Yuneec Typhoon H 4K

What we like:

  • UHD 4K video
  • Collision avoidance system
  • Hexacopter
  • Folding spars

What we don't:

  • Fly away issues (potentially unsafe)
  • Expensive batteries

The Yuneec Typhoon H 4K ($1299) was originally billed as the killer pitted against drones like DJI's Inspire 1, S900, and Matrice, all of which are well beyond this price range. It boasts a full 360-degree panning camera, retractable landing gear, foldable spars (for easy transport), and even a collision avoidance system. Sounds really great, right? We (the members of the Society of Aerial Cinematography) were genuinely excited when we heard about this drone, especially at such a low price point.

Not just that, but it's a hexacopter (six rotors).  A hexacopter not only offers a greater lift capacity, but it can also offer more stability. And, in the case of a rotor failure, the ability to fly back home rather than limping to the ground.

The Typhoon H 4K includes a UHD 4K/30p camera that can also capture 12.8MP stills. As mentioned elsewhere, Yuneec has not published the bit rate of their camera when shooting 4K video, which advanced users may want to consider. Unfortunately, the gimbal itself is poorly dampened against vibration. If you’re lucky enough to have a 4K monitor, you can clearly see Jello effect at full 4K resolution here.  At 20 seconds, look at the domed building on the left.  f you're only on HD, don't bother... you won't see it.

A hexacopter not only offers a greater lift capacity, but it can also offer more stability.

There's a collision avoidance system that uses a combination of sonar and a sensor similar to an XBOX Kinect to scan the surroundings into a 3D model and theoretically follow a target, keep it in frame, and avoid hitting things like trees.

However… and it's a big however, this drone is known to have the same fly-away issues as the Q500 Typhoon 4K, in which the drone flies off on its own until it finally crashes. In fact, a colleague at a different publication experienced this fly away issue firsthand.

The Typhoon H 4K is the epitome of amazing specs and underwhelming performance. Even DJI has had issues with their drones (like the “flip of death” on the old S800), but they fixed these issues in subsequent models. We can only hope that Yuneec learns from the Typhoon and Typhoon-H issues, and fixes their guidance systems for the next round.

The Yuneec Typhoon H 4K has flight time up to 25 minutes, and the batteries are $95 each.

Due to the safety concerns with the current Yuneec products, I can't recommend this drone (for now). Again, though… hopefully it’s not a hardware issue, but software. And maybe (just maybe) it can be fixed with a firmware update. In this case, it does appear that you get what you pay for.

Yuneec Typhoon-H 4K

Build Quality

Ease of Use
Camera Gimbal

Sensors/Flight Control System

Range
Weather Resistance (rain/wind) Portability
Battery Life Crash Resistance/Repair Cost
Value  
Overall Rating