Sailfly vs. FullSpeed Toothpick Comparison

This week I am testing “toothpicks” from two companies, and I will be making a comparison on which model is better – Happymodel Sailfly and Fullspeed Toothpick.

What’s a “toothpick”? It’s basically a type of micro quad, which uses similar electronics to a tiny whoop, but runs larger 65mm two-blade props without prop guards. These result in more power even the weight is similar.

Where to Buy?

FullSpeed Toothpick

Happymodel Sailfly

HappyModel Saifly

Specs:

  • F4 FC with 5A ESC
  • 1102 8500KV Motors
  • 65mm Props
  • Supports 2S and 3S
  • Built-in current sensor
  • 5V 1A BEC
  • Integrated RX (options: Frsky, Flysky, DSMX)
  • VTX: 25mW 40Ch
  • Camera: NTSC 120FOV CMOS
  • Weight: 38g without battery

Even being cheaper than the Fullspeed, the Sailfly comes with lots of accessories, even a 3S 300mah battery. The spare canopy and 3 sets of spare props are a really nice touch as you are going to crash a lot with this tiny beast.

Motors are 1102 8500KV, props are just pushed in, but the props stay on really well and don’t come off easily in crashes.

The FPV setup is just a AIO camera with integrated VTX, which is commonly used in Tiny Whoops. Video quality isn’t as good as dedicated FPV cameras, and wide dynamic range is pretty bad, but it’s flyable in most situations. (can’t expect much at this price point :) )

And camera angle is not adjustable which is a shame.

USB port is located on the top of the quad. Note that the USB powers up the whole quad, including RX, ESC and FPV setup… That’s really convenient for setting up the quad, but not sure if that’s a good thing because it draws a lot of current from the computer’s USB port.

LiPo battery can mounted under the quad, held securely by the 3D printed TPU holder. There is a 100uF capacitor soldered to the XT30 connector for protecting your electronics.

I really like the TPU battery mount, because you don’t need to mess with tiny little battery straps. The downside is you have to use battery of certain size (18x11mm).

Removing the canopy reveals the FC, which has basically everything integrated on a single board: 4in1 ESC, OSD, current sensor and radio receiver. There is no soldering required as everything is connected to the FC with connectors including the motors.

RX antenna length is roughly 30mm.

The FC is soft mounted with rubber grommets, a bit like how it’s done in the Tiny Whoops.

And here are the long M2 nylon screws after removing the FC.

Here are some close up of the top and bottom sides of the flight controller board:

Here is how I set it up:

  1. The FC comes with BF 4.0.0. You can update the firmware, but I didn’t and it worked just fine
  2. Almost everything is already setup in Betaflight
  3. Binding RX to the Taranis requires entering “bind” in CLI, and I had to change channel map to default
  4. Setup Mode (arm switch, angle mode and buzzer)
  5. Disabling motor stop (not sure why it was enabled?), otherwise it loses control when you drop throttle to zero

Here are the manuals that it comes with:

FullSpeed Toothpick

Specs:

  • F4 FC with 12A ESC
  • 1102 11000KV Motors
  • 65mm Props
  • Supports 2S (3S works but it’s pushing it)
  • 5V 2A BEC
  • External RX (options: Frsky, Flysky, DSMX, Crossfire)
  • VTX: 25mW-600mW 48Ch
  • Camera: Caddx Micro F2
  • Weight: 44g without battery

In the box, there is only just the quad itself – no accessories at all. There isn’t even a manual, and the link to the online manual is dead on BG’s product page. Luckily it’s still available online after some research. I will post some screenshots below.

As you can see there are a lot going on in the FC stack, and it’s a very tight build.

The motors are FullSpeed branded 1102 11000KV. Although they are the same size as the Happymodel 1102 motors, the KV is a bit high for 3S batteries, and they are recommended for 2S only. I did try them on 3S and it worked however voltage sag was enormous and the motors did run quite hot so I’d avoid :)

Removing the canopy reveals the electronics. The first difference I noticed is the FPV setup, the Fullspeed uses a dedicated FPV camera, which gives much better image quality and WDR. It’s also an NTSC camera.

There are 3 boards in the stack, from top to bottom, they are FC, ESC and VTX.

The VTX is a really powerful one, allows up to 600mW. There are four wires connecting the VTX to the FC, one of the wires is SmartAudio. However it didn’t work when I tried to change VTX settings in the OSD. It turns out the VTX is locked out of the box, meaning some of the channels and power levels are unavailable because of regulations (see manual for detail).

Once unlocked the VTX I could select all the channels and power levels in the OSD menu.

Unlike the Sailfly, the receiver in the Fullspeed Toothpick is external.

Removing the FC reveals the 12A 4in1 ESC.

Here is how I set it up:

  1. It comes with BF 4.0.2, You can update the firmware, but I didn’t and it worked fine
  2. Binding RX to Taranis (hold down button on RX before power up) and change channel map to Default
  3. Setup Mode (arm switch, angle mode and buzzer)

Manuals for setting up VTX and binding receiver:

Again, like the Sailfly, USB cable powers up everything including FPV setup, ESC/Motor, and RX, so be aware!

Which One is Better?

There is no clear winner, each quad has some imperfections. Here is a summary why I would buy the Sailfly, or Fullspeed:

Sailfly is better because:

  • Better value, it’s cheaper yet comes with lots spare
  • It has current sensor
  • Everything is integrated on one board – easy to take apart, but if something is broken you’d have to replace the whole board
  • FC is soft mounted which is clearly helping to reduce oscillations
  • Super easy to setup, comes with manual that explains most of the things you need to know
  • 2S 450mAh LiPo works nice on this model, but I also recommend 3S 300mAh Lipo, which is included!

You can get it here:

Fullspeed is better because:

  • It’s more powerful due to the higher KV motors – it’s nuts on 3S and I don’t recommend it, but if you insist, you’d need some really good batteries
  • ESC are rated 12A, much more robust than Sailfly
  • FPV camera and VTX is SO MUCH better than the Sailfly
  • Camera angle is adjustable
  • I recommend 2S 450mAh LiPo for this model

You can get it here:

Also, there are two major differences we haven’t mentioned.

The Fullspeed has a “stretched X” frame – front to back is much longer than left to right. I covered the frame differences here.

The Sailfly runs normal “props in” configuration, while the Fullspeed toothpick runs “props out” where the props spins in the reversed direction. The differences are covered here. You can try both and see which config you prefer. I personally prefer props out on these tiny quads, but you have to remember to check the settings everytime you update the firmware because it might get reset.

In terms of flying performance, the Sailfly feels faster, smoother and more locked in, especially when flying with 3S. On 2S it’s easier to control and still has decent speed. The FullSpeed Toothpick has more raw power on 2S even it’s a few grams heavier thanks to the higher KV motors. Imagine hovering at 10% throttle :)

One thing that is lacking with the Sailfly is range. It’s basically a Tiny Whoop FC, with the RX integrated, and the antenna placement isn’t optimized resulting in poor range. I get about 150m range with it. The FullSpeed is slightly better thanks to the better RX and antenna placement, around 200-250m?

I do get some oscillations when the wind is blowing on both quads, it’s more so with the Fullspeed quad probably because the FC is hard mounted on the frame.

If I had a small budget, I’d probably go for the Happymodel Sailfly, purely because of the price and what you get. For US$88, you get motors, ESC, FC, receiver, camera, VTX, frame, a few sets of props, and even a 3s battery. And the quad is all assembled and setup, ready to fly, and it flies really well.

You can buy the parts separately and build it yourself too, but then you are looking at a much higher cost, a set of motors and an FC alone can easily cost you $88.

For image quality and range I’d go for the Fullspeed. And it has more potential for future upgrades as everything is modular. For example you can change out the motors as the ESC are 12A. You can’t use more powerful motors on the Sailfly as the ESC are only rated for 5A.

6 thoughts on “Sailfly vs. FullSpeed Toothpick Comparison

  1. Mario Schimanko

    HI Oscar,
    clicked my way thru here not to get unsubbed from your mailing list :)
    I like the small copters as well (because you can fly them anywhere without getting in trouble) – but there is one concern with each I tested so far:
    even if you not crash them too often, the motors (with very high kv) seem to last not long enough. Particulary the bearings seem to have hard times with the high rpms…
    Do you know any high quality micros (or cinewhoops) where you trust the motors to last more than a few days or weeks?

    greets, Mario

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I think you might be referring to those cheap 0803 motors in the tiny whoops?
      These 1103 motors are bigger and seem to be more robust/durable. I’ve been flying multiple models for a couple of weeks and they are holding up so far.

      Reply
  2. chopstick

    thank you for your reciew
    will you review a selfmade build aswell? probably with the new diatone 16x16mm electronics, would be nice.

    Reply
  3. Lupinix

    Nice review :)
    Really looking forward to some reviews on the Eachine RedDevil, it seems to be the best of both worlds.
    It is pretty much a sailfly, but with a caddx EOS2 and a 200mw VTX and canopy from the eachine trashcan.

    Reply

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