HobbyZone Faze RTF Ultra Small Quad
Type: RTF ultra micro quadcopter
Skill level: Beginner
Weight: 12.2 grams
• Compact quadcopter with a flying weight of 12.2 grams
• Easy-to-use flip mode
• 100 mAh internal LiPo flight battery
• Compact 2.4 GHz transmitter
• Three rates to choose from: low, medium, and high
• USB charge cable gets you back flying in minutes
• Two AAA transmitter batteries included
• Four replacement propeller blades
I’ve had the pleasure of spending the last couple of months with a tiny, but mighty, RTF (Ready to Fly) model from HobbyZone called the Faze. I’ve had a number of people ask if I really like flying something that small. Quite frankly, the answer to that is … well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
When I first opened the packaging for the Faze Ultra Small Quad, one thing was for certain: “Ultra Small” is an accurate description! Although small enough to fit within the confines of my palm, it sure didn’t hold back when it came to fun.
The Faze comes right out of the box ready to fly. You receive the quadcopter with an included LiPo battery, replacement propellers and body shell, a USB charger, a transmitter, two AAA batteries, and an instruction manual. That manual is also available for download on the HobbyZone website in the event that you lose it.
You can’t pull the Faze straight from the box and put it in the air, so the first step was to charge the LiPo battery cell that sits inside the body shell. After consulting the manual for the correct procedure for this model, I found that with the included USB charger, you can plug directly into your desktop computer, laptop, or any wall jack that accepts a USB connection. I’ve tested this in all three scenarios with no issues, and charge times were roughly the same in each case: approximately 30 minutes.
The LiPo battery inside the Faze is not removable, so there is a charge port directly at the rear of the quad into which you plug the other end of the USB charger. How do you know when you’re charged and ready to go? A handy red LED light built into the USB plug lights up brightly when charging is complete. I had no trouble spotting it from across the room and knowing that it was ready to fly.
The HobbyZone Faze RTF Ultra Small Quad comes with everything you need to fly out of the box.
The Faze has a strong, sturdy construction that stands up to the rigors of indoor flying.
Before I took off, I tried to get accustomed to the size of the Faze’s transmitter. Ultrasmall doesn’t just describe the quadcopter, folks. I had some concern initially that my large hands would have some difficulty with such a small transmitter, but I actually found that it wasn’t too difficult to adapt to. Ergonomics were good, although the elevator trim adjustments might be harder for those with larger hands to reach.
When I felt comfortable with the feel of the transmitter, I was ready to fly. The power switch on the rear of the quad (directly under the charge port) is easy to get to and has a satisfying click when switched on or off. I switched it on and was greeted by six flashing LED lights on the Faze’s edges.
You’ll need to bind your transmitter and quadcopter, and that’s a simple process. When your Faze and transmitter are both on, raise your throttle stick to its maximum position and then fully lower it. At this point, the Faze’s LED lights will become solid and you’ll hear a beep to let you know that it’s bound and ready for takeoff.
My first flight took place in the great indoors of my office, and that was a conscious decision. Because of the quadcopter’s size, I was concerned that exposing it to the breezy outdoors on its maiden flight might be a recipe for disaster (I’ll have more on that later). I spent that first flight really trying to get a feel for the aircraft and how it reacts to my transmitter commands.
I was initially somewhat frustrated that I couldn’t quite achieve a steady hover. I looked through the manual again to check for any mention of dual rates or different flying modes. There was no mention of any.
I later found that there are, in fact, three different flying modes and they are activated by clicking in the throttle stick. What was unknown to me at the time was that my first flight was on the most advanced level; therefore, even the smallest movement on my tiny transmitter would mean huge movement around the room.
Once I got the flight mode down to level 1, I was able to really get comfortable with the Faze, and then gradually move back up to level 3. I recommend taking this approach, no matter how advanced your skills may be.
I really began to love this quad when I finally took it outside and gave it room to breathe. Suddenly, those huge movements I experienced seemed a little smaller and I was able to have some fun with its agile handling. It is susceptible to even the lightest gusts of wind, but not quite as much as I would have thought. I was still able to maintain control when the occasional breeze swept through.
One thing to keep in mind is because of the Faze’s size, you must be careful to not lose your orientation. Inside, it’s easy to stay oriented, but outside becomes a whole new ballgame. I’m pleased that HobbyZone included those six extra-bright LED lights to guide me. The two on the front are a bright blue, the side ones are white, and the two on the back are red. This feature was a huge help on all but the brightest of sunny days. In the late hours of the afternoon and early evening, when the sun was just starting to fade, staying oriented became a piece of cake.
The bright LED lights on the edges assist in maintaining orientation.
One of the big selling points of the Faze is that it features an “Auto Flip” function. With the click of a button and a flick of the direction stick, you can send your quad into a barrel roll in any direction. It’s worth noting that you will lose altitude with each flip, so make sure to give yourself enough clearance before attempting these maneuvers. With that stated, it is a simple feature that I use to impress anyone who happens to be watching my flight.
The Faze’s durability was quite astounding for something so small. It took its share of crash landings into desks and doors, but kept on ticking without the need to swap in the replacement parts.
My tests have shown that I get nearly 5 minutes of flight time with the Faze. Time and time again, after those 5 minutes have expired, I’ve found myself running back to the nearest USB outlet to charge it again.
So to answer those folks who ask if it’s really that fun to fly something so “ultrasmall,” I must answer a resounding yes.