Cheerson CX-10 OF Review – Micro Quadcopter…with Optical Flow!

The Cheerson CX-10 OF is a cool micro drone that’s equipped with an optical flow sensor, which makes for some awesome hovering.  It also is capable of FPV and even knows how to “dance”.

The CX-OF is basically an upgraded version of the CX-10 series of drones.  (the “OF” stands for optical flow)  This drone has a bit more guts in it so it is a little bigger than a standard CX-10, but only has a 2 mm larger rotor diameter.  Still very compact.

This is a great little quad that’s easy and fun to fly, and would be a good choice for kids and beginners too.

The CX-OF is perfect for indoor flying, especially if you don’t have a lot of space.  Keep reading below for the full review.

Cheerson CX-OF Features

The CX-OF is a small and relatively inexpensive drone, but it still has a few features that you would find on drones costing a lot more.  Check out the some of best features below.

Optical Flow Positioning

What is optical flow positioning?

It’s a method of position control that basically uses a camera to let the drone “see” the ground. .

This let’s the flight controller know if the drone is hovering stationary or drifting in any given direction.

The flight controller can then make the necessary adjustments to keep the drone hovering steady, in the same spot.

Optical flow positioning usually requires some sort of pattern visible on the ground (i.e., not a white sheet) so the sensor can reference any movement.

It also works best in well lit conditions. The easier it is for the sensor to see, the better the hovering control will be.

Optical flow is a feature usually found on much more expensive drones, so it’s a really nice feature to have on the little CX-OF.  It works very well too.

I was surprised at the amount of hovering control.  I have some other mini drones that are hard to keep in a stable hover, even after considerably trimming the controls.

Here is a short video showing the hover capability of the CX-OF, and its optical flow sensor.  It wasn’t the best lighting and the carpet didn’t really have a pronounced “pattern”, but the drone still hovered very well.

One Touch Takeoff and Landing

The Cheerson CX-OF has buttons on the controller for easy-peasy take offs and landings. Press the take off button and the CX-OF will take off smoothly and precisely, hover at about 4 feet and wait your command.

Landing is a breeze as well. Just get the drone within about 3-4 feet of your landing zone and press the button. The CX-OF lands itself with no problem, every time.  Just make sure to wait a few seconds until the lights stop blinking before moving it or flying again.  The flight controller does some sort of self-calibration after every landing.

FPV

The FPV on the Cheerson CX-OF is achieved with a smartphone which you can mount to the controller. It’s not horrible, but it’s not great either. With only a 0.3 MP camera, the resolution leaves some to be desired.  The video feed from the CX-OF can be recorded and stored on your phone, along with any still photos that you take.

Altitude Hold

In addition to the optical flow positioning, the CX-OF drone also has an altitude hold mode. This mode is entered whenever the optical flow mode is not active. Optical flow can be turned on or off with a button on the controller. It will also deactivate when the sensor is not in range of the ground, or not enough light is present. When this happens, the CX-OF will attempt to maintain its current altitude and the lateral position reverts to manual control.

Dance Mode

So the Cheerson CX-OF has a “dance” mode where you can program the drone to perform a series of tricks. Using the smartphone app you can select different stunts and motions like flips, zig zags, pirouettes and other movements. Press a button and the CX-OF will execute each move, one after the other. Once complete it will return to position hold mode. I haven’t tried this feature yet, so I can’t comment on how well it works.

Check out our list of the 5 Best Cheap Drones for GoPro

Flying the Cheerson CX-OF

the cheerson cx-of with its red and blue led lights illuminated

The Cheerson CX-OF is a fun drone to fly because it’s so simple and easy. The optical flow positioning does a really good job of keeping the drone in one spot. Press the take off button on the controller or your phone and the CX-OF buzzes to life. The drone takes off quickly and, if the optical flow is enabled, enters a stable hover.

The response using the controller is satisfyingly crisp and precise, as it should be for such a small drone. Even after a few crashes that nicked up the props a little bit, the CX-OF still flew really well. I was surprised, I have other drones that are pretty much unflyable once the props take a little beating.  After many flights and crashes, I’m still on the first set!

Use the Controller…Your Phone…or Both

The CX-OF drone can be piloted with either the controller that comes with it or your smartphone, using the CX-OF app. The controller even has a holder for your phone, if you want to use your phone for FPV and the controller to fly the CX-OF.  I have to admit, it does look a little silly attaching once the phone is attached. The controller is so small, most new smartphones are bigger than it but it does work.

When using a phone to control the Cheerson CX-OF, you can either use traditional type controls that are emulated on the screen or use the phone’s accelerometers. Cheerson calls this gravity sensor mode. The drone will fly in the direction you tilt the phone.

This can be a little weary if you’re not used to it.  Best to try it when you’re in an open area and have plenty of room.

The app also has a mode where you can “draw” on the screen and the CX-OF will follow the path you drew. This obviously isn’t as precise as large drones with waypoint and touch to fly features utilizing GPS but it’s still a cool feature.

The CX-OF will do “tricks” too. Like mentioned above tricks can be programmed in succession when using the dance (or choreography) mode or flips can be done during regular manual flight. Just hold down the 3D button on the controller until you hear a beep, then push the right stick in the direction you want to do the flip. The CX-OF does the rest.

Charging time using the USB charger is about 30 minutes and flight times are about 5 minutes. I’ve noticed a little longer and a little shorter, depending on how aggressively I fly.

Cheerson CX-OF Pros/Cons

There are definitely a lot of positive features on the CX-OF and some negative too.  But…most of the negative points are simply because of the size of the drone.  Except for the video resolution, you can expect almost mini and micro drones to have similar downsides.

Pros

    • Super easy to fly
    • Inexpensive, good value
    • Optical flow positioning
    • FPV
    • Durability
  • One touch take off and landing

Cons

    • Video resolution
    • Range
    • Brushed motors, they have a limited life span
  • Flight time

cheerson CX-10 OF box contents

What’s in the Box

  • CX-OF drone
  • Transmitter
  • Manual
  • 4 replacement props
  • Prop Wrench
  • Charging cables

Cheerson CX-OF Specs

Weight 22 grams
Range ~ 30m, 20m FPV
Flight Time about 4-5 min
Battery 150 mAh 1S LiPo
Camera Resolution 0.3 MP
Positioning Optical flow sensor

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