The Armattan Chameleon 5″ was the first quad I flew that felt more like a bird than a brick in the air. The design was a game changer at the time, and it was undeniably gorgeous. When I look at it now all I see are the hassles I’ve had in rebuilding it. More on that later.
For now let’s talk about what it does right.
The aluminum cage the camera sits in offers a good deal of protection, though I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the fact that aluminum is a soft metal and it will bend. I’ve had a failsafe from about 50-60 feet, crashed onto the asphalt parking lot and one of the aluminum (I love saying that word for some reason) side panels bent to within a hair of hitting the camera. The good news is I just bent it back. Normally I would need to replace parts of a quad after a crash like that. The Chameleon took it on the chin like a champ.
Did I mention the camera cage also has a place for a GoPro mount? It’s even adjustable! Granted, not by much, but still…it moves. I won’t call it revolutionary, but that cage along with the sleek body design made this quad standout. And the way it flew…nothing short of amazing. Coming from a starter quad like the Eachine Wizard 220, which by comparison just felt heavy and sluggish, it’s nearly impossible to describe how much better the Armattan Chameleon flies.
This quad feels like freedom when it’s in the air. It gives you confidence to do very stupid things, and you will because you feel damn near invincible. I said it flew like a bird, but picture a very hungry eagle, precise, calculating and willing to dive for lunch. When you do eventually crash it, and trust me, you will, it’s probably going to come out with some dings and scratches, but you’ll have to be just unlucky to break it. Although it’s okay if you do. It comes with a warranty.
Perhaps one of the best warranties in the industry, Armattan will replace your frame if you break it. Yes, replace. As in FREE! Okay, you’ll probably pay for shipping, but still. Not bad. Of course, getting that warranty is another story.
(Yeah, those are wheels. I’d tell ya, but you know…)
Now, here’s what really irks me about this drone. The list is not long.
It’s too sexy not to fly, and at some point you’re going to break this quad. If you built it from scratch then you’ll probably know how to fix it. However, if you purchased the RTF (ready to fly) version then you’ll need to know how to reconnect a wire or two if they come loose. Fortunately the documentation you can find online makes this an easy search if you run into trouble. So what’s the issue?
If you manage to break the frame then you’ll want to take advantage of the warranty. Armattan made me feel like I’ve done something wrong or shady by the amount of hoops they wanted me to jump through just to get a replacement frame. I mean, I bought the darn thing in part because of the warranty. Let me show you what I mean. Here’s their current warranty page: http://www.armattanquads.com/warranty-claims/
EDIT: January 2018
**** Please note that our warranty requirements have changed. In the same fashion as shown below (our previous version of requirements) you must also follow these simple steps:
Instructions: Take a picture of the damaged part on the fully assembled model. Then remove the broken part and use a sharp tool to scratch the surface of both sides of the broken part very visibly and significantly. (DO NOT scratch parts if you are not 100% sure it qualifies for replacement- Show us the break first if unsure.) Take a picture of both sides of the broken part you scratched up and send that to us. Total 3 pictures to send us with hand written signature in the frame to prove these parts are in your possession. Just as simple as before, just we make you scratch the parts to avoid duplicate claims. (yes, there are bad apples out there from time to time making it a tad harder on everyone else.)
Additional note: If you do not want to remove the part because you want to glue it and fly while you wait for your warranty replacement, it is fine. Just scratch the part on the frame just the same and send us the pics you get from that and we’ll help you out.
In order to process a warranty claim, please send a photo of the frame highlighting where breakage occurs.
Here’s exactly what we’ll need as an example:
1. Full Name
2. Todays Date
3. Date of Purchase, order number or proof of purchase
4. The issue that you experienced with arrows pointing to the problem area(s)
5. Name of broken part
6. Your Signature
The broken part(s) need to be installed on the frame (no need to take it all apart). Please send pictures of the damage before you take anything apart or else your warranty claim may not be approved. Show us the carnage first, and after that you can take it apart and send pics of individual parts if you’d like.
Your product photo should have a physical paper note in the same frame containing the six steps (not a digital alteration).
Please also send proof of purchase (if you have it- not mandatory). To file a warranty claim you can email the above requirements to our support address at email@example.com
***Note that we do not accept photo montage. Putting a picture of a broken part next to a picture of the handwritten note does not prove that the parts are in your possession. It could be any picture taken from the web.
*** Additional Note: Removing structural parts from your model to substitute them with 3D printed parts voids the warranty. Please only use 3D printed parts that do not require removing parts from your model.
For more information about our warranty coverage, please have a look at our FAQs.
Important Note Regarding Electronics:
Electronics are not warrantied beyond being dead on arrival.
If for whatever reason you have no time to check the electronics within 7 days of receiving them, then no warranty or replacement will be granted.
So please only order this if you have time to check for proper functioning within 7 days of arrival.
Claims for defective parts emailed to us after this 7 days period is up will be denied.
Yeah, I know, right? If your company is going to offer a warranty (Chris) then don’t make it so difficult for the customer to use it. Because that…that was just F#####G insane.
I’ll end this review by saying I still purchased two more quads from Armattan, the Chameleon 6″ frame and the Rooster 5″ frame. And no, I never did follow through with getting the Chameleon 5″ frame replaced. In fact, I doubt I’ll ever use their warranty. But I do like their quads.
Here are a few videos of the Chameleon as I was learning to fly and land.
Martian II, Chameleon 5″, Kopis 1