Simple yet fun device with some really cool features.
Quadcopters and drones are all the rage at the moment and unless you have actually had the opportunity to use one it may be hard to see why. Coming in a wide range of designs, sizes and price points – with more expensive models featuring extras such as VR Headsets and on-board cameras ideal for aerial photography, some of us may be looking for a cheaper alternative just for laughs. This is where the AUKEY Wi-Fi Controlled Mini Quadcopter comes into play.
The first thing that you notice about the AUKEY Mini Quadcopter aka “Darkwing” is its size. This thing is so tiny it will easily fit in the palm of your hand but don’t let that put you off as it is a very capable little thing. Due to its size though, it will probably be better suited for indoor use.
Upon opening its miniscule packaging you will find the Darkwing drone, a yellow USB charging cable, four replacement rotor blades of each colour (yellow & silver) and also written instructions in various languages. That’s it, you may be wondering, how do you control it?. Well the Darkwing is wifi enabled, meaning that it is controlled via your mobile phone (IOS and Android are supported).
The drone seems sturdily constructed considering its size and should withstand any bumps or knocks during your flights or any crash landings, the included extra rotor blades are a welcome addition as you may find them to be quite delicate and can be easily swapped out.
Before you get going you may have to charge the drone with the supplied charge cable. As it isn’t a standard micro USB cable and is bespoke to the quadcopter care should be taken here in case it becomes lost or damaged. The socket on the drone itself seems quite delicate too, so be careful when plugging it in. On the other end of the cable which plugs into either your computers USB port or a USB adaptor is an indicator light. The light stays on whilst charging the drone and turns off when it is fully charged. Charging times are a respectable 40 minutes so you can be up and running asap.
As stated earlier the Darkwing drone is controlled by an app which is available for both IOS and Android. Once installed you can begin to connect your drone to your phone. Turning on the drone is done by a little switch just above the charging port. Once turned on the red and blue LED lights on each side of the Darkwing will begin to flash rapidly indicating it needs to be connected to your phone. To connect, simply turn on wi-fi under the settings of your mobile then find and connect to “AUKEY P01W”. The lights on the drone will now flash at a much slower rate indicating you are now connected. They will remain constant once in control mode on your phone.
One issue that was noted during use is that on occasion the wi-fi would disconnect either on its own or when the drone bumped into something. Once this happened it would not work again unless you disconnected the wi-fi from your phone and reconnected or turned the drone off completely and back on again to regain functionality.
Within the app you will find the help section with simple guidelines in order to setup your drone. Details of each control and what they do, basic settings to change the interface to right or left handed mode and the option to save and reset your control parameters once you enter them on the main control screen are also found here. Clicking on “play” will take you to the main controls allowing you to control the Darkwing drone.
Using the functions on your mobile phone can be a little fiddly at first, however once you get used to them its great to have the option to use your fingers as you would a standard controller or switch to g-sensor mode which uses your phones gyroscope to control the drone. Three speed options are available for novice and more experienced pilots, an auto balance button to correct the flight controls in use and a 360 button which makes the Darkwing flip 360 degrees in the air during flight which is quite cool. One button take off and landing is also available which is perfect for first timers and helps simplify the whole experience.
Despite the occasional loss of wifi signal which could be either an issue with the mobile app, or possibly even the mobile phone in use, the AUKEY Wi-Fi Controlled Mini Quadcopter is a simple yet fun device with some really cool features. It’s a great entry level drone with a few little niggles here and there that may be fixed with software updates and comes at a price which wont break the bank.