The Wizard X220 from Eachine currently holds the title of the best budget drone of the year. Eachine have now released the new Wizard X220S but can the improvements made on this quad dismantle the X220 from its podium? Let’s investigate and find out…
So, what’s new?
One of the main improvements is that the new Wizard X220S is rocking an Omnibus F4 v3 with a Betaflight OSD. With the Wizard X220S, Eachine have focused on flying performance and have therefore introduced new propellers, motors and ESCs as well as the new FC. The FPV experience is also improved with an all new 800TVL camera with 72 channel, power switchable VTX coupled with a Pagoda antenna! Eachine have revamped their idea of the ideal budget quadcopter, giving the pilot more power and agility. On top of this, you also get a rubber HD camera mount that will come in useful when recording your antics.
The new power hungry 2206 motors are bigger and better (now running 4s batteries) and this alone marks the X220S out for the more experienced pilot. Weighing in at around 560g, the X220S is reasonably heavier than the X220 (476g) and so you the extra power of the motors comes in handy here. So, you do have a 10% increase in weight with the X220S but this does mean that you gain another 2.6kg+ of extra thrust to play with. That is pretty significant. To put it in perspective, the Wizard X220 has a reasonable thrust to weight ratio of 3.7 whereas the X220S has a ratio of 7.6 ratio…impressive.
Another nice feature of the X220S is that the motors are mounted onto some vibration damping rubber, therefore reducing the overall vibrations. A word of warning however, double check the screws are tight before flying as Eachine did not use any thread locker during assembly as far as I can tell.
What makes the Wizard X220S so good?
- Seriously impressive performance thanks to the 2206 motors running on 4S Lipo.
- Upgrade to 5S for insane performance.
- Includes a decent FPV antenna out of the box (Pagoda).
- Excellent value for money considering the performance.
- It includes everything you need to fly in the box including a battery and charger (in the RTF version).
- Just need to add a set of FPV goggles (we suggest the EV800D).
- Includes loads of spare 5051 TCS style 3 blade props
- It has been setup to work well out of the box.
- For our reviewed unit, we just needed to enable Vbat and set flight modes to pilot preference.
- Omnibus F4 V3 is a great flight controller (although I think this is a clone).
- The Betaflight OSD built into the FC makes it super easy to configure and display the battery voltage on the OSD.
- Nice bright RGB LED tail along with a buzzer.
- Purple spacers, wire mesh guard, plate accent, FPV camera, motors and props give it a purple look.
- 800TVL HS1178 camera works well enough and is mounted on an adjustable mount.
- Nice engravings on side of camera plate indicating the angle.
- Includes a rubber HD camera mount (for GoPro Session style cameras).
Not so great things
- The frame itself is glass fibre with outer layers of carbon fibre.
- Not as strong as the official QAV-R frame it is based on, but still strong enough to take some hits.
- The VTX channel adjustment is very awkward to access. You basically need to remove the top plate if you want to change channels.
- Need to be careful with the battery cables as the propellers could catch them.
- Similarly, the zip-tie antenna mount can also get caught if you are not careful.
- Pagoda antenna does not have a solid enclosure. The top and bottom blades can therefore become misaligned, causing a degradation in the FPV signal.
- Included battery and charger are not the best, so expect to replace it fairly soon.
Why should you get it?
At the end of the day, it’s hard to beat this amount of performance for the price. It is true to say that some of the gear is not the best but for the price, it gives anyone a taste of a high-performance quad that you can tweak and upgrade with better parts as you go along. This is, after all, what this hobby is about. I believe the X220S does overthrow the old X220 as the the king of the budget freestyle quads, and it will be a hard one to beat…
Where to Buy
In the box
The Wizard X220S comes pre-built for each version (RTF and ARF). The RTF model comes with a bound transmitter (an iRangeX iRX-i6X 2.4GHz 10CH i.e. re-branded FlySky) and with a little tampering, you’ll be able to customise arming and flight modes to your preference. As with the Wizard X220, Eachine are generous on the propellers front, providing 10 pairs of TCS style tri-blade props. We have found that these props are pretty robust in crashes as well (completely intentionally of course..) and so you shouldn’t go through too many whilst taking it easy on your FPV course. Also included in the RTF version is a 1500mAh 75c 4s battery which weighs in at around 177g. You also get a basic charger with this.
Although this quad is essentially ready to fly right out of the box, you do need to setup the flight modes. Also, Vbat was not enabled (I suspect this is so that you don’t notice how bad the stock battery is!). Otherwise, all the settings (including the PIDs) are great to fly on both 4s and 5s setups. The Blheli-s 30A ESC is excellent, running at Dshot600 as standard letting you get the most out of the motors.
Flying on the stock settings was great – getting the sort of performance you would expect from quadcopters costing considerably more. The included battery, stated as 75C, is not the best in terms of performance, which is a shame, with voltage dropping significantly under throttle punch-outs. However, given that you need several batteries to satisfy your daily FPV itch, you can use the stock battery to warm-up no problems.
When I first flew the standard Wizard X220, I was taken away by the performance and so I had some high expectations for the X220S. The new Wizard on the block didn’t let me down. I was blown away on the first flight (almost literally!) and within a few seconds of a full throttle punch-out, you can barely see the ground. This incredible acceleration does makes this quadcopter less suited to beginner pilots so a word of warning there. If you are just starting out, you should consider the standard Wizard X220 as this is a little more timid, and a less blow-your-face-off kind of quad.
Frame is only glassy carbon.
For me, the biggest disappointment of this quad is that the frame itself is still made of fibreglass with outer layers of carbon fibre. It looks great with the purple accent, but it’s still not pure carbon fibre. This means that this is not as robust as I would like which is a shame for a quad that can fly this fast. The good news is that because the arms of the frame are so thick, it will require some force to break. But the top and bottom plates started showing signs of wear and tear with a few cracks after a few moderate crashes (again, completely intentional…).
Similarly, after a few impacts, the side plates pushed through the top plate inserts causing them to snap.
However, like most things on this frame, if something does breaks you can simply upgrade that part with something better. In this case, you can get a 100% carbon fibre plate although you will need some experience with building racing quads to dissemble and re-assemble the Wizard.
At the heart of this quad is the Omnibus F4, coupled with the trusty, vibration-tolerant MPU6000 allowing you to clock out at 8Khz. Another impressive feature of the Omnibus is the integrated BetaFlight OSD. Beacuse of this, you don’t need to manually update the firmware as it runs off the main IMU and so when you update BetaFlight firmware, the OSD is automatically updated. On the field, the OSD not only provides helpful information, but it also gives you the ability to change your PIDs via the OSD menus without the need for a PC. Super helpful.
Below this is the 4in1 30A BLHeli-S ESC. This has been configured to run Dshot600 out of the box which gives this quad impressive responsiveness. The nice thing about a 4in1 ESC is that it is out of danger from props during a crash. However, if you do somehow manage to damage the ESC, you will need to replace the entire unit which is the downside to a 4in1 unit.
Of course, all of this would be pointless if not for the upgraded FPV system onboard the X220S, the HS1179 800TVL camera and switchable VTX combo. The VTX unit sits at the top of the stack. There is not much to say about this unit, other than it does what it is supposed to, with 72 channels and 3 switchable power levels (25, 200, 600mW). You will therefore be able to use this unit just about anywhere in the world. The only downside of this is that the button (to change power levels, and channels) is obstructed by the battery strap, so you need to remove the top plate to change channels which can get quite annoying.
Lots of LEDs
Copied directly from the Wizard X220, the X220S comes with the same under motor LEDs which are worth keeping, but the new addition of the tail LED with an integrated buzzer is awesome. The buzzer is loud enough to help you find your quad if you crash in long grass and the tail LEDs are bright enough to see during the day. These have, of course, been connected to the Omnibus allowing you to configure them to whatever colours or flashes you desire within BetaFlight.
Eachine have done it again, producing a great budget quadcopter with excellent performance. As soon as you start flying this, you do start to question why you paid so much more for your ‘race spec’ drone. After several hours of flying, you then begin to find the answer when little things start to annoy you such as the inaccessible VTX change channel button and hairline cracks on the frame. Saying that, given the cost to performance ratio of this quad, I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fast, cheap(ish) drone. The only caveat is that you buy this knowing that over time, you are likely going to need to replace some components. A price worth paying I believe.
Where to Buy
Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, just ask them below. I’ll leave you with a full list of specs for the Wizard X220s.
- 220mm Wheelbase and 4mm Thickness, 10mm less than the previous version.
- Weight: 350g alone, battery and mount 511g
- Adjustable FPV mount with measurements, along with the new rubber HD camera mount at 30°
- Glassy Carbon Frame Material (not true carbon fiber)
- Thrust: 1100g, around 660g more than the X220!
- Case length: 35MM, Diameter: 28MM, Shaft: 3MM
- LiPo: 3-5s
- Weight: 28g
- Mounted on rubber pads to reduce vibrations
- Omnibus F4 STM32 F405 MCU (Runs betaflight target OMNIBUSF4SD)
- MPU6000 IMU running at 8Khz via SPI Bus
- Integrated Betaflight OSD
- 36 x 36mm
- PPM/SBUS Input
- 6PWM output – (1-4Pinheaders and Sh1.0 Plug, 5-6 as Pinheaders)
- Compact 36 x 36mm 30A BLHELI_S 4 in 1 with 35A burst
- LiPo: 2-5s
- BEC: No
- Programmable with BLheli_s (passthrough mode supported)
- Weight: 28g
- HS1179 800TVL CCD camera
- PAL- 1980×1080 (2MP) NTSC- 1980H×1080V (2MP)
- 12V DC input with 70mA consumption
- 25mm x 25mm
- Weight – 11g
- 5.8G 72CH switchable transmitter using
- 25MW, 200MW or 600MW
- SMA Female to SMA male pigtail antenna
- iRangeX iR-A8S v2 receiver
- Input: 4-8.4v
- Draw: 40mA
- Weight: 1.2g
- Size: 20 x 14 x5.3mm
- Range: about 400m
- 10*5051 Eachine purple tri-blade propellers
- TCS style
- 5mm shaft