MJX Bugs 2 Brushless QuadCopter Review

The MJX Bugs 2 is the successor to the widely popular Bugs 3 and was unveiled in February 2017 at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. It would have been much simpler if they just named it the Bugs 4, but MJX is known for having a quirky product naming strategy. And their drones also tend to be branded under different names for different markets, which adds to the overall confusion somewhat. But they do know how to make a great inexpensive drone. So we should probably forgive their naming sins.

When Hong Kong-based drone-maker MJX launched the Bugs 3 last year, I was pleasantly surprised. Though just an affordable entry level drone, it packed quite a decent bit of performance for a bargain price of under $200. The Bugs series of quadcopters sport high performing brushless motors, sturdy design, long battery life and compatibility with action cams.

And the Bugs 2 really nails it, with improvements in virtually every sphere over the Bugs 3. In this in-depth review, we will run a fine-toothed comb over the pros and cons of the MJX Bugs 2. And at the end, we will even try to figure out if this affordable little drone is worth your time, and more importantly, your cash.


MJX – A Very Short Intro

​They are a Chinese radio toys brand. The letters stand for Mei-jia-xin, from their parent company, the Guangdong Meijiaxin Innovative Technology. The firm was established in 1983, and made a name for themselves in the world of RC toys for kids, before venturing into the newer arena of smart drones and quadcopters. MJX is based in Hong Kong but have a growing global presence.

They are no DJI, but to give credit where it is due, they do fill a much sought after price point in the growing drone and quadcopter market. Their specialty is in making affordable yet capable drones. MJX products are cheap but still sturdy and durable. These won't fall apart even after a few 'unplanned landings" (read: crashes). Read our guide here to help prevent these "unplanned landings".

MJX Bugs 2 Review : Specifications​

This is a capable little drone in the sub-$250 segment. Despite that low price tag, it does carry some serious hardware under the hood. Here is the lowdown on the specs of the Bugs 2, along with short explanations:​

Design:

It's a quadcopter design, which has four separate rotors to power the craft. If your not happy with the looks of the bugs 2 consider creating your own custom vinyl design using a heat press.

Material:

The body is made of sturdy ABS plastic, the kind used in automobiles and helmets.

Motor:

The quadcopter is powered by four MT1806 1800KV brushless motors.

Battery:

Inside the Drone is a compact 1800mAh Lithium Polymer battery running at 7.4 volts.

Communications:

The craft utilizes 2.4 GHz frequency dual way transmitter for stable control and comms.

Navigation:

The Bugs 2 uses an onboard GPS system to guide itself outdoors.

Sensors:

For improved stability, there is a 6-Axis gyroscope on the flyer.

Video Capabilities:

The drone has an integrated camera capable of 1080p resolution.

Controls:

The quadcopter can be operated using a remote control with intuitive and easy to master joystick controls. To grab visuals from the camera in real time, there is a First Person View system that can be accessed from a smartphone/iPhone, using WiFi.

Dimensions:

25.5 x 25.5 x 7.5 cm, or 10 x 10 x 3 inches. The mentioned figures are without including the rotors/propellers. The drone weighs 445g, or 15 oz, including the battery pack.

Variants:

Three color options are available, black, red and white. There will be two different variants of the Bugs 2. One variant is expected to have standard specifications, while the second version will have the optional FPV support.

MJX Bugs 2 video review and un-boxing Video

Bugs 2 Review: Flight Capabilities and Best Features

Brushless Advantage

Thanks to those four MT1806 brushless motors, the Bugs 2 can stay in the air for nearly 20 minutes on a full charge. To be honest, that is not a high figure, as many models can remain in the air for half an hour or longer. But the catch lies in their price range. Those drones tend to retail at over $500 and well close to a thousand bucks even. For less than half that price, 15-20 minutes flight time is quite good.​

Excellent Flight Duration

Thanks to those four MT1806 brushless motors, the Bugs 2 can stay in the air for nearly 20 minutes on a full charge. To be honest, that is not a high figure, as many models can remain in the air for half an hour or longer. But the catch lies in their price range. Those drones tend to retail at over $500 and well close to a thousand bucks even. For less than half that price, 15-20 minutes flight time is quite good.

Long Range

The 2.4 GHz dual way transmitter can keep the Bugs 2 in your control at ranges beyond 1000m. The stated maximum range is almost close to a mile, which is pretty darn impressive for such a budget-priced quadcopter.

Rechargeable Battery Pack

This is pretty much the norm these days in the world of drones and RC quadcopters. And the battery capacity is a middling 1800mAh, which is not at all bad considering the compact size of the drone. A battery pack is always a better option in comparison to AA batteries. If you want to keep the quadcopter airborne for several flying sessions, you have the option of buying additional battery packs.

GPS Navigation & One Key Return

With the addition of this feature, MJX has considerably improved the safety and reliability of the Bugs quadcopter. Thanks to the inclusion of GPS, a nifty "one key return" feature makes its way to the Bugs 2. This is a pretty essential feature these days for new drones. With just the press of a button, you can now call back the drone in mid-flight. And it will fly home on its own without your assistance, guided by the GPS system and the signal from your remote. This feature is incredibly useful if you happen to stray into restricted airspace or over private land.

Onboard Camera and Optional FPV

The Bugs 2 can function either as a racer or as a device for aerial videography. The onboard camera can shoot HD 1080p videos. FPV stands for First Person view, and most higher priced drones have a built-in screen on the remote control where you can see the feed from the onboard camera in real time. The Bugs 2 offers optional FPV support through WiFi, in one of the variants on sale. The video feed can be accessed on your smartphone through an app.

Altitude Hold For Better Video Capture

With a dedicated altitude hold feature, the Bugs 2 makes it easier than ever before to hover at a particular height. This feature is invaluable when it comes to capturing high-quality video. It helps take stable long takes and zooming shots from any altitude you desire.

Failsafe Headless Mode

Headless mode is a feature found in many drones. When this mode is activated, any directional changes you make do not affect the controls. It is hard to figure out the front or back of a quadcopter once it is high up in the air. With headless mode on, pushing the flight stick forward will always keep the drone going forward (and right is right, left is left, and back is back), regardless of which way the drone is pointing. It is a useful feature that removes the need for us pilots to worry about orientation.​

One-Touch Landing

The advanced navigation systems on board help the Bugs 2 perform certain maneuvers at the touch of a button. The one-touch landing system is especially useful when you want the craft to return to earth fast. Beginner drone pilots will find this system quite helpful until they master the basics of drone flight. 


Bugs 2 Quadcopter: What are its weaknesses?

The Bugs 2 is a terrific package at its price point. But still, a few noticeable flaws have to be mentioned.​

Slow Recharging:

I found the recharging times to be on the longer side, at more than 2 hours. That means extra battery packs are essential for the Bugs 2 if you want to spend a few hours flying it.

No Action Cam Mount/Gimbal:

Sure, the drone comes with an onboard 1080 video camera. But we feel that an option to add your GoPro or LG 360 cam would have been a nice touch. But then again, that would probably mean the design would have to be bigger and stronger to accommodate the extra weight.

No Standard FPV Option On the Remote:

I know it is not something one should expect on this budget, but still, one can always wish, right! Having to use my phone screen for FPV while piloting the drone is not a viable plan.

However the upgraded model from Amazon does have FPV wifi builtin.​


MJX Bugs 2 : What advantages does it have over the Bugs 3?


There is absolutely no doubt in our mind that MJX Bugs 2 did  provide some upgrades over the Bugs 3. The Bugs 3 was and is a fun quadcopter, no doubt. But it arguably has a  list of flaws and weaknesses, and nearly all of them have been addressed by the manufacturer this time around. For instance, some of the important advantages of Bugs 2 include:

Longer Range:

Bugs 3 topped off at around 300-400 meters. The maximum range of the Bugs 2 is in excess of 1000m.

GPS & Advanced Features:

The was a much-missed feature on Bugs 3. That craft suffered due to the lack of advanced features like One Key Return. All these features are available on the Bus 2.

On Board Camera:

The Bugs 3 had a versatile mount that could be used to carry any GoPro or Xiaomi Mi action cameras. But the lack of a dedicated onboard camera put off many buyers. By providing a 1080p shooter with the Bugs 2, MJX has pulled off a real coup. The availability of optional FPV mode is just extra gravy.

Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, & One Touch Landing:

None of these features are available on the older Bugs 3. Lack of Altitude hold was a much requested feature from customers who bought the Bugs 3, MJX has listened and followed through on this request.

Closing thoughts on the advantages of the Bugs 2

There are virtually no advantages for the Bugs 3 over its successor, since other features are practically the same. Both carry the same brushless motors as well as similar capacity batteries. Regarding design esthetics, the sleeker and more compact Bugs 2 again holds a decisive edge.

The only minor aspect where Bugs 3 holds an edge is regarding the camera mount. The 1080p camera on the Bugs 2 is adequate. But if you had a much better quality camera, there is no option to install it on the Bugs 2.


Who Should Buy The MJX Bugs 2 Brushless Quadcopter

The original Bugs 3 was ideal for those who had a GoPro cam to sling on to the quadcopter. With the onboard cam, Bugs 2 is a better option for those who need an affordable quadcopter for some aerial videography. You don't need a separate camera to start shooting great HD videos. It is a great option for beginner drone pilots, with advanced flight modes and features.​

You should buy the Bugs 2 if you:

  • Want a low budget quadcopter for some fun flying sessions.
  • Need a cheap quadcopter with a 1080p camera for aerial video shoots.
  • Are a beginner who needs a cheap training drone to learn the basics.

The Bugs 2 is not ideal for you if you:​

  • You are an advanced drone pilot/enthusiast who needs a higher performance machine.
  • Have a high-quality action cam (maybe 4K) and need to get it airborne.
  • Need a dedicated racer or entry level FPS racing drone
  • Need advanced flight control features on your drone/quadcopter.

Final Thoughts

The MJX Bugs 2 Brushless Quadcopter is a neat package at a very enticing price point. Sure it cannot compete with the high priced top brands, but it is nevertheless a very reliable machine. And also a real delight to fly. It is perfect for beginners, and even seasoned drone enthusiasts should have a fun time with it. If you are quadcopter aficionado, this one is well worth a look, period.

Bugs 2 is available on here on Amazon!

Just a word of caution: drones are subject to Government laws. In the US, the FAA has a strict set of rules and guidelines that every aspiring drone buyer should read through at least once. Failure to comply with the law can result in fines and even prison sentences.

You can read the FAA drone guidelines here

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