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Review – Taking the Cheerson CX-10 out for a spin

The Cheerson CX-10 is a great beginner drone

Cheerson CX 10If you read our guide on the best drone to buy, you probably remember that the Cheerson CX 10 is one of two recommended drones for beginners.  Given our recommendation we felt it made sense to provide our readers with a brief guide.

Where to purchase

These mini drones are available in many locations.  You can for less than $20 US or look at our Bargain Drone section on the left side of the page if you enjoy auctions.  Generally, the auction route starts bidding at a penny and you can beat the Amazon price if you don’t get bidding fever.

Getting Started

The drone comes with a reasonable manual.  Read it, it does a nice job of providing a few basic tips, an overview of the controller, etc…

You will also find the following in the Cheerson CX 10 package:

  • Drone
  • Controller
  • USB power cable
  • Manual
  • 4 extra wings (you will need these)

The Controller

The controller requires 2 AAA batteries.  It has a good lifetime, much longer than the drone itself.

A beginner may look at the controller diagram above and panic.  Don’t.  When you are getting started you will really only focus on the left and right levers.  The trimmer and aileron are important, but beginners will be able to ignore these controls.

Getting started

Cheerson ChargingEnsure your drone is fully charged.  When you plug in the cable to your computer, and connect it to your drone (ensure the drone is powered off), the Cheerson CX 10 charging cable will glow yellow.   When it is charged the light will shut off.

Take your drone and put it in the middle of a room where:

  • You do not have anything breakable
  • There are no small kids
  • There are no pets

Also, you may want to put on a pair of safety glasses.  Sound extreme? When my youngest daughter first tried she managed to launch the drone at my eldest, nearly hitting her in the head.  We are still hoping it was an accident. :-)

To start, power on the CX 10.  Note that the front of the drone has flashing blue lights.  We recommend facing the front of the Cheerson away from you so that the perspective of the controls is aligned with the drones position.

Turn the controller on and wait for it to beep twice.  Shift the left lever up and back slowly, you should hear another beep.  At this point your drone is engaged and ready to fly.  Slowly move the left controller forward.  The wings should begin spinning and the Cheerson CX 10 should begin its ascent.  If you are like most of us it will probably fly quickly into the air and then crash to the ground.  Learning to do this ascent will take practice and, if you are doing this in a room with couches and other furniture, you may have to dig it out from under the couch a time or two.

It took us a couple of hours to get comfortable with ascending somewhat cleanly.  This required a few breaks to recharge the drone with the USB cable and required replacement of two blades.

From this point it is up to you to practice, practice, practice.

Warnings, and final thoughts

We feel comfortable that this is a great drone for beginners.  While initial flights may leave you feeling frustrated it is quick to learn.

As a warning, the drone can be a bit temperamental.  On rare occasions it would lose control with the blades spinning wildly.  In these situations, pick it up from the bottom if at all possible.  Trust us, holding it by the top when the blades are spinning at fully speed will hurt.  The blades are plastic but the pain will be remembered.  Little children, especially, should not go near it when it does have one of these meltdowns.

Note that these meltdowns are rare and we only note them for completeness.  Other than this behavior it is truly a fun, indoor, UAV that will whet your appetite for something bigger.

Enjoy flying!

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