7.5 Total Score
Nice toy to learn the basics of droning

Fun with some nice extensibility options, but has, as expected, a poor battery and is not very stable outdoors.

Control
9
Stability
7
Flight Time
6.5
Durability
7
PROS
  • Very fun to fly
  • Extensibility - nice add-ons available
CONS
  • Battery
  • Instability outdoors
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WL Toys have a history of producing great RC quadcopters, cars and helicopters. They are particularly known for their line of quads, namely V202, V929, V939 and V949. Each of these quadcopters has different flight qualities and designs, allowing the prospective user to choose based on their flying style and intended use. The V959 model, which is released in 2013, follows along with this theme. It’s a solid, durable and ready-to-fly novice quad with an on-board camera and other more toy-like accessories (foam missiles, hoist and bubble maker). Only a very few quads at this price range are equipped with a camera. The camera can take both photos and video. Considering the price of WL Toys V959 quad, this model is unquestionably a nice option for all those who want an affordable quad with video and photography features.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 97 g
  • Dimensions (L x W x H):6in x 6in x 4in (15cm x 15cm x 10cm)
  • Type of Quad: Consumer / Hobbyist
  • Flight Speed: —
  • Flight Time: 10 minutes
  • Cost: < $100 with camera, shipping and basic spares
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Flight Controller: Transmitter

 WL Toys V959 controller.

This mini quad weighs only 97 grams. It is similar in size to other quads in this class of toy quadcopters like the Hubsan X4 and the Syma X1. This stock package contains quadcopter, Li-Po battery 500 mah, AC charger, USB card reader, spare propellers, 2G micro SD card and a 2.4GHz transmitter that requires 6 AA batteries (batteries are not included).

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The Camera

The ability to capture videos with a stock camera is probably the single largest reason that users would purchase this quadcopter.  Considering the price of the quad and the size, the camera is unquestionably the most attractive feature that this quad has. The camera is a tiny pin-hole which captures 640×480 photographs and at 60fps for the video. The camera along with its mount and micro SD card weight around 10g. It slides into place from the rear of the quadcopter and is removed in a similar way. The lens is hinged on one-axis so that it can point anywhere from about straight with the quad to 45° down. This feature gives you more flexibility to play around with different camera angles to get the right shot. The V959 Camera is powered by the quad battery and the included 2G microSD card should hold up to 18 minutes in total, which is amazing for such a tiny quad. The USB stick included in the package will transfer images and video files to your computer.

The really amazing thing about this quad is that you can switch camera out for other toy-like accessories. Depending on what you are in you, you can switch the camera for the gattling gun when your colleagues get out of line, the water gun if your plants need some watering the rescue hook, if you are up for a dexterity challenge or the bubble blower if you are entertaining the children.

 

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WL Toys V959 Battery and Flight Time

Like many of the other tiny quads in this category, there is a limited flight time. You will get around 8 to 10 minutes of when the battery is full. It takes around 60 minutes to recharge the batteries, so it is recommended to purchase an extra battery in order to get some extra camera and flight time in. It’s also interesting that the camera usage doesn’t affect the battery life.

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Controls

The control of V959 is what you would expect from a WL Toys RC. This quad is well-built and relatively stable, which makes it simple to learn and fly. The usual recommendation is to begin with a quad that you don’t mind destroying. However a beginner could make this model work as their first quadcopter. One word of caution for newbies, the camera looks to be really fragile, so it is recommended to keep the camera off while learning how to fly the quad for the first time. It would also be to the novice advantage to begin their lessons outdoor in a wide area with a soft landing area and very low wind until you get the feel of how to fly the quadcopter. This will give your quad a fighting chance on making it to the second stage when you are ready to capture videos. Another advice is to keep the control percentage of the transmitter about 60% to 80%, particularly if you want to use the camera to capture video.

WL Toys V959 kitAs the case with most similar quadcopters, the V959 is initialized by inserting and hooking up the battery, placing it on a flat surface to allow the gyro to set and then turning on the transmitter until the unit binds with it.

The V959 uses a usual mode 2 (left throttle) arrangement in which the right stick provides pitch – that is leaning the quadcopter forward, sideways or backward – which normally makes it fly that way, while the left stick spins the quadcopter on its axis and also provides the speed of props.

The buttons on the transmitter perform different functions, some relating to the quad flight characteristics and other for the camera. The most important of these are the buttons next to the 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% depictions on the LCD screen. These settings determine the aggressiveness of the controls, so novices should begin with the settings in their lowest and only step up if and when they have to (stunts, higher forward speed, stronger wind, etc.)

 

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Parts Repairability and Modification

The engineers at the WL Toys did a nice job on the wiring and the development of the circuit board. They used plugs instead of direct soldering, which makes replacement of motors or other parts much simpler. Parts are simple to find for WL Toys quadcopters, because many of these have been sold. Also, many of the parts are interchangeable with their other quads. Considering the price and other restraints, it is amazing how V959 has been designed and built. If you take care of this quad properly, you’ll be able to keep it flying for a long time.

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Conclusion

The WL Toys V959 is a great quad for novices. This quad provides an inexpensive entry into the world of aerial video. V959 is pretty crash resistant and it offers customization for the transmitter control percentage (40%-60%-80%100%). In terms of costs, the WL Toys V959 comes in at a nice price point (about 80$) and gives novices a nice way to learn the skills it takes to fly a quad as well as play around with aerial photography. This quadcopter is not for sport flying because of poor stability in wind and heavier weight imposed by camera.

The WL Toys V959 is pretty stable and tame, which is best for video. Also, the percentage settings on the transmitter allow for more aggressive moves. However, you should be careful because the resulting videos are likely to give you and your audience motion sickness. The secret to nice quadcopter video is for the aircraft to be still as possible and for all movements to be slow.

 

 

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