With the FIMI X8 SE 2022, FIMI is releasing the third generation of its foldable drone series. What’s new in this new edition? And most importantly, should it be purchased? All the answers in our full test!
FIMI X8 SE 2022 features: Design and Remote Control
The 2022 version of the FIMI X8 SE has the same physical appearance as its predecessor, the 2020 edition. So we find the same design with folding arms, as well as the same measurements: dimensions of 204 x 106 x 72.6 mm for a weight of765 grams with the battery and the propellers. These are also always quick-fit folding propellers, easy to install and remove.
The bottom of the drone is completely covered by an aluminium heat sink with an ultrasonic and optical flow sensor and six rubber landing pads. On the side of the drone there is a rubber cover under which the reset button, radio link switch, USB port and memory card slot are located. The latter can accommodate micro SD cards up to 256 GB.
As far as we are concerned, we have always liked the clean design of the FIMI X8 SE series drones. Their design gives an impression of quality where everything feels solid and well constructed.
The remote control also looks exactly like the old versions. The controller has extendable handles that can accommodate smartphones or small tablets up to 20cm in length.
On the left side there is a power button, a red RTH switch and a battery level indicator. On the right side, there is a mini 5D joystick and a Takeoff/Landing button. On the top of the controller there are two knobs: the one on the left controls the gimbal tilt and the one on the right is used to set the ISO.
For camera control, we have two dedicated buttons on the back of the remote: one for taking pictures on the right, the other, on the left, for starting/stopping video recording. Finally, on the bottom there is a rubber cover that protects access to the USB charging and data ports.
Features and Performance in Flight
Intelligent Flight Modes
The FIMI X8 SE 2022 features several intelligent flight modes, automated flight modes that allow you to create cool videos without having to worry about controlling the drone.
In this mode, you draw a flight path on the FIMI Navi application and the drone will automatically fly along this preset path until it returns to its take-off point.
Smart Tracking Modes
Here, the drone can track a target (presumably you 😁) in three different ways: from behind (Trace mode), in parallel (Profile mode), or from a fixed predefined angle (Lock mode).
As the name suggests, your drone will fly in a circle around an object.
The X8 SE 2022 also features a suite of QuickShots modes similar to those offered by DJI on its drones, with identical names such as Dronie, Orbit and Spiral. If you are used to DJI Mini or Mavic drones, you won’t be disappointed.
With the X8 SE 2022, FIMI decided to change the communication system of the series by integrating a third generation RokLink system, whereas the previous model, the 2020, was equipped with a second generation TDMA system. As a result, the transmission range increases to 10km(instead of 8km on its predecessor), and latency is reduced to 130ms (instead of 220ms on the 2020).
A few figures to start with: the FIMI X8 SE 2022 has not gained in speed over its predecessor, but its top speed is still more than sufficient as it can fly up to 18m/s, or about 65km/h. On the other hand, the new edition gains in altitude since the drone is now capable of flying at 800 metres highwhere the 2020 model stopped at 500 metres.
We also were able to test it in moderate wind conditions and the drone was unimpressed, proving to be very stable and easy to control. Theoretically, the X8 SE 2022 is capable of withstanding a level 8 wind. A wind of this level is classified as a storm and reaches a speed of 17.5 to 20 m/s, which is no mean feat.
We also found its triple satellite positioning system (GPS + GLONASS + BEIDOU) to be very effective, with the drone quickly finding several satellites when we were not even outside yet.
There is also a precise landing function with a ground-facing camera that allows the drone to recognise the shape and colours of a landing area so that it can land safely.
Battery and flight time
The 2022 version retains the same batteryas the previous model, a 4500mAh LiPo 3S battery with four indicator lights that show the remaining charge level.
FIMI states that the maximum flight time with this battery is 35 minutes, provided you fly at a speed of 8m/s and without wind. Of course, you know the drill, we rarely fly in ideal conditions to get the most from the battery. In the tests we carried out, we had a bit of wind and taking into account the automatic return function which is triggered when 30% of the battery remains, we obtained flights of between 23 and 25 minutes.