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Hands-on Gear Review
EACHINE E010 Mini ReviewPrice: $22 List | $20.99 at Amazon
Pros: Very inexpensive, near indestructible, just plain fun
Cons: No camera, somewhat short battery life
Bottom line: The most fun you can have for less than $25
There are very few products that we would wholeheartedly recommend to literally anyone, and the EACHINE E010 Mini is one of them. For just over $20 this little firefly of a drone will delight kids and bring a youthful twinkle back to the eyes of even the most crotchety and ornery amongst us. Both the drone and the controller feel surprisingly well built considering the low price, and flying it takes just enough skill to be engaging and entertaining, but not so much that you'll get frustrated. Plus its small size and crash friendly rotor protectors make it perfect for flying indoors. Sure it doesn't have a camera, but you don't need a camera to have fun.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
We spent three days testing the EACHINE E010 Mini in our testing lab. Then most of the TGL staff bought one for their own personal use, 3D printers were employed to create obstacle courses, and an underground mini drone fight club was formed. Really, this thing is that fun to play with. You can read our full thoughts below.
The E010 Mini flies quite impressively for a tiny drone. With a little practice you can get it into a fairly stable hover without much difficulty. With a little more practice you can have it banging U-turns in crowded hallways, threading the needle between dining room furniture, and coming into a controlled landing on your countertop. Due to its light weight and rotor guards (which also improve the efficiency of said rotors) crashes are of almost no consequence. As always you should be careful with flying this drone near other people, but we've watched the E010 Mini careen into walls, take nose dives into tiled floors, and even get smacked by a ceiling fan, only to shrug it off and keep on flying.
There really isn't too much bad to say about the E010 Mini's flight performance. It is small and light, so it's really not suited to flying outside unless there is no breeze at all. However, we never really had the urge to fly it outside, as it is so much fun to fly around inside, and is small enough that it's unlikely to do any damage (we fly straight into a TV without so much as a dead pixel). The biggest downside is the battery life, as you only get about 5 minutes of flying on a charge. Luckily there are multiple spare battery packs available for less than $20, so you can keep the fun going.
Who Should Buy This Drone?
In a word: everybody. The fun to cost ration of the E010 Mini is huge, and all of the people in our office loved flying it around. It's the perfect addition to lazy sunday afternoons, a great way to add some eccentricity to your next house party, and will provide both kids and adults with hours of entertainment.
Also, EACHINE is a company that is definitely geared towards tinkers. The company offers many spare parts and accessories on their website, and there are many online tutorials for souping up the E010 Mini with more powerful batteries and even cameras.
Who Shouldn't Buy This Drone?
We really think that pretty much anyone would be happy with the amount of fun you get out the the E010 Mini given its cost, but if you're looking at buying a sub $100 for a specific purpose, it may not fit the bill. This namely goes for people who want to get a cheaper drone with a camera in order to assess whether or not they'd like to invest in a high end camera drone. Since the E010 Mini doesn't have a camera it's not a good camera drone trainer. If you're looking for an introduction to camera drones, we'd suggest the DBPOWER X400W FPV. If you just want an inexpensive drone that can take somewhat decent video, the Holy Stone HS160 Shadow is a good bet.
If you're on the fence about buying the EACHINE E010 Mini, we'd suggest you just pull the trigger. It costs less than a trip to the movies for two, and provides many more hours of entertainment.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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