Review: Speedybee Mario 5 Frame – Budget Option with Upgradable Potential

by Oscar
Speedybee Mario 5 Frame

The FPV market had been lacking in reliable yet affordable frames. Traditionally, the TBS Source One was the only good budget option, but the game is changing. Enter Speedybee’s Mario 5 Frame, a contender that caught my eye not just for its budget-friendly price of $33.99 but for its suite of promising features and upgradable options. Let’s dive into what makes the Mario 5 stand out, including its build quality and overall performance.

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Where to Buy?

You can get the Speedybee Mario 5 from these vendors:

The Mario 5 Frame comes in two distinct styles: the Dead Cat (DC) for cinematic enthusiasts keen on keeping propellers out of shot, and the Classic True-X (XH) for freestyle flyers and racers craving symmetry and balance. Curious about the different frame configurations? I found a great resource here:

Speedybee Mario 5 Frame Version Deadcat Dc True X Xh


Mario 5 DC Wheelbase 227mm
Mario 5 DC Weight 129 ±5g (3D Printed Parts Excluded)
170 ±5g (3D Printed Parts and Injection)
Mario 5 XH Wheelbase 226mm
Mario 5 XH Weight 126 ±5g (3D Printed Parts Excluded)
167±5g (3D Printed Parts and Injection)
Top Plate Thickness 2.5mm (T300 3K)
Middle Plate Thickness 2.0mm (T300 3K)
Bottom Plate Thickness 2.5mm (T300 3K)
Arm Thickness 6mm (T300 3K)
Camera Mounting Screw 7mm
3D Printed Parts Yellow TPU
Battery Anti-Slip Pad Silicone 3mm
Motor Spring Hole Position Φ8mm
Compatible Propeller Size Max 5.1 Inch
Motor Mounting Hole Distance 16-19mm
FC Mounting Hole 30.5×30.5 (M3)
VTX Mounting Hole 20×20 (M2) / 25.5×25.5 (M2)
Head Material Aviation Aluminum Alloy
Aluminum Column Material 7075 D5*23mm/D46*22mm
Internal Mounting Height 23-31mm
Receiver Installation Space 25*13*6mm
Suitable Capacitor Size Φ10mm*20mm
GPS Installation Size 18*18*7mm

Different Versions

What genuinely sets the Mario 5 apart is its options and scalability depends on your budget and requirements. There are 3 versions: Mario Lite, Mario Advance, and Mario Pro.

Speedybee Mario 5 Frame Version Lite Advance Pro

Starting with the Mario Lite – the base model at $33.99, you can enter the game affordably and opt to upgrade as you go. It offers the bare minimum of parts, but slightly more than what you would normally get with the TBS SourceOne. The carbon fibre parts have much nicer finish too.

The Advance version adds aesthetic and functional enhancements, while the Pro version (though not yet available) promises even more. For those without a 3D printer, the Advance version is a no-brainer, offering significant value for a small additional cost of $6.

Personally I prioritize value and performance over how it looks, so I will be building the Pro version, maybe excluding some unnecessary parts to save weight.

Speedybee Mario 5 Frame Upgrade Pro 3d Print Accessories

Build Quality and Design

At first glance, the Mario 5 frame impresses with its robust design and build quality, all for an appealing $34 price tag.

This frame includes a top plate, bottom plate, and a mid-plate, alongside specific front and rear arms, complemented by a variety of accessories like molded plastic parts, silicone mounts for the camera, aluminum standoffs, and an assortment of screws.

Speedybee Mario 5 Frame Unbox

The carbon fiber plates are 2mm-2.5mm thick, while the arms boast a thickness of 6mm.

A notably clever feature is the 10x20mm bay for capacitor placement, a design choice that efficiently avoids clutter. This is something I’ve never seen before and is likely a first in FPV drone frames.

Speedybee Mario 5 Frame Capacitor Reccess

The Pro version is equipped with metal “gills” for the claimed “enhanced airflow”, which also adds a cool aesthetic touch. However, I plan not to install these in favor of saving weight, as I find them unnecessary for my build.

The mounting options for the XT60 connector have been thoughtfully designed, allowing for placement at the front or back of the frame. The inclusion of a metal bushing for VTX antenna installation is a welcome addition, offering an extra layer of protection.

Speedybee Mario 5 Frame Front Top

Moreover, the frame supports both 19mm and 20mm FPV cameras, including any micro FPV cameras as well as the DJI O3, thanks to the included silicone dampers. This ensures compatibility with a wide range of camera options, marking an advantage over the Source One, which lacks native support for the O3 camera without custom-made 3D printed parts.

Speedybee Mario 5 Frame Body

The rear of the frame is designed to house a video transmitter, providing enough space even for the bulky DJI O3 Air Unit.

Speedybee Mario 5 Frame Rear

The Assembly Experience

Thanks to the manual provided on the Speedybee website, assembling this frame is a relatively straightforward task for an experienced drone builder like myself. However, beginners might find the manual lacking in detailed, step-by-step instructions.

Yet, putting together the Mario 5 turned out to be more complex than anticipated. The frame’s unique design, such as the interlocking arms and vertical carbon fiber pieces intended for capacitor housing, felt a bit overengineered and perhaps slightly unnecessary.

Speedybee Mario 5 Frame Assembly

It’s unclear whether the issue was due to the tight tolerances or if the carbon fiber parts were inaccurately cut, but I found it virtually impossible to install the small vertical pieces and the arms at the same time. I spent over 40 minutes attempting this to no avail, which was quite frustrating. Eventually, I decided not installing those small vertical pieces altogether. Despite this, the arms remained stiff. While the tight fit from the design’s precise tolerances undoubtedly contributes to the frame’s overall stiffness—enhancing its structural integrity—it could also complicate the process of replacing arms later on, potentially requiring disassembly of the frame’s bottom and mid plates.

Final Thoughts

Speedybee Mario 5 Frame

As mentioned earlier, one significant challenge I encountered with the Speedybee Mario 5 frame was its assembly complexity. While this complexity showcases SpeedyBee’s commitment to detail, it may be perceived as overkill by pilots who value simplicity. Additionally, the tolerances are slightly too tight, complicating the assembly process further.

Another point to consider is the lack of native support for 20x20mm stacks. However, this issue can be readily addressed with the use of an adapter.

Despite these hurdles, the Mario 5’s price point is remarkably competitive, offering a cost-effective option without compromising on quality. The frame’s potential for customization and its sturdy design ultimately stand out. With the capacity to upgrade from the Mario Light version to the Mario Advance or Mario Pro, the frame provides both flexibility and scalability.

You can get the Speedybee Mario 5 from these vendors:

Let’s hope Speedybee will begin offering spare parts in the near future. Currently, I can’t find spare arms and plates on their website. This addition would greatly enhance the frame’s appeal and longevity in the competitive FPV market.

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The Black Rabbi 1st April 2024 - 4:26 pm

I had to return mine on amazon. As it was a pain to put together, and just didn’t fly anywhere near as nice as my AMAX frame. This is just another cheap product by speedybee for new pilots to take advantage of. Also have a friend with one and he says all it does is break or something else in crashes. The arms might be 6mm but they are not designed for the average FPV crash.

Wish I never went with speedybee, but hopefully you have better luck….

Sergey 11th March 2024 - 3:31 am

I just finished my Mario 5 XH build. I can confirm that assembly of central part with those tiny vertical carbon fiber pieces is pain in the ass. Overall, this is a decent frame. But I ll stick to my good old SpeedyBee FS225 V2 which is way easier in assembly and maintenance, supports both 30×30 and 20×20 stacks and still has very good resonance characteristics