Ares Ethos FPV/HD Review
Ares RC brought us their next big hit, or hits, actually: the Ethos FPV and Ethos HD. The two new quads Feature different video packages, but are they still as good in the flying and durability categories as their previous vehicles? Check out my thoughts on these aerial photography multirotors below…
Review By: Tomato Sauce
Pics By: 3DBill
RTF or Kit: RTF
Electric or Gas: Electric
Motor: Brushed x4
Length: 11.5’’ (292.1mm)
Length including rotors: 18.75’’ (476.25mm)
Height: 5” (127mm)
Rotor Diameter: 7.75” (196mm)
Radio: 4-Channel Proprietary
Trim Scheme Colors: Blue
Recommended Battery: 7.4V 2s LiPo 1200mah
Charger: 2S LiPo AC Charger (used Venom Pro Charger for review)
Experience Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Recommended Environment: Indoor/Outdoor
Street Price: HD $199.99, FPV $299.99
Primary Competition: Heli-Max 230Si
What’s Needed To Complete: HD: None, ready to go out of box, FPV: a little time for FPV Antenna installation and Monitor mount
Build Quality: No issues out of the box, everything looked well built
Test Pilots: Tomato Sauce, Zak (one of my crew), guests of iHobby
Test Venues: HobbyTown Back Area, HobbyTown Parking Lot, iHobby Flying Cage
Set-up Notes: The quadcopter overall was built nicely. Being a avid wrench for aircraft I always cringe at the sight of Phillips screws, and boy this one does not miss on having them on EVERYTHING. Even the landing gear to protect the motor has two tiny Phillips screws holding it in place. The Ethos HD is almost 100% ready out of the box, but the FPV requires the included screen to be charged for an hour or so with a USB charger, and the antennas for the FPV need to be screwed on. This is nothing major, but needs to be said.
Flying: Like the Ethos 75 QX and 130 QX quadcopters, this aircraft is built for any skill level of flying. The two rate settings (60% and 100%) provide excellent maneuverability for any pilot, and there is excellent stability for the best in video and snapshots taken from either of the cameras. Surprisingly enough, these quads certainly can flip! The autoflip feature was a scary moment for me, as I worried the quads would fall out of the sky. The quads, however, flipped right on its axis and lost almost no altitude on a full battery pack. With the large body but narrow arms, some bright tape may help with solidifying a visual to help with orientation, especially in daylight (applies more to HD, but also FPV when the camera feed isn’t enough). A solid flight platform, though the sound of the motor system does not win it any stealth awards (being used for FPV, that is not a bad thing for those not appreciative of spying). Check out the video at the end of the review!
Power: Snapping from low to full power in air resulted in limited loss of altitude, and the quad recovered nicely considering the motors are brushed. All test pilots loved the nice smooth power curve of the quad.
Broken Parts: The test quads suffered very little damage, even after purposeful loss of power at altitudes of 6-10 feet and a few wall smacks. The only ‘break’ was the landing gear screw didn’t hold on one arm, and required a dab of CA glue to hold in place. The screw probably needs to be a hair longer.
Misc Notes: Being an employee of a hobby shop, I have had to repair a few of these quadcopters before and after the Christmas rush. The only issue I have is that there are A LOT of screws on these quads. To replace an arm requires 4 screws from the camera to be removed just to reach the screws for the arm, and it wouldn’t be all that bad if they weren’t super tiny as well as Phillips based. Please don’t let that be a turn off for such a great flying quad, but I did want to make the note. The FPV system was a ton of fun to use. Being a FatShark owner, I was not expecting the great range and clarity of the FPV transmitter and receiver. The added bonus is one can record video with the press of a button on the included radio. The Ethos HD has a great camera as well; it records 1080p video! Also, the accessories that made the Ethos 130QX great for mischievous fun (missile launcher, squirt gun, etc) are also compatible with this quad, if you want to remove the camera setups. Again, the sound of the motors will not let you sneak up on anyone, so no guerrilla warfare!
Best Mod Under $5: Bright tape for arms to help with Non-FPV long distance (more than 50 feet away) flight.
Best Mod Over $5: Make sure you have a nice set of jeweler’s screwdrivers for the Phillips screws.
Summary: The new Ares Ethos FPV and HD are great flying camera platforms that are stable but very agile for the more aggressive pilot. Be prepared with a magnet for the small screw collection when working on the aircraft!
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B Set up and go, minor installations and checks required.
Workability: C The quadcopters are simple but have many small Phillips screws to fight through.
Air Show Rating: B Has the long nose look of all Ares Ethos quadcopters, but does not have a scale look.
Bash-A-Bility: A Takes a beating and keeps on ticking, just like it’s shootout winning brother of last winter!
Fun Factor: B Great platform for aerial photography, with options for different accessories. FPV is always a blast!
Handling: A Flies stable, flips on its axis, and great for all skill levels.
Value: B A great value for FPV ($300) and for an HD Camera ($200).
Parts Availability: C Limited to HobbyTown stores, but all parts are on shelves today!
BigSquid Rating: B A solid platform becoming of the Ethos name, and is ready to be added to any photographer’s or basher’s collection!