Although it doesn’t have some key features like the  automatic firmware updates or the latest technology for efficiently managing network traffic, but at the economical price of $89.99, this is acceptable.

The router also has two USB ports and the capability of using open-source software.

Design:

Axis Vidius is a small, adorable little drone which measures at just just 2.5 x 2.5 inches wide/long (from rotor blade tip to tip) and only 1 inch high. Its very lightweight, only 0.57 ounces which means you don’t need to get registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. Its a little bigger and heavier than the another model produced by Axis called the Aerius. Axis Vidius Drone 1

The body is made of glossy black plastic which provides the Vidius a stealthy kind of look. That stealth kind of appearance is only visible due to bright LED lights on the arms underneath the rotors, having bright-green LEDs on the front and red ones on the back. These can’t be turned off, but they blink to indicate a low battery or a loss of signal.   Axis Vidius Drone-up-side-view

Axis Vidius has a 1-megapixel camera which can be found on the body of the drone. The tiny lens (smaller than a mobile camera) gives an unimpeded view and users don’t see the rotors or the drone itself in the recorded videos or captured photos.

Controller:

The Vidius can be controlled using two methods: by using the included remote or by using the free app available on iOS and Android. For most users, the app is a convenient option as it has more controls. The app is connected to the Vidius through a shared Wi-Fi network which is created by the Vidius itself.axis-vidius-app-controls

When the “Go Fly!” button is clicked on the app, the app displays a live feed of the video streaming from the drone’s camera. Besides this, there are two virtual control sticks and various number of buttons. These buttons have different features like return you to the start screen, take a photo, start capturing video, show captured video and photos, set gyroscope control, switch to the controller, and reverse the screen.

The left virtual stick controls throttle and rotation, makes the drone rise when you pull up and rotate it when the stick is moved left and right. The right virtual stick controls forward/back and left/right movement. Around these are trim controls that can offset the center point of the sticks if the drone is unbalanced. axis-vidius-with-controller

The original remote control of the Vidius is a also a small device, around double the size of the Vidius itself. It easily fits into palm. There are limited controls and switches on the remote unit: two control sticks, a power switch and two trim switches for resetting the center point of the sticks. You can’t view the video feed from the controller. It is powered by two AAA batteries that sits under a panel on the rear of the controller.

While flying the Vidius, either through the controller or the app, it connects to the drone over a 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi connection, over a distance of about 25 to 35 feet. That’s quite good for a small drone like this.

Flying:

Like other small drones, the Vidius is a little difficult to fly. The user loses control of it really easily because of its light weight. It does have a built-in gyroscope that helps to keep the Vidius at level, but still the Vidius’ small size and light weight make it very easy for tilting or flipping out of control. Its flyable but requires some practice.  axis-vidius-float-BW

There are three flight modes, both in remote and in app. The 30 Percent mode is for beginners, restricting the Vidius to slow turns. The 60 Percent and 100 Percent modes take the training wheels off, allowing the drone to climb and turn much faster.

Flying requires a light touch because even a slight movement of either the real or virtual control sticks can send it spinning away

One unique thing in the Vidius is the gyroscopic mode which after being activated, can control the drone by moving your phone or tablet in any direction you want the drone to fly. It requires practice before trying.

Photos and Video:

The Vidius’ inclusion of a camera is one of the plus point towards greater selling of this new drone, but the quality of the video is unsatisfactory. The issue begins with the resolution: The pictures are less than 1 megapixel (1100 x 880 pixels), and the video is recorded at 420 x 330 pixels. All the photos and videos are saved on the controlling smartphone or tablet and not on the drone.

On anything other than a sunny day, the video turns grainy and flat-looking, which reminded me of a poorly compressed cartoon

The smartphone app that stream the video increases the resolution to a more common resolution of 720 x 576 pixels (the same as of a SDTV). this makes it convenient to share and edit the video, but it also makes the images glitchy and dreary on a higher-resolution screen.

Comparatively, the images and videos of Axis Vidius are very much dreary than those of the $500 Parrot Bebop 2 and the $699 DJI Phantom 3, both of which have a full-HD 10 megapixel camera. But on the other hand, those drones are much costlier than the Axis Vidius which is just $95.

Repairability:

There is only one repairable thing on the Axis Vidius and that us the rotor blades which can be replaced if they get damaged. Axis sells a replacement set of motor blades for $15

Battery Life:

The Vidius has a 150-mAh small battery that provides a flight time of about 6 minutes. That’s quite obvious for this type of small drone; the similar Skeye Hexa and Axis Aerius drones lasted for the same amount of time as well. One plus point is that it looks as the extra consumption of battery from the usage of camera and Wi-Fi connection have not affected the battery life.

The battery is fixed in the drone and you can’t remove it and replace it. It is charged from a USB port using the included cable. Full charge requires about 35 minutes.

THE GOOD
  • Small and cute design
  • Flies fast
  • Smallest video drone available
  • Can be controlled from a controller or smartphone
THE BAD
  • Video is low-res and noisy in low light
  • Finicky to fly
  • App is too basic

Bottom Line:

The Vidius is an enjoyable device and it is ideal if you are looking for a cheap, entertaining drone that can take short videos. Once you get used to it, the Vidius is a enjoyable drone to fly, and is efficient enough to give you a good amount of speed and some sharp turns.

Buy Axis Vidius Drone
List Price: $95.00
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