Review: Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight FPV Drone (1.6inch Toothpick)

by Oscar
Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone (1.6inch Toothpick)

Finally a tiny whoop size drone that is flyable in the wind! Introducing the Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight toothpick! It’s only 29 grams, runs 1.6″ props and 1S LiPo. Spoiler alert: I love it!

banggood

Where to Buy?

Get the Nanofly16 from here, receiver options are ELRS 2.4GHz and TBS Crossfire.

Batteries are not included, make sure they have GNB27 connectors! These are great ones I use:

You might also want to get some spare props, with 1.0mm shaft holes:

It comes with the following accessories:

  • 4 x HQ 40mm-2 propellers
  • 1 x 3D printed battery holder
  • 1 x Phillips-head screwdriver
  • 1 x 1.5 mm screwdriver

Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone (1.6inch Toothpick) Unbox Accessories

Features and Specs

Do you want to fly stealthily in your local park? The Nanofly16 from Sub250 might be the answer. It’s tiny, quiet and actually flies really well out of the box.

Specifications:

  • Frame: Sub250 NF16
  • Wheelbase size: 77mm
  • Arm thickness: 1.5mm
  • Flight Controller: F411-1S AIO with built-in ESC, VTX and RX
    • Gyro: ICM20689
    • BLHeli_S 4in1 5A ESC
    • 250mW VTX
    • ELRS SPI Receiver with Ceramic Tower Antenna
    • Supports Betaflight OSD w/AT7456E Chip
  • Camera: Caddx Ant
  • Motor: M1 0803-19000KV 1mm shaft
  • Propeller: HQ 40mm-2 (1.0mm shaft hole)
  • Weight: 28.0g 29.4g
  • Recommend batteries: 380mAh 1S 90C LiHV battery (Not include)
  • Estimated Flight Time: 4 minutes and 45 seconds 1S 380 mAh

Closer Look at the Sub250 Nanofly16

The arms/bottom plate is 1.5mm thick carbon fibre, feels really stiff and strong. All up weight with a 1S 380mAh LiPo is only 39g, it should hold up well to crashes given the light weight.

Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone (1.6inch Toothpick) Camera Front

The Nanofly16 is basically a 75mm tiny whoop without the ducts, the hardware is similar, and the wheelbase size is almost identical.

Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone (1.6inch Toothpick) Size Compare 75mm Tiny Whoop

However the Sub250 Nanofly16 is using bigger 0803 motors which gives it even more torque and power and that really helps its outdoor performance. However the motors have 1.0mm shaft, I wish they were 1.5mm shaft which is more durable.

It runs “props in” (the default propeller direction in Betaflight) unlike most other whoops and micros that usually run “props out” for performance purposes. However I haven’t noticed any issue on the Nanofly16 flying with props in so far.

Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone (1.6inch Toothpick) Motor Prop

 

The FC has ExpressLRS receiver built-in, you can see the tiny tower which is the RX antenna. I am getting telemetry lost warning around 200 meters on 250mW output power, so I am guessing the range is just a little bit more than that.

Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone (1.6inch Toothpick) Fc Rx AntennaMotors can be easily replaced as they are connected to the FC with plugs. I wish they were soldered directly that should shave at least a gram off. But that would probably make it more expensive to assemble in factory and harder to repair if something goes wrong. The canopy design is also very sturdy, protects the camera and electronics well. You can’t change camera angle but I am quite happy with the default angle for outdoor flying.

Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone (1.6inch Toothpick) Fc Esc Aio Board

I wish they secure the VTX antenna with a bit of glue on the U.FL connector just in case it pops off in a crash and lead to the VTX overheat. I think this will rarely happen but better safe than sorry.

Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone (1.6inch Toothpick) Fc Camera

Unlike most other 1S BNF quads that use PH2.0 battery connectors, the Nanofly16 uses GNB27 connector. GNB27 has lower resistance than PH2.0 and it can deliver power to the drone more efficiently. Make sure you grab batteries with the right connector!

Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone (1.6inch Toothpick) Lipo Battery Connector

The 3D printed TPU battery holder works really well, the battery is not moving anywhere once you put it in. The holder is designed specifically for a particular battery size, but this size has almost become a standard and you can find many batteries from different manufacturers that fits snuggly like GNB, Emax and Tattu.

These are the batteries that I would recommend for the Sub250 Nanofly16:

Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone (1.6inch Toothpick) Battery Holder Bottom Frame

How to Setup

Original CLI dump can be found here. It came with Betaflight 4.3 firmware.

There are only a couple of things I changed for my first flight.

In Modes Tab, setup switches for arm, angle, beeper and flip over after crash.

In Power Tab:

  • Change Min Voltage to 3.2V
  • Change Warning Voltage to 3.4V
  • Change Max Voltage to 4.4V

Bi-directional DShot and RPM filter are already setup out of the box.

Flight Performance

This is the first time I review product from Sub250, so I didn’t know what to expect from this new company. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this 1.6-inch toothpick due to past experience with this kind of 1S BNF micro quads, and thought to myself, “it’s probably gonna be another underpowered quad that sucks”.

I WAS WRONG!

This thing is probably one of the best 1.6″ toothpick I have ever flown! Yea, it’s not super powerful, but it’s enough to do acro and cruise around the park even when it’s windy (in the video there are 10MPH gusts). It struggles a bit when flying against the wind but that’s to be expected, it’s a 1S quad after all. Still, it performs so much better than I expected.

You can barely hear it 10 meters away, and people walking near the quad simply don’t care, or even don’t notice it until they hear the buzzing. As you can see in the video, the background noise is much louder than the quad.

I think range is around 250-300 meters as I start to get “telemetry lost” warning around 200 meters. I didn’t want to push it too far because it only has a small ceramic antenna on the FC. And because of the small motors, DShot Beacon isn’t very loud so try not to crash it in long grass or you will have a hard time finding it :)

The best part about the Nanofly16 is the PID/filter tuning. I can tell Sub250 put in a lot of effort in the tune, and it really shows in the flying. It flies amazingly! I don’t say that very often in my reviews. Just take a look at the PID tab how much they changed, I am very happy they didn’t just leave it at default like many other manufacturers do and I truly appreciate it.

Sub250 Nanofly16 Ultralight Fpv Drone Pid Filter Betaflight

The FC has 16MB flash memory so you can play with Blackbox if you want, but I seriously doubt anyone needs to do that with the current tune.

Flight time is about 3 mins on 1S 300mAh, and 5:30 mins on 1S 550mAh.

I do recommend the Nanofly16, it’s great for those who want a tiny quad to fly around the park and not scare people :) However it’s not cheap for an 1S toothpick! With the 10% discount code we are still looking at $136. The Mobula7 ELRS (quite similar hardware but less powerful) is only $108 I last checked. But the Nanofly16 flies much better outdoor though and it’s not really meant to be flown in the house, unless you want your wall and TV all scratched up.

One bug I encountered was the FC reset itself when I accidentally ran the voltage too low (below 2.7V), and I had to go home and restore the preset I previously saved. It’s not a biggie just remember to land :) I was having too much fun and forgot!

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5 comments

Derek 8th December 2022 - 9:08 pm

Hi Oscar, thank you for this review! Their site says it won’t work with ELRS 3.0. I’ve already set my Zorro up on 3.0, and it in fact does not seem to bind. I’m struggling to get 2.5.1 on an alternate SD card for testing, and now I’m wondering if there’s a simpler way to use my existing Zorro + ELRS 3.0 to make this work. Thank you!

Reply
Oscar 8th December 2022 - 10:52 pm

Betaflight 4.4 will make it support ELRS 3.0 I think, because it’s got ELRS SPI receiver, and that ELRS firmware is part of the Betaflight firmware. I should be released in a few months. Meanwhile you can try flashing your FC with a BF4.4 nightly build (unstable pre-release version).
Or flash your Zorro back to ELRS V2.
The last option is to get a ELRS external module, or cheap radio with ELRS built-in and use it just for ELRS V2.

Reply
AL 26th September 2022 - 8:53 pm

I had some extra parts laying around and bought the frame and some 22500kv motors for this bad boy and putting my ELRS mobula6 v2.0 board on it. Love these new micros coming out. Hoping fall and early socal weather will be good to race around the yard. Time to do some yard racing with friends.

Reply
HT 30th August 2022 - 12:54 pm

Can you plase share the default Nanofly16 betaflight present? thanks.

Reply