The biggest drawback of the Vortex 285 is the frame design. It’s about 35mm larger than the Vortex 250 Pro (which isn’t a problem for traveling thanks to the folding arm design), but the frame has a lot of small plastic pieces holding it together. In other words, the Vortex 250 Pro and Vortex 180 will be a lot stronger than the 285 because they have a stronger and more simple frame design.
DJI's Phantom drones feel like monoliths from another era, and they may well be—the company hasn't released a significant update to the Phantom line in nearly four years. Still, if you're a video or drone professional, the Phantom 4 Pro V2 (8/10 WIRED Recommends) is the drone to get. It's like flying a rock, and I mean that in the best way possible. The Phantom 4 Pro is stable and responsive; shoots incredible, cinema-quality footage; and is practically smart enough to fly without you. It may not generate much buzz these days, but the Phantom remains an excellent choice that won't let you down.
With a reasonable flight time of 30 minutes and a range of 11 miles, you’ve got a lot to work with in terms of setting up your shot and creating sweeping artistic videography. While larger than some of the other drones reviewed here, it’s able to fold and should fit in a large backpack. It’s easy to control and fly, with accurate obstacle detection and top speeds of 45 mph.
People like camera drones that capture great videos, so instead of giving the Mavic Air a watered down Mavic Pro camera, DJI went all out. They gave the Mavic Air 4K video recording with a bit rate of 100mbps. This means your videos will have less compression than they would if you were using the original Mavic Pro. At first glance, you might think that the gimbal came strait from the Spark, but this isn’t the case. It’s an all new design with ND filter support and 3 axis stabilization. All of this boils down to one thing; more cinematic videos!
Flight Autonomy is more than just obstacle avoidance. We look at the basics first. Things like whether or not the drone has self leveling capabilities, GPS, or return-to-home features are obvious on the camera drones, but for the toy and racing drones, you will see that they get lower ratings for not having these features. We also look at things like obstacle avoidance, visual tracking, sensor redundancy and more.
For kids 8 and under, we recommend the EACHINE E010 Mini. It’s small, the propellers are protected for added safety, and it’s only $21.99 which is almost disposable! For kids over 8 years old, there are many different toy drones to choose from, but we think the Parrot Mambo and Mambo FPV are the best choice, especially for education. With the Mambo, you get a versatile, easy to fly, Lego compatible, wifi controlled drone that you can learn to program on using Parrot’s SDK, Apple’s Swift programming language, or Tynker, a programming environment made for kids.
Like most good camera drones, the Disco comes with everything you need to get started, including the Skycontroller. All you will need is a smartphone and a big open space to fly this thing. Speaking of which, did I mention that you’re going to need a lot of open space? This thing goes fast, and even though it is easy to fly, it won’t avoid obstacles. The only thing it will actively avoid is the ground, so you can do as many nose dives as you want without worrying about crashing.
If you look at drones like the Falcore from Connex and the Vortex 150 from ImmersionRC, although both can be great beginner drones, they aren’t really in a low enough price range for a lot of people who are just getting started. Yes, you’re getting what you pay for, but sometimes you don’t have that much to spend and you still want something reasonable. That’s where the Vision 250 comes in.
This is the starter version of the Ryze Tello quadcopter. In addition, there are other versions available such as Essential, Professional, Advanced, Premium and Ultimate. It is a small and fast drone that comes with easy controls and comfortable remote control. You can fly it with an app, the Bluetooth remote or by using Scratch, a powerful programming language. Making use of the coding blocks for take-off, flying, turning, doing a flip or landing. The app can be used in iOS and Android phones, whereby the touch screen can be used for previewing images and controlling the drone. Pictures and videos are stored in the app, as there is no storage in the quadcopter. The drone is smart and interactive with videos having a resolution of 720 pixels and still images of 5 MP. Both of these are sharp and detailed. The app allows different modes like 8D flips, Up and Away, 360, Circle and Bounce mode. It is simple to use for beginners. The battery is powered at 1100 mAh and offers around 3 to 5 minutes of flight time.
The Mambo FPV is a cool drone. It comes with everything you need (other than a smartphone) to start doing FPV. Although Parrot advertises the Mambo as an FPV racing drone, it’s not a real FPV racing drone like the ones in our FPV Racing section. It’s more of a cool FPV toy made for beginners and kids. In any case, I’m sure it will be a lot of fun around the holidays!
With brushless motors, they almost never fail because there aren’t any brushes inside to burn out! They are also much more efficient than brushed motors which means more power and more flight time! So what does this mean for the Bugs 3? Well, Unlike all the other toy drones, the bugs 3 gets over 15 minutes of flight time, so you can focus more on flying instead of changing batteries.
As the name implies, the Breeze shoots 4K video, and honestly it looks really good! The only down side is that there's no gimbal, so you don’t get image stabilization, so everything will be shaky looking unless you use special editing software to stabilize the video. There is a 1080p mode with stabilization, but I found that it doesn’t work all that well. For smooth shots, the DJI Spark wins, but the ability to shoot in 4K does allow the Breeze to get some decent shots if you know how to stabilize them.
The Inspire 1 is an old drone. In fact, It’s almost 3 years old now and yet there’s still no other drone that has all of the same functionality in a ready-to-fly package. You could say that the Inspire 2 replaces the Inspire 1, but with a starting price of $3,000 that can easily go up to $10,000 if you want the best camera option, not all film makers can afford it. That’s the main reason why the Inspire 1 is still relevant, but there’s more. The inspire 2 can’t hold the Zenmuse Z30 or the Zenmuse XT cameras for long zoom and thermal imaging.
The EVO from Autel Robotics is clearly copying the DJI Mavic series, but surprisingly this is more than just a subpar clone. Clearly the styling a little different from the Mavic 2 or Mavic Air. Just like the last drone Autel Robotics made (the X-Star Premium) the design of this thing looks very strange in my opinion. It comes in this bright orange color which is great for visibility, but some might argue it looks like a cheesy toy. Other than the color, the general design is pretty good. It folds into a small shape and has a full 3 axis gimbal just like the Mavic.
The Altair 818 Plus has a lot of the features that made the AA108 our top choice, but it also adds a little something extra – it can get 15 minutes of flight time off of a single battery charge. That’s almost unheard of in low-end “toy” drones like this one and it means that the 818 has the longevity to be used for actual photo shoots and videography sessions. It also has a much longer range of 150 meters, which makes it perfect for finding those hard-to-reach perfect shots.
The JJRC H26WM is a great drone for beginners or those who want a casual drone to zip around with. The camera is pretty decent but nothing too fancy, so don’t expect the world from it. The maximum amount of flight time you can get is approximately 7 minutes, so having an extra battery is a good idea. The camera allows for 2MP in FPV which swings around in all directions.
The Falcore has a lot of cool technology inside of it, but this drone isn’t heavy on pro racing features. There is an OSD, but you can’t adjust any settings on the flight controller from the OSD like you can on the Vortex 180 and it runs Cleanflight which isn’t as good as Bataflight. Another thing that you might not think about is range. The video transmitter and receiver have a range of 1000 feet to 3000 feet depending on the environment you’re in. Although this is fine for most park flights, there are races that might require a more reliable signal at those farther distances, and with a traditional analog FPV setup it’s easy to get more range with better antennas.
The F210 Professional Racer can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and flies for nine minutes. It also has a ton of advanced features, like a stunt system and a night-vision camera. It comes with a transmitter, camera, and goggles right out of the box in addition to the drone for sale and has a very high quality 700TVL FPV Camera. So it might be a little expensive, but if speed is your top priority in a racing drone for sale this is one of the fastest around with a few other good features as well.
The Typhoon H is the biggest competitor to the Phantom 4 we’ve seen so far. It’s a 6 rotor retractable landing gear beast of a drone, with a 360 degree gimbal (similar to the Inspire 1). What makes it similar to the Phantom 4? Well both drones get over 20 minutes of flight time, have obstacle avoidance, decent video quality and are in the same price range.
If you’re looking for the perfect drone to take your creativity to the next level, or if you work in videography, look no further than the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. The advanced camera features, including 20 megapixels, 4K video, and an accurate mechanical shutter put it on par with many traditional cameras. It delivers stunning video and images that any photographer would be proud of.