The BetaFPV Cetus Pro FPV kit comes with everything you need to start flying: the drone, radio, FPV goggles, battery and charger. It’s a great RTF kit for beginners to learn how to fly FPV. In this review I will talk about the pros and cons, and whether you should get the Pro version or the original brushed version.
If you are new to FPV, check out my FPV beginner’s guide.
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Where to Buy BetaFPV Cetus Pro FPV Kit?
Update (Nov 2022): There’s a new version – the Cetus X FPV Kit!
- BetaFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-k9oa
In the Cetus Pro FPV Kit, it includes the following items in the box:
- 1 x Cetus Pro Brushless Micro FPV Drone
- 1 x LiteRadio 2 SE Radio Transmitter (Frsky Protocol)
- 1 x BETAFPV VR02 FPV Goggle
- 2 x 1S 450mAh Lipo Battery (BT 2.0 connector)
- 1 x Battery Charger (USB-C)
- 1 x USB-C Cable (for charging)
- 1 x USB Adapter for connecting FC to computer
- 1 x Prop Removal Tool
- 4 x 40mm 3-Blade Prop (Replacement)
- 1 x Zipper Storage Bag
All the parts are stored in a carry case which provides protection and is easy to carry around.
Pro Version vs Original Version
I previously reviewed the Cetus FPV Kit (the original version), it was a slightly smaller drone with brushed motors. The Pro version is larger with brushless motors.
Apart from the drone, both versions are basically the same kit (same radio and FPV goggles). The Cetus Pro micro drone is more powerful, running brushless motors and larger 40mm tri-blade propellers.
With those bigger 1S 450mAh LiPo batteries provided, flight time is also slightly longer. I am getting about 6 minutes of cruising time, 4 to 5 minutes when flying aggressively outdoor.
The Cetus Pro micro drone weighs 33g (drone alone), and 45.5g with a 1S 450mAh.
Features of the Cetus Pro Micro Drone
The features are identical to the original version, check out the review to find out more if you haven’t already.
It’s designed primarily for people who has no previous experience with flying an FPV drone. Everything just works out of the box, and the drone is already bound to the radio.
The prop guards and canopy are really tough against crashes.
From the bottom you can see it has an optical flow camera sensor (P3901 RSN) for determining the aircraft’s ground velocity, and a LiDAR component for detecting altitude. These sensors are only used in “Normal” flight mode, aims to make flying easier for beginners. I will explain all the flight mode later.
The different flight modes are perhaps the most interesting feature of the Cetus drone, and it’s the first time I have ever seen these sensors used in a tiny whoop.
I have a feeling that the Cetus micro drone may have been heavily inspired by the DJI FPV drone – it also has three flight modes just like the DJI FPV drone: Normal mode, Sport mode and Manual mode. The manual explains what each mode does in detail, but in a nutshell:
- Manual mode = Acro mode (in Betaflight)
- Sport mode = Angle mode (in Betaflight)
- Normal mode = just like Angle Mode, but the drone hovers at certain height, and the throttle stick becomes altitude control
The Normal mode is pretty interesting, it’s almost like flying a DJI camera drone. It has sensors to detect the height, and it will stay at the same altitude if you leave your throttle stick at the centre (altitude hold). If you throttle up, it will ascend and if you re-centre throttle stick it will stop. And if you throttle down it will descent.
It basically replaces throttle management with altitude control, making the drone even easier to control for beginners.
There are also three speed levels: slow, mid and fast. Essentially what it does is changing the rates – how fast and sensitive the drone reacts to your stick movement.
Flight mode and Speed are displayed at the lower right corner of the screen. At the bottom left, you have battery voltage and Timer. “FR D8” in the screenshot below indicates the RC protocol it’s using – it means Frsky D8.
The Cetus Pro drone has some unique safety features that you don’t normally see in other RTF drone kits.
When battery runs low (at about 3.3V and below) it just lands itself automatically by slowly descending and disarming. It’s almost like a DJI camera drone.
For an experienced pilot this can be counter-productive actually, as we would try to land somewhere near ourselves and not have to walk across the room to pick it up :) But for beginners this can be a great feature as it makes sure your battery is not over-discharged and get damaged. Sometimes you get carried away by the excitement of FPV and forget about landing :) That still happens to me sometimes after all these years :)
Further Reading: Learn how to handle LiPo batteries properly.
Oh, the other safety feature is auto-disarm upon crashing. It’s a beginner friendly feature, once you bump into an obstacle, the quad will automatically disarm and drop to the floor.
If the brushed Cetus drone was designed around safety and casual indoor flights, the Cetus Pro is more around performance and outdoor flying. You can still fly the Cetus Pro indoor, but I found the camera angle a bit too high for precise control, especially if your living room is not huge. Unfortunately the camera tilt angle is not adjustable, so it can get a bit challenging. It’s also quite a bit noisier than the brushed version, so make sure your family wouldn’t mind you flying it around them :) For indoor flying I still think the brushed version is better.
Throttle is a bit sensitive once you go above 50%, I hope there’s a way to adjust throttle curve in the software in the future to make throttle response more linear.
I am no longer a new pilot, and I found auto landing annoying when voltage drops to 3.3V. I wish there’s a way to disable it.
Finally I still think Normal mode is kind of redundant and unnecessary for beginners to learn how to fly. I think new comers should start with Sport’s mode and ultimately mastering manual mode.
Flight Controller Configurator
If you are new to FPV, there is no need to change any settings, the drone just works out of the box. Frankly the settings are quite complicated and you don’t need to give yourself headaches.
Once you are ready to mess around with the settings, you can do so via the configurator.
Here are some screenshots:
This configurator is like the much simplified Betaflight, but still it’s kind of clunky to use. I hope they can improve on it in the future. At the moment it lacks many useful options, such as throttle curve adjustment (as mentioned throttle response is a bit sensitive at the top half), and option to disable low voltage auto landing.
Also, having to use the USB adapter is a bit inconvenient, and it’s easy to plug in the wrong pins too. Not sure why they don’t just put the USB connector on the drone.
The FPV Goggles
BETAFPV VR02 goggle specs:
- 4.3 inches 800*480px LCD display
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- FOV: 55°
It’s a very basic box style FPV Goggles and supports 5.8GHz, 5 bands and 40 channels in total. It doesn’t have any other settings apart from choosing channel (no brightness/contrast settings etc).
You can buy this goggles separately here: https://oscarliang.com/product-k0lu
There’s no focal length adjustment, and no way to use diopter lenses, so if you wear glasses, this goggle might not work for you. However, I am near-sighted (-2.0) and I have no problem seeing the screen clearly without my glasses.
There’s a built-in battery inside the goggles, and it can be re-charged through the USB-C connector.
There’s no sign of antenna on the outside, because the antenna is hidden inside the goggle. It makes it really convenient to use and transport. The range of the video link is quite decent, I have no problem flying it in my house in different rooms. It actually outperforms the radio link, so you are going to get a failsafe before losing videos.
The main issue is that it defaults back to A1 channel every time I turn the goggles off, so you’d have to change channels again every time you power up the goggles. Not a huge issue but annoyance all the same.
As it’s a basic goggle, it has no DVR feature (video recording).
The Radio Controller
The BETAFPV LiteRadio 2 SE remote is a very basic and compact radio. It’s actually loaded with OpenTX firmware – a very powerful firmware used on nearly all the popular radios nowadays. But because it has no screen and menu buttons, you can only change settings by connecting it to your computer and through OpenTX companion software.
You can buy this radio separately here: https://oscarliang.com/product-1fs3
It is a tiny radio, and the gimbals are quite small and doesn’t have the control precision as some other bigger radios with full size gimbals. When I was flying the drone with the LiteRadio 2 and my TX16S back to back, I feel so much more confident in my flying with the TX16S as I have a lot more control with the larger gimbals.
With that said, the LiteRadio 2 works fine as expected and can get you in the air.
The USB-C port on the bottom is for charging, as well as connecting to computer for FPV simulators.
There’s no battery in the battery compartment, I guess they managed to fit the battery inside the radio.
LiPo Battery and Charger
All the gear in the Cetus Pro FPV kit can be charged via USB-C cable, which is super handy.
The included battery charger can charge two 1S 300mAh LiPo batteries simultaneously. charging is quite fast, takes about 25 mins to fully charge a LiPo.
Charger can be used as a LiPo voltage checker too.
The Pro and Non-Pro kits are identical except the drone, and the decision comes down to where you want to fly. If you prefer to fly indoor, get the brushed version. If you prefer to fly outdoor, like in the garden or the park, definitely get the Cetus Pro instead.
You will grow out of those basic goggles and radios as you progress, the good news is that you can still fly the BetaFPV Cetus Pro micro drone when you upgrade your radio, as long as it supports Frsky D8 protocol (for example the TX16S). You can also use it with any other analog FPV goggles that support the B band.