Not everyone has 500 or 1000 euros to spend on a drone. The good news is that there are plenty of low-cost drones on the market. The bad news is that this often means making a big compromise on quality or cutting back on certain features. However, there are some drones that have great features despite a surprisingly affordable price. A good example is the Eachine 520S. But what is it really worth?
Eachine E520S features at a glance
- Weight : 280g
- Size : 40 x 28 x 7.5 cm (Length x Width x Height)
- Speed : 3 modes
- Signal range : 300 meters
- Battery : 1200mAh
- Charging time : 2 hours
- Flight time : 16 minutes
- Camera : up to 4K
Eachine E520S design
The first thing that jumps out at you when you look at the E520S is its striking resemblance to the DJI Mavic Air. Simply because its design was inspired by the popular Mavic Air, which is a much more expensive model. However, it is made of good quality plastic that doesn’t look cheap at all and really does look durable and hardwearing, which should protect its innards from damage in the event of a collision. And its propeller protection frames should help in this task.
One of the big advantages of this drone is that it is foldable. To do this, there is no need to remove the propellers, so it becomes twice as small when folded. Lightweight and therefore compact, it is very easy to carry. A very good point for him if you need to transport your drone frequently.
Battery and flight time
The Eachine E520S comes with a 1200mAh battery that gives it a runtime of about 16 minutes, which is quite remarkable for a drone with a battery of this capacity.
What is the reason for this? In fact, it is a modular battery, a newer version than the Lithium-Polymer batteries usually found on quadcopters in this price range. As a result, the battery stores charge longer and becomes more efficient.
However, 16 minutes goes by relatively quickly, so as with any drone model, it is strongly advised to buy extra batteries. We even offer a high capacity 1850mAh battery in our shop, which offers a flight time of up to 22 minutes!
Remote control and flight range
The Eachine E520S comes with a small, compact and ergonomic remote control. Its plastic is a bit cheap and it’s certainly not as good as the remotes on some DJI drones, but it’s still more attractive than most low-cost drones on the market.
It allows the drone to be flown up to a maximum distance of 300 metres, which is more than enough for a novice pilot to get the hang of it comfortably. Note however that this range drops to 250 metres when using the FPV function.
The remote control is equipped with a retractable mobile phone holder to accommodate all Android and iOS devices.
On the power side, the controller runs on 4 AAA batteries, so fill up or get rechargeable batteries! 😁
Camera, photo and video
The Eachine E520S is available with a choice of 720p, 1080p, or 4K cameras. We tested the 4K camera and to be honest, we were a little wary of the camera’s actual performance. To our surprise, the camera delivers excellent results in both photo and video capture, which is simply unheard of at this price.
The camera is located right under the nose of the drone. It can transmit video in 5G or 2.4G depending on the model chosen. The 5G 4K model clearly offers the best value for money, with 4K ensuring the highest quality video capture, and 5G transmission enabling long range streaming (up to 250 metres).
However, the name is a bit misleading as 4K is only effective in photo mode, and you’ll have to make do with 1080p resolution in video, which is more than enough. The camera offers a 120 degree field of view for wide shots and the camera angle can be rotated up to 90 degrees to give you different viewing angles.
Unfortunately there is no ‘real’ stabilisation, either in the form of a gimbal or electronic stabilisation software. However, the built-in six-axis gyroscope offers decent stability, which will go a long way to eliminating distortions in the images and videos captured by the drone.
Finally, regarding storage, you can store all recorded footage directly on your smartphone or on a micro SD card (to be purchased separately). The drone supports cards up to 128 GB in capacity. Note that to use 4K mode to its full potential, you must use high-speed class SD cards.
Last but not least, the drone can be flown in FPV via live video transmission, for a more immersive experience.
Performance and flight experience
The Eachine E520S is equipped with coreless brushed motors that offer good flight performance. It has several intelligent flight modes that offer a nice range of possibilities:
- Waypoint mode: you can draw a route on the mobile application and the drone will automatically follow the indicated path
- Surround/Orbit mode: the drone rotates around you, ideal for taking great selfies
- Smart Trackingmode: pretty cool, this mode allows the drone to lock onto you and follow you wherever you go, ideal for filming you in action and keeping your hands free
There are also basic but essential functions such as the automatic return to the starting point, which is extremely useful when the drone’s battery is about to die or when the drone is out of sight.
In terms of overall performance, the E520S is easy to control and stable, even in windy conditions. Note, however, that interference may be encountered in FPV mode. Hovering, on the other hand, is greatly facilitated by the integrated GPS.
Finally, the E520S has three speed modes that will allow amateur pilots to gradually get the hang of it. We noticed that the slowest mode is faster than on other drones, so if you’re just starting out, take it easy 😉
Our conclusion on the Eachine E520S
The Eachine E520S is an excellent drone with solid features. This drone is light, portable, durable, has many good features and a camera that is beyond what you would expect from such a cheap drone. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a competitor that matches its price/performance ratio!
We liked :
- quality design and foldable
- caméra de qualité
- easy to fly, responsive to commands
- numerous intelligent flight modes and safety features
- good autonomy
- excellent value for money
We liked less :
- 4K recording is storage intensive