7 Best Drones for Beginners: Your Buyer’s Guide

Best Drones for Beginners

Amazon

Take a walk in just about any park during the warmer months of the year and you’ll most likely see someone looking up into the sky with a gadget in their hand. What are they doing? They’re flying drones, of course. Not all drones are made equally however and there are many different types of quadcopters on the market.

There have been many improvements made to drones over the last couple of years. When you pair that with the fact there were already hundreds of them available in hobby shops and on Amazon, the variety available is staggering. With all of the radio-control drones for sale, picking the right drone for your needs can be a daunting task.

If you’re looking for a new flying drone to tinker with (and you don’t quite know what you’re doing yet), it’s important that you know what you’re buying. Here are the top 7 Best Drones for Beginners right now.

Sky Viper V950HD Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Comes with 4GB MicroSD card
  • Landing feet
  • 720p camera
Price: $169.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Ryze Tech Tello Mini Drone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Simple interface and controls
  • Takes high-quality video and photos
  • Great value
Price: $99.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Udi RC U818A Axis Gyro Quadcopter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Nine minute flight duration
  • Ease of Use
  • Rugged propeller bumpers
Price: $44.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Syma X5C 4-Channel Explorers Quadcopter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • May be flown indoors and outdoors
  • High ratings on Amazon
  • One-button flips
Price: $55.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Holy Stone HS110G Drone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Drone housing smooth and durable
  • Comes with carrying bag, controller, and two batteries
  • Flight app helps to train new pilots quickly
Price: $129.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Snaptain SP650 Pro Camera Drone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Multiple stunt settings
  • Many advanced control features
  • HD camera records clear video and takes nice photos
Price: $109.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Ruko F11 Pro UHD Camera Drone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Simple to learn
  • Long flight time
  • Stunning ultra HD video capabilities
Price: $329.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Sky Viper V950

    Pros:
    • Incredibly durable
    • 720p camera
    • Comes with 4GB MicroSD card
    • Landing feet
    Cons:
    • Not as portable as smaller drones in the price range
    • Camera footage isn’t as sharp as we'd like
    • Customer service is non-existent

    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; I’ve crashed mine over 50 times and I haven’t needed to change any of the propellers yet.

    Like the Syma X5C, the V950 can perform flips with the simple touch of a button and the direction of your flips may be controlled 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 will hold up to 20 minutes of flight video.

    Finally, it might be of particular interest to Pokemon Go players that this drone’s landing feet make it perfect for strapping your phone to hatch 10km eggs (yes, it actually works). Another Sky Viper drone is on our list of the best drones for sale.

     

  2. 2. Ryze Tech Tello Mini Drone

    Pros:
    • Great value
    • Simple interface and controls
    • Takes high-quality video and photos
    Cons:
    • Tough to fly in any sort of wind
    • Wi-fi connection can be spotty
    • Updates difficult to install

    DJI is a leader in the drone market and their low-cost Ryze Tech Tello Mini Drone is absolutely perfect for beginning flyers. There’s no need for additional equipment; just pull out your phone to fly anytime or anywhere. This drone has two antennae that make recording video good and stable while the high-capacity battery offers some decent flight times, especially compared with other drones on our list.

    Complex tricks may be performed with simple taps on your phone screen. Equipped with a high-quality image processor, Tello allows for impressive photos and videos even if you’re just learning to fly. Tello is also programmable using Scratch, an open-source coding system for kids and teens to learn the basics of programming. This is a great low-barrier drone for wannabe serious fliers.

  3. 3. Udi RC U818A Axis Gyro Quadcopter

    Pros:
    • Price
    • Ease of Use
    • Rugged propeller bumpers
    • Nine minute flight duration
    Cons:
    • No 1080p video
    • Not as many features as newer drones
    • Old-looking controller

    If you’re just getting into the hobby, I recommend something that doesn’t cost a lot. The Udi RC U818A is widely considered to be a great starter drone and it costs less than $100. It uses a six-axis gyro that will allow you to position the drone as needed. It has four channel functions that will allow new pilots to fly it easily with a stable operation.

    Flight time is roughly nine minutes and the battery can be fully charged in just under 90 minutes. It doesn’t have a huge signal range (around 30 meters) or 1080p video however, it is an excellent drone for beginners to start with. New pilots interested in flying won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to determine if the hobby is truly for them. Plus, the Udi RC U818A is just plain fun to mess around with.

     

     

  4. 4. Syma X5C 4-Channel Explorers Quadcopter

    Pros:
    • One-button flips
    • High ratings on Amazon
    • May be flown indoors and outdoors
    Cons:
    • Plain-looking
    • Short flight time per battery charge
    • Noisy motors

    Syma has a drone that comes in around the same price point as the Udi U818a, but it’s not necessarily intended for pilots who are complete rookies. Instead, the Syma X5C is intended for the intermediate user who simply doesn’t want to spend their entire paycheck on a drone. The X5C is one of the best-selling drones on Amazon with close to 6,400 ratings made.

    This drone works well both indoors and outdoors and features a flight time of approximately seven minutes. The battery will recharge fully in 100 minutes. A 6-axis gyro stabilization system ensures stability during flight. What’s more, this quadcopter has a dedicated button that allows you to perform flips in any direction with ease.

  5. 5. Holy Stone HS110G Drone

    Pros:
    • Flight app helps to train new pilots quickly
    • Drone housing smooth and durable
    • Comes with carrying bag, controller, and two batteries
    Cons:
    • Return mode can only be controller, not a set location
    • Some phones may not fit into included controller
    • Airplane mode required for phone to connect to drone

    The Holy Stone HS110G Drone is equipped with GPS location services so it can memorize its takeoff point and return automatically when the signal is lost or power is getting close to running out. The auto-return button will also send it home as well. The kit comes with a carrying bag, a controller that interfaces with a smartphone, two modular batteries, and the HS110G itself. All that gear comes in really handy.

    The HS110G may be set on a specific flight path of your choosing or instructed to automatically follow if required. Flight time with the batteries fully charged is approximately 26 minutes with the range of control at 984 feet. An onboard 1080p HD camera can also record sound along with visuals. 

    Finally, the HS110G is great for beginning fliers because of its altitude control system. Stable flight is achieved even if the pilot is a little inexperienced with the stick. The accompanying flight app makes things a lot easier to learn quickly and grasp necessary skills sooner.

  6. 6. Snaptain SP650 Pro Camera Drone

    Pros:
    • Many advanced control features
    • HD camera records clear video and takes nice photos
    • Multiple stunt settings
    Cons:
    • Clunky looking controller
    • Battery life shorter when using Wi-Fi for video
    • Flight app could use a design upgrade

    This little quadcopter is probably the best drone for beginners on our list from a company you’ve never heard of. The Snaptain SP650 Pro Camera Drone is highly rated on Amazon with a large number of reviews. People really love this beginner’s drone and it’s easy to see why.

    First off, it’s easy to learn. Just one tap will have the drone take off, land, or return automatically. The SP650 Pro is equipped with altitude hold, headless mode, and three speed functions making it user-friendly for beginners, rookies, and even kids. The 2.7K Ultra HD camera records crystal clear aerial photos and 2976 x1680 videos at 25 frames per second. With a 120-degree front of view and 90-degree adjustable design, you will catch every moment of your flight.

    This Snaptain drone features smart voice control and gesture control. Just say which direction you wish the drone to fly or pose for the camera to trigger the camera shutter. On top of that, it can perform stunts like flips, circle fly, and high-speed rotation. Trajectory flight modes allow the pilot to draw the desired flying course on the phone, too.

  7. 7. Ruko F11 Pro UHD Camera Drone

    Pros:
    • Stunning ultra HD video capabilities
    • Simple to learn
    • Long flight time
    Cons:
    • Expensive for this class of beginner drone
    • The manual is really terrible
    • The phone to controller clip can be sort of hit or miss depending on your model

    I thought that the Snaptain was going to be the only company on our list that I never heard of but I was wrong but that’s okay. The Ruko F11 Pro UHD Camera Drone is perfect for beginners and experienced fliers alike. It features stunning 4K ultra HD picture quality and 2.9k video. And while more expensive than other drones on our beginners’ list, it won’t break the bank, either.

    The drone is equipped with an upgraded 2,500mAh intelligent battery that provides up to 30 minutes flight time. Better still, the kit comes with an extra battery to extend your flight time to 60 full minutes. Charging takes less than four hours and the adapter is included as well.

    Live video transmission is possible as far away as 500 meters depending on conditions. The F11 Pro is simple for rookies to learn and is equipped with functions such as auto-return, FPV, tap fly, headless mode, one-key takeoff and landing, and more. What are you waiting for? Get this drone and get flying.

How Do I Get Started Flying Drones?

So you want to get into the drone flying craze? Congratulations! It's an incredibly fun hobby and you're going to have a great time. There are a few things to consider before launching into your first drone, however.

Like any other hobby that's out there, flying drones requires patience, practice, and a budget depending on how into things you want to get. Off-the-shelf drones, like the ones on our list here, come in a wide variety of price ranges.

That's good because you'll want to spend some time practicing with a cheap toy. Here's why: you're going to crash. Like, a lot. Drones are crazy little flying machines and because of their size, weight, and capacity to do a lot of wild aeronautics, they will end up on the ground often.

Luckily, small consumer-grade drones are light and durable enough that they should get too heavily damaged. Your mileage may vary. It's possible to have a lot of fun with a drone costing less than $100 (and sometimes a lot less) so don't worry too much about getting the best of the best your first time out.

That said, if there are extra propellers available for your particular model, stock up on a few. And because flight time is typically limited to around ten minutes per charge, you should pick up some additional batteries, too. Some of the drones for beginners on our list come with accessories like extra batteries and the like.

Drones that are ready to fly (RTF) are great to learn with. Start small with inexpensive toys ("Great for kids!") and get good at flying first. Then you can climb the ladder to higher quality quadcopters. You may even want to build one of your own.

Video games are out there meant primarily for racing drones but there's no reason you can't use them to practice, too, once you obtain a better quality drone kit. These games are called simulators and there are many of them for your PC or Mac. You'll need a good radio controller to use with titles like FPV Freerider and Velocidrone.

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