So young padawan, you would like to join the burgeoning ranks of drone pilots? There is always room for another. It’s certainly easy to see the attraction. Drones allow you to soar into the skies, capture bird’s eye views, and execute cool tricks like flips and spins. Check out our list of the best drones for beginners in our section below.
5 Best Beginner Drones of 2018
There’s a lot to be considered when you start shopping for your very first basic quadcopter. You want a beginning model that is easy to use but still gives you the complete experience.
Let’s take a look at five of the most popular choices for the best drones for beginners.
The X902 Black Spider Mini by TEC RC has a lot of the features you would look for in a starter model. First, it has what appears to be an upside down layout with the motors and propellers mounted to the bottom. This helps add stability and let’s face it, it looks really cool! It still has a lot of the fun stuff you find on more advanced models like the ability to perform a 360 flips and features a flashing LED light for cruising in style at night.
The inverted design also aids in safe guarding the propellers from accidental damage. The remote transmitter and receiver work together to deliver a responsive experience. You also won’t get a lot of interference with the 2.4GHz technology and you’ll fly smoothly with the 6 axis stabilization system.
This unit also offers variable speed control so you can begin nice and slow then kick it into high speed once you get the hang of things. Recommended for ages 14 and up, TEC RC does not recommend this unit for younger children. This small unit measures just 3.7 x 3.7 x 0.8 inches and weighs a mere 0.6 ounces. It may be small, but that makes it great for learning and earning your wings.
The GoolRC T36 Nano Drone is another great first quadcopter and our pick for the best toy drone. First, don’t miss that this is a nano sized quadcopter. It will actually fit in your palm. That means you will have no problem practicing your flying skills inside before taking it out to the streets. Another thing we dig about the T36 is the price tag, $20! For the price of a couple movie tickets, you can get started with the hobby of flying drones.
GoolRC didn’t skimp on the features either. Even though it’s a small quadcopter, it still includes all the big features like the 2.4GHz technology and the 6-axis gyro stabilization system. You also get 3D flip capability and other fun perks like one key return and a flashing LED light. It measures in at 85 x 85 x 35mm and weights just 21g.
The T36 Scorpion comes in red and black or yellow and black color options. It is a sleek looking nano drone. You get about 5 minutes of flight time on one charge and a control distance of 30m. While these aren’t the best specs ever, hey it is 20 bucks. It is a great way to decide if you or your kid will enjoy the hobby and you can always upgrade to a faster and larger model down the road.
If you want to go as cheap as possible, this here is your guy. This is the best beginner quadcopter for the price. It’s not going to last a long time, but heck it’s probably going to meet its end in a fiery crash anyway, right? This is the smallest entry on our list at a nano like size of 1.8 x 1.8 x 1 inches and 2.2 ounces. The CHEERSON CX-10A is a lot of fun in a very tiny package. The CX-10A comes in a variety of color styles so you can find one suitable to you or your child’s tastes.
It does feature LED lights and a little two joystick controller. It also has anti interference technology with its 4 channel 2.4GHz frequency. The whole thing easily fits into your palm which means there is almost no space too small to fly this quadcopter. It charges quickly using a USB charger so it’s almost always ready for another adventure. You’ll get a flight time of up to 8 minutes thanks to its lightweight airframe and 100mAh lithium battery.
If money is no issue, we suggest checking out DBPOWER’s drone. It is our top pick for the best beginner FPV drone. It is more expensive than the other options on our list but it’s more durable and has a longer flight time (which comes in quite handy for flight practice). This drone even comes with a HD camera, which is capable of capturing video at 720P @ 30 FPS which makes it gain the title of the best video drone for beginners.
It has an alarm that goes off it you’re battery starts to get low, a headless mode which helps with stability, and 360 degree flip abilities that is a real head turner. Another thing we like about this product is that DBPOWER included an extra battery and a 4GB micro SD card. Between the two batteries, you can get up to about 20 minutes of flight time. The operation range on this beginner drone goes up to 80 meters.
With the controller and a mounted smartphone with the DBPOWER RC app installed, you actually get FPV capability as well. It doesn’t work perfectly and requires WiFi, but the fact you get to test the technology out and see what it’s all about without spending $500 is really cool. This is our clear choice for the best beginner drone with camera. The U818 is the best drone for beginners and kids alike.
This easily made our list of the best beginner drones and quadcopters. It has been a best seller in the quadcopter category for quite some time now. It is easy to see why: a fair price, reliable build quality, and user friendly design. The Syma X11 is also the largest quadcopter on our list. It weighs in at a full 13.6 ounces and measures 13.8 x 7.9 x 3.5 inches.
Even with its size, it still functions well in both indoor and outdoor settings with its 4 channel remote. It comes with a guard to protect the propellers as well as a full extra set of 4 props since accidents can and will happen especially with beginner pilots. Another thing to love about this model is that it has two speed settings to flip between, so you can start on the slow speed and master it first. The low speed is also great for indoor flying and the high speed for outdoor flying.
It also includes a 6 axis stabilization system and a 2.4GHz spread system technology controller. Four double AA batteries are required for the controller and the 150mAh Li-Po battery for the drone itself takes about 40 minutes to fully charge and delivers about 7 minutes of continuous flying. All things considered, the Syma X11 is one of the best starter drones out there.
General Thoughts on the Drone Flying as a Hobby
Careful now friend, everyone who tries quadcopter seems to fall in love with the hobby of drone flying. From customizing their quadcopter’s appearance to making continuous improvements to get the fastest speeds and longest battery life, things can get pretty addicting. It’s become such a popular hobby that new people are joining the movement every day. It certainly isn’t the cheapest hobby you could take up, but you could do a lot worse.
This may pique your interest and prompt you to ask what the best quadcopter for beginners may be. We think the models in the $15-40 price range are your safest bet. It is a great way to get your feet wet and decide if you enjoy flying drones or not. And, if you do get yourself into a nasty crash you aren’t going to be heart broken you’re out 20 bucks. Furthermore, if the drone is for a kid or kid(s) crashes are bound to happen and you want something everyone can learn on before you make a step up to a high performance drone.
One of the best parts about the drone hobby is that it gives you an excuse to go play. It is a fun thing for families and individuals alike. In the rat race world we live in, the idea of stepping back for a bit and just letting it all go for a couple hours has a special appeal. Once you get a quality FPV drone, you’ll be able to fly and explore the world from a completely new point of view which can truly be refreshing.
Why Buy a Beginner Drone
There are a lot of benefits you are rewarded with when it comes to purchasing a beginner level quadcopter as opposed to a more expensive, advanced model. Beginner drones in our opinion are the best drones to learn to fly on.
- Low Cost. First and foremost, price is a factor. Generally speaking, cheaper models don’t have all the advanced features of the more pricey units but the quality ones still have all the basics covered. The best part is that it allows you to really get the quadcopter experience without having to invest heavily into something you may not love. Of course, when you do fall in love with soaring with your quadcopter and decide to upgrade, you can always pass your first love on to someone new.
- Speed Settings. Another benefit of the beginner models is that they tend to have variable speeds and work well for indoor as well as outdoor use. Furthermore, you can flip them to a low speed setting as you learn and get the hang of things, then once you have built up your confidence you can switch to the high speed setting.
- Durable. Quadcopters made for beginners tend to be both tough and light. Many beginner drones will have removable bumpers you can put around the propellers to form a protective barrier around the drone. Beginner drones also are often made to launch off of a hand toss making it easier to experience your first flights when your takeoff and landing skills aren’t on point yet. The fact that most have variable speed so you can go faster as you build skills is perhaps the best reason to purchase a beginner model.
- Skill Building. Start small and work your way up. Words of wisdom. You don’t want to start out with something with a top speed of 50 MPH. That’s just asking for trouble. Plus you could fly into your neighbors brick house and bye bye droney drone. It is rewarding and much more pleasurable to progress over time and build your skills from the ground up.
What to Look for When Buying a Beginner Drone
You now have a lot of great reasons to check out quadcopters designed specifically for beginners. But, where do you start? What features are the most important to look for? What is the best drone for beginners? In this section, we highlight the top factors and specs to consider before clicking that buy button.
- Flight Time. Smaller, lower cost drones typically come with flight times ranging from 5 to 10 minutes. It isn’t much, and it is one of the main arguments for making a case to spend a bit more money for a drone that comes with a larger battery. Basically high capacity mAh battery + light weight drone = very long flight times.
- Propeller Bumpers. Propellers are the most commonly broken component of quadcopters. When they are exposed, they are much more likely to snap or get damaged in the event of a collision. Find a drone beginner model with bumpers that protect the props. You may want to look at one with removable bumpers so when you’re ready to take the training wheels off, you can.
- Spare Parts & Extra Battery. Spare parts and extra batteries come in clutch and the best brands will include these in the box. You’ll get more flight time from the extra battery, and delicate parts like propellers can then be easily replaced with your backups.
- Variable Speed Switch. A variable speed switch is a great addition to any drone for a beginner pilot. You can flip the drone to its lowest speed setting when you first start out and then slowly increase the speed as your skill increases.
- Control Distance. Ideally you’ll get a unit with at least a 40 meter control distance. That’ll ensure you can pilot your drone around from the comfort of your couch without having to walk around and trail it to prevent it from losing signal and going haywire on you.