How to choose between a 6s vs 4s FPV drone battery system? For those just entering the universe of drones and unmanned aircraft, it’s easy to get lost in the number of possible parts and combinations to build your system. This article aims to help with this difficulty, explaining about the batteries commonly used to power RC drones, focusing on the differences between the 4-cell and 6-cell models, the most popular options for drones today.

First, we will explore the physical differences between these two types of batteries, such as their weight and dimensions. Then, the electrical properties, like the maximum load and stored energy, will be compared. And, finally, we will go into the differences found by the pilot's experience within the context of the flight - the way in which each one behaves and how they influence the drone's piloting and maneuverability.

Nevertheless, we recommend the two batteries shown below: the CNHL BLACK SERIES 1300MAH 22.2V 6S 100C LIPO BATTERY and CNHL BLACK SERIES 1500MAH 14.8V 4S 100C BATTERY. Both can be purchased at horusrc.com for $23.99 and $17.49, respectively.

 

Basic characteristics and differences

Those just starting out in the RC drone world may not know it yet, but the systems are highly customizable and, with so many varieties and parts, it can be difficult to find your way. For this reason, with this text we will help you choose between 4S and 6S batteries for your already assembled drone. If you do not have a predefined drone yet, this text will also discuss what should be taken into account when assembling a drone suitable for batteries.

The big difference between 6S and 4S batteries is the cell count, which impacts on several characteristics that are crucial in the RC hobby, such as weight and volume. A higher cell count provides a higher operating voltage since the cells inside the battery are arranged in series. This higher voltage implies more force for the battery, but this comes at the cost of extra weight and volume for the aircraft.

4S batteries have four cells with voltages ranging between 4.2V and 3.7V in each, which means that they will operate in the range of 16.8 to 14.8 Volts. 6S batteries, on the other hand, operate between 25.2V and 22.2V since they have 6 cells. Because they operate in different voltage ranges, they cannot be used on the same motors, that is, the system for a 4S battery is usually not compatible with a 6S battery and vice versa.

Due to the distinct number of internal cells, a 6S battery may end up having more stored energy, despite having lower capacity (mAh), than a 4S one. This difference influences mainly the flight time of your drone, as the battery generally has more available energy to supply. This gain in flight time comes at a price: 6S ​​batteries are usually heavier and more expensive, but, depending on your needs, they can be worthwhile.

Flight experience

The 6-cell batteries also differ from others in that they reduce the linear voltage over time, which consequently ends up making the flight experience more homogeneous. In the 4-cell version, it may be that the pilot has to compensate for the decrease in charge. Thus, we have that the battery with more cells performs more consistently.

Speaking of piloting, the difference between the models also affects the controllability of the drones. Many pilots report that they feel that models powered by the 6S respond more quickly to the commands given by the control. For these pilots, the big problem of using 4S is the fact that the latency increases significantly when the battery is running low, forcing the pilot to adapt to this behavior, which is not the case with the 6S.

But not everything is a bed of roses with a 6S battery! It also has its disadvantages when compared to the 4S. Weight is one of the points where a 6S battery loses to a 4S one, since the first is heavier than the latter due to the higher cell count. This is also the reason why 4S batteries are cheaper: less material is used in their manufacturing. There are also pilots who say that a 6S battery reduces precision in control over the engine’s acceleration.

Final considerations

As you have already noticed, this article makes no comment on 5S models, but they do exist and are right in the middle of the two products analyzed. We did not talk about them because the differences would be way more subtle than those noticed between 4S and 6S. It is not possible to say that one model or another is always better: it’s up to you to understand the characteristics and differences of each one and choose what works best.

We hope this article has helped with choosing a battery for your drone if you are considering purchasing any of these battery models. If you are already a pilot and are thinking of just modifying your existing system for the other battery, it is worth remembering that every motor was made to work with an specific class of battery and it is recommended to add capacitors to the motors when operating 6 batteries to protect them.