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Posted on Nov 20, 2016 in Reviews | 86 comments

UDI U818A Quadcopter Review

Updated: November 25, 2016
UDI U818A reviewed by: Chris Ortwein

UDI U818A Review: Contents

1.) Specifications

2.) Set Up

3.) First Flight

4.) Taking Photos

5.) Advanced Features

For your first drone (also known as a quadcopter), we highly recommend the UDI U818A. This drone is perfect for beginners and those looking to practice before taking on a more expensive aircraft. Although this drone can take quite the beating (you will probably crash several times when starting out), we don’t recommend flying above concrete or asphalt! This UDI U818A Quadcopter Review will help you with everything from setting up your quadcopter to actually flying the aircraft. The UDI U818A is currently #24 on the list of ‘Best Selling Toys and Games’ on Amazon.

Check out our favorite Cyber Monday drone deals in 2017 for the UDI UI818A!


The UDI U818A is electric powered, radio controlled, and equipped with 6 gyroscopes for stabilization.

Rating 4/5 Stars
Flight Time 7min-9min
Battery Type 3.7V LiPo
Charging Time 60min
Communication Distance 300ft
AA Battery 4 Required
Camera 640×480 pixels
Skill Level Beginner
Price $45


Getting Started: UDI U818A Quadcopter Review

The UDI U818A comes ready to fly. All you have to do is charge up the LiPo battery and insert AA batteries into the controller and you’re good to go. We’ve heard from multiple sources that it takes about 2 hours to get a full charge, but we’ve found that it takes no longer than an hour. The light will turn green when it’s ready. If you take a look at your transmitter you can see that it displays the mode you are in (mode 1 and mode 2), camera settings, throttle settings, and battery life.

UDI U818A Quadcopter Review

Set Up

The drone comes fully equipped with a 3.7V 500mAh LiPo battery, a transmitter, and a mini camera (640×480 pixels). The box also includes 4 backup propellers, a mini screwdriver, a battery charger, and a USB connector (camera to computer) to upload your footage. We highly recommend buying extra batteries since the standard one only gives you a flight time of about 7 minutes. This can be frustrating if you want to drive to a far location or if you’re sharing the drone with multiple people. We bought this 2-pack of 600mAh batteries from Amazon that add 18 minutes each to your flight time, giving us a total of 43 minutes in the air with the three fully charged batteries.

|Click Now to Get Your UDI U818A from Amazon|

Once you have the battery charged up and the transmitter working, you might want to read through the manual to fully understand the operations. Next, you will want to find a good location to take flight. When we first started we practiced inside my apartment to avoid wind. The room had carpet and a bed so we didn’t have to worry about damaging the drone. We recommend practicing hovering and landing until you get a grasp on flying the machine. Make sure you clear anything out of the way you wouldn’t want the drone running into (TV, computer, glass vases, etc.). You will find that it is much easier to fly in a big open space cause you won’t have to worry about these things.


First Flight

We strongly recommend finding a large grass park or an open field of some kind when taking your drone out for the first time. Do not fly outside if there is wind! This is a lightweight vehicle so the wind will cause it to lose stability easily. We’ve learned this the hard way a couple of times. Fortunately, the first time we were able to climb the tree to get it out. We weren’t so lucky the second time. Despite our first mishap, we still decided to fly with a light breeze. The sun was also beaming down, and this caused us to lose sight. The wind took control of our U818A and blew it away. We were looking for a while until my girlfriend finally noticed it up in a tree. After getting two shoes stuck with it, and tossing pine cones for an hour, we decided to drive to my buddy’s house to grab a two story tall ladder. It was 110° out that day…needless to say it was a pain.

Taking Photos

After you understand how to fly the UDI U818 you can start practicing your photography. Press the button with the little video camera image next to it before taking off. Then press the button again whenever you are done recording. Keep in mind this camera only records video, not audio. You can also take pictures by pressing the button with the camera image next to it. It’s extremely easy to view your photos and videos. You just plug the camera into any computer through the provided USB cord.


Advanced Flight Features

Another cool feature of the UDI U818A is its 360° eversion maneuver. Whenever your drone is about 10 feet or higher in the air you can hit the 360° button and the quadcopter will automatically do a flip in the air. Be ready to throttle up right after, otherwise it will run itself into the ground.

It will take a little bit of time to get used to the UDI U818A. Don’t get frustrated. Make sure you are aware of the laws and regulations before flying. Most importantly, have fun with your new drone!

Here is our first flight with the UDI U818A! It got windy and knocked the UDI off balance but the UDI floated harmlessly to the ground!



udi-u818a-fpvThere is now an FPV model available. Over the past couple years, UDI worked on perfecting this quadcopter and adding new features to keep up with the big dogs, such as DJI. Now you can use the provided FPV goggles to view what the quads camera is focused on. It’s almost as if you are playing a video game.. We highly recommend considering the FPV before buying the original. It’s still the perfect beginner quadcopter (easy to fly and extremely durable). As we mentioned earlier, it can withstand a pretty good beating and still fly just fine. The FPV Wifi edition would be perfect if you’re trying to get into FPV drone racing, or if you’re a VR enthusiast.


Did we miss something? Let us know what you think of our UDI U818A Quadcopter review!


You may also be interested in…

DJI Phantom 4 Review

Drone Buying Guide


Is the UDI U818A not quite what you were looking for? Click here for more drone reviews.


  1. When I plugged in the battery charger for the first time the light stays red? Its been charging for a full day now but still red not green? Any ideas why? Thanks

    • We recommend trying another outlet. If the same problem occurs, you might just want to purchase another charger. Please let us know if you have anymore questions or concerns. Good luck!

    • Did you ever figure out why your charger wasn’t turning green? Mine is doing the same thing. Continuously red… switched to a few different outlets.

    • When I plug mine in, the light is out. When the battery is fully charged, the red LED will come on. Since this is a LiPo battery and it was left on the charger for so long, I think the battery may be severely damaged or the life of the battery may be diminished.

    • its not plugged in all the way

  2. Look like John and I have the same problem. The chargers light just keep on stayin red. after 12 hours of charging its still red. gotta email newegg about it.

    nice article!

  3. Just got mine and plug charger in (with no battery connected) charger shows red light. Unplug and hook battery to it then plug back in nothing no light of any kind.
    Book says charger will stay red until charged the Change to green.

    • I’m having the same problem… charger lights red when plugged in WITHOUT the battery attached. Once the battery is attached the light isn’t colored at all.

  4. Here is how it works: plug in charger & its red. Hook up battery & red goes away until battery is charged. You kniw battery is charged when charger turns red again. Seens to be a charger light quirk. Otherwise it charges fine

  5. Actually – after having flown this a few times – I am not a big fan. I have a pilots license and I am good with video games too, but this thing constantly has to be trimmed, randomly goes a different direction, randomly drops out of the sky (shouldn’t be a range issue – only 30 feet overhead), continues to climb while reducing throttle, and etc.

    Trying to perfect my landings is driving me crazy…I need to get something that works.

  6. Got mine two days ago, couldn’t get it to lift of the ground…

    BTW, one important detail is about gyro calibration


  7. The Charger is supposed to operate exactly as stated, UDI is continuing to sell this product with a run of defunct Charger’s.

    I had same exact symptom as above.

  8. I recently flew my UDI u818a on a windy day and unfortunately it landed in a lake. I was able to retrieve it quickly and it didn’t seem to do much damage. Everything lights up, etc…however, I can’t get the propellers to run so now I’m pretty much grounded! Has this happened to anyone, and if so where you able to get it running again? If so, how? Did you need to replace a part and if so what part?

    Thanks for your help!

  9. this product loses connection even when im right next to it how can I fix that help please…..

    • I had an intermittent connection and the bars on the remote would show up and disappear. It was the receiver board cable that connects to the battery. You’ll have to return the unit for a replacement.

  10. Have become quite expert at flying the 818a and it flew beautifully last night, was put back in the box n tonight it won’t lift more than a couple feet at best. Re calibrated the gyro successfully. Swapped props correctly as were a bit dinged up after many crashes and no better. Gears are fine, no unusual vibration or noise n batteries charged and swapped with no improvement. Transmitter shows full battery n signal. Popped shell off of drone, all wires and connections look great. Am bum fuzzled and pissed off now. Any suggestions?????? How can it “wear out ” overnight in a box !!!

    • Did you ever get it working? I am having te same issue

    • Did you get this fixed? I have same issues. Seems fine but can’t get more than a foot off the ground??? What’s wron g?

  11. Had this since christmas (gift from my wife). When it works the way its supposed to, its great fun. The only problem is that is a very rare thing. My big issue is I can fly 60 to 100 feet high, bring it down low, take it back up and at 30 or 40 feet it drops out of the sky. It never comes down in the grass, but ALWAYS on the concrete sidewalk, or in the middle of the street. It is so frustrating I rarely fly it any more. The 300 foot range is a total joke. The ABSOLUTE MOST I’VE EVER GOT IS MAYBE 100 FEET. Then at about the 90 to 100 foot mark, down it comes. Sorry, but I cannot recommend this drone, more frustration than enjoyment. Begining to really hate this thing.

  12. Broke a blade now will not get off the ground they all turn but will not fly

  13. Hi
    I got this, but battery fell off all the time, nothing hold it….how did u fix that problem/ thanks

  14. When I take videos or photos with the sd card provided and try to look at them it says blank sd card or no sd card found and when I fly it there’s a red blinking light underneath the drone right beside the blue one does anybody know what’s going on?

    • Did you ever figure this out? I have the exact same issue. The card says it’s blank. And the red light flashes, and the blue one stays lit. Anyone know anything?

    • Try formatting the SD card as FAT32 on your computer. The SD card can become loose, which can cause problems too. For best results turn off recording before turning off the quadcopter, otherwise the videos can get corrupted. Hope that helps!

  15. I got mine today. The drone and the controller doesn’t pair.Never here the pair sound. Not sure why, did everything as the manual said. But it doesn’t work. Anyone know why and how to fix it?

    • Did you ever find out?

  16. When I was with my cousin he messed up the trimming is there a way to reset it

  17. I plugged mine in and the light don’t come on any ideas

  18. Got this for Christmas took it outside, no wind, wind kicked up, drone stop responding shot straight up in the air last I saw it. Shortest Christmas present I ever had. It’s now in conservation land behind my house never to be seen again. If anybody has any ideas please let me know.

  19. after flying it for about 5 minutes, I got a blinking white light. Not sure if that was the camera or what, but it wouldn’t stop blinking and the propellers would no longer turn. Now the blue and red lights on the drone won’t even light up. I charged it up and the batteries in the remote were new. It came on for a second and hovered low to the ground before it died out again. I also read that you are supposed to push the left lever forward and let it snap back when initially about to fly it, but it doesn’t snap back whether I push it forward or backward. Could this be the problem? It will snap back if I push it side to side but not forward or backward

    • you have to push forword and then you have to pull it back it doesn’t snap back

  20. One propeller on oursisnt working, it wasn’t starting right away right out of the box, but with a little tap it would start working, now it won’t turn at all. Any suggestions on how to fix this? Also our left trim button won’t move…is this normal?

  21. Our U818A was working fine for a couple of days, then after an unfortunate encounter with a tree and then the driveway, one of the rotors won’t stop spinning! The only way to get it to stop is to remove the battery. The other three rotors are working properly. I’ve tried recalibrating it several times to no avail. Close visual inspection with the bottom cover removed didn’t reveal any obvious broken wires, fractures or shorts. Any ideas? Help!

  22. I just got mine for X-Mas and the battery came fully charged. In fact, I plugged it into the charger and the green light came on…even though it wasn’t plugged in. That was a bit weird.

  23. How the heck does a novice pilot calibrate the gyro of the UA818A quad copter? The instructions are translated from Mandarin to English and are almost impossible to fathom. As soon as I get my quad to hover, it starts to drift.

  24. Having similar problems with charger and can’t get it synced. Any suggestions??

  25. Great write up. Took a few pictures but they seem distorted? Almost look like a painting. Any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

  26. my drone is making these beeping noises and its not the di do di that the manual happens when I am trying to trim my drone.I tried to ignore it,but eventually the drone disconnects from the transmitter.I recalibrate it, and it stops temporarily,but soon returns.Any ideas?

  27. Bought this for my son for Christmas. Charged prior to using even though it states you do not have to. Worked – way fun – for maybe 8 mins or so. Charged again – but would not work. Going to get two additional batteries and if those don’t work will return this.

  28. after a few mins or so of flying, my transmitter begins to continuously beep. this is this the transmitter telling me that the batteries on the drone are getting low? thanks for any help you can give me

  29. I cannot get the camera or video to work. After putting in the sd card the lights will not light up. Any ideas

  30. My camera won’t work because the wire coming out of it is not connected to anything. Where do you connect the wire?

    • ever figure out where to connect the camera wire… I can’t

  31. I have had a blue wire severed from the motor under one of the white propellers. I am looking for the wire size and advice on re terminating the cut wire. Me and my dad both have plenty of electrical experience and I have been an industrial electrician for 5-6 years now. From the motor side, there is about 3/16″ of wire sticking out and almost an inch of wire sticking out of the protective case coming from the housing and the center of the drone.

  32. HI. My U817A was flying fine for about 7 flights,,then starts to drop after 1 minute of flight it slowly decends then i get nothing when i try my controls. So i have to disconnect the battery, reconnect and restart the remote connection and the cycle continues. Any suggestions on this?

    • Got the same problem

    • Did you find the solution to the problem? as I have a similar problem. I can fly for 30 to 40 seconds and then the blades stop spinning and the front white light will flash on and off. So I have to disconnect the battery, reconnect and restart the remote connection and the cycle continues. If you have an answer for your comment it could fix my problem, please advise?

      • Hey Norm – So after you disconnect the battery and reconnect, it still only lets you fly for 30 seconds? That what it sounds like, but just want to get clarification. Thanks!

        • Same problem here. Have you guys fixed it?

  33. Does this drone require registration with the FAA? I have checked the lists but have only seen them refer to the U818A-1, not specifically the U818A. I bought this for my kids, but we haven’t used ot because we can’t find the answer about registration yet…Please help!

  34. Anna asks: “Does this drone require registration with the FAA?”
    YES, it does. The UDIRC Toys website lists the weight of this particular U818A as 346 grams, which is 12.2 ounces. The FAA requirement is 0.55 lbs (8.8 ounces) or more.

    Don’t be confused by other websites that say that the U818A does not require FAA registration, because there are several ‘flavors’ of the U818A and some weigh less than others due to battery size and camera type.

  35. Actually Anna, I was referring to the U818A HD model that is in the link I provided (I just bought that one.) So you need to check your particular U818A model to get the exact weight. Sorry for any confusion!

  36. One of my front propellers (white ones) isn’t working and it makes a different sound then the other propellors. Any suggestions?

  37. I purchased my drone from Amazon from DBPower, and two things, the first is that I press the “flip” button but the transmitter beeps 20 quick times but the drone does not flip. Any ideas?

    • When it starts beeping take the direction any direction and hold, it will flip in that direction. You will then need to throttle up or it will lose altitude fast.

  38. I bought my U818A from Amazon through DB Power, when I press the “Flip” button my transmitter quickly beeps about 20 times and my drone does not flip. I have tried several times and still the same thing. Any ideas?

  39. I’m a complete novice with drones, and am a bit frustrated with the U818A HD+. I can get it to fly, often in the direction I want it to, but the user guide is almost incoherent so trying to get better at operating it is pretty much trial and error.

  40. I took mine out of the box yesterday and tried to hook it to wifi with my phone for the camera. Now its like something destroyed my 2 batteries back to back. No battery response till i plugged in the other battery. I got my 8 minute flight. Charged the battery, now my other battery is unresponsive as well

    • The remote starts beeping when the drone batter is almost depleted. You should get 5 to 8 min of flight time with the stock battery.

  41. We just took it our of the box plugged everything needed and for 5 min everything was fine all of a sudden it starts beeping. The battery was fully charged and everything was fine now every time we turn it on it starts beeping the light was still blue and I cant fine anything on the internet about why it was beeping. Please help

    • Same here.

    • Hey Avery and Dwight,

      Hopefully we can help here. So this happened with both batteries? And when it was beeping, how did the quad respond? Ex. Did it land itself?

      Shoot us an email and I can send you a more advanced guide. Which version do you have?

    • I’m having the same problem. On top of that, the instruction manual doesn’t have a troubleshooting guide in it, either… Damn Chinese

  42. I just got my drone and the first time i flew it, i took some pictures, tried to get the controls down,etc. But when i started trying to take videos, they all come out as a black video. The pictures are fine. And yes, I press the video button again before i turn it all off. Please help me.

    • Andrew, we are having the same issue. Any update you can provide?

    • Hey Andrew – That’s bizarre. We’ve never experienced that before. I would try reaching out to customer service (may be difficult). Want to shoot us an email? Maybe we can help in some other way. Let us know!

      contact info: [email protected]

  43. i lost the controller to my drone, is it pretty much trash now?

    • Hey Justin,

      How long have you had the quad?

  44. Does anyone know anything about why the video feeds randomly break up into several different files while recording? When I take the drone up to about 200 feet, I have it continuously recording video, but when I go to look at the videos on the card, they are broken up into different files (11.6 MB, 1.7 MB, 216 MB, in that order). Is this a result of some sort of interrupted signal from the controller.

  45. i must be one of the lucky ones who got one that has no issues. i have experience with RC electrics and sloping so the controls were familiar. right out of the box with fully charged battery (it came with two) i was able to trim it to a stable hover (in the house) within the first 30 seconds or so. i also have experience with “Chinglish” so the extortions (instructions) were “…very adaptable to friendly usage and enjoyment…”. i did not need to move the right joystick during setup as the instructions state. just moving the throttle forward and back completes the binding process. flight times were only about 5 minutes with the stock batteries (found 5 for under $13 on ebay). after reading around i decided to remove the (green) protective body. first remove the headlight held by one screw then simply push the body off the frame since it’s only a friction fit. the body, with the black protective bottom piece, weighs 34 grams. i then removed the two juice-sucking led strips on either side of the bottom (four screws and unplug them from the circuit board) saving an additional 2 grams of dead weight. took it outside for a test flight and got a good 7 minute flight. very happy i did that! now have made a body using EPP foam (total body weight of 1 (one) gram). pics and video are clear and smooth. no problems with the video breaking up into segments like others have had happen. on the camera- it is possible to adjust it *slightly* up and down by *carefully* razor blading the tab located behind the lens which is mounted on a pivot. wish i could post pics. my rating for this drone so far with about 30 minutes flying time is 4.8 stars just because i haven’t had any problems with it but nothing is perfect.

    • total weight now with the EPP body is 100 grams. and once binded i can fly it out of my hand or toss it up and hit the throttle.

  46. My drone was mid-flight and while it was up in the air lost control and when i was pressing the return home button, it literally started flying the other way over all the neighboring houses in my neighborhood. well that was the last time i saw that drone again I’ve been looking for over an hour. Does anyone know why it had this crazy reaction?

  47. update on mine is that i now realize that i must continually work the throttle in order to maintain a hover anywhere above about two feet. other than that it’s a hoot to fly. havent tried flips or return home yet. video is pretty clear and there is audio, mostly motor noise tho…

  48. I have the u818a FPV. Recently, the LED on the battery charger itself has been staying green long after I unplug the battery from the charger. In addition, the green LED will come on when I know the battery is not fully charged.

    It’s now difficult for me to know when a battery is fully charged or not, and I am reluctant to trust the LED indicator at this point.

    Any suggestions?

    • Honestly, the best thing you can do in that situation is put your battery on the charger for exactly 120 minutes. Just set a timer, and then take it off. You should be good to go!


  49. Hey when I take off with the FPV module it tilts back. It won’t fly straight up it will go backwords. I need help because my dad threw away the instruction manuel and can’t find any answers online. Thanks

  50. I have now purchased 2 of these. Both have been just fine and flying well and then they vanish and can’t find them

    • That’s so weird! Were you able to find one??


  51. Hello. I am flying my U818A HD for the first time.Well I just bought brand new Double AA batteries for the remote and after about 5 minutes of trying to fly for the first time, it started beeping and would not stop. The battery indicator on the screen shows full battery but no response to the remote. Is the batteries already drained that fast and the indicator does show it correctly? I bought these batteries today on the first day of using them. Shouldnt the indicator reflect the batteries inside? Any help or suggestions wouls be great. Thanks!!

    • Hey there!

      That’s so strange… We’ve never heard of the remote having problems with battery life. Were you able to get the issue resolved? If not, I would get in contact with Amazon and let them know what’s going on. Assuming you got it through Amazon?

  52. I also would like to ask, what would be the best brand for non rechargeable batteries for the remote? I think “heavy duty” batteries that are a $1 a pack, probably drain super fast after about 5 minutes of using them in this remote. Would that be correct? My screen shows full battery power but no response on the remote to the drone. Thanks.

  53. I have the UDI R/C U818A FPV HD model. I’ve had very few problems apart from one battery that lasts maybe 4 minutes versus on that last at least 7. I recently flew it near a golf course and ended up getting mixed up on my orientation. I was maybe 30-40 feet off the ground but ended up over 900 feet away (verified on Google Maps) trying to get it back to me. I could still control it but that far away I was hopelessly going farther away and could not tell which way I was pointed so I just shut it off and drove over to where I thought it landed. Luckily right on grass near some small trees. Sometimes if I don’t get a good charge the Wifi doesn’t connect so I’ll just fly without it. I’m considering trying to get up to 400-500 feet up on a very calm clear day.

    • That’s the beauty of the UDI U818A… you can really test the limits! It’s so durable. With other quads, like the Mavic, there’s always a possibility of crashing. Just like you were saying, the signal can go out and you don’t have to stress about it. The UDI was built to crash and fly right back up. It’s our favorite cheap beginner drone for sure!

      Have you been able to reach 500 ft yet??

  54. Is there a way to replace the blade motor? Got stuck in a tree & when I got it down the black blades won’t spin. I’m guessing it’s the motors?


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