There is a never ending list of great Christmas gift ideas, but the UDI U818A 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with Camera RTF Mode 2 is one of the coolest ones out there. What better way to introduce someone to the world of flying than with a cheap drone with a cool camera that is easy to fly. This product combines the cool factor of being able to take video along with doing some cool tricks.
Because the price tag is pretty friendly for a unit like this coming in at the $60 range, kids and adults can enjoy zooming around taking some pretty cool video. Unlike other drones that are much more expensive, this one comes with a traditional remote, which means line of sight flying only. The unit takes a microSD card (included) to record video or still photos, which makes transferring the video to the computer a snap.
Is it easy fly? You bet, just be sure there is enough space to safely operate the quadcopter. After all four spinning plastic blades are no joke when it comes to safety. This is not a toy in the playful sense, and needs a certain amount of adult supervision. It has some impressive range and height capabilities though. Check out the top of the light posts and cell phone towers in this video.
It's pretty durable as well, as I've crashed mine from pretty high up, and all I had to do was go find out exactly where it landed.
However, the flight time is limited to six to nine minutes via the battery, so be sure to grab an extra one or two, and those are reasonably priced as well in the under six dollar range. This way all you need to do is swap them out and keep on flying.
Some interesting operating tidbits include shutting the video function off before turning the power off of the remote or pulling the battery out to preserve the video and to shut the video function off before the battery runs out. If you don't you might just lose that footage.
All things considered, this is a pretty cool entry level unit with enough horsepower to get high and far without letting it get too far out of range. The wind plays havoc with it, so expect a challenge on a breezy day, and remember to check your surroundings BEFORE you take off. Oh, and it will fly in the house, but the wind from the rotors will give you a few control issues.
Still, if you are looking for a great Christmas present for the person that has everything, this is a pretty cool option, and it's reasonably priced to boot.