A note about the Flashing Crystal and Amazon
The first thing to note in this review is that this is a generic Amazon type product, which means it is sold under a host of names, by various sellers on the Amazon platform, and so whilst I’m calling this the Flashing Crystal review, it applies equally to a bunch of other Amazon listings, current examples being this drone and this drone.
Essentially, if you see a drone that looks like the picture below, this review will apply to it!
You can buy this drone using the link below. I earn a commission on any purchase made.
DronesWatch Flight Demo – The Flashing Crystal
So this is where I normally post a video showing how the drone flies and maybe a couple of other basic operational bits.
And I did have a short video of this drone.
But somehow I accidentally deleted it. 😬
And the drone went in the bin, some weeks ago. 😕
Suffice it to say, the video was very brief and it showed the Flashing Crystal successfully launch, fly directly into a curtain and fall to the ground never to fly again…. So you’re not missing much.
Obviously, not all examples of this product will have such a limited lifespan; I just got unlucky. So I’m still going to do this review, using a bit of contextual knowledge to fill in the blanks. But just bear in mind, this is perhaps not the most robust of toys (UPDATE – having now done the ‘Online hate’ section at the end of this article, I can now see that the Flashing Crystal does have a significant issue with low build quality, so there’s a reasonable chance that if you buy one, it will suffer a similar fate!).
I suppose I should point out that it has one thing very much going for it, which is that it is literally the cheapest drone-type-product in existence.
To an extent, this excuses the lack of longevity and also means that if you are looking for a drone-like toy for the least amount of money possible, just so you can show one to your kids and let them mess about with it, then this could actually be the correct purchase. That said, let’s do the rest of the review….
Summary of the Flashing Crystal 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!!**
This type of drone is sold under different names by a variety of companies. When I bought mine it was called the Flashing Crystal and I can’t remember the name of the seller. At the time of writing this article, the most prominent seller (see link above) calls it the Force 1 Orbiter.
Unlike most of the kids drones I’ve reviewed, this one is very much a ‘toy’; suitable for children of all ages, right down to your youngest toddler.
The drone does not have any direct controller. The only way you can affect what it does is by waving your hand in front of it. One of the onboard sensors will detect the hand and the drone will fly a meter or so away from you before stopping to re-scan the area.
This is a good and a bad thing.
On the plus side, you can take this product out of the box and the kids will be able to play with it immediately.
The down side is that, the extreme simplicity will probably equate to a limited lifespan with regards to how much your kids will like it. A fully charged battery lasts around 7 minutes and I would suggest that once your kids having gone through maybe 30 – 40 full battery’s worth of play time, their interest may be on the wane.
That’ll do for the intro. I’ll now go through the framework I use for assessing all kids drones, although I’m not sure exactly how well it will fit a drone this basic! Let’s see…..
Ease of use
Battery clipping in/out – Not needed, the Flashing Crystal drone has one built in battery. This means no fiddling around but it also means when the battery runs out, there’s nothing you can do apart from put it on to charge.
Assembly – none required.
Easy to launch? – Extremely! You press a button to turn it on then literally just chuck it up in the air.
Easy to trim? – Not applicable. No trim controls present, none required.
Headless mode? – Not applicable.
Does the remote turn off automatically to save the battery? Not applicable.
As noted above, mine broke almost immediately, and the reviews summarised below suggest I am not alone.
Weight – Light. Not much mass to hurt people of break property.
Speed – Fairly slow, and only moves in a given direction for a short distance before reorienting.
Prop guards – None, so you will want to keep this away from really young children as they could easily get hit in the eye or wind up with their hair entangled in the rotor shaft.
Size and rigidity of props – Quite large and medium rigidity, hence the point above re smaller kids.
Obstacle avoidance? – Yes, the sensors that detect hand movement and therefore allow some control of the drone, also serve as obstacle avoidance sensors, so the Flashing Crystal drone shouldn’t hit anyone or anything, if it is working correctly!! 🙄
Speeds – Just one speed.
Lights – Alongside the cheap price, this is one of the saving graces of this drone. It has multiple led lights inside the casing which mean that if you let the kids play with it in a dark room, it’s like a flying disco light.
Tricks – No tricks.
Camera – No Camera.
What’s in the box?
- Charging cable
Is maintenance easy/possible?
Not realistically possible or worthwhile.
Around 7 minutes flight time on a full charge.
Can it be flown outside?
I wouldn’t recommend it. A strong gust of wind would take it away from you, and without walls to detect there’s a chance the drone would keep moving in largely the same direction, potentially out of your reach.
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 Flashing crystal. The first section will summarise some positive reviews and the second will be based on negative reviews.
Online love for the Flashing Crystal drone
The Flashing Crystal drone is widely appreciated for its entertainment value, appealing to kids and adults alike. The drone’s unique hand-operated functionality is often highlighted as an exciting feature that captures the interest of a wide age range, from children to older adults. Moreover, its glowing properties add an extra level of entertainment, especially in the dark.
While it provides great amusement, some users have raised concerns about its durability. Several instances of breakage, especially of the top wings and propeller connectors, have been reported shortly after starting to use the product. This might be due to its relatively weak construction and its susceptibility to damage from impact. On the other hand, it seems the drone’s quick response to surrounding obstacles can diminish after repeated collisions.
The battery life of the drone, while not long-lasting, appears to be sufficient for short bursts of play. The drone automatically lands itself for recharging after about 6-8 minutes of playtime. The charging process is reportedly quick and easy with a USB cord.
One of the key highlights across the reviews is the exemplary customer service of the company. It has won over customers who initially had issues with the product, as they were quick to address their concerns and offer replacements when necessary. They have even sent completely new drones free of charge to replace damaged or malfunctioning ones.
In sum, despite concerns about durability, the Flashing Crystal drone is a hit with its users. It provides ample entertainment, especially as an indoor activity on rainy days. Moreover, the company stands out for its exceptional customer service, resolving issues efficiently and exceeding customer expectations. This product could be a good choice if you are looking for a fun, interactive toy, but be prepared for potential durability issues.
Online hate for the Flashing Crystal drone
The Flashing Crystal drone has been universally reported as being of poor quality, with reviewers citing a range of issues that lead to a largely unsatisfactory experience with the product. One of the most common complaints was that the drone frequently failed to fly properly or at all, often ceasing to function after only a few uses, much to the disappointment of their child owners. Several reviews also pointed out problems with the drone’s durability, where it would easily break upon falling or colliding with objects, or simply fail from regular use. This lack of durability was particularly troublesome, as parts like the flaps and rotor blades were often the first to break.
In terms of operation, there were issues reported with the remote controls provided. Some users found that the remotes were only capable of turning the drone on, but not off. Others noted that the drone’s movements were largely uncontrollable, often rising upwards but failing to come down. This made the drone more of a potential hazard than an entertaining toy, with concerns about potential damage to household objects or pets.
Additionally, there were also several reports of problems with the drone’s battery. Some drones stopped working after a short period of time, even after being fully charged. Most concerningly, one reviewer reported that the charging cord was defective, causing it to melt and pose a potential fire hazard.
Overall, the Flashing Crystal drone appears to disappoint more than it delights, and is widely seen as a poor investment. The product seems to suffer from significant design flaws and quality control issues, which often lead to it quickly becoming inoperable or even potentially dangerous.