Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review: Air Hogs Atom

The Air Hogs Atom is a truly tiny RC helicopter, it fits inside the controller! It is also very cheap, $30 at Target. It is also highly detailed and very rugged.

That is where the good news ends though. It does not fly very well. Both my four year old son and I can get it to hover relatively well, but it is too jittery and unstable to get it to fly in any one direction. It goes where it wants, but mostly stays in one limited area, slowly turning in circles. This is after I twist the trim knob on the controller to stop it from just madly spinning which is does every time I turn it on. It spins and spins, don't be shy about twisting the trim knob, it takes about a dozen full twists before it settles down.

Air Hogs Atom
Storm Trooper to indicate scale. Look how small it is!
Even though I can't fly it around like the Air Hogs Sharp Shooter, I still think it is a lot of fun. This little helicopter is really tough too, my son bangs it off the ceiling, the walls, the floor, the book case, my face, anything that gets in the way. And the little heli just keeps on going!

The instability might come from this heli having only one rotor, the type that has two is much more stable, like the Air Hogs Sharp Shooter. Or I might have gotten a lemon.

Tip: don't forget to turn the heli off before charging, it will not take a full charge if it is on.

Air Hogs Sharp Shooter Review

I did not expect much from this little RC helicopter, but I am now impressed. It took me maybe Three or four flights before I developed a good degree of control of  the Air Hogs Sharp Shooter, but now I can fly it with confidence. It's not perfect, but for $35 it is quite a great toy. My four year old has never really gotten the hang of flying this one, he is better with the Air Hogs Atom which is much smaller, more durable, but really can only hover, not fly around.

The Sharp Shooter is stable, but slow. I can fly it all around the house, but it takes patients and a lot of directional correction. It gets banged up a lot, but has only superficial damage.


  • Tough
  • Very Stable
  • Just over 7 minute flight time
  • Highly realistic model
  • It shoots!
  • It takes a long time to charge (at least 30 minutes)
  • It takes a subtle touch to control well
  • Control is not always predictable
Air Hogs Sharp Shooter
Storm Trooper is used to give a sense of scale.
Flying tip - Don't count on it always turning as quickly as you expect, sometimes it is easier to spin around in the opposite direction to get it pointed where you want.

The Air Hogs Sharp Shooter is available at Amazon and Target.