While this story started out being a simple text companion to results of my experience with both the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K and Typhoon G copters, it morphed into something entirely different. In fact, while I’ll provide my opinion on these copters momentarily, if you scroll below the video you’ll find a very long and detailed guide to both the pros and cons of owning and flying a Yuneec Q500 4K.
If you follow my posts on various copter-oriented Facebook forums or subscribe to my YouTube channel, you already know that I’ve produced quite a few videos on the Yuneec Q500 4K and have documented my experiences. Not all of them have been perfect, but I call ’em as I see ’em. As I began writing this piece, I went into it with the desire of wanting it to be helpful to not only those who have decided to purchase a Typhoon and were seeking guidance on the two models, but also for those who may be considering their first copter and were in search of some detailed information on the Typhoon models. So, in order to make this story useful to others in the future, I thought it best to tell the entire story and not just the “Cliff Notes” version.
But don’t worry, if you have a short attention span and don’t feel the need to read my full overview and simply want my recommendation between the two models, I’ll now reveal my pick between the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K and the Typhoon G GoPro model. My recommendation is:
Typhoon Q500 4K
There, how’s that? Now, here’s the video:
You may choose to stop reading now, but if you’re interested in learning more about both of these models and why I selected this model over the Typhoon G GoPro copter, you’ll want to keep reading. So, sit down, grab a beverage and I’ll attempt to describe multiple facets of these copters. I’ll also warn you that this story is long-winded and requires scrolling. But it’s detailed. So that it doesn’t get too monotonous, I’ll add some video’s I did along the way to arriving at my conclusion as well as some pretty pictures…and I’ll attempt to interject my form of humor. I may even add an intermission in the middle so that if you need to take a potty break or head to Starbucks, you won’t miss anything!
I’ll add that if I was a first time buyer of a relatively unknown brand of copters or possibly a first time copter purchaser altogether, I’d like to know the details of why someone was telling me how to spend $1,400. Yeah, I’d like to know why!
Before we get started, allow me to add one more small detail…
For the record, I do not accept any compensation whatsoever for my opinionated and what I like to call “Editorial” reviews. I pay for the products I play with and while I have a nice dialog with multiple manufacturers who provide answers to questions I have when testing a product, nobody puts words in my mouth or through my fingers to the keyboard. There are occasions when I’m able to get my hands on a product in advance of public release and in those cases I play with loaner models that are neatly packed up and returned to the manufacturer when the review is completed. If I really like that specific product and decide I can’t live without it, I’ll either purchase the sample or buy a new one. In the case of the Typhoon’s I tested, I purchased the Q500 4K from a dealer selling through Amazon.com and due to my travel schedule I purchased a first run Typhoon G directly from Yuneec and had it shipped to my travel destination. Yeah, I paid for both of them. So, the opinions contained in this review are solely mine. If you disagree with my findings, thats what the comments section is for…no need to email me to curse me out. But pats on the back are okay. You can also feel free to reply on your favorite Facebook user group site where you found the link to this story.
The following guide contains nine chapters. To make it easier for you to jump to specific chapters should you need to reference it in the future, I’m inserting this table of contents. Simply click on the desired chapter and it will jump to that section and save you a lot of scrolling!
Chapter I: Background: My Reviewing Philosophy
Chapter II : How I First Learned Of Yuneec
Chapter III: Typhoon Overview: Beginner’s Guide To Understanding The Yuneec Typhoon
Chapter IV: The ST-10+ Controller and Features
Chapter V: Documentation/Included Instructions
Chapter VI: Battery/Charger
Chapter VII: Camera and Gimbal Quality
Chapter VIII: Tech Support
Chapter IX: Epilogue – Typhoon G Overview
So, with that said, here’s the long version:
These days you can go online and read countless new product “reviews” that seem to appear within minutes of a new product announcement. I’ll use Apple as an example…
When Apple holds a press event to announce a new product, immediately following the formal presentation, a large room is setup where the attending Journalist have an opportunity to go hands-on with the new offerings and speak directly with factory reps. In many cases within a very short time frame (sometimes within the hour) reviews are posted online.
I refer to these instant uploads as “overviews” and not reviews, while they are helpful to those who are want to press the “buy” button the moment a specific product goes on sale, they are basically gloss-over stories that highlight new features that don’t carry the reasonable expectations the new features have been used in real-world situations. There are exceptions where the products are given to specific Journalists ahead of the announcements and those are fairly detailed. But these days, since you can access a YouTube video at any time, it can be difficult to tell the difference between those who have just been exposed to specific products and those who have logged many hours using them in the same manner the consumer will when that product begins to ship.
I use this as a reference as now that camera-equipped copters are coming into the mainstream, I’m beginning to see more instant reviews that sometimes, in the effort to be first and to generate page views, often get things incorrectly. I’m not saying my reviews are perfect, but I do put time into my process. Yeah, I’ve been doing this a very long time you whippersnapper. So, get of my lawn!
Not trying to say that my reviews are the bottom line as they are just my opinion, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time flying both Yuneec’s Typhoon Q500 4K as well as its new offering, the Typhoon G. This is evidenced by the videos I’ve released that highlight using both of these copters in multiple locations. FYI, my copter videos can be found in the aerial section of this site.
Allow me to say upfront that throughout my 40 years in the consumer products industry, 20 years of which have been spent reviewing new products, I have yet to see the perfect product in any category. Some get close, but so far nothing’s perfect. In fact, Consumer Reports, after many years of providing car reviews recently awarded a perfect score to a Tesla model. This car wowed so many of its staff, that it’s rating system had it rated at higher than 100%. But I digress, let’s get to the two Typhoon models:
How I First Learned Of Yuneec
Yuneec’s Typhoon platform is not brand spanking new. It’s gone through a few variants ranging from HD to 4K camera equipped models. While I’ve only been following this brand for a few months, in my mind Yuneec has come from copter oblivion to a well deserved spot on The Gadget Guru’s radar. I’ll add that had it not been due to Curtis Dart, a well known and capable Facebook copter user group Moderator, I don’t have any idea when Yuneec would have appeared on my radar as outside of the enthusiast forums, you don’t hear too much about them. Ironically, Dart moderates some of the larger DJI user groups and I think it’s admirable he keeps tabs on the entire industry and does not operate with the blinders so often found on many sites these days.
Through Dart’s recommendation, I did some quick research, then purchased a Typhoon 4K model. Having read various forum posts about this copter and brand, it seemed there were quite a few satisfied users posting online. Surprisingly, one of the more common posts were about how easy it was to contact Yuneec’s Tech Support. For those of us who’ve owned DJI products, this is a welcomed piece of information.
Or, The Beginner’s Guide To Understanding The Yuneec Typhoon
Or, Everything You Wanted To Know About The Yuneec Typhoon, But Were Afraid To Ask
Upon unboxing the Typhoon Q500 4K, the first thing I noticed was there was little left to do nor anything left to purchase. It included a carrying case, two batteries, two sets of props, chargers and everything necessary to start flying. Surprisingly, it also included it’s Steady Grip stabilizer that allows the camera/gimbal assembly to simply slide off the Typhoon and slide onto the handheld stabilizer. Here’s a basic overview of the Steady Grip from August 2015:
In a follow up video, I did ask that Yuneec please add a standard tripod screw mount somewhere on the SteadyGrip. That would add some additional features to this stabilizer as it can be used with various mounts and devices. So, pretty please?
Now, back to the Typhoon Q500 4K:
It didn’t require a connection to a computer nor a complicated assembly either. Simply charge the batteries, attach the props, fire her up and go. I’ve been told that when these copters arrive in Yuneec’s offices in California after being manufactured in China, the copters are checked, calibrated and are designed to be ready to fly. This explained why the yellow tape securing the gimbal guard was torn when I first opened the box. (I had wondered if I had received a refurbished unit!).
Coming from owning two Phantom models (FC-40 and Vision 2+), the first thing I noticed is that the Q500 airframe is much larger than these DJI models. My other reaction was that it didn’t seem to be made from as solid of a material as the Phantoms and delivered a toy-like look and feel.But trust me, this is no toy. I’ll guess that in an effort to keep the weight down on this larger than usual quad copter, some hollow-type materials were used that just didn’t feel as secure as the DJI models I came from.The propellors appeared noticeably longer, but seemed thinner and had less flex than what I was used to. That was simply my initial reaction and here’s a video that shows some basic differences between a Typhoon and a Phantom 2 Vision+ I own:
While I was new to the Yuneec brand, of course I read the manual, watched as many video as possible and read the manual yet again (online) while I was awaiting delivery and before I took out to an empty field for her first flight. You can go to the Aerial section of this site and see countless videos documenting my first few flights. Let’s just say I was confused as this copter operated much differently than my Phantoms and it took me some time to understand exactly where the Typhoons fit in the copter marketplace. Not everything went well during my first flight as documented in that long video. While the issues I experienced could have been caused by user error and I’ll take partial blame, I’ll pass some responsibility over to the manufacturer for not having more video documentation regarding the proper operation of this copter on its website.
Upon flying, the first thing I noticed was that it was much slower than my Phantoms. Since the Typhoon is priced similarly to the Phantoms, I feel it’s fair to compare these two models. It lifted off slower, it reacted to the controls more slowly and with a slight delay, the tilt mechanism seemed to lag and the video displayed on the controller seemed, at times, to be a bit behind what I would call “real time.” But, as I got to know this copter those initial negatives faded away.
The ST-10+ Controller and Features
The Typhoon includes it’s ST-10+ controller that is truly an all in one solution as it incorporates a color screen that’s basically an Android device. Because everything is integrated, a single power cord charges everything. The screen is located at the lower section of the controller and because I was used to using a iOS product (iPhone or iPad Mini) for the first person view of the copter’s camera that was mounted on the top side of the Phantom, it was a bit awkward getting used to looking at the lower side of the controller to view the screen and copter’s flight information.
I’ll add that the screen is not that easy to view in bright sunlight and although a folding sun shield is included with the package it’s a four-sided design that makes reaching the on-screen controls a fumbling experience as the sun shield seemed to be blocking some controls controls and reaching through it can often make the shield fall off or make the controls a bit difficult to reach. Yes, you can use a stylus, but think about it…you’re using two hands to fly the copter and then you reach for a stylus…yeah, like that’s a safe way to fly! Maybe for when it’s on the ground a stylus may be appropriate. All I can say that it took me about three minutes to figure out the lower section of the sun shade can be detached and that fixed most of the problems. Also, the suction cup mounts seemed to lose its grip way too often.
A lanyard is also included, but when it’s used with the sun shield in place, it can be awkward and cause the sun shield to dislodge. But, at least the lanyard was included.
On the right side of the ST-10 is a potentiometer-type dial that controls the maximum speed of the main controls and is labeled Turtle and Rabbit. Basically, Turtle makes it go slower and Rabbit makes it go faster and it can be dialed-in to your comfort level by setting a desired maximum flight control speed. This is a very nice feature. Here’s a video comparing the speed of these two modes:
The controller also features a three position toggle on the right side that switches the operation from Smart- to Angle- mode as well as a return-to-home mode. Simply stated, the Angle mode allows you to fly this in the same manner of just about every quad copter on the market in that the sticks control the copter in the direction it’s facing. If you push forward, it goes forwards, the same for reverse (backwards), right or left.
Placing the toggle in Smart mode changes the orientation of the controls and if you push the stick forward, the copter moves away from you, if you pull it towards you, it comes back to you, right will send it to “your” right (not the copters right), left…you get the picture. It’s similar to DJI’s Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) that was once included in various copter’s software, then mysteriously removed, then added back again. Whether it’s on a Yuneec or a DJI product IOC is what I like to call a very desirable feature, especially for the first timer as if it takes time to understand how the copter will react when you’re not standing behind it during flight. Personally, I think this feature should be mandatory and easily accessible on every consumer copter. While experienced users will say they don’t need this feature, it sure is nice to have if you happen to have one of those confused moments. Yeah experienced pilots, let’s see you admit that can happen!
For beginner pilots, getting to know this copter using the combination of Smart and Turtle modes makes this, in my opinion, the best full-sized starter copter platform on the market. It’s truly easy to fly, incorporates enough safeguards and it has a logical pre-flight check list. I’ll add that it would have been nice for Yuneec to include a pre-flight check list as this could be helpful to new users. I’ll note that Smart mode incorporates a “Smart Circle” distance limitation and the pilot and controller need to be at least 26 feet away from the copter when launching or landing. I’d explain why, but this story is long enough! When flying in Smart Mode, and when the copter approaches it’s 300′ distance limit, it will simply stop in mid-air…a geofence. Personally, I think that’s a good thing as it’s easily within line of sight range…even if you’re old like me! I’ll add that Angle mode does not have the same geofence limitations.
For the main controls, aka, the “sticks,” they do not feel substantial and seemed to be a bit unfinished. Personally, I prefer the feel of the Phantom’s controller.
When flying, there’s no need to do a dance to mark a compass point as if the return home feature is needed, it navigates back towards the controller. So if you’re walking around and it needs to come back, that could reduce the chance of a flyaway.
When in Smart Mode the user has access to both Watch Me and Follow Me modes when ample satellites are detected. I tested both and they work well for a copter in this price range. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good for this day and age.
Here’s a video demonstrating the basics of Watch Me mode:
Speaking of satellites, there’s something I’m a bit miffed about. Here goes…
Over the years I’ve come to trust Apps such as GPS Plan (find it at the Apple App Store and Google Play) that graphically displays if there’s ample available satellites for safe and steady GPS flights. My previous copters all agreed with GPS Plan in that it takes a minimum of six visible satellites for a secure flight. For some odd reason, and Yuneec is not alone in this arena, it seems that all of a sudden newer copters can see a lot more satellites than what GPS Plan and other programs are telling me is actually available. Since both the ST-10+ and the Typhoon need to be in clear view of the skies for satellite visibility, I have no idea why they are seeing a heck of a lot more satellites than what the dedicated programs or Apps are telling me are available at that moment in time. I’ve gotten in the habit of checking the various Apps before I go out to fly and if I have a minimum of six satellites, I go. If fewer are available, I don’t. If someone has a good explanation of this, please feel free to post the explanation in the comment section below this story.
For the included documentation, since I’m a big fan of instruction books, I’ll say that Yuneec has a lot of room for improvement in this area. They use a quad-fold card stock material that folds to the dimensions of a paperback book. While it’s thin enough to easily fit into the carrying case, it’s written in microprint and either Yuneec needs to make a larger instruction book or include a magnifying glass.
I’ll add one more note about the included materials that’s specific to the included chart that displays the copter’s lighting pattern. On the rear of the Typhoon there’s an LED indicator that uses a Morse Code-type of flashing pattern that designates the condition of the copter and which modes may or may not be currently available. It also denotes if it’s safe to fly at that moment. This included chart is a reference piece that shows all the codes and what they mean. This is an important piece of reference material and while it’s a bit confusing to understand the seemingly endless combination of color codes, I was a bit miffed that that Yuneec did not think to update the card with the correct codes for this copter. Yeah, stuff happens and I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the folks at the China factory didn’t notify the US Employees of this modification until the units were shipped. However, in this day and age of the PDF’s and the Internet, I’m still puzzled why Yuneec didn’t post an updated and accurate version of this chart on its website? Don’t they have anyone who knows how to use Photoshop on staff? Yeah, here’s a video on that one:
While composing this story and inserting various YouTube video embed codes, I came to the realization that if the Typhoon was perfect, I wouldn’t have any video content to produce! I guess I could have spent some of that time flying or possibly practicing the Ukulele. (If you watched the video at the top of this page, you’ll already know I need the practice time!).
For the battery, there’s pros and cons. I’ll give the pros first:
The battery is easy to insert and remove. While some people have had issues with the copter’s battery door breaking, I’m not ham-handed and have not experienced this problem. Compared to my Phantoms, I’m experiencing a much longer battery runtime and will guesstimate that a number just south of 20 minutes is an accurate assessment. Two batteries are included and additional batteries sell for around $100.
Now, the bad battery news:
When flying, the battery voltage number and a graphic depicting the battery level is displayed on the controller. It’s small, but it’s there. When the battery is getting low the controller vibrates. When it gets even lower, it vibrates again. Take my advice and proceed towards a safe landing when you get the first vibration notice as I’ve had a couple of close calls where the time between the first vibration and a near loss of full control can be a few minutes to less than a minute. (Yeah, I’m being real scientific here). I fully understand that not every battery is created equally and there’s multiple cells in each battery enclosure. Stuff happens, so be safe and take my advice on proceeding to an immediate and safe landing when it vibrates the first time
On my two DJI copters, the batteries incorporate LEDs that display the current state of charge. It’s a very nice feature as when you’re out in the field with multiple batteries, a push of a button and a glance reveals the approximate battery level. Considering that DJI copters are in a similar price range, I would expect the same type of feature from Yuneec…but its batteries don’t have this feature. The Yuneec branded batteries also don’t have an automatic discharge feature that lowers the charge to a relatively safe level when a full battery has sitting for a while. DJI does offer this feature. I consider small things such as this a safety measure and I hope that Yuneec provides upgraded batteries in the very near future.
I’m also a bit disappointed with the included battery charger. It’s as basic as it gets and Yuneec can do better with its selection of this charger and hopefully offer one that incorporates a discharge cycle for safe storage. The reason I say this is that like many others users, when I return from a flight, I typically charge the used batteries thinking I’ll fly again in a day or two. If something happens that I’m called out of town or for whatever reason I cannot fly for a while, Yuneec offers no solution to easily discharging the batteries to safe levels. Yes, I use Lipo bags for battery storage and if you don’t have them, get them. Here’s a link of various Lipo bags from Amazon and I’m not on commission.
Camera and Gimbal Quality
Now for the big question: Video Quality
There’s been much discussion about the quality of the video generated by the Q500 4K’s CGO3 camera. Some say it’s too soft…especially around the edges. I disagree and here’s why:
Realistically, we are looking at a camera that’s included with a complete flying copter kit that sells for $1,400! What were you expecting for that price? It’s not a GH4 and it delivers a nice flat, non-distorted image that doesn’t show the world “round” when you’re at 200′ in altitude and angled down! I’ve always reviewed products based on a proposition of value. No, not that type of proposition…one that simply states you get what you pay for. Yeah, I guess you could draw a parallel to THAT kind of proposition. I guess I need to choose my words more carefully. So, let me say this:
For the total price of the Typhoon Q500 4K, I think the camera does a fine job!
For those who are having issue playing back the 4K footage generated from this camera on his or her personal computer, well if you want to play with 4K files, maybe it’s time to replace that worn out computer as not all computers can handle 4K files. If you’re experiencing choppy video playback, just go to the controller’s menu and shoot in HD. Honestly, choppy playback is not the camera’s fault.
While it would be virtually impossible for me to test absolutely every combination of video controls of this camera, I’ll say there’s a lot of options. While I’ve found solid results by keeping it in Auto mode, those who are a bit more discerning (picky) than me will have a quite a few choices. And yes, here’s a video demonstrating some basic video settings:
I didn’t check out the night feature as the FAA said not to do that. So, I didn’t! I guess I could have tried it while the camera was mounted on the Steady Grip, but I didn’t do that either!
The controller has two buttons on opposite sides of the top to start/stop the video or to capture a still shot. Some have complained that you can’t capture a still frame while taking a video. I’ll respond that I have some very expensive cameras that operate in the same manner. As a comparison, my toaster/oven does not toast and be an oven at the same time, so let’s be reasonable in our expectations! Yes, to capture a still shot, simply stop the video…it’s only a press of a button! I know that some products can do this simultaneously, but to me it’s not that important, here’s why…
When I shoot video on this copter, other than when demonstrating various settings, I typically shoot in the 3840×2160 (somewhat) 4K. Yes, my computers have ample processing power and I go through Thunderbolt-connected hard drive space fairly quickly with the 4K video files from my copters and from my DSLR cameras. With that said, using a Mac for playback and editing, when I see an image I would like to use as a still shot, I simply pause the video, find the exact frame and do a screen grab (command & shift & 3 or 4). Considering that most of these images are going on Facebook, the quality is super. Even when used in image processing programs, I have no complaints. But, as evidenced by the name VideosByAndy and not StillPhotosByAndy, I use the copters’ camera for videos and rarely if ever for still photos. How’s that for a work-around? But maybe, Yuneec will upgrade this button-pushing feature in the future!
I’ve mentioned this on a number of my videos and here’s something to add to Andy’s Yuneec O/S wish list: Please make the video auto-record when the motors start. My Phantom P2V+ could do this and I’m sure with a single line of code you can add this feature. My philosophy on why this in important is simple: We’re recording to an easily erasable SD card and I’d rather be faced with the situation where I need to remove video files from my overloaded SD card than having an “Oh Crap” moment when I’ve flown the perfect flight, setup some once in a lifetime shots, but have neglected to remember to press the record button. Yeah, it’s happened…more than once! And Yuneec, if you decide to add this feature and want to call it “Andy Vision,” that’s fine with me and I’m sure a royalty of $1.99 per unit will be just fine with both of us!
Now, why did I just write $1.99 and not simply write $2? Well that’s a pet peeve of mine and I’m going off topic for a moment (If you’ve watched my videos, I do that a lot…so I’m staying in character!).
For some odd reason, manufactures think that saving one penny will give us the perception that we, as consumers, are getting a superior deal. Not to pick on anyone in particular, but when I was at InterDrone and doing my video-think at the Yuneec booth, when prices would come up, I would hear things such as $899.99…and I would say $900! C’mon, if we’re smart enough to fly objects with spinning blades a couple hundred feet in the air, we’re (hopefully) smart enough to know that the difference between $899.99 and $900 is $0.01. So, not just to Yuneec, but will everyone please stop that practice and treat consumers as adults? Now, back to the story…
I’ve been pleased with the camera’s ability to setup for a proper horizon. Understanding we’re talking about flying cameras, not all copter gimbals can do this consistently. While I have experienced crooked horizons, it’s typically user error and the fix is simple: Just power down the copter, make sure it’s on a level surface (this is key) and restart. In my experience, a crooked horizon is caused by the copter not being on level ground. For example, I experienced this a few times while launching from a golf course. It turns out that I was powering-up the copter on the fairways and they are undulated and while I thought I was on a flat surface, I really wasn’t. If I was playing golf and not flying on the course, it’s the equivalent of having the ball either lower or higher than your stance. My solution was to power-up the copter on the tee boxes as they are typically level. (I was proud of myself for figuring that one out!)
For the Gimbal mechanism, while I can’t tell you the names of each moving part, I will say upfront it does the job and delivers stable video. However, it does seem to be a bit flimsy and taking it from the copter to the Steady Grip isn’t the most comforting of maneuvers. That’s because the tiny plastic rails in which it slides onto are very thin and even with practice, it still takes me a few attempts to get it right. The connector wire seems fragile and while I haven’t damaged it as of yet, I’m sure it’s a matter of time. The connector itself is tiny and I’ve been very gentle with it, but it can be clumsy to remove from the copter. So far, no issues, but it’s an area where there’s room for improvement.
Here’s a video from Beaver Creek, Colorado that is probably the best demonstration I’ve performed of the copter’s hover and panning abilities. (Typhoon G)
And, here’s one captured from a park near a Las Vegas suburb that also demonstrates the hovering and panning stability characteristics. (Typhoon Q500 4K).
I’ll add that the SD card slot is incorporated in the camera and, unlike DJI, is not on the gimbal mount. I prefer DJI’s method as it’s easier to access without touching the moving parts of the gimbal.
For the gimbal protector, while it works, it’s not that assuring and it has fallen off in the case during transport. Again, room for improvement.
As stated earlier in this thesis, the Typhoon Q500 4K includes it’s Steady Grip handheld stabilizer. Is it the greatest handheld stabilizer on the market? Nope. But again, look at the price of the entire package and it’s a great value. It’s like, buy the copter and get a free stabilizer. It does deliver pretty good results and it does legitimize Yuneec’s claim of being an “Aerial & Ground Imaging Solution.”
Other than Curtis Dart alerting me to Yuneec’s products, it was the reviews found on various forums regarding Yuneec’s Tech Support that motivated me to pull the “purchase” trigger on this copter. Let’s face it, DJI is is the big dog in the room…much larger and established in this arena than Yuneec, but if you have a problem and need to speak with someone or have even the most basic of questions, good luck attempting to reach DJI’s tech support or even receiving an email response within a reasonable time period from the initial inquiry. While I had some initial issues, without using any clout and simply calling tech support, I was shocked that I had a real live human being (Liz) on the phone within two rings and a single button push. From what I gather, it appears than one person answers the phone and if your question cannot be answered, you are transferred. Once you’ve made contact with a specific tech support specialist, you can get their email and continue corresponding with questions that come up along the way. I had a couple of initial issues and both inquiries were answered within 24 hours and these were resolutions, not “we’ll get back to you” types of things.
While I’ve had three Typhoons in my possession, the first one developed a gimbal buzz issue. By this time, I had already made “friends” with Dylan at Yuneec Tech Support and by then, I was already creating videos. I sent him a video of the buzzing and received a call back stating he was sending me a new copter. I could continue flying my current model, but to please return it when the new one is received. He apologized that the warehouse was backed up and it would take a week or so…and it did. Yes, nothing’s ever perfect, but I give Yuneec an A+ with the level of service I received. Again, this was prior to them knowing my product review background. But, it was the tech support that assisted me in deciding that I would spend the time to produce numerous videos on this company. Thank You Dylan!
I’ll add to these comments that as Yuneec grows, I can only hope they don’t forget its humble beginnings and continue adding to the Tech Support Team as they sell more copters. Yes, I’ve read some stories about some people not getting super fast responses and I’m sure that some of these are legitimate and some are a bit overblown. I can only speak of my personal experiences and I’ll only weigh in on my dealing with them before they knew I would be covering their every move.
However, I think Yuneec falls behind DJI when it comes to instructional videos. I say that as when I purchased my first copter, I learned the basics from Colin Guinn’s easy-to-understand DJI how-to videos. While Guinn is now at 3DR and only know what I read, I think this was DJI’s loss and can only hope that Yuneec realizes how good videos of this type can greatly increase the speed of the learning curve and decrease “basic question” calls to its tech support department.
Okay, what did I miss. I’m sure you’ll tell me in the comments section!
Typhoon G Overview
Now, why did I select the Q500 4K over the Typhoon G? I’ll attempt to be brief (not my best quality!).
At first glance, if you already own a GoPro, the $900 price point of the Typhoon G is attractive. But upon further review, I’ve changed my mind. First, let’s do the math: The 4K model sells for $1,400. The G model sells for $900. That’s $500, right? Yes and no. Yes, it’s $500, but a GoPro Hero 4 will set you back around $400 (depending on model), so that’s a $100 savings, right? Well, not really as the G only includes one battery and that makes the price even. And, the 4K model includes an aluminum carrying case and the G includes very pretty cardboard box with a carrying handle. For just that alone, I’ll say go with the 4K model. But wait, there’s more…
Simply stated, using the GoPro on this copter is a real pain in the butt. While the ST-10+ can control the camera’s tilt, that’s about all it does and the rest needs to be controlled on the GoPro. It was this nuisance factor that made me choose the Q500 4K over the Typhoon G and I have no regrets.
I hope that someone from Yuneec is patient enough to have made it this far in this review as hopefully this story will provide some insight on how its products are perceived. If not by the general public, at least by me!
Since it’s taken you a very long time to read this story, I’ll again insert the video that started this post.
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