The Blade 350qx 2 AP Combo is a high quality quadcopter drone sold by the company Horizon Hobby. AP stands for aerial photography. This company impacts the world for good and have a strong reputation dating back to 1985 of selling and repairing consumer rc airplanes, cars, boats, and now more recently, quadcopters.
This drone in the 350qx series is meant mainly for beginner to intermediate flyers. This is a great first drone, but I would suggest starting out with a smaller, cheaper drone so you can learn how to basically fly quadcopters before you start flying this rather large rc gadget.
The suggested age range is 14+, but after flying it for a while, I think it would be suitable for ages as low as 12. If you or the person you are considering buying this is under that age, I would consider holding off from the larger drones. Smaller ones like the TeenyDrone are great flyers to learn from for younger children.
This drone’s predecessor is the original 350qx that had quite a few glitches. The overall body design of the 350qx 2 is quite similar and it can use the same controller. With the 350qx 2 AP Combo, you have the option to add a camera and gimbal to take aerial photos and video. The 350qx 3 has already come out which had many improvements over the 350qx 2, but this review is going to be focused mainly on the latter. The price of this drone has been marked down in the past year, making it a great one to learn from. Horizon Hobby has also released several new drones in other series that you should consider buying like the Chroma. The overall function is very similar, but it has a different body and better sensors.
The key features of the Blade 350qx 2 AP Combo are: it utilizes SAFE™ technology to deliver a smooth and easy flying experience with multiple flight modes, the revolutionary SAFE circle and return home feature, it comes ready for use with GoPro action cameras so you can capture images and video in HD, and it has an intelligent three way gimbal system. Some of the unique specks of this drone are the battery can last up to 15 minutes, it can bind with most controllers, and it can fly up to 500 yards away. I have personally never flown it more than 100 yards away (the size of one football field).
The camera that comes with the AP Combo is just fine and it is definitely usable. It is comparable to the quality on the GoPro Hero +. The quality of a camera like the GoPro Hero 4 Black or Silver would be much higher quality than this one. The gimbal is nice, but if you have a few rough landings, the brittle plastic can break easily. The range of the camera is up to about 300 yards. After then, the quality starts to go down and it starts to lag.
The DX4 transmitter included with the RTF (ready to fly) version of the 350QX2 is simple to use for beginning pilots. This version of the DX4 offers a three position flight mode switch which allows you to select between the flight modes (Smart Mode, Stability Mode, AP Mode). In order to active the return to home feature, all you have to do is flip the other switch on the radio. The 350QX2 comes equipped with a larger battery tray which will allow you to fly with the included 11.1V 3S 30C 3000mAh battery. This battery has almost 30% more capacity than the original 350QX. The Blade 350QX2 now comes with a more user-friendly AC/DC balancing LiPo charger.
There are sever LED lights with descriptions to tell you the status of the battery. This charger includes a convenient AC power supply, making it easier to charge your batteries. The charger also includes a variety of adaptors for use in any country. The door that goes over the battery has been changed from red to white from the predecessor. This is mostly to improve orientation for the pilot while flying. The 350QX2 includes a USB cable that is supposed to be used for firmware updates, but I have never been notified of any or how to perform this task.
The flight modes include: Smart Mode which uses GPS/Altitude Hold, SAFE Circle™ and Stick Relativity (the orientation of the drone doesn’t matter), AP Mode which has limited flight envelope, self-leveling, and GPS/Altitude hold. This mode also is damped for improved video quality. The final mode is Agility Mode where aerobatic performance with AS3X™ flight characteristics and unlimited flight envelope can be used. This mode is really just for experienced pilots only and I rarely fly in this mode.
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