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Drones

Best Drones

Whether you are a beginner, or a top rated expert drone pilot, finding the perfect drone can be a challenging task. We've found the best drones that cater to multiple types of flying with special attention to range, safety, and ease of use.

Last Updated: August 2019

Welcome to our Drone Buyers Guide – Updated 2019

A drone is an amazingly versatile device that can be used in pretty much any way its user chooses. It can be a high-tech toy or hobby, or even a professional tool for those that take photos or make videos for a living.
The best drones available have a good flight range, simple and intuitive controls, and come with extra blades that are quick and easy to replace if you have a crash or two while learning to fly. You might also want an external camera mount for better pictures or film footage, as well as a protective carrying case to keep your drone safe.
Our drone reviews include some great choices to help you find the best drone for your specific needs. We’ll also share more information about these fun little flying machines in our drone guide and show you which give consumers the most value.
Take a look at our top drone recommendations to give you the insider knowledge you need when shopping. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about key drone considerations and features…

How We Chose

1) Flight Range

How far your drone can go is largely determined by how long its battery can last per charge. This means you want to keep your drone close enough to your home base to ensure it’s able to fly back without crashing due to a dead battery. That’s why we feel the best drones come with some kind of built-in battery level indicator.
A drone’s ability to communicate between the remote control and the onboard transceiver is also a key consideration when it comes to getting the best drone range. If you’re serious about drone flying, your best bet is probably to choose one that can create its own Wi-Fi hotspot and be piloted from a smartphone application.

2) Safety Measures

The top drone manufacturers take user and public safety very seriously. When learning how to choose the best drone, you should take a look at the recreational drone company’s safety track record, which is why we included this factor when picking drones for our list of recommendations.
Our drone reviews include models that come with top-rate safety features, including covered rotor blades, smooth corners, and secure camera mounts. You should also check your local area for designated drone flying areas that are free from low-hanging power lines and other dangerous obstacles.

3) Ease of Use

Another top consideration when drone shopping, especially for first-time flyers, is how easy it is to use. Many recreational drones some with pre-flight calibration already done, which is why we recommend going with an RTF (Ready To Fly) drone for beginners.
Our drone reviews also include information on multi-rotor aircraft, which will allow your drone to hover in midair. The best drone manufacturers place software and sensors in their drones that help flyers to automatically maintain a stable position while hovering.

4) Included Accessories

While there are many basic drone models available for purchase, if you’re an experienced drone user or are hoping to quickly become one, you might want to start with one of the top recreational drones that come with some awesome accessories right out of the box.
Some of the best drone accessories to keep an eye out for when shopping for your perfect drone model include an upgraded remote controller or smartphone app, replacement propeller blades, action camera, external camera mount, and a specialty storage case.

At a glance: Recommended Drones

Rank
Brand
Highlights
#1
Editor's Choice: DJI Mavic
  • Great first or second drone for beginners and experts alike
  • 32 MP camera with 4k video/slow motion
  • Great range and features
#2
DJI Spark
  • One of the most popular brands and models
  • Great value and features
  • Perfect for beginners or experts alike
#3
Autel Robotics
  • Intelligent features to get the most out of your drone
  • Live footage capture via app
  • Long fly time
#4
Potensic T25 1080P
  • Great value for price and features included
  • Camera with high specifications
  • Easy social sharing
#5
Holy Stone HS100 Navigator
  • Wi-fi connectivity can limit range
  • Simple and easy to use drone
  • Less known brand than others

Our Full List of Drones for 2019

#1 DJI Mavic

Product Highlights

  • Has the best features for a drone in its price range
  • Relatively easier to pilot compared to other drones
  • Has amazing abilities that will go the distance
Overview
The DJI Mavic was built to be a marvel of engineering and design, to go wherever adventure takes you. Designed to be the best of the Mavic series, this ultraportable and foldable drone feature dynamic functionality, and high-end flight performance, so you can explore where others have never ventured before.

Pros

  • Many features to help with adventure and exploration
  • Has an amazing camera to capture all your adventures in UHD
  • Ultra portable, so you can take it with you everywhere
  • Comes with everything you could need for your drone

Cons

  • Customer service is not the best
  • Can have remote and signal problems
Bottom Line
The DJI Mavic is an excellent drone and certainly has some of the best features available on drones now. However, this model has one crucial mistake that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, to make sure they keep customers happy and satisfied. After all, it is one of the more expensive models out there, so they might as well get the most important thing right. But if you don't mind taking the chance that you won't end up with one of the units that has signal problems, then this is the drone for you. With such a fantastic array of features, there's no limit to the places you can go and the things you'll record, capture, and share with your family and friends using the DJI Mavic.

#2 DJI SPARK

Product Highlights

  • Affordable for its dynamic features and technology
  • Lightweight and sleek design, so you can take it with you anywhere
Overview
The DJI Spark is a versatile mini drone, featuring all of DJI’s signature technologies so you can seize the moment whenever you feel inspired. This mid-range drone may be pricey, but it comes with many smart and attractive features that help you explore every single nook and cranny of the unknown.

Pros

  • Offers many features to get the best shots
  • Comes with smart features to make opera
  • An affordable mid-range drone

Cons

  • Has issues with turning off without a warning
  • Remote is not included in the package
Bottom Line
The DJI Spark came so close to being the dream drone; it can give fantastic pictures, deliver a solid performance, and the best part, it costs less than other mid-to-high range drones of the same quality. But due to unwanted problems when it comes to flying, we may not get our money's worth. At the worst situations, giving us the 16 minutes worth of flight time might be cut down to less than that, or worse: it could just be money down the drain. Despite its strong performance and array of features, the DJI Spark is a bit of a 50/50. On the one hand, you have a near-perfect drone to talk with you on all your adventures, but on the other hand, you have a $500 regret waiting to happen. The good thing is, you have that chance to end up with a flawless unit which will give you endless days of fun, exploration, and excitement.

#3 Autel Robotics

Product Highlights

  • Full of intelligent features to get the most out of your drone
  • Able to capture live footage via its app
  • Boasts a significantly longer flight time
Overview
The Autel Robotics Drone is an intelligent and powerful drone which showcase many features such as Dynamic Track, Viewpoint, Orbit, Waypoint, and more. While the asking price is on the high end, the Autel Robotics Drone is sure to excite you with its VR capabilities and more.

Pros

  • Offers many features to get the best shots
  • Comes with smart features to make opera
  • An affordable mid-range drone

Cons

  • More expensive than other models
Bottom Line
For its price of $1,079, the Autel Robotics Drone is on the heavy end of our pockets, but for its impressive features, powerful technology, and extra freebies that come with it, this drone is worth every penny. Prepare to enjoy your travel and explorations even more, as you record everything in stunning HD quality. Packing more features than any other drone within its price range, you can't go wrong with the Autel Robotics Drone. Even if it isn't lightweight and portable, you can still take your drone everywhere with you since the Autel Robotics Drone comes with its own carry case. All in all, this drone is near perfect and deserves the top spot in the battle of high-end drones.

#4 Potensic Drone

Product Highlights

  • Unbeatable price for its high-end features
  • Camera with amazing specifications
  • Directly shares your photos on social media
Overview
The Potensic T25 1080P GPS Drone comes with a Carrying Case, along with one of the most useful features for new owners: an advanced GPS engineered for locating your drone. This GPS mode ensures that customers never lose their drones. This smart drone will also perform an Auto Return when the battery is low or if it loses signal, which makes all flights safe and fun.

Pros

  • Comes with many different and useful features
  • Provides an excellent VR experience
  • Equipped with an auto-return function to prevent losing the drone

Cons

  • Can suffer from signal issues
  • The app sometimes freezes which leads to problems using the drone
  • Doesn't come with VR glasses, which are sold separately
Bottom Line
In the end, the Potensic T25 1080P GPS Drone may suffer from a few setbacks, but it ultimately rises to the top amongst the best drones available in the market now. And with its unbeatable price, this drone is an excellent addition to any enthusiast's repertoire of cool gadgets. It is also suitable for anyone who takes their exploration seriously since it's loaded with unique features. My final verdict? The Potensic T25 1080P GPS Drone is a beautiful piece of technologically advanced hardware. While its system isn't quite perfect, its features and price more than make up for it. If you can find a drone for less than $200 with as many features and performs as well as the T25 1080P GPS Drone, then it must be a fake, because this drone is the real deal.

#5 Holy Stone

Product Highlights

  • Comes with Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Simple and easy-to-use drone
Overview
The Holy Stone HS100 Navigator is an intelligent RC quadcopter, equipped with an advanced GPS. It is equipped with a high definition camera for quality aerial footage. With this drone, you can take photos and videos of all your adventures and getaways to cherish all your favorite moments.

Pros

  • More affordable than other models
  • Has a useful "Return Home" feature for amateur fliers
  • Comes with a great camera

Cons

  • Has transmitter and control problems
  • Flight time is shorter than other models
Bottom Line
The Holy Stone HS100 Navigator gives many advanced features to look forward to whenever you're going out for an adventure. At it's best, it provides stunning visuals and uninterrupted, live videos to share with friends and family. At its worst, though, it can have significant mistakes in its system, which stops it from giving a perfect performance. However, the Holy Stone HS100 Navigator is able to redeem itself through its use of smart features, versatile functionality, and its low price, that makes it such a favorite drone amongst hobbyists and amateur fliers. Despite getting the important things wrong, it can stay on top of the industry thanks to its $229 price tag. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your own Holy Stone HS100 Navigator now, before its price increases.

Did you know?

Non-military drone use first started in 2006, with government agencies using them to help them with disaster relief, the fighting of wildfires, and maintaining border surveillance. It wasn’t long before companies began using drones to inspect their property and even spray farms for pests.
But recreational drone use didn’t take off until just recently, with many everyday people beginning to use them to take photos or videos, as well as just fly them for a little bit of family fun. And pardon our pun, but it’s looking as if personal drone usage will continue to rise.

One of the main reasons personal drone usage took longer than you might think to become popular is the regulations the Federal Aviation Administration put in place for their safe operation. The FAA had to create new permits for commercial and personal drone usage once they had their regulations in place.
Drone history was made in 2013 when Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, announced that the company was going to begin using drones as a package delivery method. This further ignited the public’s curiosity and more than tripled the number of drone permit requests the FAA received in recent years.

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