ZLRC’s Beast Is A Drone With 4K Recording And One Extremely Affordable Price of $155
Stephan Jukic – May 14, 2019
UAV drones for the consumer market increasingly come with 4K UHD video recording as an integrated feature of their technology but even among the cheaper models, it’s extremely rare to see one selling for below $200. Many in fact sell for quite a lot more than that with compact name-brand models usually retailing for several hundred dollars.
One of the interesting and most extreme exceptions to the above tendencies is without a doubt the ZLRC Beast SG906 drone. This compact quadracopter with foldable rotor legs is the first we’ve ever seen going for a retail price of just $155.99 (before taxes) and it while it comes with some conditions hidden behind its low price, it does include several features that make it outstanding for such a price. These include a handful of intelligent flight modes, an impressively lengthy flight time of 23 minutes or so and GPS navigation/localization.
The ZLRC Beast obviously doesn’t quite match up to the full specs of more premium models like the 4K Mavic Air compact drone or DJI’s also compact Spark UAV but it holds its own nicely and at the price it sells for, that’s a surprising thing.
For one thing, while the Beast does offer 4K multiple flight modes, it lacks stabilized video recording. This is one of the biggest weakness and might just be a major turn-off for many users. That aside, the 4K option in the Beast SG906 is also a bit underwhelming; it does not apply to video recording and instead only extends to photos captured with this drone’s camera. In other words, the Beast lets you capture still shots at a modestly decent resolution of 8.29 megapixels. As for the video chops of this budget quadracopter, they extend to a maximum recording resolution of 2K, which may or may not be legitimate. The beast does offer dual WiFi antennas for capturing live footage through a WiFi connection but getting that video to your display device at anything near a decent resolution is also tricky.
Moving back to the Beast’s biggest problem, we have the stabilization issue for its video recording. Even 2K video would be great if it’s stabilized and a drone that can’t deliver that has a problem, because without a gimbal or electronic image stabilization system, this little UAV’s video will include ever rattle, roll and sudden shift caught on camera during flight.
In other words, if you want stabilized and real 4K recording on a reasonably low budget, your best bet is actually the DJI Spark, which does indeed offer 4K video and comes with a gimbal for its camera. On the other hand, the Spark goes for $399, not the absurdly low $149.99 of the Beast.
Despite its flaws, the Beast does have a few things to offer for someone who wants high resolution aerial video recording at a rock bottom price. The quality of its recorded, stored video is great and the still photos captured in 4K aren’t too shabby either. The drone’s 400 meter range is limited but a 23 minute flight time is surprisingly good for highly localized aerial recording.
For those of you who’d be interested in something as blight and basic as the beast, maybe because you need no more than that or because you want to gift a UAV to a young child at a very low starter price, the Beast is still a decent overall deal. Here’s Amazon’s sale page for this compact starter UAV.