The Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma with CGO3 4K camera is one of the best drones you can find on the market today. It promises to deliver half an hour of flight time on a single battery charge and is built with an integrated 4K video camera. Generally, it is a solid drone that is definitely worth its price.
Like the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K, this quadcopter also uses the CGO3 gimbal and is controlled by the ST10+ remote control, though it is a bit smaller with accessories that are finished in white. Its power switch is located on top of its body and a GPS module sitting on a hinge that you need to raise from the body before flying, presumably to get a stronger signal.
As a drone, the Chroma is stabilized by GPS while flying and, of course, provides automated flight capabilities. This also means that you have to make sure that it (as well as its remote control) has a satellite lock before you start flying. Once it takes off, you will find that this drone will do a fairly good job of staying in one place on its own.
But like any other drone, the Chroma also has its own set of pros and cons that has to be considered, and here are them:
- This drone offers the option to be set to “smart” mode to activate automated flight, which includes the Tracking and Follow Me functions. The good thing about switching to this mode is that it also changes the way the drone responds to controls, allowing novice fliers to have better control.
- It has a dedicated switch on the ST10+ that you can use to bring the aircraft home. It will automatically fly toward its launch point if communication is lost.
- The CGO3 camera puts the Chroma ahead of older drones that can only capture up to 1080p, even better than the modern budget models, such as the DJI Phantom 3 Standard.
- The CGO3 lens is quite soft, especially at the periphery of the frame, and is a pretty solid wide-angle optic that does not show the fish-eye distortion that occurs on older drones.
- It comes with a hood that helps improve visibility in bright light.
- Though the Chroma comes with a camera with a 5.5-inch LCD, its resolution is just 480p, which is not truly crisp. Yes, it is bright enough to see in direct sunlight, but there will be issues with glare. And at default, footage has shown evidence of over-sharpening, where edges are too crisp that brings about a slightly unnatural look.
- It can experience compression issues that can affect video quality, where artifacts would pop up occasionally. Some users have reported its frame becoming garbled with artifacts when the aircraft performs a close flyby of a tree.
- If you are an experienced flyer, you might get turned off by the drone’s distance limitation, though for beginners, this may serve as a perk for their training, as this limitation can help them stay out of trouble when learning to fly. Nevertheless, you can make your experience with the Chroma more satisfying by breaking this limit using the Chroma GUI software that allows you to adjust the geofence as far as 2,500 meters. Now, this may be beyond your range of control, so you might want to just set a reasonable limit for your skills.
- The ST10+ would take long to lock on, which means that you should turn it on first before flying.
All in all, the Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma with CGO3 4K Camera is one of those solid quadcopters today that provide a pretty good operating range, stable flight and a good camera that records in 4K. It is a bit more elegant than other drones on the market with the ST10+ remote that offers an integrated display, though it would require you to connect it to a tablet or phone to serve as a display. While its video quality is not that good at default, it is definitely better than shooting with a flat profile, which compromises edge quality that can be distracting for landscape work. Moreover, this drone from Horizon Hobby offers solid safety features.
Now what do you think? Is this the right drone to have to satisfy your quadcopter-flying needs? Based on the information provided above, you should already have a very good idea.
- 4K/30fps or 1080p/120fps video
- 12MP photo
- No-distortion lens – eliminates fisheye effect
- Integrated, 3-axis brushless stabilization gimbal
- Adjustable resolution and frame rate
- Adjustable settings for different lighting conditions
- Streams live video to the ST-10+ controller from as far as 600 meters
- Streams live video to multiple mobile devices within 90-120 meters *
*Requires a compatible mobile device with the CGO app.
|Approx. Flying Time||30 minutes|
|Battery||11.1V 3S 6300mAh Li-Po|
|Motor to Motor Distance||400mm|
|Motors||780Kv Brushless Outrunner|
|Flight Control Link||2.4GHz|
|Approx. Video Link Range||1,970ft (600m)|
|GPS Receiver||GLONASS and U.S.|