Drone photography is taking the world by storm and enthusiasts and professionals just can’t get enough.
There is nothing better than a drone that can help you to capture unique angles and a whole different perspective while filming or capturing imagery.
Choosing a drone can be difficult especially now with the market being flooded every day with new models.
There are many things to take into consideration like the cost, the specifications and several other factors.
If you’re working on a budget and looking for a drone in the mid-price range, the Hubsan Zino drone falls right into that category.
Read more about why this drone is a great choice in this Hubsan Zino review.
- Flight time: 23 minutes
- Range: 1.5 miles
- Weight: 4.3 pounds
Hubsan Zino Review
- Flight time: 23 minutes
- Range: 1.5 miles
- Weight: 4.3 pounds
The Hubsan H117S Zino GPS drone is a foldable GPS drone suitable for beginners and semi-professionals who are looking for great value at a reasonable price.
It comes with some great specifications like recording 4K resolution videos and 3-axis stabilization just to name a few.
Some have even said it has outperformed the DJI Spark in every aspect and the experience was more like what you’d get with pricer models like the DJI Mavic and Parrot’s Anafi.
This Zino drone is Hubsan’s first entry into the semi-professional mid-range drone market and it does not disappoint.
Let us now take a look at the primary features of the drone.
Primary features of the Hubsan H117S Zino
The Hubsan H117s Zino has a range of 1.5 miles which equals 2500 meters without a live video feed
However, video transmission is limited to 1000 meters with a live video feed when using this drone.
That being said, if you’re a beginner then the range is more than good enough to get you started and familiar with operating and capturing imagery and filming with a semi-professional drone.
The remote controller of the Hubsan Zino is foldable and features dual antennas and a simple yet functional layout.
It works by communicating with the drone through 2.4 GHz to 5.8 GHz bands.
This allows the controller to be fast and responsive without any glitches that may put the drone at risk.
It also has a phone mount at the bottom of the controller which can hold phones measuring up to 7 inches.
The phone mount is sturdy enough and will keep your phone securely in place.
What is more, is that the controller can charge your phone so there is no possibility of the phone dying while connected.
The Hubsan Zino drone does not need a 5G phone to operate and can work with any phone using the cable to attach the phone to the controller.
If you do have a phone with 5G capabilities you can use that to control your drone without the controller.
However, this can significantly hinder the viewable live-feed which restricts the live-stream to a distance of 300 meters.
In terms of ergonomics and handling, the Hubsan Zino remote controller can be gripped quite comfortably and is very easy to use.
You can navigate the flight path with the two controller sticks that offer tactile control thanks to a fair bit of resistance.
The controller also comes with a few buttons that are pre-labeled to make it easier for you.
You have the Sport/Normal Mode, Photo and Video Modes, Gimbal Control and Return-Home.
To connect your phone to the controller, you’ll have to do so via Wi-Fi in order to transmit the video back to the phone.
There may be a few issues with the transmission but most of the time it is pretty much lag-free.
With FPV capabilities, you’ll be able to live-stream footage on your phone and the quality of the live-stream is good.
The Zino drone works with the X-Hubsan App and is available on both Android and iOS platforms.
The app is user-friendly with a simple and clutter-free layout which allows you to master the drone’s functions in no time.
It displays all the important flying data that you need like battery life, GPS and many others.
The X-Hubsan App is very intuitive and walks you through pairing devices, calibrating the compass and calibrating the GPS as well.
You have the option to change the drone flight performance, the controller’s responsiveness, Gimbal pitch speed and map settings using the settings menu.
This highly customizable app makes it easy for anyone to control their drone without any hassle.
While the controller has various buttons and sticks, you mostly control the drone from your smartphone through your on-screen display, thanks to the app.
The Hubsan H117S Zino comes with a 4K Ultra HD camera and Gimbal 3-axis stabilization.
The wide-angle 890 lens carries a fixed aperture of f/2.2 that allows it to shoot in 4K UHD up to 30fps with a bit rate of 60 Mbps which is awesome for a drone of this caliber.
The camera on this unit provides 8MP JPEG images that show clear details and vibrant colors.
All in all, the video and image quality is above par and something that you would expect from a pricier model.
Even in low light situations, the Hubsan Zeno performs very well and is still able to capture some awesome stills and films.
The sharp details and outstanding color rendering are astonishing considering the price range and who the drone was made for.
There is some manual control over the footage and you will be able to adjust ISO and exposure settings.
However, since the drone was made for beginners and enthusiasts looking for a semi-skilled drone, these users get good enough quality footage that does not need any post-processing.
FIlm footage and image quality are also great because of the Gimbal.
The 3-axis stabilization system stabilizes the entire unit to capture stunning images and video footage even in high-wind situations.
The battery offers a reasonable flight time which rivals some of the popular and more expensive models
This Zino drone is powered by a lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery.
The 11.4V lithium battery has a capacity of 3100mAh which means the drone can offer a flight time of 23 minutes.
Once drained the battery will need to be charged for 3 hours before you can go off zooming in the skies again.
You’ll find the housing of the unit to be quite robust.
The battery is well-secured and kept in place by some removable, durable and well-constructed clips.
Flying is easy due to the Return Home button on the controller and the responsiveness of the controller.
This allows the drone to take off and land by simply holding down the Return Home button which makes it ideal for someone who has never or is scared to fly a drone.
With the use of GLONASS and various recent firmware updates, the Hubsan Zino 4K drone stays pretty stable when hovering and flying when there are high winds present.
The maximum speed achievable is 37 MPH which is pretty impressive for a drone in this price range.
Pairing the drone with a phone that carries 5G technology, the connectivity and video transmission is greatly improved to deliver an experience you’ll love.
The Hubsan H117S Zino drone comes fully packed with a ton of Intelligent Flight Modes.
We’ll discuss a few of these and see what they have to offer.
Automatic Return Home
Almost every drone on the market now comes with an Automatic Return Home feature and rightfully so.
This is a critical safety feature that allows the drone to return home when the battery is 20% so that it has enough battery power to land safely.
You can either choose to have the drone return to the take-off location or your current location.
This feature works pretty smoothly and sees the drone returning home remarkably fast and although the unit lacks landing sensors, it is pretty accurate.
The unit can land 5ft of the landing pad and comes with a “Search Parking Apron” option.
This option makes it possible for the drone to recognize the landing pad and land directly on it.
This is all possible thanks to the software recognition system.
3600 Panorama Mode
Ever wondered how to capture a panoramic video or tried to but you end up failing every time?
The Hubsan Zino Panorama Mode rotates the drone a full 3600 to take a video at just the touch of a button.
This Zino drone has an Active track function that allows the unit to track subjects.
Simply draw a box around the subject and let the tracking begin.
This mode works well even in situations where the subject’s back is turned or if they’re running or moving erratically, the drone still locks on and continues to follow them.
In Orbit Mode the drone circles the subject and keeps them in the frame.
What is great about Orbit Mode is the amount of customization you’re offered.
You’ll be able to customize the altitude, radius, set up various points of interest, and even move the gimbal whilst the drone is in orbit.
Set up the drone’s flight path using this mode by drawing a series of points on a map.
This nifty little feature works well and offers customization over the altitude and other settings.
Line Fly Mode
This is the best mode for cinematic shots.
How? The drone goes in a particular direction and during flight, you can rotate the drone and control the camera independently.
The Hubsan Zino drone is a compact and lightweight drone that has a foldable and collapsible design very similar to some of the DJI drones.
Foldable drones make it easy to carry them around and can fit comfortably into a backpack until they are ready for use.
However, when fully extended, the drone measures 13.7 x 13.35 x 5.39 inches which means you will have to register the drone with the FAA before you fly.
Equipped with brushless motors, this Zino drone is far more powerful, more stable and durable than many other drones on the market.
Other design features include a MicroSD slot, a Micro USB slot, and a protective cap to cover the camera to minimize any scratches or damages when not in use.
Pros & Cons of the Zino Drone
The good things:
- Great value for the price
- Can record 4K videos and capture stunning imagery
- Gimbal 3-axis stabilization technology
- Easy to control
- Various Intelligent flight modes
- Great flight time
- Phone mount charges your phone
- Uses software recognition to detect and land directly on the landing pad
- Can return home to take-off location or your current location
- Can withstand high winds up
The not so good things:
- The battery takes 3 hours to recharge
- The phone mount lies at the bottom of the controller while many prefer it above
- No obstacle avoidance technology
Hubsan Zino vs DJI Spark
- Flight time:16 minutes
- Range: 100 meters
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
The DJI Spark is a tiny and lightweight unit with an amazing stabilized camera and features that most people will ever need.
The amazing thing about this flying machine is that it can be controlled by hand gestures.
If you want to snap an aerial selfie then it is possible to do so by hand without the need for a remote controller or smartphone.
However, when used in conjunction with the DJI Go App, you’ll be better able to pilot the drone and apply a broader array of maneuvers.
The App comes with a “Helix” flight pattern that can give you Hollywood-style shots just like those taken from a helicopter.
Like other DJI drones, the Spark comes with obstacle detection technology to ensure the unit doesn’t crash into any trees or other objects in the air.
It also comes with the Return Home feature that brings the device back to its departure point.
In terms of camera, the DJI Spark produces 12 Megapixels images but sadly it can only record 1080p high-def videos.
The drone can give you 16 minutes of flight time which is severely lacking considering the 23 minutes of the Hubsan Zino.
The range is limited to 100 meters and can only be extended if you purchase the remote controller which then extends the range to 1.2 miles.
The App can be a little difficult to use as well especially on smaller screens.
In the end, we’ve found that the Hubsan Zino is indeed superior to the DJI Spark when taking into consideration the range, flight time, video quality and ease of use.
In this Hubsan Zino review, our main aim is to let you have a full understanding of all the good things that this drone has to offer.
This powerful drone comes feature-packed and offers outstanding results all at a low cost so it’s a win-win in our book.
If you are looking for an awesome drone that gives you the best bang for your buck, then you need to seriously consider the Hubsan H117S Zino.
Even though it may not be able to stand head to head with some of DJI’s best drones, it is very much a strong alternative.
You can see that the pros very much outweigh the cons and every drone available today will have its pros and cons.
It’s all up to you to decide whether the few cons are going to be an issue or not.
- Flight time: 23 minutes
- Range: 1.5 miles
- Weight: 4.3 pounds