When it comes to ready to fly racing drones, we have come to expect a number of compromises. Read my recent reviews of both the Eachine Wizard X220 (a budget FPV drone) and the Diatone Crusader GT2 200 (higher end FPV Racing Drone). In both cases you do get a lot of drone for your money and for beginners and intermediate pilots, either is still a great option. Until now, there were limited options for the more advanced pilots, who are more demanding and are happy to pay more for a higher specification. Luckily, the Holybro Kopis 1 may be the answer.
The Kopis is a high end FPV drone, which looks like it will be great for anyone wanting a high specification drone, without the complication of having to build it.
For the cheapest prices, check out the Holybro Kopis 1 at both BangGood and GearBest to make sure you are getting the best deal. To find out more about it and whether it is the best ready to fly racing drone, read on.
The Kopis is available in two configurations:
- PNP – Plug and Play – You will need to supply and install your own receiver and pair up with your own radio. If you are looking at options, I recommend the X4R-SB and check out my FrSky Taranis Q X7 Review for a great, low cost transmitter.
- BNF – Bind and Fly – This version comes with an FrSky XSR receiver pre-installed, all you need to do is pair with your transmitter!
Which version you go for will depend on personal preference and what hardware (if any) you already have. For the simplest experience, I recommend the BNF version, twinned with the FrSky Taranis Q X7.
Holybro Kopis 1 – Features, Pros and Cons
Holybro haven’t held back when specifying parts for this racing quadcopter, going for premium branded parts.
- Frame: 5mm carbon fibre stretched “X” frame – going above the standard 4mm frame thickness, Holybro have ensured enhanced durability for the hardest of crashes. Using a stretched “X” layout keeps the rear props out of the prop wash from the front props, increasing efficiency and thrust.
- Motors: T-Motor AIR40 2205 2450kV – well known and well thought of, T-Motor have been in the racing drone game from the outset. Their high quality and durability is refreshing to see on a ready to fly quadcopter. By utilising the popular 2205 motor size, the weight is kept down compared to the 2306 motors now becoming popular. At 2450 kV, the motors are fast enough to compete in races, but efficient enough to provide reasonable flight times when not going all out. Although these are the entry level offering from T-Motor, you should not be disappointed.
- FC: SP Racing F3 (clone)
- ESC: BLHeli_32 ESCs 30A (DSHOT1200 compatible) support 2~6S LiPo – giving you plenty of headroom to run reasonably heavy props if you need that extra thrust.
- FC: Holybro Kakute F4 AIO FC – an all in one flight controller, this in itself is something a little special, as the soft-mounted gyro means the FC itself doesn’t require soft mounting. This is great news as it means the performance of your drone is going to be less down to how well the FC was mounted, making it easier to tune and providing more consistent flight. The FC also has a built in OSD, which will allow you to display battery voltage and tune your PIDs quickly, using your transmitter sticks.
- VTX: Atlatl 40 Channel 5.8 GHz with 0.5mw(pit mode), 25 mW, 100 mW, 200 mW, 400 mW, 600 mW power modes – the VTX is linked to the FC, allowing channel and power changes with your transmitter sticks. No more dip switches of time consuming channel hopping, just set and go. The VTX has an MMCX Antenna connector, which provides better durability than the usual IPEX and is less likely to break or detach.
- Camera: RunCam Swift Mini FPV camera, 1/3″ 2.3mm lens with full 0-90 degree tilt adjustment – this truly is a racer’s drone. Using the RunCam Swift Mini instead of a cheap alternative really shows Holybro’s commitment to providing a top quality racer, that won’t leave you wanting to make upgrades soon after buying it.
- Props: 5″ Tri-blade props (5045) – a good middle ground when it comes to props. Being standard sized motor shafts, you can use any standard 5″ props with the Kopis.
- Betaflight Programmable LED board and buzzer built into the back plate of the drone.
- GoPro Session mount and battery strap are both included.
- Overall weight: 300 grams without battery – not the lightest out there, but with a solid 5mm base plate,
Few and far between, I have really had to nit pick here, which really shows how good the Kopis is!
- Price – but only when comparing to other RTF racers (which is unfair as they have a much lower specification)
- No spares included – at this price range, I would have liked to see a spare motor and ESC included in the package, as very often finding one a few months down the line can become tricky.
- Motors are not rated for 6S, unlike the rest of the build. This is a shame but not a deal breaker, as very few people fly anything above 4S right now.
- No play on the VTX antenna, which means that either the connection or antenna is more likely to break in a crash.
- Receiver antennas are left loose and likely to get chopped up by the props, but cable ties and heat shrink are included in the pack.
This will be an incredibly long list if I mention everything, so I have instead picked out a few of the highlights that really make the difference for me personally.
- The camera – FPV is all about the experience and in the past, a RTF racer generally meant you would be spending extra and swapping out the camera, but not here.
- Solid 5mm bottom plate – this is a very durable drone, especially good for those who won’t want to be making repairs when they could be flying.
- The motors – going for premium, branded motors that are a good balance between speed and efficiency, really makes this a drone anyone can pick up and enjoy. However, there is a but, read the cons below…
- Tapered/recessed screws, which won’t dig into your batteries.
- GoPro Session/Runcam 3/Foxeer Box mount included. It’s very nice not to have to find a 3D printed version and means that you can get flying (and filming) right away.
Breaking props if a fact of life when flying drones, so make sure you pick up some extras. If you haven’t flown before, you will be surprised how many you break. Also not included but definitely required are batteries, so I recommend that you get the below components with your drone:
Holybro Kopis 1 – Verdict
An unusual name, but a specification familiar to those flying higher specification quadcopters. The Kopis delivers in all the right places and under performs in none. It offers great performance without compromising on video quality or functionality, which would normally be the case when manufacturers are trying to save money.
For the money this is as good (if not better) than what you can build yourself, without any of the hassle or risk! Whether you are a complete beginner or are looking at an upgrade from old hardware, I can recommend the Holybro Kopis 1. I suggest the PNP version (from BangGood or GearBest). Pair this with the X4R-SB and FrSky Taranis Q X7 for a great, high-performance package. If you need goggles to go with the Kopis, I recommend the Fatshark HD3, or as a cheaper alternative the Eachine VR D2 from Amazon or Banggood (you can check out my Eachine VR D2, and Fatshark HD3 reviews to learn more).