Review: Cheerson CX-10 Nano Drone

Cheerson CX-10 Review

I’ve always been fascinated by remote control toys. As far back as I can remember I’ve always been drawn to remote control cars, helicopters, boats – however one type of “toy” has always excited me the most and that’s quadcopters.

Over the years, quadcopters have changed quite significantly. If you look at DJI’s range of “drones” the technology has come such a long way – it’s truly impressive! Some drones even have grabbers/cannons attached to them! However, with the improvement in technologies, automation and “safety” (note: I’m not saying safety is a bad thing!!!), flying one of these drones is inherently less involved.

However, there’s one segment of drones where things haven’t changed too much. They’ve taken the battery improvements, efficiency improvements and overall performance improvements, but that’s about it. I’m talking nano drones! And for me, there’s one quad to rule them all – Cheerson’s CX-10.

Features

  • CHEAP!!!!
  • Built-in “flip” functions
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Flight time: between 3 and 7 minutes
  • Charging time: up to 30 minutes
  • Control distance: 20-50m depending on obstacles
  • Onboard battery: 3.7V 100mah
  • An absolute plethora of replacement parts available
  • Construction material: ABS
  • Size (LxWxH): 4cm x 4cm x 2.2cm (1.57in x 1.57in x 0.86in)
  • Weight: ~12g / 0.42oz

Design and build quality

Design

The CX-10 is tiny. Fitting in the palm of your hand, this little drone is a pocketable bundle of joy. Not only that, but you can comfortably hold the CX-10 and its compact controller in your hand, with room to spare!

The design is fairly simplistic, you get a white lower half of the body with a bright colour on the top half (or if you splash for the CX-10A, a gold top half!) and a white Cheerson logo in the middle of the top of the drone.

Cheerson CX10 - side view

The props (propellers) are all white out of the box, but there are a couple of spares, with two being the colour of the unit you chose and two white.

Below the props there are small LEDs, which is incredibly helpful as two are red and two are blue – meaning that when you take off, or are performing some crazy aerial manoeuvres, whizzing past your wife at incredible speeds – you can know which way is forwards and which way is backwards.

The charging cable is fairly short and is bright yellow. It’s also a bespoke connector for the drone, with a standard USB type-A connector on the other end. You can charge the quad off of a laptop, computer or using a smartphone charger. My only gripe is that the connector for the quad is reliant on friction, as opposed to “clicking” into place, which means that using a smartphone charger likely won’t work due to the cable being short and most plugs being more than 2 inches from the ground.

Build quality

Being so small, you could understandably be worried about the overall ruggedness of this little drone – especially when you take into account that the actual body of the drone is a pretty thin plastic shell. However, let me tell you right now… the Cheerson CX-10 is an incredibly rugged little quad.

It’s entirely possible to buy a bumper kit to protect the propellers and body of the drone (if I’m honest, it’s probably not a bad idea to start with one on), however I’ve flown the CX-10 into walls, curtains, tables, ceilings and floors – it has also even been swatted out of the sky by my cats in a vicious attempt to ruin my fun ? – and still to this day it works perfectly.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve definitely had to change the props a couple of times, but the overall body shows little-to-no signs of wear or damage!

Setup and flight

Setting up

Setup of the drone is the easiest thing going. First up, turn on the drone itself. Next, turn the controller on and then pull the leftmost joystick down as far as it will go, then push it up to the top and back to the bottom. The controller should make an audible “beep” sound which means you’re ready to fly!

Flying

As I said before, I’ve flown a LOT of different drones. But the one drone I come back to every single time is the CX-10. The reason being – it’s so simple and so much fun to fly, even if that time is fairly short.

Flight modes

There are three modes that you can choose from to fly in, each with slightly differing performance levels. The three modes are: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

There’s definitely a learning curve, and once you “click” up in to the high-speed mode (aka “advanced”) the CX-10 is highly responsive and very quick when considering the size. After a couple of days of usage in beginner and intermediate mode, I was able to hover, pull off some pretty impressive “close calls” when whizzing around the house, and even managed to avoid the vicious swipes of my two cats as they tried to de-flight the drone!

Range

Flight range is fairly limited and the further away the drone gets from you, the harder it is to see (it is very small, after all)… which is one of the reasons I, personally, consider the CX-10 an indoor drone. Furthermore, the drone doesn’t have any “wind-proofing”, meaning gusts or even light breezes can take it way off course – which is more than understandable, considering the CX-10 only weighs in at 12 grams.

Noise level

So flying indoors is risky, even at the best of times. You have obstacles, animals… your wife – all of these things can either get in the way, or get very very VERYannoyed. Normally, the sound that nano quads (or even micro quads) make is incredibly annoying – it’s that tinny, buzzy, whining sound. It’s like having a bee stuck in your ear! However, the CX-10 somehow does away with the volume of that noise. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still a whiny sounding drone, but it’s not “loud”.

Charging and battery life

The one downside to having such a small quad is, the fact that due to it being so compact, you can only fit a certain size of battery into the body.

Battery life

Cheerson managed to cram in a 100mAh battery, which will last you around 7 minutes of extremely conservative flight (basically hovering in beginner mode). If you’re going to do any form of high-speed flight, stunts or even just simple flight, expect that figure to drop to around 3 – 4 minutes.

This is where the battery lives!

There are mods that can be done, such as modding in swappable batteries, but this requires a fair bit of electrical knowledge, time and patience – all things I have very little of! If you’re not open to completing such a mod, charge times are anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the type of charger you’re using.

Charging

I managed to get around 24 minutes from 0% to 100%, using an old Samsung Fast Charger (it was either 2.4A or 3A – I can’t recall now), but these days I usually just charge the drone through a USB port on my laptop. This is more than satisfactory, as I have two CX-10’s – one I bought and one my wife bought me. While I’m flying one, the other is on charge. Then I switch as soon as it runs out. I can get around 15 minutes of flying time and then have a little break whilst they both finish up charging ?.

Summary

The TL;DR version of this review is: this drone is a huge amount of fun and at the same time, a great beginner/learning point when it comes to getting into drones. 10/10. 5⭐️. 100%. All the ??.

The Cheerson CX-10 can not only result in hours of flying fun, but also teaches you the basics of flight, control, stability and sensibility. I’ve seen people who fly expensive octocopters or professional grade cinematography drones spend 10 minutes with a CX-10, only to admit that it’s not only a challenge to fly but also tonnes of fun and a great “toy” to fine-tune their flying ability.

There are, undoubtedly, downsides to the CX-10. First and foremost, flight time. At 7 mins max, you don’t get much play time with it before you have to then run off and spend anywhere up to half an hour charging it again (a ratio of 1:4 for flying to charging).

Not necessarily an issue, but if you’re thinking of progressing from flying inside your house to outside, you’ll need to invest in something a bit more “air worthy” than the CX-10. Lack of wind-proofing, stabilisation, size and sheer power mean that if there’s even a slight breeze out, you’re likely gonna lose your drone!

Other than that… I recommend this drone to everyone I can. Best of all, everyone I recommend it to (or buy it for) absolutely love it and progress on from there, but (like me) always come back to it for a bit of fun. Spares are readily available and in the event you do manage to somehow smash the drone to pieces (let me know how – because so far I’ve not been able to!), it’s a fairly cheap “toy” so is easily replaceable.

Useful links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/LEORX-Cheerson-CX-10-2-4GHz-Channel-Quadcopter-Orange/dp/B00PH1D1HQ/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Cheerson-CX-10-Diameter-2-4GHz-Quadcopter/dp/B00M6HP1HM/

Will Stocks

As a career "IT person" and technology enthusiast, I've been around technology for over 8 years now. From enterprise-grade hardware to consumer equipment, IT Support to Systems Administrator - I'm passionate about all forms of tech, learning how it works, integrates and the scenarios in which different people would use them. I started willstocks.co.uk in 2017 and have also contributed to other websites around the Internet.

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