The Syma X8G: A Beginner’s Quadcopter


Syma quadcopterMy brother bought me a Syma X8G drone for Christmas, and I’ve been having a terrific time learning to fly it. At times, however, I did find the instruction manual a little perplexing, to say the least, so I’m going to be documenting what I learn as I go along here.

First Flight

For your very first flight, I’d suggest leaving the camera behind as there is a lot to think about with just the basic controls. Push the throttle right up to the top, then pull it to the bottom. The drone lights will now be on solidly, and it is prepared to fly. Before you start flying nonetheless, ensure that the drone is on a level surface and push both the left and right hand and the bottom right stick together and hold for a couple of seconds, the lights will flash rapidly for a second before going back to solid. Doing this helps calibrate the X8G quadcopter when it is hovering, and it will try to remain in this location, and it recalls this as being flat. You will likely still need to tweak the trim.

You are now ready to start flying but I’d suggest keeping it low, and near to you personally, a quadcopter can fly extremely high or far away but it requires skill and control to fly it low and nearby. Try merely hovering around head height and then landing lightly. After you’ve mastered this, try eventually rotating and moving side to side, forwards and backward. Pretty quickly you’ll feel confident in flying higher and farther away from you.


The principal reason for this was that I did not know which way the drone was facing, so going backward on the stick didn’t make the drone move back. However, I’d known that in the headless mode it is consistently backward and it does not matter which way the drone is facing is always forwards!

The Camera

The camera on the Syma X8G is one of the crucial selling points relating to this drone. The G in the version number is intended to stand for “Go-Pro,” as in it’s a Go-Pro “fashion” camera. It appears relatively safe from my brief use of it so far although I can see why many people choose to upgrade with the addition of a camera and a gimbal with wifi.

To use it, all you must do is use the swap to the side of the joystick that is left. Push up to shoot a picture (red light on the rear of the camera flashes) or shove down to begin recording video (red light comes on and stays on) and shove down again to stop recording.

High Speed

The first couple of times I flew my drone I only left it in low speed not understanding what it was for or what high-speed did. I did locate that (particularly at higher elevations) it would get blown by the wind sometimes though and fought to come back which was incredibly frustrating (and a bit frightening a few times!)

The past time it flew nevertheless there was a bit of wind so I was careful to be sure it stays low as it’d just move to the right in any way coming from my right. I was hovering the drone before me and holding the right stick to the right. I then pressed the button on the top left corner of the transmitter which switches the quadcopter between high and low speed. To my joy, the drone did not lose any elevation, leaned to the right and powered directly into the breeze. The entire thing became a lot more responsive which might not be too ideal for an initial flight but it’s perfect for when there’s a pesky wind!

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