Tom's Guide Verdict
The Powervision Poweregg X drone can take off and land on water, but its video quality isn’t as good as the DJI Mavic Air 2.
Can land, take off on water
Able to fly in poor weather conditions
Can be used as camcorder
Slow flier, especially when using pontoons
Video quality not best-in-class
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Image sensor: 1/2.8 inch CMOS
Max photo resolution: 12MP
Max video resolution: 4K/60 fps
Flight time: 30 minutes
Size: 18 x 18 inches x 4 inches
Weight: 1.9 pounds
I’m always nervous when I fly a drone over a body of water; one false move and your thousand-dollar investment will be consigned to the briny deep. That’s what makes the PowereggX (from $899) so intriguing. While this drone can’t walk on water, it can land and take off from ponds and pools, and has a water-resistant housing that will even let you fly it in the rain.
More than that, though, the PowerEgg X’s gimbal-mounted 4K camera can be used even when it’s not flying. You can detach its wings, clip on a hand strap, and turn this drone into a handheld camcorder.
So, a drone that can land on water and can be used as a camcorder? Those are two things DJI’s class-leading drones can’t do, but those two features aren’t enough to launch the Poweregg X to the top of our best drones page.
Poweregg X price and availability
The Poweregg X is available at most major online retailers as well as at powervision.com, and comes in two packages: The Poweregg X Wizard ($1,249) includes the drone, two batteries, a controller, charger, the waterproof housing and pontoons. The Poweregg X Explorer kit ($899) includes the drone, controller, and a single battery.
Poweregg does not sell the waterproof accessories separately on its site, but extra batteries cost $150 each.
Poweregg X review: Design
Befitting its name, the Poweregg X has a decidedly ovular shape. At 7 inches long and 4 inches in diameter at its widest point, the body of the Poweregg X, with its protective housing, is about the size of one of Daenareys’ dragon eggs, only less scaly.
Pop the white shell of the drone, and you expose its gimbal-mounted camera and other sensors. The top of the drone has a circular power button and four LEDs that indicate the charge left in the Poweregg X’s battery.
With its rotor arms attached, the Poweregg X’s size increases to about 18 inches diagonally. It’s definitely larger than DJI’s consumer drones—the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, for example, is 12.6 x 9.5 x 3.3 inches unfolded—but it’s not unwieldy. The arms, along with the drone body, controller, and battery pack, all fit neatly inside a foam carrying case.
Strap on the Poweregg X’s waterproof housing and pontoons, and the drone gets even larger and heavier. It’s the price you pay for that extra protection.
Cleverly, you can use the Poweregg X even with its arms detached. The drone comes with a wrist strap, so you can securely hold the body of the drone in your hand, and use it as a camcorder. It even comes with a tripod mount attachment.
Poweregg X review: Photo and video quality
Photos and videos taken with the Poweregg X’s 4K camera were good, but nowhere near as good as the DJI Mavic Air 2. On an overcast day, details in buildings were defined, but surrounding trees and greenery were mottled, more like an impressionistic painting than a photograph. The Poweregg X can take photos in HDR, but I was unimpressed by the results.
On a sunny day, HDR photos were much crisper and pleasing, but there was an artificial quality to them; objects in the foreground were almost too sharp. It was the same for videos. While very good overall, trees in the foreground of one video were well-defined, but a row of trees directly behind looked blotchy. But, the camera did a good job accounting for both a sun-baked field as well as the deep shadows underneath the trees.
The Poweregg’s camera can pick up reflections from the protective waterproof case, too. It showed up as a hazy white semicircle that was just bright enough to be distracting.
Similar to DJI’s drones, the Poweregg X can track individuals and objects, and fly itself to keep whatever it is you’re tracking in the frame. The Poweregg X performed this task well, as it dutifully followed me as I walked around a field.
The drone has to be about 20 feet or so away, enough to keep you entirely in frame. However, the Poweregg X couldn’t find me after I walked behind a tree and emerged out the other side. The DJI Mavic Air 2 can keep tracking you even if you disappear from sight for a few seconds.
Poweregg X review: Flight performance and battery life
Without its waterproof housing and pontoons, the Poweregg X was a good flier, but a bit less nimble than DJI’s drones. When I was piloting it, I could definitely sense its heaviness, as compared to the Mavic Air 2. After attaching its waterproof shell and pontoons, the Poweregg X becomes even more lumbering in the air, and more susceptible to wind gusts, which would push it around a bit.
I was a bit nervous the first time I landed the Poweregg X in a small pond, but the drone settled on the water smoothly, and took off just as easily. I was able to exhale as it lifted off, and was relieved that I didn’t have to go swimming to retrieve the drone. Onlookers were also impressed as the Poweregg X glided over the surface of the water.
As mentioned, the Poweregg X wasn’t as agile in the air as DJI’s drones, but it was very stable, and went wherever I wanted it to go.
The Poweregg X’s battery is rated to last up to 30 minutes when flying the drone. That’s nearly as long as the Mavic Air 2’s excellent 34-minute flight time. In practice, the Poweregg fell a few minutes shy of that mark. I found battery life was even shorter when the waterproof housing and pontoons were attached.
Poweregg X review: Verdict
The Poweregg X has the one feature you can’t find on any of DJI’s drones: water resistance. The ability not just to be able to land and take off from the water, but to be able to withstand bad weather means that you can take the Poweregg X to places where other drones can’t go.
While its video and flying abilities aren’t up to the level of DJI’s class-leading drones, the Poweregg’s 4K camera can record footage that’s fairly high quality. And, it’s great to get awesome shots of skimming low over the water, and not have to worry about losing your drone in the drink.
Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.