Review: BetaFPV HX115 HD Micro Quad

The BetaFPV HX115 is a 3″ light weight ripper that can be powered by 3S and 4S batteries. The HD version is equipped with a Runcam Split Nano, capable of shooting 1080p 60FPS footage.

Still looking for a quad under 250g that can record HD footage? How about under 80g? The HX115 is a great combination of durability, compactness and power.

Where to Buy HX115?

The BetaFPV HX115 comes with two versions at your disposal: Enjoy shooting and sharing your flight footage? The HD version can record 1080p videos. Don’t care about footage but only top performance? There is the FPV version that is cheaper and lighter.

HD Version:

FPV Version:

The FPV version is 8 grams lighter (67g) and $50 cheaper ($160) due to the smaller Caddx Kangaroo FPV camera, while the HD version is capable of recording 1080p footage with the Runcam Split Nano. The rest of the hardware is basically the same.

You got to understand 8g difference is huge to these tiny FPV drones. I tested the HD version and it flew great, imagine being 8g lighter! But having an HD camera is nice to show off your skills on social media :)

In the box there are the following accessories:

  • HX115 Micro Quad
  • HQ 3030 3-Blade Props (4 pieces)
  • HQ 3020 2-Blade Props (4 pieces)
  • Joystick board for changing the Runcam Split Camera settings
  • A set of M2 screws for mounting the props on the motors

Specs

  • FC / ESC: BetaFPV F4 12A AIO Board
  • Available receiver options: Frsky XM+, DSMX, Futaba S-FHSS, Flysky, TBS Crossfire, PNP (no receiver)
  • Motors: BetaFPV 1105 5000KV
  • Props: HQ 3020 two-Blade / HQ 3030 three-Blade
  • Camera: Runcam Split 3 Nano (Whoop Edition)
  • VTX: A01 25mW-200mW Output Power Selectable, Supports SmartAudio
  • Frame: BetaFPV HX115 T700
  • Supports 3S and 4S LiPo
  • Weight: HD version 74g, FPV version 67g (without battery)

It’s becoming a BetaFPV tradition, the receiver antennas and battery lead are loose out of the box. Is it so hard to do this in factory?

The very first thing you should do is to zip tie them to the arms with heatshrink tubes to avoid damaging them by the spinning props. I am doing it this way because it’s the Crossfire receiver.

A capacitor is pre-soldered to the XT30 lead to keep the video clean and protect your FC from voltage spikes. But it’s taking quite a bit of space and making it a little bit awkward to plug in the battery. Maybe it would have been better if they flipped the capacitor over to the other side (right on top of the XT30).

Frame

The skinny arms are only 6mm wide, but they are quite thick at 4.2mm, so should be more durable than it looks.

The frame is quite a light weight design, very stiff structure and holds up well to crashes. I am really liking the Chamfered edges, brings the quality and feel to another level.

The canopy is tough and durable. You can adjust camera angle between 15 to 45 degree approximately. However the lens does stick out quite a bit without any protection. They clearly designed the canopy before picking the camera.

I much prefer this frame design over the HX100 I only just reviewed. The HX115 has three standoffs holding the canopy and the camera is therefore much more steady.

And another nice touch is the battery pad on the bottom, which was missing in the HX100. They are clearly taking user feedback.

FPV Camera and VTX

The Runcam Split 3 Nano is an excellent camera, performance is comparable to the standard size Split, but the Nano only weighs 10g! You can see my review here.

You can change camera setting using the joystick provided. The plug is easily accessible from the side of the quad. And the record/stop button is right next to the plug as well.

There is a holder to stop the SD card from ejecting in crashes, a really well thought-out design.

The VTX is the A01 from Betaflight – 25mW-200mW selectable output power with SmartAudio, nothing special about it really, works as expected.

FC Stack

The flight controller USB port is located at the rear right, under the canopy. There is not much space to plug in the USB cable, but manageable.

Removing the canopy reveals the FC stack. The VTX and camera are mounted inside the canopy, totally separated from the FC stack. But the camera board is mounted on top of the FC.

The Split 3 Nano here is the Whoop Edition, which has the exact same mounting pattern as the Whoop FC.

The HX115 is the first BNF model to utilize the latest BetaFPV F4 12A AIO flight controller. This board is so hot right now because of the clean layout, compactness and beefy ESC rating.

Although there are solder pads for the motors, BetaFPV decided to use connectors instead of direct soldering. While that’s a questionable approach, it doesn’t seem to make the HX115 any less powerful than expected, and in fact it’s easier to swap out faulty motors. But for the best possible performance it’s better to direct solder.

The FC is soft-mounted with rubber grommets, however the Split board is hard mounted.

Battery

The HX115 doesn’t come with battery, so you’d have to get your own. Here are the 3S batteries I’ve tested so far. They recommend 3S 450mAh for Tri-blade props, and 4S 450mAh for two-blade.

4S on 3″ triblade props are not recommended as the excess amp draw might burn your motor/ESC.

Comparing to the TurboBee 136

The closest competition of the HX115 is perhaps the Turbobee 136RS from iFlight, both are 3″ ultra-light micro quads.

I tried mounting the Runcam Split 3 Nano in the Turbobee, and the weight turns out to be nearly identical to the HX115 HD. But I feel like the HX115 actually flies better and more powerful, probably because the motors are bigger (1105 vs. 1104) with higher KV. The HX115 has “tighter” control and feels more locked in too probably due to the smaller frame (motors are closer together).

However the HX115 (FPV version) is $30 more expensive.

How to Setup

The BetaFPV HX115 comes with Betaflight 3.5.6, no need to update it in my opinion. Firmware target is MambaF411 (MatekF411).

There are two UART’s, UART1 is used for SmartAudio, UART2 for Serial RX.

Motor direction is reversed out of the box.

Setting it up for first flight was super easy.

If you ordered the Frsky version, here is how to bind the XM+ receiver. And here is how to bind the Crossfire Nano receiver.

Most things have been configured, all that’s left is to setup the switches for arming and beeper, and setup the OSD screen.

Oh, and I’d recommend disabling RX_LOST under DShot Beacon.

Conclusion

One of the most impressive 3″ I’ve flown so far in terms of performance, not to mention the 1080p recording capability right out of the box. It doesn’t fly very nice out of the box, as there are some bouncebacks and oscillation, but with some tuning it is an awesome park ripper!

Between 4S and 3S, I’d probably stick with 3S. 4S with two-blade props is definitely faster, but 3S with three-blade props feels more controllable, and more “grippy” in the air – perhaps more preferable for freestyle. I get about 3 minutes of flight time with a 3S 450mAh LiPo.

Oh, and I would love to see a buzzer added to this model, losing it in brushes and grass is very hard to find. Especially when you have Crossfire in this thing and forgot how far you’ve flown…

It is a little pricey however, even the FPV version is $160, and the HD version is $210 (with Frsky RX). But if you’ve got the budget, you won’t be disappointed.

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