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- Handling – 98
- Flight time / Range – 96%.
- flight stability – 93%
- Upgradability – 83%
- Quality of the recordings – 97%.
- Price / Performance – 94%
Conclusion: A solid and inexpensive entry-level machine in the price range between 200,- and 300,- USD – better than this is hardly possible!
With the Hubsan Zino, the Chinese manufacturer Hubsan has added a cheap and yet promising hobby drone to its product range. The Hubsan Zino H117S is equipped with a 4K camera, 3-axis gimbal, GPS, foldable arms and intelligent flight modes.
The Hubsan Zino is the ideal alternative to the DJI Mavic series of the brand manufacturer DJI. We took a closer look at the Hubsan Zino drone and explained the advantages and disadvantages of the 4K camera drone.
And since it costs around $400, we would definitely consider it as one of the drones to buy if your budget is under $500.
Hubsan Zino (H117S) Review: What comes in the package?
The Hubsan Zino is a foldable 4K camera drone with 3-axis gimbal, GPS and FPV image transmission. With a price between 215,- and 300,- USD, the Hubsan Zino is considered to be an affordable entry-level drone in the range of less than 500,- USD.
In addition to a classic single variant, the manufacturer Hubsan also offers various bundle variants with extra batteries and bag / backpack / case.
Info: New upgrade introduced with the Hubsan Zino Pro!
Hubsan presented the Hubsan Zino Pro in October 2019 (all information here), an upgrade of the Zino drone. The Hubsan Zino Pro comes with a black instead of white housing and features a longer flight range of up to 4,000 meters (instead of 1,000 meters), new joysticks and exchangeable camera filters (optionally available). In our opinion the change from the normal version to the Pro version isn’t really worth it – the new features are too minor and not worthwhile. In addition the Hubsan Zino 4K with a price (UVP) of 399.99 US Dollar is clearly more expensive than the conventional variant.
Package and first impression
The Hubsan Zino H117S is delivered in a plain, radiant white cardboard box. All components in the carton are packed safely, clearly and tidily with appropriate cardboard inserts.
The Hubsan Zino comes with drone, remote control (HT016 remote control), rechargeable battery, three different USB cables with Lightning, USB-C and microUSB connection, 4x spare propeller, charging cable and power supply, screwdriver and an English user manual.
It is worth mentioning that the supplied USB cables are only about 10 centimeters long and therefore too short to connect a tablet to the remote control. Nevertheless, most smartphone device types are supported by the Hubsan Zino, which ensures good compatibility with most mobile devices.
Hubsan offers the smartphone app called “X-Hubsan” both for iOS devices in the Apple App Store and for Android devices in the Google Play Store.
The supplied remote control has an integrated smartphone holder for smartphone control and FPV functions. It can be simply pulled out of the remote control and can be used to clamp a smartphone up to 6.3 inches in the holder. Most tablets therefore cannot be used.
However, the mount looks a bit unstable and therefore doesn’t give a really high quality impression. Praiseworthy are the attached rubber coatings that are supposed to prevent scratches and damage to the smartphone case.
Check out the latest DJI machine - DJI Mavic Air 2.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great leap forward in comparison to Mavic Mini (and first generation of Mavic Air) in nearly every measurable respect:
✔️image and video quality
✔️transmission and controller
A microUSB port is located on the right side of the remote control as well as the cable guide for connecting the smartphone.
Remote control of the Hubsan Zino 4K – Biggest Minus
The non-removable and less precise joysticks are made of plastic and give less than optimal feedback. Despite the use of lower quality materials, the remote control is robust and largely functional. A small drawback is the position of the smartphone as part of the screen is covered by the palms of the hands.
The remote control of the Hubsan Zino drone also needs to be improved in terms of ergonomics. Ultimately, the Hubsan Zino drone can be classified as a fun and toy drone due to its poor workmanship, even if the quadrocopter itself has an adequate workmanship quality.
The remote control of the Hubsan Zino-Quadrocopter not only contains the two joysticks, but also various buttons and switches to perform different functions.
On the top side of the remote control there are for example buttons for automatic, GPS-supported landing and take-off, an on/off button as well as a slider for switching between an expert or sports mode and normal mode. In normal mode, the maximum airspeed is approximately 60 kilometres per hour. If you switch to sport mode through the remote control, there is not much difference in speed.
There are two rather rickety shoulder buttons on the upper side of the remote control for taking photos and videos, as well as a rotary wheel on the left side for tilting the 3-axis gimbal. Freely assignable function buttons are not built in.
Weight – Lightweight and Compact
When the Hubsan Zino arms are unfolded, the drone has a diagonal size of 350 millimetres. The folding mechanism of the Hubsan Zino is, in contrast to the remote control and the rickety switches and regulators, quite high-quality and stable.
The same also applies to the battery compartment, so that the battery can be safely inserted or locked in place with a distinct click.
The on/off switch of the Hubsan Zino drone is not located on the battery, but on the drone housing itself. The Hubsan Zino 4K can be switched on and off by pressing a button for about five seconds.
A blue LED indicates whether the Zino 4K Hubsan is switched on or off. The housing of the Hubsan Zino is white for the most part, which creates a visually high-quality and modern impression.
The propellers and motors and/or engine covers are painted in dark black. However, the plastic material used gives a rather lower quality impression – this is where products from brand manufacturers such as DJI feel a little better.
The Hubsan Zino is not equipped with a vision positioning system for particularly stable flight conditions or even obstacle detection, which is usually only available on more expensive DJI drones.
On the left side of the Hubsan Zino there is a microUSB connector for firmware updates and a microSD card slot. However, a microSD card is not included in the package and must therefore be purchased separately. According to the manufacturer, the Hubsan Zino 4K supports up to 64 gigabyte memory card capacity.
Size and Battery
With dimensions of 304.6 x 252.4 x 90 millimetres (L x W x H) and a weight of about 700 grams (without propeller protection), the Hubsan Zino is comparatively compact and light. Since the weight exceeds the currently valid 250 gram limit, the Hubsan Zino requires a drone licence plate.
The Hubsan Zino drone uses a 3,000 mAh LiPo 3S battery (11.4V) for energy supply. The charging time with the included charger or power supply is about 240 minutes or four hours.
GPS and Lack of VPS
In itself, the Hubsan Zino 4K offers comparatively stable flight characteristics thanks to its integrated GPS.
Since the Hubsan Zino has no ground camera or ultrasonic sensors, drones with Vision Positioning System offer even more stable flight conditions. In terms of flight range, the Zino 4K Hubsan is sufficiently stable – the FPV image is stable and fluid at distances of 100 meters.
Before using the Hubsan Zino for the first time, you have to charge the battery. All you have to do is plug the included power supply into a suitable mains socket and connect it to the supplied balancer charger and drone battery.
The charged battery is then inserted into the Hubsan Zino drone from the rear end.
According to the manufacturer, the Hubsan Zino’s flight time is approximately 23 minutes. In practice we could establish a flight time of about 19 to 20 minutes.
Camera – Solid but barely making the 4k category
The Hubsan Zino drone has a 4K camera and a 3-axis gimbal. The gimbal serves its purpose, but looks a bit cheap and very fragile. You should therefore not transport the Hubsan Zino drone without the protective cap to avoid damage to the gimbal.
The camera of the Hubsan Zino drone records 4K images at a maximum of 30 frames per second. Higher frame rates of up to 60 fps are available only with a 1080p resolution. The data rate is approximately 40 Mbps.
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Despite its low price, the Hubsan Zino 4K has all kinds of intelligent flight modes. With a panorama mode, for example, the Hubsan Zino 4K can automatically record panorama shots at the touch of a button.
There is also a Line Fly mode which is similar to the TapFly mode of DJI drones. The Line Fly mode allows you to manoeuvre the drone to any point by selecting it in the FPV display. This mode is ideal for precise and elegant aerial photography. In addition to the Panorama or Line Fly mode, the Hubsan Zino 4K is also equipped with an Image Tracking function and a Follow Me mode. Image Tracking can be used to select a moving object to be followed by the drone.
Finally, we would like to mention the waypoint mode, which can be used to set several waypoints on the map and then let the drone fly off independently. In surround mode, the Hubsan Zino 4K even has a Point of Interest function, which allows you to set the airspeed and radius individually.
Flying app – friendly interface with clear design
The already mentioned “X-Hubsan” app is used to select the flight modes or the FPV view. The app is neatly designed and easy to use and is compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones.
The app runs remarkably stable during testing. In addition to settings for maximum speed, the app also offers settings for altitude in Return To Home mode. Various telemetry data and flight parameters are displayed in the live image of the app – in the lower area, for example, the app provides real-time information about the flight speed, flight altitude, flight distance and the angle of inclination of the gimbal.
With a tap on the flight modes menu you can select the normal mode, the waypoint mode, the surround mode, the follow me mode or a capture video mode (panorama recording).
The upper part of the app clearly displays information about the status of the device, e.g. signal connection, number of satellites or battery status. On the right side of the screen you can switch between photo and video mode. In addition, the app offers various setting options for video resolution, frame rate, white balance, ISO, exposure, saturation, contrast or sharpness.
Conclusion – cheap drone with couple of minuses
The Hubsan Zino 4K is an economic and therefore affordable camera drone that is ideal for beginners and rookies. However, users will also have to accept compromises in terms of processing quality and sensor technology.
Nevertheless, the Hubsan Zino 4K convinces with its 3-axis gimbal, 4K camera, foldable design, app control and intelligent flight modes such as ActiveTrack (Visual Tracking) or Waypoints. In addition, the 700 gram drone is comparatively light and with prices ranging from 215 to 300 euros comparatively inexpensive.
The Hubsan Zino 4K earns minus points because of its less sophisticated remote control, the rudimentary sensor technology and the extremely long charging time of the flight battery. In this respect, the Hubsan Zino 4K offers a reasonable entry into the world of 4K camera drones.
However, if you are looking for a higher quality and better equipped drone, you will have to look for more expensive alternatives – such as the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE or the DJI Mavic Pro.