|Overall rating 4.6 / 5|
The UPAIR One Plus 4k drone is a very affordable drone with a camera that should not only shoot good videos but also have many features. It should be at least as good as the DJI Phantom 3 Professional we tested.
You can find out if UPAIR really keeps up with DJI in our detailed hands-on test.
Flight behavior and flight functions
The drone is very similar to DJI’s Phantom 3 series. Both the outer shape and the material used (plastic) are identical to our Phantom 3 Pro.
UpAir propellers are suitable even for DJI drones.
The tested drone is incredibly relaxed and stable in the air, so we felt completely safe using UPAIR 4k from the first flight.
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The top speed is 50 km / h and there is no sport mode like with the Spark, Mavic or Phantom 4.
The remote control works great and there is no lag, as is sometimes the case with the Typhoon Q500 4k. The quadcopter immediately transforms what is given to it from the remote control.
The manufacturer has indicated a maximum distance of 1 km. However, this value was achieved under ideal conditions. In our range test, we were able to cover a distance of 400m from the starting point without any problems, without any signal interruptions on the smartphone or remote control.
The 7-inch LED screen on the remote is simple and straightforward. However, you have to be careful with slightly stronger sunlight, because then the light intensity is not enough to get a clear image. In short, it’s worth investing in protecting your remote from the sun!
There is no need to register or download an app to fly the drone, which can support multiple times during flight. This is a clear advantage over the DJI drone. Turn on the remote control and the drone and you are ready to go.
The communication between devices is established automatically and worked great in our test. Of course, this depends on whether you are buying a drone with a remote controller that has its own screen or is designed to be controlled via an app.
The 720P live stream is transmitted to the mobile phone in HD format, which is very dynamic and without significant delays.
Overall, we were able to stay in the air for almost 17.5 minutes with a fully charged battery. Since this figure is comparable to the DJI Spark, we found the 5400mAh battery to do the job well. However, it’s a good idea to add an extra battery – which by the way is not available on Amazon for under € 30 – to your cart when you buy it.
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After the drone’s battery runs out, it will take about 90 minutes to fully charge it.
The drone is incredibly relaxed in the air and stronger gusts of wind cannot damage the drone. Automatic takeoff and landing works easily and without any problems.
In headless mode, the drone always flies exactly in the direction you enter with the remote control. Thus, if the drone has its back turned to you and you are heading north, the drone will also fly north, regardless of which side the drone is pointing north. However, I do not recommend this mode for beginners, it requires some flying experience.
The automatic altitude stabilization really works great because the drone will stay in place without further ado if I don’t give anything else with the remote.
The return to home function works well and the drone travels approximately 0.5m from the launch point to landing. To return the drone, simply press the left rear switch on the remote. Then UPair automatically returns to the starting point using the GPS signal.
Another safety feature is the automatic start of an approach when the battery is low. This is a great feature that can save newbies from falls.
Photo and video quality
Attached to the drone is the UPair Actioncam, which can be purchased in 4k or 2.7k. The difference is both in quality and in price. The 4k version of the drone costs around 339 € and the 2.7k version costs 299 €. From my point of view, the € 40 markup is a good investment at the moment, as the difference is clearly visible on the big TV.
In Ultra-HD, that is, with a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels, you can record up to 30 images per second. The images look very dynamic and contrasty. I also love the depth of field and the level of detail. The 2.3 ” CMOS lens captures light well even in dark environments and creates a clear image.
9-axis gyroscope provides smooth and stable images during flight. The only drawback at this stage is that tape recording can sometimes be a little wobbly when changing direction quickly. Otherwise, the gyro sensor works really well!
In 2.7k mode, 30 frames per second is also possible, and in Full HD – even up to 60 frames per second. Videos are recorded in MP4 or MOV format. The drone supports SD cards up to 32GB, but unfortunately there are no 64GB or larger memory cards.
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I would classify the video quality between Phantom 3 Standard and 3 Professional. The quality is very good, but the gimbal cannot be compared to a DJI drone.
Photos can be shot at 16 MP and 5120 x 3840 pixels in JPG format. Unfortunately, UPair does not offer the ability to take RAW photos for later editing on a PC. Here you have to be content with JPG (still great photos!).
Overall photo quality is very good, but not quite comparable to the Phantom 3 Professional as a reference model. In particular, the corners are not as sharp and detailed when zooming in, but they are still absolutely sufficient for a novice pilot.
UPair app for smartphone control
If you want to control the drone using an app rather than a screen on the remote control, this is of course also possible. The application can be downloaded for free on both Android and IOS.
The app remains very simple and straightforward, but unfortunately only available in English. However, the operation is not that big, once you get your bearings, everything works by itself. The app offers every function imaginable and is structured similar to the DJI Go app.
The wifi password is not specified anywhere in the operating instructions, so I searched for a long time. It is 12341234 and must be entered on the mobile phone when connected to Wi-Fi.
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There are even video tutorials for beginners, for example, show how the calibration of the remote control and the drone itself works. At the bottom left is a classic map fragment from Google Maps, and next to it is the forward valley speed, climb rate, and battery voltage.
Battery voltage is especially important when flying in colder temperatures because the battery will drain faster than usual.
On the right side, as usual, we find a settings button, a photo and video button, and the option to turn on and off the beginner mode.
At the top of the screen, we can also see the flight range, that is, how far the drone is from us and the altitude.
In our test, the application never crashed –
neither during flight, nor at launch.
The UPair 4k drone is a very affordable drone capable of inspiring both novice and experienced pilots.
I think the stills and videos are really great and the built-in technology is definitely a very good deal at this price!
The only thing I would have to complain about is the slightly dim screen on the remote and the flight time is “only” 17.5 minutes at full load.
I can make a very clear purchase recommendation for this drone and recommend it to every amateur pilot who wants the maximum amount of technology on a small budget!
The drone is currently available on Amazon at a very affordable price (click!).
P.S.: Test video coming soon, currently being edited 🙂