Happymodel Cine 8 Review

The HappyModel Cine 8 is - as the name suggests - a 85mm cine whoop with which you can carry a Insta360 Go. This copter - similar to the UZ85 - comes as a kit which you have to assemble yourself - and there is no soldering required.

I really like the concept of having to put it together yourself. Everything is plug and play, meaning that all the wires come with plugs and you just plug them in and you are set. The assembly can easily be done in under an hour.

The quad weighs in at 73g without battery, 112g with the included battery and 140g with battery and Insta360 Go.

Thanks to BangGood for sending me the Cine 8 for purpose of review.

Table of content

Assembly

The kit comes with a manual that shows in three steps how everything is put together, it’s really not complicated, I would only recommend you keep all the screws in their baggies together with the parts, otherwise it can get a little bit confusing in regards to which screw goes where.

The hoops are one big, 3D printed part to which everything else is basically attached to. The motors are mounted on a rather thin and fragile looking carbon base plate, 1.5mm thick. The flight controller is mounted on a carbon plate too and is then screwed to the frame through the carbon plate to which the motors are mounted. All of this is then wrapped into a piece of foam for extra protection, a roll of double sided sticky tape is included to firmly mount the foam.

Most of the screws are self tapping, at least those which screw into the 3D printed part or the foam.

Once everything is put together it seems quite sturdy - I mean, sturdy enough for what it is supposed to do. And it can take some hits - I think the foam absorbs most of the energy.

Electronics

The flight controller is an AIO board - the Crazybee F4 v3.1 - with an on-board Frsky SPI receiver - it even has two antennas. You can also get a Flysky and CRSF version, which will have the same board, but will come with an additional receiver.

The Crazybee boards have always been a bit hit or miss for me, but this one looks very nice and clean, and since it passed the first dozen packs this is usually an indicator that it is good for a lot more.

The ESC’s are capable of pushing 12A continuous and you can flash RPM enabled firmware onto them - the quad actually comes pre-flashed with BLHELI_M and is already set up for RPM filtering, which I personally appreciate a lot.

Obviously I was not the only one complaining about the last Happymodel/URUAV quads not being flashed with a current Betaflight version, this one comes with Betaflight 4.2 and everything is already configured for you - RPM filtering, VTX tables and a pretty decent tune, I was really surprised about this great setup.

A buzzer is also included, but I found the motor beacons to be loud enough so I de-soldered the buzzer.

The Insta360 Go is mounted on a 3D printed part in the front of the quad - and this is technically my only gripe - it is so hard to get the cam out of the mount. A hole on the other side would have been great so that you can push it from both sides to set it free.

Cam

The included Cam is an Caddx Ant Lite with a resolution of 1200 TV lines and a pretty decent image for a camera of its size. The joystick to adjust camera settings is included.

The camera is mounted in such a way that you can basically adjust it to any angle that you like. The frame is not in view during flight or recording.

And again I seem to be lucky with this Caddx Cam - this one has no dark corners and no dirt on the sensor.

VTX

The video transmitter is the Happymodel half diamond. The channel and output power are switchable via SmartAudio. The maximum output power is 400mW according to specs, but the VTX tables in Betaflight are only set up to 25, 200 and 200mW. The VTX is mounted in the back of the quad and the linear antenna runs out the back.

Motors and Props

The motors are 1202.5, 8000KV motors with a 1.5mm shaft and are spinning Gemfan 2020 props. A complete set of spares is included. But you can run any other 2” prop you might prefer. I found them to be pretty decent, so no complains on that pairing.

In comparison to other ducted cine-whoops in its class, this one is on a rather quiet site - which is still pretty loud in comparison to a non ducted 2” copter.

Battery options

This is one of the very few quads that actually comes with a battery - a Tattu 450mAh 3S battery is included. I have also tried it on GNB 3S 300mAh batteries, but the 450mAh batteries seem to be the better option.

The battery is mounted on top and you can actually chose in which direction you want to mount it, by simply turning the top plate accordingly. A velcro strap to secure the battery is included, although it is a little bit too long, so I highly recommend to shorten it a bit, so that it does not stick into the props

I could imagine you could also run a 500 or 600mAh 3S battery for a bit more flight time, but personally I would not want to add that extra weight.

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Performance

Indoors I can get a good 5 minutes of flight time - which is quite perfect for the Insta360 Go which can only record clips of maximum 5 minutes length before the overheat protection kicks in.

Outdoors I get a flight time of about 3 minutes, but I am not really one to cruise around and rather enjoy ripping around.

Obviously this copter is not made for acro, but you can do some moves. Split S were possible, rolls and flips were not so nice, but doable - it is simply more for cinematic flying and I would not recommend it if you are looking for freestyle action.

Conclusion

I really like this one, since you have to build it yourself and thus gain understanding how everything comes together, so in my opinion this is a great kit vor everyone who wanted to do a build in easy mode - everything plugs together, no soldering required.

The tune and filter settings are also pretty decent.

All in all, for what it is, it’s really a steal - for about 115$ on banggood including a battery there is nothing to complain about. It does what it advertises and it actually does it pretty well.

At first I was not sure what to think - seemed all a bit flimsy and cheap, but once put together and after flying the first couple of packs I was really surprised. I am personally not a big fan of pushers, which got very popular as cine-whoops, so having this option is really nice.

Obviously you will also need to factor in the price of an Insta360 Go, but then you will have a really decent setup that could also easily be flown indoors. One of the few cine-whoops that I can actually fly in the flat without too many issues.

An absolute recommendation for anyone looking for a cheap, well handling cine-whoop. In my opinion the perfect whoop for exploration flights.

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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