The drones are becoming more and more popular, and in 2020 they are very trendy. Many people have already bought it or at least plan to buy it. Are you among those people? We guess you are. How to choose a good drone? What are the ways of using it?
First, let’s see what a drone is. A drone is a robot with a camera, controlled by a person remotely with a remote control, or via an onboard computer. The drone can fly and float, it is resistant to atmospheric influences and has a lot of benefits, which makes it possible to consider the device as a tool that simplifies life and helps in obtaining certain information.
Initially, this device was created for military purposes, but now it is used in different areas. What are the possibilities to use it? Is this just for fun?
There are lots of ways of using the drones. Some of them are:
Search and rescue — drones are very useful in search and rescue operations. For example, they are used in fires to determine the number of gases in the air.
Security — many authorities use drones to protect people in life-threatening situations. For example, it can help coordinate security operations.
Inspections — drones can reach hardly accessible places, such as pipelines, turbines and similar.
Observation — the drone allows you to record and perform air control of the place. It is very convenient for public events, such as protest actions, in order to identify suspicious and dangerous actions in time. Great tool for the police and security companies.
Science and research — drones help scientists do their research, they are used to document archaeological excavations, nuclear incidents (pollution measurements), monitor glaciers and volcanic eruptions, etc.
Photographing — with the help of a drone you can take great pictures and videos of sunsets or events like weddings or corporate celebrations.
Navigation and mapping — using multispectral cameras and laser scanners, a drone can create the high-performance, detailed 3D maps.
Logistics — drones are used to deliver small packages.
In addition, drones are also used in engineering, construction, aviation, marine industry, commerce, real estate, insurance, utilities, and education. Currently, many institutions, private companies, and government agencies use a drone for everyday needs.
Now, let’s see the top drones for beginners you can buy today. As Amazon is one of the best online shopping platforms, we are going to review the devices you can buy on Amazon.
Best Drones For Beginners Reviews
DJI Spark Combo
This is the smallest beginner drone with camera among all DJI drones. The DJI Spark camera has a 12-megapixel CMOS 1/2.3 inches matrix, a viewing angle of 81.9° with an aperture of f/2.6. The suspender is two-axis, mechanical, with the temperature range 0° to 85°. Above the camera, there is a barrier detector, front parking sensors working up to 5 meters far.
Flight time on one battery is up to 16 minutes, with a fairly strong wind it reduces to about 12 minutes. The battery capacity is 1480 mAh. Full charging time with the original dock station is about 50 minutes, with the wall charger up to 80 minutes.
One of the best Spark features is the ability to control the drones with the help of hand gestures. You can make selfie and move the drone in space.
In the QuickShot flight mode, there are several presets for video effects. You just specify which frame you want and Spark starts recording.
The QuickShot mode has the following presets:
Rocket — vertical takeoff, the camera looks straight down.
Dronie — the drone flies away from you in reverse, slowly back and up, while the camera monitors the starting point.
Circle — Spark will fly around a certain point you specify and give a certain panorama of what is happening around. The flight occurs at the same altitude.
Helix — take off helically around the specified point. Almost the same as Circle, but also with altitude excursion.
DJI positions this device as a selfie-drone to be used on the wing, while going in for sports or just for a walk.
DJI Phantom 3 Standard
The Phantom 3 Standard can fly up to 25 minutes on one charge. The drone has a 3-axis suspension, which perfectly stabilizes the camera when the wind blows. Many specialists consider it the best beginner drone.
The camera allows HD video recording with 30 frames/second, a photo of 12MP in JPEG or RAW formats with a maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000, wide-angle lens, aperture 2.8, and no fish eye effect. The camera can be controlled by turning 90° down and 30° up. The camera streams the video to the mobile application on your smartphone in 720p.
The latest version of the firmware adds new features that are not available initially. For example, Follow me, flying by points or around the specific point. You will be able to update the firmware yourself without many efforts, and your drone will get the new skills!
By default, the manufacturer activated the Newbie mode which limits the flying range to 30 meters. If you disable this mode, the Phantom 3 Standard will be able to fly to the declared distance of 1 km. Phantom 3 Standard flying height is limited to 120 m, however, it can be configured in an application up to a maximum of 500 meters.
In Phantom 3 Standard there is a function of returning to the takeoff place, with a signal loss or simply by clicking on the “Return Home” button in the DJI Go application.
DJI Phantom 3 is not just a toy, but a full-fledged drone with the possibility of taking photos and recording videos. The gadget can bring a lot of pleasure: it will allow you to view your city from a bird’s eye view, see previously inaccessible places and feel like a real pilot, performing complex aerobatics figures.
Parrot Bebop 2
The main benefit of Bebop Drone 2 is a new camera with a fisheye lens and an f2.2 diaphragm, a viewing angle of 180 degrees and a 14-megapixel sensor.
It can record high-definition Full HD videos (30 frames per second) in MP4 format and store it on the built-in 8 gigabytes memory card. Photos can be saved in JPEG format or in the original Adobe DNG format in a resolution of 4096×3072 pixels. The camera has a new built-in stabilization system which provides a smoother video output.
The drone weighs only 410 grams and has a lithium-polymer 1200mAh battery. As a result, the flying time is only 11 minutes. The drone can fly at a wind of up to 50 kmph and can reach itself up to 75 kmph.
The drone is equipped with GPS, Glonass, and Galileo. This allows the drone to return to its original point on its own. If you start a device in an enclosed space, then an ultrasonic sensor and a pressure sensor control the flight.
The drone and camera control can be performed using the FreeFlight 3 app, which works on iOS and Android. The app also provides video and photo viewing. You can also set points on the map before the flight and create its flight route.
The Skycontroller remote control is equipped with two levers, camera control, a take-off and landing button, and an emergency engine shutdown button, battery and remote control indicators and a return to the starting point button. Also, you can connect a smartphone or tablet.
The remote controller works on Android via the FreeFlight 3. The Skycontroller is compatible with the Oculus Rift VR headset.
UDI U818A Camera – The Best Drone for Kids
UDI U818A Camera drone looks very modern and does not have any specific features. This is a great beginner drone with camera. Despite its small size (340×340 mm) and low cost, the UDI U818A has good wind resistance — even with gusts of 15 kmph, the drone is keeping its way well in the air. At full charge, the drone can fly for about 7-9 minutes.
The camera can shoot video and take photos in 640×480 resolution and work in FPV mode when you can see the video in real time. Additionally, you can use the memory card of 1 gigabyte, which should be enough to store about 10 minutes of video.
The remote control is 4-channel, operates at 2.4Ghz. It is convenient, equipped with a screen and, in addition, has a special button to rotate the device in the air.
Hubsan X4 (H107L)
Hubsan X4 H107L is a well-established beginner drone without a camera. This is a simple and sufficiently reliable device, capable to fly in the air up to 7-9 minutes and reach a height of 100 meters. On each motor, there are the LED indicators glowing in the dark.
The remote control works at 2.4Ghz. The flying range is about 100 meters, plus or minus 10 meters.
The drone is powered by a 240mAh lithium polymer battery, which is charged by a USB. Charging time is about 30 minutes. Averagely, a battery provides about 5-7 minutes of flight, depending on the weather conditions.
Hubsan X4 H107L is a very sharp drone, it reacts instantly to commands and is quite stable thanks to the built-in 6-axis gyroscope. Plus, it can carry the additional 20-25 grams of weight, such as a mini-camera, which is usually installed on similar drones.
Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers 2 – Best Beginner Drone with Camera
Syma X5SW is one of the most advanced drone in this series. Its main difference from previous models is the ability to broadcast video from a 2-megapixel camera to your smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi. To implement this feature, a Wi-fi antenna allows the mobile device to receive the video signal from the camera. The video can be recorded with a resolution of 1280 × 720 at 30 frames per second, and transferred to the phone in a resolution of 640×480. Drone is equipped with a 500 mAh battery, which charges about 2 hours via USB.
Despite the fact that the quadrocopter looks fragile, due to its small weight and simplicity, it is very difficult to break it. The plastic body is very soft and well bends.
So, the Syma X5C is one of the best entry-level drones for entertainment at home and in the open air. This, of course, is a toy. It is not capable of performing any tasks related to the delivery of goods or surveys. The toy is not expensive and is designed not just for kids. It is dangerous for a small child, but a teenager will be just right. A very good birthday buzzing gift.
Parrot Rolling Spider
Rolling Spider is the one of the latest mini-drone produced by Parrot. The main feature of this 55-gram mini-device is the remote control via a smartphone with Bluetooth. To control the drone, you need to install a free FreeFlight 3 application available for iOS and Android devices, turn on Bluetooth and launch the program. Rolling Spider will connect to the smartphone itself, and almost immediately you can start a flight.
The control program for drones is simple and straightforward that helps to fly and land the device absolutely safely. To prevent serious damages, Parrot provided its application with a separate take-off and landing button. In addition, the device is equipped with two wheels to ride the walls and ceiling.
If you do not set any specific movements, the device will balance in the air like a ghost, and compensate the small air gusts. Having got used to the control, the process becomes very simple, and with the help of the camera at the bottom of the drone, you can take pictures. The resolution of 640 × 480 pixels, however, does not allow you to make high-quality photos and video.
The maximum flight altitude is 8-9 meters, the flying range, according to the manufacturer, is about 30 meters. A battery is low in about 10 minutes, so, after that, the Rolling Spider automatically comes in for landing.
Sky Viper V950HD
Sky Viper V950HD is one of the most popular and, most importantly, one of the best drones for beginners. It has good flying characteristics, is able to write video with 720p quality. In a flight, Sky Viper V950HD demonstrates good dynamics, windproof, it is also predictable in controlling due to a 6-axis gyro. The drone has 3 various activity modes. Sky Viper V950HD has an HD camera that shoots video at 1280 × 720p at 15fps, as well as a 1MP photo at a viewing angle of 130º.
With a fully charged battery, the drone has a good flight time, regardless of the modes, on average, the flight time is about 10 minutes. The drone is controlled with the help of a 6-channel transmitter operating at 2.4GHz. Its construction is very convenient for any arm size. With an average flying time of about 10 minutes, you will not feel any discomfort.
Ionic Stratus Drone Quadcopter for GoPro
Great beginner drone with GoPro support. The stock battery of 1600 mAh provides about 7-8 minutes of flying time with the GoPro attached. The drone easily files with up to 20 mph wind.
There is an app that comes with the drone to control it. It provides the great control over the device and helps to configure it. The drone has six-axis gyro system, one key return, and supports any GoPro camera. The software will inform you that cannot fly the drone without the GoPro installed.
Also, there are the guards for the blades which is really nice if you to run into any small trees or bushes. The battery comes with about 10 or 15 minutes of autonomous work.
A remote control is traditional with two joysticks and a display. So there’s a bunch of key returns, beginner-advanced mode button, the function and the camera button, throttle limit button, stick mode switch, etc.
Beginner Drone Buyer’s Guide
To choose a good drone that perfectly suits your needs is not that easy. After all, hundreds of various ready-made models available for sale can make the newbie crazy. Here is a short guide how to choose a great drone.
1. Number of blades
The drones with remote control and many motors are called multicopters. The most popular devices are with two, three, four, six and eight motors.
The number of blades, in this case, influences the power of the drone, as well as the stability in the air. But keep in mind, that the more motors you have, the faster the battery will be discharged.
Actually, the drones are divided into the following size classes:
- big drones which are often used for professional purposes. They can lift fairly solid cargoes into the sky and fly steadily at a height of several kilometers. Multicopters of
- medium size drones are quite small and can be carried in a backpack. Such drones are equipped with a built-in camera with good resolution, but in some cases, it must be attached additionally.
- small and ultra-small drones are the best drones for beginners. Because of a small size, such drones have problems with flight stability, because any wind gust knocks them off or even overturns.
One of the most important component. Some medium-sized drones have 10-14 megapixels cameras. However, many owners prefer installing a camera separately. Most often it’s a GoPro.
Many small drones have a built-in camera in basic configuration. This is a fairly simple device with a 0.3 to 2 megapixels matrix.
4. Remote control
Almost any of the most popular drones can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet using the Wi-Fi connection. This is incredibly convenient because the device control performed through a simple and intuitive interface. Moving the fingers on the touch screen, the user can control the altitude, speed and flight direction, see the real-time image from the camera, and just tap to take pictures and record video clips.
In this case, the average flying range is about 10 meters. So, instead of smartphones and tablets, you can use special remote controls. They allow increasing the flight range up to a few kilometers. At the same time, the controlling process is much more difficult: the controls have a lot of additional functions and capabilities that mobile devices do not have.
However, mobile devices can be combined with professional remote controls to use them as a screen for the images, in a case, there is no built-in display in the remote control itself.
The more capable the battery is, the longer and further the drone can fly. At the moment, the average flying time is about 8-15 minutes.
Big devices can be equipped with additional batteries, and it can increase the flying time up to half an hour. But it is much more difficult to upgrade the medium and small drones. The battery can be very heavy for them to lift. However, the problem can be partially solved by using spare batteries that can be easily changed on the ground.
We talked about the five principal points of how to choose a good drone. You can also choose one of the drones for beginners in the list to buy.
Have a good buy!