EMAX Nanohawk Review

The EMAX Nano Hawk is EMAX’ first attempt at a 65mm indoor brushless whoop - they advertise it as a “Beginner Indoor Nano Racing Drone” - at least that is, what the package states. Let’s see how true this is.

This is one class smaller than their super successful 75mm Tinyhawk series, which was - and still is - one of my favorite entry level whoops.

The Nano Hawk weighs in at just 20g without the battery, which is rather on the light weight side when compared to other “BNF” (Bind and Fly) whoops of its size.

Thanks to Banggood for sending me the EMAX Nano Hawk for the purpose of review.

  1. Frame & Props
  2. Electronics
  3. Batteries & Charger
  4. Accessories
  5. Performance
  6. Conclusion

Frame & Props

The first thing that you might realize is, that this one do es not have a full plastic frame as you would expect it from a 65mm form factor, but instead has a 1mm thick carbon base plate to which the plastic hoops are mounted.

Plastic hoops might not be the right term, they are rather prop protectors and they are very flimsy, so during a crash they will not really protect the prop and you will very easily bend the props.

The props included are 31mm (1201), 4 blade, Gemfan props and you will get a complete spare set of props. Still I would recommend that you get a couple more - you will probably need them, but more on this later.

Electronics

The electronics made me super excited - finally EMAX has something with the regular whoop board form factor. The flight-controller is an AIO flight controller, which also contains the 5A ESC’s and an integrated D8 FrSky SPI receiver.

The VTX is mounted on top of the flight controller and is only capable of transmitting 25mW - which for a 65mm whoop is enough, at least in my opinion. Band and channel settings can of course be changed from within Betaflight OSD via SmartAudio.

The motors are soldered to the flight controller and the solder pads are on the edge of the flight controller, so they are very easy to solder to. I can see this board becoming the go-to board for lots of custom builds.

The flight-controller comes flashed with Betaflight version 4.2.0 and the tune is pretty decent, as you expect from EMAX. For my tests I only adjusted the OSD to my liking.

Motors

The motors are EMAX branded 0802, 19000KV motors. They only have two screw holes instead of the three that are common on motors of this size. This also means, that your are basically locked into the EMAX eco-system. If a motor breaks, you will have to buy theirs, since I doubt that any other manufacturer will go for the same form factor.

I like the motor choice, 19000KV is definitely my preference for indoor whoop flying - usually makes the whoop very controllable in tight spaces

Camera

The included camera is a Runcam Nano 3 with a resolution of 800TVL - nothing that blows you away, but pretty decent for its size. A lot of people seem to prefer the Caddx Ant Lite - personally I prefer anything that is not a Caddx, since I mostly have bad experiences with them, so a Runcam cam is a big plus for me.

The camera angle can unfortunately not be adjusted, but the cam is mounted on a rather flexible piece of plastic that protects the cam during a crash.

Batteries & Charger

Only one, 1S, 300mAh HV LiPo battery is included. It comes with the GNB27 connector. The included six port USB charger comes with PH2.0 connectors and two pigtails to connect the GNB27 batteries.

With the included battery I have a flight time of around 2:30-3:00 minutes indoors. Outdoors the battery gets sucked dry in abount a minute. I also tried the 450mAh batteries that come with the TinyHawk - they seem to be a much better pairing in my opinion, resulting in a flight time of closer to four minutes indoors. And around two minutes outdoors. I am not sure if I would go much higher capacity wise, or the quad might start feeling sluggish.

I also tried the 250mAh batteries that come with the Eachine AE65. With those I get a flight time of around 1:30 minutes indoors, so not really worth it, in my opinion.

So the 450mAh LiPo’s seem to be the sweet-spot. Since the batteries are mounted with a rubber band, you can basically run any 1S battery that you like.

I would have really liked to have more batteries included and the charger equipped with GNB27 plugs instead of the PH2.0 pigtails. Or at least have a small short adapter included to be also enable to simply plug in batteries with PH2.0 connector.

Accessories

You will receive a couple of spare screws, a small screw driver, some spare rubber bands, a spare set of props and some stickers. I would have really loved to see this one come in its own carrying case, as it is with its bigger brother the 75mm TinyHawk

Performance

First of all - this thing does not fly like any other 65mm whoop that I have. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the performance, but I don’t think, that this is the right thing for flying indoors.

Since the prop guards, don’t really guard the props, they tend to bend rather easily - and as soon as one prop is bent, the whole quad starts vibrating like crazy. So for this reason alone - this quad in my opinion is not a good choice for indoors.

I really like the performance outdoors - you can zip around and even do some decent acro. As mentioned in the battery section - I especially like the performance on a 450mAh battery.

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Conclusion

I am honestly not convinced that this is a good choice for a newcomer to the hobby especially for flying indoors. The prop guards are simply to flimsy to protect the props from bending, making you to have to bend props back more than actually flying.

If you are just starting out, the TinyHawk 2 or iFlgiht Alpha A65 will be the better option for indoor flight in my opinion.

The price tag of around 100$ for the EMAX Nano Hawk on banggood is honestly a bit high for what you get - the TinyHawk 2 has the same price tag and Emax includes a carrying case and more accessories with this one.

If you are looking for something small to fly outdoors, that is also capable of some decent acro, this might totally be the right choice for you. This is a great little racer for any playground.

I applaud EMAX for trying something different, but I don’t think they are marketing it to the right audience. I think you can remove the prop guards drop some weight and even gain some more performance. I would really be interested in how this quad would perform with bigger props, but I am a bit afraid that 40mm might be the limit for those small motors.

I wish that you would get a couple more batteries with this kit, especially since not everyone might already have a stack of packs with GNB27 connector. Also a carrying case would have been great, but since the box can be used as the carrying case, it’s not too big of a deal for me.

Generally I think you should pass on this one. I can see EMAX coming out with a super light weight 3” in the near future, based on this platform - and this will probably be an awesome quad.

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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