Cheerwing – Syma X5SW-V3 Drone Review

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DronesWatch Flight Demo – The Syma X5SW-V3

Summary of the Syma X5SW-V3

**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!!**

Given that this site is currently all about kids drones, I had to think long and hard about whether or not I should cover this model.

In the end I decided I would review it, but kind of on the understanding that the thrust of the article is going to be about how this is not a child-appropriate drone.

So, the first thing I’m going to say is that the X5SW-V3 (which I’m just going to call the Syma from now on as X5SW-V3 doesn’t really roll off the tongue!) is a decent drone, and when you consider the fairly low price tag, it’s good value for money. But, at the time of writing this article, it only gets 3.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon and I think the reason for that is connected to why I’m writing this slightly odd article. The problem is, the Syma looks a lot like a proper drone, but is priced like a high end toy.

This means that:

  • People like me are looking at it as a toy, and are discovering that it isn’t really a toy.
  • Others are looking at it as a serious drone and are discovering that it isn’t really serious!

In other words, it is sitting in a grey area and mostly just annoying people.

With that said, let’s get on with reviewing it as a toy, and the first thing I want to say is that if you do want to consider buying this as a kids toy, the kid in question should probably be at least about 11 or 12 years old and that is for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, the Syma is significantly larger than the other kids drones I’ve reviewed. It is also faster than most, and it has large, rigid propellers with only limited propeller guards. So it could cause some real damage if it hit a person or property.

Secondly, it is quite a bit more complicated to use than the average toy drone. Most of this is due to the presence of a camera, which requires the supporting use of a smartphone, an app, a wifi network and a physical attachment for the phone. None of this is hugely complicated to set up or use, but it will be well over the heads of any younger kids.

Ok, let’s look at some specifics:

Ease of use

Battery clipping in/out – Not awful, but I’ve seen better. They use a proprietary clip which in itself is fine, but it’s on the end of a wire that just gets randomly tucked inside the body of the drone, so in order to change the battery you have to fish it out then hold onto the clip which only extends out of the drone a centimetre or so, whilst you do the un/clipping. No massive deal, but smaller kids won’t manage.

Assembly – You have to use a screwdriver to attach the motors and the stands using miniature screws. Not hard though.

Easy to launch? – Quite easy. You have to do an up-down on the left stick to unlock the drone each time you want to take off, then you can launch by going up on the left stick or using a one-button launch.

Easy to trim? – I haven’t managed it yet!! Unfortunately, they’ve done the thing that some drone manufacturers do, where they want to keep the remote control simple, which means some functions have to be carried out with complex combos on the sticks. Add to this the fact that the manual has been translated from Chinese shall we say, ‘roughly‘ and I’m left unable to execute the suggested method.

Headless mode? – Yes. Also requires a more fiddly use of controls than with most toy drones.

Does the remote turn off automatically to save the battery?  – No.


It is difficult to comment on this aspect of the Syma. If you look at any of my other kids drones reviews, you’ll see that I let my kids play with them for a while and get some real world understanding of how breakable they are. But my eldest is only 5 years old, so I won’t be doing that in this case, and I don’t really want to start crashing it around my house on purpose because it will probably end up breaking stuff.

My guess is that Cheerwing, the company who sell the Syma, intend it to be used primarily outside. This will reduce the amount of hits it takes and if I add to this how the drone feels (not a scientific method, I have to accept) I imagine it is probably reasonably robust for what it is supposed to do.


Weight – Quite heavy by kids drone standards.

Speed – Fast. Arguably too fast for use indoors.

Propeller guards – Yes, but only covering about a quarter of the propeller around the sides, and they don’t go over the propeller at all. I think the design is intended purely to protect the props when crashes occur, not to stop injury to people.

Size and rigidity of propellers – Large and rigid. As previously mentioned, you wouldn’t want a young child messing with these.


Speeds – Fast, which is fun. But it should be noted, the whole design and concept of the Syma is not really about fun flying, it is more of an introduction to drone photography. Nevertheless, it handles quite well which, in addition to the speed, means the Syma is undeniably fun for the money.

Lights – Only for directional purposes.

Tricks – It does the ubiquitous 360 degree flips.

Camera – Yes, it does have a camera. So, for a kid of the right kind of age, this is a major plus point. Just bear in mind the resolution it is capable of is just 720p, and I think this is where some of the negative reviews are coming from. You get used to seeing beautiful drone photography online and I’m sure some people buy the Syma expecting to be able to replicate it, but those beautiful images are being captured by cameras that cost multiple times the entire cost of the Syma. You won’t be able to match them with this drone. It is only suitable for use as a ‘starter’ product.

Quick Questions

What’s in the box?

  • Drone
  • 2 batteries
  • Charging cable
  • Propeller guards and stands.
  • Controller (requires AAA batteries)
  • Clip for smartphone.
  • Full set of replacement propellers
  • Manual

Is maintenance easy/possible?

I always say that maintenance of toy drones is not really a thing, due to their small size and low cost. I suppose, due to the much greater size of the Syma compared to the average toy drone, it is possible that some maintenance could be performed if you were to crack it open and have a look inside.

Is it noisy?

Certainly more noisy than any other toy drone.

Battery life

Good. I tested it indoors, just hovering and on a full charge it lasted 11 minutes which is good going versus a normal time of around 7 to 8 minutes.

Can it be flown outside?

I’ve flown it a couple of times in my back garden and it does ok. It has a bigger battery than most toy drones and consequently the propellers push out a bit more power, so a light breeze isn’t necessarily a problem. Having said that, the Syma is still way down on power compared to even the smallest of the drones produced by the likes of DJI and it doesn’t have the complex stability software that those drones boast either, so I wouldn’t want to risk taking it very high in the air; I suspect you would lose it quickly.

Any recommended accessories?

None required for a drone this size.

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 Syma X5SW-V3. The first section will summarise some positive reviews and the second will be based on negative reviews.

Online love for the Syma X5SW-V3

The Syma X5SW-V3 drone is highly regarded by users as a durable and resilient drone, making it ideal for beginners and children. Its light, inexpensive plastic build is appreciated for its durability; despite falls, crashes, and exposure to severe weather conditions, the drone is reported to function consistently.

The drone’s assembly is generally straightforward, with the legs, blade guards, and camera needing to be attached manually. However, the accompanying instructions are repeatedly criticized for their poor quality. The drone’s camera quality is considered average, and it’s noted that the drone’s battery life varies significantly depending on the usage of the camera, ranging from eight minutes with the camera on to approximately 15 minutes without.

Flight-wise, the drone’s control and maneuverability are praised. The drone is also celebrated for its resilience and ability to ‘take a beating,’ surviving crashes and falls with minimal damage. There’s a small learning curve when it comes to controlling the drone, but it’s overall considered easy to manage, although users report that it occasionally drifts from its center during flight.

The drone’s video and image quality are criticized for being subpar, and some users report minor issues with blade guards. Despite this, it’s hailed as an excellent entry-level drone due to its price point and feature set, which includes FPV camera capabilities and the ability to pair with an Android phone. It should be noted that the drone is highly affected by wind conditions due to its lightweight build.

Extra batteries are recommended by users to extend flight time, and it’s worth noting that replacement parts are readily available and affordable.

In conclusion, the Syma X5SW-V3 drone is recommended for beginners and those seeking a practice drone due to its low cost, durability, and ease of control. While it has its flaws, such as mediocre camera quality and poor instructions, it delivers good value for its price and provides a resilient platform for honing drone-flying skills.

Online hate for the Syma X5SW-V3

Customers frequently report a lack of stability during flight, leading to an uncomfortable and uncontrollable experience. This issue seems to be further exacerbated by the drone’s vulnerability to even the slightest breeze, making outdoor use particularly challenging.

Another critical concern is the loss of signal at relatively short distances, often resulting in unexpected emergency landings or the drone flying away uncontrollably. Reviewers mention this issue happening at distances far shorter than what the product specification claims, frequently around 20 feet or less.

Concerning the build quality, the Syma X5SW-V3 is regarded as overly light and fragile. Several reviewers mentioned problems with the motors’ sound quality, hinting at possible mechanical issues. Some customers also experienced trouble with the battery connector and were disappointed with the flight time, even when using an expanded battery.

The drone’s FPV camera and Wi-Fi connectivity seem to be unreliable, with reports of intermittent functionality. The camera quality is also criticised as outdated, with low light performance being particularly poor.

Several customers mentioned receiving potentially refurbished or previously returned units, noting apparent tampering with packaging or visible scratches and defects on the product.

Finally, many reviewers commented on the drone’s poor overall control experience, lack of hovering capabilities, and inferior flight time. As a result, many customers feel the product is not worth its price, and several recommend other drone models over this one.

Based on these reviews, the Syma X5SW-V3 drone appears to have significant issues with reliability, performance, and quality control, leading to a predominantly negative customer experience.

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