Potensic D88 Review

Last updated November 30th, 2019
Potensic D88

Mid-range drones are probably what most consumers are eyeing up today, with their features and specs fitting their needs the most.

But the quest for balance has yet to be perfected, with some brands focusing too heavily on an accessible price — but then end up with a subpar product.

The same rings true for drones on the upper end of the spectrum, searching for higher prices (and profits) but bloated on mismatched specs and features.

It seems sensible to assume that a mid-priced drone (something in the $200-$500 range) would have the best chance of providing quality and affordability in equal balance. But what does a true bang-for-the-buck drone bring to the table?

The Potensic D88 is one of the contenders in the mid-range market, and seeing its popularity, it seems to have gotten some customers like a deer in the headlights.

It sports promising specs and features that are perfect for casual and semi-professional photography, as well as entertainment-based flying activities. As a bonus, it also has an attractive aesthetic that’ll appeal to those looking for something a little more creative than the standard design that most drones opt for — something like the Potensic D58.

Enough of the chit-chat. Let’s get it on with this in-depth review of the Potensic D88.

Quick Specs

WeightUnloaded: 525 grams
SizeLength: 45 cm
Width: 45 cm
Height: 75 cm
SpeedMax: 50 kph
SignalRange: ~1.6 km
BatteryFlight time: ~20 mins
Capacity: 3400 mAh
Recording:Camera: 2K FHD, 130° FOV
Potensic D88 Drone
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Potensic D88 Features

GPS + GLONASS

It’d be a shame if a drone that comes in only a little under the $300 price didn’t have GPS features, right?

Fortunately, the Potensic D88 comes loaded with a dual GPS and GLONASS integration, locking on to over 24 orbiting satellites for extra-accurate and precise location and positioning. Cheaper drones will usually only have GPS at best, or neither of these two features at worst.

The dual system benefits the assistive flight features of the craft for proper execution, as well as giving it extra stability when set to hover, or when flying with an automated flight preset that would otherwise increase the risk of drifting.

It also increases the safety of the craft with the redundancy this dual system offers. If one of these systems should fail mid-flight, the other kicks in to take full control of the craft, preventing untimely crashes or collisions that could damage your investment.

One Key Takeoff/Landing

A standard feature that you find on almost any beginner-friendly drone worth its salt, the D88 includes one key takeoff and landing. With just a push of a button, the drone automatically hovers in the air or sets itself on your preferred landing surface. If you’re lending the drone to a less experienced friend, or just getting started yourself, this can help get rid of nerves when initiating takeoff or retrieving the drone. Or of course, if you can’t be bothered to manually maneuver the drone to fly it back down to earth, the easy landing option is for you.

Return To Home

Return To Home has been such a helpful feature for drones that almost all mid-range drones, including the Potensic D88, comes with it. It is automatically triggered when the D88 is low on power, when the signal transmission is cut off, or when unavoidable errors occur. The drone’s initial takeoff location is recorded with the GPS features and, when Return To Home is active, it will automatically fly back to where it took off from.

This can also be manually activated if, again, lazy.

Point Of Interest

Point of Interest is similar to some drones’ Orbit mode, where you can choose a subject to capture footage of, and the Potensic D88 will automatically circle it while recording video. This gives you a perfect 360° shot of the subject without the hassle and inconsistencies of manual shot composition and piloting.

Waypoint

You can command the Potensic D88 to fly to your desired path by pre-programming in on the smartphone app with the Waypoint functionality.

Just plot the points you want the drone to fly along and it will automatically oblige, giving you a hands-free experience when wanting to change shooting locations or more control over your camera perspective for a bit of shot variety.

This is very useful for amateur filmmaking purposes — or just recording a video for social media.

Follow Me

Just as the name suggests, Follow Me allows the Potensic D88 to track your motion and keep you in frame for the shot, while giving you a good background capture as well. This is handy for solo excursions when you want that third-person perspective without having to manually pilot and film yourself at the same time, giving you chance to use your hands for other things.

Headless Mode

Another beginner-friendly feature is the Potensic D88’s Headless mode. Basically, it tells the drone to ignore front-end orientation for flight control, and instead respond to your control inputs in a straightforward manner. When you push the directional lever to the right, the drone will turn right, and so on, and so forth. This means you won’t have to think about the craft’s orientation on the 3D plane and fly it just as you would have envisioned.

Optical Flow/Ultrasonic Sensors

These sensors are situated at the belly of the drone and take care of altitude gauging and flight stability of the Potensic D88, making it stable even during windy flight conditions.

Battery Life

The Potensic D88 has a 3400 mAh modular LiPo battery, giving you about 20 minutes of flight time, more or less.

This is good news for those wanting to take aerial shots or are filming scenes that require some degree of following. 20 minutes is honestly a pretty impressive flight time, if you’re not well-versed in the world of drones. In this price range, you’ll usually find battery lives in the range of 10-15 minutes.

If you want to boost the battery life further, there are additional battery packs that you can buy and they’re not too pricey.

To pack 20 minutes of flight time in, depending on the flying conditions and the features you’re using, of course, it will take around 4 hours to recharge the batteries. It does come with a charger that can accommodate two battery packs per charging session, so there’s that.

Camera

The Potensic D88 has a 5-MP, 1/3 inch CMOS sensor camera that supports up to 2K resolution. While most drones in this price range go for 1080p cameras, this one doesn’t skimp out on the optics department with its 2K-capable video and 5-MP photo shooter.

It also features an impressive 130° field of view, giving you a taste of that wide-angle goodness. It also gives you 90° of vertical adjustment range to change the camera perspective to your desired level.

While you only get 1-axis gimbal stabilization with this drone, we can’t complain too much about the decent stability it offers, although it isn’t really comparable with a 3-axis gimbal in terms of the smoothness of footage.

Clarity isn’t a problem for the Potensic D88, as it takes impressive photos and videos with an eye for detail, but be mindful of lighting as it can affect the vibrancy of your shots.

Ease Of Use

The Potensic D88 has an OEM controller that’s been rebranded for Potensic’s use, which sports a simple brick design that has dual joysticks and four dedicated buttons for functions like GPS mode or photo capture. At the center is a monochrome screen that reads out basic telemetry stats like battery level and signal strength, which can be handy.

For the grips, it has two thin handles that rest on your palms but are too small to provide any real level of comfort, especially with the added weight of your smartphone. As for the smartphone holder, it is positioned at the top of the controller for better FPV functionality and access.

We’re having mixed feelings about the Potensic D88’s controller, but you shouldn’t be overly deterred by its less than desirable ergonomics if you think you have your heart set on this capable UAV.

Design and Build Quality

One of the most attractive design features of this quadcopter is its foldability, which allows you to tuck it into a TV remote-sized package for that much-coveted portability.

The aesthetics are a bit unique as well, with the Potensic D88 not giving in to the aerodynamic trend of today’s drones. Instead, it goes with a rather boxy design, with a chrome and matte finish combination, which might mislead some to thinking that it’s made from aluminum or alloy.

The feel of the product is a small downside to the D88 as it does look a little cheap, though this is often the case with drones as they need to be built to stay light, which this is at just over 500g.

The craft is mostly built from durable plastic material which comprises most of its weight, but doesn’t sacrifice ruggedness. This bird can take a small amount of beating without impairing flight functions. This isn’t an excuse to fly it haphazardly, though, so be careful with it.

Performance

Despite its smaller stature, the Potensic D88 can achieve up to 50 kph in flight thanks to its efficient 1350KV brushless motors. This type of motor is more efficient, consumes less power, generates less heat and friction, and inherently has a longer service lifespan than brushed ones.

Also, stability is no problem with the weight, optimal flow sensors, and GPS all working together to make the Potensic D88 a stable bird in the skies, even in some windy conditions.

Response is top-notch, as the Potensic D88 reacts to your control inputs in real-time without many issues, albeit nearing the 1.6 km control range might pose some problems like the signal cutting out at times, so gauge your flight range carefully. You probably have no real reason to fly it that far away from you, anyway.

This flight performance is on par with its similarly-priced competitors, if not a little better, making the Potensic D88 one of the most beginner-friendly fliers out there today.

We have heard that some users have had issues with calibration and also with camera quality, but we didn’t experience either of these things during our testing. Some drones do have issues from time to time and refunds for faulty products are always an option.

Potensic D88 Drone
649 Reviews
Potensic D88 Drone
  • [4K Full HD 5G WiFi Camera]: 5G WiFi high-speed image transmission(820ft-984ft) without...
  • [Rich Functionality]: Foldable fuselage, easy to carry and store, powerful brushless...
  • [Strong Power System]: Four 1350KV brushless motors enable the D88 to fly stably at high...
  • [Safe Flight]: The combination of optical flow positioning and ultrasonic altitude...
  • [Compact Convenience]The D88 wings are completely foldable and its body is slimline,...

Final Thoughts

The Potensic D88 is a worthy contender in the sub-$300 drones arena with its performance, assistive features, beefy flight time, and a superior 2K camera that just about trumps any other model that costs a similar price.

We’re giving it a big plus point for the portability it offers due to its folding design, which makes it a perfect snag for adventurers who want to make some content while exploring the great outdoors.

Though we aren’t huge fans of the controller, it doesn’t take away the fact that it is still very functional and easy to use — it just needs a bit of getting used to.

We don’t think you’d be going too far wrong if you picked up the D88.

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