Are you thinking about buying a best drone? We know that more than the future, it is already the present and we could almost say that there is a drone for each type of person. For example, there are drones more focused on amateurs, who have never or only rarely tried a drone, there are also drones for professionals in this field, for the most filmmakers and in love with videos, for those who have a tight budget, etc. Therefore, we wanted to develop a guide in which we recommend, after carrying out the tests and convenient tests, the best drones of 2018 according to categories, needs, and profiles of the buyer.
So, do not be too frightened by the current great offer and read carefully this article that will surely help you to choose the best drone.
DJI MAVIC AIR
Why should you buy it? Because it has all the features you need in a drone, and it’s still compact enough to fit in a backpack or purse.
For whom it is? For anyone looking for a full-featured drone that is highly portable.
How much? $ 799 dollars
Why do we choose it? What makes the Mavic Air so amazing is that, despite being one of the most compact and portable drones we have tested, it is also one of the most capable and complete in terms of functions. It is equipped with a 4K camera, a 3-axis gimbal, ability to avoid obstacles going forward / backward / downwards, several autopilot modes and a range of more than four miles. And, somehow, it still fits in the palm of your hand. It is clear proof that reducing the size of something does not necessarily mean reducing its characteristics, and that the (good) things of large objects can actually come in smaller packages.
Its portability factor is great. Thanks to an intelligent system of hinges, the arms of the Mavic fold forming a small and clean package, smaller than the dimensions of a common brick, which makes transporting it in your backpack or travel bag is an easy task. Photographers always say that the best camera is the one they carry, and the same could be said of drones. If it is portable, it is much more likely that you will have it with you when you need it most.
When it comes to portable drones, the Mavic Air has no competition, although the Mavic Pro remains a fairly solid contender. Its camera specifications are slightly better, it lasts a little longer in the air, but it costs $ 200 more.
The best drone for beginners
Why should you buy it? Because it is easy to fly, it is relatively economical, reasonably durable and also gives you the opportunity to grow and progress as a pilot.
For whom it is? Beginner pilots who want a rugged and easy-to-fly drone with a decent camera and a good range of upgrade options
How much? $ 200 – $ 230 dollars
Why do we choose it? Some people will tell you that beginner pilot should practice with low-end drones, but in our opinion, that does not make sense, since cheap drones are harder to fly and less reliable to fly, which makes them much easier to crash and to break. We believe it is a better idea to start with a slightly higher drone, with reliable controls and good response capacity, as well as an acceptable guarantee and an easy to repair and/or update the design.
With these goals in mind, the Yuneec Breeze is a fantastic choice for any beginner pilot. It is relatively cheap, but not so much that it can be used carelessly. It also has a pretty decent 4K camera in the undercarriage, and it’s ultraportable.
And the best of all? You can fly it with your smartphone, or opt for the specific Yuneec driver system if you want tighter and more responsive controls. In other words, if you start with this drone, you can learn the ins and outs of piloting a quadrocopter, and you can also update your configuration as your skills progress and your needs change. You also check this review Yi gimbal review: Best smartphone recording gadget
The best cheap drone
Why should you buy it? Because although it costs only $ 99 dollars, this small has all the essential features that are needed in a drone.
For whom it is? For anyone who wants an affordable drone that is easy to fly.
How much? $ 99 dollars
Why do we choose it? Generally speaking, drones costing less than $ 100 are not worth it. They are fragile, lack advanced features, and are almost always hell in the air. But Tello is different. Although it costs only $ 99, it has a good number of features and high-end features. Under its housing, you will find a 14-core Intel vision processing chip, DJI flight stabilization technology, a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video and a battery that gives you 13 minutes of flight time.
Unfortunately, it does not come with a driver, which means you’re forced to pilot it through virtual joysticks in a smartphone application: a notoriously soft and imprecise control method. The good news is that Ryze created the drone with third-party peripherals in mind, so if you prefer to pilot it with physical controls, you can order a GameSir T1d controller and link it. It is worth the extra $ 30 dollars, without a doubt.
DJI INSPIRE 2
The best drone for filmmakers
Why should I buy it? Because it is a drone equipped with a professional camera and ready to fly.
For whom it is? Filmmakers or amateur and professional documentalists.
How much? $ 3,000
Why do we choose it? There is a reason why you see DJI Inspire appears everywhere, from movie sets to Enrique Iglesias concerts: it’s a beast. The Inspire 2 has some really impressive specifications: a controllable range of up to 4.3 miles, a maximum speed of 67 miles per hour, avoids obstacles, in addition to having all the characteristics of stabilization and autopilot that you could ask for in a drone. But the camera is definitely the star of the show.
The latest DJI Zenmuse, the X5S is a Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera made specifically for aerial photography and cinematography. It shoots in 5.2K at 30 frames per second (or 4K to 60), takes 20.4-megapixel photos, and has a ridiculously large ISO range of 100-25,600. As an added bonus, this platform is contained in a 3-axis gimbal damped for vibration, so your footage will look smooth as silk, no matter how madly you’ve blown it.
The DJI control system is also fantastic. The updated DJI Go application puts all the advanced camera controls at your fingertips. The shutter speed, aperture, and ISO can be adjusted with just a few touches, and the focus can be set by simply touching the knob. With a configuration like this, you will not even need too much previous experience in film or exceptional driving skills to obtain professional-quality images.
LUMENIER QAV250 MINI FPV CARBON FIBER EDITION
The best racing drone
Why should you buy it? Because you want a drone that can compete and win, but you do not want to create it yourself from scratch.
For whom it is? Race drivers, beginners, and intermediates
How much? $ 434 dollars
Why do we choose it? The Lumenier QAV250 Mini FPV Carbon Fiber Edition wins in this category for several reasons, although the main one is that it is a modular and customizable drone. You can buy it pre-assembled from Lumenier, and while the stock configuration should be more than enough to satisfy the new drivers in the drone races, you will not be tied to that configuration forever either. If you ever want to update your drone, you can easily change any of the pieces to get a new and better equipment.
This flexibility is crucial. If you look at the winners of drone races, you will notice that most professionals fly their own custom drone teams, which can be adjusted to increase performance. The technology that drives drone racing is progressing at a dizzying pace, and the last thing you want to do is throw a lot of money at a prefabricated racing platform that will become obsolete in a few months. The best thing is to get a platform that allows you to fly and compete, but also evolve, and that is precisely what the QAV250 will do.
The best drone for children
Why should you buy it? Because it is stable and easy to fly and comes with a range of fun accessories.
For whom it is? For children and adults who want a drone that can shoot darts.
How much? $ 120 dollars
Why do we choose it? In fact, you can get a cheaper drone for your son, but in reality, he will not be able to fly like this one.
There is a shipment of mini-drones right now that cost less than $ 50, but according to our own experience, the vast majority are too difficult for a child to use.
However, the new Parrot Mambo is different. Unlike most other mini-drones, this one is really designed specifically for children.
In addition to some motion sensors and advanced autopilot software that keeps the drone stable, Mambo also comes with a handful of attachments that make it more fun and attractive than a basic drone. Inside the box, you will find more accessories.
And the best part? Parrot also gives you the option of driving through a smartphone or with a dual joystick controller. The Flypad, as it is called, is sold separately for $ 40 dollars more, but it might be worth paying that extra if you do not have a spare smartphone or you do not feel comfortable leaving your iPhone to your small child.
The best drone for selfies
Why should you buy it? If you are looking for something portable that can fly without a control or command.
Who is it for? For anyone who wants to take spectacular selfies.
How much? $ 500 dollars.
Why do we choose it? Because, if there is one thing that DJI is good at, it is that it fills its drones with a lot of features and functions betting on smaller and smaller sizes and the best example of this is the Spark drone.
Apart from its small and hyper-portable design, the most notable feature of the Spark is possibly its large number of intelligent flight modes. In addition to the DJI standard, the Spark introduces a handful of completely new modes, including Rocket, Dronie, Circle, and Helix. And the drone also comes with gesture recognition capabilities, so you can handle it without a smartphone or control.
Another great addition is Spark’s obstacle avoidance system. While the ability to detect and avoid objects is usually a feature reserved for larger drones, DJI went ahead and managed to do so with Spark. It is not as robust as what you will find in the Phantom 4, or even the Mavic Pro, but it still serves its purpose and helps avoid blockages.
Oh, and let’s not forget the camera. In addition to a 12-megapixel camera that records 1080p video at 30 fps, the Spark also has a two-axis gimbal. This allows you to mechanically stabilize the camera and cancel any jarring and jarring movement, which results in a smoother and better-looking footage.
HOW WE TRY THESE DRONES
Quality of construction and design
The first thing we do when we have a new drone is to hit it. We do not throw it down the stairs, obviously, but we do give it a few taps, turns and falls at a low height to evaluate the quality of its manufacture and its durability. Do you feel too weak, or do you feel that you could survive a forced landing in the park? We give each unit a soft beating (and, usually, a couple of involuntary landings) before giving you a definitive answer on how tough it is.
Performance, range and flight autonomy
To measure the performance of the flight, we submit to the drone a series of tests to see if it resists as much as its manufacturer says. First, we take him to a local soccer field and see how fast he can pass the 100 yards. Then, we do some calculations to obtain an objective reading of the speed in miles per hour. Then, we do a similar test to evaluate the speeds of ascent and descent. All while taking note of how sensitive their controls are, how stable the ship is, how far it can go before it is out of range, and how it is the general experience of piloting compared to other drones.
Battery life and charge
After taking the drone to play for a while and take notes about how long your battery lasts. We put it in the charger and time the recharge time. Then, we take it out again and do a stationary flight test. By flying the drone in less demanding conditions, we can get an idea of what your maximum flight time is. We finally give you some harder flights to find out how long your battery lasts (on average) under normal conditions.
Camera, accessories and update capacity
If the drone we are testing has a camera, we capture all the material we can. We take shots in dark places, normal places and places with lots of color and contrast. We also test the accessories that accompany the camera, such as lenses, filters, cards or FPV goggles. Finally, we also check if the configuration of the camera is updatable. And check that we will not have an obsolete camera in a couple of years.