One of the new drones that were announced at CES 2020 this year was a drone called the PowerEgg-X from PowerVision. There are two variations the Power Egg X Explorer and the Power Egg X Wizard. The main difference is the PowerEgg-X Wizard comes with some extra accessories to allow you to fly this drone in the rain and land on water. The wizard edition expansion box contains some floating pontoons, waterproof housing, some extra prop, and an extra battery. PowerVision is not new to drones as they have had offerings in the past most notably the original Power Egg.
I was really intrigued by this drone and its ability to fly in the rain and land on water. Its specs were pretty impressive as well with 4k 60FPS, 30 minute flight time and a range of 3.7 miles it was just as powerful as any of the high-end drones that were currently on the market. Now if the waterproof capabilities were not cool enough this drone can also convert to a handheld camcorder by removing the arms and attaching a hand loop. I decided to order one in to test and review on my YouTube channel and unfortunately, my review did not end up being very positive, let’s take a look at why. I just want to mention that all of the problems I experienced with this drone I believe to be firmware related. As with any new drone, there are always firmware issues that need to be addressed when they are first released and bugs are discovered. I am pretty confident that PowerVision will be able to correct most of these issues with firmware updates. Another thing to consider is that the drone I reviewed could have been defective and the problems I experience are not across the board for every PowerEgg-X.
I really enjoyed the modular design of this drone and how it can convert from a handheld device to a drone in seconds. The build quality, packaging, and presentation were top-notch and I was quite impressed with it as I was unboxing it. Even the remote has a nice quality feel to it and very comfortable to hold. Overall my first initial impressions of the drone were quite positive but that changed pretty quickly after my first flight.
My first flight with the PowerEgg X started well, I was getting comfortable with the controls and testing the responsiveness of the drone and fluidity of the controls and I was quite happy with its performance. I spent the first 10 minutes of flight in close proximity to make sure everything was stable and so far it looked good. After about 10 minutes I decided to take it a little further and at about 250 meters I started getting a weal signal message. This drone is rated to fly a distance of 3.7 miles so getting that message at 25o meters was a little concerning. At about 300 meters I lost connection to the drone however it did reconnect about 10 to 20 seconds later but without a video feed. I was still able to fly the drone but with no live feed. I brought it back closer to where I was located but the video feed never kicked back in, I had to land it and restart the drone. This was repeated over and over at between 250 meters and 350 meters I would lose connection and never be able to recover a live video feed. Now to be fair I was in an area that did have WiFi interference but even my $400 Mavic Mini could get a much better range and a more solid connection at the same location. The fact the video feed would not come back was a little concerning. I continued with my testing and for the most part, everything else worked well, the tracking feature work as expected as did the intelligent shooting modes. I did, however, run into a problem where after initiating a flight mode it would count down like it was bout to start the shot but then would just hang. A second attempt was always successful.
After my first test flight, I went home to check out the footage and that was a disappointment, to say the least. I found the footage I captured that day to be very dull, muddy and extremely blurry throughout the whole image but especially in the corners. At first, I thought I had maybe copied of the low res preview file accidentally but after investigating it was indeed the 4k footage. This looked like footage from non HD drones I was flying 6 years ago. Now the interesting thing is when using the drone as a handheld camera the footage actually looks pretty decent, this is what leads me to believe the poor drone footage is a firmware problem and can be corrected as the camera is obviously capable of capturing quality content.
The waterproof capabilities of PowerEgg-X Wizard it is very interesting and works extremely well, however, there are some limitations when capturing content. The pontoons attach easily and allow you to land on water, now I would not attempt to land on fast-moving water as you may run into some problems. The pontoons are also great for landing and taking off from snow. You must also note that the pontoons do affect flight time and high winds can make the drone unstable. The waterproof housing works well I lfew it in fairly hard rain and experienced no water leakage. The footage does not look the best due to water droplets on the front bubble and also noticed a little distortion in the footage from filming threw the plastic bubble. Depending on the weather and conditions you may find the inside fogging up and may need to use an antifog spray. The waterproof capabilities are a nice touch for those who want to film watersports, you don’t have to worry about the drone getting splashed or if it goes down unexpectedly the pontoons will keep it afloat.
I must say that customer service at PowerVison is top-notch, they were quick to respond to my questions, ultimately I decided to return the unit for a refund until some of these problems are sorted out. The return procedure was quick and easy. If you have been looking at the PowerEgg-X you may want to hold off just a bit to give the engineers time to fix the problems with the software. I think once these problems have been corrected the PowerEgg X will be a feature-rich and versatile drone for a decent price.