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 bugs series 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.
Is The Bugs 2 Worth The Hype?
In short, the MJX Bugs 2 quadcopter really nails it, with improvements in virtually every sphere over the Bugs 3 so it should be easy to see why we included it in our review of the best drones under $300. 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, RC Hobby Review will even try to figure out if this affordable little drone is worth your time, and more importantly, your cash.
Last update on 2018-09-25 at 01:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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".
What we will be reviewing below is a rebranded MJX Bugs 2 by Force1.
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:
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.
The body is made of sturdy ABS plastic, the kind used in automobiles and helmets.
The quadcopter is powered by four MT1806 1800KV brushless motors.
Inside the Drone is a compact 1800mAh lipo Lithium Polymer battery running at 7.4 volts.
The craft utilizes 2.4 GHz frequency dual way transmitter for stable control and comms.
The Bugs 2 uses an onboard GPS system to guide itself outdoors.
For improved stability, there is a 6-Axis gyroscope on the flyer.
The drone has an integrated camera capable of hd 1080p resolution.
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.
16" x 16" including the rotors/propellers. The drone weighs 445g, or 15 oz, including the 74v 1800mah lipo battery pack.
Three color options are available, black and red, and white and red. There will be two different variants of the Bugs 2. The MJX bugs 2w (Force1 F200W B2W FPV with 1080p) and MJX bugs 2w (No FPV)
MJX Bugs 2 video review and un-boxing Video
Bugs 2 Review: Flight Capabilities and Best Features
When buying a modern quadcopter or drone, brushless motors are what you need. They have a clear edge over older brushed motors. With less moving parts, they are more compact and energy efficient. Quadcopters with these motors benefit from higher power output and torque, longer flight duration, and reduced chance of engine failure. The devices also require less maintenance and tend to be more reliable and durable.
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 or flying time is quite good.
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 included 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 to home
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. The is a MJX b2w wifi fpv drone is a great brushless rc quadcopter according to our many flight tests with it..
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 mode 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.
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.
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:
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.
MJX Bugs 2 Tips and Tricks
Before we get into tips and tricks, be sure to check out this unboxing video of the MJX Bugs 2!
Now, let’s get into some tips and tricks!
-Have No Fear!-
The MJX Bugs 2 is programmed to automatically turn on its Return to Home function if the drone loses connection with the transmitter for more than six seconds, or if the battery is running too low.
CAUTION- However, be aware that the MJX Bugs 2 does NOT have any obstacle avoidance feature. This means that, when using the Return to Home feature, the drone will not avoid any obstacles in its way when flying back toward its transmitter.
-One Touch Takeoff and Landing-
By pressing one single button on the side of your remote control, you can lift your MJX Bugs 2 off the ground or land it back down safely. This is an especially useful feature for beginners who are unsure of flying and need a little extra help for taking off and landing.
-Calibrating Your MJX Bugs 2-
It is absolutely crucial to calibrate your MJX Bugs 2 before each flight session. This will ensure that everything is working properly, and that your drone is ready to fly how you need it to fly. When calibrating the drone, you are adjusting its compass to ensure it is synced up correctly with the GPS system.
To calibrate, simply lift your drone and do the following steps:
-Rotate the entire drone horizontally in a counter-clockwise motion until it starts flashing green.
-Turn it on its side, with nose pointing toward the ground, and rotate counter-clockwise once again.
That’s it! Your MJX Bugs 2 is now fully calibrated and ready to fly!
-Get Familiar With Your Controller-
The transmitter is one of the most crucial components of your new drone. Make sure you are completely familiar with all its functions and features before you take your drone out to fly. This will ensure that you are fully capable of handling any situation you and your drone end up in.
MJX Bugs 2 Frequently Asked Questions/FAQ
Q: Does the MJX Bugs 2 have “Follow Me” mode?
A: No, it does not.
Q: Is the Bugs 3 battery compatible with the Bugs 2?
A: Although it is technically the same battery, the 2S 1800mAh LiPo, it is made with a slightly altered design. Therefore, in order to use the MJX Bugs 3 battery in your MJX Bugs 2, you would need to create some modifications. But with modifications, it should be compatible.
Q: My transmitter won’t connect to my MJX Bugs 2. I’ve gone through the steps in the instruction manual several times. What can I do to connect my transmitter to my new drone?
A: Your results may vary slightly, however, usually holding the red button down through the entire connecting process will help to get everything connected. Here is a short video showing a tutorial for the MJX Bugs 2: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2tO9oGjrwM&feature=youtu.be]
Q: Will the MJX Bugs 2 work with an iPad Pro?
A: Any device that is 5G WiFi fpv 1080p capable will operate correctly with this drone. However, the phone grip for the remote control, or transmitter, will not hold anything as big as an iPad. Therefore, in order to use something like an iPad or other electronic tablet, you would need to hold the remote control and iPad separately while operating your drone.
Q: Does the MJX Bugs 2 have propeller guards?
A: Simply put, no, the MJX Bugs 2 does not have propeller guards. However, the propellers used on the MJX Bugs 2 are some of the most forgiving propellers on the market. They can withstand some serious obstacles, such as trees, fences, and tall grass. Even flipping the drone over and crashing upside-down can be fine with the MJX Bugs 2.
This doesn’t mean that the drone is indestructible, though. So be aware of your surroundings, practice before flying major flight routes, and try to avoid obstacles as much as possible.
Q: Does the MJX Bugs 2 have a slot for an SD memory card?
A: Yes, the MJX Bugs 2 comes with a slot for a micro SD memory card. Be sure to insert your SD card before you connect the battery of the drone to ensure proper operation of the SD card in your drone.
Q: When I am capturing videos or photos with my MJX Bugs 2, where are the videos and photos being stored?
A: If you have a memory card inserted in the SD memory card slot, your photos and videos will be saved directly onto the card.
If you do not have a memory card inserted in the SD memory card slot, photos and videos can only be saved via the F200W app. You can download and view these photos and videos on your phone, but to save or view them on your computer, you must plug your phone in via USB or other connecting cable and upload the files to your computer.
The easiest way to save and store photos and videos from your MJX Bugs 2 is generally to use an SD memory card.
Q: Will an iPhone work properly with the MJX Bugs 2?
A: Yes. The drone and included transmitter, or remote control, are both designed to function well with all compatible smartphones.
Q: Do I need to be connected to WiFi in order to record photo or video?
A: Not always. There are two different ways to store photo or video. The first way is to use a micro SD memory card in your drone, which will store the photo or video directly to the memory card. This way does not require WiFi to record and store photo and video. The second way, called FPV mode, uses a smartphone or other device to capture photo or video. This way does require WiFi to function, and drains battery much faster than using a memory card.
Q: How long does the MJX Bugs 2 battery take to charge?
A: About three hours per battery is the charging time.
Q: Can I use a GoPro camera with the MJX Bugs 2?
A: As the MJX Bugs 2 comes with an attached camera, it is not built to be used with a GoPro. However, the attached camera or built in camerais one of great quality, and most people are happy with the results when using the attached camera for filming. All that being said we have seen some handy pilots attach a go-pro, obviously a little drone knowledge is required.
Q: What is the operation range of the MJX Bugs 2?
A: Anywhere from 800 to 1,000 meters, or about six tenths of a mile.
Q: Can you fly the Bugs 2 at night?
A: The bugs bugs 2 5ghz wifi fpv 1080p comes with led lights so you can fly it at night.
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.
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