The biggest drawback of the Vortex 285 is the frame design. It’s about 35mm larger than the Vortex 250 Pro (which isn’t a problem for traveling thanks to the folding arm design), but the frame has a lot of small plastic pieces holding it together. In other words, the Vortex 250 Pro and Vortex 180 will be a lot stronger than the 285 because they have a stronger and more simple frame design.
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 F181 includes 2 batteries, and two charging cables. One of the great things about this drone is that you can charge one of the batteries while still in the drone, and charge the other battery with the other USB charging cable. It also comes with extra blades, landing skids, and the screwdriver for assembling everything. There are other accessories available such as extra motors, batteries, charger, blades and other spare parts.
The Vortex 285 is another drone from ImmersionRC. It’s actually one of the first ready-to-fly FPV racing drones that came to market back in 2015, but because of the features it has and the price, it’s still very relevant even today. It runs similar firmware to the Vortex 250 Pro, but the hardware is just slightly slower which means that it shouldn’t be as responsive.
It shoots 1080p video and stabilizes it using a mechanical gimbal. This makes the Spark much better at shooting video than drones that only rely on digital stabilization. You can get exactly the kind of shot you’re looking for by connecting the Spark to your phone via Wi-Fi and using the virtual joysticks, but there’s an easier way of shooting that can make even a beginner look like a pro.
The Mavic 2 Zoom has a few features that make it different from the Mavic 2 Pro. The first difference is the smaller 12 megapixel 1/2.3" CMOS sensor. This sensor is the same size as the Mavic Air, and delivers similar image quality. The most important feature is true optical zoom. With optical zoom there's no loss in image quality because you’re zooming using the optics of the lens instead of pixels on an image sensor. You also get a 2x zoom in 4K instead of 1.4x on the Mavic 2 Pro and Parrot Anafi.
It shoots 1080p video and stabilizes it using a mechanical gimbal. This makes the Spark much better at shooting video than drones that only rely on digital stabilization. You can get exactly the kind of shot you’re looking for by connecting the Spark to your phone via Wi-Fi and using the virtual joysticks, but there’s an easier way of shooting that can make even a beginner look like a pro.
It is light at just about 4.6 ounces and fits well in the hand. It is powered by 4 AA batteries. The quadcopter is fun to fly, as it is small and lightweight and can be easily maneuvered. It can also perform stunts like 360-degree turns, backflips, somersaults, etc. The camera is at the bottom and weighs just 0.2 ounces, coming with a 4GB micro-SD card and a small lens. Videos can be shot at 640 x 480 pixels at 30 fps and still photos at 1280 x 960 pixels, with decent looking colors.
You might think that its small size means it doesn’t have a lot of features, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Mavic Pro shoots 4K video at 30FPS and 12-megapixel photos with DNG support. Now, I’m sure you know specs aren’t everything when it comes to cameras; that’s why we’ve tested the Mavic Pro and compared it to all of the other top camera drones out there.

My wife bought this for me for my birthday last week. She'd noticed me looking at drones in the store, and I'd told her about the mini-drones I'd seen some of the local high school students playing with, but she also knew I was concerned about getting something that would break on first impact - having never flown one before, I knew it was inevitable I'd end up crashing it a few times.

×