UDI U842-1 Lark Review: A budget FPV drone that packs a punch!
UDI is a Hong-Kong based company which develops a wide variety of remote control products. Among their many products we can find U842-1 Lark FPV quadcopter, an upgraded version of the U842 Falcon. What is so great about U842-1? Not only it is a good quality quadcopter with much to offer, it is also below the average price for a drone with such characteristics. Why does U842-1 Lark stand out from the rest of the low-budget FPV quadcopters? Well, this drone has a very nice addition to it: the remote. Resembling the controllers of a boat and together with a 4.3” built-in LCD Screen creates a fantastic and fun environment for pilots to experience First Person View flight at a very affordable price. Differently from other same price FPV quadcopters which use a simple remote or your own personal device to transmit real time video. UDI seeks to push this line, providing the pilot a different and enhanced feeling of controlling an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Let us take a deeper look into UD842-1 features and specifications as well as its FPV remote control.
UDI U842-1 Durability (7/10)
U842-1 is a light quadcopter, only weighting 350 grams. It is a regular size drone of 48.6 x 12.2 cm. Although light, still resistant to most common wind forces. U842-1 Lark is built with two different materials. Body frame is made of carbon fibre (strong and light), not very common to see low-budget quadcopters using carbon fibre. Rotor also has carbon fibre and ABS plastic (a weaker type of material but still used in majority of drones). Plastic protective frames around the motors and propellers give a nice extra resistance to crashing but might bend on harder hits (you can easily put it back in place). Overall the built is very decent, this drone won’t break easily.
UDI U842-1 Performance (6.5/10)
U842-1 is a fairly simple and steady flier. Pilots won’t take long to grasp how to control this quadcopter. It uses four good N50 motors which keep the drone well balanced while giving it some lifting power. A 6 Axis Gyro with posture control guarantees precise positioning of the drone. It has different speed levels (high, medium and low) with different yaw rates. Therefore, suitable for both indoor and outdoor flight. U842-1 is powered by a 3.7V x 2 1000 mAh Lipo battery giving it a flight time around 7 minutes. Battery is charged through USB cable (always useful).
UDI U842-1 Camera and Live Video Quality (8/10)
This is a very important factor, especially since this is one of the main reasons why we are here: First Person View. Let me start by saying that U842-1 Lark delivers what it promises. Camera is 0.3 megapixels, 720p resolution it can shoot HD (do not expect great quality HD). That be fooled by the 0.3MP, this camera will surprise you as it tops some 1MP or even 2MP advertised drone cameras. Live video speed is 30 frames per second, allowing a great FPV experience with no delay no lag. Live video is display in a 4.3” monitor on your Homeboat set. Video and photos are saved into a Micro-SD card (max: 32 GB) directly placed on the camera. Max bitrate of video storage is 30 Mbps.
UDI U842-1 Features (5/10)
UDI did not aim to produce a feature-rich quadcopter. That was not the priority and I totally agree on their decision. Less features, better performance and video and live quality at an amazing cheap price while including a very original gamer looking transmitter. Therefore, to maximise quality of other aspects they have cut down on the features. U842-1 only has two features: Low Voltage Alarm, meaning when the drone starts running out of battery it will begin issuing a beeping sound to avoid crashes to lack of battery; second feature is the already common 360º eversion stunt, the drone will perform a quick and clean flip in any direction pilot wants.
UDI U842-1LCD Radio Controller / HB Homeboat (6/10)
And now, the holy grail of FPV toy rated drones, and the piece of hardware which will make any man thriving to have a go at it, the commonly called HB Homeboat set (official name is UA17). A 2.4GHz High Performance Remote Control which allows live streaming video, recording video and taking photos. This gamer looking transmitter has a built-in 4.3” LCD Screen with a useful shade protector to avoid the sun preventing you from seeing. Contrary to most transmitters, this fun radio controller does not use batteries, instead it uses its own 3.7V 450mAh lithium battery. The U842-1 has a control distance of 80 meters, a bit below the average range.
|FPV Camera:||Yes (0.3 MP)|
|FPV Frequency:||2.4 GHz|
|Control Distance:||80 meters|
|Flight Time:||7 minutes|
|Low Voltage Alarm:||Yes|
|Altitude Holder:||No! (contrary to what some websites have reviewed it does not have altitude holder)|
The GOOD: Surprisingly good quality camera, providing nice footage. Live video works very well, much better than other same price drones FPV. Radio Controller has a great design, very fun to use, it gives the FPV experience an all new feeling. A very affordable quadcopter with a complete FPV set, ready-to-fly out of the box.
The BAD: Flight time is only 7 minutes, would be nice if it was more around the 9 minutes. Control distance of 80 meters is a bit below average.
Our rating 7.5/10