Friday, December 1, 2023

Hands-On: HOVERAir X1 Drone


In the ever-evolving landscape of personal gadgets, one innovation has taken flight – quite literally – to capture your life’s moments from a whole new perspective. The HOVERAir X1 Pocket-Sized Self-Flying Camera aims to rewrite the rules of personal aerial photography. With its remarkable features and capabilities, this mini marvel is a fun and interesting device for capturing breathtaking shots and videos from the skies.

Pocket-Sized and Lightweight

Don’t be fooled by its small stature; the HoverAir X1 packs a punch. Its foldable design shrinks it from 5 x 3.4 x 1.2 inches when folded to 5 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches when ready for flight. Weighing in at a mere 4.4oz / 125g, including the battery, it’s so compact that you’ll forget you’re even carrying it. Plus, the permanent propeller guards make it exceptionally safe to fly near people and indoors, adding to its appeal.

Up in the Sky with Ease

The HOVERAir X1’s compact design and user-friendly interface ensure that you can have your eyes on the prize without being tethered to your phone. You can kiss those days of fumbling with your smartphone goodbye. All the options you need are neatly packed into this pocket-sized drone, allowing you to effortlessly seize any moment.

Stable Shots, Sky-High Flights

One of the standout features of the HOVERAir X1 is its exceptional camera stability, thanks to a reliable gimbal. Whether you’re hovering at the max height of 50 feet or darting through tight spots, your shots will remain impressively stable, free from the jitters that often plague drone photography.

Pushing the Boundaries of Speed

While the HOVERAir X1 is your perfect companion for leisurely aerial exploration, it may struggle to keep up with extreme sports enthusiasts. With a max speed of 17 mph, activities like snowboarding and biking might outpace this nimble flyer. Beyond a range of 25-30 feet, the drone will gracefully blink, lower itself, and pause, awaiting your retrieval.

Innovative Modes, with One Quirk

For those who prefer their drones to do the heavy lifting, the HoverAir X1 offers an array of intelligent flight paths. These include Orbit, Follow, Reveal, Overhead, Hover, Custom, and Manual Control. The VIO (Visual Inertial Odometry) positioning system ensures that these paths are executed with precision, although it’s essential to remain cautious around obstacles like trees. The HoverAir X1 showcases exceptional performance in various environments, navigating tricky terrain with ease.

The drone’s manual mode offers a hands-on experience for drone aficionados. However, it’s worth noting that the live view function tends to freeze after about 10 seconds. Despite this minor hiccup, you can still capture stunning photos and videos, even if you can’t see precisely what you’re shooting. Potential compatibility issues with older phone software might be at play here, but rest assured, it’s a small wrinkle in an otherwise smooth operation.

Unfazed by the Elements

One of the most impressive aspects of the HOVERAir X1 is its ability to maintain stability, even in the face of changing winds and challenging terrain. Wind resistance is rated at 17.7mph, and even in moderate winds, the 2-axis gimbal and Electronic Image Stabilization collaborate seamlessly to capture smooth video. Whether you’re exploring a breezy beach or navigating a dense forest, this drone will stay on course, ensuring you get the shots you desire.

Test Flight Footage:

HOVERAir X1’s agility is not limited to open skies. It can deftly weave through woods and tight spaces, provided you keep your speed below 5 mph. This feature opens up a world of creative possibilities for capturing unique angles and perspectives.

Battery Life that Keeps You Aloft

You can pick up the X1 for $350 on its own but for another $50 I suggest going with the combo. Not only do you get an extra battery, but you’ll also get a charging hub, too. Here’s why.

Battery life is a critical factor for any drone, and the HOVERAir X1 delivers admirably. With an extra battery on hand, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a scenario where both batteries run dry during use. On average, a single battery will give you approximately 11 minutes of flight, depending on your speed and wind resistance. Additionally, the dock’s charging speed is a remarkable 55% faster than charging the battery in the drone itself, ensuring minimal downtime between flights.


In a nutshell, the HoverAir X1 is your ticket to a world of speed and simplicity. It takes off and lands within seconds and requires no app intervention to select your preferred flight path. If you seek an autonomous drone with an array of intelligent flight options and excellent image stabilization for videos, the HoverAir X1 is a top pick.

However, if manual flight and in-depth camera control are your primary goals, you might want to explore other options. The X1 is not designed for extended flight times, so if you’re looking for lengthier sessions, consider a larger drone with a higher-capacity battery.

While it may not suit high-speed activities, it excels in providing stunning aerial views in various conditions. For those looking to capture life’s moments from a new perspective, the HOVERAir X1 is the companion that takes your photography and videography to new heights – literally.

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