There’s nothing particularly special about the Syma X5C, but it works and it’s really cheap. It’s a blast to fly if you’ve never flown anything before and it’s cheap enough where you don’t have to feel bad if you lose it on the roof top of your house. That’s probably why it has over 4,200 reviews on Amazon, which is a number that no other drone has come close to.
DJI models currently dominate our top picks, and there's a good reason for that. The company is simply a few steps ahead of its competition right now, and has a product catalog with models at various price points, which take up a good number of the slots in our top ten. It made a huge splash with its iconic Phantom series, and now makes the best small drones we've tested in the form of the Mavic series.
Our budget pick is the best budget drone you’ll find. It comes with headless mode to ensure you won’t get lost while steering your new drone. It is Equipped with the latest 6-axis flight control systems and 3D lock to allows you to have a more controlled flight. It also gives you more force when operating your drone. This drone is equipped with an HD camera that can take photos and videos while flying. This brings A New Perspective to your photos and allows you to see the world from the air. This drone can perform 360-degree rolls which gives you continuous action and great performance. The wifi feature allows you to view photos and videos from your phone while the drone is in the air, making it a standout among smartphone drones. This drone comes with a 500 mah battery which gives you a long flying time of 5 to 7 minutes. It has RC controls from up to 50 m away.
A true legend among cheap fast drones, AKASO offers an amazing drone without the hefty price tag. It even comes with a foldable quadcopter design. This helps you keep your drone protected while in transit and makes it easy to take it with you anywhere. This drone comes with the one key return feature that allows you to call your drone back with the press of 1 button. It also comes with a 720P HD camera. This allows you to record high-quality video or take clear photos from the air. It also has a powerful air pressure altitude hold function that allows you to keep your drone hovering at a certain height, a great feature in cheap drones. This can be useful for beginners learning how to fly drones or for just taking a picture of yourself from the air. It also has 6-axis gyro flying control that offers strong stability. You can get it to do many different tricks by changing the directions- up/down, left/right, and even 360-degree rolls.
2) the instructions are ridiculously basic. Not sure if they were written by someone who's not English fluent, but we were able to figure it out. They don't address the camera at all. You'll be able to figure out where the camera attaches by process of elimination (on the bottom), and the big USB has one of the tiny USBs inside that goes into the camera (I'm sure there are real words for those pieces that I don't know!).
You can read our full review here for more detail, but here’s the gist of things: the Altair Aerial AA108 is the best drone for anyone who’s just getting started, and an excellent choice for more experienced fliers as well. It’s incredibly durable – something that’s very important for anyone who’s just getting started and is likely to crash often. It also has a very good range (100m) and flight time (8-10 minutes) considering that it costs less than $200.
The Vortex 250 Pro is another great ready-to-fly racing drone and it’s a direct competitor to the TBS Vendetta. It’s about the same size, but a bit heavier and comes with two bladed propellers instead of three like the vendetta. Typically, two bladed props will be slightly more efficient, but three bladed props have more power and a crisper flight characteristic to them. You can change the props on both quadcopters if you want to, but then the flight controller will have to be re-tuned.
At just a tap away, QuickShots like Dronie and Rocket help you take impressive videos with cinematic effects. TapFly allows you to maneuver Spark when you tap on different locations on your smartphone screen. You can buy the Spark Controller Combo today for $399, which contains a remote controller, an extra Intelligent Flight Battery, three extra propellers, and more. For more value, get the Fly More Combo for $549, which contains a remote controller, two extra Intelligent Flight Batteries, four extra propellers, and more. For even greater savings, users can also purchase a refurbished Spark or a refurbished Spark Fly More Combo, which both come with certified quality and a full warranty.
One thing that a lot of new FPV pilots don’t understand, is that ready-to-fly options are never going to be the drone you stay with forever. At some point, you’re going to want a part that will make your quad fly better in some way. You might want something simple like a motor which is fine, but things get complicated if you start trying to replace flight controllers, or get a completely new frame. That’s when it’s time to move to a DIY racing drone.
The Mavic 2 Pro offers exceptional cinematic quality for all drone users. This drone is equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera that possesses the Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution (HNCS) technology, transforming your shots with glorious color and detail. The Pro version also has a 1-inch CMOS sensor, 10-bit Dlog-M color profile, and adjustable aperture, delivering outstanding image quality in all types of environments. With onboard omnidirectional obstacle sensing, the Mavic 2 Pro is able to detect objects on all sides of the aircraft. This drone offers an exceptional experience for those that want to push their aerial photography.
It is the most famous name in consumer drones and DJI always delivers the goods. The Mavic 2 Zoom was launched in 2018 and comes with some ground-breaking features. The camera comes with a 4x lossless zoom and FHD video. It also includes a 2x optical zoom of 24 mm to 48 mm. The sensor has a resolution of 12 MP and 1/2.3 inches CMOS. Other features include avoidance sensors that cover all around the object.
I haven't gotten a lot of practice with it, yet - the weather hasn't been very cooperative, and I'm nervous to fly it in windy conditions - but I managed to learn how to land it without crashing before the first battery died. Yes, first - it comes with 4 rechargeable batteries for the drone itself, and a charging cable for the display. You'll have to supply the batteries for the controller itself, but ... full review
The next 2 versions of the Hubsan X4 have cameras. They’re slightly bigger and heavier than the cheaper version of the X4, but the flight time is about the same. The H107C is the version with a standard definition camera and the 61170-02 is the one with a 720p camera. The Hubsan X4 with the standard camera is ok, but the 720p camera takes much better video. The only problem with the HD version is that it’s more expensive and the flight time is slightly less.
The Mavic Air is not a foldable Spark. This is a drone with all of the features that make it worthy of the Mavic name. Aside from the main camera, there are two front facing cameras, two rear facing cameras, and two downward facing cameras. All of these cameras are used for obstacle avoidance and advanced vision positioning. Just like the Mavic Pro, you also get dual IMUs, GPS and GLONASS for more accuracy. With all of this data to process, the Mavic Air has many different onboard chips that are designed for specific tasks like video encoding, machine learning, flight control, battery management and more.
A lot of people also asked about the charger and whether or not they would need to buy one, but the drone comes with a USB charger that connects the drone to the remote. One user even commented saying that they were using a phone charger cord, which is a great replacement if the original cord breaks. You will need 6 AA batteries for the remote itself, so make sure you stock up!
The FPV feature allows you to see in real time what the drone is capturing. Although I was unable to get video of it (I only have one phone, which was paired to the drone), I can say that it worked without an issue. The only thing I would recommend is that it be used in an open space at first as you need to practice. The setup is pretty simple, the manual will come with a QR code that you need to scan with your phone and it will take you to the download page.
If a drone doesn’t come with a gimbal and that’s the one you want the most, do some basic research to see whether or not you can purchase a separate gimbal and mount it. Aerial photography is much more difficult without a gimbal. It will ruin your chances of coming out with decent footage, so always opt for a drone with a gimbal or one you can purchase one for separately.
The Mavic Air takes most of the features DJI has implemented in their Pro drone line and just packs them into a much smaller package. It isn’t exactly mini-drone sized when it’s fully unfolded, but once folded up, DJI touts a size no taller or thicker than the average smartphone. Even the intuitive controller folds up to a smaller size, too, so clearly, DJI was building this drone with portability in mind.
The flight time is 25 minutes of filming and it makes use of an intelligent Li-Po battery that charges 60% with the PD USB Type C charger. The design is a light carbon frame in an ultra-compact form, which takes it to speeds of 55 kmph in the Sport mode. There is a parrot Skycontroller 3 for remote control. Other features include Geofence, SmartRth, and Find-My-Drone. It is ergonomic and easy to use with the FreeFlight 6 app being powered by AI for automatically taking cinematic shots. GeoFence enables defining the virtual perimeter so that it does not fly out of the specified area. The Smart RTH means that it will return home if the battery is low.
The Anafi is a great drone for the price, but the biggest complaint I have by far is the lack of any sensors for obstacle avoidance. The only obstacle that this drone will stop you from hitting is the ground, that is, as long as you don’t hit a tree first. All of the other drones in this price range have some kind of obstacle avoidance, so why they couldn’t even add some IR sensors is beyond me.
The Phantom 3 Pro shoots video at 4K, 3820 x 2160 pixels on a fully stabilized, 3-axis gimbal. You can shoot 4K videos of up to 30 fps and take 12 MP photos. Besides, it has a vision positioning system enabling a stable flight experience indoors as well, whereby you can fly it low to the ground in GPS free areas. Live viewing at 720 pixels is possible with Lightbridge digital streaming, along with full-resolution videos getting recorded in the microSD card. It also comes along with a flight battery and remote control that is rechargeable.