The new Diatone GTB229 is an excellent toothpick-style drone. This is a 2s version with 2.5-inch props and was a collaboration with KababFPV, aka the inventor of the toothpick class. The carbon fiber frame is a box-style frame and is surprisingly rigid. The components inside are top-notch. This little quad is a micro FPV beast. At $129.99, is it worth it over the Emax Freestyle? Let’s take a closer look.
Most of the early reviews out there of the Diatone GTB229 were actually prototype versions. I was able to test an actual production model. There are a couple of notable differences. First, the camera on the production type is different and better. The second is that the canopy has been changed to allow for an adjustable camera angle. The Foxeer Lollipop antenna you see wasn’t a stock part of the quad. I added that to give me a slightly better VTX signal.
The Diatone GTB229 is one of the better 2S toothpicks on the market. It uses premium components like a Mamba F4 stack with a 13 amp 4-in-1 ESC. The video transmitter is the TBS Unify Pro 32 that is switchable up to 100 mW. The camera is the RunCam Nano 2. It doesn’t come with a receiver, so you’ll have to add your own. It ships with press-fit 65 mm two-blade propellers.
The motors are 1103, and you can choose either 8500 or 10,000 KV. The canopy is 3D-printed and allows for an adjustable camera angle. You do not get a carrying case or a battery with the GTB229. The version I tested has the 8500 KV motors. This really is one of the nicer “toothpick” style quads I’ve flown. It’s head and shoulders better than the Eachine Tyro69.
GTB229 vs Emax Tinyhawk Freestyle
If you want a 2S toothpick style quad, then the top two that I’ve flown are the Freestyle and the GTB229. I really like the way they both fly. In terms of performance, I find them to be pretty comparable. However, I’d give the edge to the Diatone GTB229. It just seems to be a bit more responsive. The GTB229 feels more dialed in.
I let Ryan, a freestyle pilot from our drone club, fly it, and he was immediately impressed by how responsive it was and how well it flew. I can fly, but Ryan can fly. Keep in mind that the GTB229 is more expensive than the Emax Freestyle and requires some additional setup.
Emax Tinyhawk Freestyle
The Tinyhawk Freestyle is $99 and is ready to fly out of the box. You get batteries, an SPI receiver, and a carrying case. It also is one of my favorite-looking quads. The Freestyle just looks wicked. However, it does have some shortcomings. The camera isn’t the greatest. The VTX is limited to only 25 mW and the antenna placement is pretty poor. I recommend you move it or you’ll end up replacing it. (I may know from experience.)
Another difference is that the Tinyhawk Freestyle runs on two 1S batteries rather than one 2S battery. This is great if you have a bunch of 1S batteries from a traditional Tinyhawk. It can easily be converted to use a traditional 2S battery if you prefer. For just under $100, it’s a great option and a lot of fun to fly. Emax does a lot of things right, and they provide a great experience without breaking the bank.
The Diatone GTB229 is the better of the two drones, but it’s more expensive. The camera and VTX are definitely superior. That is probably the biggest difference when it comes to hardware. The Nano 2 is a quality camera and definitely shows better than the Tinyhawk’s. The ability to bump up the VTX signal will give you increased range, as will your added receiver versus the Tinyhawk’s SPI receiver.
The flight controller and ESC are higher-quality components and add to the overall better performance of the quad. That isn’t to say the Freestyle doesn’t fly well. It does. The Diatone has the edge and feels a little more locked on.
There are some extra costs with the already more expensive Diatone. You’ll need to pick up a receiver. I use the $11.99 FrSky XM+. You will also want some 2S batteries. I’d suggest picking up some high-voltage 450 mah 2S batteries. These ones are probably the best deal as you get four for $30, but most 2S batteries will work as long as they have an XT30 connector. I recommend staying between 300-500 mah. Whatever you choose you’ll want a bunch. These toothpicks are a blast to fly.
|Order the Diatone GTB229||Order the Emax Tinyhawk Freestyle|
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