Hey, what's up, everybody? This is Mike. Welcome back to another video. Today we'll be talking about the iFlight Defender 25 – one of the drones that people are going crazy about nowadays because it is the smaller version of the well-known DJI Avata. Or at least people seem to think that way.
I can ASSURE you it's definitely very far away from DJI Avata and what it's trying to be. Yes, of course, there are some visual clues to the Avata. It looks very similar on the outside, but on the inside, it's very different. I've been flying this drone for the past week or so, and I have some impressions that I want to talk about in today's video.
iFlight Defender 25 video
iFlight Defender 25 is a sub-250-gram drone
So, first things first, let's start with what, I believe, is the most important feature of the Defender 25, and that is that it's sub-250 grams.
This puts it in an entirely different category when it comes to comparing it to the DJI Avata. So, those comparisons are not really fair because the Defender 25 being a sub-250 gram drone, makes it possible to fly in a lot more areas where the Avata probably wouldn't be allowed to fly.
DJI O3 Air Unit
So, this is a big deal. And, of course, it also comes with the O3 Air Unit, similar to the DJI Avata. It comes with that fantastic O3 Air Unit quality that we are now expecting from any new drone that comes out on the market.
So, it is an excellent step in the right direction when talking about small quads that are sub-250-grams, that can have that fantastic quality from the DJI O3 Air Unit and still be super inconspicuous. You can fly them around people; they look like toys. So, people wouldn't be that bothered about them. And, of course, being that low weight, they are also a lot less dangerous.
iFlight Defender 25 batteries
So, that's a great thing in general. Now, one big talking point when it comes to the Defender 25 is this proprietary battery system, which, I believe, is genius. You have two little latches here on top of the drone, and if you press them, that ejects the battery. And you're good to go. To put it back, you simply need to slide it in, and it sticks in its place, and it won't go anywhere.
It's very secure, and I definitely like the mechanism of using these proprietary batteries. However, the thing is, they are not mandatory to be used. There appears to be a misconception among people that these batteries are the only ones that can be used on this drone, which is certainly not the case. Any 4S battery can be used on this drone as long as it fits on top.
Of course, you will have to use a strap to secure it to the drone, so you won't be able to take advantage of the latching system. But if that's what you want to do, you can. Now, iFlight is doing something different when it comes to these batteries because they feel a little bit less dangerous, and they don't feel like ticking bombs that people are afraid of when they see a LIPO battery.
These batteries are very similar to traditional drone batteries, like the ones we have on the DJI Avata, mini drones, and any other consumer drone that is not FPV related. These batteries are probably the way to go if you are trying to reach a bigger market, especially people who will be buying the Avata but are looking for less hassle concerning Remote ID.
iFlight Defender 25 has two battery options
Maybe iFlight is targeting those potential customers with a battery system like this one. I actually quite like those batteries. They have two different variations: a 550-milliamp-hour battery and a 900-milliamp-hour battery. These two batteries look precisely the same, but you can immediately feel which one is heavier.
The 900-milliamp-hour battery is heavier. It really makes a difference in their weight, and it's a huge pity that with the 900-milliamp-hour battery, the drone is not sub-250 grams anymore. It's a little more than that, and I believe that's a huge bummer because this is the way the drone should come out of the box with the 900-milliamp-hour battery. I also think that the 2-tune that iFlight has been working on for the Defender 25 is also for the 900-milliamp-hour battery.
When you're using the 550, the drone feels a little more disconnected. It doesn't feel as agile, or as powerful as it feels with the 900-milliamp-hour battery. That's just the way it goes with this specific drone. But once again, if you don't want to use these proprietary batteries, you can simply use a LIPO of your choice, as long as it's 4S.
Something between 650 and 850 would be the ideal option for this drone. To charge these batteries, you have a charging board from iFlight which is really simple to use. All you need to do is slide the battery in, and just power it on in this little connector, and it's already connected. From here, you need to use one of these balance cables, and one of these XT30 to XT60 connectors as well, and then you're good to go. You can simply put that in your regular FPV battery charger, and it will charge straight away, no problem at all.
Flying the iFlight Defender 25
Now, when talking about flying this drone, it's really not a surprise how good it is. Nowadays, all of these drones, especially when it comes to iFlight, they have been really pushing the drone community forward, in my opinion, with their bind-and-fly drones, because they come with some really good, well-tuned out options, and just the tunes on these drones are fantastic. I would say, straight out of the box, this drone flies amazingly well.
Now, one thing I discovered in my first-ever flight with this drone was the fact that it's a little too sensitive. So, I had to put some expo on all axes, and just dial it down a little bit because it was far too sensitive for my needs. Now, granted, you can do a lot more with this drone than I'm doing here in my first couple of flights.
Battery life of the iFlight Defender 25
For my first couple of flights, I was mostly cruising to check out the battery life between the two options of batteries that we have, and I came to the conclusion that with the 550, you can cruise for about three to four minutes.
With the 900-milliamp-hour battery, you can cruise for about six minutes, which is fantastic for a drone this size. If you fly more aggressively, of course, it will significantly drop to maybe two minutes with the 550 and perhaps four minutes with the 900-milliamp-hour battery.
Flying characteristics of the iFlight Defender 25
It really depends on how you fly, but this is definitely not the best drone when it comes to acrobatics. However, there is one thing that I should mention, and that is that if you want to do some accurate stuff with this drone, you certainly can. It is just not like a five-inch quad, of course, but that makes sense.
You are still not limited to only flying slowly and smoothly with this drone. You can do fast-paced tracking with this drone, and follow a fast-moving object like a car, a bike, or a person. You will be able to do it. It is a fast-moving drone. Once it picks up speed, it is actually very impressive. I must say, I'm really digging the way this thing flies. It does not feel sluggish or slow, and you can fly it whichever way you want.
iFlight Defender 25 frame cracked
Here is my big problem with the drone: it's already cracked. Check this out. I think I only crashed it once or twice, and obviously, it wasn't anything serious. It wasn't like a big hit or something. You can see it's full of little branches, and little trees, and this is something that I hit. It was a small branch, an invisible branch that I hit, and the frame was already cracked.
So, I'm not a fan of the frame being so brittle and obviously plastic and easy to break. I'm not really sure this drone can withstand a lot of crashes. Obviously, in my first clip, I said it could withstand some small crashes, but this was a small crash, and now the frame is cracked.
So not really a good sign for the future. If you're planning to use this drone a lot, you might have to stock up on your spare parts. But yeah, just keep that in mind. My frame is already cracked. I reached out to the manufacturer to ask them about this issue with the cracked frame because it seems like not a good thing for such a small drone that should be able to take some hits.
More durable frame on production unit
They let me know that the unit I had was a pre-production model and came with a more brittle frame which is no longer being shipped. They are now shipping a new, more durable frame and have informed me that they will send me a replacement to test out. Stay tuned for updates on its strength.
For now, I'm disappointed with how the frame cracked so easily during a small crash; however, these things do happen. iFlight is doing an impressive job making these pre-built configurations easier for consumers. The motors now have little arrows indicating the direction of the propeller, making it easier to install the correct propeller. Additionally, the landing gear protects the air unit from damage, which is important since it is so close to the ground.
Defender 25 price
The Defender 25, priced at $540 and available on iFlight's website, now comes with a naked GoPro mount already attached, making it easier to use this type of camera without needing additional mounts.
The DJI O3 Air Unit is a great addition to this setup, and iFlight seems to be thinking of consumers' needs, which is always a plus.
If you would instead not use an Insta360 Go or another small camera, the air unit does the job well.
Keep in mind that it takes a bit longer to stabilize footage with Gyroflow, but I find this method far superior to the built-in stabilization. The results speak for themselves. This drone is perfect for close-up shots thanks to its small size and great quality.
That's all for today. Please let me know your thoughts on the Defender 25 in the comments. Thank you for watching, and I'll see you in the next video. Take care!
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