It was just back in April that we got a look at the BeeBrain Brushless, but the V2 is already here. The NewBeeDrone AcroBee BeeBrain Brushless V2 is a refinement of the original rather than a brand new overhaul, but it brings to the table a number of improvements that make it a better indoor racer than its predecessor.
It’s worth reading the original BBBL review because the V2 carries over a lot of its characteristics. This review will focus on the differences between the two.
Features and Specs
- ESCs have JESC firmware installed (V1: BLHeli_S)
- Onboard FrSky/Futaba diversity receiver (V1: external)
- VTx is now 25mW only (V1: 25–100mW)
- 4-bladed props (V1: tri-blade)
These changes bring the weight up a little on the V2 flight controller board as compared with the V1, but the overall effect is a lighter quad (as long as you make use of the built-in receiver and don’t add your own). The box is now simple cardboard instead of the nicer plastic carry case from the V1, and inside you’ll find the drone—and nothing else. Perhaps the biggest draw for the V2 is what’s left in your wallet: the V2’s price has dropped by about 33%!
Instead of the white and clear scheme of the V1, the V2 is easily identified by its black frame and yellow props and canopy. At least, they’re supposed to be yellow—to my eye it’s leaning a bit green.
Be sure to check out the V1 review as the comments on quality there apply here as well. As a whole, the quad is in great shape, but as a reviewer I have to nitpick a few details:
- The camera is focused a little bit too closely, making the image feel a little “nearsighted”.
- One of the antennas for my diversity receiver had fallen off in the box.
Neither of these were deal-breakers for me. The BBBLV2 only has a 25mW VTx, so it’s largely an indoor craft. The camera issue caused only slight blurring with indoor use and it’s far more likely that you’ll run out of video transmitter range before you run out of radio signal range. I did not notice any effect on my flights from the missing receiver antenna. These are both probably one-off issues instead of systemic problems. In both cases, a chat with support would likely end with replacement parts shipped out right away.
I’ve said this in just about every NewBeeDrone review, but the VRx antenna still needs protected with an extra bit of heat shrink on the active element, or else it will eventually break off. I’ve seen this happen!
The only important difference from the V1 is the bind process. It’s a bit simpler since you don’t need complicated blink codes to figure out what mode the receiver is in; you can just set it in Betaflight. However, the button itself is located in an awkward position that’s really hard to press. It’s in the middle rear of the FC board, right under the hole in the canopy for the VTx antenna. Be sure to get a non-conductive stick to press the button with. I keep a tapered chopstick around just for this kind of thing. Fortunately, you’ll likely only deal with this hassle once.
While fairly similar, the V2 has a different flight feel to the V1. The V2 feels a bit sharper and more responsive than the V1 owing to the small difference in weight but also the change to 4-bladed props. That sharpness is a little bit harder to control, but it’s still better than other brushless quads with higher Kv motors like the Meteor65 and Mobula6. The tune is excellent right out of the box.
I specifically mentioned the 300mAh Nitro Nectar GOLD batteries in the V1 review, and again they are clearly the best choice for this quad. These batteries offer longer flight times and less battery sag than others, which is a great match for a power-hungry quad like this one.
Upgrades and Replacement Parts for AcroBee BeeBrain BL V2
It’s easy to replace most of the parts in order to keep this quad flying.
- BeeBrain BL FC and Camera Set
- Brushless 0802 18,000Kv motors
- Brushless Cockroach Frame
- Goober Canopy
- NewBeeDrone 4-blade Azi Props 1.0mm shaft
- Nectar Connector PH2 Battery Lead
- Replacement hardware kit
- Nitro Nectar GOLD 300mAh Battery
- Carrying case
The AcroBee BeeBrain Brushless V2 is a great machine with a ton of power and performance and exceptional handling. It doesn’t bring very much innovation to the table over the V1; the minor upgrades really don’t make the machine much more capable than what came before. If you already have a V1 you can likely skip this upgrade. The V2 doesn’t entirely replace the V1, but the V1 is really only a better choice if you need more than 25mW output power on the VTx to fly outdoors. Around here, there’s too much wind for that. What the V2 really does accomplish well is to be much more competitive on price. At under $90, NewBeeDrone has undercut the Meteor65 by a fair margin and made the Mobula6 obsolete. That’s a pretty great deal for a top-of-the-line micro quad that’s a joy to fly and a beast on the race circuit.