TEST: MJX Bugs B2W, the Hubsan H501A competitor ?

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INTRODUCTION

THe MJX Bugs B2W represents a direct competitor of the Hubsan H501A, i.e. a 310mm brushless quadcopter including a 1080p camera (without EIS) and a 720p WiFi link for the FPV part. Like the Hubsan, the flight autonomy is announced to be great (around 20min). The control range up to 1Km and the FPV link around 500m (without any WiFi extender). This machine targets intermediate pilots who want to shoot relatively good 1080p videos with some descent control range. The Bugs B2W integrates also a GPS for GPS-stabilization and return to home functionalities. No other advanced flight modes are announced. Let’s discover this new video plateform.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x MJX Bugs B2W
+ 1 x Proprietary 2S 1800mAh/25C LiPo with XT30 connector
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x Phone holder
+ 1 x Charger
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Screwdriver
+ 1 x Wrench prop tool
+ 4 x Prop O-ring
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

The plastic wrench plier to fasten perfectly each prop caps. Four O-ring with a diameter of 5mm.

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The smartphone mount in two parts. One need to be clips on the radio antenna

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OVERVIEW

It’s obvious side by side, but the Bugs B2W copied the dimensions, the general shape, the camera location and type, the transparent landing pads and many many other details. It’s also a 311mm brushless machine.

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Really similar in size and type of motors.

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Props also are almost indentical

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I won’t be surprize if Hubsan will try to sue MJX for this direct copy.

-FRONT VIEW

We have a pretty cool design with this brillant and high quality plastic. The plastic is not flexible as the Hubsan’one so should not absorb a massive crash like the H501A can. I like the two large eyes design….

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The main camera lens is installed cantrally with a moderate downtilt angle, something around -5 degrees maximum. Props intrusion in Field Of View will very very small.

-SIDE VIEW

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A microSD card slot can be found on the left side where a class 10 card must be inserted into.

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No sign of any microUSB port for a possible firmware update.

-REAR VIEW
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The battery tray shows a XT30 connector. In practice it’s super easy to install another battery as soon as the XT30 connector is here.

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-BOTTOM VIEW

No visual positionning system or ultrasound/infrared modules. The altitude stabilization will be done only by the builtin barometer.

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We can find a strong LED light into each transparent landing pod. Colors can change from green, yellow and red according to the current status of the quadcopter. In general red color means problems with the machine (no compass done, no GPS for example)

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-WEIGHT

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453g

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versus 464g for the H501A. Small advantage for the B2W.

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Motors and props

1806 brushless motors are installed, the same category as for the H501. 1800Kv is announced in the instruction manual. In practice, the behaviour of this machine is relatively sporty despite being 2S only.

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The O-ring must be inserted into each prop main shaft section for a complete secured installation

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5mm shaft diameter section for the motors.

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We have the same type of Hubsan props

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LiPo

A 1500mAh 2S LiPo model jailed into a proprietary battery chassis. 25C for discharge rate so more than the basic 10C for the Hubsan’s battery.

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A XT30 connector as well as a 2S balancer plug can be found so generally this battery can be recharged with a more advanced charger.
Generally, the battery insertion requires the first time some hand pressure.

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The balancer plug must parked into the rear section of the battery casing to not block the battery insertion into the quadcopter.

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Camera module

Same type of lens than the H501, a relatively large FOV is offered, around 120 degrees, ideal to shoot nice panorama footages.

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The camera lens is downtilted about 5-10 degrees and no possibility to set the orientation

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As you can see in the raw video sample, the frame is non constant and far to reach 30fps in average. The light sensitivity is medium. The sound is not recorded as well.

It’s confirmed by the media information of the AVI file. Here we have a constant bitrate and a variable frame rate…. In the worst situation, the frame rate can drop down to 6fps even less to 2fps :(…

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I wish a firmware can be flashed for the camera to keep constant the frame rate…. but probably such firmware update will never come

Transmitter

The classic chassis for the last MJX Bugs model with four shoulder buttons. From left to right we have a auto-takeoff/autolanding, motors arming/disarming, return to home and photo/video trigger. Added to these four the horizontal trims are also used. The left one turns the machine into pure manual or GPS assisted. The right one turn on/off the Headless mode.

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A lof of important informations from the quadcopter sent by telemetry thanks to the 2-way MJX protocol can be found on the radio.
As soon as you are in GPS mode, the satellite icon will appear but stucked with 0 satellite until the compass calibration procedure is complete. The current height and distance to the take off location are displayed in real-time as well as the 2.4G radio control link quality on the right with five progressive bars. The remaining level of battery for the quadcopter is displayed on the top right corner. I regret maybe the absence of the current heading sometime usefull for long range flights. As soon as the machine will reach the 2.4G fence or when the battery will start to hit 30%, the builtin buzzer of the radio will start to scream. These two telemetry alarms are very important and very usefull.

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The phone mount is simply clipsed on the radio antenna

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Smarphone up to 6″ can be installed…. No possibility to install tablet >= 7 inches… Definitively a drawback

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UNBOXING, ANALYSIS AND DEMO FLIGHT

First thing to do is to download the Application either for iOS or Android. For android, you can grab the last “Bugs go” app here: http://www.mjxrc.net/down/application.html.
Very important remark. As you already know the B2W uses the 5.8G WiFi for the FPV link. In practice, this link is either a 5G or 5.8G according to your location. By default the B2W targets the 5G band compatible directly for USA, Europe and Japan. If don’t see the B2W WiFi during the scanning… You will need to switch to the other band by holding the photo/video button during 8s as discribed.

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For the fist usage, you will need to bind the radio to the quadcopter. The binding procedure is simple: i) power the quad and ii) keep pressed the red shoulder button while turning on the radio. As soon as you will hear a beep and see the 2.4G quality link displayed on the radio, it means the binding is done.

Then you will have to connect to the appz by first connect your device to the 5G/5.8G WiFi of the B2W. When it’s done, a clear and crips 720p preview is displayed. The image quality is good. The latency for close range distances is at minimum of 0.2-0.3s. Maybe an annoying news, but the compass calibration is required each time after the WiFi connexion. First hold the machine horizontally and turn it to the right three times until the rear lights will flash only green. Then install noze down the machine and turn it one more time to the right until the rear lights become now solid green.

Now it’s time to take off. First arm the motors by a short pressure on the red button then click on the most left shoulder button to take off. The machine will slowly raise up to 1m and stay in place if you are in GPS mode. For my specific model, I should have a problem with the builtin barometer because the machine slowly looses altitude. I don’t know if there is a way to calibrate the barometer. As you already noticed, there is no speed button on the radio and by default the machine is surprizingly fast… and relatively nervous for a 2S setup. But be aware, in order to stabilize videos as much as possible PIDs are set to smooth trajectories as much as possible…. so a lot of inertia in controls are here. Can be problematic with full speed to avoid suddenly a tree. I am really surprize how fast is this machine, at least a good 30km/h…. no so bad. The height and distance feedback on the radio is big plus. What’s a pity that these two informations are not also reported into the app… In fact it would require a USB tethering connexion to send back to the screen these two informations. In term of radio control range, no problem to exceed in couple of seconds 200-300m… but be aware, first FPV link breakup will be here from this limit. You will have to correctly install your smartphone to optimize the 5.8G link. In the appz, the 5.8G link strenght is displayed in the top right corner. Often you go from 5bars to 0 without any intermediate graduations…. strange. Important information: if the battery level is too low (< 15% approx), the machine will engange a RTH if the current quadcopter altitude was over 15m high... or will engage an emergency landig if below. If the GPS-stabilization works fine, the RTH offers a 2-3m precision.... not bad but can be a little better for a dual GPS-glonass solution. In term of videos, you can feel some micro vibrations even in the FPV feedback. Props need to be balanced to reduce a bit this phenomena. Even better, install some Hubsan H501x props, and the jello will be gone. Second drawback, especially for fast yaw mouvements, the frame rate drops considerably 🙁 ... FPV link and even more important the video recordings are not smooth.... as can be for the H501... For me this is the major drawback of this machine.... As for the H501 series, as soon as there is some wind, the videos will "dance". Can be awful... EIS is terribly missing to stabilize a minimum recordings. More advanced flight modes such orbit mode, selfie mode or mission planning are missing a lot... This machine can't be really compared to the H501A but more to the H501S first edition to be honest. Anyway flight time are excellent, really close to the advertized 20min, I had around 17min... and in manual mode this machine becomes even more sporty. I regret the non-possibility to turn off the altitulde hold stabilization in pure manual mode as well. The radio protocol seems to be same than the first Bugs 3 but not binding the Bugs6. I still hope to see this protocol hacked for DeviationTX one day.

CONCLUSIONS

A pleasant brushless flyer relatively sporty but with some soft/smooth PIDs settings to ensure to shoot relatively stabilized videos dispite the absence of EIS. If the control range is excellent and the FPV link crip and precize over at least 300m… the 1080p module is far to be perfect with some frames lost during fast scene transitions… More advanced flight modes are missing in the Appz such as orbit or mission planning. To conclude, I recommand more the Hubsan H501A over this Bugs B2W if the price difference is less than 50USD…

PROS

+ 20min of flight time
+ Fast flyer
+ Beautiful design
+ GPS assisted flight modes
+ Silent
+ Good control range (~1km)
+ Good 720 FPV 5.8G WiFi link (> 300-350m)
+ Telemetry feedback
+ RSSI/out of distance alarms

CONS

– Variable frame rate for 1080p recording
– No EIS
– No lens’s tilt angle ajustement
– Requires compass calibration before each flight
– No advanced flight modes: no POI, no follow-me, no mission-planning
– No powerswitch
– No microUSB port for firmware upate
– Props need to be balanced to reduced a bit jello
optional
– Can be incompatible with some smartphones

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 at https://www.banggood.com/MJX-B2W-Bugs-2W-Monster-WiFi-FPV-Brushless-With-1080P-HD-Camera-GPS-RC-Quadcopter-RTF-p-1144178.html

5 Comments

  • siriusflier says:

    Excellent review as usual.:)

  • Bruce says:

    Awesome review! I live in Canada and I am having problems connecting the 5G wifi. I need to get the transmitter to select a channel for me. I pressed the photo button for 8 secs. as per instructions but no blue light indicator. I know that the Wifi connected for you, but could u give the channel selection a try and let me know if it works? I really want to use the camera.

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Ok I will try …. There is a good android appz ..: “WiFi Analyzer”… you can monitor the 5Ghz band … and try also to turn on the corresponding channels…. (mentioned in the small paper provided in the B2W)

  • Paul says:

    Hi from New Zealand
    Why is MJX so hard to contact there after sales is hopeless they won’t you to buy there products then don’t won’t to know you.
    I have a bugs 2w I need camera PCB B2W008 circuit board what I won’t to know has that board got the SD card slot on it?
    Mine won’t record to the SD card but will record to my phone though the APP
    Cheers Paul

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