Drones have become a staple among hobbyists these days. Initially used by the military to carry out dangerous missions, these unmanned aerial vehicles have extended their use to the public and are now a common fixture when it comes to aerial photography and videography.
Drones have been constantly on the rise in the United States due to lenient laws on flying them. If you happen to be looking for one yourself, the list below features the best drones that are available in the market today.
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Skeye Pico Drone
The Skyeye Pico Drone has been tagged as the world’s smallest drone, but don’t downplay this drone just because of its size. This micro quadcopter can fly with premium accuracy and even hides a couple of tricks up its sleeve, including the ability to perform flips, spins, and even aerial dives. All these features are made possible with its 6-axis flight control system and gyroscope.
When it comes to a piloting a drone, even the most seasoned flyers know that it is never easy. Besides, nobody wants to crash a hundred-dollar toy on its maiden flight. With the UDI U818A, you won’t have to worry about breaking your drone to smithereens if it crashes into the ground. Not only is it designed for beginners but it also aims to make flight control as simple as possible.
As one of Parrot’s best drones, the Bebop is built for intermediate to professional drone users. It is small and lightweight while packed with superior capabilities. The Bebop has a tough interior but is easily repairable in case it eventually breaks. This quadcopter can be piloted with the use of a tablet or smartphone or with the optional Skycontroller.
Odyssey Toys Pocket Drone
This little quadcopter may look like an iPhone, but it is actually pretty impressive. The Odyssey Toys Pocket Drone is capable of being folded into a small rectangle that can be easily slipped inside a pocket. Its controller comes at fairly the same size, allowing you to conveniently bring the whole unit around.
Dromida Ominus FPV
The Ominus FPV comes in four colors: red, yellow, green, and blue
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition Quadricopter
As one of the pioneers in the drone industry, it is only fitting for Parrot to develop the best hobby drones in the business. They made sure not to disappoint with its newest addition—the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Power Edition Quadcopter. The Power Edition comes with a solid black color scheme with colored rotors and improved battery life that runs up to a staggering 36 minutes.
Despite all that’s mentioned, hobbyists would agree that the real appeal of the Parrot is its ability to pull some tight maneuvers such as cornering and barrel rolls. So if you happen to be on the hunt for a quadcopter that is fast and easy to fly, then the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is the best for you.
DJI Phantom 3 Standard
Price: $799 (SRP) to $499 (lowest price)
DJI has been a household name for drone hobbyists everywhere. The DJI Phantom 3 has proven to be one of the company’s best models yet. This ready-to-fly quadcopter comes complete with a built-in camera that is capable of capturing 2.7K resolution video and 12 megapixel stills. Expect steady flying thanks to a three-axis gimbal and its Intelligent Flight Mode feature.
Turbo Ace Matrix
Price: $1,599 (SRP) to $999 (lowest price)
The Turbo Ace Matrix is an undisputed leader when it comes to aerial video and surveillance. It can take unobstructed stabilized videos even at 18,000 feet elevation. The Matrix’s abilities even extend toward chase sequences that exceed 60 mph to pre-programmed long distance flights in 40 mph winds. All these features are achieved along with its 40 inch wingspan.
The Matrix flies at a record breaking 25–40 minutes thanks to its 8,000mAh battery. The whole drone can even be folded for easier transport. This is the ultimate drone that is specifically built for epic journeys and jaw-dropping photography.
Hubsan X4 H107D FPV
Even with its small size, the Hubsan X4 V2 H107L manages to integrate a camera into its body. While the previous models introduced by the company did not include a live feed, Hubsan made sure that this model does. The FPV (first-person view) allows users to see what the camera is seeing through a 4.3-inch color LCD screen in the control unit.
Parrot Rolling Spider
While on the topic of mini-sized drones, it is time to explore the king of mini drones: the Parrot Rolling Spider. This handheld drone has a flying range of 20 meters and can fly at speeds of up to 11 mph. This smartphone-controlled drone allows users to perform barrel rolls and back flips while flying.
It may look delicate due to its size, but the Rolling Spider is designed to start its engines once dropped, making hovering a lot easier to control. The battery will last up to 8 minutes and recharges to full for approximately 90 minutes.
The Rolling Spider comes in a trendy design and three different colors: green, red, and white.
Blade 350 QX V2
GoPro mounting drones are so popular that it is sometimes hard to determine how one can stand out from the rest. With the Blade 350 QX V2, you can expect a user-friendly drone that is equipped with fun features that are sure to impress even the most seasoned hobbyists. This quadcopter won’t only safely mount your GoPro, but it is also capable of doing a number of aerial tricks including some pretty impressive flips and rolls.
If you have your eyes set on any of these drones, do know that not all of them are equipped with GPS tracking capabilities. So it is best to prepare for that dreaded “flyaway” drone situation by installing a GPS device on your quadcopter. Trackimo is an affordable GPS tracking device that offers a number of features that allow you to easily locate a missing quadcopter or prevent it from flying away in the first place.
Use the geo-fence feature to set a safe perimeter, which prompts the device to alert you in case the drone flies beyond the preset area, or simply log on to Trackimo’s companion app to monitor the drone’s whereabouts during flight.