So my kids have been begging to Whoop, and who am I to say no?
I’m a dad, that’s who.
But then I found the Eachine E013 “Small Pepper” on Banggood and I figured at the sale price of under $70 each (retail $130) it’s worth the shot.
What Is It?
In my case, I bought the kids the RTF pack with goggles. These are 6mm brushed micro quad-copters, and in the box you get literally everything you need to decide if this stuff is for you.
- Eachine E013 – 6mm brushed whoop with camera
- Spare Props
- 200mAh battery
- Charging Cables
- A single-antenna version of the Eachine VR-006 Goggles
- Stickers for the whoop
- A pretty nice box and storage foam, actually
There is a goggles-free version on sale for about $34 (regular about $100) as well.
The Whoop itself isn’t anything spectacular. Despite coming stock with 17,000 kv motors, it feels slugging compared to some of my whoops, but that may be going from Porches to Toyotas. It’s really solid, stable flight and has many of the one-button tricks you expect in a China-whoop.
The remote is significantly bigger than the E010 remote, and feels less toy-like. The sticks are metal and larger for thumb-fliers, but even worked OK for this pincher.
The camera on the whoop is a 1000 TVL CMOS camera and has a reasonably good picture on it. These all come stock with a dipole antenna, and the button to change band and channel is accessible through the canopy. Unfortunately the camera is a 0-degree tilt though.
Once I’m in the air, like I said before it’s solid and stable flight if not slow compared to some racing whoops. The big speed issue is that the flight controller seems like it has a very low maximum angle – something on the order of 10 degrees. It is just SLOW feeling.
Because I didn’t have my scale on me, I didn’t get a chance to weigh them. And since they’re for my kids I haven’t done a tear down either.
These things are small people. Like… fidget spinner for reference small
When they say mini they’re not kidding.
That said, these compact little things aren’t too bad. They charge via USB, have an onscreen display of voltage, and have a pretty good picture compared to the Eachine VR D2 (not the Pro).
The goggles are stupid light, and for flying around my office had a really good picture quality the entire time. They also make good “passenger” goggles – I took my Acrowhoop up after some repairs and shoved the goggles on a coworker who is now waiting on his own E013 setup.
It’s also worth noting that they have AV-in on them too, which is pretty handy.
Who This is Best For
So when I was toying with this, I was thinking through the people this is “best” for.
If you’re looking to get some kids in the air and not spend a lot of money, this is a great buy. I can see this being a bulk-buy for school clubs and STEM projects or as a thing to shove at your kids and whoop around the house in all winter long. It’s cheap, solid, and gets them in the air.
The FPV Curious
The next group I see this being a really solid buy is like my coworker who is getting his set. Maybe you’re curious about flying FPV but you don’t want to spend a lot of cash. This gets you a cheap and serviceable experience out of the box for not a lot of cash.
The downside is any pilot who sticks with this will probably end up growing out of all this hardware and fast.
Whoop Pilots With an Eye at the Community
A lot of times when I’m at an FPV event in a semi-public space, I tend to spend a lot of time explaining the hobby to people and letting them try on my goggles.
If I get it at the sale price, a kit like this enables me to just let them use the spare goggles while I fly, and the camera itself is easily reusable (or I can put a proper FC in it and build me a whoop). I can also just let people try it out as my “beater” drone that I don’t care about as much to get a taste for it.
All In All
Most serious pilots really won’t care too hard about this, except as gifts. But if you are interested in starting up with FPV or have a friend who is, try and get it on the sale price. Even if they don’t have the bundle with goggles, the VR-006 can be bought separately for about an extra $10 over the bundle price (and comes with two antennas!).
A good entry product, but overall something most pilots are only going to buy as extras.