i-Helicopter review: A remote control helicopter that works with your iPhone or Android phone
- Insanely fun
- Free worldwide shipping
- Decent price per squeal ratio
- A little delicate
- Controlling altitude can be hard
- Envious stares
You will probably never understand how much more enjoyable it is to review a product like the Lightspeed i-Helicopter compared to a printer. This helicopter will provide a lot of fun until you inevitably fly it into something solid with a little too much force.
Price$ 60.00 (AUD)
When the i-Helicopter arrived it was probably the single greatest threat to productivity in our office since we pitted two Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners against each other in the PC World Test Centre.
Like a plague (or perhaps even a less clichéd metaphor), this smartphone-controlled helicopter progressively disrupted the office workflow. In other words, once it arrived and was fully charged, I couldn't resist staging a demonstration for every division in the company [Your crashes were most amusing - Ed].
The 'iHelicopter Lightspeed Phone Controlled i-Helicopter' is pretty much what it sounds like: A diminutive flying vehicle that you can control with an app you install on your phone. The app is free and is available for the iPhone as well as a growing list of Android handsets. The magic is courtesy of a small IR transmitter about half the size of a Bic cigarette lighter that plugs into your phone's headphone jack.
Both the helicopter and the IR transmitter require charging, which is done using a cord that plugs into a USB port on a computer. Sadly only one cord is included, which is extremely frustrating when you've got Ride of the Valkyries cued up on YouTube. The transmitter has a quoted time of an hour to charge fully; the helicopter 40 minutes.
After charging, the fun began and we proceeded to fly our little chopper into everyone and everything. The smartphone app has a simple on-screen joystick for direction and a slider for altitude (you can also enable motion sensing and use your phone's gyroscope to control motion).
The helicopter can be quite difficult to control at first, and I strongly recommend testing it in a room that's not full of breakable objects. But even when it's flying into cubicle walls, computers and co-workers it is insanely fun.
It is, however, a little delicate. Until you're comfortable with controlling it, avoid using it outside: It can go extremely high, as the editor of Computerworld and I discovered in a nearby park, and it doesn't take kindly to less-than-delicate landings. However, even when we'd managed to damage severely the tail rotor thanks to some over enthusiastic vertical movement, the helicopter still worked. (It's worth noting that the helicopter isn't really meant for outdoor use; we're just a bunch of geeky rebels.)
Probably the hardest thing in terms of control is achieving a nice, even flying altitude. But then a lot of the fun is having the helicopter careening about the place wildly.
All up this is probably one of the more fun ideas for a Christmas gift for a gadget lover that we've encountered this year. At only $US60 including free worldwide shipping from http://www.i-helicopters.net/ (and £29.99 at http://www.paramountzone.com for European customers]], I think it's decently priced as well. I had an absurdly fun time flying it round (I am just a big kid it turns out), and more than one co-worker was green with envy.
Techworld Australia features:
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
- This week in games: Free Titanfall 2 weekend, Star Wars Battlefront meets Rogue One
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- FTManager - Field ServicesVIC
- CCData Modeller and Business Analyst - Integration ProjectQLD
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCService Desk Consultant-Baseline Clearance RequiredNSW
- FTChief ArchitectVIC
- TPAnsarada Data Room AdministratorNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantNSW
- FTFull Stack Web Developer - UI/UX - .NET or JAVANSW
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- TPProject CoordintorVIC
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- CCNetwork Security Specialist - Palo Alto Firewall ExpertVIC
- CCProgram Support OfficerNSW
- TPPrincipal Business Analyst - DAFFQLD
- CCNetwork Design EngineerACT
- TPProject Manager - Data ManagementSA
- FTSAP BW ConsultantACT
- TPSenior Network EngineerNSW
- TPInfrastructure ArchitectVIC
- TPBusiness Objects DeveloperNSW
- CCCloud Solution Architect - Financial Services - Continuous IntegrationNSW
- FTTechnical Content CoordinatorVIC
- TPService Desk AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Drupal DeveloperNSW