LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter Review @ ModSynergy.com
The term "drone" has gained worldwide popularity, and we are fortunate to live in a time where innovative technologies like these are readily accessible to us. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are just one example of the exciting technologies that ordinary individuals can enjoy. Even large companies like Amazon and DHL have embraced these aircraft for delivering goods.
However, the term "drone" is often misused and misunderstood. At their core, drones are multi-rotor aircraft. Unlike helicopters that rely on a single motor, drones can have multiple motors, making them more versatile and complex. I like to think of them as a hybrid combination of airplanes and helicopters, offering the best of both worlds. Among the various drone types, the Quadcopter has gained significant popularity. These four-rotor aircraft have become a worldwide sensation in the RC (Radio Control) toy market, providing endless fun for people of all ages.
You might have heard of the high-end drones that cost over $1000 and come equipped with cameras, sparking debates about privacy laws. However, today, I want to share with you something smaller yet unbelievably enjoyable. It's a Quadcopter that you'll find truly exciting. Whether you're looking to purchase one for yourself or as a gift for your children, this upcoming 2015 Christmas Holiday season, this review will provide all the information you need.
Today, I'll be reviewing the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter, which comes from a relatively young Canadian company. Join me as ModSynergy reviews the NEON, sharing my thoughts and showcasing the Quadcopter in action through photos and videos. Let's dive into this exciting review and see what the NEON has to offer!
LiteHawk is a brand owned by Borgfeldt (Canada) Limited, headquartered in Markham, Ontario. The brand was established in the spring of 2010, initially starting with the LiteHawk helicopter. Today, LiteHawk, proudly designed by Canadians, offers a diverse range of over 45 radio-controlled boats, drones, traditional helicopters, airplanes, and vehicles.
What sets LiteHawk apart is their unwavering commitment to providing exceptional customer service. They ensure easy access to replacement parts and offer a dedicated 1-800 number, allowing LiteHawk product owners to connect with experienced technicians. The LiteHawk experience is designed to deliver a WOW factor straight out of the box, providing an immersive and enjoyable play experience. And in the event assistance is required, LiteHawk is renowned for its reliable customer support.
LiteHawk products are available throughout North America, catering to customers across the continent. In Canada, you can find LiteHawk products at various reputable retailers, including The Source, Best Buy, Mastermind, Toys R Us, Tractor Supply Stores, and independent toy shops across the country. In the United States, LiteHawk products can be found at Fry's Electronics, Bass Pro, Air Traffic Kites & Games, and other select retailers.
With LiteHawk, you can expect high-quality products backed by excellent customer service, ensuring a truly satisfying experience for enthusiasts of all ages.
More information can be found at: www.litehawk.ca
LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter Description
NEON is stunning! Just look at it! Unique two-piece design houses all the electronics, mechanicals and LED lighting systems in a sturdy structure. Even the rotor blades are protected! The LED's are enclosed in the rotor guards so NEON looks like nothing else available - the lights are very, very bright allowing you to easily see NEON day or night.
LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter Features
The LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter comes beautifully packaged in a vibrant and well-designed corrugated box. The box prominently displays LiteHawk's signature red and white color scheme, giving it a futuristic and UFO-like appearance. Through a window on the box, you can catch a glimpse of the NEON Quadcopter, and it looks truly impressive.
The QUATTRO NEON is a ready-to-fly package, meaning it comes fully assembled from the factory, eliminating the need for any customer assembly. Simply take it out of the box and start flying right away.
The box features the prominent LiteHawk logo and model name, along with a statement highlighting the NEON's ultimate aerobatic performance capabilities. An eye-catching image on the box showcases the NEON leaving behind a trail of light, indicating the presence of LED lights integrated into the Quadcopter's body. LiteHawk explains that these lights are designed to resemble the white headlights at the front and red brake lights at the rear of a vehicle, aiding in orientation while flying. Additionally, the propeller blades are colored white in the front and red in the back, providing further assistance with orientation. LiteHawk's thoughtful design choices, such as the integrated LED light system and colored propellers, greatly facilitate the task of orienting the Quadcopter in the air, especially for beginners.
The recommended age for operating the NEON is 10 and over. The box features a circular symbol indicating that the Quadcopter is 4 channels, which is a standard feature for most Quadcopters. This allows for movement in all directions, with throttle and yaw controlled by the left stick of the controller, and pitch and roll controlled by the right stick. A picture of a USB cord suggests that the Quadcopter can be conveniently charged using any USB port.
The LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON incorporates digital stabilization through a 6-axis gyro system, which utilizes three accelerometers to control and maintain the Quadcopter's orientation and stability, even in the presence of motor vibrations and outdoor elements like wind. This ensures that flying the NEON is a relatively easy and enjoyable experience for anyone, regardless of their skill level.
Turning to the back of the box, we get a glimpse of the NEON's controller, which operates on the 2.4GHz wireless band. LiteHawk assures us that this frequency selection eliminates concerns about interference from other devices, such as wireless routers. While it shares the same frequency as common wireless devices, interference issues are generally rare. The box concludes by mentioning that a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery is included in the package.
Upon opening the box, you will find the following items:
- LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter
- Rechargeable Lithium-polymer Battery (500mAh, 30C charge/discharge rate)
- USB Charge Cable
- Replacement propellers (6 pieces)
- User's Manual (English/French)
With these items at your disposal, you'll have everything you need to embark on an exciting Quadcopter flying adventure with the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON.
One of the standout features of LiteHawk is their thoughtful inclusion of replacement propellers with the Quadcopter. It's a great addition that should come with every Quadcopter purchase. What's interesting is that the bundle includes six replacement propellers, which is an odd number considering the Quadcopter has four motors. It's unclear whether this was intentional or a mistake, as they may have intended to provide just one set or possibly two sets. Nevertheless, having more replacement propellers is always beneficial, as it ensures that you have extras on hand in case of any accidents or wear and tear.
The user manual included with the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter is written in both English and French. It is impressively clear and easy to understand, featuring plenty of text and accompanying images to guide the flyer through the Quadcopter's operation and functionality. Whether you're a beginner or experienced pilot, the manual provides valuable information to help you navigate the ins and outs of the Quadcopter effectively.
LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Visual Overview
The LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter has dimensions of 7 inches (17.7cm) diagonally from end to end and 5.6 inches (14.4cm) from side to side. When in flight condition, the NEON has a weight of approximately 62 grams, which gives it a substantial presence in the air.
The LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter features a fully plastic body with a slight translucency. Upon initial touch, the plastic may give off a toy-grade feel and produce some creaking noises. Out of the box, I noticed a few areas where the two-piece body had separated, such as around one of the rings and the front face. However, I was able to easily pinch and close these areas, and they securely clicked shut. This observation was worth mentioning.
Interestingly, the upper shell of the Quadcopter is coated with a smooth and soft-touch rubberized plastic, which adds an intriguing tactile element. Despite the initial concerns about its feel, I have been pleasantly surprised by the NEON's durability. It has withstood hits against the ceiling, impacts, and hard crashes remarkably well. I have been using it for twelve days, and I'm impressed that none of the propellers or the Quadcopter itself have broken. The ring design provides excellent protection for the propellers, making it an ideal choice for beginners like myself. The NEON can take a beating and keep on working. On the other hand, the bottom side shell has a glossy translucent appearance, adding a contrasting visual element to the overall design.
The LED lights inside the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter create a stunning visual display, particularly at nighttime. LiteHawk has designed the LED illumination to mimic the lighting setup of a regular vehicle, with white headlights at the front and red brake lights at the rear. This thoughtful design choice greatly aids in orientation when flying the Quadcopter.
For beginners, understanding the orientation of a Quadcopter can be challenging. To provide further assistance, LiteHawk has incorporated colored propeller blades into the design. The blades are white in the front and red in the back, aligning with the concept of vehicle lighting. This combination of colored propellers and the bright LED light system works harmoniously to enhance orientation during flight.
It's essential to acknowledge the practicality of LiteHawk's approach. Without the distinction of colors and the presence of lights, differentiating the front and rear of the Quadcopter would be significantly more difficult. The incorporation of these design elements ensures a seamless and enjoyable flying experience.
The design of the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter has a striking appeal to it, evoking nostalgic memories of the Wipeout video game I enjoyed playing during my younger years on the original Sony Playstation. The Quadcopter's aesthetic aligns perfectly with the futuristic racing theme of the game. Its sleek and UFO-like appearance, complemented by vibrant red accents on the body and propellers encased in protective rings, adds to its visual allure.
However, it's important to note that the extensive use of plastic in the construction of the Quadcopter does come with trade-offs in terms of speed and battery life. Weighing in at 62 grams, the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON carries additional weight that affects its potential speed and flight time.
Furthermore, the LED lights, while visually captivating, draw power from the battery, thereby reducing the overall flight time. These compromises are inherent in the design of the NEON. However, for beginners, I believe these trade-offs are well worth it. Despite the weight, the QUATTRO NEON remains a remarkably smooth flyer, providing a delightful flying experience with its impressive pitch and roll speeds (side to side and forward to back).
Located on the underside of the Quadcopter, you'll find the battery door, which may be a bit challenging to open initially. To open it, I recommend using a fingernail to slide it out until you hear a satisfying click in one direction, then repeat the same motion in the opposite direction. This will cause the battery door to swing open, granting you access to the battery chamber.
Included with the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON is a 3.7V Lithium Polymer battery. This battery has a capacity of 500mAh and is rated with a 30C charge/discharge rate. The battery itself carries a recent manufacturing date of April 30, 2015, ensuring its reliability. It utilizes a micro-T connector, also known as micro LOSI, which may take some getting used to when removing, as it maintains a secure connection.
Conveniently located at the bottom of the battery door is an ON/OFF switch. The presence of this switch is always appreciated, as not all Quadcopters include a power switch, which I consider to be a drawback. Additionally, you'll find four rubber feet positioned at the bottom of the motor pods. These rubber feet serve multiple purposes, including preventing damage and reducing vibrations. They also help absorb the impact when landing, providing added protection. While one of the rubber feet may be slightly off-center from the rest, this minor discrepancy poses no disadvantage or significant impact on performance.
2.4GHz Flight Controller Overview
The LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON comes equipped with a gamepad-style flight controller that operates on the 2.4GHz wireless band. This flight controller has quickly become a favorite of mine due to its user-friendly design, allowing for seamless and effortless flying of the QUATTRO NEON. A well-designed flight controller should enable users to focus on flying rather than struggling with the controller itself. A poorly designed controller can detract from the overall experience of the product. Fortunately, the LiteHawk flight controller is thoughtfully designed, providing both comfort and ease of maneuvering.
Weighing in at 170 grams, the flight controller is relatively lightweight and comfortable to hold for extended periods. Its construction features hard and thick plastic, giving it a high-quality feel. The controller's plastic material is notably stronger and more robust compared to that of the Quadcopter, offering a solid and rigid build. I particularly appreciate the recessed area underneath the flight controller, which provides a comfortable resting place for the middle, ring, and pinky fingers, allowing for a secure grip.
The flight controller operates using four AAA batteries, ensuring a reliable power source for extended flying sessions.
The flight controller of the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON is designed to cater to both thumb flyers and pinch flyers. The analog sticks protrude higher, providing a comfortable grip for users of both flying styles. The tips of the sticks feature cuts to enhance grip, ensuring that thumb flyers can use the controller without worrying about slippage, while pinch flyers have grip points on the inside of the sticks for added control.
The movement of the analog sticks is excellent, offering consistent and balanced spring-loaded tension on both sticks. The flight controller provides a wider range of motion, allowing for precise and progressive control over the Quadcopter's movements. This linear response ensures that commands gradually increase in intensity as you move the analog sticks, avoiding any sudden or overly sensitive reactions. This level of control is particularly beneficial when it comes to hovering, as a good flight controller like this allows you to find the ideal position for a stable hover. Once the Quadcopter is properly balanced, you can even release the flight sticks and make minimal corrections, maintaining a steady hover without constant adjustments.
The flight controller of the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON has a center power button that illuminates with a red LED light, providing a visual indication of its status. The upper rings also light up with the same red LED light, adding to the overall aesthetic appeal.
Located beside the analog sticks are four buttons that control the trims of the Quadcopter. While these buttons are not labeled, their logical placement makes it easy to identify their functions.
The left analog stick serves as the throttle and yaw stick, controlling the Quadcopter's altitude and rotation. The right analog stick is responsible for pitch and roll movements, determining the Quadcopter's forward/backward and side-to-side motions.
The bottom of the throttle stick features the left/right rotation trim, which is used to correct any unintended turning of the Quadcopter. Similarly, the left side of the pitch and roll stick houses the forward/backward pitch trim, allowing you to adjust the Quadcopter's tendency to move in those directions. The bottom of the pitch and roll stick is dedicated to the roll trim, used to center the Quadcopter if it tends to lean or roll to one side.
The top left button, labeled L1, controls the speed modes of the Quadcopter. Pressing this button triggers audible beeps that indicate the current mode. One beep signifies Standard Mode with a 50% response rate, two beeps indicate Sport Mode 1 with a 75% response rate, and three beeps represent Sport Mode 2 with a 100% response rate. Each mode increases the overall speed and responsiveness of the Quadcopter, with the greatest impact seen in pitch and roll maneuvers. The YAW rate (spin speed) also increases, but to a lesser extent compared to pitch and roll.
The top right button, labeled R1, activates the 360-degree flip mode. Pressing this button allows you to perform flips by selecting a direction on the right analog stick (pitch and roll stick). The Quadcopter will execute the flip accordingly. It is recommended to add an extra burst of throttle while initiating the flip to counteract the Quadcopter's descent due to its weight. When performed correctly, the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON can perform impressive flips considering its size.
How Does The LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Fly? What Are My Thoughts? See my flights!
The LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON offers a fantastic flying experience that surpasses expectations. It is a dream to fly, especially at night with its bright LED lights, providing excellent visibility. Even as a beginner, I quickly gained control and confidence with the intuitive flight controller.
The QUATTRO NEON excels in all aspects, delivering high performance and impressive maneuverability. Its pitch and roll speed, particularly in the highest sport mode, adds excitement to every flight. The Quadcopter maintains stability and showcases noticeable tilt during fast maneuvers, enhancing the overall thrill.
Furthermore, the NEON's unique sound effects, including the distinctive robotic noise during yaw or spins, add an extra touch of fun and immersion. While the yaw rate may be leisurely, it serves as an advantage for beginners, preventing loss of control and allowing for smoother flight experiences.
One standout feature of the NEON is its exceptional durability. Despite its initial toy-like feel, it has proven to be remarkably tough and resilient. Withstanding numerous crashes, including direct high-speed impacts on asphalt, the Quadcopter has demonstrated its ability to endure the rigors of both indoor and outdoor flying.
The tank-like design of the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON instills a sense of durability and protection. However, this sturdiness comes at the expense of agility during flight due to its relatively heavy weight of 62 grams. Performing 360-degree flips requires additional throttle to maintain altitude, but with the right technique, the flips are executed cleanly and precisely. Similarly, when performing rapid pitch and roll maneuvers in the highest sport mode, it's important to anticipate the Quadcopter's stopping distance due to its weight and momentum. It behaves more like a heavier vehicle trying to stop on slippery surfaces, requiring some distance to come to a complete halt.
Undoubtedly, the standout feature of the NEON is its remarkable LED lighting system. Words alone cannot fully convey the brightness and visual impact of these lights. To truly appreciate them, it is recommended to view the photo gallery and flight videos where their brilliance shines through. LiteHawk's thoughtful decision to incorporate white headlights at the front and red brake lights at the rear, along with color-coded propellers for enhanced visibility in bright daylight, adds to the overall flying experience. It's these attention to detail and small touches that contribute to the overall enjoyment of flying the NEON.
Battery Test and Flight Times
The battery of the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON has a rated capacity of 500mAh. When charging the battery using a USB Charger Doctor, it was observed that approximately 445mAh was being charged into the battery until it reached full capacity.
During flight, the Quadcopter provided a flight time of 6 minutes and 5 seconds before the low voltage warning started flashing. It was able to continue flying for an additional 25 seconds, until the flight time reached 6 minutes and 30 seconds, with the throttle stick at its highest position. Throughout the flight, the Quadcopter was maintained in a hover position with minimal throttle adjustments.
Please note that flight times can vary based on factors such as flight conditions, flying style, and battery health.
Where Can I Buy One? And For How Much?
The LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter is available for purchase through various retailers, although it may not be available on Amazon. For Canadian customers, Best Buy Canada offers the QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter at a price of $79.99 CAD. American customers can find the QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter at Fry's Electronics for $59.99 USD. Please note that prices and availability may vary, so it's always a good idea to check with the retailers directly for the most up-to-date information.
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I am thoroughly impressed with the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter. Despite its shortcomings, it delivers an absolute joy of flying, especially in low-light conditions. The NEON manages to avoid any major flaws and performs admirably in all aspects.
One of the minor drawbacks is its limited YAW rate, even in the fastest third mode. The spinning speed of the NEON remains leisurely, and it would have been more exciting if it were faster, particularly in the higher modes. Another compromise is its weight, resulting from the focus on durability. Weighing in at 62 grams, the NEON sacrifices some agility, although it remains a smooth and stable flyer. Coming to a stop during pitch and roll maneuvers takes some time due to the weight, requiring careful anticipation from the pilot to avoid collisions.
However, I find these compromises acceptable considering the advantage of having a robust and tough body. I have put the NEON through extensive crash tests, including high-speed impacts on asphalt roads, and it has come out unscathed every time. Despite my initial concerns, it has proven to be remarkably resilient, with no broken propellers or body parts even after 13 consecutive days of testing. It simply refuses to give in.
As a complete package, the NEON is fantastic. Its design protects the propellers, and the initially perceived cheap feel of the body is quickly dispelled by its durability. The LED lights are impressively bright, the color coding is logical, and its flight characteristics are smooth and stable, with speedy pitch and roll capabilities. The 360-degree flips are fun, with good recovery, and the Quadcopter emits a robotic, Formula 1-like sound, reminiscent of a swarm of bees. The 2.4GHz transmitter/controller is solid and comfortable to use. With flight times exceeding 6 minutes and a bundle that includes extra propellers, the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON excels in every aspect.
I have fallen in love with the LiteHawk QUATTRO NEON Quadcopter and highly recommend it to beginners and even experienced hobbyists. It brings joy not only to the young but also makes older enthusiasts feel youthful again. Kudos to LiteHawk for creating such a satisfying and enjoyable product.