Written by Adam Furgang
The Wingsland M5 quadcopter is the first drone I purchased more for how it looks than what it can do. Drones are awesome. We always knew that—long before any of us got FAA certification or moved toward using them in commercial endeavors. This drone looks crazy cool, like something designed for a sci-fi film. I paid $367.61 when I ordered it off Amazon.com. It took a long, full-month to arrive from someplace called Shenzhen, which is located in southeast China. It's pretty much on the opposite side of the planet from me, so I guess waiting a month and paying no tax is not a bad deal. It arrived in great shape in a nicely branded cardboard box. No English instructions were included, but you can find a PDF from Wingsland here. The specs are here and there is a "Coming Soon" spot for downloads.
The M5 is a nice, medium-sized drone that is plastic and rubber, but it feels well built and it has a beautifully designed body. It looks like a drone designed for the Tom Cruise film, Oblivion.
In the box you will find:
• 1 drone
• 1 remote control
• 6 props
• 1 battery
• 1 wall charger for the drone battery
• 1 USB cable to charge the remote control (no outlet attachment included)
• Chinese instructions
There is a nice iOS/Android app you can download for free and link to your cell. It was easy to set up on my iPhone X. Easy to fly. Props are clearly labeled and attach easily. The battery attaches with a cable, but that is also clearly labeled and attaches easily. The battery locks in place with a quick release switch.
The M5 weighs enough that it must be registered with the FAA, even if you are just flying for fun. The 720P/250FPS M5 camera is not good enough to be used for any serious business, but it can still accomplish quite a bit just for fun. You can see from the one still SOOTC POV image above that was shot on the M5 that the camera is suitable for only limited recreation, not any serious photographic shooting. The camera is fixed. No gimbal. It's aimed downward, so once you get it up a bit you will be able to see forward and down. It was $367.61 when I bought it. I'm not sure why it is $437.66 now. Maybe they messed up the price. Lucky me.
The Wingsland website states: "Max Transmission Distance 100m (No distracting environment)." As someone who knows that I need to always keep line of sight, that is still quite a distance. It's less than a mile, but I'd not be flying that far anyway.
I'm not sure why Wingsland does not have more of a presence in the US market. I know that the S6 is available at Best Buy. Beyond that, buying a Wingsland drone online seems to be the only game in town right now.
I suggest checking out the Wingsland News page here. There is another wicked cool-looking drone called the K3 that is pictured in a blog entry here. Check it out and sign up to be notified by Wingsland when it becomes available here.
Overall I think WIngsland is a good company that will need to iron out a few kinks to entrench itself more into the US market. Their websites and PFD instructions are littered with grammar errors and instructions that become lost in translation. A decent writer and editor (yes Wingsland, I can help) will go a long way in polishing the company's appearance.
I give the M5 four out of five stars because I think it could use an extra battery, printed English instructions, and eight props instead of just six. The fact that I paid $367.61 when I bought it and now it is $437.66 on Amazon is odd. I hope that for that $70 price bump the English instructions are now included in the box—as well as the extra two props. A case would be nice too, for toting around town.
I'm excited and hoping for more great SUAS/drones from Wingsland in the coming months.