Are you looking to become an FPV pilot and have zero background?
If your answer is affirmative, you need to get a BETAFPV Cetus X whoop. This tiny drone is suitable for the total beginner to build in experience until becoming a pro.
And once you have enough skills, you’ll find out this drone will always be your first option for practice.
Why are we so sure?
This drone is possibly the highest-end mini whoop for its build quality, features, flight experience, and accessories.
In this article, I’ll reveal my impressions of this drone after unboxing and some testing.
So let’s begin!
What comes with the drone?
When you receive more than you expect, it´s always gratifying.
That’s what BETAFPV does with the Cetus X, as you don’t buy just a drone but a drone with its remote controller, goggles, spare propellers, an extra battery, and accessories all in a nice carrying case.
All these components come with a single purchase!
So once you buy the BETAFPV Cetus X FPV Kit, you don’t need anything else to start flying it right away.
The Cetus X Drone
The Cetus X whoop is the high-end drone on the Cetus series developed by BETAFPV. It targets beginner users as it comes with safety functionalities that assist in flight.
But the real intention of BETAFPV with this drone is that pilots with FPV experience keep using it for the long term. The reason is that it provides an impressive flight experience that will leave any pro astounded.
With this in mind, BETAFPV designed the Cetus X to provide beginner-to-experienced FPV pilots with fun for years.
The Cetus X lacks a USB-C port to connect directly to your PC. However, in the package, BETAFPV sends you a pinned adapter you connect to the belly of the drone.
Although this process isn’t a straight plug-and-play setup, it takes mere seconds to connect.
You can update the firmware on the Cetus X with a desktop or laptop app called BETAFLIGHT. And I found it to be kind of tricky.
So for you to successfully complete the firmware updates, I’ll give you a very easy tutorial from the iFLY X-WING FPV YouTube channel.
Build & Design
The drone itself seems unsuitable for FPV flying as it looks fragile. But what a pleasant surprise.
It is capable of handling continuous crashes and hits with trees, walls, or obstacles without falling apart. What provides such sturdiness is the propeller guard that covers the body.
On the upper side, the propeller guard is thick but flexible, which enhances its elasticity by bouncing when hitting objects.
The lower propeller guard serves as a landing gear, making this drone tall for its size. This configuration is convenient as it gives extra room for the security of the propellers and engines against debris.
And each landing gear is flexible enough to handle hard landings without breaking.
Its propellers are translucent plastic made but are quite thick. You don’t have to worry too much about little rocks or grass that tends to cut them easily. These propellers have enough material to resist all this foreign debris damage.
And if you need to change them due to any damage, the kit comes with extra spares and a removal tool to replace them in seconds.
The Cetus X engines are tiny but very powerful. It can produce enough output to make the drone fly fast and perform tricks without any delay or loss. You can expect a drone that throttles immediately for easy flips and rolls.
Consider that BETAFPV designed this drone to be durable as its idea is to accompany you during the learning process.
However, we advise you to use it in open areas only. That way, you won’t crash it often, and it will last longer.
Weight & Size
Drones used for acrobatics must be light, as this characteristic helps them to be easily maneuverable. Or in other words, the drone must be unstable to perform flips and tricks.
As you can guess, the Cetus X is light, weighing the same as 11 nickels. And thanks to its plastic body, propelled by brushless engines, this drone flips and rolls without effort.
However, it’s the heaviest and largest of the Cetus series drones. The reason is that being too light isn’t optimal for freestyle either, or any breeze won’t let you control the drone as you wish.
This drone has the perfect weight and size to fly freestyle without compromising the flight experience due to the wind.
Only keep in mind that due to its larger size, it’s hard to fly indoors. You should avoid flying it indoors unless you have a lot of experience with it, or you will almost certainly break something.
None of the Cetus series drones excel in the camera department. The idea behind them is only to provide you with a live feed in your goggles.
However, the Cetus X camera system stands out above the rest. It’s not that it provides gorgeous cinematics, but in conjunction with the goggles, it lets you record the live view to study and improve your drone control.
Again, the recording resembles those old VHS recordings of your family weddings or BBQs. Is it enough to sell its content? It’s not.
But is it enough to understand your performance and find ways to improve? It most definitely is!
And like the drone structure, the camera has sturdy protection made of plastic. It’s from the same material as the propeller guard but thicker. So you have to smash it very hard into a wall or a tree for it to break.
This camera doesn’t have a gimbal. But it tilts up to a 40-degree angle with a simple transmitter command.
The ability to vary the angle is helpful as the drone tilts to fly, and the camera ends up looking down. With the Cetus X, you can tilt the camera so you always have the best view of the surroundings.
The camera lens is durable enough to handle foreign object damage like little rocks. In the end, the camera has suitable protection for the intended use.
Ease of use
I’m not going to lie to you. This drone is hard to fly, even in normal mode, where you don’t need to control the throttle to maintain the drone at a fixed altitude.
The reason behind this difficulty is the power of the Cetus X engines. Although they are tiny, they deploy a lot of power for the drone’s size and weight. This power makes the drone very sensitive to any joystick movement.
That’s another reason to advise you only use this drone in wide open areas, at least while you get used to its output.
Is it hard to make progress with this drone? You certainly have to put in some hours a week to master the normal mode and the transition to sport mode.
But if you have enough patience and actively practice every day, you’ll master the sport mode in less than a month or so.
As with any other FPV drone, the battery life of the Cetus X is a weak point.
You get max 5 minutes of flying time per two batteries. Yes, this drone uses two batteries instead of one. The reason is that the engines put a large power demand on the battery.
But why two batteries and not just one?
Most people buy the Cetus X once they have mastered the Cetus Pro. To save them money, BETAFPV made the Cetus X using two of the Cetus Pro batteries.
The good news is you get two extra batteries in the kit for a max of 10 minutes of flight. But if you wish to improve with this drone faster, get some extra batteries, as you need at least 30 minutes a day of practice. And we warn you, these batteries aren’t very cheap.
As this drone is very light, it can only fly up to 80 m, which is also its effective flight range.
When compared to professional FPV drones, this range is a joke.
Only remember that the Cetus X is for you to learn the basics and train your skills. For that use case, an 80 m range is sufficient.
And the impressive feature about it is that it consistently maintains the signal for that 80 m range. You won’t see noticeable interference in your goggles view, and your transmitter won’t lose connection with the drone.
So when the drone is in the 80 m range, it guarantees you a safe and fun flight.
This whoop comes with normal, mid, and fast flight speeds on all the modes.
For a beginner, the only mode we recommend is the normal mode. And once you grow in confidence, transition to the mid. You should only use the fast speed after several hours of training, or you will crash it beyond repair.
The issue with this drone’s speed for a beginner isn’t the speed, but how fast it gets to its max speed.
Every time you upgrade the speed mode, the Cetus X increases its responsiveness to acceleration. So it will achieve its max speed in a blink of an eye, giving you no time to make the safest decision.
If you crash your drone, the engines stop, and the drone drops to the ground automatically.
And like the other Cetus drones, it automatically lands when it has a low battery.
Do these features improve the drone´s safety?
If you hit something when the drone flies low, it is. But if you hit a house roof, it will fall from a height that will damage the drone.
So that’s one reason BETAFPV made this drone so light. As it weighs so little and has more wing area thanks to the propeller guard, it kind of slows the fall.
And what if my Cetus X falls upside down, far away from me? Or in an inaccessible place?
This drone comes with a turtle mode, letting you push some buttons to flip it and turn it on its landing gear. That way, you can take off and get the drone back to yourself.
Of all the Cetus drones, the Cetus X is the most expensive.
However, if you compare what you can achieve with this drone, it provides the best value for the money.
It is the largest and sturdiest from the Cetus family, so it’s a last longing drone.
Its camera can tilt to have the most comfortable camera view possible.
It comes with the most advanced remote controller and goggles from Cetus, providing improved range and signal stability. And it’s worth mentioning the ability to record your flights.
Its only downside is that it needs two batteries. And if you want to learn to control it quickly, the four batteries it comes with won’t give you enough flying time.
The LiteRadio 3 Radio Transmitter looks the same as all Cetus remote controllers. However, it comes with little differences that end up being handy improvements.
Most FPV remotes use long metal switches, and when you are a beginner is tricky to get used to them. They also add volume to the controller, making it hard to store in their case. And believe me, those switch sticks are delicate.
To solve this issue, BETAFPV removed those metal switches on this transmitter, equipping it with buttons and triggers that resemble a video game console controller.
This new design isn’t only easier to use but long-lasting. It reduces unused transmitter volume space for effortless storage.
It is also very comfortable, as it comes with a sling to attach it to its Lanyard hook around your neck. It will rest near your belly button so you can comfortably position your fingers to move the buttons and joysticks.
But the real improvement comes in the range. This transmitter allows the Cetus X to fly in an 80 m radius without latency issues in open areas with minimal interference in spaces with obstacles like walls or high density of trees.
And when you want to improve the range of the signal in general, you can connect an external TX nano bay module to the back. However, you need to configure it first on the BETAFPV configurator software.
One of the strongest points of this drone is the improved VR03 FPV Goggles.
The first upgrade over the other Cetus drone goggles is the antenna. This little gadget allows the goggles to maintain a clear live feed with little interference, even at its max 80 m range.
And the possibility of recording your footage on a memory card is just so helpful. Thanks to its DVR technology, you only need to install a class 10 64 GB microSD to start saving your practice sessions. Then you can watch the recording on your computer and check your progress.
It weighs less than the previous versions and feels more comfortable as it isn’t as large. However, they lack nose cushioning as the previous versions, making it a bit uncomfortable for people with big noses.
Thanks to its USB-C port, charging the goggles couldn’t be easier. USB-C ports and cables don’t have strict sides as USB-A or micro-USB to connect, so you can plug in fast without thinking about whether you’re plugging in the correct side.
It also avoids the issue of forcing the cable into the goggles, which can end in a damaged goggles port.
What’s the best way to learn to pilot the Cetus X?
The Cetus X is hard to fly, even with flying aids. So for the total beginner, it’s advisable not to fly it right away.
So how are you supposed to improve?
BETAFPV partnered with LIFTOFF, a drone simulator. In this simulator, you will use a micro drone with the same characteristics as the Cetus family.
What’s so interesting about this software is that it simulates physics like wind and gravity, so it’s like flying an FPV drone in real life.
The only factor it can’t reproduce is your fear of breaking it. So this simulator is ideal for gaining confidence and basic skills before flying it in your yard.
Below is what the simulator looks like.
And after you have mastered the simulator, go outside and try to fly your drone. As a rule of thumb, your experience should look like the video below from the HAX1 FPV YouTube channel.
BETAFPV Cetus X vs Cetus Pro
The Cetus X is a high-end drone from the Cetus family.
It has an improved camera section, remote controller, goggles, and flying features that make it pleasant to fly.
However, it’s hard not to crash it when starting as a pilot. So for the total beginner, the Cetus Pro is easier to control as it has less power.
The Cetus Pro is also fast and unstable enough for freestyle, but it’s less aggressive and responsive to the transmitter joystick input.
And the Cetus Pro is cheaper, so if you are on a very tight budget, it should be your number one option.