Size: 6.2 x 5 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 2.4 ounces
Flight time: 6-8 minutes
Charging time: 60-80 minutes
When you name your drone “The Flying Pig,” hopefully it’s with a sense of irony. Fortunately, the company that made the Tomzon A31 seems to have a sense of humor. This small, inexpensive drone is anything but porcine in its movements, and its colorful LEDs will keep you and your kids entertained. As our Tomzon A31 review will show, it’s one of the best cheap drones for less than $100.
Tomzon A31 Flying Pig drone review: Price
The A31 is available on Amazon for $49.99, and includes the drone, a controller, two sets of rotors, two batteries, and a USB-C charging cable.
Tomzon A31 Flying Pig drone review: Design
Far from bloated, the Flying Pig is small and light enough to rest comfortably in your hand.
Like most quadcopters, it has four rotors attached to the main body. Each of the three-bladed rotors is shrouded in a protective shell, so you can bump the drone into walls and such and not have to worry too much about it getting damaged.
At the front of the drone is what looks like a small camera — it even swivels up and down. Don’t be fooled: It’s a fake. You can’t have everything for $50.
The coolest feature of the A31 — one that’ll get your kids’ attention — are the abundance of color LEDs on the drone. At the base of each rotor are four LEDs, whose light is amplified by the opaque white blades. Two “eyes” at the front of the drone also light up.
The remote control, which isn’t much larger than two AirPods cases put side to side, has a wealth of buttons for its size. A shoulder switch on the right lets you change speed modes and the lights, while two joysticks on the front let you control the drone’s flight. There’s also a power switch and a takeoff/land button. The remote is powered by three AAA batteries, which unfortunately are not included.
What is included is a second set of rotors, as well as a USB charging cable and two batteries for the drone.
Tomzon A31 Flying Pig drone review: Performance
Indoors, the A31 was delightfully easy to fly. It took off and was stable in flight. However, the drone tended to drift a bit — even though the remote even lets you calibrate the drone prior to takeoff — so it took more effort to keep in one place than something pricier, like the DJI Mini 2. Then again, that drone costs 12 times as much.
You can also change how fast the drone flies, a good feature especially for those piloting it indoors or for the first time. Unfortunately, while you can turn the drone’s lights on and off, you can’t manually change their colors, which seem to cycle randomly.
The drone can also perform some basic tricks, such as flipping forward and backward. It also has a headless mode and return-to-base, which given its lack of GPS, is only moderately effective.
Because of the A31’s weight — just 2.4 ounces — you don’t need to register it with the FAA, but if you try flying it outdoors when it’s breezy, expect to have a lot of trouble keeping it in one place. Fortunately, it’s small enough to fly indoors, and its propeller guards help keep it from getting damaged when it bumps into things.
Tomzon A31 Flying Pig drone review: Battery life
As with most mini drones, the A31 can’t stay aloft for long. Its battery will last about 6 minutes before you need to recharge it — which can take as long as 80 minutes. Fortunately, the company includes two batteries, which can be swapped out easily. I could not find replacement batteries anywhere on Amazon, so you’ll have to stick with the two that come with the drone.
Tomzon A31 Flying Pig drone review: Verdict
The Tomzon A31 is a neat little drone that’s pretty sturdy and has some fun lighting effects. At $50, it’s pretty cheap, so as long as you don’t expect the world out of it, you’ll have a lot of fun flying it in and outdoors.