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Potensic Firefly A20 Review

In the world of drones, not everyone seeks the best ones with high-quality cameras, long transmission range or flight time, and many intelligent functions.

In fact, some of us may be seeking some simple drones to have fun, probably categorized as toys. Perhaps something even a kid can use, and that requires no registration.

We’re taking that path today by reviewing the Potensic Firefly A20 mini drone with everything you ever need to know about it.

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Potensic Firefly A20 Overview

The Firefly A20 is a mini drone manufactured by the well-known Potensic company, the same one behind the drone ATOM SE

This drone is, in fact, a very tiny cinewhoop-style type of toy drone without a camera.

Yes, in most countries and territories around the world, because it weighs under 250 grams and has no camera, it is classified as a toy.

If you want to learn to get into the drone hobby, this drone is a great pick.

But remember, as it doesn’t have a camera, it does not have a video transmission system, so you won’t see any live view from the drone.

That’s a bummer, but we can’t expect more from a toy drone.

It is made from a type of flexible, hard-rigid plastic that is resistant to impacts. It’s lightweight at around 90 grams at takeoff, comes with a controller, and, most importantly, has duct guards.

» MORE: Fixed-Wing or Multi-Rotor Drones (Which Should You Choose?)

Because of the incorporated thick-walled duct guards, the drone is safe to fly in any indoor environment as it poses little threat to damage or hurt someone or something. 

It is not recommended to fly outdoors if there is any type of wind.

The duct guards are not removable.

Instead of a camera, the drone has a light in front of it. This doesn’t mean it’s ready to fly in dark environments and has little flashing power; I feel it is there more for aesthetic reasons. 

In the back, it also has a red LED, making it more visible when flying it.

Key specifications

SpecsPotensic Firefly A20
Size:90x80x30mm
Weight:91 grams at takeoff
Flight Range:Max 15-30 meters (49 to 98ft)
Flight Speeds:Low, Medium, and High (Actual speed n/a)
Smart Functions:Rotation, 3D Flip, Circle Fly, Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, Emergency Stop, One Key Takeoff & Landing
Battery & Flight Time:1S Lipo 180mAh with an actual flight time between 5 and 7 minutes.
Release Date:August 2018

✅ Pros

  • It’s one of the cheapest drones you can ever buy
  • It’s resistant to crashes
  • A great gift for anyone, especially for children, as anybody can fly it.
  • It may not require any registration or license to fly it
  • The perfect “trainer” drone to feel how one works before investing in something more expensive.
  • For such a drone, it does have surprisingly many intelligent functions.
  • It’s a cool toy to have around.

❌ Cons

  • It’s a toy drone, not a real one. Remember this.
  • There is no camera, GPS, external sensors, or any other function found behind a typical drone.

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 SE vs. Potensic Atom SE (Here’s My Choice)

Who is it for?

I would recommend this micro drone as an excellent gift for children (and adults as well!) just to play around with and have a laugh.

This drone also could be used as a trainer to “feel” how a drone may fly, all before you invest in a large drone with a camera.

Being a safe drone to fly, it makes a great approach for anyone who has never flown a drone before, eliminating the risk of crashing a more expensive drone. 

This drone does appeal to a larger target demographic, as you will probably not need any license or registration to fly it. It is the closest thing to a real drone without all those hassles.

Potensic Upgraded A20 Mini Drone Easy to Fly
$34.99 $29.99
  • One Key Taking-off / Landing and auto-hovering function
  • Come with 3 drone batteries
  • With more fun functions like headless mode, 3 speeds adjustable, remote control
  • 4 propeller guards design keeps the drone safe from damage when flying indoors.
Buy from Amazon
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03/06/2024 08:06 pm GMT

What’s in the box

When you order this drone, you do find in the box a few minor add-ons that may prove helpful.

Firstly, the drone can come in different colors, depending on which you order.

Now, with the Potensic A20 Mini Drone, there is the original version with the battery incorporated, as well as the upgraded version where you can swap the batteries.

What we recommend is the upgraded version, where you will receive three batteries total, so you will get a decent amount of flight time before you need to pack it up to recharge.

But be aware that these are lithium batteries without any smart protection, as with DJI batteries.

You will also receive an extra set of propellers, a USB charger, some documentation, and a warranty.

» MORE: When Should You Upgrade Your Drone? (Read This First)

Drone functions

The drone is straightforward to fly and is made to be kid-friendly. It does have a few intelligent functions, more like presets; you can push the drone to do tricks.

Let’s cover these one by one, shall we?

Tricks:

  • Rotation: The drone will rotate itself in place in one direction
  • 3D Flip: A nice automatic freestyle trick where the drone will flip over its head in a 360-degree mode.
  • Circle Fly: The drone will fly around in a circle close to a person or object. No visual sensor is involved here.

Easy to control functions: 

  • Headless Mode: With headless mode, no matter the drone orientation, it will go away from you and not forward as a regular drone. 
  • One Key Takeoff/Landing: This is the function to automatically take off and land the drone with the tap of a single button.

Emergency Stop: This incorporated function, also known as “90-degree stop,” is beneficial if and when the drone crashes upside down or at an angle greater than 90 degrees.

The motors will stop spinning, which is helpful to avoid damaging the motors or propellers, and in case you get caught in someone’s hair, or someone crashes it quite often.

Also, the emergency stop can be manually triggered by holding down the takeoff/land button, stopping the drone motors instantly without performing the landing sequence.

3 Speeds: This drone has three speeds, from low to medium to high. On low, the drone will fly very slowly, while at high speed, it will fly quite fast.

It is not recommended to use “fast” indoors. The “medium” setting is the regular flight mode.

Altitude Hold: As this drone does not have any external sensors or GPS, I cannot explain how this function helps the drone hover automatically.

My best guess would be a barometric sensor. But the drone can hold altitude and hover quite stably.

» MORE: Drone Safety Features (All You Need to Know)

Range and Battery Life

The Firefly A20 is not a sophisticated drone with many minutes of flight time or the ability to fly long-range.

The Potensic ranked this drone to be able to fly for about 8 minutes and a half per battery. But in reality, the flight time is much lower, so don’t expect to fly more than 5 minutes without running out of juice.

If you want to fly this drone farther, forget about it. It’s not a Mini 2 SE or any other DJI drone capable of flying for many miles.

This drone cannot fly more than 30 meters, but even at that distance, it is susceptible to losing signal with the controller.

Remember that overall, this is a micro drone made for indoor use for children and adults alike who want to have fun flying something cheap and simple or training before flying a more expensive drone.

» MORE: Drone Batteries (In-Depth Information)

Controller

The Potensic Firefly A20 has a radio controller that is very small compared to other drone transmitters and simple with no complex design.

Using this controller may be a bit problematic if you have large hands. But overall, it is comfortable to hold it in hand.

On the controller, you find all the physical buttons for takeoff and landing, as well as incorporated functions and drone tricks. 

Surprisingly, the controller has excellent stick resolution, especially if you fly the drone in “low” mode. It is very accurate to move the drone around with the controller joysticks, despite those having a cheap plastic feeling.

But looking at the controller, it does have a cheap feeling; in fact, what can you expect from a drone whose price is similar to a few cups of coffee? Let’s be honest here.

The remote controller is also automatically bound to the Firefly A20 drone it comes with. 

We have yet to confirm if the controller can be bound with another Firefly A20 drone in case you damage one. However, based on our experience with drones, this is usually possible.

» MORE: How Fast Can Drones Fly? (An In-Depth Guide)

Do you need to register it?

In the United States (FAA), the United Kingdom (CAA), with EASA (EU Countries), and many other territories, drones under 250 grams without a camera are classified as toys.

Once a drone is classified as a toy, all the requirements for registration drop to a minimum or are null.

Toy drones usually do not need to be registered with the aviation authority, nor do you need any license to fly them.

Drones classified as toys can be flown by children under 14 or 16, depending on the country.

However, generally, if the drone weighs over 250 grams and still has no camera, it is no longer classified as a toy, and registration must be performed.

Now, the Firefly A20, as per many countries’ classifications, is categorized as a toy drone. But remember, it is best to check your drone laws from the country or territory in which you want to fly the Firefly A20.

» MORE: Drone Part 107 Vs Recreational Rules: Here’s What You Need To Know

How do you fly the Potensic Firefly A20?

The process of flying the Potensic Firefly A20 is relatively simple. 

You must turn on the drone and then the remote controller. The order you turn them on does not matter that much.

Furthermore, ensure that both the remote controller and the drone itself have enough battery to fly.

Press the takeoff/landing button on the left side of the remote controller under the left gimbal. The drone should start by itself and gain a bit of altitude, where it starts hovering automatically.

On the backside of the controller’s very right button, you have adjustable flight speeds, marked H/L (High-Low), but it has three speeds in total. Next to it is the headless mode.

Explore the functions of the controller and have fun flying it while the drone is performing some automatic pre-programmed functions. 

To land, press the same button as you did to take off.

If the drone drifts toward one side, you can perform a quick calibration to help with the issue. How do you do that?

  1. Place the drone on a flat surface and turn on both the drone and controller.
  2. Push the throttle stick (left stick) all the way down and the right stick to be in the down-right position and hold it for a couple of seconds for the calibration to be completed.

» MORE: How to Fly a Toy Drone (Tips for Beginners)

Conclusion

There is no financial loss in investing in some drone toys.

In fact, in my opinion, I would always recommend that new pilots who have never touched a drone before grab one classified as a toy, like the Firefly A20, and learn a bit of the controls with it.

Moreover, let’s not forget that with this drone, kids will have a lot of fun, and it is a really great, inexpensive gift. 

While I have tried and flown more drones than I can count (including toy drones), I do consider the Firefly A20 to be a brilliant choice in the world of many such drones.

» MORE: How to Start a Potensic Drone (Step-by-Step Guide)