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.
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.
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.
The price for this little drone is only about $30. It’s one of the cheapest quadcopters you can buy (but cheap isn’t necessarily a good thing). It’s very fast for how small it is, but at the same time since the rotors are so small and close together, people have found that it’s a bit hard to do bank turns with it. Since the Proto X is so cheap, there is a chance that you could buy a defective one, but you can always just send it back.
If you're flying within the United States, you need to take heed of FAA guidelines—or be prepared to face potential fines or jail time. There are no-fly zones set by the FAA, so don't take off if you're near an airport without notifying the control tower first. And, even if you're out in the middle of nowhere, don't take your drone above 400 feet. Most are set to obey these regulations out of the box, but controlling a quadcopter is just like driving a car—even if you missed seeing that speed limit sign, you're still liable to pay the ticket.
Portability is the new trend of the camera drone market. Most of the time, it is inconvenient and tough to carry a large, heavy camera drone around. This is particularly the case for those of you who want to shoot when traveling. By that rationale, mini drones make it infinitely easier for you to shoot on the go, no matter if hiking or attending a family barbecue.
The EVO has obstacle avoidance sensors on the front and in the back. In the font, you get two obstacle avoidance cameras (same as the Mavic). On the back, you’ll find not cameras, but a IR sensor for obstacle avoidance. IR sensors or good for close obstacle detection, but they don’t work for seeing obstacles that are more complex or far away. The Mavic Air and Mavic 2 use cameras on the rear, so they will naturally do better at avoiding obstacles at higher speeds. In any case, if you need obstacle avoidance on your drone, the EVO has it.
The quality of photography is primarily be determined by the resolution of your camera. Good cameras have a 4K video resolution. These are mainly used by professional photographers. You do not have to obtain this specific resolution in order to take decent videos. If this drone is going to an amateur or will only record recreational videos, you can find some lower resolution cameras that are suitable but still take brilliant pictures.
There is a DJI Pilot application for both iOS and Android, enabling total camera control and live viewing. It also has a Beginner Mode for learning to fly. The drone comes including all the tried and trusted features of a DJI drone, with auto-takeoffs and landings, intelligent high-powered flight battery, safety database for no-fly zones and an efficient mobile app. It also locks itself if you use it within a 15-mile radius of the White House, as this is restricted. The dimensions are 18 x 13 x 8 inches and it weighs 9.2 pounds.
Every drone has a different control range. Most toy drones can go about 40 feet to 300 feet. Camera drones are able to reach distances of over 4 miles, and airplane drones can fly even further. The biggest limitation for a drone with a quadcopter like design is battery life. Even with a consumer drone like the Phantom 4, if there’s no interference, you will run out of battery long before the drone loses its connection. We’ve flown Phantom 4 as far as 4 miles away before needing to return home.
There’s a few different versions of the Hubsan X4. The cheapest version doesn’t have an agility mode like the Nano QX so you can’t fly with complete manual control, but it’s pretty fast and maneuverable (even with auto leveling). It also has 6 LED lights which can be turned on and off from the controller. Speaking of controllers, the controller that comes with the 3 cheaper Hubsan models is actually pretty nice. I like it better than what comes with the Nano QX and the Proto x).
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.
You get up to 9 minutes of flight time, have a 640x480p camera, and video capabilities that lack audio as there is no microphone. You can do flips in the air at the touch of a button on the transmitter, and there is a button that lets you share a video on social media instantly. The LED lights located at the center of each propeller and the headlight are pretty useful for flying at night, too.
The flight time is only 22 minutes on one battery, which is a pretty good amount of time. It’s a pretty big drone, though, weighing in at 21 points, so it’s definitely not a toy. Unfortunately, a lot of people have had issues with dead batteries being sent. Some have had issues reaching DJI and have even been asked to send them a proof video. If you receive a faulty battery that is dead on arrival and will not charge, ensure you contact them straight away for a replacement.
The flight time is pretty short at about 5 minutes although some have reported getting as much as 10 minutes. Once your drone battery dies, it has an audible low battery indicator that will let you know before it drops out of the sky. Like all toy drones, you should purchase an optional pack of batteries so you can enjoy longer flying sessions. The batteries take about 30 minutes each to charge up.
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.
The Phantom 4 Pro is an excellent choice for aerial photographers that seek professional results. It features a 1-inch CMOS sensor and shoots 4K 60fps video, making it great for filmmaking and photography. It also features DJI’s FlightAutonomy system, providing you with five directions of obstacle sensing. This can come in handy when flying in tight spaces, which is sometimes required for filming and photography. If this feature isn’t hugely important to you, you can save some money and get a Phantom 4 Advanced, which comes with two directions of obstacle sensing. While this drone model is no longer in production, you can pick up a refurbished one!
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.
The Dolly Zoom enables capturing both wide-angle and mid-range shots. It includes a 3-axis gimbal for providing stable footage whatever the situation may be. The total flight time is 31 minutes, which is the longest for consumer drones today. It has a maximum speed of 72 kmph in Sport mode and also includes a low-noise technology during flight. Other features include an Active Track 2.0 and high-speed tracking abilities for speeds up to 27 kmph. Aerial shots are taken and processed automatically with the Hyperlapse feature. Another useful feature is obstacle avoidance sensors that sense obstacles around the object. It is capable of planning its path on a 3D map and can recognize and move away from obstacles in the front or from behind.
It can take 4K videos at 30 fps and 60 Mbps data rate. The quadcopter has a speed of 22 MPH and its range is 2.5 miles. Video transmission is possible up to 4 km. It makes use of a brushless motor and has a button for auto-return to home. The camera is mounted on a three-axis gimbal stabilizer that helps it to take smooth videos and sharp photographs even while in motion.