when recording in 4K. In different phrases, you need to downshift to both 720p or 1080p at 60fps or 1080p at 30fps to get a extra secure video.

On the plus aspect, nonetheless, there are some nifty digicam modes that partially make up for the shortage of mechanical stabilization. For instance, Panorama Mode mechanically adjustments the colour stability of the pictures you’re taking to verify the colours actually come out – which is very nice if you don’t need to spend so much of time post-processing your entire pictures.

So far as we will inform, the Mantis Q is fairly darn powerful.

The Mantis Q additionally presents a spread of clever flight modes, together with Journey (flies away and to an object in a linear vogue), Level of Curiosity (a round trajectory round a specific object), and Return Residence – though it is value noting that these modes aren’t quite a few as with some competing drones. The Mantis Q additionally helps restricted voice management for taking pictures, movies, and flight features, nevertheless it feels difficult and pointless. Are you actually going to yell at your drone to make it do issues? In all probability not.

This brings us to a different drawback: the obvious deficiency prevention of the drone. Though it has downward going through sensors to make sure strong landings, it’s advisable to fly this hen in an space freed from obstacles. It can’t understand its environment, so it’s as much as you to manually keep away from them.

Yuneec

General, this drone is fairly good worth for its value, and a slight enchancment over the Breeze. However with DJI’s Spark now buying and selling underneath $ 400, the Mantis Q is feeling a bit behind the occasions after just some months out.

Construct high quality and sturdiness

Yuneec ditched the Breeze’s plastic hull for a sturdier steel case with the Mantis Q, including simply over three ounces to the load of the Mantis Qs (16.9 oz) – a suitable compromise for added sturdiness. You do not have to fret about simply damaging this factor within the occasion of an inevitable nasty crash.

Regardless of the responsive controls, the Q is just not fairly as secure as we want it to be.

We didn’t deliberately crash our Mantis Q within the take a look at, however we didn’t discover any important harm even after a couple of onerous falls. So far as we will inform, it is fairly darn powerful – and because it does not include some sort of impediment avoidance, that is positively a very good factor.

The controller is fairly customary, with a flip-up retractable bracket that was simply large enough to suit our iPhone XS Max with a skinny protecting case. It was positively protected, nonetheless, so we will not actually complain concerning the construct high quality. The controller feels fairly good in your palms, though we argue that the telephone holder may benefit from being angled a little bit extra again to make the display screen simpler to learn, the best way most individuals would maintain a controller whereas flying .

Battery life and charging time

Whereas Yuneec says the Mantis Q can keep within the air for over half an hour, our exams obtained it on the order of 20-25 minutes or so – and that wasn’t even after we pushed the drone to its limits. That is solely marginally higher than the Spark and most different drones at this value level, and we will think about that given their efficiency in typical flight, it would not do any higher than most in “Sport Mode”.

The controller costs in about two hours with the included USB-C cable and we have been in a position to cost the battery within the included charger in about 50 minutes after it was fully discharged. That is not notably spectacular, however nothing too dangerous both. It is good that the battery can cost as much as 4 batteries on the identical time – and extra Mantis Q batteries are an inexpensive $ 60 every, although it is value including them to your first buy of the drone as a part of the X-Pack possibility for 650 US {dollars} to purchase.

Steering, management and autonomy

Controlling the drone feels no totally different than another drone in its class, and the Mantis Q responds very nicely to controller instructions. Whilst you can management the drone utilizing the phone-based digital controller, the app controls (as regular) are a bit mushy and inaccurate. We subsequently advocate sticking to the bodily controller each time attainable.

Sadly, regardless of its responsive controls, the Mantis Q is just not fairly as secure as we want it to be. We flew our DJI Spark in pretty windy circumstances and noticed it maintain place prefer it was screwed into the sky – however that is not the case with the Mantis Q. Even in very gentle winds, the drone appears to be drifting much more than it ought to. Which means it’s essential to keep in command of the controls.

Yuneec

The drone’s autonomous flight modes work acceptably, however are hampered of their usability by the shaky video of the Mantis Q. Once more, we actually want this factor had a mechanical gimbal.

Additionally, Yuneec’s voice management system appears to be a response to the gesture recognition techniques that DJI has constructed into its drones, nevertheless it’s a extremely difficult function. In all equity, we would like Yuneec to place all that effort and time into bettering the digicam and software program in order that the drone stays higher in a single place.

Digicam and equipment

Whereas it might have been a promoting level, the digicam is the place the Mantis Q fights. The issue right here isn’t just the issue of stabilization that we’re going to illustrate. We have now included some pattern recordings and tried to get each our Spark and Mantis Q on related flight routes. You will note a noticeable distinction.

Yuneec

At 4K, the Mantis Q solely matches the Spark’s 1080p footage when it comes to readability, albeit with some distortion of the horizon line when it isn’t centered within the picture (barrel distortion). You are additionally coping with manner an excessive amount of wobble to really use the footage. In case you change the Mantis all the way down to 1080p 60fps or 30fps, the digital stabilization kicks in, however the picture loses its sharpness – though the 60fps body fee makes quick actions smoother (DJIs Spark helps a most of 1080p 30fps).

The dearth of stabilization in 4K mode actually makes watching movement footage a bit painful. Even your first or two seconds of video whereas the drone is transferring are additionally ineffective because the drone tilts to start out the flight within the desired course, inflicting the digicam to briefly level up or down.

The Mantis Q delivers a very good battle, nevertheless it’s not sufficient to dethrone DJI.

Nevertheless, we do give the Mantis Q one, and it is top of the range pictures. Our photos regarded sharper with the Mantis in comparison with the Spark, however we suspect most individuals are in search of nice aerial images as a substitute of stills, so it most likely does not imply a lot.

Further equipment within the field are a bit slim. There isn’t any carrying case included, however the Yuneec consists of an additional set of propellers in case you break those that got here with the drone. In case you want additional batteries and a suitcase, you may should improve to the X-Pack, which prices an extra $ 150. It comprises a case, three additional batteries, and one other set of spare propellers. It is an additional problem, nevertheless it prices lower than shopping for all of these things individually.

Our opinion

The Mantis Q delivers a very good battle, nevertheless it’s not sufficient to dethrone DJI. Regardless of an admirable array of specs and options, the drone pales compared to many similarly-equipped rivals. Finally, it is the shortage of mechanical picture stabilization that spoils it. The flight controls are nice, the drone itself is sturdy and has many of the flight modes you want – however for the reason that 4K footage is not stabilized, this is not a drone we might advocate.

Is there a greater various?

We definitely suppose so with the Mantis Q’s digicam issues. The DJI Spark – whereas solely supporting 1080p video, common picture capabilities, and a disappointingly quick flight time – usually scores higher than the Mantis Q on virtually each metric. It is disappointing. Yuneec’s latest drone feels extra like a small step above the Breeze than the evolutionary leap that will make it a competitor to DJI’s unique Mavic Professional, Mavic Air or Mavic 2.

Parrot’s Anafi drone can be value contemplating. For $ 500, it has many of the identical options, higher place maintain, and a drastically higher digicam setup. It additionally has a 3-axis gimbal with 180 levels of tilt freedom, so it is extra secure and inventive than what you get with the Mantis.

How lengthy it’ll take?

We have now completely no worries that this drone will not stand the take a look at of time and should outperform Yuneec’s Breeze on extra extreme crashes. However there isn’t a {hardware} improve possibility right here. So that you see what you get. We worry that the Mantis Q might already be technically outdated in view of the competitors. That’s worrying.

Must you purchase it?

No. In case you’re in search of an inexpensive 4K drone, there are higher choices than the Mantis Q. You can be annoyed by the shaky video and the Parrot Anafi is popping circles on picture high quality. Heck, even when the Anafi is not your velocity, we advocate you avoid wasting money and hop on the DJI Mavic Air. There are higher choices.

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