MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) GPS FPV Brushless Camera Drone Review @ ModSynergy.com
A recent report published in 2017 by 'The NPD Group' indicates a remarkable year-over-year growth of 117% in drone sales within the United States. While sales of premium drones have remained consistent, there is a significant demand for more affordable options, particularly during the holiday season.
Since the fourth quarter of 2016, I have been conducting comprehensive evaluations of the latest brushless motor drones manufactured by MEIJIAXIN TOYS CO., LIMITED, commonly known as MJX. Throughout this period, I have been thoroughly impressed by their captivating Bugs series of drones.
During the fourth quarter of 2016, I conducted a thorough review of the distinctive MJX Bugs 3 model. Following my first flight experience, it became evident that MJX had a remarkable product poised for success in 2017. It is hardly surprising that the MJX Bugs 3 has been a resounding global success, as it stands as one of the finest and most affordable brushless drones available. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to read our comprehensive review of the MJX Bugs 3 Brushless Drone.
MJX has continued to innovate and expand their esteemed Bugs lineup, and they have graciously provided us with their latest creation, the Bugs 2 WiFi, which represents their maiden venture into the GPS drone market. At ModSynergy, we are thrilled to present our detailed analysis of the MJX Bugs 2 B2W GPS FPV Camera Drone. This groundbreaking product marks MJX's inaugural foray into GPS-enabled drones and offers WiFi FPV capabilities, enabling seamless connectivity with smartphones or tablets to leverage the integrated 1080p full HD camera featured on the MJX Bugs 2.
Without further delay, let us commence our exploration of this remarkable device.
"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 2 B2W GPS FPV Camera Drone Features & Specifications
The packaging design of the MJX Bugs 2 B2W GPS FPV Camera Drone exhibits a remarkable continuity with the established visual language seen in its predecessors within the Bugs series. By adhering to this consistent design approach, MJX ensures that the drone remains well-protected during the shipping process. The utilization of a compact Styrofoam core not only guarantees the safety of the drone but also serves as an effective shock-absorbing material to shield it from any potential damage that may occur during transit.
Moreover, the inclusion of a thoughtfully placed carrying handle on the top of the packaging further enhances the drone's overall convenience and ease of transport. This ergonomic feature allows users to effortlessly carry the package, ensuring a hassle-free experience when transporting the drone to various locations. Whether it's for outdoor adventures, professional photography sessions, or simply sharing the joy of flying with others, the carrying handle provides a practical solution for users seeking portability without compromising on the protection of the drone.
MJX adopts a straightforward approach by prominently featuring large photographs of the Bugs 2 B2W drone in the two available color options, black and red, on both sides of the packaging box. These high-quality visuals provide prospective buyers with a clear and detailed glimpse of the product, allowing them to visualize the drone's design and appearance before making a purchase. By employing such eye-catching imagery, MJX effectively captures the attention of potential customers, ensuring that the packaging stands out on store shelves amidst the array of competing products.
The MJX Bugs 2 B2W package offers a convenient ready-to-fly (RTF) solution, providing both the drone and the flight controller in a single package. The drone comes fully assembled from the factory, requiring only the insertion of the battery into both the drone and the flight controller before it is ready for flight.
With a diagonal measurement of 310mm from motor to motor, the MJX Bugs 2 B2W shares the same size as its predecessor, the MJX Bugs 3. In comparison, the Bugs 8 (known as the Bugs 6 in certain regions) measures 250mm diagonally. This consistent sizing ensures familiarity for MJX customers and allows for seamless compatibility with existing accessories and spare parts.
The MJX Bugs 2 B2W is specifically positioned as an affordable GPS drone, equipped with an integrated 1080p full HD camera and 5.8 GHz FPV capability via smartphone or tablet connectivity. Typically, GPS drones command high prices in the current market, starting from $400-500 USD. However, MJX has successfully made the GPS drone category more accessible by offering the Bugs 2 B2W at a more affordable price point.
While it is generally recommended for beginners to start with smaller, fully manual drones to develop piloting skills, the MJX Bugs 2 B2W provides an opportunity to bypass this initial step. GPS drones, including the Bugs 2 B2W, offer easier flight experiences as they are designed to maintain altitude and hover more effectively than fully manual drones. This convenience appeals to those who prefer a more straightforward flying experience.
MJX has maintained consistency across its Bugs drone lineup, with the main differentiating factor being the exterior body design. This approach ensures continuity for existing MJX customers, enabling them to quickly transition to new models without the need to learn new flight characteristics or functionalities.
All MJX Bugs models released thus far feature the same reliable components, such as efficient 1806 1800KV brushless motors, ESCs with consistent protection features, and a shared flight controller. These models offer the expected features that MJX customers have come to appreciate, including 6-axis digital stabilization for stable flight. The flight controller incorporates audible tone warnings, alerting users to weak drone signals, low battery levels in the flight controller and drone, battery disconnections, and instances of no signal received by the flight controller from the drone.
The introduction of GPS technology to the new MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) drone brings a range of advanced features that enhance its flying capabilities. One notable feature is advanced GPS-Assisted hovering, which enables the drone to remain in the exact position at all times. Unlike fully manual drones that can be affected by wind and require constant adjustments from the flight controller to stay on course, the Bugs 2 B2W utilizes GPS to lock onto its original spot and autonomously correct its position, even in windy conditions. This feature makes the Bugs 2 B2W incredibly easy to fly. However, MJX also provides the option to switch off GPS for those who prefer flying without assistance.
The Bugs 2 B2W incorporates altitude hold, utilizing a barometer sensor to maintain a specific altitude while hovering. For example, if you ascend to a height of 30 meters and release the throttle stick, the drone will not descend on its own. Instead, thanks to the barometer sensor and GPS, it will remain at the precise altitude of 30 meters.
One-touch automatic takeoff and landing is another convenient feature introduced with the Bugs 2. With a simple push of a button on the flight controller, users can initiate automatic takeoff or landing, streamlining the process and ensuring a smooth flight experience.
The Bugs 2 B2W also introduces the Return-to-Home (RTH) function, which works in conjunction with GPS to guide the drone back to its original takeoff location. There are three types of RTH functions, two of which are failsafes designed to protect the drone.
The first RTH function is activated by pressing a designated button on the flight controller, prompting the Bugs 2 to automatically return to its original takeoff location and land without any user intervention. After landing, the brushless motors are automatically turned off.
The second RTH function is triggered if the flight controller loses signal with the drone for more than six seconds. In such cases, the drone initiates RTH and returns to the initial takeoff location, automatically lands, and shuts off the brushless motors.
The third RTH function is automatically triggered when the drone's battery voltage drops to a low level. There are two scenarios for this. In the first case, if the battery level falls to 2 bars and the drone's altitude exceeds 100 meters or the flying distance surpasses 300 meters, the Bugs 2 automatically enters RTH, returns to the original takeoff location, lands without user intervention, and turns off the brushless motors. In the second case, when the battery level drops to 1 bar and the altitude is above 15 meters or the flying distance is more than 15 meters, the drone automatically lands at its current location (rather than returning to the takeoff location), lands without user intervention, and shuts off the brushless motors.
The MJX Bugs 2 B2W drone operates on the 2.4 GHz frequency, while the internal 1080p FPV camera functions on the 5.8 GHz frequency. This frequency division ensures that the flight controller and camera frequencies do not conflict with each other.
MJX advertises a maximum flight controller distance of 1 kilometer, while the maximum WiFi FPV live video feed transmission reaches up to 500 meters. The actual distance achieved with WiFi FPV capability depends on the specific 5.8 GHz-enabled smartphone or tablet used. However, it is worth noting that the Bugs 2 can also be flown without connecting a smartphone or tablet, which eliminates FPV capability but allows for a maximum flight distance of up to 1 kilometer.
In summary, the flight controller distance surpasses the distance achievable with a smartphone or tablet. The actual range can vary significantly depending on the device being used. In general, using a smartphone or tablet will provide a shorter flight distance compared to the flight controller alone.
Visual Overview & Build Quality
Measurements per Configuration:
Diagonally from motor to motor: 310 mm or 12 inches or 31 cm
Side to side, motor to motor: 220 mm or 8.66 inches or 22 cm
Height: 80 mm or 3.15 inches or 8cm
Ready To Fly Weight: 454 grams or 1 LB
Editor's Note: The MJX marketing materials indicate the Bugs 2 being a 410 mm drone is incorrect. The correct dimensions are the ones I mentioned above. Other than the height of the drone, the Bugs 2 is the same size as the Bugs 3.
The MJX Bugs 2 drone maintains the brand's tradition of incorporating fun and distinctive styling, which I personally find quite appealing. The exterior design of the Bugs 2 shares similarities with its predecessor, the Bugs 3. One particular design feature that catches my attention is the integration of landing leg feet into the motor pod arms. These legs are equipped with rubber feet at the bottom, serving to absorb shock upon landing on harder surfaces. This thoughtful design element enhances the overall durability and stability of the drone, while also protecting it during landings.
Regrettably, I must acknowledge that there is a notable difference in terms of exterior build quality with the MJX Bugs 2 B2W compared to the other drones in the Bugs series lineup. Unlike its predecessors, the Bugs 2 does not utilize the flexible and bendable pure nylon fiber material that has been a defining characteristic of the other Bugs drones. Instead, it incorporates a different grade of plastic that gives it a more toy-like feel. As a result, the overall construction of the Bugs 2 feels less refined than expected.
When holding the Bugs 2, there is a noticeable increase in noise and squeakiness compared to the three Bugs models currently available on the market. Additionally, the body of the drone lacks the bendability and flexibility found in previous models, giving it a more brittle sensation.
In terms of aesthetics, it is worth noting that the MJX Bugs 2 departs from the matte paint finish found on previous Bugs models and instead opts for a glossy paint coating. Personally, I have reservations about this choice as the glossy finish tends to attract fingerprints and dust, which can detract from the overall appearance of the drone. While some individuals may appreciate the shiny piano gloss finish, I believe that sticking with the matte finish would have been a more suitable option.
On a positive note, I did not come across any defects in the construction of the drone. The fit and finish of the Bugs 2 are excellent, ensuring a seamless and visually appealing appearance. Despite the choice of glossy paint, the overall quality of the body is commendable.
It is worth noting that all models in the Bugs series, including the Bugs 2, are equipped with the same efficient 1806 1800KV type brushless motors. Although there may be slight variations in the motor casings' shape and diameter between different models like the Bugs 3 and Bugs 8/Bugs 6, the motors used in the Bugs 2 appear to be identical to those found in the Bugs 3. Both the Bugs 2 and Bugs 3 feature motors with a diameter of 0.92" and the same overall shape. This motor consistency across the Bugs series ensures a reliable and consistent performance across different models.
Upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that there are slight differences in the threaded designs of the propeller connectors between the Bugs 2 and Bugs 3 models. The Bugs 2 features a notched thread design, which indicates that the propellers need to be placed in a specific orientation. In contrast, the Bugs 3 does not have such a notched design. However, both models share the same propeller pitch angle and length. It is possible to interchange the propellers between the Bugs 2 and Bugs 3, with Bugs 3 propellers being used on the Bugs 2. However, it is important to note that the connection may not be completely secure due to the slight mismatch in the threads between the two motor designs. This means that while it is physically possible to use Bugs 3 propellers on the Bugs 2, it may not provide a 100% secure connection and could result in potential issues during flight.
One notable departure in the battery design of the MJX Bugs 2 compared to other Bugs models is the introduction of a connector panel end-cap. The Bugs 2 utilizes the same battery as the Bugs 3, namely a 2S 7.4V 1800mAh battery. However, instead of a traditional battery compartment, the battery is enclosed within a slide and lock connector panel end-cap.
The plastic end-cap features an XT30 connector that slides and locks into place when inserted into the drone. It is essential to ensure that the balance lead wires are neatly tucked away inside the end-cap before inserting it into the drone to avoid any potential damage if the wires get caught during insertion.
While MJX claims that this new battery design makes it easier, my personal experience differs. It is understandable that the slide and lock mechanism may require more attention and care during battery installation compared to the previous design.
Removing the battery from the MJX Bugs 2 can indeed be a challenging task due to the design of the tabs that need to be squeezed at the top and bottom of the battery. The stiffness and slipperiness caused by the glossy finish of the tabs, combined with the limited space for finger grip, can make the battery removal process annoying and more difficult than necessary.
It is understandable that this aspect of the battery design can be frustrating, as it requires a precise grip and force to effectively squeeze and release the tabs. This may result in some inconvenience and potential difficulties when attempting to remove the battery from the drone.
Feedback regarding this issue can be valuable for MJX to consider in their future designs, as improving accessibility and user-friendliness in battery removal can enhance the overall user experience.
In light of the challenges posed by the current battery design of the MJX Bugs 2, there are a couple of recommendations that could potentially enhance the user experience.
Firstly, the addition of a power on/off switch would simplify the process of turning the drone on and off. This would eliminate the need to insert or remove the battery each time and make it more convenient to power the drone.
Secondly, incorporating a micro-USB charge port directly on the drone would facilitate the recharging process. This would eliminate the need to remove the battery for charging and allow users to recharge the battery directly through the drone using a standard micro-USB cable.
Implementing these features would address the inconvenience of removing and reinserting the battery for recharging purposes. Additionally, it would reduce the risk of the battery accidentally sliding out during transportation, providing a more secure and hassle-free experience.
2.4 GHz Flight Controller
The flight controller included with the MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) GPS FPV camera drone operates on the 2.4GHz wireless band. It is similar to the flight controllers found in other MJX Bugs models such as the Bugs 3, Bugs 6, and Bugs 8, with a few notable differences.
One of the key additions in the Bugs 2 flight controller is the inclusion of a small LCD screen. This screen provides real-time telemetry information to the pilot, allowing them to monitor important flight parameters. The displayed information includes altitude and distance in meters, TX (transmitter) battery level, RX (receiver) battery level, signal indicator, GPS indicator, RTH (Return-to-Home) indicator, as well as photo and video recording information.
The flight controller offers a user-friendly interface that enables pilots to access and monitor crucial flight data during their aerial operations. While it lacks the 360-degree flip functionality found in some other MJX Bugs models, the inclusion of the LCD screen adds a valuable telemetry feature to enhance the overall flying experience.
By providing real-time information on altitude, distance, battery levels, and more, the flight controller assists pilots in maintaining situational awareness and making informed decisions while operating the Bugs 2 drone.
The flight controller for the MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) drone features labeled buttons with symbols, which allows pilots to easily identify and operate the different functions without needing to remember their specific purposes. The compact size of the controller is particularly beneficial for those with smaller hands, providing a comfortable grip during flight operations.
However, one drawback of the flight controller is its smooth plastic construction, which lacks sufficient texture for a secure grip. Some other controllers in the market incorporate plastic dimples or additional grip features to enhance handling. It would have been advantageous if MJX had included similar grip-enhancing elements or even strips of anti-slip tape on the rear and sides of the controller. This would have addressed the issue of slipperiness, especially during extended flight sessions when hand fatigue can become a concern.
Improving the tactile feel and grip of the flight controller would contribute to a more secure and comfortable user experience, ensuring better control and reducing the risk of accidental slips or drops during operation.
You can read more detailed information regarding the flight controller in my MJX Bugs 3 and MJX Bugs 8 / Bugs 6 reviews, since they are 99% the same.
1080p FPV Camera
The MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) GPS FPV camera drone is equipped with an integrated 5.8 GHz full HD 1080p camera and a wide-angle lens to capture a broader view. Considering the drone's price range (under $250 USD), the overall camera quality is decent. However, it's important to manage expectations as the camera's performance has limitations. The 1080p resolution is interpolated from 720p, and the overall quality may not meet professional standards. It is more suitable for casual use.
The video captured by the MJX Bugs 2 drone is generally sharp across the frame, with minimal edge softness, indicating a good lens selection. Color rendition is satisfactory, although slightly flat, and a bit more color saturation would have been preferable. The auto white balance performs decently overall, but it's not the best. It's worth noting that these inexpensive Chinese drones often use older-generation image sensors to keep costs down. The presence of a jello effect in the footage suggests the use of a more affordable CMOS image sensor.
Unfortunately, the MJX Bugs 2 lacks any form of image stabilization, and it offers a basic and no-frills camera setup primarily intended for fun and FPV experience through a smartphone or tablet. Realistic expectations regarding video quality are crucial. If you anticipate DJI Phantom-like footage, you will likely be extremely disappointed. The video footage is suitable for casual use, providing an enjoyable and fun experience, but it should not be relied upon for commercial purposes.
It's important to note that the MJX Bugs 2 does not have a GoPro-style camera mount like the Bugs 3 model. If you require a drone capable of carrying a GoPro, it would be more suitable to consider the Bugs 3. However, the Bugs 3 does not come with built-in FPV capability out of the box.
Lastly, the MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) GPS FPV camera drone does not include a micro SD card or a micro SD card reader in the bundle. Users will need to provide their own micro SD card for storage.
When using the MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) GPS FPV camera drone without a micro SD card, the MJX Bugs Go app will save videos and photos directly to your device (smartphone or tablet) in 720p resolution. However, if you insert a micro SD card, the app will save files directly to the card in full 1080p resolution. Each video file recorded by the drone's camera is approximately 1.08 GB in size and has a maximum duration of 10 minutes and 31 seconds before a new file is created. The video bitrate for 1080p recordings is around 14.6-14.8 Mbps.
The 5.8 GHz FPV camera on the MJX Bugs 2 is fixed and cannot be tilted like the cameras on the MJX Bugs 6 and Bugs 8 models. It records in one direction and offers a wide field of view without the fish-eye effect, capturing more objects within the frame. However, you may see a small portion of the propellers in the recorded video.
To connect your WiFi-enabled smartphone or tablet to the MJX Bugs 2 camera, your device must support 5.8 GHz WiFi. Older devices that only support 2.4 GHz WiFi may encounter compatibility issues.
The WiFi FPV transmission range can vary depending on the device used. In personal testing with a cheap Chinese smartphone, the WiFi FPV feed started to lose connection after approximately 100 meters in an empty soccer field. However, it is expected that more powerful devices like Apple iPhones or iPads with stronger or larger wireless antennas would yield better results.
When the drone gets closer, the WiFi FPV feed automatically reconnects in the MJX Bugs Go app. In low-signal areas, intermittent drops and frozen feeds may occur, but as you return closer to the drone, the feed should restore itself.
The MJX Bugs Go app is basic and does not display telemetry on the screen. All telemetry information is available on the flight controller's LCD screen. The app only provides a WiFi indicator to show the signal strength of the FPV video feed to your connected device.
Due to location and compliance with drone laws, I could only verify that the MJX Bugs 2 achieved a height of 90 meters and a distance of 500 meters using the flight controller alone. The flight controller started beeping and the signal status bars on the controller dropped slightly, suggesting that further distance is possible. During this flight, the WiFi FPV feed disconnected at around 100 meters from the small smartphone used. It's important to note that WiFi FPV performance can vary depending on the smartphone or tablet being used.
MJX claims zero-latency lag for the 720p WiFi FPV feed. While not entirely accurate, the older MJX Bugs Go app (Version 2.6) exhibited significant lag of up to 2 seconds. However, the latest MJX Bugs Go app (Version 3.0) greatly reduces latency, bringing the delay down to about 0.5 seconds, which is close to being almost instantaneous.
I did not experience any fly-away incidents with the MJX Bugs 2 WiFi drone.
Here are a few raw photo samples, click for the full resolution...
MJX Bugs 2, MJX Bugs 3, MJX Bugs 6 / Bugs 8 Size Comparison
How Does MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) Fly? What Are My Thoughts? See My Flights!
The performance of the MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) GPS FPV camera drone is similar to the MJX Bugs 3, rather than the smaller MJX Bugs 6/Bugs 8 models, giving it considerable power. The drone offers only a single speed mode, which contributes to smoother video footage while maintaining overall speed. Since the Bugs 2 is primarily designed as a GPS camera drone, additional speed modes are not necessary as most flying maneuvers involve smooth movements and hovering. It's important to note that the Bugs 2 does not have a 360-degree flip function, as it is not intended for acrobatic maneuvers.
The full throttle ascent speed of the Bugs 2 is comparable to the Bugs 3, but due to its lighter weight (454 grams compared to the lightest configurable form of the Bugs 3 at 478 grams), the Bugs 2 may provide a slightly better performance. Both drones utilize the same 1806 1800KV brushless motors and have the same propeller length and pitch angles. Essentially, the Bugs 2 WiFi can be considered an upgraded version of the Bugs 3, which is already a well-regarded platform.
The internal GPS system, combined with altitude hold, works exceptionally well in keeping the Bugs 2 in its designated position. Even when hands are off the transmitter and in the presence of wind that attempts to push the drone off course, the Bugs 2 automatically corrects itself and returns to its original position while maintaining the same altitude. This system demonstrates effective real-life performance and helps ensure stable flight and hover capabilities.
Measured Flight Times
The MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) GPS FPV camera drone has a flight time of approximately 12 minutes and 35 seconds until the low voltage warning is triggered, indicated by flashing lights and an audible beeping tone on the flight controller. The final battery safety cutoff occurs after approximately 13 minutes and 45 seconds, at which point the drone initiates the Return-to-Home (RTH) procedure and lands automatically. The pilot typically has around 1 minute and 10 seconds to safely land the drone before the battery reaches the safety cutoff point.
It's worth noting that the actual flight time can vary depending on factors such as flying conditions, payload, and the use of different flight modes. While the advertised battery life by MJX may not always align with the actual flight time experienced by users, it's common for manufacturers to provide optimistic estimates based on ideal conditions. It's advisable for users to consider the actual flight time mentioned by users and plan their flights accordingly to ensure a safe return and avoid unexpected battery depletion.
Detailed ‘How To’ MJX Bugs 2 Video
I was planning to produce some MJX Bugs 2 videos showcasing how to set it up for take-off, but instead I will defer to the fantastic and detailed video MJX made for “how to” setup and fly the MJX Bugs 2.
Where Can I Buy One? For How Much?
The MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) GPS FPV camera drone is available for purchase online, with prices ranging from around $179 to $234 USD. It can be found on popular Chinese online retailers such as Banggood, GearBest, GeekBuying, Lighttake, DX, and also on eBay. However, please note that I am not affiliated with these websites, so I cannot provide personal feedback on their reliability or quality of service.
If you prefer to shop on Amazon, it might take some time before the MJX Bugs 2 WiFi becomes available on the platform, and the price might be slightly higher.
Amazon is known for its fast and reliable service, as well as its great return policy. They have a reputation for being an honest company and resolving issues promptly. If you decide to make a purchase, using the provided Amazon links can support the website and any future contests we hold.
Some Amazon Deals That May Interest You!
The MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) GPS FPV camera drone stands out as one of the most affordable options for a GPS camera drone in the market. It combines the power and performance that the Bugs series is known for with additional features such as GPS, WiFi FPV, altitude hold, headless mode, and return to home.
While there may be some minor drawbacks and nitpicks with certain aspects of the drone, they do not significantly impact its flying dynamics. Overall, these drawbacks do not hinder the drone's capabilities, and I can confidently recommend the MJX Bugs 2 WiFi (B2W) GPS FPV camera drone as a highly capable option.
Kudos to MJX for delivering a drone that offers great value for its price.