Best Drones for Beginners

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone 2.4Ghz 6-Axis Gyro 4 Channels Quadcopter Good Choice for Drone Training

Learning how to fly a drone means crashing a drone…a lot. If you’re not interested in wrecking a device that costs hundreds, consider this inexpensive option from Holy Stone.

Pros: Headless mode is a subtle but crucial tweak. Instead of orienting direction to the drone, it orients it to the controller. That means when you steer left it will move left by your perspective no matter where the left side of the drone itself is facing. You can also make it flip and roll with the push of a button, because the object is still to have some fun, right?

DBPOWER Discovery WiFi FPV Camera Drone

Like that old gum ad, the DBPOWER Discovery doubles your fun in the field, thanks to an extra battery pack that you can switch out between flights. Whether you’re spending time with your child or simply want another crack at capturing that epic shot, this is your drone.

ProsListen, if you and your son or daughter are really going to give this drone thing a go, the first accessory you’ll need to buy for any drone is a backup battery. The Discovery already comes with one, boosting total flight time to up to 18 minutes. You also get a 720p (HD) camera, one-button takeoff and landing, two speed settings, and altitude hold.

ConsWe have a sneaking suspicion that the reason this drone included an extra battery is that it squandered the first: With as little as six minutes of flight time per battery, you may want to choose a drone that does more with what it’s got. Also, the critical “return home” function is absent, which can be especially useful for inexperienced pilots wishing to avoid dropping their drone from the sky after losing track of time.

SNAPTAIN S5C WiFi FPV Drone

It’s rare that a company’s screw-up is actually good for consumers, but the fact that Snaptain gave this drone a feature set we’d expect on a model twice the price shows that this is one of those cases. For about double the price of entry-level models, you get a ton of functions that can take your drone flying from zero to hero.

necessary skill to develop, but the S5C’s altitude hold function, which hovers in location, is absolutely crucial for the greatest variety of shots. And about those shots: 720p video (the lowest still considered HD), recorded in the ideal youTube aspect ratio, is ready to go shortly after capture, thanks to its proprietary editing app. Premium functions like one-button takeoff and return, flight plan plotting (via your connected smartphone), and three-speed settings allow for a marked latitude for such an affordably-priced drone.

ConsIts 10-minute flight time is fine but not great; its video and still capture is better than the basic but far from the quality you would need to create things for anyone other than extended family. Still, for a first drone, you could do far worse.

Parrot Mambo FPV – Complete Starter Pack for Drone Racing

This is the inevitable toy that combines drones and virtual reality, two big toy trends at the moment. It is, in a word, awesome.

Pros: The banner headline here is the first person capabilities that come with the VR headset. Kids can fly their drone and look at the sky through it’s camera, an insanely cool feature we’ve not seen on any other models.

Cons: With a battery life of just 10 minutes, expect to do just as much charging as you do flying.

Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone

While we’re reserving judgment until more flight time, the reality is that a landslide of Amazon buyers can’t get enough of this category-leading entry-level drone.

ProsTwo batteries. A max 100-meter range. An auto-return button. Pick a spec and this machine either does it better or twice as long as others on this list. There’s a reason it’s so popular. HD video is on par with others on this list; its two-megapixel camera takes stills similar to others. And with four speeds to choose from, you can go from hurtling through the air to floating across the horizon with ease.

ConsOur only gripe — and one we expected more customers to report — was its lack of first-person view (FPV) via a connected smartphone screen. In essence, most copters come standard with an ability to see your scene as you capture it. This drone does not, meaning that you’ll have to previsualize footage and stills and simply hope you captured them. Because of this, it’s not our favorite for footage, but it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser for speed demons and those who don’t mind being surprised when they check out what they shot.

— that seem tailor-made for novice drone pilots.

Pros: The GPS features on this drone are great. The follow me function does exactly what it sounds like: follow your phone around from above, which we can definitely see being useful for more creative amateur videographers. You can also use your phone to select a location on a map and the T25 will automatically navigate there while maintaining its altitude.

Cons: It couldn’t fly without its lightweight plastic construction, but some reviewers have said that video can be a little shaky as a result. It also has a 10 minute flight time, a shorter than we’d like raidus that limits the utility of its GPS features.

Parrot PF728000 ANAFI Drone

There are people who dip a toe into a cold pool, and others who cannonball right in. The Parrot PF728000 is for those who want to throw themselves into the world of drone photography. Upgrading every possible area is costly, but the quality, for the ambitious, just might be worth it.

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