EACHINE E56 Folding Drone REVIEW If you can play the Wii, you can fly a drone.
I have found that flying drones is incredibly fun, no matter the size of the drone. As you increase the price, size, and quality of the device, the control tends to be more sensitive and the drone simply does more. I recently had the experience of reviewing the EACHINE EO12HW drone, a small indoor quadcopter. The device was really fun to use, would flip in all 4 main directions and had a headless mode. There were two main drawbacks, the lightweight nature meant it had to be used indoors, due to wind currents, and the small battery lasted for only about seven minutes, if lucky. Do not misinterpret my statement, the drone was amazing to fly and proved to be a hit with my children. Imagine my excitement when EACHINE asked me to test their E56 Upgraded Foldable Drone with Gravity sensing control.
The product arrived in a bland cardboard box with a white sticker showing the drone. Opening the box, you will notice an amazing black textured 6 1/2 inches wide by 7 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches thick carrying case. The case is relatively non-descript, with an all black EACHINE logo along the bottom right and red accent along the 18 3/4 inches zipper. The case has a smooth leather-like feel and has no handle/carrying point. With the dual zippers, you can effortlessly zip/unzip the case. Along the bottom left of the case, you will find the 2 5/8 inches wide by 5 3/4 inches long white rectangular drone. There is a single white power button along the middle and a black EACHINE logo along the bottom. To the right of the drone, the case has a cutout shaped for the remote. Along the top right, is a cutout for the 25 1/2 inch USB-A battery charging cable. If you remove the drone and set it to the side, you will find the twenty-four-page instruction manual and the accessory package, which contains 4 extra rotors and a small screwdriver.
The manual for the E56 drone is very easy to understand. The drone comes folded up and the four arms can be opened outward from the main body with a very satisfying click. Before flying the drone, make sure that the surrounding environment is adequate to fly the drone. The manual recommends avoidance of areas with pets, furniture, and people and to make sure that you maintain a line of sight with the drone. This drone is designed for indoor or outdoor use, preferring sunny, windless days. Interestingly, the manual states that breezy weather can be tolerated. I did find that small breezes moved the drone, but it was heavy enough to be able to maintain itself in space. Open the crankshafts (legs of the device), first folding the rear two (closest to the power button) and then the front two legs. The installed propellers will tuck into the underside of the device. I love that you do not have to remove the propellers to replace the device into the carrying case. Simply fold the arms back into the device and place it back inside of the case.
The battery is located along the bottom of the drone. Push the small round button and lift the battery upward. Once removed, locate the small charging circle at the front left of the device. Plug the power cable into the LiPo battery and then into a computer charging port. There are LED on the charger that will illuminate once the charging is finished. I want to warn you that it will blink once and you may think that it is defective. I assure you that it is not defective, it is designed this way. There will be LED on the charging port that will illuminate in 70 minutes, once the battery is fully charged.
The remote reminds me of a Nintendo Wii Nunchuck and does provide a sense of nostalgia. The remote fits into my hand very comfortably and the thumb lines up perfectly with the joystick. The pointer finger rests on the speed trigger button, which controls High/Low Speeds. Just below the thumbstick, you will find four buttons arranged into a D-pad arrangement (Headless mode (up), Calibration (Right), Emergency Stop (Bottom), and Light Control (left). To install the two AAA batteries, you will need to remove the black plastic shell from the remote and follow the battery polarity diagram. Once the drone battery is charged, reinstall it into the base of the drone and slide it forward. Press the circular button on the back of the drone and then turn the remote to the on position. To pair the drone to the remote, press the thumbstick up and then down. You will hear a dual beep and then the lights on the drone will illuminate. I would recommend calibrating the drone prior to the first flight. Place it on a level surface and hold the right button for 2 seconds. The drone LED will start flashing and will then illuminate fully, when ready.
The drone has two methods for flight. The gravity sensor mode does not fly by traditional means. If you have ever seen the movie Real Steel, you may remember Shadow Mode. Everyone controlled their robots with traditional controls and Hugh Jackman had a different way to fight. Flying this drone really made that moment, come alive. In fact, I have taken a movie of My Children Dancing, while controlling the drone. , while controlling the drone. Initially, I was leery of the gravity mode, but this proved to be an incredibly interesting way to fly the drone. The remote is a gravity sensor, which will sense movement of your wrist, like the Nunchuck. To use this device, you will need to hold the remote parallel with the ground. If you tilt the remote back towards you, the drone will fly towards you. If you tilt the remote downwards, the drone will fly forward. If you roll your wrist towards the left it will move left and if you move right it will move right. Pressing up on the thumbstick will cause the drone to ascend, pressing down will cause the drone to descend and pressing left or right will cause it to turn counterclockwise and clockwise. In headless mode, it will go the way that you move.
Be careful of the emergency stop button. This is not going to land your drone gently. Rather, it will cease operations and your drone will fall like a rock. To alight, press the thumbstick once and the drone will hover about a foot off of the ground. Pressing the thumbstick up, the drone will ascend quickly. You can descend and then press the thumbstick button again to land. I warn you again to avoid the Emergency button unless the drone is truly out of control. There are no propeller guards and this drone is subject to some severe trauma, if not careful. I was able to fly the drone for a good 10 minutes on a single charge of the 3.7V 500mAh battery. The drone is incredibly responsive and fun to fly in this mode, but you do not have use of the camera system. The gravity sensor, six-axis gyroscope, altitude hold features truly add to the benefit of the drone and make flying it much easier. Other than crashing the drone by pressing the emergency button, I successfully flew the drone with minimal issues. It is very intuitive and you will be flying like a professional, in no time at all. My only real complaint is the single battery. It is a rather big let down to have to charge for over an hour for 7–10 minutes of flight time. You can buy additional batteries at the Banggood.com website. Ideally, the product would cost $5–10 more and would include a spare battery.
Download the App from the IOS and Android App store. The manual has QR codes to facilitate download, but the iOS link is broken. I navigated to the APP store and then downloaded the “EACHINE FLY” application. To use this EACHINE Fly App, you will need to navigate to settings on your device, then to wifi and find UAV-3d6187 (unique to my drone). Select this network and then navigate back to the drone app on your device. Select play towards the bottom right and then press the “Off” button, to change it to “On.” Next, press the hourglass button (Altitude Hold) for remote control frequency pairing. To start flying, press the Up “One-Key Start” and this will activate the propellers. This mode turns the drone into a basic RC control device. You can control ascent and descent as well as rotation to the right/left with the left touch screen. You can control the forward/backward motion and left/right movement can be controlled with the right stick. Once you release the left stick, the drone will hover in place. If there is any movement in the drone, you can use the 3 sliders to adjust the fine tuning of the drone. This is incredibly convenient, yet uses a lot of the battery for the first flight.
Across the top of the app screen, you can choose to take a picture, video, control the speed (30, 60, 100%), gravity sensor, headless mode, altitude hold, 360-degree flips, and rolls. The app conveniently has one key takeoff/landing and again has the emergency stop. The controls are very sensitive but are not as exciting/unique as the gravity mode. The pictures and video are reasonable for the drone and actually a little better than I expected. I was pleased with the sensitivity and with the app mode/ability to photograph. The nighttime lights are a nice addition and the shape/build of the drone is quality. I have crashed this drone about 15 times and there appears to be no damage.
I have not yet advanced to expert level in drone flying. The 360 rollover feature was fun and my children really enjoyed it. Despite the extra features of the app flight mode, I preferred the gravity mode. I truly enjoyed the little E012HW drone and this provided even more features. Each drone has its own personality and this bigger brother is capable of outdoor flight and remains quite stable. If you are looking for a fun-to-fly drone this is definitely an option for you. With the Christmas season coming, consider EACHINE tech to wet your drone flying needs. As stated above, I wish that there was a second battery included. If you get this drone, definitely purchase another battery.
I would rate this drone at 5/5 stars for fun and unique flight opportunities.