MJX Bugs 8 / Bugs 6 250mm Brushless FPV Racing Drone [World Exclusive First] In-Depth Review @ ModSynergy.com
The word "drone" has gained popularity worldwide, and the consumer demand for drones has been steadily increasing over the past few years. This market continues to grow, offering endless possibilities for drone applications. Governments worldwide have recognized the rise of drones and have implemented regulations to address their usage.
According to a 2017 report by 'The NPD Group,' drone sales in the USA have experienced a 117% year-over-year growth. While premium-priced drones have maintained a steady market, there is a significant demand for lower-cost drones, particularly during the holiday season. The report also highlights that drone buyers are attracted to models packed with advanced technology.
Among the various types of drones, racing drones have gained immense popularity. The inaugural World Drone Prix competition held in Dubai on March 11, 2016, marked a significant milestone for drone racing, with a large prize pool and international recognition. The event was even televised on ESPN, indicating the growing appeal of drone racing as a sport. Notably, a 15-year-old British teenager won $250,000 in one of the competitions.
It's important to note that the term "drone" is often misused and encompasses a wide range of multi-rotor aircraft. Drones, in their basic form, refer to multi-rotor aircraft that utilize multiple motors, making them more flexible and complex compared to single-motor helicopters. Drones can be seen as a hybrid combination of airplanes and helicopters, offering the best of both worlds. The most common type of drone today is the quadcopter, which features four motors. While the term "quadcopter" is technically accurate, the general usage of "drone" has become more prevalent.
In late 2016, I came across a Chinese company called MEIJIAXIN TOYS CO., LIMITED (MJX), known for offering affordable toy-grade drones to consumers since the early days of the market. I had the opportunity to review MJX's unique Bugs 3, their first venture into the premium brushless drone market. Upon testing it, I found it to be the best drone I had flown that year. The MJX Bugs 3 gained widespread popularity and has been selling well globally. If you haven't already, I encourage you to read my MJX Bugs 3 Brushless Drone Review for more details.
Today, I'm thrilled to share with you an exclusive first review of MJX's entry into the FPV racing drone segment. MJX aims to capture a share of the growing and lucrative drone racing market with their Bugs 8 250mm FPV Brushless Racing Drone, which they market as an entry-level option for beginners in drone racing. As someone who hasn't flown a racing drone before, I am excited to test and evaluate the MJX Bugs 8.
Without further delay, let's dive into this comprehensive review!
Editor's Note: In different regions of the world, the MJX Bugs 8 is known as the MJX Bugs 6. Both models are identical in features and specifications.
"MJX" MEIJIAXIN TOYS CO., LIMITED is one of the main professional manufacturers in the R/C radio control model industry. The faith of “dream” is the motive power behind company’s growth, MJX is always committed itself to development of “Toys and hobby”, which target is to bring incredible, new entertainment experience to the consumers all over the world.
With the spirit of “Innovation & Quality” and the mission to create “Passion and Happiness” for the blue planet, MJX is always devoting itself to develop, produce and sell the most reliable and safest toys & models. From radio control cars to radio control helicopters & multicopters, every product is well-designed and with innovative technology applied. Consumers could enjoy the feeling of passion, happy and safe that MJX R/C technology brings."
MJX Bugs 8 250mm Brushless FPV Racing Drone Features & Specifications
Note: Use your mouse to hover over photos below for rollover images & click for full size image...
The MJX Bugs 8 250mm FPV brushless racing drone comes in a visually appealing corrugated box that features an attractive design, similar to the packaging of the Bugs 3. However, the Bugs 8 surpasses the Bugs 3 in terms of visual appeal. The packaging is compact and designed to protect the contents during shipping, with a Styrofoam core inside despite the outer cardboard box being somewhat weak.
The box also includes a carry handle, which makes it convenient for customers to transport the drone after purchase. MJX has opted for a straightforward approach with the packaging, prominently displaying large photos of the Bugs 8 on the box. Additionally, the Bugs 8 logo and various symbols are present, highlighting key features of the drone. The prominent photos on the packaging make it easy to spot the product on store shelves.
The MJX Bugs 8 is a ready-to-fly (RTF) drone package that includes both the drone and the flight controller. The model being tested is the top-end complete version, which includes additional components such as the optional 5.8 GHz FPV monitor, 5.8 GHz FPV camera, and MJX's FPV VR goggles. These additional components are packaged separately.
The drone comes 99% factory assembled, with only the drone battery needing to be inserted to get it ready for flight. Additionally, 4 x AA batteries are required to power the flight controller. If the optional FPV LCD monitor is purchased, it will need to be connected either to the flight controller or the FPV goggles. The review will cover the setup and connection process for these components in detail.
In comparison to the MJX Bugs 3, the Bugs 8 is a smaller drone, measuring 250mm diagonally, while the Bugs 3 measures 310mm diagonally. Racing drones are typically designed to be lightweight, as this allows for faster acceleration, better handling, and longer battery life. As a fan of auto racing, you understand the importance of weight reduction for performance.
It will be interesting to identify the differences between the Bugs 3 and Bugs 8, particularly since the Bugs 3 is already relatively lightweight, especially when the tall landing gear and propeller guards are removed.
The MJX Bugs 8 250mm brushless FPV racing drone is designed to make orientation in the air easier for beginners and professionals alike. It features a vehicle headlight and taillight setup with bright red LEDs in the rear and white LEDs in the front, making it easy to distinguish in the air.
However, it should be noted that the Bugs 8 is not recommended for absolute beginners who have never flown drones before. It is better suited for those who already have prior experience and are looking to venture into the world of FPV racing drones. This is evident from the absence of propeller guards, indicating a more advanced flying experience.
The Bugs 8 package includes optional upgrade parts such as the MJX C5830 5.8 GHz 720p FPV camera and the MJX D43 4.3-inch LCD receiver display. The high-end model being reviewed also includes the MJX G3 FPV VR goggles.
Three main selling features are mentioned on the box which include...
Brushless Motors (1806 1800KV): MJX uses powerful brushless motors instead of inferior brushed motors found on the majority of toy grade drones. Bugs 8 utilizes the same MT1806 1800KV type brushless motors that are also found on Bugs 3. These motors are advertised as powerful and efficient, having good payload ability, and lastly affordable for replacement purchases.
4-in-1 ESC (Stuck & High-Temperature Protection): Also known as Electronic Speed Controller, these are 99% of the time used for brushless motor set-ups to help convert signals from the flight controller and relay that information to the brushless motors telling them how fast they should spin. ESC's have three wires, one wire is for power, one goes to the flight controllers throttle channel, and the other goes to the brushless motor. So they are all communicating with each other. MJX adds features into their ESC such as built-in automatic lock protection and high temperature lock protection to prevent the ESC from burning out.
2.4 GHz Two Way Communication: No different than most other drones on the market, using this frequency has been tried and tested and allows uninterrupted use without interference from other 2.4 GHz signals nearby. Bugs 3 introduced the weak signal and low voltage remote control alarm feature which turns out to be amazing features to have so I’m happy to see them also on Bugs 8.
An alarm will beep a warning through the flight controller indicating when the drone is out of range when flown too far away, and there’s another audible beep alarm that indicates when the battery voltage is nearing low battery status. A new feature is an audible beep tone alarm through the flight controller when the drone’s battery is disconnected.
All these audible alarms are excellent features to have and make everything easier for the pilot. Other toy grade drones have just a blinking LED under the drone which is quite hard to judge while in mid-air.
MJX Bugs 8 racing drone contains all of the high-tech features commonly associated with drones such as 4 channels, 6-axis digital stabilization, which uses 3-accelerometers to control and maintain its orientation and 3 more to main stability, despite vibrations of the motors and outdoor elements like the wind trying to throw it off. This helps ensure that anyone can pick up the controller and fly with relative ease since it’s automatically enabled. Bugs 8 can do 360-degree flips in four directions with a push of a button and nudge of the directional stick.
The Bugs 8 operates in the 2.4GHz digital RF spectrum, and it is advertised to have a range of 300-500 meters. However, it's important to note that the actual range can vary depending on various factors such as environmental conditions and potential interference. As part of the review process, it would be advisable to evaluate the drone's range capabilities, considering its FPV capability.
Since the Bugs 8 is positioned as a racing drone, it does not include advanced features like altitude hold, GPS, headless mode, return to home, or one-touch ascend and descend. These features are typically found in more advanced consumer drones that focus on aerial photography or autonomous flight.
The MJX Bugs 8 comes in a well-protected bundle, with a corrugated box and thick Styrofoam ensuring the safe shipping of the drone and its components. The package includes the Bugs 8 brushless FPV racing drone, a 2.4 GHz flight controller, spare propellers, a propeller end-cap change tool, a screwdriver, propeller washers, USB charge cables, a USB battery charger for 2-3 cell batteries, two 7.4V 1300mAh 25C lithium-polymer XT30 batteries, a 5.8 GHz FPV monitor with a sun visor, stickers, and a user's manual. It's described as a generous bundle that covers essential accessories for a complete flying experience.
The MJX Bugs 8 includes a charger for the batteries that is simple to use. It connects to the balance lead of the battery and requires a separate power source, such as your own cell phone charger. The charger has red and green LEDs to indicate power status and charging progress. The charger included with the Bugs 8 is faster than the one included with the Bugs 3, with a charging rate of 1.5A compared to 500mA. However, it's important to note that the included battery for the Bugs 8 is rated for 1300mAh, and lithium-polymer batteries can typically be charged at a rate of 1C, which in this case would be 1300mA or 1.3A. Therefore, the theoretical maximum of 1.5A is slightly quicker than the ideal charging rate. It is suggested to use a smartphone wall charger that is close to 1.5A or, for added safety, a 5V 1A smartphone wall charger.
The inclusion of two batteries in the bundle is a great feature as it reduces downtime and allows for more playtime. The included 7.4V 1300mAh 25C lithium-polymer XT30 batteries are rated for up to 14 minutes of flight time, and this claim can be verified later in the review process.
It's great to see that MJX includes a full set of replacement propellers with the Bugs 8. Having spare propellers included in the bundle is indeed a thoughtful addition, as it ensures that users have minimal downtime in the event of a crash or damaged propellers. Even though you haven't needed to use the spare propellers, it's always reassuring to have them on hand for those unexpected situations. The inclusion of a small screwdriver is also a practical addition, as it can be helpful for future installations, replacing parts, or if you choose to fly the drone without the pre-installed landing legs.
Visual Overview & Build Quality
Measurements per Configuration:
Diagonally from motor to motor: 250 mm or 9.84 inches or 25 cm
Side to side, motor to motor: 180 mm or 7.08 inches or 18 cm
Ground clearance with short pre-installed landing legs: Approx. 40.7 mm or 1.60 inches or 4.07 cm
(Note: The short pre-installed landing legs on Bugs 8 is a little taller than the short landing legs pre-installed on Bugs 3)
Weight per Configuration:
Bugs 8 Drone Weight (No Battery): 282 grams or 0.62 LBS
7.4v 1300mAh 25C Battery Weight: 92 grams or 0.20 LBS
RTF (Ready-to-Fly) Weight: 374 grams or 0.82 LBS
It's impressive to see that the build quality of the MJX Bugs 8 is similar to that of the Bugs 3, with a strong and durable construction. The use of plastic materials throughout the drone helps keep the weight low while maintaining strength. The top canopy, made of pure nylon fiber material, offers flexibility and impact resistance. The compact body of the Bugs 8 feels tight, rigid, and of higher quality compared to typical toy-grade drones.
In terms of aesthetics, the Bugs 8 stands out with its aggressive and sleek design. The LED light show adds to its overall appeal, making it one of the most visually striking and attractive drones you've come across.
Regarding the motors, the Bugs 8 is stated to use the same MT1806 1800KV brushless motors as the Bugs 3. Although visually different, with the Bugs 8 motor housed in a black metal casing compared to the silver casing of the Bugs 3, both motors are of the same type. The slight differences in motor diameter and casing design may be indicative of variations in manufacturing, and it will be interesting to see if these differences can be felt during flight performance.
It's understandable that there are differences in propeller design and size between the Bugs 8 and Bugs 3 due to their distinct drone classifications and sizes. The Bugs 8, being a smaller and more aggressive entry-level racing drone, has 6" propellers compared to the 7.5" propellers on the larger Bugs 3. The propeller design also varies, with the blades on the Bugs 3 continuing straight through to the other side, while the blades on the Bugs 8 have more of an angled shape and a gap around the center.
It's worth noting that the Bugs 8 is not designed as a camera drone like the Bugs 3. The two drones belong to separate categories, with the Bugs 3 being a larger camera drone and the Bugs 8 being a smaller racing drone. As a result, the Bugs 8 does not provide any camera mounting options other than the pre-installed FPV camera that comes with the drone.
The styling of the MJX Bugs 8 truly lives up to its name, resembling a buzzing dragonfly when viewed from a distance. The front of the drone is particularly interesting, with the two LED lights serving as the drone's eyes, the FPV camera acting as the nose, and a plastic guard overlapping the shield to create the impression of a mouth and head.
Adding to its visual appeal, the Bugs 8 features red anodized aluminum end caps that securely hold the propellers in place when screwed down. In case you encounter difficulty in removing these end caps, a plastic tool is included to assist you. The end caps have a grip diamond pattern, making them easy to remove as long as they are not excessively tightened.
The 5.8 GHz FPV camera on the MJX Bugs 8 is adjustable and can be tilted up and down to achieve different angles. It has locking positions to secure it in place at the desired angle. When the camera is pointed downwards, you can see the ribbon cable that connects to the camera lens. This allows for flexibility in adjusting the camera's field of view to capture the desired footage during flight.
The MJX Bugs 8 features bright white LED headlights and red taillights, which are protected by individual lenses. These LEDs provide excellent visibility during night flights, ensuring that orientation is not an issue. If desired, you can turn off the front headlights by holding down the left speed mode button for two seconds. However, the rear taillights cannot be disabled during flights and remain on until the motors are disabled by the flight controller. This is likely for safety purposes, and it ensures that the drone remains visible even in low-light conditions. Turning off the front headlights during daytime flights can help conserve battery power and extend your flight time.
The MJX Bugs 8 is equipped with both 2.4 GHz and 5.4 GHz antennas, which are mounted on the exterior of the drone. These antennas, located on both ends of the battery compartment bay, are covered with heat shrink wrap for protection. This design, similar to the Bugs 3, allows for an extended flight range. According to MJX, the Bugs 8 has a range of between 300-500 meters.
The Bugs 8, like the Bugs 3, features a lithium-polymer battery enclosed in a plastic enclosure. The battery is inserted and slid into the battery bay of the drone. To ensure a secure fit and prevent the battery from falling out during flights, a piece of foam is placed against the battery cage. This design choice aligns with drone safety regulations that require batteries to be enclosed.
The battery connector used in the Bugs 8 is the XT30 connector, which is different from the JST and micro-LOSI connectors typically found on small drones. The XT30 connector offers advantages such as easier insertion and removal, foolproof orientation, and a secure fit. While the larger XT60 connectors are more common in the industry, the XT30 connectors are suitable for smaller-scale drones like the Bugs 8.
One drawback of the Bugs 8 is the lack of a dedicated power switch. Instead, the drone requires the user to insert and remove the battery connector for power on and power off. It would be more convenient to have a dedicated power switch, but unfortunately, it is not included in the design.
In terms of flight time, the larger Bugs 3 drone was marketed as having a flight time of up to 19 minutes with its 7.4V 1800mAh battery. However, during testing, it was found to offer approximately 12-13 minutes of flight time, depending on the drone's configuration. With the Bugs 8 and its smaller and lighter frame, MJX claims a flight time of up to 14 minutes with the new 7.4V 1300mAh battery. The actual flight times will be verified and evaluated in the review, taking into account the additional power consumption from the FPV camera.
MJX Bugs 8 LED Light Show
MJX Bugs 3 & MJX Bugs 8 Size Comparison
2.4 GHz Flight Controller
The MJX Bugs 8 comes with a conventional flight controller that operates on the 2.4GHz wireless band. This flight controller is the same as the one included with the Bugs 3 drone, with a few notable differences. The buttons at the top of the controller are now labeled with symbols, making it easier for pilots to remember their functions. Additionally, the controller itself is black instead of white, matching the design of the Bugs 8.
The flight controller has a compact size, which I find advantageous, particularly because it suits my smaller hands. However, one downside is that the plastic construction of the controller is too smooth and lacks sufficient texture for grip. Other flight controllers often have plastic dimples or other grip-enhancing features. MJX could have included strips of anti-slip tape or incorporated a more textured surface to improve the grip. To address this issue, I plan to add my own anti-slip tape for a better grip, especially during extended flights.
Despite the smoothness of the controller, I enjoy using it because it allows for easy flying. A well-designed flight controller should enable pilots to focus on flying rather than struggling with the controller itself. While the smoothness is a minor drawback, the Bugs 8 flight controller offers excellent ergonomics and is comfortable to hold. The analog flight sticks have a wider range of motion compared to some other controllers, which I consider a positive aspect. The tension of the spring-loaded analog sticks is well-weighted, resulting in smooth maneuver execution.
The flight controller is powered by four AA batteries and weighs 294 grams (0.648 lbs) in flight configuration. It features a convenient carrying handle at the top and a lanyard hook just below the power switch, allowing users to attach it around their necks using their own neck lanyard. The lightweight design of the controller ensures that it doesn't strain the hands during extended flight sessions.
In terms of construction, the flight controller utilizes thick plastic that feels of high quality. It should be able to withstand drops without significant damage. I appreciate the slightly recessed areas on the controller where the middle, ring, and pinky fingers can rest and wrap around, providing a comfortable grip. However, the lack of grip due to the smooth plastic remains a concern and could benefit from improvement.
The flight controller of the MJX Bugs 8 is designed to cater to both thumb flyers and pinch flyers. The two analog sticks protrude upwards, providing a comfortable grip for both flying styles. The tips of the analog sticks have cuts and grooves that offer extra grip, ensuring that thumb flyers can use them without slippage, while pinch flyers have grips on the inside of the stick pods.
The movement of the right analog stick is excellent, providing equal spring-loaded tension and a wider range of motion compared to some other controllers. This allows for more precise flights, as it reduces the sensitivity and touchiness often associated with sticks that have limited range of motion. The increased range of motion allows for linear and progressive movements, making it easier to achieve a stable hover with the Bugs 8. So far, there have been no defects or issues with any buttons or analog sticks getting stuck at different angles, providing a positive overall experience.
Finding the sweet spot for a good hover is easier with a good flight controller like the one on the Bugs 8. In calm weather conditions, the drone can hover without requiring constant corrections. Unlike some controllers that have spring tension for the throttle stick, the Bugs 8 controller only has spring tension for pitch movements.
When the flight controller is powered on, a green LED is illuminated just below the red MJX logo, indicating its status.
The left analog stick controls the throttle (up/down) and yaw (spin-left/right) movements.
The right analog stick controls the pitch (forward/back) and roll (left/right) movements.
Surrounding both analog sticks are trim buttons that allow you to adjust the throttle/yaw and pitch/roll if you notice the drone leaning to one side. Pressing the respective trim button once or multiple times in the desired direction helps center the drone. A long beep confirms that the trim has been set to the neutral center position.
The single red button at the top of the flight controller is not an emergency button but is used to lock or disarm the brushless motors. To bind and pair the flight controller with the drone, ensure that the throttle stick is completely down, then hold the red button while turning on the power switch. Two audible beeps and a blinking green LED indicate that the flight controller is in bind/pairing mode. Connect the battery to the Bugs 8, and the flight controller will automatically bind with the drone. The blinking green LED will become solid, indicating a successful pairing.
The button to the left of the red button is used to cycle between low and high speed modes, and the selection is indicated by an audible tone of one or two beeps. One beep represents low speed mode, while two beeps indicate high speed mode. Holding down this speed mode button for two seconds powers off the drone's LED headlights, saving battery life.
The button to the right of the handle is the 360-degree flip mode button, which allows the drone to perform exciting flips. It is recommended not to perform flips in bad weather conditions to avoid any potential issues. To execute a 360-degree flip, hold the flip button down and nudge the pitch and roll stick (right analog stick) in the desired direction, and the drone will perform the flip.
The flight controller emits an audible warning tone in several situations. Firstly, it provides a warning when the flight controller is turned off while the drone is still connected to the battery. Either turning on the flight controller or removing the battery will stop the constant beeping. Additionally, it emits a warning tone when the drone is flying too far away, indicating the need to bring it closer. Finally, there is an audible warning tone when the drone battery reaches a low voltage status, signaling the pilot to safely land the drone.
Note that when the flight controller is turned off while the motors are still operational, the drone will shut off power to the motors within approximately 2-3 seconds.
(Optional) MJX C5830 5.8 GHz 720p FPV Camera
The MJX Bugs 8 high-end model comes with the MJX C5830 5.8 GHz 720p FPV camera pre-installed. This camera operates in the 5.8 GHz spectrum, which is less crowded compared to the 2.4 GHz spectrum commonly used for drone control. MJX offers a variety of cameras for their drones, and the C5830 is their 720p FPV camera designed for optimal performance.
Choosing a 5.8 GHz camera for your 2.4 GHz drone is recommended to avoid interference between the camera and flight controller signals. When both camera and drone use the same 2.4 GHz frequency, they can interfere with each other and limit the maximum distance that you can fly. Opting for a 5.8 GHz camera ensures that the camera and flight controller operate on separate frequencies, minimizing interference and maximizing the range of your drone.
The MJX C5830 camera is mounted towards the front of the Bugs 8 drone, just above the large rectangular ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) board. If you have the camera pre-installed, there is no need to open the canopy. However, for review purposes, it is worth noting that the FPV camera draws power from the receiver board located below the ESC board. The 5.8 GHz antenna is then routed out of the drone beside the battery compartment, allowing for reliable transmission of the FPV video feed.
MJX deserves credit for using machine-soldered PCBs in the Bugs 8 racing drone, ensuring reliable connections and reducing the risk of shorts or damage from liquids. Additionally, they have taken precautions to protect exposed wires by covering them, further enhancing the durability and safety of the drone's internals. The inclusion of a foam insert on top of the ESC board adds an extra layer of protection when the canopy is installed.
Connecting the MJX C5830 5.8 GHz 720p FPV camera to the drone is incredibly easy and requires no setup. Once the drone is powered on, the camera automatically starts capturing and transmitting video wirelessly. The video feed can be received by the MJX D43 4.3-inch LCD monitor, which acts as the receiver.
It's important to note that the C5830 FPV camera does not rely on a smartphone app for operation. You don't need to use your iPhone or Android smartphone to work with this camera, as the FPV system is independent and doesn't require any SSID connection.
To view the FPV video, simply power on the Bugs 8 drone as usual. Then, use the optional MJX D43 4.3-inch LCD monitor (the receiver) to cycle through the 5.8 GHz channels until you find the specific channel the FPV camera is transmitting on. You'll know you've found the correct channel when the video on the monitor appears sharp and clear, without any fuzziness.
(Optional) MJX G3 FPV VR Goggles
The MJX G3 FPV VR goggles are specifically designed to accommodate the MJX D43 4.3-inch LCD monitor. They have dimensions of approximately 16 cm x 16 cm x 9 cm or 6.3" x 6.3" x 3.5" (length x width x height). The goggles weigh 273 grams or 0.6 pounds, making them lightweight and comfortable to wear during flight sessions.
The MJX G3 FPV VR goggles feature adjustable straps with Velcro fasteners, allowing users to customize the fit according to their head shape and size. The straps provide a secure and comfortable fit during flight sessions.
These goggles also have a thin layer of padding on the strap that rests behind your head, offering additional comfort during extended use. The foam padding that contacts your eyes is approximately 10mm thick, providing a soft and cushioned feel. While the foam compresses easily when you wear the goggles, you mention that you would have preferred a thicker piece of foam surrounding the face for added comfort.
To set up the MJX D43 4.3-inch LCD monitor inside the MJX G3 FPV VR goggles, follow these steps:
1. Pop up the top cover of the goggles to access the interior compartment.
2. Slide the D43 monitor upright down the slot, positioning the ball joint mounting system towards the front of the goggles.
3. Before placing the monitor inside the goggles, ensure that you have already turned on the power to the D43 monitor.
4. Adjust the position of the monitor and the angle of the ball joint to achieve a comfortable viewing position.
5. Close the top cover of the goggles to secure the monitor in place.
It's important to note that the power for the D43 monitor should be turned on before placing it inside the goggles since there is no power switch within the goggles themselves.
With the D43 4.3-inch LCD monitor securely placed in the top slot of the MJX G3 FPV goggles, the weight of the goggles increases to 384 grams or 0.85 lbs. It is important for the user to adjust the straps properly to ensure a snug fit and prevent the goggles from drooping or sliding down during use.
While the bottom of the FPV goggles may have ventilation-like holes, it's worth noting that these are purely for aesthetic purposes and do not provide actual ventilation. The goggles do not require any batteries to operate, and there are no wires to connect to the D43 4.3-inch screen.
The MJX G3 FPV goggles utilize a plastic Fresnel projection lens, which is positioned approximately 5 cm away from where your eyes will be resting. The purpose of this lens is to reduce the minimum distance between your eyes and the D43 4.3-inch screen while magnifying the image displayed on the screen, making it appear larger than its actual size.
While I cannot provide a definitive judgment on the quality of these specific Fresnel lenses compared to others, I can say that they are sufficient for getting started with FPV goggles. The lens generally projects a reasonably clear image, although there may be some minor annoyances or factors to be aware of. The experience of looking through a lens can vary from person to person, so it's subjective and depends on individual preferences and perceptions.
The Fresnel lens used in the MJX G3 FPV goggles does magnify the image, similar to a magnifying glass effect on paper. While the overall clarity of the image is relatively good, there may be some softness noticeable towards the edges of the screen. Additionally, you might observe some light flaring, reflections, or slight halos due to the brightness of the screen. This could be attributed to either the Fresnel lens not having much anti-reflective coating or the need to lower the brightness of the monitor to minimize these effects.
It's worth noting that if you're new to FPV and using a Fresnel lens, it can take some time to get used to the experience. Some individuals may experience motion sickness or find it challenging to adjust their eyes through a Fresnel lens. As with many subjective experiences, your mileage and results may vary.
Regarding the slight tear in the cushion out of the box, it's unfortunate that there was a defect present.
(Optional) MJX D43 5.8 GHz 4.3-Inch LCD Monitor
The MJX D43 5.8 GHz 4.3-inch LCD monitor serves as the receiver for the MJX C5830 5.8 GHz FPV camera on the Bugs 8 drone. It weighs 111 grams or 0.24 lbs and has dimensions of 4.65" x 0.62" x 2.96" or 118.1 mm x 15.74 mm x 75.18 mm (L x W x H).
The monitor's exterior is painted black to match the black flight controller, giving it a cohesive appearance. Before using the monitor, it's important to remove the screen protector film for a clear view.
At the rear of the monitor, there is a mounting system featuring a ball joint. This allows you to easily attach the D43 LCD monitor to the flight controller and adjust its position to your preference.
If you choose to use the MJX G3 VR goggles instead, you can simply detach the ball joint from the rear of the monitor before placing it inside the MJX G3 goggles. This provides flexibility in how you choose to view the FPV feed from the drone.
The MJX D43 5.8 GHz 4.3-inch LCD monitor features a matte finish screen, which is a suitable choice for FPV goggles. The matte finish helps to reduce glare and reflections, providing a clearer view. However, it's important to note that like most matte LCD displays, the screen may be challenging to see in direct sunlight. While the D43 does a decent job in direct sunlight, it may not be the brightest screen available, considering it is an entry-level racing drone.
The D43 LCD monitor uses a TFT TN panel rather than an IPS panel. The advantage of a TN panel is its better response times, which minimizes lag and image ghosting, making it suitable for FPV racing. However, TN panels have more limited viewing angles and the color reproduction may appear flatter compared to IPS panels.
When using the D43 LCD monitor outdoors on a sunny day, you may find that the brightness and contrast of the screen may not be sufficient to overcome the dim appearance. To address this, MJX includes a plastic hood or "sun visor" with the monitor. The sun visor snaps into place on three corners of the monitor's bezel, blocking out sunlight and providing an easier-to-see image.
Overall, the D43 LCD monitor strikes a balance between performance and affordability, considering its purpose as part of an entry-level racing drone.
On the right side of the screen's bezel, there are several buttons and ports. From top to bottom, there is a red LED charge indicator, the G button, the brightness button, the contrast button, and the channel cycle button. The G button is used to enable on-screen visual indicators, while the brightness and contrast buttons allow you to adjust the screen's brightness and contrast levels. The channel cycle button allows you to switch between channels A-D, which have different frequencies.
The right side of the screen also features a micro USB charge port for charging the internal battery, and an on/off power switch located at the bottom.
It's important to note that the 5.8 GHz channel you are in will be retained even during power down, so when you power the screen back up, it will remain on the same channel. The same applies to the brightness and contrast settings; the internal battery keeps these settings in memory, so they will be preserved for the next use.
(Optional) MJX C5830 5.8 GHz 720p FPV Camera -- Unoccupied micro SD Card Slot Works!
It appears that the MJX C5830 5.8 GHz 720p FPV camera has a micro SD card slot, although the user manual and official documentation do not mention its usage beyond FPV purposes. However, upon inserting a micro SD card into the camera, you noticed that the memory card symbol on the MJX D43 4.3-inch LCD monitor disappeared, indicating that the camera is now able to record video.
While the official information provided by MJX may not explicitly state the camera's support for recording video or using a memory card, it seems that the camera does have this capability. By inserting a compatible micro SD card, you can now record video during your flights, as indicated by the estimated number of minutes available for recording.
So I decided to open up the top canopy of the MJX Bugs 8 racing drone and take a closer look at the MJX C5830 5.8 GHz 720p FPV camera. To my surprise, I noticed that the camera has a micro SD card slot, which is currently empty. The Bugs 8 is primarily designed for FPV purposes, and there is no mention in the manual about using the C5830 camera for anything else. However, I was curious, so I inserted my own 16GB micro SD card, and to my delight, once I powered up the Bugs 8, the memory card symbol disappeared, indicating that the camera recognized the card. It also displayed an estimated number of minutes I could record video.
To test the camera's recording capabilities, I tapped once on the camera button on the flight controller, and I saw a red circle flash once on the screen. I assumed that it meant the camera was working. The red circle indicated that a still photo was taken. Then, I held down the camera button for 2-3 seconds, and a time counter started ticking upwards, indicating that video recording had started. It was pretty cool!
To verify if the camera was indeed saving the photos and videos to the micro SD card, I opened up the canopy again and manually removed the card. I then inserted it into my computer, and to my joy, I confirmed that the method worked. However, I must note that since the camera doesn't have a USB port, all file transfers have to be done manually.
The photos and videos captured by the camera have a resolution of 720p, and overall, they are decent. They are usable, but don't expect anything spectacular. I noticed that the photo size indicated compression was being used. The video bitrate varied and reached up to 20.1 Mbps, and the audio track remained constant at 128 kbps, 8000 Hz, 16 bits, 1 channel PCM format.
What surprised me even more was when I checked the EXIF data of the photos. It recognized the camera as the aigo D86, which is actually a vehicle dash camera. This was quite interesting and made me wonder about the origins of the MJX C5830 FPV camera.
I want to emphasize that using the C5830 camera for recording and transferring files manually should be done at your own risk. MJX doesn't advertise or support this functionality, so proceed with caution.
One thing I noticed with the video recording is that the audio track sometimes gets out of sync with the video. Considering that the flight's audio is dominated by the motor noise, it's not really important to have the audio track synchronized.
The MJX C5830 5.8 GHz 720p FPV camera has the capability to record videos and capture still photos, even though it's not officially mentioned. Just keep in mind that transferring files requires manually removing the canopy each time.
I'm excited to share some raw images and videos taken with the camera, so you can see the results for yourself.
How Does The MJX Bugs 8 Fly? What Are My Thoughts? See My Flights!
To make it short, the MJX Bugs 8 250mm brushless FPV racing drone feels like it's the Bugs 3, but on steroids. When I fly it in high-speed mode, the Bugs 8 gives me a thrilling and sporty experience, like driving a Nissan GTR. The sound it produces is more energetic, as if it has some extra RPMs to spare. I believe the smaller and lighter size of the Bugs 8 contributes to this transformation, along with MJX's tuning for increased yaw rate and pitch angle, which adds to its zippy and agile nature compared to the larger Bugs 3.
I can definitely feel the faster yaw (spin) of the Bugs 8 compared to the Bugs 3, allowing me to achieve faster and tighter funnels. Its maneuverability is excellent, and it truly shines in high-speed mode. When it comes to pitch and roll, the Bugs 8 leans at a greater angle than the Bugs 3, giving it a speed advantage.
I find the low-speed mode to be quite tame compared to the high-speed mode, and I'm a bit confused as to why it exists on a racing drone that is meant to be fast. Although MJX has positioned the Bugs 8 as a beginner FPV racing drone, I believe a single high-speed mode would have given it a more defined personality.
Performing 360-degree flips with the Bugs 8 is fantastic, thanks to its lighter weight compared to the Bugs 3. It allows for tighter flips and better recovery after the flip.
MJX claims that the Bugs 8 can reach speeds of up to 80 km/h, but I personally think that's overly optimistic. Without a speed gun or a speed trap, I can only estimate based on my observations, and I believe a speed of around 40-50 km/h seems more likely. I believe it's better to be conservative with speed ratings and then exceed expectations rather than setting overly optimistic targets and falling short.
The MJX Bugs 8 250mm brushless FPV racing drone is an impressive drone, and the addition of FPV capabilities completely transforms the experience compared to the Bugs 3. Its FPV capabilities make it more engaging, almost like a video game with replay value. While the Bugs 8 has more depth than the Bugs 3, I still appreciate the Bugs 3 for its ability to carry an action camera for aerial footage. Both drones can coexist in the market without overlapping each other's strengths.
The flying dynamics of the MJX Bugs 8 FPV racing drone make it a keeper in my book. It's powerful, has a sleek profile that slices through the wind more easily than the Bugs 3, and, most importantly, it's a lot of fun! I can only imagine how amazing the Bugs 8 could have been if MJX had powered it with a 3S 11.1v lithium-polymer battery. Currently, it uses the same 2S 7.4v 25c lithium-polymer battery as the Bugs 3, which means they share many similarities under the hood. Having a 3S battery would have been a clear differentiating factor, but this is just a "what if" scenario that I'm proposing.
Measured Flight Times
Result #1 (Aggressive Flight): When I fly the MJX Bugs 8 250mm FPV Brushless Racing Drone aggressively, I can expect approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds until the low voltage warning kicks in with flashing lights and an audible beeping tone on the flight controller. The final battery safety cutoff occurs around 10 minutes and 25 seconds, causing the drone to descend with no power left to lift. I have about 55 seconds to safely land the drone.
Result #2 (Gentle Flight): During a more gentle flight, the MJX Bugs 8 provides me with approximately 9 minutes and 56 seconds of flight time until the low voltage warning is triggered. The final battery safety cutoff happens after about 10 minutes and 49 seconds, at which point the drone descends due to depleted power. I have approximately 53 seconds to safely land the drone.
The MJX Bugs 8 has been designed to give pilots around 50 seconds to 1 minute to land successfully after the low voltage warning is triggered. The flight controller emits constant beeping sounds to alert the pilot once the drone enters low battery warning status. I believe this provides ample time for the pilot to return and safely land the drone.
Regarding the claimed battery life, MJX has once again been too optimistic with their claim of a maximum flight time of 14 minutes, just as they did with the larger MJX Bugs 3, which has a larger 1800 mAh battery. It was predictable that the MJX Bugs 8 would have a shorter battery life compared to the Bugs 3 since they both have the same motor type and similar batteries, except for the capacity (1800 mAh vs. 1300 mAh). It is unrealistic to expect more battery life with a smaller battery, so the claim never added up.
MJX's battery flight runtime claim is off by about 4 minutes. Based on my testing of the MJX Bugs 8 250mm Brushless FPV Racing Drone, I can confirm that you can expect up to 10 minutes of actual flight time, which is still quite good. However, it feels disappointing when compared to MJX's exaggerated claim. As I mentioned before, it's always better to be conservative with numbers and strive to exceed expectations.
Where Can I Buy One? For How Much?
Editor's Note: It's worth noting that in certain regions, the MJX Bugs 8 is marketed as the MJX Bugs 6, with the only difference being the top canopy style.
Editor's Note #2: The MJX Bugs 8 / Bugs 6 is now available for purchase. On websites like GearBest, you can find the drone priced between $96 USD (for the bare model) to $174 USD (including all add-on accessories), excluding shipping costs.
As of now, the MJX Bugs 8 250mm Brushless FPV Racing Drone is not yet available in physical stores, so there is no concrete pricing information to share.
Based on the information I have received, I estimate that the complete MJX Bugs 8 FPV racing drone package, including the MJX Bugs 8 drone, C5830 5.8 GHz 720p FPV camera, G3 FPV VR Goggles, and D43 5.8 GHz 4.3-inch LCD Monitor, would likely cost at least $250 CAD. Please note that this is an estimate and may vary.
The MJX Bugs 8 will eventually be sold worldwide through popular Chinese online retailers such as Banggood, GearBest, GeekBuying, Lightake, DX, and others. I am not affiliated with any of these websites, so I cannot provide a personal assessment of their reliability.
If you prefer to shop on Amazon, it may take some time before the MJX Bugs 8 FPV racing drone is available there, and the cost might be higher. I will update this review as soon as I have more details on pricing.
I personally enjoy shopping on Amazon due to their fast and reliable service, as well as their excellent return policy. In fact, I have experienced situations where Amazon refunded me for overcharged duty costs, which demonstrates their honesty as a company.
If you are considering purchasing the MJX Bugs 8 250mm Brushless FPV Racing Drone or any other products, using our Amazon links below would greatly support this website and any future contests we may hold through Facebook.
Some Amazon Deals That May Interest You!
The MJX Bugs 8 250mm Brushless FPV Racing Drone is an impressive drone that offers a thrilling and engaging experience.
First and foremost, the Bugs 8 stands out with its peppy and agile performance, delivering excellent maneuverability and an athletic feel that racing enthusiasts would appreciate.
The sleek and stylish design of the Bugs 8 adds to its appeal, making it one of the most attractive drones on the market. The LED lights on the drone, including bright headlights and taillights, not only enhance its visual flair but also make night flights easier by ensuring clear orientation. The FPV capabilities of the Bugs 8, combined with the C5830 5.8GHz FPV camera and the MJX D43 5.8 GHz 4.3-inch LCD monitor, set it apart from other drones.
The FPV video transmission is nearly lag-free, providing a real-time view of the drone's flight. The image quality is clean, and the reception is generally good, minimizing interference and artifacts as you fly farther.
While the entry-level MJX D43 LCD monitor has some limitations, such as restricted viewing angles due to its TN panel, it is manageable and does not significantly impact the overall experience. The mounting system on the flight controller could have been more secure to prevent accidental displacement, but it is a minor inconvenience.
The MJX G3 FPV VR Goggles add another layer of depth and excitement to the Bugs 8 FPV racing drone, allowing you to immerse yourself in the flight experience. It may take some time to get used to flying in FPV, especially with the goggles on, but they provide a comfortable fit with adjustable Velcro straps. Just be mindful of potential dizziness.
One of the highlights of the Bugs 8 is that it comes with two batteries, allowing for extended flight time and less downtime. Having a spare battery is essential for maximizing your enjoyment of the drone.
Overall, the MJX Bugs 8 250mm FPV Racing Drone offers more positive features than negatives, solidifying its position as another successful product from MJX. It deserves recognition, and for that reason, I proudly award it with our highest honor, the Editor's Choice Award rating.
Published June 02, 2017 @ 7:20 pm