Maybe you’re looking to kill some time and have fun, maybe you’re interested in aerial photography, or maybe you just want to spy on your neighbors. Whichever it is, we can’t image a better way of doing it than getting yourself a remote-controlled quadcopter (or RC drone, if you will). Seriously though, don’t spy on neighbors, whether you’re flying or not – it’s not cool.
There are tons of different types of drones out there, some cost just a few dozen dollars while others come with triple-digit price tags. If you’re a beginner, you probably don’t want to spend too much on your first drone, but you also want it to be easy to control.
We’ve put together a short but carefully selected list of Top 5 drones for beginners. Whether you want to record high-definition panorama videos or just do some crazy 360-degree flips in your backyard, or anything in-between, we’ll have something for you.
Crystal-clear 4K Video
Drones are fun to fly, but being able to record your flight in a birds-eye view in Ultra HD resolution brings a whole new level of immersion and awe. The Phantom 3 SE is the most affordable drone capable of 4K. It comes highly recommended for beginners and amateur drone enthusiasts primarily because it is extremely easy to fly. Compared to the standard Phantom 3, you’ll get improved video quality (4K @ 30FPS instead of 2.7K), increased live video feed range (2.5 miles instead of 0.5 miles) and the new visual positioning system which allows you to utilize Phantom’s automated flying and hovering functions when you’re indoors and GPS is not available. Other features include 12MP photo stills at a 94-degree field of view, 3-axis gimbal stabilization, 25 minutes of flight time and smart auto-pilot features that make this drone almost impossible to crash.
Have you ever thought about having superpowers? What about being able to fly? Meet Parrot Bebop 2 FPV, an entry-level drone which comes with Parrot Cockpitglasses, a VR-like headset that puts you inside drone’s First Person View. This proves an incredibly immersive experience – once you try it, you’ll never want to go back to regular drone flying. With the Bebop 2 FPV pack, you’ll also get the Skycontroller 2, allowing you to pilot the drone more easily with physical joysticks. The controller also has a wireless antenna built-in, extending flight range to 1.2 miles. The 2700mAh battery will allow for 25 minutes of flight-time, and the 14MP fish-eye camera can record 1080p videos at 30 FPS. Beginners will be happy the know the Bebop 2 has safety measures built-in, such as being able to automatically return home and land should it detect the battery is low on power.
A whole lot of goodies for the price
As a beginner drone pilot, you might want to practice your flying skills on a cheap RC quadcopter, so that even if you destroy it or lose it, it won’t cost you a small fortune. The Syma X5C is quite a versatile toy drone despite having a very low-price tag. It has a basic, but durable plastic design with protective frames around each rotor and the camera. Speaking of camera, it comes with a 2MP sensor that can shoot HD video. Though it has no in-flight live video transmission, it does have built-in LED lights, so you can see where it is even in dark. You’ll be able to fly for about 7-10 minutes on a single charge and within a range of 160ft (50m). 360-flips at a press of button? Check. Aerial photography? Check. 6-axis gyro stabilization? Check. Spare parts included? Check. For a price of $39 USD, we’d say that’s a whole of fun in one package.
Discovery is back and it’s better than ever
After major success with widely popular U818A and U818A Discovery, UDI RC has recently released yet another version update – the UDI RC Discovery 2. This is a beginner drone with a 1MP HD (1280×720) angle-adjustable camera. It allows for 15 minutes of flight time which is above class average. What’s exciting is the FPV (First Person View) feature, meaning you’ll be able to see what your drone sees in real-time. This achieved via a Wi-Fi connection with your smartphone or tablet. You can use the same App to control your drone using the touch screen. Or, you can use the included remote controller which extends flight range at the same time. The Discovery 2 has altitude control functionality (automated hover mode) as well as automatic take-off and landing.
Sports car of a drone
While camera drones are always fun and useful, many drone enthusiasts are perfectly okay with a drone that is just that, a drone. No camera or fancy FPV view. There are several versions of Hubsan X4, and there is a version (H107C) with a camera and another (H107D) that has both a camera and FPV mode. However, neither of those is cheap, fast or agile as Hubsan X4 H107L is. This is an ultra-lightweight mini-drone that is perfect for beginners who just want to have fun flying around and possibly do some racing. It can do flips in either of four directions and compared to its brother, has longer battery life (9 minutes) and larger range (100ft/30m). We almost forgot to mention, it also has a mean, white-striped, black design that reminds of sports cars!