The biggest competitor for the Bebop 2 is the DJI Spark. Although you can’t use hand gestures to control the Bebop 2 and there’s no obstacle avoidance, you do get features like follow me and visual subject tracking. For $599, it also comes with the controller, two batteries, and goggles that work with most smartphones. If you really want to shoot good videos, the Spark might be a better option because of the 2 axis gimbal, but the digital stabilization of the Bebop 2 is almost just as good.
Battery life - Battery life is a factor that many drone manufacturers are still trying to nail down. Some drones can only fly for six to eight minutes, while more powerful ones can last up to 30 minutes. If you’re worried about the battery life, look for one with a “return to home” feature, which automatically directs the drone back home when the battery gets too low.
Just like all of the drones from ImmersionRC, the Vortex 180 is an extremely well-built ready-to-fly racing drone with all of the features that beginners and pros need. The first thing you’ll notice from the older Vortex quadcopters is the cleaner design. All of the electronics are sandwiched between the carbon fiber on the top and the printed circuit board on the bottom. The only thing that sticks out is the camera which is protected by a hard plastic case.
This thing is a highly sophisticated and advanced piece of aeronautics technology. It is not a toy. The firmware and remote controller requires updating before operation. That consists of downloading the zip file from the Dji website, loading them onto the micro SD card, and inserting it into the micro SD slot on the gimbal. After that it's pretty automatic. First flight: DO NOT FLY INDOORS for the first flight. Attitude mode means it relies solely on the VPS sensors and does not have GPS guidance. In which case the bird can get a little squirrelly and takes practice and experience with the controls to know how to maneuver without GPS. To stop the motor when landing, either initiate the Return to Home function (in which case the drone will land itself) or put the sticks both down and inward for an instantaneous canceling of the motors, or put the ... full review
There’s only one thing that the Parrot Mambo has that you won’t find on the Tello. Legos. Although DJI shows Lego blocks in their advertising photos, the Tello is not Lego block compatible like the Mambo is. For adults, this isn’t something you should care about, but if you’re buying the Tello for a kid who likes Lego, you might want to consider the Mambo instead.
The Blackhawk is a fast and durable drone with an action camera mount that’s compatible with a GoPro Hero 3 or 4. It’s a good camera drone thanks to a very stable hover and quiet brushless motors (which allow for better field recordings of audio), but it really shines thanks to a 300 meter range and 15 minutes of flight time. This is a more advanced drone than the 818 Plus that may not be for everyone and certainly won’t be for beginners. However, if you’re ready to graduate to a more hardcore offering and don’t want to put a huge dent in your wallet, this is an excellent drone available for under $120 and among the best budget long range drones for sale.
The Mavic Air 2 (9/10 WIRED Recommends) is the drone that most people should buy. It's portable and lightweight, but it still manages to pack in a brilliant half-inch sensor for high quality images and video. Tons of automated features mean you can just fly and get the images you want, or shoot video and let the drone avoid obstacles and track your subject. You'll even get 60 frames-per-second 4K video—something that still isn't available in the more expensive Mavic 2 Pro—and Spotlight, a powerful automated flight mode pulled from DJI's pro-grade Inspire drone.
In any case, if you’re looking for an almost-ready-to-fly racing drone in 2017, the new Vortex 150 and Vortex 180 are probably the best way to go. The Vortex doesn’t have all of the beginner features, or the amazing HD video transmission system like the Connex Falcore, but it was made to be more of a pro race drone with better flight characteristics and a durable design.