Blade 350QX Quadcopter

by FliteTest | March 17, 2014 | (47) Posted in Reviews

This is the Blade 350QX from Horizon Hobby, weighs 680 grams and measures 465mm motor to motor.

The Blade 350QX Quadcopter features dynamic flight modes which offer a variety of flying experiences and includes a GoPro compatible camera mount for capturing aerial video.

The propellers are mounted on the motors using two hex screws instead of the normal collet style mounts.

The flight controller is an in house developed design based on Horizon's AS3X technology.

It has a GPS, barometer, 3 axis accelerometers and gyros and is capable of multiple different flight modes. It also has the Spectrum receiver built in to the board. Which is convenient but also means that you are locked into that system.

There are many flight modes:

Smart mode - GPS/Altitude Hold, SAFE Circle™ feature and Stick Relativity. Perfect for novice pilots.

Stability mode - Limited flight envelope, self-leveling and optional GPS Hold. Ideal for video capture.

Agility mode - Aerobatic performance with AS3X™ flight characteristics and unlimited flight envelope. For experienced pilots only.

Safe circle - Never worry about flying too close to yourself with this invisible pilot barrier (Smart Mode only).

Motors: Direct Drive Outrunners 1100kV
ESC’s: 10A
Battery: 3s 2200mAh
Flight time: 10-15 minutes
Flying Weight: 680g
Length: 465mm
Body: X-Quad
Props: 8" Proprietary
Flight controller: Integrated Proprietary - cannot adjust gains.
Price: 470$ Read to Fly
Available Packages: RTF, BNF
Camera: Optional

Thanks mainly to the stability mode, the 350QX is both fun and easy to fly FPV. The auto level and GPS lock takes away a lot of stress for just flying around FPV and it does invite to some fun flying.

Capturing aerial video is another thing though. The 350QX is capable of capturing good video, but it is harder and more work than other copters. This is mainly due to 3 things:

First being it’s small size, it can easily be buffered around by the wind.

Second, the proprietary propellers. They are pretty soft, which is good for durability but the flex can induce vibration. They are also more difficult that normal propellers to balance due to to the lack of a flush back and big enough steer hole for the cone of the balancer to guide against. All the shots in this video were made with how the props came from the factory and as you can see there are vibrations present.

Third and last, the lack of adjustable gains.

All of these things makes is difficult to get great shots. I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m just saying that the conditions for getting those shots are more strict and therefore more rare.

Skill Level: Intermediate
Agility: 8
Power: 7
Speed: 6
Setup/Build: 8
Durability: 7
Ease of Repair: 1
Line of sight Flight Experience: 7
FPV Flight Experience: 5
Aerial video capability: 4 

Includes: charger, transmitter, spare props, gopro mount

Cool features:
Safe circle flight mode
Extensive LED communication 

Replacement body: 35$
Replacement props: 5.5$/pair

COMMENTS

webbie on March 17, 2014
thank you very much for a great honest opinion! this video is a great format and as someone that doesn't have much of an understanding of multirotors its great to have a real layman's term explanation of each of the flight levels and characteristics.
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timbarnes on March 17, 2014
Another vote for this format - and for the clear commentary. I feel I have a really clear understanding of the pros and cons.

Key strengths of the show:
1. Good pace. It keeps moving, never flags.
2. Lots of information. Good coverage.
3. Not just opinions, but reasoned conclusions so I can judge whether or not I agree.
4. Camera was in focus and the filming was smooth.
5. Entertaining, great flying footage to explain all the points.
6. Clear summary, showing which attributes you find to be important.
7. Honest scoring - no sense of attitude.

Thanks again - I would love to see this develop for other reviews.


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Gmmiracle on March 18, 2014
Great video but can you do one for the walkera qr350 x that is the quad I have and It would be great to here what David has to say about it.

Thanks David
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slappySF on March 18, 2014
Great review. Very objective, well researched.

I own a Blade 350QX and here's why I love it:

It gave me the fever!

My prior experience with helis and quads was frustrating. I'm a plane guy. So the poor Blade 180MQX that I bought, with no stability modes or any noob-friendly features, was maddening. Just could not fly that thing to save my life. I convinced myself that quads were not for me. Beyond my skill level. I'll stick to planes, thank you.

Then I read about the 350QX and it's training mode. So I bit the bullet and got one. It gave me the confidence that I needed. And I really loved flying that thing.

Since then, I got a NanoQX and am learning to fly it the old fashioned way. Beating the crap out of it. Just having fun. I am building up the confidence and skills to taking the larger 350QX up in the more advanced modes. But I want to nail down the basics of quad flight on that nano, get good, then take up the larger 350.

What's more, I'm eyeballing a Rotor Bones setup to build my own quad. Baby steps. Want to build up flight time and confidence.

So just like with planes, there's no shame in starting with a forgiving, noob-friendly trainer, then graduating up to something more advanced and pure. I see the 350QX as that introductory, stepping stone platform.

Bottom line for me -- a great entry into multirotors for a noob like me.
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slappySF on March 19, 2014
PS. Could David's cheeks and nose possibly be any more red? :)

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Ano Pilot on March 19, 2014
Excellent review David of the exact quad that I am thinking of buying SOON. Here in the UK they say that the DJI Phantom is better (?) But, the Blade is quite a bit cheaper...?
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ScottyZ on March 17, 2014
This is by far one of the best reviews I've see you guys do. Love this format.

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Fishbonez on March 18, 2014
I agree completely. Great way to review the listing on agility 1-10 etc. was perfect
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Eddy Current on March 18, 2014
Good review overall, but seemed to be missing something... some flavor. Try adding some Josh next time.
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Red20RC on March 18, 2014
Just brilliant. Fair play - 5 stars from me!
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Kermit on March 18, 2014
Brilliant review David!! Just brilliant! /Johan
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Busjockey on March 18, 2014
Well guy's, really like the presentation format of the video, leaps and bounds above all previous formats. As for you David, wow excellent job, clear concise delivery! Packed with information, definitely high interest topic. As far as my opinion goes, your absolutely on the right flight path, keep it up.
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MT Alex on March 18, 2014
Don't get me wrong, I liked the review, but I don't like the segregated format that has gone on for almost two months. The whole gang hasn't been together in front of the camera since the Nano QX challenge. From the outside looking in it makes it appear as there has been some kind of schism, which I doubt.
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tctmonkey on March 18, 2014
Awesome review format, as a noobie to the hobby, this review format is educational and helpful. Please keep the format for "commercial product" review and of course keep the crazy Swede!
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aeriallab on March 19, 2014
Now- flitetest have two awesome / epic episodes( Vegan and this). Deivid, it is best what i ever seen :)
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Sammy on March 18, 2014
WOW, what a great review. Love everything about it: the in-depth content, the footage, the editing, the on-screen score, the alternating review circumstances, the length, the conclusion. Phenomenal job guys. Another +1 for the format, it's a keeper (as is the Swede)!
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LetsFlyRC on March 17, 2014
Great video. I like the format. I have seen a lot of people using this model, and I use the DGI NAZA system, and was wondering what the differences were. I am glad I went with DGI after seeing this review. Thanks David, good job. One thing I really would love to see you guys do, is to try to plastidip the control boards of a brushless gimbal, and see how it does for waterproofing. Also to design a system to work with the gopro in its waterproof case. I use my dgi naza with the aquacopter, a box copter built with tupperware, and a pvc platform I made to fly and land in the lake to film Wakeboarding. I would love to get nice fluid video with a waterproof brushless gimbal that can hold a gopro in its waterproof case, so I don't have to worry about water landings in emergency situations. Since I do fly in gps mode (we only drive the boat 25mph) I need the gimbal to fix the corrections of the stabilization. Thanks for all you guys do. Can't wait for more WarBirds.
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Imaxinar DM on March 17, 2014
Like the Skill Level Listing & especially the photo Version of it
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Foam Addict on March 18, 2014
I've been watching FT since the blue angels f-18 episode. IMHO this is the best episode I have ever seen. The opening was stellar, but honest, and David's precense was incredible. Incredible job guys!
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mrlorencb on March 18, 2014
I like the new format... David you are a great influence on my love for multirotors. I just purchased this quad, and I have to agree.... DJI tops it. Unfortunatly my quad flew away, so I have a new batch of parts coming from China, and I bought this one to fill my fpv appitite until the new build.... FPV is impossible in "safe mode" and no altitude hold in stable mode. Totaly a learning curve.... But I believe that helps me tune my piloting skills. Please keep up the great videos.... And I hope to see more quad stuff from you guys soon!!!!
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Carmatious on March 18, 2014
"Flew away," that's awesome. How on Earth did that happen, did The Machine take over?
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Xerx on March 18, 2014
Its known as gps issues.
If its gets a few position reports incorrectly it will think its somewhere else and head away. Same could happen if somethings wrong with the gyro or accelerometers.

Really wish flite test would do a bit broader testing. Im getting tired of seeing overpriced horizon hobby models.

I don't think they have ever mentioned manufactures like hubsan even once.
Hubsan has some pretty awesome micro fps stuff. Like the 6.5x6.5 cm 107d quad or their 80cm fpv spitfire/corsair.

The rtf quad is only ~150$ shipped from china.
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DreamFlight on March 18, 2014
I've watched every episode of Flitetest and this it absolutely the best episode so far. I really enjoyed Davids review and honest opinions. I hope that this could be the way that how David could be part of Flitetest when he is back in Sweden. The Flitetest wouldn't be the same without him.
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MT Alex on March 18, 2014
That is an excellent observation, this format would lend itself to that situation very nicely.
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RC Cola on March 18, 2014
Like the new format and the break down of each item. Your other reviews have felt more like you guys having fun or advertising for the product. This actually felt like I was being informed about the product.

That being said, with the new formality, you guys did give up some of the laughs that usually come with a less serious review. This changes the game because I am no longer as entertained and no longer feel the need to watch videos I am not interested in. I used to look forward to what ever video was being posted because I knew even if I wasn't interested in the video it was usually good for a few laughs. This video felt like a chore to watch at parts because I am not as interested in quads (Yes, there is a small minority that is more interested in fixed wing and single blade copters).

This might just be me getting used to the new format though, and it looked like you guys only had one of these quads, you couldn't unleash the Bixler, WindestĂĄl combo on them. So maybe my gripes are with the product itself and not with the format.
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js on March 18, 2014
I agree.

I loved the video, and the detailed explanations. I guess this is one way for FT to prepare for the plausible situation that he has to return back home (which probably will result in better deals for me, I'm just waiting…, greetings from Finland ). But I missed the three opinions, that usually is portrayed.

Why not when making such reviews, use this format for going trough the details, and features. When just one talks, it's more structured and more easy to follow, than when three dudes talks at the same time. But for wrap up when the opinions are given, bring it back into to the talk-show. This way you could maybe have a couple of reviews in one show.

Bring the good parts from both formats into one package.

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js on March 18, 2014
Actually now when I watch this video again, I just see Top Gear in front of me. The intro must be Top Gear influenced. Just like "how does it actually fly" comment in the vid. I hope you've seen the British version of Top Gear and not the American copy.

Any way that is actually how Top Gear does their show, the 3 guys usually have made their own videos in the show, that the 3 dudes in that show then discuss after they showed the videos.

That is the format you need to make. Basically exactly what I said above, but now you have a reference.
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RotateB4TheEnd on March 18, 2014
I agree with many of the comments I am seeing about this format. It is a fantastic, in-depth explanation of the product, and I see this video becoming the review to go to if you're looking into the 350.

That being said, I do agree with others that this is not always the format that should be followed. Things like the Ultra Micros are better displayed in a fun environment, and you have done that. However, the 350QX is more designed for individual experiences and I think this review format suited it better than a "lets get 4 of them and bang em around" style.

I appreciate that you are willing and able to try new things and this one was another success. Great cinematography.
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Heliotropic on March 18, 2014
Outstanding review! Very thorough and well thought out. I liked rating system. Thank you.
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Trippey on March 17, 2014
I like the format, it is more professional and structured.
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Freaky_1 on March 18, 2014
Sorry, I'll have to rate this one very low.... :-D Just kidding. Awesome review, great format, but don't throw the less formal ways to the side (ok so you didn't need to be told.. pttth I told. Lol)

Have a great one folks!
Frank
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casehatter on March 17, 2014
Good review David thanks for being honest and fourth right..!!
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Maxcarla123 on March 18, 2014
Very nice Format! I like it. Please do that often.
Greetings, Max
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Flynn on March 18, 2014
Thank David! Half way through I was pausing the video, looking to buy one. Then at the end of the video I thought to build a tri-copter. I think a tri-copter will suit my needs better. +1 Vote for more reviews by David!
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flykvegas on March 18, 2014
You mention flying FPV with this and even demonstrated but didn't go into what is required to transmit video. Please elaborate on this.
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llharper on March 19, 2014
Great job!! I love this format. It does have a Top Gear flavor to it. I would like to see this both Josh (beginner) and Josh (advanced) do reviews like this. I guess I need to get a NanoQX.
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sandman on March 19, 2014
I really like my 350. It can fly on windy days, don't need open area. Just step out of RV and take off. Return to home is great - if you forget to switch back into safe mode first. It landed safely but a long walk to retrieve.
Keep up the good work.
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enivid on March 18, 2014
Like the new style of montage, very "top gear"isn! Great work guys.
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Marker on March 18, 2014
I like the new format but I would not say to do it every time. The format is good if there is only one person (like david) but I dont think that it would work well with Josh and Josh.
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interactivewolf on March 18, 2014
Thanks for the great video... nicely shot and with an objective summary of the 350's strengths and weaknesses. I'm new to the hobby and recently bought a 350. I really enjoy it but can attest to the billion screw challenge.

Also, one thing that was omitted was that the start-up sequence can be glitchy. At least it was for me, that could be due to my inexperience. I love the smart mode though. It's almost fire and forget. I have a couple of small quads but this by far is the most fun, probably because it's big enough to cope outdoors with a slight wind and the multiple modes make it so easy to fly.

Keep on making great videos.
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santiago404 on March 18, 2014
This is what you can call a review!

As for my opinion on the product... If i HAVE to use Spektrum system to be able fly it, i am not buying it. :)
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Iskareot on March 18, 2014
Some major things forgot... and to A LOT of us this matters: For one, for the differences in the DGI a major factor is parts and speed of getting them and or help or support. I drive 2 miles get props a new battery a case and or other part and be back up flying in a hour. I live in the Chicagoland region... guess how many DGI parts there are? 0 ... I know I looked. The support factor, parts factor and the mere help that is out there instantly vs the DGI is massive. Gains and a board that might be able to be used was not enough for me. ALSO, I would bet there is more third party parts avl or going to be for the 350 then the DGI, with that said.. a brushless gimbal is now coming and all the third party companies will go with what is selling the most logically. Again this goes back to the whole picture... For the buck I do not see the DGI as being an advantage. (Unless you live by their warehouse)..lol
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Alf on March 18, 2014
Living in a place that saw -50C this year, I love the progression from naked hands on the controller to transmitter muff to the frozen mouth final. You're quite a trooper David to do this in the cold of the night.

To echo many of the other comments, this was one of the most useable review to date. Tons of information, honest opinions, pros and cons. This is the kind of review I am looking for if I'm going to buy something ARF/RTF. The only thing missing is what made me a fan of Flite Test which is the way Josh, Josh and David compliment each other from technical knowledge to fying style and expertise. This ties right into the opinion caveat at the end.

Good work, looking forward to more of these.
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Carmatious on March 18, 2014
I like the new setup.
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TadWaddell on March 18, 2014
Very nice review FT crew. Really enjoyed David's down to earth language and the reasoning behind his opinions. I have liked everything I have seen from FT, especially the variety of videos you guys put out. This format fits this product very well, its a high end product (budget wise) and it deserved to be given an extensive review. The filming was excellent, both nightime outdoor shots and product closeups in the studio.

As far as the Blade QX350 goes, it is outside of my personal budget, no real chance of buying one or even a chance to fly one, so I was glad to get so much honest information on a very interesting product. All of the proprietary parts scare me, I like to tinker and this seems to be one way or no way. Nonadjustable software, fixed prop and battery selection, and one piece (expensive) body to replace have turned me off to this particular quad.

It is always good to hear honest reviews and well reasoned opinions from a reliable source.

See you guys at Joe Nall this year?
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timography on March 17, 2014
You guys have hit the nail on the head with this format - really cool. Noticeable BBC TG influence there. Please keep this format - it rocks. Oh, the Blade 350QX is pretty cool also... :)
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kah00na on March 17, 2014
Who's ever idea it was to film this at night, it worked out real well. I really liked how this whole video seemed well thought and planned out. It didn't seem to be just off the cuff. I want to use this as a model for my future video formats.
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liveyourdreamsRC on March 17, 2014
Cool format! I like this and you should use it again for more reviews, but not all because each aircraft has different capabilities. But this was really great to introduce those who are newer to the hobby and give them a look at something and make it more approachable. Just with all the ratings and your thoughts were very helpful too David is what made it more approachable. I appreciate you guys including the dimensions:) Very cool again and thanks for all you do.
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mdailey43 on March 19, 2014
Thanks David that was an awesome review I was considering buying 350 QX I have purchased several speed build kits (airplanes) and have had an enormous amount of fun building and flying them I'm very pleased, they have been everything all of you guys said they were. I watched most of your videos before I made my first purchase and now I'm a flite test addict I look every day for something new to watch from you guys. I love your honesty but now I don't believe I will make that purchase and do some more research that's a lot of money to have limitations I trust your reviews, opinions and you speak in a language I can understand very clear and concise. Well another high quality video very professional and informative Thanks David and the rest of the flite test crew.
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Imaxinar DM on March 17, 2014
Just finished 2nd watching of the video, Yes like the format of the video a lot. Besides the interior shots being well crafted, you SEE the quad. Too many "reviews" don't really give you good views of the craft itself. BIG Thumbs Up David.
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gmyers2112 on March 20, 2014
TopGear Flitetest. Only thing lacking was Jeremy Clarkson gripping the sticks. Don't get me wrong, I liked it, a lot. I watch TopGear, too. This was a higher level of production than you guys normally do and that's saying something because your production level is top notch, Also, I'm a big fan of David's any way. I'd like to see something this produced with Josh Scott as well because he's a natural on air personality though as I understand it, his available time is limited.
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Ano Pilot on March 29, 2014
WEAK PROPS is apparently THE main worry according to MANY online sources. It was enough to force me across to the MUCH more conservatively styled DJI Phantom, which I think looks unforgivably boring by comparison. Perhaps reference should have been made to this concern, given that it is so widespread and seems to have caused many total flight failures.
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Crashpilot1000 on March 24, 2014
Well GPS modes ARE NEVER A RELIABLE SECURITY feature. DJI and 3DR Marketing hype to make people trust in that. Look in their forums for flyaways and crashed equipment.
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webbie on March 27, 2014
I would like to see an update to this review following the release from hobbyking http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__52025__Blade_350QX_Direct_Mount_Propeller_Adapter_Set_4pcs_bag_.html and here what David has to say on the improvement it makes and see if he would change his scores.
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artezz on March 31, 2014
I wish I had viewed this before I purchased mine, oh well to late so I will make the best of it. I am a newbie to the hobby and have made many mistakes in what I have purchased. I have a Hexa also. It needs a new board that runs almost 750.00. OUCH. I hear that the DJI phantoms wont be available much longer, Due to a court injunction. I don't want to buy one that you cant get parts for, in the near future. Is this going to happen?
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Leg0er on March 22, 2014
Great new format but I miss a bit of the old style :P
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Jedd Page on March 30, 2014
Hi Guys i'm new to multi-rotors and i'm wondering what to get. I was thinking about the 350qx but i'm not so sure. Should i buy the Nano qx and then build a bigger quad or should i buy the Dji Phantom. Or what should i do?

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Jedd Page on March 30, 2014
Btw i live in South Africa and the supply to things are sometimes limited.

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jack111 on June 14, 2014
broke a motor mount god, it took me like ten years to replace the body
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pwwuk on July 21, 2014
Does the Version 2 / V2 Firmware alter your view given the new AP mode for filming ?
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steakman63 on August 19, 2014
I purchased the 350 QX after flying the Phantom and Walkera, It is a step above. I have version 2.0, and although the layout inside he quad is not perfect, it works. The quad has absolutely no undesirable characteristics. Mash, pull, dump, it recovers. The LEDs are phenomenal for night flight. I broke mine, like everyone complains after flying way after the LEDs told me to land. A cup of coffee and some patience and it was brand new. I can fly circles around my Phantom friends. Thank you Horizon Hobby for your support and a great product. BTW, I have a custom quad I built with a NAZA Lite that was delivered in bad order. DJI has had the controller for three weeks and no fix or replacement. You decide. I love my Blade 350 QX.
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Blade 350QX Quadcopter