TEST: Eachine E52

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INTRODUCTION

Toygrade clones of the Zerotech Dobby start to emerge in the market. The first one was the Eachine E50. Here is the new revision, the Eachine E52. We still have a brushed machine with foldable arms which can be controlled either with the an iOS/Android app or via a dedicaced radio control. The FPV part is based on a 2.4G WiFi link coupled with a 0.3M camera module. Let’s discover this bundle.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x Eachine E52
+ 1 x Battery 600mAh LiPo with JST connector
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x Smartphone holder
+ 1 x USB charging cable
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Wrench prop remover
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English/chinese)

OVERVIEW

The similiarities with the original Zerotech Dobby are obvious…. same ovale form when arm are folded, same location of the power button.
In term of build material, the similarities stops here.. While for the Dobby we have a high quality ABS plastic stucture, here with the E52, all the main body and arms parts is based on a thin plastic… look a little bit cheapy and not super durable. Only the upper canopy structure uses a mate plastic.

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Except that, the Eachine E52 is slightly more longer, a 150mm long machine.

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-FRONT VIEW

When arms are unfolded. No specific safety locking system to hold arms opened. They look fragile.

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When the machine is turned, a green front status LED can be found, not super bright… almost invisible in strong daylight conditions.

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When the light turn solid it means the radio binding is done successfully.

-SIDE VIEW

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-REAR VIEW

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Another rear read light indicating also status can be found. A little bit more visible in daylight conditions.

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-UPPER VIEW

In transporation mode, the machine can carrying into a large pocket without problem

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-BOTTOM VIEW

Four small rubber pads as landing skid. Below them, the screws to disassmble the machine.

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The 2 pins where you will clip the JST connector of the battery.

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-WEIGHT

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86.1g in total…

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Motors and props

A gear system is present to boost general performances.

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A small originality, motors are installed inside each arm horizontally.

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LiPo

The battery is like the Dobby model, need to be clipsed in the machine. To release it, press latteraly

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In fact, it’s a JST connector installed on this proprietary battery

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1 Cell 600mAh LiPo is simply installed in this plastic housing

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Camera module

Promised to be a wide angle model, in practice it’s not the case … Unfortunatly, it’s a basic pinhole model with a FOV upper bounded to 80 degrees maximum. Very disapointed. More the associated sensor is a poor 0.3Mpx model… clearly a five years old model maybe more. The only good news you can uptilt and downtilt the lens position.

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More recording’s resolution reaches the poor 640×480@15fps !!!! yes 15fps… Well no miracle with a 2.4G WiFI FPV based solution…. Weird 🙁

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A raw video sample of recorded files

As you can see, color’s rendition is white saturated, the light sensitivity very very poor…. Unacceptable for a 2017 model, even for a super cheap one.

Transmitter

A basic rounded model without any smal LCD display. To control the machine with the radio, you must perform first the binding with the radio, then connect the machine via WiFi to the app. When controlled with the radio, the machine can’t be controlled via the App. Only the photo/video recording can be turned on/off.

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To calibrate gyroscope, push both sticks in lower right position.

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The left shoulder button selects one of the three speed mode when shortly pressed and cut motors if longly pressed. The right button run automatic 360 degrees flips.

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The smartphone holder is compatible with model up to 6″ size.

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I was not able to identify the RFchip. I unfortunatly was not able to bind the machine with an existing DeviationTX protocols and I don’t know if this machine is compatible with the former Eachine E50.

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UNBOXING, ANALYSIS AND DEMO FLIGHT

First impression, as soon as you pressed the take off button when the altitude hold option is turned on, the machine quit the air quicky and is stabilized perfectly around 1m. The altitude deviation is small in both indoors and outdoors conditions. The machine is relatively silent, it’s a good point. In 30%, the machine is ultra slow… especially the yaw command. Generally, all the three speed mode don’t offer agressive flight attitudes… but more very smoothed controls. The main idea is to capture videos the less shacky as possible. In practice, in outdoors conditions, especially in presence of wind, can be probablematic for example to escape from a tree. The radio control range is good, > 70m. I don’t advise to go further since there is no strong light to help to keep your orientation in LOS conditions. As for all digital based FPV system, the frame rate drop versus distance and above 40m, first freezing appears. It’s not impossible to fly FPV with this machine, but only in large open spaces, at least far from trees. The flight duration are good, more than 6min.

I like generally the interface. You can enable/disable a lot of option. For example, you can fly the machine without the barometer assistance for more advanced pilot. You can also control the machine with the “gyroscope” mode, where the position of your smarphone will control the x-y axis. As said previously, the altitude hold works pretty well but won’t disable the x-y drifts since no GPS is here.

CONCLUSIONS

A small and cheap foldable machine with a good flight time and coltrol/FPV ranges (~50m). Controls are optimized for beginners with smooth deplacements. The design is cool … but I deeply regret the super poor performances of this 0.3W builtin camera… If you plan to shoot super great videos… avoid this model.

PROS

+ Foldable arms
+ 6min of flight duration
+ Efficient altitulde hold
+ Nice Appz
+ Good radio range with the TX
+ Lens orientation can be ajusted

CONS

– Horrible VGA camera
– Slow controls even in 100% sport mode
– No local video recording, only saved in the smartphone
– Prorpriatary battery casing

This quadcopter have been courtesy provided by Banggood in order to make a fair and not biased review. I would like to thank them for this attitude.
You can find it actually for 37USD at https://www.banggood.com/Eachine-E52-WiFi-FPV-With-High-Hold-Mode-Foldable-Arm-RC-Quadcopter-p-1145572.html

9 Comments

  • Patrick says:

    Hi SeByDocky,
    Did you ever try to take pictures or record a video using the buttons on the remote ? According the manual, that should work but I never got any result using these buttons. Is only my E52 concerned or is this a general issue ?

    • SeByDocKy says:

      No these buttons are usefull only for a camera version none-WiFi… Since the recording is done on the smarphone, tablet, there is no link between the radio and these devices.

  • Alexander says:

    Really, ¿the transmitter use 4x AAA battery?

  • Rami says:

    Hello
    thanks for good test.
    I got mine drone few weeks ago, it worked well first, but after multiple collisions one of the propellers is running in the wrong direction. So it blows to up, othervise seems worked normally…
    Any idea why, or how it could get fixed.

    Thanks.

  • Krotow says:

    This same budget smartphone camera is abundant in toy grade quadcopters at last three years. Seen that same camera in Syma X5SC line (they even managed to upscale 0.3MP in software and pushed those frankencams as 2MP ones :), some WLToys camera quad models and more. Seems Chinese toy manufacturers got full warehouses of this crap in name of greater good and now they’re pushing it everywhere to get rid of them.

  • Simon says:

    Nice review thanks, ordered mine a few days ago along with 1spare battery in the propitiatory case and 3 “bare” 600mha with jst connectors as the provided battery is simple to strip down to add the “bare” battery saving a bit of cash! As for the camera agree that it a pile of dog poop but for the price i am happy to get my crashing done on this thing before i upgrade to a more expensive bit of kit!!

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