GBX220

By HyphPV on Nov 15, 2016

8  839  2

This quad was provided to me by GearBest.com in exchange for an honest review. Check out the full kit here: GB - X220 Carbon Fiber 220mm Wheelbase DIY Frame Kit - Also, use this coupon to score the kit for $220.61! RC18OFF

I must admit, I am pleasantly surprised by this little kit.

The build: As a whole, this quad built up incredibly easily. There is ample space in which to arrange your components, which also allows you to choose what you'd like to put where. This is a luxury I have to say I'm not used to having, and it's quite a pleasant one! I decided to do a couple things a bit differently throughout this build, like simply using some VHB to mount my receiver on top of the flight controller and using a zip tie to secure the VTX in the rear-bottom of the quad. I made the decision to mount the VTX in this manner due to prior experience with similar frames; I almost always tend to stay away from hard-mounted antenna solutions as either the carbon or the antenna will generally break in a crash if no flexibility is allowed. Pictured is a temporary solution that has worked thus far, but in the future I do plan to print a flexible TPU antenna mount to utilize here. Overall, this kit builds up incredibly easy, uses quite standard components, and would by no means be considered a particularly advanced or difficult build to complete.

The parts: The parts included in this kit are actually quite nice! Emax Red bottoms are something of a standard in our hobby and have proven themselves to be able to take quite a good beating while providing ample amounts of thrust. I'm no stranger to these motor and am happy to see them being included in such a well-priced kit. The ESC's are also quite good; 30A bl_heli_S ESC's were quite a nice surprise. They feel great in the air on the latest bl_heli_s firmware and I have absolutely no complaints about them. Being provided 30A ESC's you can be comfortable knowing that you've got that little bit of extra overhead there. The included props were not what I would normally fly, and being as they are such a small component of the build I opted to swap them out for something I'm moderately more familiar with. The VTX is quite basic, and I honestly am not particularly fond of the dip switch style channel selection. 25mw is great for flying with others, though I do believe that the kit would be much better suited with a 200mw variant. The flight controller is a failry popular choice, and SP Racing F3 boards are far from uncommon. Nothing particularly flashy here, just a simple F3 board that works well. Flies nicely with Betaflight 3.0+. The frame is a very familiar deign, nothing we haven't seen before, though I did find it to feel quite nice. My two qualms with the frame kits were the provided landing pads not fitting on the quad without being trimmed and the mix of hex and phillips head screws. Hardware should all be of the same variant, period. There's not really a place for phillips head screws in drone frames aside from camera mounting solutions. The landing pads do generally fall off, but if secured (as in the photos) they can last and it would be much preferred to see some smaller bits of foam that better fit on the arms of the kit. Overall, though, I'm quite happy with the frame. The FPV Camera is a great option based on the HS1177 chipset, though I did swap in a 2.1mm lens. The included 2.8mm lens may be fine, but every pilot has their preference in which lens to fly and I personally can't fly 2.8mm.

Flight performance: This was where I was particularly surprised! I actually LOVED the way this thing flew. Part of the reason I chose this particular kit was that the frame was a much different style frame than what I normally fly, in that its not a true X frame, the quad is larger and more spacious, and the battery is top mounted. That being said, after flashing the electronics to the latest versions of betaflight and blheli I threw this sucker in the air with a 1300mah 4s VenomRC battery and a GoPro Hero5 Session on the front and couldn't have been more pleased with how she felt in the air. Just the slightest bit of tuning will have this bird flying exactly how I like it, but even on default settings within betaflight I was very happy with the way it flew. The quad definitely had enough power to feel comfortable in the air and I felt right at home on the sticks.

Overall I would definitely recommend this kit to anyone getting started in FPV. Included is everything you need to put together a pretty slick quad aside from the receiver to pair to w/e radio you're flying. Kits like this are great to be able to point to and say "this is what you need," and it's nice to see there are decent, fairly up-to-date options out there. Gearbest has done a pretty solid job putting this one together and it's got my stamp of approval, barring in mind the aforementioned notes. Is this the end-all-be-all professional-level top-end best-ever drone racing kit out there? Maybe not, but for your average beginner to intermediate pilot this kit is definitely a solid option.

Be sure to tune back in and check out the build and review videos coming soon!

Photos

Discussion

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MattS   Nov 23, 2016  

Looks great - though it needs more orange!! At first i thought this could be a good starter quad for my nephew, but after looking at the specs, it'd be a great budget backup quad!

AcroFPV   Nov 16, 2016  

Pretty cool man!

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