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DronesWatch Flight Demo – The Attop XPack2
Summary of the Attop XPack2 as a kids drone
**Yes, that’s right, I like to start with a summary as I know you guys don’t necessarily have much time to spare. And yes, this review is based on the assumption that you’re thinking of buying for a child, so it will focus on child-related issues. Ok, let’s do this!!**
The XPack2 is an ok drone; it does some stuff quite well.
BUT! It is not a strong recommendation as a kids drone (so if that’s what you’re looking for, you should probably check out my kids drones article instead).
So, what’s the problem?
Well, thanks for asking! It’s actually two problems……
Firstly, it comes with no propeller guards and no option to add any. The props are small and won’t do much damage, but it’s still not ideal if you’re buying this drone for children.
Secondly, the XPack2 turns reeeaaaaaaalllllllly slowly! It is literally the slowest turning drone I’ve ever messed about with. To the point that it becomes kind of difficult to fly.
A slow turning speed isn’t necessarily a problem; one of my recommendations for a drone for younger kids is the Tudello H850H which also turns quite slowly.
But there is a difference……
The Tudello drone also flies slowly in a straight line, so it matches up.
The XPack 2 is fairly fast going forward and backward, which makes the sloth-like yawing an issue.
Imagine your kid is having a go with a drone for the first time. Very excited!! They get it up in the air and hit the stick to go forward…… They’re flying! full speed! Approaching the end of the room…… They need to bank sharply, to avoid a crash. So they mash the stick left or right; this is so cool!!!!….
…… and the XPack2 just kind of shrugs its shoulders and smashes into the wall.
Rinse and repeat a few times, then chuck it in the bin.
But let’s be fair and consider the positives too.
The XPack2, with its tiny airframe and folding rotor arms is one of the most portable drones in existence, and is certainly the most portable camera drone on the market. However, you seriously need to read the ‘camera’ section below before buying it for that reason.
It also has three speeds, which makes a bit of a difference re the turning issue. On speed 3 it moves a fair bit faster than speed 1 and this increase applies to the turning speed as well, to a degree. This means that if an adult, or a competent older child is flying it, it becomes less of a lolloping oaf than it is on speed 1. Sort of.
So that’s the summary; bad for kids, slightly less bad for adults.
Let’s look at some of the specifics:
Ease of use
Battery clipping in/out – The XPack2 has a built-in battery so there’s no fiddling around trying to clip it back in after charging up. There is of course a down side to this simplicity which is that you can’t use the drone with a spare battery, so once you’ve burned through the ~7 minutes flight time of a full battery, you’re looking at around a 45 minute wait before you can use it again.
Assembly – None required.
Easy to launch? – It uses one of the simpler launch methods, which is to push the left stick upwards to turn the rotors on, then up again to go. It also has a one-button launch, but it didn’t work on my model.
Easy to trim? – Trim controls are buttons on the controller, so this is simple.
Headless mode? – Yes.
Does the remote turn off automatically to save the battery? – No. I always mention this because if you’re going to let kids play with a drone you know they’re not going to carefully turn the controller off when they’re done, so an always-on controller means flat batteries every other day or a requirement for you to frequently remember to do the turning off yourself.
Of all the toy drones I’ve got, this one has had probably the least flight time. That is in large part because of the flaws noted above. It’s just not that much fun for kids. Nevertheless, it has been used for ~2 hours and maybe 1 hour of that was my eldest kid, so it has been crashed numerous times and it continues to function at time of writing. Believe it or not, this means it is already better in terms of robustness, than at least 2 other drones I’ve reviewed, so bravo for that!
Having said that, the lack of propeller guards means it is only a matter of time until multiple props have broken and the drone is either done, or I’ll have to seek out replacements (further to those supplied, I mean).
Weight – Very low.
Speed – See comments in the introduction. Not great in terms of safety, particularly the safety of any breakable items in your house.
Propeller guards – None.
Size and rigidity of propellers – Small and flexible, so the above is mitigated somewhat.
Speeds – See comments in introduction.
Lights – None.
Tricks – It does the normal range of flips that most toy drones do, however due to the manufacturers desire to keep the number of buttons on the controller low, you have to do a relatively convoluted set of commands to make them happen, starting with pushing one of the control sticks in (meaning, towards the controller) which is a bit tricky and probably not something I’d expect kids to be able to do. Mine certainly can’t at <6 years old.
Camera – only 720p and requires the downloading of an app (so you need a smartphone, obvs) but it is easy enough to set up and 720p is good enough that your kids would be able to have fun giving their aerial photography skills an initial test run. But don’t get unduly excited. I always suspect that when people buy a camera drone, even when it is right at the cheap end of the spectrum (as is the case here; some camera drones sell for $thousands) they are expecting it to be able to take the sort of pictures and video you see on TV. That is not what the XPack2 affords you. The resolution is quite weak, the camera position is fixed (straight forward) and the stability of the drone is not controlled by the sort of expensive software that DJI-type drones have on board. So the result might be fun, but it won’t be high quality.
What’s in the box?
- 2 batteries
- Charging cable
- Controller (requires AAA batteries)
- Full set of replacement propellers
Is maintenance easy/possible?
No. Very small and cheap drone means repairs are not realistic and it hasn’t been designed to allow them.
Is it noisy?
Standard for a small drone.
I tested it just hovering with the camera turned off and it averaged a respectable 7.5 minutes per battery across 3 battery’s worth of tests. That dropped to just 6 minutes if the camera was turned on though, which is really pushing the limits of what feels worthwhile.
Can it be flown outside?
No. I haven’t tested it outside because I don’t need to. It is way too light to deal with external conditions and it would get lost very quickly if you tried to fly it at any significant height or distance.
Any recommended accessories?
Just this power bank, which is useful for charging drone batteries if you’re on the move or if you simply want to avoid clogging up your wall sockets.
Summaries of online reviews
My review above is subjective and other people won’t necessarily feel the same way. So, in order to provide an alternative point of view, the below sections are summaries of a bunch of other online reviews for the XPack2. The first section will summarise some positive reviews and the second will be based on negative reviews.
Online love for the XPack2
The Attop XPack2 gets good reviews as a starter drone for children. Users appreciate its small size and find it fun to fly. Reviewers repeatedly mentioned that it is suitable for beginners, and particularly children, with multiple reviewers noting that children as young as 7 or 8 could operate it. Despite its small size, some users note that it might not be suitable for children under 10 due to charging issues.
Control is a contentious issue. On one hand, the drone is considered challenging to control by some, making it hard to handle for first-time users or children. One experienced user notes that the drone’s “yaw” response is unresponsive compared to its “pitch,” forcing advanced correction techniques. This has helped the user develop their flying skills, but might be too challenging for novices. Conversely, some found that once they got the hang of the controls, it was easy to maneuver.
Finally, the device’s small size has been emphasized by many users, but this is seen as both a strength and a weakness. Some users appreciate the compactness and portability of the drone. Yet, others were disappointed by its size, expressing that it was smaller than they expected.
Online hate for the XPack2
People criticise the XPack2’s flight style, calling it unstable and inconsistent, frequently leading to a loss of control. Some reviewers shared that the drone would often fly off uncontrollably or wouldn’t respond to commands from the remote.
An area of concern among multiple reviewers was the drone’s lack of responsiveness and unreliable connection with its controller. In some instances, this led to the drone disappearing during use. Furthermore, it was noted that the drone often flew directly into walls despite full charging and correct startup, which suggests a potential fault in the drone’s design or functionality.
Another significant issue pointed out was the lack of essential parts and information. Some customers reported not receiving a charger, extra propellers, or even instructions. This is a clear shortcoming in the product’s packaging and delivery, causing a frustrating user experience.
One unexpected issue raised was concerning the cost of the camera app. The app, which is required to operate the camera (a key feature of the drone), reportedly costs significantly more than the drone itself, which some customers felt was misleading.
The drone’s size was also a point of critique, with reviewers noting that the small size of the drone made it particularly difficult to control and less satisfying to use. Additionally, the drone’s video quality and frame rate were reported to be poor, which considerably reduced its appeal for those interested in drone videography.
The product’s build quality was deemed subpar by some users, with incidents of it breaking after just a few uses or failing to function properly right out of the box. Others noted that the drone’s propellers collided with each other during operation, and some had issues syncing the drone with the remote, which rendered the product virtually unusable.
Lastly, a repeated complaint was about the unsatisfactory customer service provided by Attop. Many users had issues reaching out to the company for assistance or to process returns when they faced problems with their drone. However, one reviewer reported a positive experience where they were reimbursed by Attop. Despite this, the overall customer service rating was generally negative.
In conclusion, the Attop XPack2 drone seems to struggle with several major issues, including faulty control, substandard build quality, poor customer service, and hidden additional costs. Given these concerns, potential buyers should thoroughly consider these factors before investing in this drone.