What Are the Best Drones to Buy in 2018?
If you are new to the world of drones and you are looking to buy a drone for yourself or your child it can be very easy to get overwhelmed. This is why I created this site. To offer drone reviews, tips, videos, etc. that will help you buy your first drone.
I love flying my drones and I’m sure you will too.
Drones/quadcopters with cameras are a great way of reaching video and photo shots you would never have been able to reach before. Using a drone or quadcopter with a camera, you can get video from the skies, and you’d be surprised how affordable drones have become.
If you are brand new to the world of drones I highly recommend my Drone Beginners Guide which will quickly get you up to speed on the features your new drone should have.
Quick Lists of the Top Drones of the Year
Here is some recent drone footage from my Autel X-Star Premium Drone
*Video Doesn’t show on mobile devices*
Want to Start Flying Drones?
Don’t Know Where to Start or What to Buy?
Here are six important features that you should look for when buying a drone.
- Flight Time
- Controller Type
- Return Home
Drone Flight Time – Most drones over $400 come with about 20-25 minutes of flight time per battery, while drones under that price point tend to have around 8-15 minutes. If you plan on going with a drone under $100 you can expect 6-8 mins.
The Remote Controller (Specs/etc.) Phone attachment, built in screen, backlit screen, size, etc. Most drones allow you to use your phone or tablet as a screen.
Flight distance – How far and how high do you want to fly your drone. The FAA says you are not supposed to have the drone out of your visual eyesight, but most drones under $200 go about 100 meters, but if you go with a drone around the $200+ mark you can reach about 500 meters. Some drones on the more expensive end can go up to 4 miles like the DJI Mavic Pro. As a beginner, this is the least important feature I think. Any drone over $200 will go plenty far enough since you should keep the drone in eyesight at all times.
Drone Camera – Some things to think about are camera mount and gimbal, 4K, image stabilization, etc. Having a camera that can turn side to side and up and down makes the drone experience much more fun.
Flight Modes – FPV (First person view), live feed, etc., auto-flight mode to fly via GPS (orbit, follow me, return home and others), hover, headless mode, & manual modes. From researching, most users tend to like when drones have a hover feature that will make the drone hover when you take your hands off the controller.
Features – Return home button, auto take off and land buttons, tricks, and flips, FPV, altitude hold, hover, prop guards (safety feature), low battery indicator.
Highly Recommended Drone Features:
Return Home: automatically return the drone back to launch location, using a single button.
Emergency Landing: if problems are detected by the drone such as low battery life, automatically attempt a safe, controlled landing or execute the return home mode.
Auto-Hover: sometimes called a “Panic Button”, hover mode immediately stops all forward motion and hovers in place. Important when wind or weather conditions temporarily ruin a shot; or, if you lose sight of the drone and no longer have video stream or telemetry data to confirm its position.
Headless Mode: A very good flight mode for a beginner. Watch this video to learn more about Headless mode and what it means.
Changing a Battery – How easy is it? Some of the lower priced drones don’t have batteries that slide in and out. They can be a little tricky when you want to change a battery.
Drone Weight – If your drone is too light you will have a very difficult time flying it outside. With the drone I have, (Holy Stone HS200), if I try to fly in any wind over 5mph it becomes very hard.
Top Drones under $150 (Best Drones for Kids and Beginners)
- HD FPV CAMERA: First Person View 720P HD REAL TIME Video Camera (2MP, 1280×720 Pixel) enable you to take aerial videos and photos with your iPhone or Android phone device.
- ALTITUDE HOLD: Powerful air pressure altitude hold function allow you to release the throttle stick and the drone will keep hover at it's current height. Easy for you to shoot quality images or videos.
- MOBILE CONTROL: Control the drone with a smart phone App to activate multiple functions such as Gravity SENSOR Mode which allows the user to control the flight by holding and moving the smart phone accordingly. Operate the drone on the App interface.
- HEADLESS MODE AND ONE KEY RETURN HOME FUNCTION: Orientation of the drone in relation to the pilot. Great function when the drone is out of sight. The function is dependent on the direction of the user when paired; One Key Return Home Function: Avoid...
- 2.4G 4CHANEL 6-AXIS GYRO TECHNOLOGY: 2.4G technology makes it possible for several models being played at the same time without interference; 6 AXIS GYRO STABILITY: The multi-axis gyro offers extra stability for easy handling and 360° flips.
- HIGH-QUALITY DRONE GREAT FOR BEGINNERS: Equipped with REAL-TIME WI-FI transmission and HD camera. Wonderful choice for starting their journey with drone flying. It's made of premium materials and comes at a fantastic value.
- ONE-KEY RETURN FOR EASY CONTROL: Never lose your drone! When the drone is flying in headless mode, press one key return button, the drone will fly towards to player. Press the one key return button again or operate the forward/backward control stick, the...
- REAL-TIME WI-FI TRANSMISSION WITH HD Camera: Take things to new highs and enjoy a live video feed in high-definition straight to your mobile device with the all new FPV Wi-Fi feature.
- NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT NO IMAGES: WIFI connected, APP Opened, but no images solution:When installed the APP, or first open it, there should be a question asking whether allow the APP to get access to the phone camera, please select Allow, then connect...
- TWIN-SPEED MODES: Whether you're already skilled or a first time flier, there is a speed that will suit you. Plus, the unique streamlined-shaped body structure improves aerodynamics, thus reducing air resistance and makes landing operation more stable.
- 120° FOV HD Wifi CAMERA: Equipped with the newest 720P 120° Wide-angle HD Wifi Camera, which allows you to take high-res pictures & video during flight.
- FPV REAL-TIME TRANSMITTION: With the built-in WiFi module, you can see exactly what your camera sees with a live video on your mobile device by installing the APP.
- AUTOMATIC ALTITUDE HOLD: Powerful air pressure altitude hold function allows you to release the throttle stick and the drone will keep hovering at the current height. Easy for you to shoot quality images or videos.
- EASY SAFE AND FUN TO PLAY FOR BEGINNERS: Built-in the latest 6-axis flight control systems offer strong stability, easily implement various flight movements, stronger wind resistance; Headless mode eliminates need to adjust aircraft position before flight...
- DOUBLE FLIGHT TIME: Includes 2 strong powerful 3.7V 750 mAh LiPo batteries to extend the fun! FAA Registration NOT Required.
Last update on 2018-02-22 / Affiliate links / Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
My Top 3 Picks for Drones Under $500
Last update on 2018-02-21 / Affiliate links / Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
My Top 3 Drones of 2018
Last update on 2018-02-21 / Affiliate links / Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
If you’ve just purchased a drone here are some recommendations before you fly.
- Go to a park, field or big empty area with no buildings or wires.
- Early morning flying is usually better due to less wind.
- Don’t fly your drone with other distractions…focus on what you are doing.
- Stay away from people, animals, power lines, and water.
- Know your limits, take it slow. Most drones come with a beginner mode. I recommend you use it.
- Read the Manual….Then, read the manual again.
- Watch videos on YouTube of others using the drone you have.
**You took your drone outside and got it stuck in a tree…What do you do now?
The first time I took my little Holy Stone outside I got it stuck in a tree. I went to a soccer field by the local high school. I was flying just fine and was starting to push the battery life limit (6-9 mins.) and I thought I would take it up one more time. Unfortunately, I got a little too high, caught some wind and it took the drone across the street and into a subdivision. It came to rest on the top of a 23-foot tree. It showed me just how fast you can lose control of your drone so be careful. If you do get stuck in a tree here is a site that has some good tips on getting it down.