Blade Nano QX BNF Review

Last updated January 17th, 2020
Blade Nano QX BNF

Entry-level drone offerings often have everything you need packed into one kit and contain features that make flying easier for the enthusiastic newbie pilots.

One such drone — or one that looks to fit most of the criteria on the surface at least — is the Blade Nano QX BNF, a cheap toy-grade drone that screams barebones construction.

The extremely portable and lightweight profile of the drone has us worrying about its safety, but it’s advertised to have beginner-friendly functions that beg to differ.

Will the drone hold up to our challenge, though? Scroll onwards in this in-depth Blade Nano QX BNF review.

Quick Specs

WeightUnloaded: 16.5 grams
SizeLength: 7.2 in
Width: 6.3 in
Height: 2.5 in
SpeedUndisclosed
SignalRange: ~13 m
BatteryFlight Time: ~7 mins
Capacity: 150 mah
RecordingCamera: N/A
Blade Nano QX BNF Drone
355 Reviews
Blade Nano QX BNF Drone
  • Features exclusive SAFE™ technology with stability and agility modes
  • Small enough to fly in any room or office
  • Requires a 4+ channel DSM2 or DSMX transmitter
  • Potent brushed motors that provide smooth and powerful lift
  • 4-in-1 DSMX Receiver/ESCs/mixer/SAFE sensor unit

Blade Nano QX BNF Features

S.A.F.E Technology

The Blade Nano QX BNF is well-equipped for beginner flight thanks to its S.A.F.E Technolgy, which stands for Sensor-Assisted Flight Envelope. Basically, this system provides you with two flight modes: Stability and Agility.

Stability mode (indicated by red LED lights) offers the petite UAV a limited amount of maneuverability and speed, which is crucial for newbies who want to familiarize the controls first without crashing the drone.

The most important aspect of Stability mode is it makes the drone hover in place in case you let go of the controls, keeping it safe at all times if you ever encounter an awkward flight position. Who needs a panic button when you have this neat safety net?

Agility mode (indicated by blue LED lights) is the exact opposite of Stability, instead loosening up your control options, resulting in greater maneuverability of the craft.

Flying speed limits are removed whilst flying in Agility mode, along with greater sensitivity settings that allow you to do tighter movements on the fly (no pun intended). This is intended for more experienced pilots who already have a good sense of the controls, with the confidence to boot.

Battery Life

The Blade Nano QX BNF has a 150 mAh battery that supplies the drone with around 7 minutes of flight time, though this can vary depending on how taxing your flight operation on the battery is.

This is rather short, but is also pretty much the average when you’re in this field of cheap toy drones.

Worry not, though, as this gum-sized battery packs can be had for cheap, usually retailing at $20 for a batch of 4, giving you a slightly better overall flight time, albeit having the need for retrieval for quick battery swaps, which brings us to another point of consideration:

This doesn’t have any return to home features; slightly annoying as you’ll have to fly the UAV back to you before it dies, or go and retrieve it when it does. Many drones will automatically return to its starting point when it is about to run out of juice.

You aren’t even greeted by an alert of sorts in case your battery levels dip dangerously low, forcing you to keep tabs by manually taking note of the time it has been aloft. This also introduces the danger of sudden crashes if you come up too short with your estimates.

Fortunately, the Blade Nano is compatible with other controllers that have integrated timers, making the task easier to deal with — especially as you do need a third party controller to use it. More on that shortly.

The batteries take about 30 minutes or so to charge back to full, which is no time at all really.

Camera

Unfortunately, the Blade Nano QX BNF does not sport a camera, which we totally understand considering the price point it comes in, but it does mean that this drone is very much enjoyable as a gimmick and not much else.

Controller

The Blade Nano QX BNF that we got, as the name suggests, is a BNF or Bind n Fly model.

This means that it doesn’t come with a controller out of the box, requiring you to get a third party transmitter. The drone works with digital spread spectrum controllers such as this one or this one.

This gives you the option of picking a better controller, as the one that goes with the RTF (Ready To Fly) version of the kit is a bit too basic for our (and a whole lot of people’s) liking.

Anyways, since the Blade Nano only has a few features and functions, apart from the vital ones, the controller you’re getting should probably have the basics down, like standard joysticks, some function buttons, and maybe a standard LCD screen if you’re keen on telemetry stat readouts.

Design and Build Quality

The Blade Nano has a petite quadcopter design that is mainly comprised of the thin plastic “canopy” or hull that covers the main PCB of the drone. To outfit the battery, you only need to lift the canopy up and place the battery on the dedicated slot, ensuring that the contacts are snug. The drone’s size is comparable to an adult’s spread hand, while it weighs a measly 16 grams.

While the construction of the UAV is fairly thin, it can withstand a substantial amount of abuse given the several crashes we encountered along the way. It also features propeller guards to protect the props in such situations. This doesn’t mean that you should be carefree when flying the drone though, as it will give out faster with its current configuration.

With that being said, the BNF kit has extra propellers and a spare canopy in case you damaged them beyond repair, giving you leeway in terms of survivability.

Performance

The Blade Nano QX BNF is very responsive to control inputs, making it an easy drone to maneuver. The flight range is severely limited though, only amounting to 13 meters of ground to cover, suggesting that the drone is better suited for confined, indoor flight. It really is, though, considering the paper-like weight easily submitting to the wind.

As for speed, this bird is quite nimble, especially in Agility mode, able to do quick turns with its greater degree of yaw, pitch, and roll readily available at your disposal.

The Blade Nano requires you to set it down on a flat surface upon the first initialization, as the blue LED blinks on the drone until you do so. As soon as the LED unit becomes stable, you can begin to take off the platform slowly. We’re thinking this is a calibration step done by the drone to ensure proper operation once in flight.

Blade Nano QX BNF Drone
355 Reviews
Blade Nano QX BNF Drone
  • Features exclusive SAFE™ technology with stability and agility modes
  • Small enough to fly in any room or office
  • Requires a 4+ channel DSM2 or DSMX transmitter
  • Potent brushed motors that provide smooth and powerful lift
  • 4-in-1 DSMX Receiver/ESCs/mixer/SAFE sensor unit

Final Thoughts

The Blade Nano QX BNF is one of the most affordable drones being offered in the market, sitting somewhere under the $50 price bracket.

But, despite being relatively cheap, its lackluster spread of features and specs have us wondering: who really benefits when someone purchases this?

Sure, the hip S.A.F.E system makes it all sound like a dream, but that’s all there is to it. No return to home function, headless mode, or one key takeoff and landing feature, which we’d honestly take any day over the aforementioned system.

If drone availability limits your range of choices, you could potentially consider going for the Blade Nano QX BNF, but as drone enthusiasts it’s hard for us to recommend something so basic.

There are quadcopters of a similar price that offer more beginner and user-friendly features that you’d be eternally grateful for — especially Return to Home. Okay, maybe not eternally, but you get the point.

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