To complement the DJI, there are many brands on the market. DJI is well-known for its consumer-level drones. The Yuneec brand offers great consumer drones at a competitive price. The Yuneec Mantis Q drone isn’t a top-of-the-line model. However, it does offer enterprise-grade hardware and some amazing video and photography capabilities. in this blog, we will discuss what makes it the best drone for the money.
Yuneec Mantis Q Reviews
- The battery offers 25 minutes of flight time
- Compact, folding design.
- GPS and Return to Home support.
- Multi-battery charger included.
- Unstabilized 4K video cannot be used.
- Digitally stabilized 1080p footage doesn’t get much better.
- Raw images may show black corners
- Voice control feels like a gimmick.
The Yuneec Mantis Q folds down to a small size and costs $499. The drone promises 4K video and the best-in-class battery performance, but it does not deliver. 4K video is shaky, which makes it unusable. The battery life is also not as good as Yuneec claims. You can get a small, affordable drone that shoots in 4K. Or, you can spend a bit more and buy the DJI Mavic Air. Both are far better than the Mantis.
The Q weighs 16.9 ounces and is 2 ounces lighter than DJI’s Mavic Air. However, it is still very lightweight. The Mantis Q is more durable and premium than the Breeze’s first attempt at a compact drone. With a comfortable degree of tension, the propeller arms unfold and fold with ease. The propellers fold up and are pulled against the drone’s body. It’s compact enough to fit in a small bag. Outside of four small, raised pieces of plastic around the body, the Q doesn’t have much landing gear.
The Mantis Q’s battery slides in the top of the aircraft. When you open the arms you will see a slot for microSD cards (it isn’t covered which was unusual). The remote control comes with a clamp that can be used to secure smartphones. The remote control easily fit our iPhone 8 with the case. The controller clamp is angled at a slightly steep angle, so it may be necessary to tilt the remote forward to see better.
Image Quality & Performance
The Q does not have a stabilized camera gimbal. We took the Mantis out on windy days and the footage clearly showed the drone’s shaking and swaying. We had more success when the camera was pointed down at a 90-degree angle. Also, we didn’t have any horizon lines bobbing in the distance.
The 4K video quality was good, but not great. Although the drone’s camera can handle most colors, it sometimes looks off when there is a blue sky.
Although JPEG images are acceptable, we found that the blue sky was often rendered unrealistically. Zooming in even a little will cause the photo to lose detail. This is not surprising considering the resolution and size of the sensor. If the sun is in the frame, there will be some lens flare. Drones of this price are not an issue.
DNG images can be captured by the Q, but there will be strong barrel distortion and vignetting that drone’s JPEG processing engine hides. Some of our images had to vignette so strong that there was no detail at the edges of the frames in some cases. We also experienced severe distortion when processing the image in Luminar. The lens distortion slider was set to 100, but even that wasn’t enough. Images from DNG will require extensive post-processing before being usable.
The Yuneec app was very intuitive, and flight control was reliable and smooth. Although we had to repeatedly issue voice commands to get the automatic flying modes to work, they worked flawlessly. The drone doesn’t have object avoidance so you will need to be more careful when manually navigation near trees or buildings. However, a little practice with controls should not pose any problems. (We did, however,
Our first flight saw us get stuck in a tree. The Q can be flown using your smartphone.
It can fly for 33 minutes, which is more than rival models from DJI or Parrot. It still had more than half of its battery after it flew for 15 minutes on a cold day.
The Mantis Q’s flight skills are not up to the task of capturing good aerial footage. The sport modes of the Mantis Q are great if you want to fly fast and not care about the video. These attributes earned the Mantis Q an average but not exceptional flight performance score.
The Mantis Q’s beginner-friendly heritage is evident in its stability during takeoff and landing. However, once in the air, this stability becomes a little more difficult. It would drift to the side and up to 2 feet high when it was covered. This figure is only 6 inches for the DJI Spark.
The Mantis Q can take off from your hand, just like the Spark. The Mantis Q can be even told to take off (more details below). It lacks Spark’s ability to recognize your hand and automatically land on it.
Autonomous Flight Features
The Mantis Q includes the standard array of autonomous flight features such as orbit (pan [email protected] around an object) and follows (automatically follows an object), along with other panning and zooming options. One thing that is missing from the Mantis Q is any kind of cable camera feature. This would allow the drones to fly on a predetermined path, while the pilot can move the camera around.
Although all of these features are easy to use and work well, the video results can look a little shaky due to poor camera stability. We had difficulty determining if the drone was unable to follow our subject or if it was just looking a little too slow due to camera instability. In our testing, the DJI Spark was able to perform all these maneuvers more fluently.
Recharge Time and Battery Life
Yuneec claims that the Mantis Q can fly for more than half an hour. However, our tests showed that it could stay in the air for around 20-25 minutes. This was not even when we were pushing the drone beyond its limits. It is marginally faster than the Spark or other drones of this price range, but we don’t think it would perform better in Sport mode given its typical performance.
The included USB-C cord charges the controller in approximately two hours. We were able to fully charge the battery using the included charger in just 50 minutes. It’s not a great result, but it’s still not bad. The battery can charge up to four batteries at once, which is a nice feature. However, extra Mantis Q batteries cost only $60 each. It’s still worth the purchase of them as part of the $650 X Pack option when you first purchase the drone.
We prefer the Mantis Q over the Spark in this area. The Mantis Q can fly sport modes at 44 mph (much faster than the Spark’s 31 mph), and it turns and maneuvers with some agility. The Mantis Q’s limitations are easily overcome by switching to sport modes and accepting that you are flying for fun, not to record any video. There are cheaper options if you just want a drone that’s fast and easy to fly.
The Mantis Q folds up and is only 1.06 pounds. It is still not as portable as some of the foldable models on the market.
The DJI Mavic Air, and the Parrot Anafi are the most similar foldable drones to the Mantis Q. They weigh in at 0.95 and 0.7 lbs, respectively. Both devices are significantly lighter than the Mantis Q. These models come with carrying bags and foldable controllers, which are two of the Mantis Q’s key features. Although the Mantis Q’s Mantis Q is more expensive at $700 and $800 respectively, the Anafi and Mavic Air are both more capable than either of these models.
The DJI Spark is not foldable, but it weighs 0.66 pounds less than the Mantis Q, has a smaller overall shape factor, and comes with an aluminum foam carrying case. This makes it a better choice than Mantis Q in this area.
It’s Easy To Use
The Mantis Q is very easy to set up and use, but we found some aspects of the user experience to be frustrating. This led to a poor score.
The Mantis Q can be easily lifted from the box and put into flight. The drone unfolds intuitively and is easy to set up. The YuneecPilot App is quick and easy to pair with the drone. You can use your phone only as a controller or attach your phone to the physical controller. Because of their lackluster tactile response, we don’t like using phone-based controls. We recommend the physical controller.
We aren’t a huge fan of the Mantis Q’s user experience, except for its strict setup and operation. The controller feels heavy in the hand and lacks ergonomic touches. We found the DJI Spark’s and Parrot Anafi controllers to be much more intuitive.
The Mantis Q’s video downlink was also lacking. The live feed from the camera can sometimes be blurred and choppy. This is fine for flying fun, but can make framing a cinematic shot difficult. Both the Parrot Anafi and the DJI Spark have crisper, more reliable video downlinks.
Mantis Q has a unique voice control feature that allows you to speak commands like takeoff, land or take a photo, and the drone will react accordingly. These commands worked well, although they were a little too gimmicky for our liking. We could only see ourselves using the “Take a picture” command for aerial selfies. The DJI Spark allows you to do the same thing using a hand gesture. So the Mantis Q isn’t much better in this regard.
The YUNEEC MantisQ is $500 and offers decent video quality, but good flight performance. The DJI Spark, which costs $400, is an excellent choice for aerial videography. You can find a more affordable and fun alternative in racing drones if you are looking for an enjoyable flying experience, but don’t care about video quality.
Camera And Accessories
Although it might have been a selling point for the Mantis Q, the Mantis Q is struggling with the camera. We’ll show you that it’s not just the stabilization problem that’s the problem. Below is some footage of us trying to fly the Spark and Mantis Q in similar flight paths. There will be a noticeable difference.
The clarity of the Mantis Q’s 4K footage is only comparable to Spark’s 1080p footage. However, there is some distortion of the horizon line if it is not centered (barrel distortion). The footage is also difficult to use due to excessive shakiness. The digital stabilization kicks in when the Mantis is lowered to 1080p 60fps (30fps), but it results in a loss of sharpness. However, fast motion will be smoother at 60fps (DJI Spark supports a maximum of 1080p 30fps).
Motion footage in 4K mode is a little difficult to watch because there is no stabilization. The drone tilts to take off in the desired direction and the camera will point in that direction for a few seconds.
The Yuneec Mantis Q has one thing that we will give it, however, and that is high-quality photos. The Mantis Q produced sharper pictures than the Spark. However, most people are more interested in aerial video than still photos, so we don’t think this means much.
The box contains a few extra accessories, but they are quite slim. Although there is no carrying case included, Yuneec includes an extra set of propellers just in case the drone’s ones get damaged. You can upgrade to the X-Pack for $150 if you need additional batteries or a case. The package includes a case, three extra batteries and a spare set of propellers. Although it is an additional expense, it costs less than if all of these items were purchased separately.
Flight and Features
The companion app is called Yuneec Pilot and works with both Android 5.0 and iOS 9.0 devices. Although it shares a similar look to DJI’s Go, there are fewer options. Although it is simple and refreshing to use, some may prefer DJI’s app’s granularity, which allows for almost unbelievable amounts of adjustments to settings and controls.
The drone has GPS-based tracking that keeps it clear of no-fly zones and allows it to return to its takeoff point in case of lost signal or low battery. However, the Mantis Q doesn’t have the same safety features as the Mavic Air. The sensors are downward-facing to improve indoor stability. However, there are no collision prevention sensors at the front or back. Flying is a dangerous activity.
The quadcopter is responsive and fast, especially when you switch to Sport mode. Its compact and lightweight quadcopters are capable of flying at speeds up to 72 km/h. It’s great fun to fly.
The Yuneec Mantis Q also has endurance, with a 33-minute maximum flight duration per charge. If you fly in windy conditions, the drone will struggle to keep its hovering position. This will cause your flight time to drop dramatically. It’s still significantly longer than Mavic Air’s 21-minute flight duration. This drone was designed for travelers and is a great choice.
Yuneec claims that the Mantis Q can fly up to 800m from the controller depending on interference and obstacles. This was not something I tried to test. However, I did want to ensure that it would fly within visual range. The live video feed from the camera to the smartphone app showed no drops in signal and it was clear and stable.
There are a few shot modes available, including Point of Interest (which circles the point below the drone), and tracking. But nothing that is particularly interesting. You can use voice or gesture controls to control the app. The former allows you to say “take a photo” to begin recording and the latter lets you snap a quick selfie simply by waving your hands. We didn’t find them to be very useful as they are much more tactile and precise.
Video and Photo Quality
Image quality is the most important factor for many people when it comes to buying a drone. The Mantis Q’s camera is amazing. It looks impressive on paper. It can play 4K and 1080p video at 30fps and 720p video and still photos in JPEG and DNG RAW formats at up to 4160×3120 resolution.
It is incredibly poor because it lacks a 3-axis gimbal. This means that the camera can’t keep its level with the horizon when flying. The camera will move when you push the buttons on the controller stick; competitors such as the DJI Mavic Air keep the drone rock-steady under the same conditions.
Electronic image stabilization is Yuneec’s solution. This basically crops down the video frame and tilts it to compensate. This requires that you reduce the video resolution to 1080p. However, it only works up to a point. You can see how it does in wind. However, we were not impressed by its “wobbliness”. Although the 1080p quality looks better, 4K is more susceptible to shakiness.
Low light can cause the sensor to struggle a bit, and JPEGs in a daylight show some graininess. This is something that most people can live with, but the DJI Mavic Air is far superior when it comes to footage quality.
Why Should You Buy The Mantis Q
The DJI Mavic Air is significantly more reliable than the Mantis Q in terms of safety features and image quality. It’s also smaller and lighter than the Mantis Q, but that begs the question: is it worth more than PS769?
While I find the Mantis Q’s absence of a 3-axis Gimbal disappointing, it is something I realize that a PS450 drone will not have all the features we desire.
Many consider the Q’s battery life to be more impressive than that of the Mavic Air, which is about ten minutes. Its low price could also make it a better purchase than the Air. It does feel like a compromise when it comes to flying it in strong winds.
You don’t have to limit your drone photography to just a few aerial shots and some cool low-altitude selfies. It can still do a good job. The Mantis is not equipped to capture stable footage at high altitudes.
Here are the full reviews of the Yuneec Mantis Q Drone, if you are interested in knowing more about other drones then check here:
There is no doubt that the Yuneec Mantis Q Drone is a great option for both beginners and experts. This drone is extremely easy to use. You can learn how to fly this drone in minutes. Although it has various features, the most popular ones are the real-time FPV broadcast through your smartphone, headless mode, altitude hold feature, precise control, and the ability to record 4K videos with the GoPro attached.
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