Now that the FAA is making people register regular sized drones, we’ve learned two things. One: Drones are so popular that they now need to be registered. Two: A smaller drone that doesn’t need FAA registration is an excellent starting point for amateur flyers to enter the world of RC Drones. Enter the Axis VIDIUS first-person view remote drone, which allows you to test the waters (or skies, rather) at a $95 price point before dropping big dough on the hobby.
The Axis VIDIUS drone fits easily in the palm of your hand. Supremely light and agile, the quadrotor mini drone has a simple video camera mounted squarely in the middle of its body. You won’t get 1080p off of this little guy, but the 420p resolution camera does deliver a live video feed via wifi that can then be saved as videos or used to capture stills. The VIDIUS comes with a physical, dual-stick 2.4 ghz remote control in the box which is great for precision flying of the speedy little drone, but smartphone connectivity for both controls and viewing the live video feed from the VIDIUS is how you get the full experience—even though it’s a little harder to control with a touchscreen device.
Range on the VIDIUS is limited to 100 feet, and we found it to be much more reliable with a clear line of sight. That makes the mini drone a much better option for racing through homemade obstacle courses than any covert paparazzi-style spying you might have planned. The battery in the VIDIUS takes about 20 minutes to charge and will allow for about five minutes of flying per charge. Given its miniscule size, hot-swapping a second battery isn’t a possibility, but we wouldn’t fault you if you wanted to buy three of these little guys to keep you in a more permanent state of flight. Gyro control and stabilization also help toward that end, making it harder to accidentally crash your VIDIUS, a problem we’ve run into with just about every RC flyer we’ve tried. If you have any intentions of building up to a full-blown camera drone like the Chroma we reviewed recently, the VIDIUS is a great place to cut your teeth.