The Beta75 Pro 2 is the latest in a line of quality micro quads from BetaFPV. The Pro 2 series refines the brushless formula further with more integrated components than its predecessors, saving weight and improving flight time. We got a look at the new flagship from the industry’s hottest new brand, sent to us by BetaFPV for this review.
Features, Specs, and What’s Included
- 75mm ducted frame
- 40mm 4-bladed props
- Dry weight of only 28g
- 0802 12000 Kv brushless motors
- 5A/6A ESC with BLHeli_S (DShot capable)
- Optional integrated receiver (FrSky, Futaba, DSMX, Flysky)
- Full Betaflight F4 FC (preflashed with Betaflight 4.0.0 pre-release)
- Betaflight OSD
- Voltage sensing
- 25mW 48-channel VTx (with Raceband)
- 120° micro camera
- Telemetry ready
- Accepts 1S or 2S
Included in the box is the fully assembled quad, two 300mAh 1S batteries (with JST-PH 2.0mm “powerwhoop”-style connectors), an alternate camera bracket, a foam pad, and two electrical jumpers. There’s also a card with links/QR codes to the manual and facebook pages. The box itself is nicely printed and has a form-fitting foam insert, doubling nicely as a case for the quad. BetaFPV does not include other common accessories like a battery charger, stickers, a printed manual, or even a spare set of props. Our review is for the FrSky version.
The 75 Pro’s frame is the most recent iteration in a line of frames BetaFPV has been developing and improving. It’s basically the 75X frame but with smaller motor mounts, including a bracket for an optional LED board (not included, but can be purchased separately). Removing some brackets has shaved the weight down to just 5.5g. Unlike the 65mm frames, there’s more air between the prop arc and the inside edge of the ducts. This limits the ability of the duct to improve efficiency, so it’s acting more as a prop guard than anything else. The gap is needed if the frame flexes, which it does easily as it collides with other objects—if the tolerances were tighter, the props would collide with the frame.
Frame reviewers often like to see rigidity, but the tradeoff is that a rigid material is often brittle. With some amount of flex, a frame can withstand harder crashes without breaking. This 2S quad flies faster and carries more inertia into a crash than other micro quads, so the flex may be needed. On the other hand, frames that flex can have issues with flight performance since motors have to work harder to achieve the same result if they become misaligned. The Pro 2 doesn’t appear to suffer from these kinds of issues.
Another effect of the more open frame is that hair and other debris gets stuck in the motors more easily than with the smaller Beta65 Pro.
BetaFPV’s 75X used 1103 11000 Kv motors, but the 75 Pro 2 has been reduced to 0802 size—though now at 12000 Kv. These produce an impressive amount of thrust on 2S, more than enough for comfortable acro flight. They have an open-bottom design and the bells are held on with E-clips. Curved magnets keep internal air gaps to a minimum, and the spacing between magnets looks even all the way around. Each motor’s wiring terminates in a connector for easy replacement. They are all wired the same direction, so two are reversed by the ESC software.
The main board is an integrated F4 flight controller and ESCs. This is the Pro 2’s major improvement over the X series, which had separate boards for each. Preflashed with a pre-release version of Betaflight 4.0.0, it offers very stable flight and plenty of computational power. I’m quite happy with the flight characteristics of Betaflight on micro quads, and appreciate how easy it is to make changes and be confident in the effect they will have.
ESCs are 5A each (6A burst) and BLHeli_S, meaning they support DShot, its auto-calibration, and advanced features like crash-flip (turtle) mode. This also means the craft supports ESC beacon. Since the 75 Pro 2 is quite comfortable outdoors but would easily disappear into the grass, having a buzzer to help you locate it might make the difference in whether or not you find it at all. Be sure to set this up in Betaflight—just flip the switch in the Configuration tab.
Two standard electrical jumpers are included. Stick one of these into one of the drone’s battery connectors to short it. When you bypass a connector like this, you only need to connect one battery to power on the quad which makes it easy to fly on 1S. You can use the foam pad to add a little friction and hold a different size and number of batteries in place. This works well enough—though it might not hold in the worst crashes.
The video performance on my Beta75 Pro 2 was good, but nothing overly exciting. There’s more contrast in the picture than in that of the Acrobee, but that also leads to some loss of detail in the highlights and especially in the shadows. I also found the camera to struggle more in low light than others I’ve used; flipping to grayscale mode and struggling to make out details at a higher light level than is typical. On the plus side, the image is nearly free of noise and grain when light levels are better, and the lens distortion is better than other micro cameras I’ve used. The camera/VTx combo is also very light weight.
The 75 Pro 2 comes with a fixed camera angle of 35°. That’s pretty high for a whoop-class drone. A newer pilot, or one primarily flying on 1S might not like it so high. Thoughtfully, included in the package is an alternate camera mounting bracket of a fixed 25°. That’s still higher than the typical 20° tilt for a whoop, but the 75 Pro 2 is simply meant to be flown faster than its 65mm brethren.
The VTx performs well. It’s a new design specifically for the Pro 2 that has an even lighter weight. 25mW fixed output power is perfectly good for how most people will use a micro quad—though a few may miss the higher power settings that some other 2S quads make available. The reception is no worse than any other 25mW transmitter, so I’m glad to see it doing its job nicely. Having built-in SmartAudio is really great. Changing video channels is as easy as a few stick commands within the OSD, which is awesome for races and flying with others. It’s almost expected now, but something I would definitely miss if it wasn’t there. However, there doesn’t appear to be a button or LED interface to allow you to change video channels without SmartAudio.
A linear sleeved dipole sticks out the back of the canopy. There’s a notch in the frame for it to rest in, but knocking it out of position isn’t hard—and it then falls into the prop arc. (This doesn’t immediately damage the antenna, but flight performance is affected.) Adding a bit of tape or small zip-tie to hold it in place might make sense. BetaFPV puts heat shrink across the entire length of the antenna. You might miss the benefit of this at first, but over the long term this keeps it from stressing and breaking at the antenna’s weak points.
Setting up the Beta75 Pro 2 was far more pleasant a journey than that of the 65 Pro. It was almost—but not quite—bind and fly out of the box.
Binding was very simple. Bind mode can be activated at any point with a long press on the bind button; no need to hold it while you plug in the battery. The button is easy to press but protected inside the frame against an accidental bump in a crash. Firing up bind mode on the radio got the two connected immediately. Don’t forget to set up your receiver channels in Betaflight; I had to adjust them to match my radio setup. If you need a refresher on this, check out our Betaflight configuration guide.
I ran into an issue soon after taking off where the radio would failsafe frequently and drop the quad from the air. I also encountered the FC lockup issue that I’d previously seen on the 65 Pro and the Snapper6. Changing to D8 mode instead of D16 seems to have cleared this up. D8 mode does mean the loss of telemetry on the radio, but the OSD can still convey all the most important information on screen.
That’s all it took to get flying and enjoying the quad. It was a much nicer process than I’ve had with BetaFPV in the past, which I’m really happy to see. There’s still room to improve; it would be prefect if the quad would fly straight out of the box without having to find a workaround for a serious bug first. Only having some pretty specific technical knowledge and experience got me past it so quickly.
It’s also worth pointing out that setup was easy for me because I already own a battery charger capable of multiple 1S batteries at once and charging to 4.35 “HV”. If you don’t have that, you’ll also need a standalone charger or a charge board for your existing charger—if it supports 1S, not all do! (And read up on parallel charging, if you’re new to it.)
Although many (BetaFPV included) call this a “whoop”, there’s simply no comparison in performance between this and that of your typical 65mm 1S brushed quad. The Beta75 Pro 2 is far and away faster, more agile, and more capable than any 1S micro. I’d argue that despite having the appearance of a “tiny whoop,” this craft is really in a separate class.
2S power on such a light platform gives you the ability to fly it like a 5″ quad. You can pull off acrobatics such as flips, rolls, dives, the split-S, even the inverted yaw spin is available to those who practice. There’s enough acceleration to produce a reasonable hang time and really enjoy throwing the frame around. The stability is excellent, even in moderately windy conditions—though anything above 15mph will start to give you a hard time. Straight-line speed is pretty impressive. The Pro 2 is very comfortable to experiment and practice with, since the high durability makes it easy to maintain confidence and avoid the fear of crashing. (You’ll still crash, you just won’t be afraid of it.) I won’t go so far as to say it feels like a smaller 5″, but the skills are certainly transferable between the two.
The props are mounted in the reverse direction (and Betaflight/ESCs are set up to match). BetaFPV claims this eliminates high-speed wash-outs. I was pretty impressed by the smoothness of flight even during hard maneuvers. There’s hardly any propwash and I didn’t experience any of these wash-outs. Despite having smaller motors, the huge weight differential makes up a lot of the difference between this and the X series.
At the same time as it offers great performance, the near-tiny-whoop size gives you a whole separate scale of locations to explore. You can take it places you wouldn’t dare bringing a 5″, or even a 3″ quad: in between the rafters of an open-beam ceiling, under the furniture, or between the legs of some nearby kids. This adds to the joy of flight and the versatility of the craft: It can effortlessly switch between hardcore acro-style flight and casual fllghts around the home. That’s a huge plus.
The ducted design gives the 75 Pro 2 the appearance of a toy. This could be a pretty useful feature for some when asking for permission (or forgiveness) for exploring a particular location or flying with people nearby. It doesn’t look threatening or like it can cause any damage. That’s likely to help keep you on the right side of people’s perceptions, and may open up venues for races that wouldn’t be interested if you had presented a duct-less quad.
The Pro 2 will accept a single battery and fly on 1S. Flown this way, the quad feels heavy compared to the 65 Pro or even the AcroBee and loses its power advantage despite the larger motors. It certainly isn’t as nimble as these and I wouldn’t want to bring it to a race where only 1S was allowed. I could see the ability to use it on 1S being useful if you were flying in a tight space where the full 2S power is too much to handle. However, I’d actually still recommend flying it on 2S—but with a 50% throttle limit. This allows the motors to change speed faster, providing the full responsiveness of flying on 2S but with the control and throttle resolution of a 1S.
Modifications, Repairs and Upgrades
The only thing I feel requires some modification right away is the box. The foam liner doesn’t allow for the antenna to rest in its normal position, so cutting a space for it would allow the quad to store better.
One nice thing about BetaFPV is that they offer nearly all of their parts independently. This means parts for repairs are easier to find, but also that you could buy only the parts that interest you and mix them with other manufacterer’s parts if you prefer. Almost all of the parts that make up the Beta75 Pro 2 are available separately—although it looks like the new lightweight camera/VTx module isn’t yet available.
- 75mm Brushless Frame with 0x0x motor mounts
- F4 2S Brushed FC/ESC
- 0802 12000Kv Brushless Motors
- Props: 4-blade (stock) | 3-blade
- 300mAh 1S HV Batteries | other battery options
- LED Board
Before the Beta75 Pro 2 arrived, I expected it to occupy a space that couldn’t really satisfy anyone—too powerful for indoor, not really powerful enough outside. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised that the 75 Pro 2 can actually handle both—just with a different set of expectations. Outdoors, you can enjoy acro on a small scale, flying within trees and hitting impossibly small gaps. Indoors you will need a larger space than a 65mm is comfortable in unless you employ a throttle limit that knocks back the power. This is easily settable from your transmitter and gives you great versatility with the flight characteristics you want for a given day or environment. All of this for under $100 (as of this writing)—an excellent price for a micro drone of this quality and capability level.
Someone new to the hobby might be annoyed by the lack of battery charger and the spare props, which other micros commonly include. And while I got flying quickly, others without the same amount of experience may be confused about why the quad doesn’t fly well out of the box. I’d argue that the 75 Pro 2 isn’t designed for those pilots. Even though there’s great potential to use it as an off-season trainer, I’d steer newer pilots to something a little more tame and better documented. But for those with more experience, the BetaFPV Beta75 Pro 2 comes strongly recommended.
…but as with all things BetaFPV, you’d better like it in blue.