Here’s the deal: This buying guide is designed to make it quick and easy for you to find the best drones for sale. Our review team spent eight weeks testing over 130 new and bestselling drones. We’ve raced them, we’ve lost them, we’ve crashed them! All to find the best quadcopters for you! The result is the real-world drone reviews you can find below.
Before we start: Here are the six most important features you need to know when buying your drone. You will find them again in each drone review so that you can easily compare the different products. Sounds good? Let’s go!
Does the drone have a camera? If it does, this shows you the video resolution (720p HD, 1080p Full-HD, 4K Ultra HD) and the photo megapixels.
Flight time is an important feature to look for. It shows you the drone’s battery life in minutes, based on our reviews. A longer flight time is better.
Once your drone’s battery is empty, you’ll want it to recharge quickly and get back to flying. This spec shows you how many minutes this takes.
Drone range is the distance your drone can fly before it loses contact with the remote control. It’s measured in miles and feet. A longer range is better.
Return Home is a useful feature that lets the drone fly back to you automatically. It’s especially helpful for beginners and for extra convenience.
This one is pretty self-explanatory: It’s the total size of the drone in inches (length, width, height). Useful if you travel or put the drone in a backpack.
In a hurry? No problem! Here are the top recommendations for the best camera drone, beginner drone, cheap drone, and mini drone from our quadcopter reviews. Happy flying!
How did we pick these? Each drone featured here is the respective winner from the more detailed Top 10 Drone Buying Guides below. After eight weeks of research, testing, and reviewing we can say with confidence: These four highest-rated quadcopters offer excellent quality, durability, and value for the money. So simply pick the drone type you’re looking for and get ready for lots of fun.
The brand new DJI Mavic Pro is the best quadcopter with a camera for sale. Here’s why: It features an excellent camera that takes stunning 4K UHD videos and 12MP photos. The camera is mechanically stabilized by a three-axis gimbal which allows for pro-level shots. True mechanical stabilization (instead of electronic cropping) means you get smooth, shake-free video in full 4K resolution. The results look amazing!
The quadcopter itself is very portable and compact, folding down to the size of a water bottle. It also offers smart, autonomous flying with five vision sensors that automatically avoid obstacles. You get impressive top speeds of 45 miles per hour and a remarkable four-mile range. The Mavic Pro uses GPS-assisted precision hovering outdoors, plus innovative, camera-based indoor hovering when no GPS is available. Moreover, you can use it for cool first-person drone flying with VR goggles. All this adds up to the best 4K drone and puts the DJI Mavic Pro at number one on our list of the top drones with camera for sale.
The new Holy Stone F181W is very easy and fun to fly. It combines modern technology, lots of starter-friendly features, and a very affordable price, making it the best beginner drone in this review.
The F181W offers two types of controls: You can steer it using the included controller or fly it using the free iOS and Android smartphone app. Both methods work well and have a small learning curve, which makes flying feel intuitive and prevents frustration. The best part? You can watch a live, 120-degree HD video of what the drone sees, right on your phone! Plus, you can snap HD videos and photos of all the action to share with friends and family. No other affordable drone for beginners offers these premium features.
This quadcopter uses six-axis gyro stabilization, automatic altitude hold, and a one-button return home feature. All of them are very helpful for first-time fliers. Taken together, this makes the Holy Stone F181W the best drone for beginners. It’s an excellent product!
If you’re looking to save money but still buy a great, cheap quadcopter, we recommend the Cheerwing Syma X8W. It offers a perfect balance of features and value and is very reliable, too. In short, it’s the best cheap drone you can buy.
The first thing that stands out about the X8W is the excellent price. Yet, the drone includes premium features like a six-layer SLR HD camera, six-axis gyro stabilization, and a good 10-minute flight time. Best of all, the Syma X8W includes real-time HD video streaming right to your smartphone using Wi-Fi! This puts it ahead of other cheap drones with a camera. Seriously, it’s a lot of fun to fly this drone while watching what’s happening right in front of your eyes on your phone.
Last but not least, this cheap drone includes the ability to perform exciting stunts like 360-degree flips, barrel rolls, and more. You get a lot of value for the money here, plus a brand name with proven reliability. The X8W is a smart choice for budget buyers, we highly recommend it.
The best mini drone in our tests is the Hubsan X4. This micro quadcopter measures less than five by five inches and weighs only a few ounces. It’s amazing that such a tiny UAV can be packed with so much modern technology. This mini quadcopter manages to convince with a powerful motor, excellent stability, and even a camera.
The X4 is one of the only drones at this size that has a live video feed. You can watch it directly on the included controller which has a full-color screen. That alone makes the Hubsan X4 the top mini drone with a camera. But it also offers a fantastic battery life and range for its size, extending how much fun you can have with it. Once it’s time to recharge you can conveniently do so using the included USB cable. This makes the X4 an excellent choice if you’re traveling or simply want to take your drone with you in your pocket or backpack.
In short, if you’re in the market for a small, yet fully-featured drone that’s also super affordable – this is it.
If you’re looking for the best camera drone for sale, the answer is the DJI Mavic Pro. It is brand new and offers one of the most advanced UAV drone experiences on the market. We managed to get our hands on one of the first retail models just in time for this review. This is a small yet very powerful RC drone with a great camera that features a lot of exciting technology. Let’s take a look under the hood!
When we say that this is a small camera drone, we really mean it. Take it out of the box, and you’ll be surprised that it’s folded up to the size of a bottle of water. This makes the Mavic Pro a great travel companion and a good drone for people on-the-go. The tiny form factor doesn’t mean that DJI skimped on features, though. The Mavic offers a fantastic camera with 4K video at 30fps and 1080P video at 96fps. If you’re looking to take photos, the Mavic takes crisp 12MP images and even supports Adobe DNG RAW. Unlike most other camera drones for sale, the Mavic does not cheat and use Electronic Image Stabilization. Instead, it achieves true 4K video through a small, high-precision three-axis gimbal that eliminates virtually all shaking and vibration. This technology, paired with DJI’s new 28mm focal length lens and professional 1/2.3 inch CMOS image sensor makes for some of the absolute best drone videos and photos we have seen. You have to try this drone and see it for yourself. DJI takes the lead over all other brands with their innovative product.
The Mavic Pro packs a ton of features. You get an insane range of four miles (seven kilometers). The drone also impresses with an excellent flight time of up to 30 minutes. Oh yeah, and this puppy can fly at a ridiculous speed of up to 40MPH! These specs surpass even DJI’s flagship Phantom 4, which is surprising given the Mavic’s compact size. Additionally, the Mavic includes many autonomous flight features. The drone automatically avoids obstacles to reduce accidents significantly. The Mavic Pro is also one of the first drones to offer GPS-assisted precision hovering outdoors as well as vision-based, smart indoor hovering where no GPS is available. Moreover, it includes DJI’s great ActiveTrack which auto-follows people with the press of a button on the free DJI GO app. We also loved the new drone selfie mode: Just wave at the Mavic. It will recognize you and your gesture and snap a picture! There are a ton of other features here which we can’t all cover in this short review. For example, you can add DJI’s Goggles for a high-quality live first-person video experience that makes you fly like a bird! All this adds up to a very fun and future-proof drone.
In short: The DJI Mavic Pro is the best camera drone for sale. Period. It offers cutting-edge smart technology, pro-level photos and videos, and a very fun user experience. One of the top features of this remote control drone is that all this functionality is packed into such a small package. It has everything you’d want from a high-end camera drone and then some. It’s a must have!
The DJI Phantom 4 is one of the very best quadcopters with camera. It’s the new and improved version of the world’s most popular video drone. This stylish model outperforms almost every other drone in our quadcopter reviews with brilliant photos and videos, high-end design, and excellent smart flight technology.
Since you’re probably looking for an RC quadcopter with a camera, let’s talk about that first. DJI uses a proprietary camera system which offers ultra-sharp 4K at 30fps and Full HD 1080p at 120fps for regular and slow motion shots. That’s right, the Phantom is both a 4K and HD video drone, all in one. If you plan to do drone photography, the camera supports images in 12 megapixels (4000 x 3000 pixels), including in Adobe DNG RAW format. The updated f/2.8 lens is brand new in this fourth version of the popular drone, offering a broader field of view and delivering very nice and sharp images. The Phantom 4 also comes with DJI’s proven three-axis gimbal stabilization technology and a new hover function. Both work together to help you capture very stable and smooth shots. In our tests, vibration and wind interference were almost entirely eliminated and our footage looked incredibly fluid. The drone also has a very precise GPS that helps it to navigate reliably. The impressive stability, image quality, and performance make it one of the top 4K drones currently available.
What else do you get? The Phantom 4 offers a great battery life and range. The drone flies for up to 30 minutes and as far as three miles (about five kilometers) at a speed of up to 45mph! The best part? You stay in control and can watch everything that happens with HD video. This reliable, low-latency link makes this live video drone ideal for pro-level aerial photos and videos where precision counts. DJI is the video quadcopter market leader for a reason, and the Phantom 4 is one of the best quadcopters for video production that you can buy. Tip: If you need even higher-end photo and video specs (i.e. 60fps 4K video and 20MP photos), we recommend the Phantom 4 Pro. Most people won’t need those capabilities, but it’s worth comparing the two.
The Phantom 4’s flight experience is excellent as well. It has a sensor that automatically recognizes and avoids obstacles. You can also control the drone by tapping your smartphone’s or tablet’s screen (using the free DJI GO app), and the Phantom 4 will change direction. New in this version of the drone is Active Track. It recognizes subjects you’re filming and automatically follow them.
All in all, the DJI Phantom 4 is one of the best quadcopters with a camera you can currently buy. Yes, there are camera drones with even higher video specs (like the Phantom 4 Pro and the DJI Inspire 1 Pro). However, the Phantom 4 offers premium photos and videos at a great price point. 4K video and 12MP photos, as well as the intelligent flight systems, make it a very future-proof investment with high resale value. Check out Phantom 4 kits here.
The Yuneec Q500 Typhoon 4K may be lesser known than DJI’s products, but it’s an excellent and cheap camera drone. Besides a cool design and good price point, you get 4K video and slow-motion capabilities. Sounds promising? Let’s talk details!
The Typhoon 4K is ready to fly right out of the box and offers sharp 4K UHD video at 30fps as well as 1080p Full HD video at 120fps. The latter allows for seriously cool-looking footage that shows every detail of what you’re filming. The camera is supported by a high-quality, three-axis gimbal that mechanically stabilizes it. There is also a live video downlink directly to the remote controller’s built-in screen. The drone has a no-distortion lens that’s as good as DJI’s, and you can even control the white balance and light exposure on the fly. Furthermore, you can adjust the camera, change the tilt angle, and more to create perfect shots. All these features can be controlled using Yuneec’s CGO3 mobile app.
On paper, the Yuneec Q500 Typhoon 4K matches the video and photo specs of the DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Phantom 4. The main difference is that the Typhoon is designed to be a cheap drone with camera. Some control features, customer support, and engineering details are not as polished as DJI’s premium offering, but you can also get the Typhoon at an excellent price for a 4K UHD video drone. So if you’re looking to save money, the Typhoon 4K is a smart choice that has lots to offer. If instead, you’re looking for the very best high-end video drone and don’t mind the extra investment for extra quality, choose the DJI Mavic Pro, the DJI Phantom 4, or even Yuneec’s top-of-the-line Typhoon H Pro. Rest assured, all these choices are very good quadcopters with camera.
Why should you pick the DJI Phantom 4 Pro quadcopter over the DJI Phantom 4 Standard? The answer is video quality! If you’re in the market for a professional drone with a camera and need maxed-out specs for high-end photos and videos than the Phantom 4 Pro is the right choice. If offers a lot of long term value.
The Pro version features an uprated camera with a larger, one-inch sensor. You can take true 4K UHD video at a stunning 60fps and snap 20-megapixel photos, including in bursts of up to 14fps. The advanced lens also offers a mechanical shutter and H.264 plus H.265 dual coding, both with a 100Mbps bitrate. Yes, this drone is meant for serious video production and does an industry-leading job at that.
Like the DJI Phantom 4, the Pro version is a drone with live video downlink and smart flight technology but expands on that with an additional set of high-resolution stereo vision sensors, plus infrared sensing systems. This means that the drone can autonomously fly and intelligently avoids obstacles on all five sides! We love this feature as it allows filmmakers and photographers to capture complex videos and photos much more conveniently.
The Phantom 4 Pro, of course, also includes all the features that make the Phantom 4 Standard such a great choice. You get the ability to draw flight waypoints on your smart device and auto-track people you’re filming. DJI also includes TapFly for easy controls, automatic return home, and Gesture Mode for great selfies. All this adds up to one of the absolute best drones with a camera for sale. This drone is certainly an investment, but if you’re looking for the very best, it’s hard to beat.
Parrot is a trusted brand for RC drones with a camera and their Bebop 2 quadcopter is designed to be lightweight, compact, and affordable. It’s an excellent choice for casual drone photography and videos and available in a number of fun colors as well as an amazing first-person live video kit.
One of the first things that stands out about the Bebop 2 is the eye-catching Parrot Sky Controller. It lets you pilot the quadcopter using two joysticks. Add your smartphone or tablet, and the drone transmits awesome live video directly to your device so you can see all the action! This makes for an amazing, lifelike drone flying experience that will put a smile on your face. It’s really cool! The Sky Controller also includes a Wi-Fi extender which increases its range to 1.25 miles.
Measuring only 15 x 13 x 3.5 inches, the Bebop 2 still includes a powerful 2700 mAh battery which allows for up to 25 minutes of flying. Surprisingly, for both its compact size and affordable price, it features Full HD 1080p video and 14MP photos. The Bebop’s wide-angle lens is excellent as well, supporting a vertical and horizontal field of view that spans a full 180 degrees. The drone also includes lots of modern technology, such as GPS and visual tracking to automatically follow you on your adventures, a 40MPH top speed, and a rapid 13MPH lift. All that is controlled by an excellent, free app.
What’s the verdict? The Bebop 2 is a great camera drone for two types of buyers: People just starting out with video quadcopters and folks looking for a lower-prices HD video drone. The live camera, fantastic controller, and compact design make it a good choice.
DJI’s Phantom 3 isn’t the company’s newest quadcopter, but it still takes excellent videos and photos at a fair price. So if you’re looking for a DJI brand drone that doesn’t break the bank, this is a very smart option. Just a few months ago the Phantom 3 really kicked off professional drone filmmaking and was one of the first high-end camera drones for sale. Now, it is still the preferred choice for many buyers because it offers an amazing balance of features and value.
The Phantom 3 takes 12MP photos (4000×3000 pixels) using a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor. It also shoots 2.7K video at 30fps (that’s a 2704 x1520 pixel resolution). If you prefer a different format, you can switch video to 1080p Full HD 30fps and 720p HD 60fps videos. Just like its successor the Phantom 3 offers the ability to save images in both JPG and DNG RAW format, making it a great choice for professional drone photography.
Sure, there are newer drones with cameras, but few manage to match the excellent design and simple experience of the Phantom 3. While it doesn’t have the same range and battery life as newer DJI drones, your wallet will love the Phantom 3’s price and reliability. It’s the perfect choice for budget buyers and video drone beginners who require a high-quality, ready-to-fly aerial video platform with a proven track record and cheap replacement parts. If you’re looking for a great quadcopter with 2.7K video that falls right between expensive high-end drones and cheaper HD video drones, try this one. Tip: You can get the DJI Phantom 3 in different bundles with many useful accessories. We also recommend getting a cheap range extender so that you can fly even further.
Autel Robotics new X-Star Premium quadcopter doesn’t just look sporty and cool, it can back it all up with excellent features! Yes, the sleek design and modern camera are definitely great reasons to love this drone. What makes it truly unique, though, are the slow-motion capabilities.
You get sharp 12MP photos, but shooting videos is where this drone really shines. The X-Star Premium features a 108-degree field of view camera which offers a whopping four video settings that are designed for specific filming purposes. It offers 4K 30fps UHD, 2.7K 60fps, 1080p 120fps Full HD, and 720p HD with a ridiculous 240fps for ultra-slow-motion videos. This makes the drone pull up head-to-head with the premium-priced DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Phantom 4. Yet, if you’re looking to shoot awesome looking slow-motion drone videos, the X-Star is actually the best choice because of its 120fps and 240fps modes and its high-quality three-axis stabilization gimbal. We took amazing videos of running animals, nighttime rooftop parties, and coastal road trip scenes which really came to live in cinematic slow-motion. It’s a lot of fun!
We also liked the X-Star’s remote control. Just snap in your smartphone or tablet for live video and control the drone with excellent precision. The bottom of the controller features useful buttons for functions such as auto takeoff and landing, automatic return home, and quick flight assist which essentially stops the drone mid-air. This is augmented by a very precise dual GPS GLONASS navigation systems. You can even let the drone follow waypoints, orbit and follow you, and geofence its position. This is one of the best cheap 4K video drones and ideal for slow-motion filming. Get it!
The DJI Inspire 2 is not a toy, it’s a high-end, professional filmmaking drone with the price to prove it. Are you ready for this? This beast shoots cinema-quality 5.2K in CinemaDNG RAW, Apple ProRes, and more! So if you’re doing commercial projects or if you’re trying for the Oscars, this is a great investment.
If you want to picture the Inspire 2, take the already excellent DJI Phantom 4 and add 100 shots of Espresso! The Inspire 2 is a pro-level aircraft that can go from 0 to 50 miles per hour in just five seconds (that’s no typo), and that can hit a maximum speed of 60MPH! This drone can easily film high-speed car chases and supercar races without breaking a sweat. You can even use it in freezing environments because the intelligent dual-battery system self-heats the drone and camera.
For extra control, the Inspire 2 features dual signal frequency and dual channel video, streaming video from an onboard FPV camera and the main 5.2K camera simultaneously. This allows a pilot and a cinematographer to work together as a team, in parallel, for professional productions that require high precision.
Speaking of video, the Inspire 2 (paired with a Zenmuse camera) offers CinemaDNG (5.2K 30fps 12bit 4.2Gbps, 4K 60fps 10bit 4.0Gbps), Apple ProRes (5.2K (30fps (422 HQ), 4K 30fps (4444 XQ)), H.264/AVC (BP/MP/HP Level 5.1: 4K 60fps, 100Mbps) and H.265 (MP Level 5.1: 4K 30fps, 100Mbps). It also takes incredible 20.8MP photos. Plus, you get DJI’s top-of-the-line intelligent flight systems, obstacle avoidance, and powerful smart tracking modes.
It’s a professional filmmaking tool that offers world-class video and photography. If you need the best, including 5.2K resolution video, this is it.
The UDI 818A HD+ doesn’t match the specs and performance of the other drones with video reviewed here. Instead, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a super-affordable and fun drone with an HD camera.
The HD+ in the quadcopter’s name stands for the upgraded 720p 30fps HD camera that UDI now includes. It shoots nice videos and 2MP photos that are perfect for documenting family, friends, travel, parties, and everything in between. The quadcopter supports automatic return home, plus headless mode which turns the drone to match your controller’s direction if you get turned around.
The built-in six-axis gyro and strong motors make for easy flying, even in slightly windy conditions. The UDI 818A HD+ also supports fun stunts at the push of a button, such as 360-degree flips and quick turns which are sure to impress your friends and family. We like the drone’s bright LED lights which offer excellent visibility at greater distances and at night. Moreover, it’s good to know that UDI includes a number of free accessories in this very cheap drone kit. You get two 500mAh batteries, four spare propellers, a 4GB Micro SD card for your videos, a USB battery charger, and more. This combination makes the drone a great choice if you’re just getting started with drone videos or are looking for drones with cameras for sale that are a true bargain. Either way, the 818A HD+ is affordable and reliable. It’s not meant for professional-grade video but for having fun. At that, it truly excels!
The 3DR Solo is one of the most affordable high-quality drones for sale with a camera, yet it offers a lot of bang for your buck. If you already own a GoPro camera or plan to buy one anyways, the 3DR solo allows you to take your GoPro to the skies and shoot amazing looking video at a great price!
The modular system of the 3DR Solo quadcopter allows you to mount a GoPro directly to the drone. This makes it a very future proof purchase, as you can upgrade the camera. Moreover, it’s currently one of the only drones that can stream wireless HD video from a GoPro directly to your iOS or Android smartphone. You can fly the drone, start and stop recording, and even control the gimbal easily with a free app. 3DR also cleverly included an HDMI port on the controller so that you can connect virtually any screen. Taken together, this makes the 3DR Solo the best GoPro drone available and one of the most innovative camera quadcopters for sale (once you add your GoPro, that is).
Another creative feature we love are the dual 1GHz processors in the drone. In fact, it’s the world’s first smart drone. For example, you can tap the screen, and the drone will automatically follow you perfectly, orbit you slowly, smoothly fly in a line while filming an object (like a cable cam), and even take an aerial selfie! There’s a lot to like about the 3DR Solo quadcopter. It’s unlike all other drones with cameras for sale. If you’re a GoPro fan, want a smart drone, or simply prefer the ability to upgrade your drone’s camera in the future, give this quad a try!
The new and already bestselling Holy Stone F181W is the best quadcopter for beginners. Here’s why: It offers real-time FPV HD video, smart flight-assist features, and a low price. Let’s see why it won this quadcopter review!
There are many RC drones for sale, but the camera system is what makes this the best starter quadcopter you can buy. Holy Stone has designed an excellent balance of features and value, including a wide-angle 720p HD camera with a 120-degree field of view. The camera also takes crisp 2MP photos. The drone itself is stabilized by a highly-efficient six-axis gyro as well as an intelligent flight system. The latter lets you freeze altitude at the press of a button to hover the drone for smooth videos. It supports one-button automatic takeoff and landing and auto return home.
Moreover, we found the Holy Stone F181W’s controller absolutely excellent. It looks like a gaming console controller and you can snap your smartphone in on the top for live video transmission. Holy Stone also includes several free accessories so you can get started immediately, like an SD-card reader, a memory card, extra propellers, and more. Last but not least, this drone is easy to fly and very nimble. If you want to it also offers the ability to perform fun stunts and 360-degree flips. So what’s the verdict? The new F181W drone quadcopter is hands down the best beginner drone you can get and also generally one of the best drones to buy. It’s fun, easy, and affordable, making it a must-have budget video drone for new drone operators.
The MJX X400W is one of the best beginner drones for sale, essentially tying with the equally excellent Holy Stone F181W. Both drones have a great battery life, range, and high-quality-design. The X400W offers lots of cutting-edge features at a super-affordable price. Let’s look under the hood, read on!
One of the most unique things about the X400W is that it offers 3D split-screen live HD video! Say what? All right, here’s the deal: What this does is that the drone transmits a live HD video view from high up in the sky right to your smartphone. You can watch it as a simple video (like many other drones) but also activate a split-screen view. When you add a cheap 3D VR headset to your phone, it turns drone flying into a live 3D experience! It’s hard to describe how amazing it feels to soar through the air like a bird and see it all in incredible 3D, you’ll just have to try it.
The 3D FPV feature alone makes the X400W a must-have gadget in our view, but this cheap quadcopter has a lot more to offer. You get a high-capacity, 750mAh battery which lets you fly for about 9 minutes – a long time for a small budget drone. Of course, you can always get a few spare batteries to extend that flight time even further.
The X400W also supports headless mode for auto-aligning the drone, one-button 360-degree rolls, and a precise six-axis gyro for stability. The X400W is a great choice if you are looking for a live FPV experience and also one of the best drones for beginners in general.
Another awesome quadcopter for beginners from Holy Stone is the new HS170. Like most products from the popular brand, it is very cheap without skimping on quality.
Besides a very attractive price, here’s what you get when buying the HS170: The drone has a streamlined body, designed to be light, small, and nimble. At only 14 ounces it can accelerate rapidly. If that’s not your goal, it can also be controlled more smoothly using three different speed modes which are perfect for beginners. The powerful little motor, capable flight computer, and six-axis stabilization system work together to provide a fun and very user-friendly experience.
While the drone doesn’t have a camera, it does have a great flight time and several convenience features commonly reserved for pricier drones. This includes Headless Mode, which realigns the quadcopter to match your remote control, should you get turned around. You will love the excellent red and blue LED lighting system, which makes the drone much easier to see, especially for night flying. We also appreciate that the drone is lightweight and that it can easily be charged over any USB plug, making it a great travel companion.
All in all, the Holy Stone HS170 is a bestselling beginner drone for a reason. It’s hard to beat the HS170’s price and robust feature set. So if you’re looking for an affordable drone for beginners, this is a great choice. Tip: At this price, we recommend getting two quads and racing your friends.
Awesome design and a slick, black body make the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 quadcopter stand out right away. We’ve noticed a lot of heads turn when we tested this drone. It looks amazing!
Similar in features and performance to the UDI 818A HD+ quadcopter, the Syma X5SW-V3 uses a slightly different design with strong, corner-mounted blade guards. It’s also similarly affordable but comes with one important difference: You can clip your smartphone (iOS or Android) directly to the remote for cool Wi-Fi FPV video! In our view, this gives the Syma X5SW-V3 a clear leg up and makes it one of the absolute best cheap beginner quadcopters around.
Let’s talk features: You get a 500mAh battery which delivers a solid seven-minute flight time. It’s always smart to get a few extra batteries, since they’re cheap and significantly extend the fun. The built-in camera offers 480p video with FPV live streaming as well as 640x480 photos. While that doesn’t stack up to the premium camera drones reviewed here, it’s good enough to get you started and have a fun quadcopter experience. In fact, everything about buying a drone is a trade-off, and in this case, it’s a very low price traded against a higher-end camera system. Lastly, the UDI 818A HD+ offers nice flight features such as automatic 360-degree rolls, continuous stunt rolling, and auto-realignment (headless mode). It’s a solid choice for almost all drone beginners and one of the very best products for budget buyers. Tip: The Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 is also available in a sleek white if you prefer that color.
UDI makes one of the most popular beginner quadcopters on the market, the excellent 818A HD+. Notice the plus sign in the name? That’s the new version you want to get, which includes updated stability features as well as a better HD camera. Those upgrades, paired with a great price make for one very attractive starter drone. Want to find out more? Let’s do this!
The first thing that stands out about the 818A HD+ is its unusual design. Those round shields around the blades don’t just look cool, they protect the drone very effectively from the most common type of damage – broken propellers. We crashed the quadcopter twice (not on purpose, we promise) but it proved to be extremely sturdy and survived without harm. The design works and is one of the most sturdy drone frames we’ve seen in this price class. Awesome!
If you’re looking to snap photos and videos, the UDI 818A HD+ can do that, too, using a stationary, front-facing camera that shoots 720p HD video and takes 2MP photos. It won’t rival a dedicated camera drone like the DJI Mavic Pro, but we’re also talking a world of difference for your wallet here. Once you’re done taking awesome videos, you can easily share them using the included Micro SD card or USB cable. The drone delivers flawless AVI and JPG files that are ready for social media.
In summary, the UDI 818A HD+ is the updated and better version of an already great and very popular product. It’s a no-brainer choice if you’re looking to get a sturdy beginner drone with HD camera that saves money.
If you want your drone to stand out and turn heads, the Holy Stone X401H-V2 is a safe bet. It looks like a high-end supercar, featuring a sporty, bright-yellow design, plus lots of advanced specs. Let’s take it for a test flight!
One of the most unique things about the X401H-V2 is the smartphone integration, usually reserved for higher-priced quadcopters. Clip your Apple or Android phone into the top of the drone’s remote control, download the free app, and you’re ready to go! One fun feature is Gravity Mode which lets you control the drone intuitively using your phone’s accelerometer. The app also gives you access to all other built-in goodies such as turning on the HD camera, flipping the quadcopter by 180 degrees, and activating the first-person mode which lets you see a real-time video feed from high above.
The drone also has a very unique feature which switches the throttle mode to account for left and right-handed pilots. This makes it the best drone for left-handed people. You get helpful speed settings, plus automatic takeoff and landing, which is ideal for first-time pilots. We also liked the LED lighting system in two colors which help with navigation and night flying. Last but not least, the built-in altitude hold mode makes it easy to regain control and to take stable videos.
All these features and the bright, visible color add up to one of the easiest beginner drones for sale. If you’re looking for a low learning curve and intelligent features that help you pick up drone flying without frustration, the Holy Stone X401H-V2 is an excellent choice.
The Force1 U45 Blue Jay is one of the all-around best drones for beginners, which secured it a spot on this top ten beginner quadcopter list. Besides a fresh black and blue design, this drone has an HD camera and easy controls going for it.
The first thing that makes this quadcopter unique is the excellent first-person, live HD video. You can either enjoy a lofty view directly on your iPhone or Android smartphone or add a cheap VR headset to take your experience to a whole new level! Either way, the U45 Blue Jay’s live 720p 30fps video makes for a very exciting experience that you have to try to appreciate fully. Just be careful, once your friends get their hands on the drone you may never get it back!
Besides future-proof Wi-Fi 3D VR FPS (fun to say, isn’t it) the U45 packs a ton of other technology. It’s tricked out with one-button takeoff and landing as well as custom route planning. The latter lets you trace the desired flight path on your smartphone, and then your drone will head off magically to follow the path autonomously. In short, the U45 puts the U in UAV, which is unusual for the affordable price point. Once you’re done marveling at the live video, it’s time for some stunts! The U45 supports easy 360-degree flips and rolls. It’s a joy to fly and feels very nimble right out of the box.
So who is this for? We recommend the Blue Jay to two types of buyers: Get it if you’re looking for an affordable way to enter the world of FPV VR flying. Get it if you’re looking for a high-quality, yet affordable camera drone. See the common theme here? It’s a great drone, get it!
This beginner drone buying guide wouldn’t be complete without the brand new and excellent Holy Stone HS200W. What makes it special? Why, FPV HD video, great app control, and a low price, of course!
Let’s start with the camera: The HS200W creates a live 720p HD video feed right to your smartphone. Image quality isn’t 4K like our top camera drone recommendation, the DJI Mavic Pro, but it’s still great, especially for the price. You can also take two-megapixel photos with the HS200W, which is a 1280×720 resolution that’s perfect for sharing on social media directly from your phone.
The drone also offers automatic altitude hold which makes flying a lot easier. You can let go of the throttle, and the drone will securely maintain its altitude. That’s especially great for taking photos and videos, including selfies. Additionally, you get Headless Mode which realigns the drone if it gets turned around, as well as a well-functioning return home button that makes the drone come back to its rightful owner on demand (which is hopefully you). Return home is a less common feature for the low price of the Holy Stone HS200W but certainly very welcome, in particular for beginners. We also liked the four speed settings which help you to get started quickly and scale up as you gain more experience.
Lots of free accessories and spare parts, auto takeoff and landing, plus a well-designed LED visibility system top off the experience. There is really a lot to like about this quadcopter. This is a very complete beginner drone kit, we highly recommend it!
This drone looks like a cross between a heat-seeking missile and a GoPro (maybe with a snake mixed in). Well, it doesn’t just have a cool design but also great features, paired with an affordable price. What’s not to love?
The MJX X101 RC Quadcopter, just like the Force1 U45 Blue Jay, supports live 720p HD FPS drone flying, including through VR headsets. FPS drones are one of the fastest growing quadcopter categories. Why? FPV is a ridiculously fun and exciting experience. It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to soar through the sky using a virtual reality drone. We’re living in the future, people, and it’s awesome!
To support all this, the drone packs a 1200mAh battery for a 15-minute flight time. That’s a big step up from most beginner drones (in fact almost double that of every other competitor in this price class). It’s especially impressive given the fact that the drone transmits live HD video the entire time. Plus, if you turn off the live video the drone lasts even longer!
The X101 also includes flight modes specifically designed to assist beginner drone pilots. It offers Return Home, auto realignment if you get turned around, and a Throttle Limit Mode which makes it easier to control the speed. Moreover, the drone includes well-designed LEDs for limited visibility and night flying, plus precision hover for easy selfies and other photos. All that comes at a low price, making the MJX X101 RC a top starter drone, both regarding features and value. Definitely check it out!
Last but certainly not least on this list of the best drones for beginners is the bestselling DBPOWER UDI U842 Predator. You can tell from the name and the design that this drone is meant for stunts, racing, and other fun activities. Let’s take a closer look!
The UDI U842 is a great choice because it offers FPV real-time HD video transmission, excellent flight performance, and (you guessed it) a fair price. The FPV experience is similar to some of the other beginner drones reviewed here, featuring 720p HD video over Wi-Fi. You can even add a VR headset and experience a true first-person view. We highly recommend trying it as it’s a whole new way to do drone flying. It is virtual reality meets quadcopters, we’re geeking out! All that is powered by an interference-free 2.4GHz controller and a good 1000mAh LiPo battery for a solid nine minutes of flight time. DBPOWER also includes a second free battery, which is much appreciated. Of course, you can easily buy spare batteries to extend the fun even more.
Next up on the list of cool features is “Gravity Induction.” Say what? It’s a fancy term for a very fun and useful mode that lets you control the drone using your smartphone’s accelerometer. Some people prefer the included remote controller, but smartphone controls offer a very intuitive and easy way to get started. Try both and decide what you like better. The UDI U842 is a little larger than other starter quadcopters, resulting in increased stability and wind resistance. Overall, it’s a great drone starter kit. We love it!
The new Cheerwing Syma X8W is the best cheap drone in this test and one of the best drones for the money overall. It tops our list of cheap drones because if offers an excellent balance of features and value, plus solid reliability and lots of advanced flight functions. All that is usually reserved for much higher-priced drones, making it a great deal!
You might notice that the Cheerwing Syma X8W looks very similar to the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3. Both drones are affordable, so what’s the difference? The X8W is larger, offers a longer range, and also a longer flight time. In short, it’s a similar design but packs newer technology. You get Wi-Fi real time FPV video, a six-layer high-quality SLR lens that supports up to 90 degrees of rotation, and full smartphone support. All these features are great, making the Cheerwing Syma X8W our top pick!
The excellent 10-minute flight time is the result of an upgraded 7.4V 2000 mAh Li-polymer battery, which offers a longer experience and better overall performance. Additionally, you get a well-designed six-axis gyro that stabilizes the quadcopter very well, plus headless mode which re-aligns the RC quadcopter if you get turned around. The X8W also supports fun stunts like smooth 360-degree flips and rapid turns!
The Cheerwing Syma X8W is, without a doubt, the best new affordable drone on the market. This is a freaking awesome and very cheap quadcopter that’s loaded with cutting-edge technology. This balance between specs and value make it a good choice.
Next up on our list of recommended cheap quadcopters for sale is the AKASO K88. It’s one of the cheapest RC drones you can buy, but luckily it doesn’t skimp on features! Sounds good, right?
The first thing you will notice is this quadcopter’s innovative design. It’s build to last, offering a protective foam frame all around which protects the propellers and other parts. We test-crashed the drone at full speed on a gravel road (sorry, AKASO) and besides a few scratches the K88 held up perfectly. The drone also features useful LED lights all around the body. These are great for two reasons: They make it much easier to identify where the front and back are located when your drone is flying far away. Secondly, they make the drone a great choice for night flights and flying in less than ideal visibility. We also liked that the AKASO K88 offers two modes that make it easy to get started and then transition when you’re more experienced. The first mode is meant for beginners and allows for smooth and stable flying. Once you have mastered that, switch to High-Performance Mode, and the K88 turns into a high-speed beast! It can accelerate and turn rapidly, for exciting stunts and aerial acrobatics. The drone also supports on-demand 360-degree flips, quick rolls, and other mid-air fun that’s sure to impress your friends and family.
So what’s the verdict? The AKASO is an excellent choice and one of the best cheap drones on the market. You get everything you need to get started right away, plus lots of room to grow your skills. All that is on offer at a great price. Give this drone a try!
Virtually every drone store recommends the Syma X5C when you ask them about affordable drones. Here’s why: The X5C packs an HD camera, seven minute flight time, and an excellent remote into a competitively priced drone set. Oh yeah, and Syma even includes free spare propellers and blade guards, so that you can get started right out of the box and then enjoy this drone for a long time!
Measuring 16 by 12 inches, the X5C is one of the larger budget quadcopters for sale. This is a big plus (pun intended) as the added size and weight offer better stability and handling. The drone can fly even slightly windy conditions without an issue. It feels very solid. Surprisingly for its cheap price, the drone includes a 720p HD camera (that’s 1280 x 720 pixels at 30fps). Its real strength, however, lies in excellent flight performance. The drone makes it fun and easy to do quick turns, flips, and more. It’s a great choice for beginners and if you’re looking for a cheap RC drone that offers a lot of bang for your buck.
The X5C charges conveniently over USB in about 100 minutes, with a flight time of seven minutes. It’s always a good idea to get a few extra batteries as this will extend the fun significantly. Moreover, the X5C includes LED lights which make it easier to see for beginners. The LEDs also make the drone perfect for night flying, a really fun activity.
Last but not least, we liked the X5C’s controller. It feels just right, offers simple but full controls, and uses the reliable 2.4GHz band for interference-free flying. The X5C is a great choice, we highly recommend it!
The UDI RC Discovery is an upgraded version of UDI’s bestselling quadcopter. It offers lots of new technology, including a 720p HD video camera, four-channel controls, and a higher capacity battery. All this adds up to one of the best cheap quadcopters you can buy.
Similar to the AKASO K88, the Discovery features sturdy, round blade guards on all sides. This is an excellent design choice in practice, as broken propellers are one of the most common issues drone owners face. So unless you ram this quad into a rock formation at full speed, it has a chance of surviving accidents.
We should mention that the UDI RC is also one of the cheaper drones on the market in this size and feature class. You get a lot of value for your money here, including several flight modes for beginners and experts, a six-axis gyro stabilization system, and a very strong motor that’s designed to last. After testing it intensively, we’re convinced that the Discovery is one of the best affordable drones for the money. To be honest, if you go much cheaper than this, you may get subpar quality and all kinds of other issues. So if your goal is to save some money but still get a great drone, the UDI RC Discovery should certainly be on your shopping list. In fact, this drone is so affordable that it’s a fun idea to buy two or three and fly mid-air races with your friends and family.
We liked that you can share all your action videos and wild photos using either USB or Micro SD card. This makes it convenient to upload your adventures to social media or share it otherwise. Last but not least, the drone includes LEDs for easier low-light visibility and orientation. It’s a winner!
The Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 is the latest version of one of the most popular budget quadcopters. The good news? This third iteration offers lots of new and exciting features. This includes an excellent updated six-axis gyro stabilization system, convenient USB Charging, and live video streaming to your smartphone. The latter is very unusual for a quadcopter drone that’s this cheap and a lot of fun to use. Here’s how it works: Snap your Apple or Android phone in the controller, download the free app, and you’re set to go! While the video resolution obviously isn’t the same as, say, the premium DJI Mavic Pro it certainly is incredible to have live FPV video experience included in a super-affordable budget product.
Flying stunts and taking photos and videos is very easy. After unboxing the drone, it’s ready to go in about three minutes. After charging the Syma X5SW-V3 was off to its first adventure! During our tests we found the drone easy to control, yet responsive enough to feel fun. This is an important consideration for budget drones, as either the controller or the drone itself can often feel flimsy. Not so the Syma X5SW-V3! Its quality makes it a great choice for drone beginners and intermediate pilots.
The X5SW-V3 also scores high for convenience. For example, it offers headless mode which rotates the drone in the right direction to match your remote control. The added option to steer the drone via a free cellphone app, plus the included camera, make this an incredible value choice. There are lots of inexpensive drones for sale, but few manage to offer this much functionality and quality for such a low price. All this explains why the Syma X5SW-V3 is one of the bestselling budget quadcopters.
Another Syma product, the X11C RC, ranked high and made it on this top 10 cheap drones list. It’s available in sporty red and silky white. Both versions have two things in common: They’re affordable and a lot of fun to fly! So simply pick the drone that you like best, and you’re ready to go.
The X11C is smaller than most other cheap quadcopters on our list, measuring only 7.5 by 7.5 by 4 inches. Yet, it includes a solid 720p HD camera, an LED lighting system, and a strong motor – all in a tiny package. If you’re looking to buy a small, cheap camera drone, you might have just found the perfect match.
The Syma X11C RC is a great little quadcopter. Despite its compact size and 12-ounce weight, the drone handles well outside. It feels responsive and maneuvers even complicated flight patterns without a hiccup. The included LED lights work well and make it much easier to spot the tiny quadcopter when it’s further away, especially on cloudy days or in the evening. The onboard camera offers 720p HD video which looks more than adequate for the price. Keep in mind that drones in this price range usually don’t include a camera at all. We think this is a fair deal.
Should you buy this Syma X11C RC? If you’re looking for a fun little quadcopter to try that keeps your wallet happy and is cheap enough even for a small gift, then absolutely. You can also consider spending a little more and upgrade to the Cheerwing Syma X8W which offers a bit more bang for your buck but is also slightly larger and heavier. The choice is yours, both drones are fun to fly and affordable, too.
Among all the cheap drones with a camera we reviewed, the GoolRC JJRC H8 stands out because of its small size, ultra-cheap price, and high speed.
Let’s talk about the performance first! This little quadcopter hits about 30 miles per hour, which is insanely fast for a tiny drone, especially in this price range. We also liked the fast yaw rate of about four spins per second which makes for excellent and very stable flying. When testing the drone, we were surprised by its good range as well. The manufacturer claims 150 feet, but we were able to hit 200 feet without any issues, making this one of the farthest flying cheap quadcopters on the market. Moreover, the JJRC H8 features a return home button which makes the drone fly back to you automatically. This feature works great and is very convenient, especially if you’re a beginner.
When starting, keep the drone in beginner mode. Once you have a feel for how it behaves, switch to expert mode and get ready! This little quad will take off like a bullet, reaching high speeds and flying agile maneuvers. It’s A LOT of fun! For the price, we recommend buying a couple of these drones and racing your friends. You’ll have the time of your life without having to spend a lot of money.
In summary, the GoolRC JJRC H8 is a great choice if you’re looking to buy a drone that’s small, fast, and cheap. It’s hard to beat it in any of these categories and few other drones match it when combining all these considerations. By the way, the H8 is available in white, too, which some people might prefer for better visibility.
This list of cheap drones for sale would certainly not be complete without the sporty EACHINE H8S 3D Mini Quadcopter. What makes this blue UAV special are the strong motors and excellent controls that allow for advanced stunts and incredible flight performance. Let’s talk details!
One of the coolest things you can do with the H8S 3D is inverted flying. Say what? You heard that right! Unlike a lot of other budget drones with lower performance, the H8S 3D is powerful enough to easily handle upside-down flights, rapid flips, and crazy barrel rolls. Measuring only four by four inches, we debated whether to include it in this list of the top cheap drones or in our overview of the best mini quadcopters. Given its very low price, the H8S 3D makes the most sense as a budget recommendation. It includes LED lighting, automatic rotation readjustment (Headless Mode), and auto return-home! The best part? This drone, while very compact, can fly up to a distance of 300 feet, beating almost all other cheap quadcopters.
The drone is ready to go right out of the box and even includes spare parts such as extra propellers and soft landing cushions. You can charge it using USB, and it also comes with a small but well-designed remote controller. Given the super-low price, it’s somewhat surprising that the EACHINE H8S 3D offers automatic 360-degree spinning, a full LED lighting system, and more. It’s a very solid offering, ideal for people looking for affordability and a small form factor. You can certainly pick a worse budget drone and many others, including some much more expensive ones, don’t offer the many fun features included in this drone kit. Give it a try.
It’s a UFO! Our award for coolest looking drone goes to the UDI RC U845. The design, besides being awesome, protects the drone’s propellers from all sides and from the bottom. This makes the U845 a very forgiving cheap beginner drone. One of the most unique features of the UDI RC U845 is that has a hexacopter frame. Unlike a quadcopter with four propellers, this means that the drone is powered by six blades, giving it better lift and stability. It’s very fun to fly, especially once you connect your smartphone to the controller and see live video of what’s happening high up above. The U845 offers great stability features as well, including automatic posture control, precision positioning, and headless mode (realigning the drone if it gets turned around).
The package includes an extra battery, extra drone propellers, the transmitter, a lens hood, and a USB charging cable. It’s a complete kit, making for an easy and fun quadcopter experience right out of the box. While we always recommend getting a few extra batteries this set has all you need to get started and fly for a long time, which is great!
Like many UDI drones, the U845 includes the ability to automatically do 360-degree flips to its four sides (forward, backward, left, and right) as well as other assisted mid-air stunts. Yet, unlike other quadcopters, this UFO drone looks absolutely crazy when it flies. It’s really a sight to behold! Tip: If you’re looking for another cheap hexacopter drone with a standard design, check out the MJX X600 X-SERIES.
Babrit is a lesser-known drone brand, but they make one of the best budget drones we’ve tested, the Babrit Mast. What makes it different is a modern design, small body, and very stable flying.
The Mast quadcopter drone is quite compact, measuring only 6 by 6 by 2.5 inches. Incredibly, this drone and all the included technology weighs only a little more than one ounce! We added it to this 10 best cheap drones list, rather than our mini drone buying guide because of the low price. However, it would be a great pick for either type of buyer. The Mast includes a well-designed six-axis stabilization system that controls the four quadcopter propellers evenly for excellent control and stability. Like other top drones featured here, you can use it for slow precision flying, stunts, and racing. The drone supports automatic flips in all four directions and has a helpful return home function to recover it quickly.
What you get here is an updated redesign of the popular Floureon Yizhan Hexacopter. The new version sports four propellers instead of six. Both drones are great choices. The main differences are the quadcopter versus hexacopter design and the two colors. The Babrit Mast includes LED lights but no live video downlink. Yet, it offers a lightweight airframe, great handling, and a very portable size. It’s a tradeoff which is perfect for both beginners and people looking for a small drone they can easily take anywhere. We recommend the Mast RC Quadcopter if you love the sleek design and also suggest it if you’re looking for a fun, cheap drone.
The Hubsan X4 is the best mini quadcopter you can buy. Here’s why: It’s one of the only mini drones with a camera, includes an excellent remote control with a live video feed, and has an excellent range as well. If you’re looking for a high-quality and affordable small drone with a camera, this is an excellent choice!
The best thing about the Hubsan X4 is the innovative remote controller. Unlike a lot of other mini quadcopters, the controller is full sized, making flying the drone very comfortable. Best of all, it includes an awesome full-color screen on which you can watch your drone’s live video feed. In fact, the X4 is one of the only small drones that offers this premium feature at this size and price. The video has a 480p resolution which is not a very, but keep in mind that this drone is both tiny and very affordable. It’s a small tradeoff: If you’re looking for a high-end camera drone (1080p HD and 4K), the DJI Mavic Pro is a great choice – but the Mavic is neither cheap nor this small. Since you’re scrolling through this top mini drone buying guide, we assume you’re looking for a very compact quadcopter. For that, the tiny Hubsan X4 and its live camera are hard to beat. The choice is yours!
Speaking of size, the X4 measures less than five by five inches and weighs only seven ounces. Its control distance is a remarkable 330 feet, it includes a very good six-axis gyro stabilization system, and you can conveniently charge it using USB. It’s tiny and very fun to fly. Most importantly, you get excellent value for your money here, including live FPV video. All these features make the X4 the top mini drone with camera. You can find other X4 models right here including the higher-powered Hubsan X4 Pro.
Next up on the list of top rated drones is the EACHINE E010. Here’s the deal: It’s the best micro quadcopter if you want to save some money and don’t need a camera.
This drone is designed for having fun flying, skipping expensive video capabilities for a low price. Personally, we like this tradeoff since it makes the drone super-affordable, lightweight, and small. It’s a mere 3.5 by 3.5 inches! Most importantly, this tiny quad is very entertaining and offers a great overall experience!
The second best small quadcopter in our review features an automatic return home function, which is uncommon for a cheap mini drone. It also includes a comfortable and responsive remote that lets you perform fun stunts like 360-degree flips and rapid turns easily. Like some premium drones, the E010 offers Headless Mode, which automatically realigns the quadcopter to match your remote controller if you get turned around.
We also liked the very solid flight time, range, and quick charging speed of the drone. Tip: Always buy a few spare batteries http://amzn.to/2jVTHfb which help to extend your enjoyment significantly. Available in red and green, this RC drone is easy to use and fast, too! It’s our top recommendation for people looking for a simple, reliable, and no-frills quadcopter. In fact, this drone is so cheap that you can buy several and fly fun mid-air races with your friends and family.
Should you buy it? If you want a very cheap small quadcopter, absolutely. If you prefer a mini drone with a camera, consider the Hubsan X4 instead. Either way, you’ll have a blast!
AUKEY’s stylish new quadcopter doesn’t just look amazing, it’s one of the best mini drones you can get. This green-black drone looks incredibly tiny in the palm of your hand. Measuring only 3.5 x 2.5 x 2 inches and clocking in at three ounces, the AUKEY impresses with strong motors, stable flight, and app control.
One of the main reasons why this is one of the recommended top drones here is the excellent app integration, which is unusual for small drones. The app is well designed, offering two large round circles as joysticks. The left one controls altitude, and the right joystick controls the direction. The app also lets you set three different speeds from beginner to expert, which makes this a great small starter quadcopter. One of the best features is the ability to lock in altitude. The drone will stay at the same height automatically, allowing you to focus on directions and actual flying. Last but not least, you can switch control modes and steer the drone using your smartphone's accelerometer. Some people will love this, others will prefer traditional controls. Quick tip: If you find the drone hard to control, click the Balance Calibration button, which should fix the issue.
Any downsides? We found only a few, minor issues like that the drone is drifting slightly during flight. This is typical for ultra-small drones and not a big deal, though. Some of our testers also found the joysticks somewhat tricky to use, while others loved them. This product has a 24-month warranty, much better than most mini quadcopters. Because of all these features and the very low price, we recommend giving this small quadcopter a try and checking it out for yourself.
Another great mini quadcopter is the JJRC H36. It’s very similar to the EACHINE E010 regarding features, affordability, and quality. Both drones are great products and both rank very high in our best micro drone reviews.
The JJRC H36 Mini comes in a cool black and blue design and includes everything you need to start flying immediately. You get the quadcopter itself, plus a transmitter, USB charging cable, four spare propellers, and the manual. If you prefer an all-black design, that’s available too. The controller supports 360-degree rotation, automatic position realignment (headless mode), and automatic return home.
We also liked the how easy it is to control throttle and turns with the joysticks, and that you can fine-tune left and right steering with the side buttons. This makes for excellent flying that works for both drone beginners and pros. Our recommendation is to start out with all settings set to beginner and then gradually scale up as you get a feeling for the drone. Don’t adjust too much at once.
What this drone is made for is having fun, including with friends. Each controller offers two radio modes. So if you want to buy two of these cheap drones and race your friends, it’s very easy to do. Of course, you can also mix up the EACHINE E010 and the JJRC H36 Mini models. While JJRC is a different brand than EACHINE, both drones are almost identical, based on the same design, and equally recommended. Just pick the color you like best and get ready to have some crazy, mid-air fun!
One look and you’ll see that this isn’t a tiny quadcopter but a much more unique hexacopter nano drone. Say what? We mean that the MJX X901 features not four but six propellers, making this one of the most stable and overall best mini drones you can get. This product screams quality and looks awesome!
The Voomall MJX X901 is definitely one of the coolest mini drones. Designed in all black and with premium materials, it’s fast, powerful, and quite silent. Voomall thankfully included a great six-axis stabilization system which uses a gyroscope to balance and control the drone automatically. This makes for easy and very rewarding flying, especially for beginners. No frustration here! The drone also includes a small controller that actually works very well and feels comfortable even in bigger hands. Moreover, you get six replacement propeller blades (you may well need them), plus a USB charging cable to power up your little UAV.
Where the drone really shines is performance. It’s fantastic to fly, flipping easily on demand, flying both slow and super-fast, and making smooth turns. Sure it’s not as stable as larger, more expensive drones, but this is one of the best performing mini drones for sale. We should also point out that this little flier is quite tough! It suffered through four crashes and emerged unscathed. What’s the verdict? If you’re shopping for a fun, cheap, and very unique mini hexacopter, this is the very best choice. It offers excellent performance, top-notch speed, and a perfect drone experience. Plus, your friends will be very jealous!
On goes the list of the best remote control drones, no brakes here! Another mini quadcopter from EACHINE made it into this buying guide. The new H8 Mini is the best small drone for night flying, offering a great LED system that shows you exactly where it is even in low visibility. When you get the drone, simply charge it using the included USB cable, put three AAA batteries into the remote (not included), and you’re ready for takeoff! The EACHINE H8 Mini is very fun to fly and feels quite responsive. It offers what the company calls 3D tumbling. That’s essentially the ability to perform rapid 360-degree flips. It’s similar to other drones reviewed here and works great.
One note: We found the Return Home mode useful but also spotty at times. In our tests it worked reliably only about 80%, dropping the drone’s ranking behind some higher-rated competitors. To be sure, that’s still a decent result, but worth pointing out. The built-in LED system is very useful. There are two red and two blue LEDs which help you to quickly see where the drone is located and which direction it’s facing.
What makes the EACHINE H8 Mini a good choice is a cheap price, the small size, and the low weight. It’s a fun drone to bring in your backpack or simply carry around with you. As long as you have access to a laptop or other USB plug you can always charge it and have fun flying it. Another bonus is that the H8 is designed to be very robust. Minor crashes, scrapes, and accidents didn’t damage our test model. Your mileage may vary, but this is a solid drone.
Syma makes some great mini drones, and the X12 Mini Nano is one of the best mini drones for sale. This product is REALLY small, measuring only three by three inches. It’s mini, it’s nano, it’s fun! Plus, you get Syma’s proven quality which offers great peace of mind.
The Syma X12 Mini Nano Quadcopter is quite sophisticated. Even with its small size, it packs a ton of marvelous technology into the frame. You get very responsive controls, several minutes of flight time, and gyro self-stabilization. All these features make the drone a great choice for beginners and buyers looking for easy flying. One particular feature that really stood out is the low battery warning. It comes on about a minute before your drone runs out of juice, giving you enough time to safely return and land the quadcopter. We wish all mini RC quadcopters would offer this smart feature as it protects your drone and makes using it much more fun. A really great idea!
Why should you choose the X12 over other, similar small drones reviewed here? Well, all top-rated quadcopters on this page are fun to use. The X12, however, offers Syma’s brand name and positive reputation, a sporty red design, and a controller with a Flip Mode button that’s fun to try out.
Last but not least, the drone’s LEDs make it easier to see from far away and also open up the possibility to fly it in the evening. Here’s the deal: If you’re looking for a fun gift or simply a cheap mini drone for yourself, try this little guy! It combines very good performance, easy controls, and more into a very attractive offer.
Another good mini drone for sale is the OCDAY Nano. It offers a medium-sized drone body measuring five by five inches, with a height of three inches. That makes it a smart choice for people looking for a relatively small but not nano-sized quadcopter.
The OCDAY Nano Drone supports Headless Mode, which rotates the drone to match the direction your remote control is facing. This seems like an odd feature at first but actually comes in quite handy when left becomes right and you get completely turned around! Trust us, it happens all the time, so it’s nice to have a quick fix. Unlike a lot of other small drones, the Nano also has a button for automatic returns. Just press it, and the drone comes back to you. This is useful when you’re running low on battery or simply want to retrieve the drone conveniently. Flight performance is quite robust as well. Like many of its cousins, the drone offers multi-direction flips that work well most of the time. During our tests the drone performed well. We should point out, tough, that some online customer reviews mention quality issues. Some reviewers point out that their drone broke and rotors came flying off. We can’t confirm this first-hand but wanted to mention it to you. These days it’s hard to distinguish real and made-up reviews, so please do your own due diligence. Personally, we found the OCDAY Nano to be well-designed and reliable in this review.
If you have to choose, we would recommend the more premium Hubsan X4 or the EACHINE E010 mini drones as our top choices. The OCDAY Nano Drone is very affordable but doesn’t offer quite the same quality. It’s a tradeoff, lower price versus a few extra features.
Another mini drone that’s a fun hexacopter comes from Mokasi. The brand is lesser known in the USA but offers great drones with clever features. Let’s take it for a spin!
Small drones come in all kinds of packages, but this one can be stored conveniently right in the controller. This makes the Mokasi Pocket Drone a great choice if you plan to take it with you. Wherever you go, simply put this drone kit into your pocket or backpack, and you’re set for some quick quadcopter fun.
The Mokasi also features a three-color LED lighting system in red, green, and blue. The LEDs become very helpful when the drone flies further away from you. Since this hexacopter is very small it would otherwise be easy to lose track of it. Not so with LEDs! Typical flight features are on offer as well, including 360-degree flips, automatic stabilization, and Headless Mode to realign the drone. Moreover, the Mokasi Pocket Drone includes adjustable gyro sensitivity which is a nice feature to have as you transition from beginner to expert pilot.
The drone also comes with lots of accessories, including a 2.4Ghz transmitter, a USB charging cable, six propeller blade guards for extra protection, and six spare blades. The drone is ready to go right out of the box, but all these extra items offer fantastic long-term value and peace of mind. It’s great that Mokasi includes them. Overall, the Mokasi Pocket Drone is a great mini hexacopter. It flies well, is cheap, and incredibly portable. The smart controller storage design and the small body make it an awesome portable drone for when you’re on-the-go!
Last but certainly not least in this top miniature drones buying guide is the Sky Viper m500. Cool name, isn’t it? The name Viper hints at the design, which features sporty black and green that’s ready to dominate the sky! This small drone measures only two by two inches and is super fun to fly!
While the m500 doesn’t support automatic return home, it does come with a number of other flight assistance features. This includes automatic landing, auto liftoff, and quick hover – all at the push of a button. The drone can also perform flips and barrel rolls. The various autopilot features, paired with the strong body, make this drone great for beginners. In one flight test, the Sky Viper took off at quite a high speed and proceeded to crash head-first into a brick wall. Oops, it broke, right? Nope! The drone held up nicely and had only a few small scratches. This speaks to the quality of the materials used and the engineering of the drone. We found this UAV to be quite rugged. Curiously, the company claims that the drone comes with blade protectors, but our test product did not include these. It’s a minor inconsistency, but no big deal. Your set may be different. If you like its design and price, it’s worth a test flight!
The Viper m500 is small and light enough that it can be used both indoors and outdoors. If you’re looking for a cheap indoor drone, it’s among the top choices. It’s also a very good drone for kids. The manufacturer rates this model as an appropriate kids drone for ages 12 years and older (always double check the manual). We really liked the balance of small size and big performance here and the Sky Viper is a blast to fly.
Above we’ve covered the top camera drones, beginner drones, cheap drones, and mini quadcopters. But if you’re looking for the ideal drone for more specific tasks, this section is for you. Read on!
If you want to buy a very innovative selfie drone, the best choice is the new Zerotech Dobby Mini. It’s pocket-sized and weighs only seven ounces, which means you can take this hover camera anywhere. The Dobby is perfect for drone selfies because you can control it directly from your smartphone and see live photos and videos, too. Even better, the flying camera drone offers facial recognition for automatic pictures, follows people intelligently, and can take ten-second tracked videos of cool moments. When you’re done, you can send photos and videos to your phone with one click on the free app. The drone is very easy to use and the best choice for YouTube, social media, friends, and everything in between.Check Price Now
The Parrot BeBop 2 is one of the best camera drones with real-time video on the market. But this FPV drone kit makes this great quadcopter an even more compelling offer. It includes the Parrot BeBop 2 quadcopter, plus the fantastic Parrot Skycontroller 2 as well as Parrot’s new virtual reality Cockpit FPV Goggles. Get ready for an incredibly immersive live video experience. You will be able to see exactly what your drone sees in full HD. It’s hard to describe just how exciting it feels to fly through the air like a bird and forget everything around you. What makes this the best FPV drone is that you can also use the Bebop 2 as a regular drone. It’s the best FPV quadcopter and comes at a great price, too. Try it, it's an amazing experience!Check Price Now
There are many iPhone drones, but few offer a good quality and price. An exception is the new DBPOWER UDI U818A Wi-Fi Drone. It’s designed for easy iOS integration, connecting directly to your Apple smartphone or tablet. Enjoy live HD video and even connect a VR headset. This smartphone drone can be controlled using the included remote transmitter or directly from the free app. For the latter, you can either use the on-screen joysticks or your phone’s accelerometer. The integration works great and feels very responsive, making this the highest rated iPhone controlled drone in our reviews. FPV phone drones are a lot of fun, and DBPOWER’s kit is an easy and very affordable way to get started!Check Price Now
Cheerwing’s U42W Wi-Fi Android drone allows you to view live video and fly your drone – all at the same time. The smartphone-controlled drone uses a free app to let you stay in control. You can draw a custom flight route with your finger, and the drone will automatically follow it. Moreover, the Android app supports automatic takeoff and landing, fun 360-degree flips, emergency shutoff, different flight speeds, and more. It’s one of the most affordable Android controlled drones we’ve tested and offers a lot of fun for the money. Tip: If you’re looking for cheap Android drones, this is a great pick. If you prefer more features and a better camera, check out the Android-compatible Parrot Bebop 2.Check Price Now
If you’re looking for toy drones for sale, you’ve just found a great one. The NIHUI Mini Quadcopter is one of the best toy drones because it’s very affordable, easy and fun to fly, and includes a 12-month warranty. This toy drone with camera will put a big smile on your young pilot’s face! It has protective blade guards around all propellers which we think is a must for any good drone toy. Moreover, your child can perform fun 360-degree flips in mid-air, turn on the LED lights, and retrieve the drone with a convenient Return Home button. The cheap NIHUI set offers fantastic value for the money because it includes two batteries, spare propellers, and a USB charging cable. It’s a perfect toy drone for kids!Check Price Now
You can try to fly all drones at night, but it’s really only fun if you have a properly equipped LED drone. After all, you’ll want to see what your quadcopter is doing, right? Among all the drones flying at night that we tested, the AKASO K88 was the best. There are three reasons for this: First off, the K88 includes over four dozen LED lights that surround the drone on all sides. The LEDs are split into a blue and a red half, making low-light navigation super easy. Secondly, we love the extremely sturdy protective body of the drone which shields the propellers from crashes and hard landings. Last but not least, the K88 is easy to fly and perfect for both beginners and advanced drone pilots.Check Price Now
The best quadcopter for GoPro owners is called 3DR Solo. Just mount your GoPro to the bottom, and you’re ready to shoot amazing videos! The 3DR Solo is also the best drone for GoPro cameras because of its low price, easy smartphone integration, and excellent flight stability. Snap your phone onto the included controller, and you can shoot pro-level videos at the tap of a button. For example, the GoPro drone can automatically follow you, orbit a scene, fly in a line like a cable cam, and even take an aerial selfie! If the 3DR Solo isn’t a good fit, we recommend the Tokky GoPro Quadcopter. It’s one of the most affordable GoPro Drones for sale, very reliable, and easy to use. Both are an excellent choice!Check Price Now
If you’re interested in aerial drone photography and want pro-level photos and videos, your photo drone choice should be the new DJI Phantom 4. It offers everything you need from a cutting-edge drone for photography, including highly detailed 12-megapixel photos in JPG and Adobe DNG RAW formats, plus true 4K video. The Phantom 4 is designed for high-end drone photography, offering a 30 minute flight time and a range of three miles. You also get mechanical (instead of electronic) stabilization from an updated three-axis gimbal. Images look sharp, focused, and beautiful. All that makes the Phantom 4 the best drone for aerial photography, offering excellent long-term value.Check Price Now
Again, the DJI Phantom 4 comes out on top! It’s the best drone for filming you can buy. The Phantom’s high-performance camera shoots sharp videos in 4K at 30fps and 1080p Full-HD at 120fps for slow motion. All that is supported by a highly precise, three-axis gimbal. It removes virtually all shakes, vibration, and wind interference from your footage. The best part? This gimbal is entirely mechanical, so there is no cheating here with electronic stabilization. This means your videos will be true 4K or 1080p, without cropping! DJI makes the best drones for filming, and the Phantom 4 offers an excellent balance of specs and value. Tip: For 4K 60fps videos and 20MP photos, check out the Phantom 4 Professional.Check Price Now
So you’re looking for the best drone money can buy? No problem, let's do this! Among the top high-end drones, the DJI Inspire 2 reigns without equal. Its predecessor was the first professional camera drone in the world, and the new Inspire 2 takes all that to a whole new level. Sure, there are even more expensive drones, but this one offers the very best features, long-term value, and design for the money. Attach a Zenmuse X4S or X5S and get ready to shoot cinema-quality videos! Oh yeah, and this baby goes from 0 to 50MPH in just five seconds. It’s intense! No matter if you need a professional quadcopter or if you want the very best, the Inspire 2 is a fantastic investment with excellent resale value. Heads will turn when you fly this ultra-premium aircraft!Check Price Now
The best professional drone for sale is the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro. The Yuneec is the most advanced aerial photography and videography platform available for this price and in this size. It offers more than can be summarized here, including full 360-degree camera rotation, 30fps 4K video, a low distortion lens, and fully autonomous flying. The drone can intelligent orbit you or a point of interest, fly to preset waypoints and more. You get automatic sonar collision prevention, a five-rotor fail-safe, and a seven-inch Android-powered base station screen! This is by far the best commercial drone for sale, period. It’s also the best drone for real estate and other professional uses. This is a smart investment.Check Price Now
Among the top long-range drones for sale, the brand new DJI Mavic Pro is the very best. It offers an incredible four-mile range (that’s not a typo), while effortlessly streaming live video back to you! The drone folds down to the size of a bottle of water, yet is packed with powerful features such as a 4K camera, fully autonomous flight, and a three-axis camera stabilization gimbal. It includes five cameras and 24 computing cores to avoid obstacles automatically and can speed up to 40 miles-per-hour in Sports Mode. Video is streamed to a high-end, full-color screen. The DJI Mavic Pro is the king of all long-range drones and also generally one of the very best drones for sale. We highly recommend it!Check Price Now
This 150 size FPV racing drone comes ready to fly right out of the box. Unlike a lot of makeshift-looking FPV racing drones, the Rodeo 150 race drone looks streamlined, cool, and minimalistic. It takes off like a rocket and offers excellent handling, too. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor flying and can handle anything from rapid turns, quick acceleration, and aerial acrobatics without breaking a sweat. The Rodeo also includes a 600TVL night vision camera so that you can do FPV drone racing in any visibility. To get the full FPV experience with this sport drone while quad racing, use the Walker FPV Goggles. This is one of the best racing drones. Tip: Check out the 220 FPV LHI Carbon Fiber.Check Price Now
Are waterproof drones a thing? Yes they are! The best waterproof quadcopter comes from Goolsky and is called JJRC H31. It offers all premium features you would expect, such as automatic return home, six-axis gyro stabilization, and bright LED lights. The included RC transmitter is excellent and easy to use, plus it offers six-speed settings. But the coolest feature is, of course, that this drone is waterproof. You can fly it in the rain all you want, no issues! Tip: We like the Mariner Drone as well (known as Splash Drone), which can land on water and is a fully waterproof drone just like the Goolsky JJRC H31. Both are great, so pick based on your goal: Rain flying or water landings.Check Price Now
There are big drones, very large drones, and then there is the Night Lions Monster. Aptly named, it is one of the world’s largest quadcopters. This thing is a beast, measuring a ridiculous 37.5 inches across! It also happens to be the highest-quality big drone for sale. It flies smoothly and has a robust plastic body. When it takes off, you think you’re seeing a real helicopter take flight. It’s a lot of fun to fly this large quadcopter, and your family and friends will think there’s an invasion going on in your backyard. The motor is very powerful and theoretically even able to lift objects (don’t try that please). In short, excellent power and stability, plus a good price, make the NL Monster the best of all large drones for sale.Check Price Now
The best Arduino drone is called 6D-Box MWC. As you can tell from the name, it’s an Arduino quadcopter that’s based on MultiWii (MWC) code. This makes it perfect for beginner hobbyists that want to learn engineering, assembly, and coding. The kit includes everything you need to get started, like a PI2303 module, flight control board, frame, propellers, and of course four 720CW motors to power the whole thing. Best of all, this Arduino drone set is very cheap, and the quality is fantastic. Get it, it's fun and challenging to build! By the way, if instead, you’re looking for to build a Raspberry Pi Drone you can find great starter kits here. Also definitively read some tutorials on how to build a great Raspberry Pi Quadcopter first.Check Price Now
A video is worth a thousand words, right? If you want to learn the basics of how to fly a quadcopter, check out this very helpful drone flying tutorial from our friends at CNET.
Let’s also quickly talk about basic drone flight terminology: Pitch is when you tilt your quad forward or backward, and roll is when you tilt it to the left or right. Yaw controls the angle of rotation, meaning clockwise or counter-clockwise. Lastly, throttle refers to the speed of the rotors. Not every drone manual will use these terms, but those are the different ways to move your UAV. More often than not, these basic controls are assigned to the two joysticks on your transmitter or in the app.
If your drone offers it, we highly recommend starting out with all auto-pilot and flight-assist features turned on. You can also use automatic takeoff and landing, as well as convenience features such as Headless Mode if your drone gets turned around. Starting out this way is a smart move since it will help you get a feel for how the drone behaves and also prevent frustrating accidents. Once you feel confident, you can move to manual flying and be way better equipped to handle your quadcopter.
The first thing you should learn is how to take off, shortly hover, and safely land again. So take off and stay close to the ground at the beginning as you may crash the drone accidentally. The slower the speed and the lower the altitude, the milder the first hard landing will be. Makes sense, right? Next, learn how to rotate your quadcopter left and right. Then you can practice slowly flying forward and backward, left and right. Practice flying simple paths in the shape of a circle, square, and triangle. Get a feeling for how your drone moves and before you know it you’re ready for anything. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can practice flying higher up and flying the RC drone further away and back. Have fun!
So you’ve graduated from beginner drone pilot school and are ready to take it to the next level? Congratulations! Try more advanced techniques such as smoothly flying complex figure-eight patterns, flying to specific waypoints and back efficiently, rapid altitude climbs, and doing aerial stunts if your drone supports it. There are so many possibilities, including taking awesome photos and videos of the world from above.
We get it, nobody likes to read manuals. In this case, it’s worth it, though. It’s important that you know your drone’s safety instructions, how to turn it on and off (including in emergencies), and what cool features is has (think auto return home, hover mode, and how to connect it to your smartphone). So we recommend taking a few minutes and learning the basics of your shiny new UAV! It will pay off big time for many months to come.
Some drones can fly even in windy conditions, but generally, we highly recommend to fly your drone only on calm days with good weather. Sudden wind gusts can throw off your RC quadcopter and make it crash, which is no fun. So if wind speeds pick up to more than 5-10 miles per hour, it’s time to give your quadcopter a break and come back when blue skies await.
If your drone has a built-in GPS, it's a very good idea to use it. Not only will it help you to bring back the drone conveniently with the Return Home function, but you may also be able to use it to fly preset waypoints. Either way, GPS assisted flying is easier and more fun, letting you focus on piloting the drone and taking great photos and videos.
Crashes happen, and often you can quickly and cheaply fix your drone with a few spare parts. In our reviews, we went through 20+ extra propellers and many spare batteries. You can find extra drone propellers here and additional quadcopter batteries here. We also recommend getting a solid drone backpack or hard-shell drone case, which will make it easy and convenient to store and carry your quadcopter.
It’s entirely possible that your drone will have a hard, unintentional landing at some point. The best way to stay out of trouble is, therefore, to fly your drone in a wide, open area outdoors where emergencies, loss of control, and crashes will have a minimal impact. We recommend starting in a large field or open terrain where drone flying is allowed, far away from people, obstacles, power lines, and water. This is one area where it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry.
There are federal, state, and local drone laws, so make sure to research them before starting to fly. Some common sense rules that are also laws include not to fly over people, crowded events, airports, public buildings, and national parks. Also, always keep your drone in a line of sight, so you know how it is behaving. Never fly your drone higher than 400 feet above the ground (this rule may change over time!) and always stay far away from all other flying objects. Last but not least, make sure to make your quadcopter return back to you with plenty of battery power left. As you can see, these rules are common sense but still double check your local regulations before taking off.
Most drone kits come with many parts to get you started. However, from experience, we can say that a few cheap add-on accessories are a smart move. First off, you should get a some extra batteries. They are usually very affordable and will extend your fun significantly. Just charge them up before you go outside and you can fly multiple times longer. Next up, spare rotors are a good investment. They’re one of the most common drone parts that break during accidents and having a few extra ones allows for quick repairs.
Many UAV owners also recommend getting a good drone backpack or drone carrying case. It’s a great accessory that helps to protect your investment and keep all parts organized. Those are the top drone accessories we recommend. You can also check out screwdriver sets for easier maintenance and repairs, range extenders, and landing pads to practice your flying skills.
Oh yeah, before we forget, if you’re interested in a first-person video experience, take a look at these drone FPV goggles. It goes without saying: Always make sure that the accessories you buy are compatible with your drone model.
There are a lot of different types of drones, please see the reviews above. Generally, drones split up into different classes based on how many rotor blades they have. There are Tricopters with three blades, Quadcopters with four rotors, Hexacopters with six, and even Octocopters with an incredible eight rotors. For beginners and for most uses we recommend quadcopters. They offer excellent stability, many different models, and good value.
The easiest way to do this is to check out our top recommendations above. You can also take a look at more detailed reviews in our list of the top 10 camera drones, top 10 beginner drones, top 10 budget drones, and top 10 mini quadcopters. If you want to look at which drones are most popular right now, check out this list of the current bestselling quadcopter drones.
That depends on how you want to use your drone. Take a look at the four highly-rated quadcopters above which cover the most popular applications. You can find a list of bestselling drones right here.
Absolutely! There are several great drones that follow you with a camera and without. The best ones are the DJI Mavic Pro and the DJI Phantom 4. Both use intelligent tracking to follow you or your subjects for perfect photos and videos. By the way, if you’re looking for a selfie drone that follows you, check out theses Mini Selfie Quadcopters. They hover right in front of you and snap impressive images and videos you can share.
Let’s talk about FAA drone registration: If your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds, you must register it, even if you only plan to fly it recreationally (meaning for fun and not for work). You can do so quickly and easily right here. If your UAV weighs over 55 pounds and if you plan to use your drone commercially, other rules apply. See here and here for more information. Keep in mind: Nothing on this page is legal advice and laws may change, so always do your own due diligence and stay compliant with all laws and regulations.
UAV stands for unmanned aerial vehicle. It’s more commonly known as a drone, remote controlled drone, or RC drone and sometimes also referred to as UAS (unmanned aircraft system). Many people say quadcopter, by the way. That’s only correct, though, if the drone they’re talking about has four rotors. You can read more about UAVs at Wikipedia.
In theory, some drones like the DJI Phantom 4 can fly up to an altitude of 1,500 feet. However, legally you’re only allowed to ascend up to 400 feet in the United States because of FAA and other regulations. That makes sense since you certainly don’t want to interfere with other aircraft or endanger people. Obligatory Disclaimer: Nothing on this website is legal advice and laws change, so always do your own due diligence and stay compliant with all laws and regulations.
Drones are marvels of modern technology, packing cutting-edge engineering and science into a very small frame. If you’re interested in find out more, take a look at this article on how drones work from HowStuffWorks.
In short, no. Not all drones need Wi-Fi, though many smartphone drones use Wi-Fi to communicate with your Apple or Android device. Most drones are radio controlled which sends an invisible signal wirelessly between the drone and the transmitter. The frequency is measured in hertz (Hz), which you will often see on the box of your drone. To prevent two signals from interfering, most drone radio transmitters and receivers are paired using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). This way your drone knows which transmitter to listen to! Most remote control drones use the 900 MHz frequency for radio transmission. Higher frequencies, for example in the 2.4 GHz range, are used for Wi-Fi. Last but not least, your drone might use GPS signals for navigation. This utilizes microwave technology to broadcast signals directly to GPS satellites.
Almost all drones do not need the internet to fly. Some specific models may offer firmware and software updates when you connect them to the web, but those are optional. Keep in mind that some drones use a Wi-Fi signal to connect with your phone and tablet. This is a local network that helps the drone send video and receive control instructions. This does not mean, though, that the drone connects with the actual internet.
Absolutely, the best drones have cameras, which makes them a lot of fun to use. Often, you can see the drone’s camera video feed live on your smartphone and tablet. You can find a huge list camera drones for sale right here.
Yes, some drones have built-in LED lights. This makes them easier to see when they fly further away or when visibility is limited. Lighting also makes it possible to fly your drone at night! Check out this list of LED drones you can buy.
Most drones cannot fly in the rain because they have sensitive electronics. There are a few notable exceptions, though. The Goolsky JJRC H31 is waterproof and can operate in the rain without issues. The Mariner Drone can also fly in the rain and additionally can land on water, which is pretty cool. Take a look at both of these models and the more comprehensive list of waterproof drones here.
This depends on the drone you’re flying. We heard of people flying drones in up to 30MPH wind, though we personally would recommend not flying your drone if the wind picks up beyond 10MPH. It’s definitely better to be safe than sorry here, as a sudden strong gust of wind can make your drone crash and break. Instead, fly your drone in calm, beautiful weather.
If you live in the United States and want to use your drone commercially (i.e. for work or to make money with your drone), you will need to get a certification. You can find more information on FAA UAV regulations here, and a list of FAA approved aeronautical knowledge test centers here. There are additional requirements, such as that you are vetted by the Transportation Security Administration, get an RPC (Remote Pilot Certificate) with a small UAS rating, are at least 16 years of age, pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months, and more. Quick note: Regulations may change, so be sure to check out the newest requirements. We’re not lawyers, and nothing on this website should be considered expert legal advice. Always do your own due diligence.
We receive a lot of emails asking what the best drone manufacturer is and which drone companies are most popular. There are several UAV companies that make high-quality, bestselling drones. Here’s an overview with links to their products.
Parrot Drones makes the bestselling Parrot Bebop Drone and Parrot Bebop 2 Drone. They also sell the affordable Parrot AR Drone. So far, we’ve liked each and every Parrot Drone we’ve tested. They offer great features and value for the money.
Holy Stone drones are similar to Syma quads, blending good features with affordable prices. The best Holy Stone drones are the HS170 Predator, the Holy Stone F181 RC, the HS110 FPV Drone, and the new Holy Stone HS200W FPV RC Drone with HD camera. All of them arefun and affordable.
Yuneec makes some of the highest-end drones on the planet. The company’s extensive features and cutting-edge technology even rivals market-leader DJI. The best Yuneec drones are Yuneec Typhoon H and the even more advanced Yuneec Typhoon H Pro. The Yuneec Breeze Flying Camera is great, too.
Cheerwing is a toy manufacturer but makes some very solid beginner quadcopters. The three products we recommend are the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 Explorers, the CW4, and the Cheerwing Petrel U42W. All three offer all important basics and are fairly priced, too.
Cheerson’s most famous drone is the tiny Cheerson CX-10. It’s available in a lot of cool colors, including blue, green, orange, pink, multi-color, and even gold. You can find a list of all Cheerson drones for sale by clicking here. Simply pick the color you like best and get ready for one of the best mini-drone experiences.
This list of drone companies wouldn’t be complete without Hubsan. Their most popular drones are the small but feature-packed Hubsan X4 as well as the bigger and more powerful Hubsan X4 Pro. Both are ridiculously fun to fly and very easy to learn. We highly recommend trying them.
Blade makes a lot of small and mid-sized drones. Their most popular product is the sporty, yellow Blade Nano QX. It’s small enough to fly in any room and can also handle itself outdoors. It’s fast, reliable, and super fun to use, making it a very popular choice as a cheap beginner drone.
Drones from Aukey look sleek and stylish. The company uses a stylish black and green design for their quadcopters which you can see in the AUKEY Mohawk, the Black Sparrow, and their bestselling AUKEY Mini Drone. All three have a good price in common.