A lot of brushless whoops came out lately, but which one is the best? In my opinion there is no one single best brushless whoop - it depends on what you want to do, this is why I decided to go with different categories.
Are you just starting out, do you want to fly indoors or do you prefer to fly outdoors, do you want HD footage or is DVR enough for you?
To qualify for a recommendation the brushless whoop must not have been released this year, but it has to be a product that is still the best pick in 2020.
In my opinion the best entry level brushless whoop for 2020 is the Emax Tinyhawk 2, more spepcifically the Emax Tinyhawk RTF starter kit. It comes with everything you need to start the quadcopter hobby: Goggles, RC transmitter, quadcopter, batteries and a charger.
This kit allows you to grow: You can use the transmitter with different models, the goggle can of course also be used with any other model. You can upgrade your RC transmitter or your goggles as you progress.
The Tinyhawk is powered by a 1S battery which allows you to fly indoors without breaking anything - neither the copter nor your furniture. The price tag is another big plus - you can pick up the kit for around $180 on banggood. Spare parts are available for everything.
The Tinyhawk 2, as the name suggests is already the second integration of this tried and tested platform.
For indoor use, I would highly recommend something that is flying on 1S, in my opinion 2S is simply too much for indoors, except if you tone down your maximum throttle or if you have a really big indoors space to fly in.
Don’t be fooled, there is no shame in flying 1S brushless whoops. There is the right tool for every task and for indoor flying, it simply is a 1S brushless whoop.
In the indoors category the iFlight Alpha A65 is my top pick. It’s rigid design is perfect for indoor use, you can bump into stuff without breaking the quadcopter or your furniture.
You can pick up the iFlight Alpha A65 on banggood for less than $110, depending on the receiver you want to get.
There is also a kit available which comes with carrying case and a lot of spare parts and batteries - if you already have transmitter and goggles, but are new to whoops, this is definelty the best value for money.
If you want something really sturdy, and do not mind to pay a slight premium, I can highly recommend the BetaFPV Meteor 65 it comes with the BetaFPV’s custom BT2.0 battery connector for higher currents.
This one has a great out of the box experience. The frame and especially the canopy, are one of the sturdiest currently available.
For outdoors you can go in two different directions - either you get a bigger brushless whoop, or you go with a toothpick class quadcopter.
Toothpicks are 2 - 2.5” micro copters that do not have ducts, but pack a massive punch for their size. When it comes to the toothpick class, there are a lot of different options, but the one I had the most fun with and which turned out to be literally unbreakable for me is the Geelang Wasp 85X.
It is a little rough around the edges, you proabably will want to modify the battery plugs to an XT30 plug, but this thing has simply been indestructible for me - in over 200 packs, I only broke a canopy and two props. Best thing is, it comes with spare canopy and spare props. You can get the wasp for around $120 on banggood - the exact price will depend on the receiver you chose.
If you want something a little bit more refined when it comes to the tune, I would recommend the Tinyhawk 2 Freestyle. This is basically the bigger brother of my indoor pick.
For outdoor whoop action you want something with a little more power, preferably something with 2S. Here I would definitely recommend the Happymodel Mobula 7.
Technically you can also fly this one on 1S, but it has definitely been designed with 2S in mind. You will need two, 1S batteries in order to fly the Mobula 7. A lot of people modify the battery plugs and battery tray so that they can use a dedicated 2S battery with XT30 connector.
The reason why I recommend the Mobula 7 over the Trasahcan is simply better choice of components, the camera is 4:3 and the motors are of better quality. The only downside with the Mobula 7 is the F3 flight controller. Both use the same frame.
You can pick up the Mobula 7 from banggood for about $90.
A cinewhoop is basically a brushless whoop capable of recording HD footage. Also in this category we have seen a couple of contestants coming out lately. HD cameras are usually slighty heavier than their non HD counterparts which tends to make the cinewhoops slightly less responsive in the air.
You will be able to do some freestyle tricks, but do not expect them to be a replacement for your five inch GoPro rig. Although you could get something like the green hornet - an upscaled whoop, capable of carrying a GoPro, but this is definitely rather something more for people that feel comfortable with 5” rigs.
In my opinion cinewhoops are best used for cinematic, exploration style cruising: An abandoned house in the woods - the perfect scenery for a cinewhoop. A place like a museum or an exhibition would also be a great location to fly those cinewhoops.
The biggest surprise for me this year was the iFlight Alpha A85. This thing just flies so well out of the box. It utilizes a Caddx Baby Turtle to record HD footage on to the on board DVR.
You can fly this model on either 3S or 4S batteries, but it seems to have been designed with 4S batteries in mind. That being said, I mostly fly it on 3S and am having really a lot of fun with it.
Keep in mind, this is not intended to do super responsive acro flying, and with the HD hybrid solution you will always have to get used to the slightly higher latency.
If you are planning on flying outside a lot, I would also recommend to get a matching ND filter with this one - although you will have to modify the canopy to make it fit.
Batteries and Chargers
As important as the quadcopter itself are the batteries and charger. In my opinion the best batteries you can get for brushless whoops are GNB’s, those are my recommendations:
- 1S 300mAh: my goto battery for 65mm whoops
- 1S 450mAh: the perfect pack for the Tinyhawk
- 2S 300mAh
- 2s 450mAh: more flight time than the 300mAh, but also slightly heavier - I like those on my 85mm whoops and 2.5” toothpicks. I like to get batteries that I can use on multiple of my models.
- 3S 300mAh
- 3S 450mAh: Those are my favorite ones for 85mm cinewhoops
- 4S 450mAh: For a bit more punch and longer flight times
With batteries I always like to get a couple of different ones (capacity wise), see which one I like the best, and then get plenty of those.
When it comes to battery chargers, I cannot highly enough recommend the ISDT Q6 Pro with a XT30 parallel charging board for 2S batteries and up. But you can also use it for 1S batteries with a serial charging solution.
If you want a dedicated 1S charger, take a look at the UP-S6AC a six channel charger allowing you to charge six batteries at a time, no matter of their discharge state.
Chris is a Vienna based software developer. In his spare time he enjoys reviewing tech gear, ripping quads of all sizes and making stuff.
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