12 Best Drones for Beginners to Get You Off the Ground

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Having been in the industry for a long time, we can claim we have seen it all. We have seen surveyors who bought drones for cartographic data only to end up buying photographic drones. Those who buy the right drone end up frustrated as they can not use them because of their skill level. It is why we have written this review on the best drones for beginners. This article will not only help you understand more on drones but also enlighten you on which drone is best. Later when your skill has developed, you can buy more complicated drones.

Best Drones For Beginners FAQ

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We have used this product FAQ section to answer the most commonly asked questions on drones. Through this section, one will get a better understanding of what to look out for when buying the best drones for beginners, how to use a drone and the technical side that makes it fly.

1. What Is a Drone?

In layman terms, a drone is an aircraft that is not manned. By this, we mean that no pilot is controlling it, unlike in a conventional aircraft. It can either be controlled from a control room { for larger and complicated drones} or by using a simple remote for smaller drones such as those used by photographers and hobbyists.

2. Picking the Best Drones for Beginners

As a beginner, it can be a challenge to pick the right drone. Some drones may be cheap but poor quality while others may be expensive but lack the much-needed features to make your drone experience fulfilling. The following factors should be considered when choosing the best drones for beginners;

  • Flight time
  • Speed
  • Range
  • Controllers type
  • Return to Home
  • Onboard Camera

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As a beginner, you do not want to have a drone that flies for 3 minutes. Always look out for a drone that has a flight time of at least 5 minutes as the longer the flight time, the better. The faster a drone can fly the better as it helps to enhance your experience. Though budget drones do not have a wide range, the ideal range is at least 100 meters. When we refer to the range, we are talking about the distance in which a drone can fly from the controller.

A return to home feature is the ability of a drone to return to its point of origin or to where the controller is when it detects that the battery is low or when it is out of range. This feature is beneficial as it prevents the drone from getting lost. From experience, most beginners do not know what to do with a drone except to have fun. It is why we recommend that beginners should always have a drone that has an onboard camera. This will help enhance your user experience and make it worthwhile. The best onboard camera should be at least 720p.

3. How to Fly a Drone

This is the most exciting part for a beginner. Though we will discuss this, it is essential you make sure you have read the user manual before you turn the motors on. Once you order the drone on Amazon, it will come in parts for you to assemble. When using a drone, expect the following terminologies;

  • Standard Prop
  • Pusher Prop
  • Brushless Motors
  • Motor Mount
  • Landing Gear
  • Electronic Speed Controllers
  • Flight Controllers
  • GPS Module
  • Gimbal
  • Battery Monitor

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Standard props refer to the front propellors of a quadcopter. The front propellers are crucial as they ensure that air flows down the drone creating lift. Though most of them are plastic, those made of carbon fiber are of better quality. In case you want to use your drone near people or indoors, then it is recommended that you use propellor guards.

As a beginner, always consider drones that use brushless motors as they are more efficient and increase the flight time. To maximize your drone experience, always make sure that your motors are regularly inspected and are free from dust. You can tell if there is something wrong with the drone based on the sound it emits.

The best drones for beginners should be those whose screws on the motor mount is not too tight. This is because tight mounts may cause the frame to crack. It is always wise to check the level of tightness and if it is too tight loosen them. One reason we insist beginners buy drones one with a valid warranty is that they can easily return it in case they notice any cracks.

Though there are different drones one can buy, we recommend beginners to buy drones that have a landing gear as this will help protect the cameras and sensors from damage. If you plan to use the drone for photography, then the best drone would be one with a retractable landing gear so you can have a 360-degree view of the environment.

An electronic speed controller has several uses such as acting as a dynamic brake, controlling the motor speed and controlling the direction of the drone. A flight controller is a device that interprets the information as instructed by the user.

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The best drones for beginners should be those that have a GPS module so they can have features such as a return to home feature and the ability to use a compass for waypoint navigation. The ability of a drone to have a GPS module should not be overlooked as beginners can always set it to a failsafe home point. This is where the drone flies back to in case it loses contact with the controller.

A drone Gimbal is used to mount a camera or a sensor when one needs to upgrade their drone. Do not buy a Gimbal because it is the cheapest in the room. A great Gimbal will enable you to take great pictures due to factors such as the ability to rotate over 90 degrees and to absorb drone vibration for a stable view.

Since most beginners may get carried away and forget to monitor their battery use, it is advisable for them to get drones with a battery monitor. This will show the battery level on the flight controllers and ensure the drone does not fall off the sky.

4. What Is a Drone Pre-Flight Checklist?

Most beginners overlook this crucial step. A pre-flight checklist is a manual designed to keep your drone safe and optimize your user experience. The two main checklists include;

  • Weather Checklist
  • System Inspection

Weather Checklist

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The first thing one should do when checking the weather is ensuring that they do not fly their drone in a windy and rainy environment. Even though it may not be windy on the ground, the conditions may be different 300 feet in the air. If you have a reliable weather app, then it is best to use it. The advisable wind speed should be around 15 knots.

Drones should never be flown at night as this may cause a collision or damage the drone during landings. Always ensure that you have three statute miles of visibility before take off. Other factors to consider include the potential of electromagnetic interference and establishing a potential emergency hover zone.

System Inspection

The first is to ensure that a visual check of the drone is done to ensure all parts are correctly attached and there are no signs of breakage. Inspect the screws so they are not too loose or too tight. The second inspection should revolve around the Gimbal. Here, you are to ensure for proper calibration so you get a perfect view of the sky from the ground. If you have flown before, then it is wise to use a microfiber cloth and clean the lens of your camera.

It is crucial that proper calibration of the compass is done each time one flies. This is because a compass uses a magnetic field to direct the drone from one location to the other and the magnetic fields vary depending on location. After the compass is calibrated, confirm whether the GPS is functioning correctly and then set the home point.

Check the flight mode to ensure it is suitable for photography or filming depending on the intended purpose. Once you are satisfied that the drone is ready for use, then it is advisable to re-check the wind speed and if it is ideal for taking off.

5. What Are the Safety Precaution Measures to Consider?

Apart from a pre-flight checklist, there are other safety precautions that a beginner should always ensure they carry out to protect both property and human beings. The first precautionary measure is when one is about to crash. Here, you are expected to lower the throttle to zero. This will decrease the engine power and reduce the chance of an injury. The second measure is to make sure that your fingers are far from the propellers when they rotate.

How We Reviewed

best drones for beginners: drone phantom dji professional

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The products on our best drone for beginners list were reviewed based on their features, pros and cons, where to buy and warranty. They were selected from hundreds of drones in the market. The selection process was not automatic as an elimination approach was used to determine which was suitable for beginners and which is worth your time and money. We are therefore satisfied that this is an unbiased best of list.

What We Reviewed

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Best Drones For Beginners

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Features

The Altair Aerial 818 Hornet made it on the top list of our best drones for beginners because it is suitable for use by people of different skill levels. It comes in yellow and has an impressive design and quality. It is worth to note that it is FAA registered. As a beginner who wants to try out photography or videography, then this is an ideal choice. Another factor that makes it suitable for use among beginners is that it is built from high-quality plastic that ensures it absorbs most of the impact force when it crash lands.

Unlike other drones in the market, this has a rubber cushioned landing gear that ensures that there is no damage to the body during impact touchdown. As a tech enthusiast, you have the chance to link the drone to a smartphone so you can watch live HD videos thanks to a 720p Camera. Other features worth mentioning about is an altitude hold mode for perfect photography and a one-touch take off landing mechanism. When the wind speed is ideal one should expect a flying time of around 15 minutes. With an additional battery, you can have a flight time of 30 minutes. It has a maximum range of 150 meters and a video range of 60 meters.

Warranty

The product has a one-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Extra Props
  • Quality build
  • Smartphone compatible

Cons

  • No GPS
  • Long charge time

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Features

The Holy Stone HS170 is one of the best drones for beginners because it’s suitable for kids and it’s easy to use and fly. A unique aspect of this drone is that it can suddenly stop when it loses control because of strong winds. Here, all one has to do is to pull the throttle back. It is suitable for hobbyists and beginners who are interested in photography as it has a 720p HD camera with an option of upgrading the SD card. The drone has a dull polish that gives it an aesthetic appeal and is made from ABS plastic. The design makes it wind resistant.

It would be unfair if we did not mention that this drone is made from 3D flips which gives it the capability of performing impressive stunts. It is suitable to use in poor visibility thanks to LED light attached to it. It is a fast charger as it can charge in six minutes. In optimal conditions expect the drone to have a range of around 50 meters and the capability of traveling over 10mph.

Warranty

It has a 30-day free return policy for units that are defective.

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Features

The Syma X5C is suitable for use by children and beginners. It is easy to use and control when compared to other models in the industry. It is known for its flashy look that makes it a beauty to behold. One of the main features of this device is that it incorporates a 6-axis Gyro stabilization software that makes it possible for the drone to be more flexible and stable during flight time. Its design makes it wind resistant and to add sugar to honey; it can be used for both outdoor and indoor entertainment. It is simple to assemble because of its modular structure.

The latest model of the Syma X5C makes it possible for one to connect it to an app using WI-Fi. It can perform stunts thanks to a 360-degree evasion feature. The drone comes with four rotating blades, a card reader and a 500mAh battery that gives it a flight time of around 7 minutes flying at speeds of approximately 11MPH. Other features worth mentioning about include the use of spread spectrum technology that makes it possible for optimal remote control in an extended range zone and comes with a HD Camera.

Warranty

This product has a 1-year warranty.

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Features

The UDI U818A is known for its crash resistant design that makes it ideal for beginners as it does not easily break when it collides with objects. It is also designed to ensure that there is minimal damage in case of an emergency landing. The drone can perform exciting stunts such as a 360-degree maneuver while recording and taking high-quality photos. This is made possible because of a 720p HD camera with a capacity of taking 30 frames per second. If looking for a drone with this capability and pocket-friendly, then this is what you should have.

Features worth mentioning about include a headless mode that is ideal when the drone is out of sight from the controller and a return home function that will ensure your drone does not get lost in the woods. Once the drone is ordered from Amazon, it comes with two 500mAh batteries and does not require an FAA registration to fly. For maximum stability, the drone has a 6-axis Gyro stabilization system and can operate at night thanks to attached LED lights. The batteries give it a flight duration of around 8 minutes and a charge time of 1 hour.

Warranty

This product has a 30-day replacement guarantee from the period of purchase.

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Features

The DJI Spark has a reputation of being a selfie drone. So if you are crazy about selfies, then this is best. One reason for this is the ability to stabilize images and videos thanks to its powerful lenses. Another reason is the use of a mechanical Gimbal stabilizing system that helps to reduce shutter effect ensuring the picture is perfect. The images also lack any color distortion and aberration. Other features include speed precision control with powerful propulsion effects that result in speeds of up to 50kph.

Unlike other drones in the market, this offers the user a unique experience thanks to a real-time video transmission mode via an LCD screen on the controller. It takes advantage of its weight and advanced technology to give you a flight time of at least 16 minutes. Other features worth mentioning about include a return to home feature that makes it possible for the drone to return to its home point via the use of GPS. Among the drones in the market, this may be the safest of them all thanks to a flight protection feature that warns the user if the drone is near a stadium or an airport.

Warranty

The product has a 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • Selfie
  • Return home feature
  • Long range

Cons

  • Charges long

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Features

The Blade Nano had to be included in our best drones for beginners list. It is nimble and straightforward to use such that the user can perform amazing stunts. Its simplicity is amplified by its design and quality of material used. It does not easily break when it crashes into objects or when it experiences a hard landing. Apart from the quality design it also has prop guards that make it ideal for use by beginners in case they fly sideways into an object. One key feature is its size. This makes it ideal for flying in indoor environments such as an office or bedroom.

If you are an Xbox fun, then you are in luck. The Blade is controlled by two controllers that resemble an Xbox console, and this enhances the user’s experience. To operate, it requires a 4+ channel DSM2 transmitter and uses a safe sensor unit for maximum safety.

Warranty

It has a 1-year warranty.

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Features

The Drocon is known for its quality and superior design. It is favorable for beginners because of a twin speed mode that enables them to adjust the speed of the drone as they deem fit. It is easy to maneuver around thanks to its body structure that is perfectly streamlined for flight. One unique feature about this drone is that it comes with a Drocon app that enables the user to get real-time video via a WIFI FPV connection using a 2.4GHz frequency.

Other features worth mentioning about include a return home functionality that ensures the drone returns to the user if the battery runs out of power. It has a headless mode button and LED lights that continuously flash hence improving visibility at night. It is important to note that the motors will require a 10-minute break to avoid them from overheating.

Warranty

This product has a 1-year limited warranty.

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Features

The Hubsan drone is one of the best drones for beginners as it comes with a user manual easy to understand. The flight controller is simple with basic controls that do not require one to be experienced. The Hubsan comes with great safety features such as a warning indicator that notifies one if the drone is running low on battery while the transmitter shows when the drone is flying out of range. The drone is made from lightweight materials and can absorb impact force when it crashes on the ground.

One unique feature of this drone is that one can test their flying skills by setting it to an advanced flying mode. It has a camera quality of 0.3MP and uses a 6-axis flight control software to ensure flight stability. To ensure that there is improved visibility at night, the Hubsan is equipped with LED lights. Because of its lightweight nature, it has a flight time of around 8 minutes as long as the weather is ideal and a range of 100meters.

Warranty

The product has a 12-month unlimited warranty.

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Features

If you are looking to capture killer images from an aerial point of view, then this is what you should consider. It boasts of an attached 1080p camera for high-quality resolution. The experience is further enhanced by brushless motors that result in less vibration hence more explicit pictures and less audio distortion. The brushless motors also make the drone quieter when compared to other models thus perfect for sneaking up on family and friends. The drone can perform a 360-degree flip thus suitable for stunts.

On the operational side, it uses 1800mAh- LI-Po batteries that give it a flight time of 15 minutes and an impressive range of 500 meters. To make the drone cruise longer, one can take advantage of bonus batteries that come with it. It is important to note that this is suitable for racing.

Warranty

It has a limited 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • Stealth mode
  • Impressive flight time
  • Brushless motors
  • Bonus batteries

Cons

  • no Pictures

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Features

The Cheerson boasts of being one of the best mini-drones for beginners. It has excellent handling capabilities thanks to a 6-axis Gyro stabilization system and a measurement of 2.5 by 2.5 inches. Not only is it suitable for beginners but it is also ideal for children above the age of 14. The drone is made of plastic that is strong enough to withstand a regular crush. It uses a 3.7v battery, and this gives it a flight time of around 8 minutes if external factors are ideal.

Its speed is limited because of its size as it can only fly a maximum speed of 8MPH with a 50-meter range. It also has a charge time of 50 minutes. The controls of a C-10 are simple to use as they resemble that of your ordinary PlayStation. Though small, the manufacturers incorporated LED lights into the drone for better visibility.

Warranty

This product has no warranty.

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Features

The Cheerwing boasts of being one of the best drones for beginners because of several factors one of them been maneuverability and price. It boasts of the latest flight control software that ensures stability and makes it easier for a beginner to control. Unlike other drones that do not have an attached camera, this enables the user to have live data by connecting the phone to the drone via WIFI using an app. This enhances the beginner’s experience. One feature worth mentioning is that it has a headless mode hence one will not have to struggle to identify the head or tail.

The drone allows for USB charging and has a 500mAh battery. This enables it to have a range of 500 meters, a fly time of 7 minutes if external factors are ideal and a distance of 50 meters. One fantastic thing about this drone is that the live photos taken using a 0.3 MP camera can be stored on a mobile app, and one can directly share them with friends and family instead of having to use an SD card. To add sugar to honey, all this can be done when performing a 360-degree stunt.

Warranty

The product has a 30-day limited warranty.

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Features

The KOOME drone is not just your ordinary beginner drone, but one with an aesthetically appealing beauty. It comes in black and has a fantastic design. Some of its main features include a headless mode, a one key return function that protects the drone from getting lost and an optimized WIFI camera that is 720p. Its remote control has a screen in which the user can view real-time images from the ground. It can perform amazing stunts thanks to a 360-degree flip capability.

Warranty

This product has a 1-year limited warranty.

The Verdict

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The best drones for beginners are those that solve a particular need. If you are looking for a drone suitable for beginners and just for fun, then the Cheerson CX-10 is best. If you are looking for one that is scientifically advanced yet ideal for beginners, then the DJI Spark is best.

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