Let me get straight to the point: this drone rocks! We are super impressed with the. It’s packed with great features, it’s durable, it’s priced right, and most of all – it is super easy to fly.
All of this adds up to make this drone THE best mid-size drone we’ve tested. If you are just starting out in drones, or if you’ve got a mini/micro drone and are looking to move up to a mid-size drone, then this is the quadcopter you want! Keep reading to find out all this drone has to offer…
The build quality of the DBPOWER Hawkeye-II is on par with other quadcopters in its class. It is sturdy and should hold up to a few rough landings with no problem.
This drone does require a bit of assembly before you can use it. You’ll need to screw on the 4 propellers and the 4 blade guards which use teeny-tiny screws and require a little patience and determination.
I had a very hard time detaching the battery from the drone. Not sure if that issue applies to every unit or if mine has an especially snug fit – but it took a pair of pliers and a fair amount of force. I was concerned I’d break the connector, but thankfully it finally came out.
Because of this issue, I don’t fully push the connector in when I put the battery back in the drone after charging. It still works fine, but I imagine if I had to continually wrestle with it to get it in and out that eventually it would break.
I can usually get about 6 or 7 minutes of flight time when using the FPV app on my phone. FPV streaming and taking pictures and videos definitely consumes more battery life.
If you unplug the camera from the bottom of the drone, you’ll get a little extra flight time. If you really want to squeeze every second out of the battery, you can remove the camera and the prop guards to lighten the drone – though we don’t recommend removing the guards until you are pretty confident in flying.
It takes about an hour or so to fully charge the battery. We definitely suggest getting a second battery (or 3rd or 4th!) – you won’t want to be done flying after just 7 minutes!
The best deal we found for spare batteries was at Banggood (the listing is for a CX-32 which is another name for the Hawkeye-II).
Also note that there is no audible alarm when the battery is getting low, you’ll need to rely on the flashing lights on the drone. Most of the time this is not an issue, but we when were flying on a bright, sunny day recently, we couldn’t see the lights and the battery died mid-flight – causing the drone to drop out of the sky suddenly.
Thankfully, it was only a few feet off the ground and it didn’t take any damage.
We can’t get over how well the one-button takeoff and landing feature works on this drone! This is a feature usually only found on high end (think DJI Phantom) quadcopters. We assumed it would just be a gimmick and not really work well – but it actually works great!
When using the remote, the Hawkeye-II responds well to input. It is not a sporty flyer by any means, but you can get it to zip around pretty good. Plus, if you are just learning to fly, this drone has an excellent balance of speed and responsiveness.
However, if you are trying to use the app on your phone/tablet to control the drone – keep your expectations low. There is definitely a delay between the app and the drone, so you’ll need to adjust your flying style a bit. I feel this feature is more of a gimmick. I’d suggest only using the app for FPV and taking photos and videos – not for controlling the drone.
This is a light drone, so I did notice that it struggled in the wind. Even a light gust can send it a bit off course – so keep an eye on the weather when you fly the Hawkeye-II. It flew like a champ on a nice calm day though!
The Hawkeye-II is advertised as having a range of 80 meters when using the remote. My experience fell short of that. I was flying in an open field and was only able to get about 40-50 meters before I noticed control issues. Perhaps there was some interference in the area and I’d have better luck somewhere else.
If you are using the app on your phone to fly via FPV, you’ll only get about a 20 meter range. You may experience a degraded signal even before hitting the 20 meter mark, so keep the drone relatively close when flying in FPV mode.
There is a good reason that this drone is currently the #1 seller on Amazon in the Model Helicopter category: it is an excellent deal for the price! Features like one-button takeoff and landing, FPV mode, and high-def camera really set it apart from other quadcopters in this price range.
This drone features a “high density air pressure sensor” that allows it to hover much easier than drones without this feature. Thanks to this sensor, you can set the height you want to fly with the left control stick on the remote – and then let go of the left stick and focus on flying with the right stick.
Most small and mid-size drones require constant input on the left stick to keep the drone airborne, but not the Hawkeye-II! This makes for a very easy and intuitive learning experience, perfect for those just starting out!
Overall, we love this drone and we think you will too!