In this review of the Happymodel Mobula 8 with DJI O3 we will check out its features, capability, flight performance and how it measures up against the BetaFPV Pavo Pico. At first glance, this drone suggests a remarkably sturdy design and a set of exceptional features. Without further ado, let’s delve into the details.
Check out my review of the Pavo Pico here: https://oscarliang.com/betafpv-pavo-pico-whoop-dji-o3/
Where to Buy?
The Mobula 8 O3 Cinewhoop is available for purchase through these vendors:
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DBoGRTP
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-lkux
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-138a
- Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-9pqs
The drone is available with the following FPV setups:
- DJI O3
- Walksnail Avatar
- No Camera or VTX
When unboxing the Mobula 8, you can expect the following accessories:
- 1x Happymodel Mobula8 1-2S 85mm HD Drone (with a choice of Camera/VTX)
- 1x Gemfan Hurricane 2023 Tri-blade propellers (4CW+4CCW)
- 1x Spare Canopy
- 1x Screwdriver
Note: Batteries are not included in the box. The recommended battery sizes for this model are:
- 2S 450mAh
- 2S 550mAh
- 2S 650mAh
The New Mobula8 HD tiny whoop comes with a new flight controller which is specifically designed for digital FPV systems. It has built-in UART based ExpressLRS receiver and 12A 4IN1 BLheli_S ESC. Motors and props are essentially the same in both analog and digital versions.
Mobula 8 with DJI O3 Specifications:
- Battery compatibility: 1-2S Lipo/LIHV
- Size: 120mm x 120mm x 50mm
- Wheelbase: 85mm
- FC/ESC: Crazy F405 ELRS HD
- Motors: EX1103 KV11000, 1.5mm shaft
- Propellers: Gemfan 2023×3
- Weight: 82g (without battery), 112g (with a 2S 550mAh battery)
- Recommended Battery: 2S 450mah, 550mah, and 650mah.
Flight Controller Details:
- Built-in voltage meter sensor with a voltage meter scale of 110
- Built-in current meter sensor with a current meter scale of 470
- MCU: STM32F405RGT6 (168MHZ, 1Mbyte FLASH)
- Power supply: 1-2S battery input (DC 2.9V-8.7V)
- GYRO Sensor: BMI270 (SPI connection)
- Built-in 12A (each) Blheli_S 4in1 ESC
- Mount hole size: 25.5mm x 25.5mm
- Built-in UART ExpressLRS 2.4GHz Receiver (firmware ELRS V3.0.1)
- RX Firmware Target: HappyModel EP 2400 RX
- RX Antenna: Enamelled copper wire (31mm length)
- Model: Crazy F405 ELRS HD
- Built-in BMP280 Barometer
- Built-in 8MB Flash Memory for Blackbox
Onboard 4-in-1 ESC Details:
- Current: 12A continuous, 15A peak (3 seconds)
- Factory firmware: Bluejay ESC V0.19
- Supports BLHeli_S Bluejay firmware
- Power supply: 1-2S LiPo/LiPo HV
- Default protocol: DSHOT300
- Firmware target: Z-H-30
- Note: When using a 1s battery and high KV 0702/0802 motors, you should set the startup power to 1100/1200.
A Close Look at the Mobula 8 with DJI O3
Happymodel presents its first shot at an 85mm frame with the Mobula8!
The Mobula 8 is essentially a bigger version of the standard Mobula, with an updated flight controller – the Crazy F405 HD – designed to be compatible with all HD digital FPV systems (DJI, Walksnail, and HDZero). The canopy, injection-molded from plastic, is flexible enough to endure minor crashes.
One standout feature of this model is the ExpressLRS UART receiver, a departure from the SPI receiver on the analog version of the Mobula 8.
With a weight of approximately 82g, the Mobula 8 equipped with the DJI O3 is slightly chunky yet still light enough to perform agile maneuvers. When fitted with a 2S 450mAh LiPo battery, its weight comes in at just around 109g.
However, there are a few aspects of the Mobula 8 DJI O3 design that require attention. First, the lack of support for the DJI O3 antennas may lead to them getting entangled or damaged by spinning propellers during flight.
Another area of concern is the placement of the USB port which is difficult to reach without disassembling parts of the drone. This design flaw is particularly troublesome when trying to download footage from the DJI O3. To mitigate this issue, it would be useful if the kit included a right-angle adapter, allowing for easier access to the USB port.
Designed primarily for calm weather and indoor flights, this drone proves its versatility and responsiveness, delivering a solid performance across different flying styles. It undoubtedly offers more enjoyable flying experience outdoors compared to its little brother – the 1S Mobula 7. The Mobula 8 is impressively punchy and has a decent PID tune right out of the box.
Even in gusts of up to 15MPH, the drone manages to remain stable, enabling you to capture smooth footage, thanks to the magic of Gyroflow.
As for the flight time, in calm weather conditions, you can expect about 3:00 to 3:30 minutes on a 2S 450mAh LiPo battery, or 4 minutes on a 2S 550mAh (mix of freestyle and cruising).
It’s crucial to ensure you pick a battery that fits the drone’s battery holder. While larger batteries might provide extended flight times, the increased weight makes the quad more sluggish. Therefore, make sure to weigh up the pros and cons based on your flying needs.
Despite a few crashes, the Mobula 8 proved to be quite durable. However, based on my experiences with this model and its predecessors, the frames tend to break under heavy impact, especially considering the additional weight from the DJI O3 Air Unit. This isn’t a deal-breaker but something to keep in mind if you’re planning on buying one. With extensive use, the frame may require repair or replacement, so it could be a good idea to pick up a spare frame when purchasing this drone.
Another area of concern with the Mobula 8 DJI O3 lies in the highly exposed O3 camera. The camera protection offers some level of safety, but the lens could easily get scratched or even break upon impact. Thankfully, the video transmitter module is well protected.
Consider picking up a set of ND filter or at least a UV filter which will double as a lens protector: https://oscarliang.com/flywoo-nd-filter-o3/
Mobula 8 vs Pavo Pico
If you’re looking for small cinewhoops capable of carrying the DJI O3 Air Unit, the BetaFPV Pavo Pico and Happymodel Mobula 8 are likely at the top of your list, and you may be wondering which comes out on top. Both models have their advantages and disadvantages.
The Pavo Pico offers a more refined and compact design, whereas the Mobula 8 stands out for its raw power and agility, despite the relatively similar specs of the two drones. It’s important to note that the Pavo Pico is a smaller 80mm size whoop, while the Mobula 8 is slightly larger at 85mm. The Pavo Pico weighs around 10 grams less, but the Mobula 8 brings a little more power to the table thanks to its more powerful motor and propeller combination.
If you’re looking for a tiny drone for relaxed cruising or cinematic flying, either indoors or outdoors, both options would serve you well. However, I’d lean toward the Pavo Pico for its more user-friendly design and accessories. But if your preference leans toward more power for outdoor freestyle flying, the Mobula 8 might be a more compelling option.
In conclusion, the Happymodel Mobula 8, equipped with DJI O3, is a highly capable and versatile micro FPV drone. Its performance across different flying styles and conditions is impressive. There are design elements that could use some refining, particularly considering its $390 price tag, and it may not be the lightest or smallest whoop housing the O3. However, it does deliver a solid flight experience thanks to the powerful motor and prop combo, all within a compact form factor.
Get the Mobula 8 O3 Cinewhoop here: