Holy Stone X400C Camera Drone Review
The Holy Stone X400C is a rebranded MJX quadcopter. Let’s get that out of the way as soon as possible. Basically, this is a local U.S. supplier of MJX and other RC craft. They get the stuff from Chinese companies and then brand them all under the same name.
Luckily MJX is a pretty decent brand, especially at the low end, and Holy Stone seems to do good work curating which RC craft to bring over to the U.S. So don’t be put off by any of the branding technicalities.
Let’s get into the details of the X400C and see if it’s worth your time and money.
Looks To Kill
This is such a cool-looking quadcopter. The central body clearly looks like a cockpit with a distinct nose and tail. This drone isn’t far off from something like the Batwing, at least if you buy a black one. Which you should.
It’s a really slick-looking drone, which makes it a pity that the removable Wifi camera module is a white pimple on an otherwise seamless fuselage. The module itself is actually pretty well-molded and would fit the copter well if it were also black.
The X400C has big, bold LED lights underneath that clearly show which end is the back and front from below. So it promises to be an excellent night flier. Overall, this is one sexy quad.
List the Lists
This is a $200-ish WiFi FPV camera drone, although I’ve seen it for quite a bit cheaper on sale. For that you get a mid-sized drone which is by all accounts actually capable of flying in a light breeze. Going by what some YouTubers are saying, it actually handles the occasional gust pretty well too.
The boxed contents give you everything you need. There’s the same cheap-looking radio transmitter that still gets the job done. This is the same unit I’ve seen on other X-series quads from MJX. You get the rotor guards, skids, and all the other stuff the quad needs to fly. For some reason there’s also a pair of sunglasses in this bundle. So there.
You have to use your smartphone in order to use the WiFi FPV function, so there is a holder included as well.
The motors on the X400C are apparently uprated ones and the feedback from owners seem to support the higher power. Holy Stone also recommends a 10 minute cool-down period between flights so that the motors last longer.
The quad also has three different control rates. The beginner and intermediate ones reduce the pitch and control speed, whereas the expert version introduces 3D flips when you push the stick over far enough. This is actually a problem, because it means you can’t use the mode with the steepest pitch since you’ll keep auto-flipping. Most people are therefore going to use the intermediate rate and have reduced performance because of it.
The maximum control range is about 330 feet, which is not bad. It does seem a bit weird that a quad of this size uses a USB charger. It would be a good idea to use a third-party balance charger, especially since it takes 80 minutes to fully charge the drone.
The X400C supports headless mode, which is great for getting beginners out of trouble if their sense of orientation goes awry. The X400C also has a “dumb”, straight-line return home function. So it really is very beginner friendly.
The camera is OK enough, but because it uses WiFi it’s not all that useful for sole FPV flying. WiFi has a short range, tends to cut out, and has noticeable lag. None of these things are good; still, it’s a fun feature. But if you really want to use this quad for FPV you’d be better off installing your own digital radio FPV.
The X400C is a pretty great little entry-level FPV drone. If this were my first drone I’d be thrilled. Thanks to the relatively high-power of the motors there’s quite a bit of growth a beginner can do with this drone before needing to move on to something more expensive.
The flight time of eight minutes means, as per usual, that you need to invest in more batteries, but it’s not bad at all.
Apart from needing a better charger and additional batteries this is one of the best-priced and most complete beginner-oriented quads I’ve seen. If you don’t want to start off on a micro- or nano-quad, then you can’t go far wrong here. Best of all, the X400C is still light enough to evade federal registration requirements.