JJRC X9 Heron Drone Review [2021]

JJRC specializes in drones, remote-controlled aircraft, robots, climbing vehicles, and other educational and novel toys.

The company was established in 2009 and kept revamping and upgrading continuously to be a brand that uses technology to create fun in an intelligent way

Today, we’ll talk about the JJRC X9 Heron which is an upgrade from the JJRC X9 drone.

The JJRC X9 Heron is a great drone equipped with some awesome features that are suitable for beginners. 

Some even regard it as a DJI Spark clone since it costs less and comes with a 2-axis gimbal stabilization system, brushless motors, and GPS positioning with Return to Home.

Let’s head right into this article to see if the JJRC is indeed a drone worth considering in this JJRC quadcopter review.

Drone

Features

Price

GPS Drone with 2.7K HD Camera Live Video, 25Mins Long Flight...
  • Flight range: 1000 meters
  • Flight time: 14-15 minutes
  • Weight: 9.1 oz

JJRC X9 Heron Drone in-depth review

GPS Drone with 2.7K HD Camera Live Video, 25Mins Long Flight...
  • Flight range: 1000 meters
  • Flight time: 14-15 minutes
  • Weight: 9.1 oz

Update: The JJRC X9 Heron is no longer available and was replaced with the JJRC X18 Egret.

The JJRC X18 Egret comes with a larger battery that allows 25 minutes of flight time and is equipped with a few more advanced features than the JJRC Heron X9

The JJRC X9 Heron can be considered a high-quality drone that is loaded with a few awesome features that make it easy and fun to fly.

It is suitable for everyone even beginners and comes with 3 intelligent flight modes.

Moreover, it has GPS, 5G WiFi, FPV, and 15 minutes of flight time which is a good deal for the price.

The camera allows you to shoot 1080p HD videos which are stabilized by the 2-axis brushless gimbal for crystal clear imagery.

It can fly out to 1000 meters and allows FPV for 200-300 meters.

Join us and take a look at the features of this unit a little closer in the next section.

JJRC Heron X9 features

Build and design

The JJRC Heron X9 has a very simple and uncomplicated design.

It is available in two color combinations, black and grey or white and grey.

The drone is not foldable but it is still compact and measures 1.8×5.7×2.3 inches and weighs just 9.1 ounces.

You can find an optical flow sensor on the bottom which allows it to fly smoothly even when flying at low altitudes.

It also comes with some LED lights which give it a cool look and helps with identifying the drone in the night.

Controller

Controlling your drone is one of the most important factors when purchasing a drone whether you’re a pro or beginner.

No one wants to buy a unit that is hard to control because you can lose or damage the unit in an instant.

The control for the JJRC Heron X9 is very similar to most of the controllers in this lineup from the company.

It is a bit bulky but fits well in your hand and all the buttons and switches are easily reachable.

The controller has a phone holder so you can use your phone as the screen for FPV recording.

You may also use your phone to control the drone by downloading the “Enjoy Fly” app which works on both Android and iOS operating systems.

Simply connect to the drone WiFi and off you go using your phone to control the drone in flight.

The app also opens a whole new world and allows some features you can’t get with the controller.

The wide range of features includes follow me mode, orbit mode, and others that we’ll discuss later in this article.

Camera

jjrc heron x9 camera

This drone comes with a camera that is capable of capturing 1080p HD videos which may not be as good as the camera on the DJI Spark.

However, if you do not require professional quality pictures and videos, you’ll be happy with the quality it does produce.

The camera wide-angle lens can be adjusted 90 degrees up or down using the controller while the 2-axis brushless gimbal system delivers distortion-free images and videos.

The FPV system allows you to stream 720pvideos right to your smartphone and equipped with 5G technology there is little to no lag in video transmission.

Overall, the camera quality is good and the fact that you can get FPV out to 200-300 meters is worth it considering the price.

Flight Experience

The JJRC X9 Heron is a GPS drone but the GPS is a bit older and it may take some time to connect to the satellites.

Before flying the unit for the first time, charge it up, power it on and give it a few minutes to connect.

After that, charge the battery again to fully optimize the battery life.

The unit will connect to about 7 or 8 satellites so it may not be as accurate as other units with newer GPS systems.

This is why sometimes the Return to home feature doesn’t always work as it should.

However, once connected to a few more satellites, this feature works great.

Another issue users seem to have is that the unit may move a bit sideways when trying out the Altitude Hold feature.

Aside from these minor flaws, this drone flies well thanks to the optical flow sensor that ensures a smooth flight.

You can also activate Waypoint Mode, Orbit Mode, and Follow Me mode using the app which makes flying and capturing certain photos and videos fun and easy.

Modes

Return to Home Mode

Beginners can have a hard time controlling their drones and even some professionals do too.

This is why most people look for a drone with safety features like the Return to Home feature.

Return to home ensures that the chances of losing your drone are little to none.

If your drone loses signal or goes out of control, simply press the Return Home button and the drone will come right back to you.

It also does so automatically when the battery level is low so no need to worry that your unit will crash or get lost.

WayPoint Mode

Waypoint mode is a cool feature that can be very helpful by allowing you to draw a route on a map on the app.

The drone then follows the exact path from the starting position and goes all the way to the ending.

This feature allows you to focus more on capturing stunning imagery from various angles instead of focusing on controlling the drone.

Follow Me Mode

Follow Me Mode is another amazing feature that you will enjoy.

To activate the Follow Me Mode, you simply choose the subject be it a person or object that you want to follow and the drone will start following the subject.

It will maintain a fair enough distance from the subject and record at the same time.

This feature is great for sports enthusiasts who want to record themselves while playing.

Orbit Mode

Orbit Mode is very similar to Follow Me Mode and activating it is pretty much the same.

You choose a subject and the drone orbits the subject recording as it does so.

This is also another feature to capture stunning imagery from various angles.

Battery

This drone is powered by an 11.4V 1000MaH battery that can deliver a maximum of 14-15 minutes of flight time in perfect conditions.

Flight may be decreased depending on what features you use as some use more battery life than others.

The minimum flight time is around 10 minutes which is good enough for beginners.

The unit is equipped with an LED light indicator that lets you keep tabs on the battery levels.

The battery takes around 4 hours to recharge so if you need more flight time, it is advised to get a few spares to continue.

GPS Drone with 2.7K HD Camera Live Video, 25Mins Long Flight...
  • 【2.7K HD Wide-angle Camera】Equipped with a 2.7K HD 120° wide-angle camera and it can be...
  • 【Optical Flow Mode & GPS Auto Return】The optical flow function helps to stably maintain its...
  • 【25Mins Long Flight Time Drone】The large-capacity lithium battery can last up to 25 minutes,...
  • 【Follow Me & Custom Flight Path】The drones for adults can follow you automatically or fly...
  • 【Simply Control】The drone has one-button start/landing, headless mode, emergency stop, and...

Pros: JJRC X9 Heron

  • Small and lightweight
  • 2-axis gimbal stabilization system
  • 1080p videos
  • FPV to 200-300 meters
  • Optical flow sensor
  • Easy-to-use controller
  • 5G technology
  • Extra features when using the app

Cons: JJRC X9 Heron

  • Older GPS
  • Return to home fails at times
  • Move sideways when put on altitude hold

DJI Spark vs JJRC Heron X9

DJI Spark

DJI Spark, Portable Mini Drone, Alpine White

  • Flight range: 100 meters
  • Flight flight: 16 minutes
  • Weight: 10.6 oz

DJI Spark is one of the most budget-friendly options from the DJI line but costs way more than the JJRC X9 Heron.

DJI drones are known for their intelligent flight features and powerful propulsion to withstand high wind situations.

The DJI Spark although a cheaper unit is loaded with some of DJI’s best features including obstacle avoidance technology, QuickShots, Gesture Control, and physical image stabilization.

When compared to the JJRC X9 Heron, the DJI Spark features a better build quality and a better camera with an f/2.6 wide-angle lens with a 25 mm equivalent focal length.

The camera provides clearer crisper images since it features five elements that are carefully positioned to fit into a compressed frame.

This allows for very little color aberration and distortion although both these units capture 1080p videos and come with a 2-axis gimbal stabilization system.

The flight time of the Spark and the JJRC Heron X9 is about the same with the Spark at 16 minutes and the X9 at 14-15 minutes.

The flight range of the Spark is 100 meters which can be extended to 1.2 miles with the controller while the JJRC X9 Heron is out to 1000 meters.

The JJRC drone comes with a remote controller but the Spark doesn’t since it can be controlled using hand gestures.

All you do is hold the unit so that the camera is pointed at you and hit the power button twice.

The camera locks on to your face and starts up the propellers.

Let go and the drone just hovers in front of you waiting for your hand gestures to tell it what to do.

This is why Spark’s flight range is only 100 meters without the controller.

If you need the controller for the Spark, you will have to purchase it separately which means you’ll be paying even more but the control range is extended.

In the end, there aren’t many differences between these two units and if you are on a budget, the JJRC X9 Heron is the best choice.

DJI Spark, Portable Mini Drone, Alpine White
  • Intelligent Flight Modes Smart, reliable, and incredibly intuitive Quick Shot Videos with a Tap.
  • Operating environment: Detects clearly patterned surfaces with adequate lighting (lux>15) and…
  • Flight Performance Awesome potential, immersive experiences Powerful Propulsion Speed and Precision…
  • Flight Safety Worry-free flight in the palm of your hand ; Propeller guards are recommended when…
  • 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera

Frequently Asked Questions

jjrc heron capture X9

Can the JJRC X9 Heron be flown inside?

It is not recommended to fly this unit indoors since it is a GPS drone and needs to connect to the satellites to use some of the features.

However, it can fly indoors if you are manually controlling it since it is small and compact. 

Does it return home when the battery is low or when it loses signal?

Yes, this device returns home when the battery is low and when the drone loses signal.

Just keep an eye on the unit while it’s returning home since it has this feature that tends to not be precise at times.

You may have to guide it to land.

What are some compatible phones that the JJRC Heron X9 can connect to?

The JJRC Heron X9 will work with any 5G(802.11ac wifi) phone. 

If you don’t have this, then you’ll be unable to see the live feed.

To figure out if your phone has this, simply do a quick search online.

Is the unit legal to fly in the US?

This unit weighs 9.1 oz which means that it is just over the limit for flight in the US.

You will have to register the JJRC X9 drone if you want to fly.

Always remember to follow all regulations regarding drones in the area or country you’re using the drone.

Other countries may have a different weight limit for the registration of drones to the US.

You may be able to fly this device without a permit since this drone is small and compact which makes it suitable for travel.

Who is the JJRC X9 Heron for?

This drone is for beginners or people on a tight budget that wants a few advanced features like image stabilization, etc.

It is also great for anyone who wants to play around with a decent camera drone to test out and have some practice.

It is no DJI Spark and you shouldn’t consider it as such but at the price, it is a fantastic starter drone and works great for personal use.

If you’re looking for professional quality photos and videos, then you need to look elsewhere.

Final takeaway: JJRC X9 Heron drone

All in all, in this JJRC quadcopter review, we found that the JJRC X9 Heron is an awesome budget-friendly drone.

It is suitable for beginners or anyone that wants to experiment with a capable camera drone and comes with some pretty advanced features for a unit in this price range and is fun to fly.

The camera, the controller, the app, and the motors all perform fairly well but flight features like Return-to-Home may fail or not be precise at times.

However, at the price, you really can’t expect it to be without faults which in this case is minor since these features simply give you a feel of what they are and how they work.

The 1080p HD camera captures some fairly decent videos and the FPV feature is a bonus along with the 5G technology that eliminates any lagging.

If you are on a tight budget, then the JJRC Heron X9 is a great choice.

However, if you want something a bit more professional and willing to pay a much higher price, then the DJI Spark is your best bet.

For more drones, check out the best affordable drones and best drones under 100.

Drone

Features

Price

GPS Drone with 2.7K HD Camera Live Video, 25Mins Long Flight...
  • Flight range: 1000 meters
  • Flight time: 14-15 minutes
  • Weight: 9.1 oz

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