Toy drones are a great introduction to the world of drone piloting. They should be easy to set-up, have straightforward controls and be robust enough to take the inevitable knocks as the pilot gets to grips with flying. Drones over 250g require the owner to purchase an operator's license and pass and online education test to fly, while toy drones without a camera, like this one, can be used freely straight out of the box (when you're ready to progress to the the former, head to our general best drone ranking for our top picks).
The A20 is the most basic of Potensic's drone range and is the only one not to feature a camera – though you can get a camera-equipped version for a little more cash (head to our Potensic A20W review for more on that one). On the nose, where a camera would usually sit, the A20 has a white LED – which is useful for orientating the drone during flight.
This palm-sized model comes with an equally small controller (100W x 70H x 50D) making it ideal for small hands. The controller is nicely made for a budget-priced drone with control sticks that have a nice smooth action. The package also comes with three batteries, a USB charger and four spare rotor blades. So how does it perform in practice, and how does it match up to the other models on the market? Read on for our full Potensic A20 Mini Drone review.
- For more options, head to our best cheap drone roundup
Potensic A20 mini drone review: handling
Potensic A20: specs
Weight: 91g (with battery)
Dimensions: 90W x 80H x 30D (mm)
Flight time (per battery): 8.5 minutes
Flight distance: 30 metres
Launching the A20 is simple – just pull down and release the left control stick to sync drone and controller, press the take-off/land button and it will ascend then hover around two metres above the ground. The A20 is quick to respond to controller commands and zips around at an impressive speed. It has a 'headless' mode that automatically changes the drone's responses to orientate them with the position of the pilot. For example, pressing left on the control stick always makes the drone move left – no matter what direction it's facing.
With no self-stabilisation, the A20 needs constant adjustment during flight to prevent it from drifting – even indoors. We wouldn't recommend outdoor flying, as the slightest breeze can cause the drone to be blown a considerable distance.
Potensic A20 mini drone review: Flight time
The communication range between drone and controller is in excess of 30 metres. When any further away from the pilot, the A20 becomes difficult to fly – purely because of its small size. While flight time is advertised at 10 to 13 minutes, in testing we never got more than nine minutes out of a fully charged battery. Fortunately, the A20 comes with three batteries in total.
Potensic A20 mini drone review: verdict
The Potensic A20 is great fun to fly and can handle the odd bump off a wall while still staying airborne. 'Headless' flying mode and a scaled down, easy to use controller make it an ideal toy for younger kids. Its main limitation is its unsuitability to being flown outdoors. Do so at your peril, as the merest breath of wind is likely to see it permanently perched in the nearest tall tree – or worse.