When it comes to affordable and beginner friendly drones there are a lot of models and brands to choose from these days. In this review, we’ll be looking at the latest Snaptain’s E20 drone which is designed for affordability and ease of use. With a retail price of $199.99 it’s a mid-level drone and features a high-resolution 2.7k camera with a 90 degree FOV. The drone includes two 2000mAh batteries with a flight time of approximately 18 minutes each. With its wifi-only connection, the E20 is limited to heights under 262 ft and 490 ft distances. The E20 also features a few premium features such as autonomous flight modes and optical flow positioning. Snaptain has even incorporated a motorized camera mount which allows you to rotate the angle and zoom in while flying.
The Snaptain E20 combines premium features such as a 2.7K camera and Optical Flow positioning at an affordable price point.
|8.9 / 10
|Measured Weight (in g)
|189 (drone + battery), 175 (remote)
|+ Premium carrying case
+ Easy to fly with responsive controls
+ Wide lens 2.7K camera with good clarity
|– Lacks image stabilization
– Confusing app and autonomous modes
– No GPS positioning and return to home features
|Where to Buy (US)
$15 Off Coupon Code: TSCE20
The Snaptain E20 comes in a sleek white cardboard box with graphics printed onto it. Instead of using additional packing materials, Snaptain simply places the included fabric carrying case inside the outer shipping box to pack all the contents. Inside the carrying bag you’ll find:
- E20 drone + 2x battery
- Remote + how-to guide
- USB-C charging cable
- 4x extra propellers sets w/ screws
- Strap for carrying bag
- Instruction manual
The included fabric carrying bag is a nice premium feature that lets you easily travel and keep track of all the drone’s accessories. It’s a fairly nondescript bag with the Snaptain tags being the only indicator that there might be a drone inside it.
FIT & FINISH
The Snaptain E20 is the brand’s mid-level beginner friendly drone that combines higher-end features with a budget price. This is a compact folding drone which uses a traditional quadcopter configuration with four propellers. To avoid flight restrictions or additional regulations, the drone is compact in both dimensions and weight with a plastic construction. The propellers use standard brushed motors with two blades and an optional propeller guard for additional safety. Snaptain includes additional blades and hardware to allow you to replace blades if they were to break in a crash. To help with orientation, the drone features two blue lights on the front and a wide green stripe on the rear.
The Snaptain E20 has matte gray plastic finish with the only color being the blue colored tips of the propeller blades. The main body is fairly wide and short with Snaptain printed on top and the power button next to it. A 2.7k camera with 90 degree FOV is mounted on the front of the drone. Unlike higher-end drones like HOVERAir X1, the camera does not have a gimbal or internal image stabilization which means you will get unsteady video footage while flying. However, Snaptain has incorporated a motorized mount on the camera which means you can rotate the camera angle mid-flight using the remote up to 90 degrees as well as the ability to zoom in and out. Compared to cheap drones such as the Ascent Aeronautics ASC-2680 which require manually adjusting the camera angle the motorized design is significantly more convenient and allows you to capture unique shots.
The drone uses a removable 2000 mAH battery that locks into a rear slot using a simple tab design. Snaptain includes two batteries with the drone which each have a claimed 18 minutes of flight time. There is a USB-C charging port on the rear of the battery which makes it easy to recharge. While there is no external battery status indicator on the drone or battery, you can see the battery status on the app. It’s important to avoid flying the drone at low power levels as it can be unstable and some features such as stunt mode will become disabled.
To operate the Snaptain E20, there is an included simple plastic remote. As with the drone, the remote has a folding design to allow it to fit into the small carrying bag. The handles fold outward with three positions while the cell phone holder pulls upward. There are also two folding plastic rods on the rear that can be used to prop up the remote on a flat surface. The cell phone holder feels pretty flimsy and also warns against using a phone case as the contact surface is fairly small. Snaptain includes a helpful paper cover to highlight the features of each button as some of the graphics are a bit vague. The remote features two spring loaded joysticks to control the height, angle and orientation of the drone. A USB-C port is hidden under the cellphone holder to recharge the remote’s battery.
With the quadcopter design, the Snaptain E20 is easy and intuitive to fly. The lack of GPS means you can power on and launch the drone in under a minute using the helpful auto-launch feature to get it off the ground. Even if you’ve never used a drone before, the two joystick setup is easy to use and lets you fly the E20 in tight patterns or around obstacles. The bright LEDs along the body help you orient yourself while the multiple speed options let you adjust the responsiveness. With the E20’s wifi design the drone is limited in range to closer distances and heights which means it’s more of a backyard or recreation drone instead of a professional level drone for capturing landscape shots. The 2.7K camera has impressive detail and resolution which means you can capture unique photos or video shots. While Snaptain doesn’t include any image stabilization, which results in jittery video if you do any movements, the adjustable camera angle is a useful feature for flying and framing shots.
Although the E20 is pretty stable and does a good job of hovering in place, you’ll want to avoid windy conditions and fly in protected areas or calm days. That’s one of the downsides of the compact size and lightweight of the drone. However, it’s quite portable which means you can use the provided fabric carrying bag or slip it inside a backpack to bring it along with you. During our flights the batteries lasted closer to 15 minutes which the drone becoming noticeably slower and difficult to fly as the battery level dropped. Thankfully, Snaptain does include two batteries which means you can quickly swap the batteries to keep flying. We did crash the drone a few times but only managed to break one propeller which was easy to swap out with the included spare parts.
Snaptain offers a free app to control and view the status of the E20 drone which is called Snaptain FPV in the Google Play store. It’s a fairly simple app with a main screen that lets you select between the E10 and E20 drones. From the home page you can select: contact us (this just lists contact information), tutorial video (this plays a how-to video), guide (an electronic version of the manual) and more (controller guide, right hand mode, reverse screen and app version) as well as function display. The most useful option is the function display option which shows a somewhat confusing photo of a skier and icons along the top and bottom of the screen. Once you’ve connected to the Snaptain E20’s wifi network the camera image should stream to the background of the page.
The drone battery status and remaining space on the memory card are visible on the bottom left which helps you keep an eye on the status. There are a number of icons along the top of the page which duplicate every function on the drone except the ability to zoom the camera. Snaptain has also incorporated quite a few additional icons for additional features which aren’t particularly obvious until you try to use them. One of the more notable features is the ability to draw a trajectory and execute it. To use this feature you first have to turn off the remote and enable the on-screen controls. This duplicates the joystick features directly on the screen and lets you pilot the drone using just the phone. Now you can press the “trajectory” mode icon (under the four square icon on the top right button). This lets you trace a path and have the drone maintain its current altitude while executing it.
The trajectory feature gives the Snaptain E20 a semi-autonomous flight capability which is usually reserved for more expensive drones. While it’s not as useful as tracking capabilities, it does mean you can capture interesting panning shots. There is also an option for headless mode which makes it a lot easier to fly by re-orientating the drone such that directional inputs such that forward is always away from you regardless of the rotation of the drone. While all these features are helpful, the app itself can be a bit confusing and requires a learning curve as many of the icons aren’t intuitive.
Overall, we found the Snaptain E20 to be a simple and fun drone to fly with. The high-fidelity 2.7K camera and the ability to rotate the camera angle mid-flight allow you to capture unique shots and perspectives. We found the quadcopter design to be stable and easy to fly with responsive controls and helpful orientation LEDs built into the drone body. While the lightweight and size of the drone mean it’s difficult to fly in wind, it’s extremely compact and easy to travel with the drone and included fabric carrying bag. The main downsides of the drone is the lack of image stabilization, a somewhat confusing app design and lack of GPS at this price point. That said, if you’re looking for a beginner friendly drone with premium features then the Snaptain E20 is a fun option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Snaptain. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.