Monthly Archives: January 2016

Best phones from China for 2016

So you wanna buy a good phone but don’t want to waste a lot of money for it? Maybe you also don’t want to have a too big screen? I was in the same situation, thus I did some research and found these models to have the best price/quality ratio for now (January 2016).

My criteria was mainly: around 5″ for the screen. At least 3 GB of ram, at least 32 GB of storage (ROM) and if possible sd card support. USB type C is not necessarily a plus, but if you want to be a pioneer you’ll definitively want to have a USB 3.0 phone (it’s the future).

For the specs I saved a link to gsmarena. Since these (besides the OnePlus X) are phones marketed mainly for China, I added some resources to XDA forums for debloated ROMs, to add Play Store etc.

OnePlus X

OnePlus X 266 USD white, 286 USD black

OnePlus_X

In short: 5.0″, 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM, Snapdragon 801 CPU, sd card
OnePlus X specs

Xiaomi Mi 4c on xda forums

I’ve put this phone first in this list, because it’s marketed for Europe/USA. Thus you won’t have to spend time to install a custom rom to get rid of the Chinese apps, or to install Play Store. 2 of my colleagues at work bought this phone, and the only thing they don’t like is that it’s slippery. Else they are completely satisfied with it.

Xiaomi Mi 4c

Xiaomi Mi 4c 209 USD (price checked and updated on 2016-09-13)

Xiomi Mi 4c only 125 USD (cheaper edition with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB ROM)
For 125 USD it’s a limited offer valid till September 2016. I own the “normal” edition and just ordered this as a spare one. Highly recommended.

Xiaomi_Mi_4c

In short: 5.0″, 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM, Snapdragon 808 Hexa-core CPU, no sd card, USB type C, fast charge
Xiaomi Mi 4c specs

Xiaomi Mi 4c on xda forums

I’ve never tested MIUI, but it seems that this operating system is quite nice, thus I decided to give it a try and order this promising phone. Check MIUI 7.0 on androidcentral. Stay tuned for more updates when I receive this phone, or google for reviews.

LeTV One Pro X800

LeTV One Pro X800 292 USD (silver)

LeTV_One_Pro_X800

In short: 5.5″, 32GB ROM, 4GB RAM, Snapdragon 810 CPU, no sd card, USB type C
LeTV One Pro specs

[Letv x800] RuschROM (Stock debloated)

This is a monster. It seems to have a overheating problem during high usage (games). You’ll also need to install a custom rom to get rid of all the Chinese stuff. The price is quite nice. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was curious about MIUI, I would have definitively ordered this one.

Accessories to buy for USB type C phones

If you, like me, need sd card support e.g. to check pictures or videos taken with an external device, such a GoPro, or maybe from your reflex camera, you may need to have some adapters. I found those particularly handy:

USB 3.1 Type C Male to Micro USB 2.0 5P Female Data Adapter (3 USD)

2 in 1 USB2.0 and USB 3.1 Type C TF SD Card Reader (7.9 USD)

Mini drones comparison: Cheerson CX-10 vs Eachine H8 Mini

If you want to buy a mini drone to get the feeling on how it is to fly one of these “creatures”, you are in the right place. I started my drone pilot “career” exactly like that, with a mini quadcopter.

The models I like the most are Cheerson CX-10 and Eachine H8 Mini.

Comparison between Cheerson CX-10 vs Eachine H8 Mini

Comparison_mini_drones_Cheerson_CX-20_vs_Eachine_H8_Mini

Cheerson CX-10 Eachine H8 Mini
Ease of use Easy Medium (it’s very fast, can be unpredictable)
Protection Cover available separately: you can fly the drone till it touches the ceiling Integrated protection (but not as good as the CX-10 one)
Speed Has several modes to modify the responsiveness (angle when steering) but the speed is basically average (good for beginners) Very responsive, it’s like made for racing
Control distance Around 10m Around 30m!
Transmitter Small
Needs: 2 AAA batteries
Small/medium
Needs: 3 AAA batteries
Turning it on/off On/Off switch Plug/unplug battery cable
Battery Integrated (can be replaced if broken)
Flying time: 5 min
Charging time: 30 min
Charging mode: USB (cable included)
Separate (you can buy more spare ones!)
Flying time: 5 min
Charging time: 40 min
Charging mode: USB (cable included)
Battery low voltage The drone begins to blink, you see the power going down slowly and you have about 20 seconds to land it safely. The drone begins to blink and after 5 seconds it dies. This is really bad as it’s impossible to make it land properly, especially from a higher altitude.
Size 40 x 40 x 22 mm (without cover) 135 x 135 x 28 mm
Available colors Orange
Green
Blue
Pink
Black (CX-10A)
White (CX-10A)
Gold (CX-10A)
Silver (CX-10A)
Black
White
Pros Stable (good indoors)
Low voltage: enough time to land
Racing feeling (good outdoors)
Extra batteries
Cons Short control distance
No extra batteries
A bit unpredictable
Low voltage: almost no time to land
Price and links to buy Drone: 12.99 USD
Cover: 0.79 USD
Propellers: 1.55 USD
Battery: –
Total: 15.33 USD
Drone: 12.29 USD
Cover: integrated
Propellers: 1.89 USD
Battery (upgraded 260 mAh): 3.87 USD
5-pack batteries + charger 15.50 USD
Total: 18.05 USD

Prices last checked and updated on 2016-11-25.

Final thoughts

Cheerson CX-10

Cheerson CX-10 orange, with protecting cover


I own several Cheerson CX-10 models (I convinced all my colleagues in the office to buy one) and I think they are stable and reliable to fly indoors in a little room. Outdoors, since the flying distance is not big, it’s not exciting.

Eachine H8 Mini

Eachine_H8_Mini_black


I bought also an Echine H8 Mini and tried it in my living room. A first impression I think it’s a bit unpredictable and thus dangerous. I think that this is best used outdoors, in fact the drone is very fast and because of its “random” nature during the flips and simply drops when the battery is low, you can feel safer when flying it over some grass.

Conclusion

If I were you, and I assume you like to fly drones or at least I think you wanna have some beginner fun, I would buy both of them (in fact I owe both of them). The links I posted point to bangood, which is an awesome website and the delivery is free of charge (unless you are impatient and wanna pay for expedited shipping for faster delivery). Make sure to buy 1 propellers set for both (props for Cheerson CX-10 / props for Eachine H8 Mini. Note: the packages already contain a set of spare props, and if you buy the protecting cover you won’t break many props, thus 1 set is enough I believe, up to you). Buy the protecting cover for the CX-10. Buy one (or two) more batteries for the Eachine H8 Mini.

Check my article Cheerson CX-10 vs Skeye nano drone to read more about the Cheerson CX-10, CX-10A and CX-10C models.

If you feel like buying something bigger, check these quadcopters. Have fun! 🙂

Note: I’m filming these 2 drones to compare their behaviour. I will update this blog post as soon as I have some good footage. Stay tuned.