Your purchase choices may be driven by politics, but we look more closely at product performance and value. The price of DJI drones recently increased across the board for US customers, a response to increases in import tariffs. As result, competing drones from Autel, Parrot, and Yuneec are more compelling alternatives, as their prices have not yet ticked upward.
The DJI Phantom series drones are some of the most capable and recognizable drones on the market. The Phantom 1 was a revolutionary aircraft that put DJI and prosumer drones on the map. The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has collectively built on the series success and continues to be used for photography, filmmaking, inspections, and various other applications.
Propel's X-Wing fighter drone is a great drone for Star Wars fans. There are actually three drones in this line: the X-Wing, a Tie X1, and a Speeder Bike. The best part is all of them have a "battle mode" so you can fly against friends and try to shoot them down. Get hit three times with the IR beam and your drone will auto-land. Unfortunately, these have a learning curve when it comes to flying—a little tap of the control stick goes a long way—and mine had a habit of flying off at an angle immediately on takeoff. Holding a position is also a lost cause, but once you master the sensitive controls, these are fun to fly (and fight).
This simple but powerful drone kit is designed for teens and first-time DIY drone builders. Its instructions will teach you the basic principles of drone building, so even if this doesn’t end up being your favorite drone for sale ever, it will help you learn to build and fly other drones in the future! It sacrifices a bit of customizability, but more than makes up for it with its ease-of-use and incredibly low price of only $33 USD.
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.
It comes with an all-in-one android controller, which means you don’t need a smartphone to use it, but the user interface is nowhere near as simple as the Phantom 4 or any DJI product for that matter. That’s one of the main reasons why we prefer DJI’s drones over what Yuneec offers. Also, you will need to upgrade to the Typhoon H Pro “with Realsense” to get full obstacle avoidance functionality.
This drone is so fun to use. I am an amateur with drones so it has been fun learning to fly it. The drone is very lightweight and is a nice size. I love that you can view what you are recording on your cell phone, this makes it so much easier if you are recording for a specific type of video. At first I was a bit confused on how to get the drone started but after some practice it got easier. The drone was easy to pair with my Samsung Galaxy 6 phone. The drone is easy to lift off and I have been able to learn to land after a few tries. I did bang it a couple of times and so far it has not broken. I tried the tracing route feature and it is really cool. The batteries don't last a really long time ... full review
This drone really stands out style-wise from other good cheap drones. It has striking green streaks on top that give it the look and feel of an alien insect. This drone also comes with a controller, which can sometimes be rare in affordable drones. It is made of strong ABS material. ABS material is light, flexible, bendable, and soft. This makes it a really durable drone which is perfect for beginners and crash-prone pilots. It comes with real-time transmission via its wifi network. This allows it to connect directly to your phone so you can view everything your drones camera sees in real time. It has a headless mode which allows it to be operated easily regardless of which direction it is facing. It also has gravity induction which allows you to fly your drone forward, backward, left, and right in correspondence to the angle at which you hold your mobile device.
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.
Pairing the remote with the drone is quite simple and works well. Like many other toy drones it has a 360° ROLL-OVER feature so even if you’re not a stunt flyer, your friends will think you are. It has two bright LED lights, one red and one blue which makes seeing it at night much easier. This quad comes with a spare set of blades which makes it great for giving as a gift to a small child who has never flown one before.