This is a nice sturdy and attractive quadcopter for the price with a lot of features only found in the more expensive drones. It’s good for beginners and intermediate pilots, but not recommended for those wanting to take professional video and photography. It doesn’t have any of the features that make a good video drone, like stabilized video, low video compression, or just having control over the camera settings.
I've been buying and flying quadcopters for two years now. Everything from Hubsan X4s to Cheerson CX 20s (Quanum Nova). The Phantom 3 Professional is simply amazing. Unboxing and set-up was pretty easy. Set up consists of charging the batteries, updating the firmware, installing the props, and calibrating the compass (also the IMU but that's a one time thing). Even if this is your first quadcopter and you don't understand everything I'm writing about, you can set this up and fly it, trust me, and its a blast! Once I got in the air, ... full review
The most expensive version of the Hubsan X4 is the H107D. It’s mainly for FPV, which allows you to see everything that the drone can see in real time. The design is slightly different from any of the other models and it has a black antenna on the bottom. Although FPV is really cool, this is probably my least favorite version of the Hubsan X4, mainly because the flight time isn’t as good as the other models and the FPV range is only a couple hundred feet. It’s also about 2 times more expensive than the Hubsan with the HD camera.
That said, price is a key consideration for most people, and luckily there are a lot of excellent budget options out there now for those that don't want to spend as much on their new toy as on a used car. Beyond that, there's camera integration and quality, as well as how compatible each drone is with the best drone accessories. We selected the best options across a wide range of budgets and use cases, to spare you some shopping headaches and get you flying ASAP.
It's no exaggeration to say that drones have changed the way we view the world. They've taken once difficult and expensive moviemaking techniques and made them accessible to anyone. Videos that once required a camera crew, expensive cranes, and hours of filming can now be done in minutes by the best drones with the tap of a single Auto Takeoff button.
The camera is a 120-degree wide-angle HD camera, whereby you can view clear aerial images in real-time transmission. The camera has a resolution of 1080 pixels with a 90-degree adjustable lens to take different types of photographs. Commercial users can plot a precise course with the assistance of GPS for filming videos. The GPS helps record the flight trajectory, so it is possible to find the location that has been filmed. All modes like Follow-Me, Orbit flight, and Draw-the-dots are available. Other useful features are the auto-return home, in case of lost signals, low voltage and so on. Users can select 3-speed modes, with low speed for beginners, medium for adults and high speed for skilled professionals. All basic functions are easy to perform.
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.
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.
The DJI Mavic Air offers a 32MP sensor, 4K video capability up to 30 fps, and fully panoramic image functions. There’s a 3-axis gimbal for stability when filming in flight, and there’s some pretty detailed environment sensing to help the drone get its bearings while flying. The model delivers up to 21 minutes of flight time, which is on par with much of the mid-to-pro-level drone market. There’s 8GB of onboard storage, HDR capabilities, and more.
The RTF kit is nice and all of the components are nearly perfect for this frame, but the best part about the QAV-R is the QAV-r frame by itself. In simple words it’s a light weight tank. You can’t break this drone. Technically, I’ve broken this frame, but only after many months of flying and some of the hardest crashes at speeds over 50MPH. And when you do break something, the parts usually don’t cost more than $15 to replace.
A key part of our evaluation is testing out various flight modes, and putting the battery life to the test to see if it lives up to expected flight time and range. More advanced drones may have pilot assistance systems and the ability to perform advanced flight maneuvers, which is something we also test. If the drone includes a camera built-in we use it and evaluate the camera resolution, focus, tracking, frame rate, and other key features. Finally, we take a look at the price of the drone and compare its features to a competitor in the same range to make our final judgement. All of the drones we test are purchased by Lifewire; none are provided by the manufacturer.
The X5S is a micro 4/3 camera with interchangeable lenses. You have the choice of shooting RAW 4K video at 60FPS, 12-bit RAW 5.2K video at 30FPS, and if you like Apple Prores, there’s even Prores 4444 XQ support. The X7 is DJI’s flagship cinema camera. It shoots 6K video, and no that’s not a typo! It has a bigger super 35 image sensor with 14 stops of dynamic range, more recording formats, and better low light performance. DJI also offers 4 custom f2.8 lenses for the x7 ranging from 16mm to 50mm. If you’re into stills the X7 will even shoot 24MP photos.
It has a 5G Wi-Fi transmission, which enhances the control range, with the controller working up to 500 meters. The flight time of the Potensic D58 is 18 minutes. The drone lets you enjoy a 3D virtual experience of the world. It comes with 2 antennas besides the camera, thereby offering additional signal strength and faster signal transmission. The dimensions are 12.9 x 12.6 x 6 inches and it weighs 2 pounds.
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.
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.
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.