[Review] Bugs 5W – MJX First Ever Hardware-Stabilized Camera Drone

MJX is the most active drone brand these days… and they are not planning on stopping with rolling out their new models anytime soon. After their Bugs 2 series received praises from the entire industry, the China-based giants are turning their focus into another direction.

Thus they unveiled MJX Bugs 3 Pro, a true successor to the massively popular MJX Bugs 3. With a wide array of extra features and unparalleled reliability, it is definitely going to be one of the best mid-tier drones this year.

MJX-Bugs-5w_review

MJX Bugs 5W Review

However, a big competitor will definitely be the newly announced Bugs 5W. This is a proper machine; as a matter of fact – it is probably the best camera drone MJX ever created! Similarly to B2W, this birdie has an awesome camera but takes things one step further with a special trick in its sleeve! So, without any further wait, let’s head on to the actual MJX Bugs 5W review!

 

Bugs 5W – Quick Specifications

  • Flight time: 15 min
  • Flight range: 300-500m
  • Camera: 1080p
  • Sensors: barometer, accelerometer, 6-axis gyro
  • Advanced features: GPS, altitude hold, RTH, mechanical gimbal

  • Size: 350x350x90mm
  • Weight:
  • Battery: 7.4V 1800mAh proprietary LiPo
  • Charging time: 240min
  • Transmitter: dedicated physical transmitter

MJX Bugs 5W Review – Pros and Cons

Pros

Outstanding design

Mixing the best out of all previous Bugs models! Bugs 5W is basically the same size as B2W and has 310mm diagonally. It sports an aggressive appearance with those characteristical “bugs-like” eyes in the front. It’s a bit more raised than B2W to make enough headroom for the camer+gimbal combo that’s not built into the main frame but sticking out below it.

 

Mechanical gimbal

If you ask me, the best thing about this little fella is the addition of a fully fledged mechanical gimbal. Nope – it is not one of those fancy 3-axis monsters that cost a fortune. Nope – it’s a 1-axis gimbal that can be tilted 90 degrees. Not only does it provide in-flight tilting directly from the controller but it also does an amazing job of eliminating jello effect and aerial vibrations.

 

Great operating range

Thanks to the redesigned controller that works on a brand new protocol, MJX Bugs 5W can go as far as 500 meters away from it. It’s not as long as B2W, but it is still miles ahead of all other direct competitors.

 

Plethora of features

GPS, altitude hold, 3 types of return to home and even 500 meters of seamless FPV coverage. Bugs 5W really has everything you need for a great entry level drone experience. And it even sports the above-mentioned mechanical gimbal that will make your photos/videos that much better and easier to take.

Cons

Flight duration is not that good

Even though this drone is priced at an extremely aggressive price tag, it’s still desirable to see a bit longer flight time. Don’t get me wrong, 15 minutes is still pretty good, but I was hoping it would be the same as MJX Bugs 2W who has roughly 18 minutes. But, it seems as though that mechanical gimbal eats quite a bit of juice… However, it is definitely worth it considering the fact the aerial video quality is simply amazing!

 

Not everyone has a 5G-ready smartphone

It’s true – not everyone can afford one of the top tier models these days… and those are the only ones that actually support 802.11 AC 5Ghz wireless. Even though you can find newer budget friendly Chinese smartphones that support 80211 AC, the shipping takes a long time and you still can’t be sure whether or not they’ll work with Bugs 5W as some of them come with certain channels locked. The only real solution is to go for the newest (or last) generation of top-flight smartphones, and those cost a fortune.

 

The perfect mixture of its highly successful predecessors

Let’s start off with the obvious – MJX Bugs 5W is an absolutely charming drone. Thanks to those flashy bugs-like eyes in the front, sleek elevated landing legs, and the generally aggressive appearance, this drone really stands out from the crowd.

mjx bugs 5w design

The build quality is spectacular, to say the least. Even though we are talking about a plastic-finish drone; it’s not that common cheap ass plastic we’ve come to expect from dirt cheap models. Nope! Bugs 5W plastic is incredibly stiff and the entire construction feels sturdy even under excessive bending pressure. The same can be said about Bugs 2 series which raised a new high for the price tier as far as build quality is concerned.

 

Create professional-grade aerial videos with this hardware-stabilized camera

Yes, probably the biggest thing that differentiates 5W from 2W is the camera. This bad boy comes with a brand new dedicated camera. We are talking about a 1/3-inch 8MPX CMOS sensor. It takes brilliant selfies with none of that nasty fisheye effect.

Videos are great too – 1080p at 30fps is absolutely splendid at this price point. And the best thing about this camera is the 1-axis mechanical gimbal it’s built into. This removes shakiness in your footage and allows you to adjust the camera angle straight from your transmitter.

We shouldn’t forget the fact that Bugs 5W sports FPV as well. It’s the same 5G WiFi module like the one we’ve seen on 2W, capable of going up to 500 meters with certain smartphone models. One thing is for sure – FPV will definitely be a helping hand in terms of aerial photography you plan on doing.

mjx bugs 5w camera

 

Redesigned transmitter offers good operating range

If you are not exactly the biggest fan of the original transmitter that came with Bugs 3 and 2 series, then I have some good news for you! During our MJX Bugs 5W Review we found out that MJX have gone out of their way and completely redesigned their stock transmitter.

They are calling this beauty GR6221B (a rather boring name if you ask me) and it looks a lot nicer than its predecessor. This time around, the design is completely curved, resembling those sleek DJI transmitters in a way.

There are also 2 antennas now which means more range, right? Well, if the standard is Bugs 3 then yes… but if it’s Bugs 2w – then no! This transmitter/receiver combination is good for around 500 meters in unobstructed areas. 300 if you are living in an urban area with lots of interference and difficulties with optical vision.

Still, 500 meters, even though shorter than B2W, it is pretty good considering the rest of the market is having just fractions of it…

mjx bugs 3 pro transmitter

Keep in mind this transmitter has a built-in buzzer which will alarm you in case it loses connection with the receiver or your drone’s battery goes down to critical levels. MJX has always been all about safety and they are proving that once again with this awesome feature.

 

Good old proprietary battery still hasn’t lost its charm

mjx bugs 5w batteryA lot of people (including some of you currently reading this) won’t like the fact that this drone won’t work with 2S batteries you have laying around.

Nope – it features a proprietary plug along with a specialized battery compartment that nicely slides into the drone itself and locks in place. As for the actual battery, you are basically looking at the same 2S 1800mAh Lipo like the one we’ve seen with MJX Bugs 2W. It’s pretty powerful, mind you – we did all sorts of high-speed maneuvers with 2W which just goes to show you what’s this battery capable of !

In terms of flight time though, you will be looking at roughly 15 minutes which is a bit shorter than B2W (the lack of a mechanical gimbal does the trick) but still great for today’s standards.

 

3 types of RTH for the most reliable flying experience

Similarly to B2 and B3 Pro, B5W sports the same 3-factor RTH system that ensures drone’s reliability if you happen to lose line of sight or your battery goes to a critically low level. Here’s the summary so you’ll know what you are dealing with before you head out to the field and start testing this baby out:

 

Smart RTH

Smart RTH MJX Bugs 5WIf your drone sports connection to at least 7 satellites, it will be able to perform a pinpoint accurate return to home maneuver. By pressing the dedicated RTH button on your transmitter your drone will start going back and return to its takeoff location.

If you want to cancel this command at any time, simply press the RTH button again and you will regain full control over your drone. Also, you can control it while in RTH too. That way you can manually avoid any obstacles that might be in the drone’s way.

 

Failsafe RTH

Failsafe RTH MJX Bugs 5WIf you go BVLOS (beyond visible line of sight) and your drone loses signal from the transmitter for longer than 6 seconds, it will go into failsafe RTH mode. This means it will start going back to its takeoff location.

Once the signal is recovered, you can simply press the dedicated RTH button and your drone will exit Failsafe RTH mode, thus you will regain full control over it.

 

Low Voltage RTH

Low voltage RTH MJX 5WSimilarly to Failsafe, Low Voltage RTH adds another boost to the overall reliability of the drone by making sure it lands safely when battling critical battery level.

Once the battery voltage is diminished, your transmitter will start beeping notifying you that Low Voltage RTH is soon to be turned on. Once the beeps start going quicker, your drone will enter Low Voltage RTH and start flying to its takeoff location. 

 

GPS powered altitude hold

A lot of people love MJX Bugs 2W because of its great camera and its ability to keep flying at a constant altitude without having to manually adjust the throttle. 5W has GPS-powered altitude hold too, this time around with even greater precision. The more GPS connections, the better its hovering accuracy will be. This is bound to come in handy when trying to take that perfect selfie or a linear path aerial video.

 

MJX Bugs 5W sports a proper amount of power

mjx bugs 5w brushless motorIt seems as though 5W and 2W share several exactly identical parts with the only real deal maker being the mechanical gimbal and vastly improved camera. It’s true – those are basically the 2 selling points to the majority of potential customers.

With that being said, MJX Bugs 5W runs on MT1806 1800Kv brushless motors known for their durability and power delivery… and what a surprise -MJX Bugs 2W runs on the same ones. That’s nothing bad, though – B2W is an exceptionally agile drone which will surely be passed onto this one.

 

Wrapping things up…

There is no point in talking about Bugs 5W any further. We can all agree on one thing – it is a brilliant drone that’s going to be a major threat to others in its price tier. Best of all – it features a mechanical gimbal and that’s a feature not a single one of its competitors have to offer.

Combined with an extra dose of reliability (smart RTH functions) as well as a great full HD camera, there is no stopping this birdie from becoming one of the best drones under $300.

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10 comments

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1

Thanks!
🙂
But please add the WEIGHT of this little cool drone (rtf / with and without Camera).

And WHEN the Bugs 5w will be available??

2

We still don't have that info (weight).

Bugs 5W will be available in May / June and DronesGlobe will be official reseller !

3

Will a phone with 6.4" Display fit on the phone holder? How many cm is the maximum of the phone holder? Thanks

4

Hi guys, good morning.
Question, when will the Bugs B5W come out ?
They are to many new drones coming out with better feature than a gimbal, I'm not putting the Bugs series down, because I had one and loved it, I'm just saying that MJX better not sleep on it to much on holding back.

Good luck guys, thank you, can't wait to see more B5W or even hands on, depending on input from flyers of course.

5

I've been an MJX fan for years, my first being the F-45, still own a modified F-49. My favorite MJX quad is the Bugs 3. I have a generic go pro under it for some excellent pics. Its also equipped with an FPV camera (C5820) monitor fits nicely on the antenna. While this isn't GPS like the Bugs 2, and no return home feature. You CAN use your FPV system to locate your quad.
I'd like to know what the new Bugs 5W will cost? I have a Parrot BeBop with flight controller. Excellent system, yet, the camera sucks for pics, because of the fish eye effect.

6

Hi Tony,
it will cost around $220, would you buy it at that price?

7

$220 seems a bit high for a MJX product, but, YES. I would pay that. Because my BeBop system cost much much more.
I own 2 bugs3 quads, bought another for a friend. I own a Bugs2, while the setup each time is slow, it performs flawlessly. The Bugs 2, is the quad I use to let my untrained friends fly. I take it up above tree level, hand them the controller and let them go crazy, and if they do fliy it beyond visual range, it has the return home feature. I think MJX is a great company, that allows those of us on a budget, to fly. And I think in the future, DJI and their expensive quads will have to fight to hold their status against MJX

8

Anything known about the prize already ?

9

Hi Patrick,
it should be somewhere in $210-$230 range (with 2 batteries and Amazon Prime shipping). Do you think that's reasonable price for such a drone?

10

I tink thats a Good price yes. I would buy it.