Fimi A3 Test Flight And Review 2021 Is It The Best Bargain Drone?
Hey i’ve got a femi drone today, now, admittedly it’s, not the new femi, x8 mini. I i would love to have had those one of those by now, but mine is on its way to me and as soon as it shows up, we’re definitely going to get that thing in the air. But in the meantime, the folks over at banggood sent me the femi a3 now uh, the femi a3 is a drone that’s familiar to me. Uh i let’s see. I probably first flew this drone in uh the summer of 2019 and i’ll be honest with you. I had some issues with it. As i recall, it flew pretty good uh, but the big issue was uh, this camera on the front uh it the lens fogged up on it as soon as you would raise it in altitude, the lens would fog up and the fix at that time what they Told you to do was you had to uh pry heat up the lens cover, pry it off and then dry it out and then glue the cover back on or something yeah. I i don’t know it was a long thing it’s, something that i didn’t feel like. I was capable of but in fact honestly, i ended up with the drone. I left it packed in some of those little silica gel packets, for i don’t know about three months, and i flew it after that, and it was fine now. What i do remember about this particular drone is the camera on.
It is actually pretty good. It only shoots in 1080p, but it’s, pretty good quality, 1080p and it’s a two axis gimbal it will pitch and it will roll, but what it won’t do is yaw, but that’s. Okay, unless you’re doing a really fast yaw you’re not going to be able to see that and again, as i recall it was it actually produced some pretty nice, stable video, so there’s another interesting thing with this drone, and that is the controller, and this is a Plus and a minus with this controller, it’s got a built in fpv screen, it’s good in the sense that then you don’t have to hook up your your mobile device to it and mess around with all of that, i guess that’s kind of femi’s version of a Smart controller, the problem is, the screen is really dim and i struggled even in the shade to be able to get a good picture of what i was doing so we’ll see if they’ve improved that. The other thing that i wanted to mention is. I looked at the manufacture data this one and it was built in september of 2020, so that would have been a year and a half later after the one that i originally had so hopefully they’ve improved this guy and we won’t have any issues with the lens. I don’t think we will, because i haven’t heard about that for a long time, but one of the other reasons that i wanted to bring this drone to you is: it represents an amazing value, uh it’s about 220 bucks.
So for 220 bucks, if you can get good stabilized 1080p footage – and you know the drone like i said – it’s an all in one thing – i think it represents a pretty good value and, as i recall, it flew really good, etc. So uh so let’s just take it up and try it out. Oh, i should also add: one kilometer range is what they advertise, which trust me is plenty uh. This is not the kind of drone that you’re going to be wanting to fly out there two miles. So uh one kilometer is, is good, so uh i’ve got it uh. Let me get this thing ready to go. Do the calibrations, etc and we’ll put it up in the air and we’ll just see how well we do with it so i’m doing the uh calibrations right now, i’m doing an imu calibration which is uh taking a a minute, or so i kind of thought. It would just be kind of a standard gyro calibration, but it’s not it’s having to flip it over on the side. So this is going to take a little longer than i thought it. It did say that it was ready to fly, so i might have been able to fly it without any calibrations, but with a new drone, it’s, always good to get that stuff done, i’ll be with you in a minute. Okay, the drone is saying that it’s ready to take off so i wish i could show you what i have on my screen here, i’m going to see if i can start recording on the drone right now long, pressing, uh this button on the back of the Controller and that didn’t do anything let’s try that again, i wonder if i have the wrong key or you’re pushing the wrong button.
There we go. I got a beep anyway yeah and it’s, counting down so we’re uh, so we’re recording, uh it’s, the left button, long press to start a recording and then, if i hold this button down, it should start a recording of uh. The remote controller screen – and i didn’t hear anything so i don’t know if it’s uh, if it’s, if it’s doing it for certain or not, but in any case uh we’ll uh we’ll, give it a shot here and see again. What i’m going to tell you is this is difficult to see i’m holding it in the shade and it’s still difficult, but we’re going to go into smart flight and that’s and when we’re down to auto takeoff. So if i remember how to do this, you press it once and then you have to hit okay yeah there. It goes, and it goes up about four meters, high and uh. Let me uh we’re going to let the drone hover for a minute. I got to move the camera up, so you can see it and it’s holding very, very stable up there. So that looks really good. Okay. I’M, going to drop this camera down and we’ll bring the drone back down here and uh move it around here, a little bit. It kind of rose there. When i started yawing boy, it flies good i’m telling you uh. Look at that there’s that gimbal working and that’s exactly what you want to see and i’m telling you.
This gives me a lot of confidence in this drone. It’S sinking a little bit but it’s, but it’s, pretty stable and the controls are, are very stable. So yeah i’m going to move it over here, just a little and uh and we’re going to do our uh reverse and up now so it’s off to the side just a little bit so reverse and up, and you can see that gimbal yeah it’s me getting Used to the controls they’re moving around a little bit. Hopefully, you saw that on screen, but there we got it under control man i mean the drone flies great yeah, that’s, really good, so i’ve got the i’ve got the the sticks up facing the drone and i don’t you know looks like control. Issues are good. We got a beep there, what’s, it say disconnected returning to home, so we had a disconnection there and it is coming back. So i didn’t see how far out there we were about less than 100 meters and we had a disconnect well. This is a good chance to check return to home and and – and you know, i’ll i’ll – i again i’m – going to tell you uh what you see on this screen. You’Re not going to be able to see anything here, but it’s it’s, very dim, but the drone is coming down. Let’S just see how let’s just see what kind of a landing we get Music disconnected return to home.
I wonder if i can stop it i’m, going to try and see if i can cancel so i’m going to hit the button right now, yeah so clearly, we’re connected again uh, so it put it into return to home. Now you know we weren’t out there that far, so that was kind of interesting that we lost that, so i yeah that’s the camera all the way up there you saw me move the camera there for a second, so let’s just fly it around here, a little Bit let’s go towards our favorite uh cell phone tower here and uh yeah. Sorry about that it is i you know. The yaw is pretty quick on this thing and i don’t know if there’s a an adjustment for that or not in the controls. I have to check that out. Let’S grab a little more altitude i’m going to see if i can do a uh, a a circle around this. This uh a manual orbit around the cell phone tower here and we kind of are like i said. The yaws is pretty sensitive on this guy, so yeah that’s actually working pretty good. You know what i’m going to say is these controls. I i think, there’s something that you’d get used to. If you were flying it all the time and the other thing i’m going to say is you know, like i said i don’t have a very good connection or excuse me, a very good fpv screen, so it’s difficult for me to see exactly what’s going on on The screen, but what i can see is it looks to me like we’ve, got a decent uh uh horizon.
In other words, the horizon looks pretty flat and the drone handles pretty good i’m full tilt right now shoot we’re 10 meters per second that’s moving right along, and i am turning around so that i can face the drone. Keep the controls face towards the drone and it’s doing good we’re not going to go out over the street, and i got a little bit of the the fpv screen kind of blinked there, a little bit and let’s see if we get any of that. As we turn around so i’m kind of slowly yawing and moving forward just a little bit and kind of getting a slow yaw here and we’ll see how this guy does and, like i said, i’m, getting a little bit of break up on fpv. A little tiny bit but again uh yeah there it’s getting more so uh and it’s like broken up. Almost it went yeah, so i over corrected there let’s uh let’s, see if we can get over the top of uh discovery elementary over there uh. You know everybody that watches my channel knows. I fly a lot of drones over the top, so we’re about 80 meters, away 40 meters in height and the i’m telling you uh the the uh i’m struggling with that yeah. Sorry about that guys. The signal seems really good here, and this is a spot that i stop at quite often uh just to uh get a picture of the boise front and i think it’s a good view because you got you know, houses and the and the schoolyard in close, and Then the mountains off in the distance and then, if i understand correctly, i should be able to do a short press and even while the drone is recording, take a picture so let’s try that and i’ll see.
I did a short press on the controller. So we’ll see if we get a picture which tells me that that’s, probably a screenshot and i’m still seeing a countdown on the screen, so let’s try return to home for there so i’m going to hit return to home on the controller right here, i’m going to Hold that button down yeah and it’s auto returning or it says it is anyway and it’s coming back to us. I noticed that it didn’t turn around. It simply is it’s faced the same direction that it was facing, but that’s, okay. I got no problem with that. I wonder if i can yaw it let’s see. If we can yell yeah, we can so while it’s in return. I can yell the drone so i’m turning it around and it’s. Almost back to us, let’s uh let’s see uh how far we can drop the camera. Yeah, so we can point this camera straight down, so let’s see where we’re gon na be here. We’Ll we’ll cancel it if we have to, but it looks pretty good and you can see let’s let’s just go ahead and let it land i’m going to yawn around and i’m going Music to you know what what we don’t want is to be uh on the Curb there, but i think it’s, okay, so that’s me picking up the camera and you saw it there. It bounced just a tiny bit upon landing but uh.
You know that’s a ways off of the pad, but that’s perfectly acceptable as far as i’m concerned. A drone in this category and honestly uh on a return to home, like that, once you get it back, you know typically you’re going to shut it down and land it automatically anyway. So let me uh, let me put the drone back on the pad and let’s. Take off again – and maybe we can try, follow me and some other things hey so the other thing that i noticed, which is really great so the minute the drone landed, it stopped recording, which is awesome that way you don’t get a corrupted file so i’m, going To start recording again long press of the left hand rear button and i’m looking on the app and it’s counting down that’s great perfect, so we’re going to try and do a manual takeoff here so uh yeah. I just got a notification on my uh on my apple watch ron brown closed. All of his fitness rings today, good for you ron, okay, so we’re gon na do both sticks in and that armed the motors and then just go up and that’s a manual landing. So we you know that auto takeoff is kind of cool, but you don’t really need to use it, so so we’re still recording here. Let me uh. Let me let’s take this guy off out in the field i’m gon na see. If i can carry the camera with me too.
Okay, so let’s get out in the field and we’ll try a little follow me there’s, the little drone up there. In fact, let’s bring it down, so you can take a look at it, so there it is in flight that’s, the femi a3. I got to tell you i’m having a lot better luck with it uh this time than the first time i flew this guy. So i got a beep and i don’t know what that was, but uh anyway, we’re gon na pick the drone back up i’m trying to look at the uh, make sure we’re still recording and it looks like we are oh low battery we’re already down to low Battery uh, okay, so it probably won’t. Let me do a follow me, or at least it’s in red, in theory, it’s supposed to uh, so i’m i’m scrolling through looking for follow me. So this is a gps. Follow me on this guy short press, the home button to access exit this mode so let’s, see if it’ll follow me no it’s doing something completely different. It was backing up and i was afraid it was going to go into a tree yeah. I think it’s. In return to home mode, oh yeah, auto returning, it says right at the top there. Okay, the drone is uh. The drone is smarter than me, so we didn’t get a lot of uh, so it’s starting to land we’ll, get a look at the landing here.
Yeah. I need to move it over. It was going to land on the edge of the curb here. So let’s see if it’ll start, oh it’s going the other way Music, so so, where it was going to land was not a safe place to land, so let’s just bring it down manually Music. So there we go, we just landed it. Let me kick that gimbal back up and it shut off recording automatically. So what i want to show you here is when we were looking at it there it kept moving over, and i think it was going to land right about on the edge of this curb right here so anyway, that’s. Why we didn’t do that so that’s interesting battery life. I didn’t think we had it up in the air that long was the first charge on the battery. So often a first charge, uh isn’t as uh you don’t get as much flight time on a first charge. You have to you know, go through a few battery cycles uh, but in any case let me get everything shut down and we’ll. Do a quick conclusion: hey okay, uh, the femi a3. I actually liked that flight and i i’m cautiously optimistic that the footage we we’re going to pull off of this sd card is going to look pretty good it. It looked okay on the fbv screen. Although again, i want to state that that fpv screen is tough and at minimum you’re going to have to be in the shade for it to work.
My understanding is is that it does have mounts here at the top to mount a sun shade. So i think there is a sun shade available for it, and i would say that that’s a must it’s too bad that they don’t just include that with the kit, because that would make it that would make it a lot better. But but they don’t that’s, not part of the kit, but my understanding is, you can get one and i’m definitely going to order one for this guy. The drone was honestly, it was fun to fly. I had a great time flying it and the controls were good. It was a little bit sensitive, the yaw in particular. Now, as you can see as i was flying it, i kind of got used to it and had less and less problems with it. It’S like everything else, you know it’s what you get used to uh. So i think that’s something that you could get used to. The drone flew great. The drone took controls just fine. We had the one disconnect when we did our initial droney i’m, not sure what that was about. We weren’t even out that far but i’m, going to call that a fluke because again then later on, we took it. We flew it over discovery school out here. I don’t know a couple hundred meters or whatever, and it was just fine, so uh and this is an urban environment, so there is wi, fi interference, etc.
I suspect, if you were out in the country, someplace uh, you would get more range with it, although, like i said, we really didn’t have any problems other than uh that first uh dronie that we did now uh the again the fpv screen. I did get a little breakup from time to time: uh it wasn’t horrible and it was at the distances and, as you would expect, it’s as you’re turning the drone and so the antenna i don’t know if the antenna are in the front or the back on This drone, but you know, as it changes the antenna that’s why you get that kind of thing. But oh the other thing i wanted to mention to you is this: drone does have a trick up its sleeve. You can see there’s a couple mounting holes here and that’s to mount a device and they don’t even really tell you what device in the uh instructions, but the the other button. This button, on the controller on the right hand, side, is to control that, and what you can do is i believe you can put like something you can like drop a fishing line or or drop things with, or they even talk about fireworks, which i believe by That i think they mean like smoke bombs and stuff, so you could fly it and leave a trail of smoke, but underneath this uh there’s well i’m, not gon na pull it off, but there’s a plug under there that you could plug in and and hook up.
Third party devices kind of interesting i’ve never seen anybody use it with this drone, but you fishermen might be interested in that. It might be something, and i and i don’t know i’m not familiar. I don’t know if there’s any devices that work with it but i’m willing to bet there probably are uh. Okay, all that aside uh. I think we had a pretty successful flight and i’m anxious to get home and look at the video off of the sd card. Uh and again i will post a banggood affiliate link and i will look up the discount code, coupon code for banggood and i believe it gets you right down to 220 bucks, maybe even a little cheaper than that i’m. Not exactly sure i’ll have to look it up, but i will put that in the description below hey, so i just noticed something and i’m going to see if i can get in close to it here. So i don’t know if we’ll be focused on that or not, but it does have a a date of manufacture on there of july of 2020 and, like i said the other one that i had, i was flying it a year earlier than that in 2019. So clearly, they’ve made some improvements to this guy yeah, and this guy had this thing: has the december? Excuse me, the july of 2020 date on it as well. The box had a october of 2020 dates, so maybe that was when it was packed.
I don’t know makes a little difference. All i’m saying is clearly they’ve improved the drone so anyway, i’ll quit jabber john, hey, okay! This is marcus crawford with the idaho quadcopter channel out and if you like, this kind of content, please consider subscribing to my channel, and i really do appreciate you taking the time to look at this. Video and uh yeah we’ll see on the next one uh the femi a3 i’m, pleasantly surprised. Today it did a great job.