Take a walk in any park during the warmer months of the year, and you’ll undoubtedly see someone looking up into the sky with a controller in their hand. What are they doing? They’re flying drones. But not all drones are made equally, and there are various different types of quadcopter drones on the market.
This year alone, we’ve seen numerous new drone models introduced, and when you pair that with the fact that there were already hundreds of models already available in hobby shops and on Amazon, the number of drones available is staggering. With all of the RC drones for sale, picking the right drone for your needs can be a daunting task. So if you’re looking for a new flying drone to tinker with, it’s important that you know what you’re buying. Here are the top 5 best drones for beginners right now:
See Also: Hottest Toys of 2018
1. Sky Viper V950
One of the best-looking drones for sale is the Sky Viper V950, which comes with a 720p HD camera for videos and pictures. Most notable about this green and black drone is its incredibly tough Duraflex body — this thing can take a beating (seriously, I’ve crashed mine over 50 times and I haven’t even needed to change any of the propellers yet). Like the Syma X5C, it also is able to perform flips with the simple touch of a button, and you can control the direction of your flips with the right joystick. The controller is shaped like a gamepad, so if you’re familiar with gaming, you’ll feel right at home controlling the Sky Viper V950. This drone also comes with a 4GB MicroSD memory card that allows for up to 20 minutes of flight footage. Finally, I’ll note that it might be of particular interest to those Pokemon Go players out there, as it has landing feet underneath it that make it perfect for strapping your phone to for hatching those 10km eggs (and yes, I’ve done it). I’ll also note that I included another Sky Viper drone in our list of the best small drones for sale.
- Awesome look (green and black)
- Incredibly durable
- 720p camera
- Comes with 4GB MicroSD card
- Landing feet
- Not as portable as smaller drones in the price range
- Camera footage isn’t great
2. Udi U818A 2.4GHz
If you’re just getting into the hobby, I recommend something a little cheaper than the Parrot Bebop 2. The Udi U818A is widely considered to be the best of the drones under $100. It uses a 6 axis gyro that will allow you to position the drone as needed. It has 4 channel functions that will allow users to operate it easily with stable flying. It has a flight time of roughly 9 minutes and its battery can be fully charged in under an hour and a half. It doesn’t have the 1.25 mile range or the 1080p video that the Parrot Bebop has, but it is a great starter drone for those interested in the hobby who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to determine if it’s truly for them. It holds a 3.8 out of 5.0 star rating on Amazon.
Price: $59.99 (40 percent off MSRP)
- Ease of Use
- Bumpers (not easily damaged)
- Flight duration (9 minutes)
- Best Beginner Drone
- No 1080p
- Not as many features as newer drones
- Old-looking controller
3. Syma X5C
Syma also has a drone that comes in at a slightly lower price point than the Udi U818a, but it’s not necessarily intended for newbies to the hobby. Instead, this flying drone is intended for the intermediate users who still don’t want to spend their entire paycheck on a drone. The Syma X5C is the #1 best selling drone on Amazon, and it holds a 4.1 out of 5.0 star rating from over 3,271 customers. This drone works both indoors and outdoors, and it has a 7 minute flight time. It’s charged fully in 100 minutes. It uses a 6-axis gyro stabilization system so that it remains stables during flight. What’s more, this flying drone has a dedicated flip button that allows you to perform flips in any direction with ease. Although it sports a basic look by having an all-white shell, you’ll be able to impress those around you with your one-button flips.
- Priced under $50
- One-button flips
- High User-Rating
- Indoor/Outdoor Use
- Lower Flight Time Than Udi
4. Parrot Bebop 2 + Skycontroller
The Parrot Bebop line of drones is highly underrated. Out of all of the drones I’ve personally had hands-on time with, the Parrot Bebop 2 is in my top three favorites. Its controls are incredibly responsive, and the resulting footage that it captures is great for more purposes. It captures at 1080p video with 14MP photos. It has a flight time of 25 minutes, thanks to its 2700 mAh battery (which is easily swapped out for a second, by the way). Using the Skycontroller makes flying your drone even easier by adding two physical joysticks, although it is able to be controlled with just your smartphone/tablet. What’s more, the Skycontroller expands your range to 1.25 miles.
The Parrot Bebop 2 also has a great physical design to it. It has an almost menacing look to it, with a ghost white and black shell that sports a unique shape that you won’t find on any other RC drones. When you factor in its price compared to its quality and features, the Parrot Bebop remains one of the best flying drones for sale right now. It’s the easiest high-quality drone with a camera that you can find, so if you’re looking for a good entry-level video/photography drone, this is the best choice.
- 25 minute flight time
- 1.25 mile range with the Skycontroller
- 1080p video, 14MP stills
- Cool look
- Easy to Control
- Hefty price for those who are new to flying drones
- Requires FAA registration
5. Kodo HD
The Dromida Kodo HD is the latest drone from Dromida, and it’s a great addition to their lineup. This drone has a similar body shape to the Parrot Bebop, albeit it’s much smaller. In fact, it is just 4.17 inches in length and weighs under 1.5 ounces. It’s one of our new favorite toy drones on the market, and you’re going to see it included on many of Heavy’s holiday toy lists later this year. For now, I’ll note its portability first, as its small size (and small controller size) make it perfect for throwing in a backpack and taking to the park or beach with you. In fact, I’ve even thrown it in my daughter’s diaper bag for beach trips. Most notably for a drone in its price range is the fact that it has a full HD 1080p camera onboard, and it comes with a 4GB memory card for recording your footage. With its high fidelity camera, you’re able to capture unprecedented quality pictures and clear videos unlike anything else in the price range. You’re also able to control the drone’s camera angle to capture the shot you’re looking for. What’s more, it comes RTF (ready to fly), so you just have to charge up the battery and you’re good to go.
- Full HD 1080p Camera
- Awesome look (yellow and black)
- Highly portable
- Includes 4GB MicroSD card
- Battery Life (flight time is only about 5 minutes)