Best Mini Drone & Best Beginner Quadcopter and Buying Guide!

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When shopping for a drone for the inexperienced pilot, the phrase to keep in mind is “ready to fly.” You may see those words in many a product description, but they may not mean you’ll be soaring the sky like an expert immediately. For the newcomer, “ready to fly” should mean coming as close to simplifying the art behind flight and minimizing the learning curve.

The best beginner quadcopter could be the least expensive or the best mini drone for indoor use. We’re here to help narrow it down, weaning products so that you don’t waste money, make bad decisions or end up with a dud.

Our Top 10 Beginner & Mini Drones Comparison Chart

PRODUCTS Dimensions Weight Review
Syma X5C 2.4G
16.5 x 12.2 x 3.8 inches 1.2 pounds Our Review
Horizon Hobby Blade
10.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches 1.6 pounds Our Review
Hubsan X4
2.3 x 2.3 x 1 inches 1.3 pounds Our Review
Parrot Bebop Quadcopter
13.2 x 3.8 x 14.4 inches 3.0 pounds Our Review
Dromida Ominus Unmanned
14.8 x 9.7 x 3.9 inches 0.3 pounds Our Review
UDI RC U845 2.4GHz
8.3 x 8.3 x 3.4 inches 3.8 ounces Our Review
Holy Stone HS170
5.3 x 1.6 x 5.3 inches 14.4 ounces Our Review
EACHINE E010 Mini
3.7 x 3.7 x 2 inches 1.8 ounces Our Review
AUKEY Mini Drone
1.8 x 1.8 x 0.9 inches 3.2 ounces Our Review
TEC.BEAN X902 Black Spider
3.7 x 3.7 x 0.8 inches 0.6 ounces Our Review

What is the Best Quadcopter for Beginners?

Quadcopters have the facility to be easy or hard to fly, cheap or expensive, sophisticated or simple. But what we want most from them is fun. This is especially true for the beginner.

When it is time to find a drone, we need to remember not all devices are easy to operate, even if they say they are. Flying is as much about skill and talent as it is simplicity.

If you are on the prowl for a quadcopter and new to the sport or looking to gift someone, let’s take a look at a few things to keep in mind.

Ready-to-Fly or RTF

This often means no assembly or setup is required. It is not a reference to functionality. All that may be required of the user is a battery charge, propeller installation or binding (connecting quads to controllers).

Bind-and-Fly or BNF

These quads come without controllers that may be sold separately or could be compatible with one you already own. Make sure you know what kind of controller works with your drone if you choose to go BNF.

Almost-Ready-to-Fly or ARF

These quads are usually kits. They may be partially assembled or come with a transmitter or receiver. The kit might need a separate purchase of ESCs, motors, flight controller or battery.

For the novice, it’s best to stick to the RTF. Minimize maintenance and give yourself less work to do outside of learning to fly.

Major Considerations

Budget PricePrice

While you want something as sturdy and reliable as your budget will allow, you don’t want to make so big an investment that deciding you’re not interested makes it a waste of money. For instance, we do not believe buying a $500 drone for a teenager is a great move as they could fly it a few times before moving on to the next big thing, like kissing.

ConstrucionConstruction

The build is going to be important. You want something lightweight, but sturdy enough to withstand a collision or four. Even the most experienced flier has hit their share of objects. But they also know to buy an unit ready for accidents and is more likely to withstand impact, even after falling hundreds of feet.

Features and Ease of UseEase of use

While other RC models (planes, cars, copters) can be said to have their difficulty levels go up with pricing, the opposite could be said of drones. The more expensive drones can be easier to fly because added tech and features are incorporated that make the device’s function easier to manage. A $50 model is less likely to have sensors and a reinforced shell or return home options.

Look at brands as well. DJI, Walkera and Parrot are known for exemplary product. It may be a good idea to start with a drone that can be used indoors and out. It will give the newcomer a lot more freedom to play.

Best Beginner & Mini Drones Reviews

Syma X5C 2.4G 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with HD Camera

Syma X5C 2.4G 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with HD Camera

 

With its six axis gyro stabilization system, the Syma X5C 2.4G 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter provides function and flexibility. This is a best value quadcopter ready for indoor and outdoor use. It’s equipped with a HD camera so that the novice can capture and share adventures.

Features

  • Use the 360 degree eversion feature to perform flips.
  • The six axis stabilization system enhances safe flying.
  • A full battery charge allows for seven minutes of flight time.
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 12.2 x 3.8 inches
  • Weight / Shipping Weight: 1.2 / 2 pounds
  • Model number: X5C-W
PROS:
  • For the price, this could be the best quadcopter for kids.
  • The X5C utilizes spread spectrum tech to reduce interference and further remote distance.
  • It can be flown in- or outdoors.
CONS:
  • The battery has a tendency to die after a few charges.
  • Customers have received broken drones.

Verdict

The Syma X5C 2.4G 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with 2.0 MP HD Camera will be easy to fly and a great learning tool for the beginner pilot.

 

Horizon Hobby Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter

Horizon Hobby Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter

 

Reviewing the best quadcopter for beginners, the Horizon Hobby Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter stood out. It has a tough air frame with blade guards and brushed motors for powerful and smooth lifts with a four-in-one DSMX receiver, mixer, ESCs and SAFE sensor unit.

Features

  • The unit is small and safe for any office or room.
  • The SAFE technology maximizes agility and stability in-flight.
  • The device weighs less than an ounce.
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight / Shipping Weight: 1.6 / 7 pounds
  • Model number: CP.PT.000642
PROS:
  • Its compact size makes this the best Nano quadcopter for indoor play.
  • The SAFE tech promises the agility and stability a novice may need while learning to fly.
  • As proficiency grows, adjust SAFE to accommodate faster speeds and maneuvers.
CONS:
  • The CCW and CW motors have been known to not spin together.
  • Some users have not found the device easy to control.

Verdict

Alongside SAFE tech, the Horizon Hobby Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter has sophisticated flight control software. Keep a supply of extra batteries available to ensure hours of fun.

 

Hubsan X4 (H107L) 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Quadcopter

Hubsan X4 (H107L) 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Quadcopter

 

The Hubsan X4 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Quadcopter is an exceptional beginner quadcopter. It has a one piece mainframe, a stabilizing six axis gyro and uses a high capacity LiPo battery.

Features

  • The Hubsan X4 has a micro coreless motor.
  • The device has Stunt Mode.
  • The drone has a six axis gyro for precision flying.
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 2.3 x 1 inches
  • Weight / Shipping Weight: 1.3 / 1.4 pounds
  • Model number: 61144
PROS:
  • The device fits in the palm of your hand.
  • Stunt Mode will give beginners a taste of the sport’s potential.
  • The system includes adjustable gyro sensitivity.
CONS:
  • There is evidence other companies are selling knockoffs of the Hubsan.
  • Customers have received older versions of the model.
  • The device comes with no replacement parts or charger.

Verdict

The Hubsan X4 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Quadcopter is a good cheap quadcopter. An excellent start for anyone who wants to see what this sport brings to the table.

 

Parrot Bebop Quadcopter Drone

Parrot Bebop Quadcopter Drone

 

If you’re aiming for sophistication in your best beginner quadcopter, the Parrot Bebop Quadcopter Drone is a safe bet. The new adventurer will not only learn to fly, but to capture the action with a 14 megapixel hi-def camera and three axis stabilization.

Features

  • The device has an auto return home feature.
  • Use the device’s proprietary app, Free Flight 3, to manage adventures.
  • The Bebop analyzes data with accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer sensors.
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3.8 x 14.4 inches
  • Weight / Shipping Weight: 3.0 / 3.1 pounds
  • Model number: PF722001
PROS:
  • Camera angles are controlled with the thumb.
  • The stabilization system maintains fixed angles regardless of drone movement.
  • Use the integrated GPS and your smartphone to plan flights.
CONS:
  • The return home feature tends to fail.
  • Motors have shut down.

Verdict

Cruise at your own pace while capturing the world at full 1080p with the Parrot Bebop Quadcopter Drone. As a leisure drone for the beginner, the Bebop is robust, lightweight and ready for adventure.

 

Dromida Ominus Unmanned Aerial Vehicle RTF Quadcopter Drone

Dromida Ominus Unmanned Aerial Vehicle RTF Quadcopter Drone

 

For the best quadcopter under $100, the Dromida Ominus Unmanned Aerial Vehicle RTF Quadcopter Drone has been appreciated by both novice and pro alike. Unlike comparable drones, it has multiple flight modes. The design is prepared for typical impact and harsh landings, as well as for tracking with LEDs.

Features

  • Auto-flip the unit with the push of a button.
  • Brightly colored LEDs provide easy tracking night or day.
  • The 2.4 GHz tech provides interference free, precise control.
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 9.7 x 3.9 inches
  • Weight / Shipping Weight: 0.3 / 1.8 pounds
  • Model number: DIDE01GG
PROS:
  • Track flights with the unit’s high intensity LEDs.
  • The ergonomic Q100 radio is flush with functions.
CONS:
  • The motors have burned out after a few flights.
  • The remote has been reported as too complicated.

Verdict

For its cost and performance, the Dromida Ominus Unmanned Aerial Vehicle RTF Quadcopter Drone is one of the best affordable quadcopters for the beginner with enough features for the experienced.

 

UDI RC U845 2.4GHz 6 Axis Gyro Quadcopter with HD Camera

UDI RC U845 2.4GHz 6 Axis Gyro Quadcopter with HD Camera

 

To start, take notice of the UDI RC U845 2.4GHz 6 Axis Gyro Quadcopter with HD Camera’s unique design. More UFO than copter, it stands out among quadcopters for beginners. Add in video recording and you start some great sightings of your own.

Features

  • The transmitter range is between 164-262 feet. Video transmission range is under 100 feet
  • While a best entry level quadcopter, it has a responsive motor, so the controller needs a delicate touch.
  • Posture control guarantees precise aircraft positioning.
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.3 x 3.4 inches
  • Weight / Shipping Weight: 3.8 ounces / 1.4 pounds
  • Model number: U845
PROS:
  • This device is perfect for fliers 14 and older.
  • With its responsiveness, fliers will learn the delicacy behind control.
  • Use this device for real time FPV and video.
CONS:
  • Users aren’t receiving adequate documentation for operation.
  • The drone can lose its takeoff thrust after a few flights.

Verdict

For getting in the game, the UDI RC U845 2.4GHz 6 Axis Gyro Quadcopter with HD Camera promises precision flying and quality video and image capturing.

 

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone

 

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone is highly noted as a beginner’s quadcopter. It has a 2.4 Ghz powered six axis gyro, four channels and security features that make the quad easy to fly.

Features

  • The headless security system lets any pilot, regardless of skill, fly easily.
  • Anti-interference 2.4 GHz tech ensures safe flights.
  • Performs at up to 165 feet and has good wind resistance.
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.6 x 5.3 inches
  • Weight / Shipping Weight: 14.4 / 14.4 ounces
  • Model number: HS170
PROS:
  • This is the choice for drone training.
  • The six axis gyro promises a flexible and stable performance..
CONS:
  • The drone does not hover.
  • Customers have found it difficult to control.

Verdict

The Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone is a great drone for the beginner. With colorful LEDs and varying speeds, it will be a fun learning tool.

 

EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter Drone

EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter Drone

 

The EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter Drone has 2.4 GHz power, four channels and six axis stabilization. It is capable of headless mode, 360 degree rollover and one key return. This nano is a best starter quadcopter in every way.

Features

  • The 3D rolling feature adds special effects to the beginner’s repertoire.
  • The one key return button brings the drone back to the remote control.
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.7 x 2 inches
  • Weight / Shipping Weight: 1.8 / 6.4 ounces
  • Model number: E010
PROS:
  • The positioning system brings the drone to the location of the controller.
  • Get into the sport with a function that makes flipping easy.
  • Compass mode controls flight direction via the remote’s movement.
CONS:
  • Motors have stopped working in sync with others.
  • The drone has lasted a few outings before dying.

Verdict

The EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter Drone is the best cheap quadcopter for kids or adults looking to explore the world of drones.

 

AUKEY Mini Drone

AUKEY Mini DroneThe AUKEY Mini Drone is a top quadcopter for beginners. It has easy maneuvering, can flip and is pocket sized. That’s pretty compact for a device with 2.4 GHz worth of power and a six axis gyroscope. The mini drone also has intelligent altitude and one key landing.

Features

  • The drone has precise throttle, flip and spin controls for easy navigation.
  • Bright integrated LEDs will simplify tracking and beautify night flights.
  • The AUKEY was designed with beginners in mind.
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Weight / Shipping Weight: 3.2 / 8 ounces
  • Model number: UA-P01
PROS:
  • The UA-P01 makes flying easy, fun and intuitive.
  • Fitting in the palm of the hand, it can be taken anywhere, outdoors and indoors.
CONS:
  • Replacement parts for the unit are not readily available.
  • The motors have burned out quickly.

Verdict

The AUKEY Mini Drone has one key features, compact size, three speeds and the ability to do stunts. This UAV drone will let beginners get their feet wet and develop a love for flying.

 

TEC.BEAN X902 Black Spider Mini RC Quadcopter Drone

TEC.BEAN X902 Black Spider Mini RC Quadcopter DroneWith its downside motor and propeller construction, the TEC.BEAN X902 Black Spider Mini RC Quadcopter Drone looks cool. It fits in the palm of the hand and makes for a best first quadcopter with options for beginners.

Features

  • Make flights safe and easier to manage by choosing a speed that fits skill level.
  • The six axis stabilization system and 2.4 GHz tech promises smooth operations.
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Weight / Shipping Weight: 0.6 / 8.3 ounces
  • Model number: X902
PROS:
  • The X902 has an extremely protective frame.
  • Once the blades have been installed correctly, you’re ready to fly.
  • Beginners will discover the fun of flying with flashing lights, 3D flips and other fun features.
CONS:
  • The mini drone has stopped working after a few flights.
  • Electronic malfunctions are common.

Verdict

A TEC.BEAN X902 Black Spider Mini RC Drone is an excellent quadcopter beginner. Newcomers will love the easy flight and safety functions, as well as the compact size and simple to maintain operation.

Are You a DIYer Interested in Building a Cheap Drone?

The drone is growing in popularity every day. During the Christmas season in 2017, over a million new fliers took to the air. If their models came with cameras, they captured their adventures and shared them on YouTube and other video platforms.

Many pilots build their drones. Before you go running the other way, the project doesn’t require a lot of mechanical know-how. Like many complex operations, you simple need the background for the simplest ways for getting things done, and patience and ambition. The project can make you appreciate the sport more, the way rebuilding a car engine or repainting the house yourself gives you a greater appreciation of those things.

Considerations

Here are the basic components for building a drone.

  • The Frame

While you want a sturdy material, a solid carbon fiber element is all you really need.

  • ECSs

The electronic speed controller will send signals to the motor. ESCs have to work with the motors and the battery.

  • Flight controllers

There are freestyle, FPV, and setups for aerial video and photography, and autonomous flying.

  • Motors

For standard power, you want at least four, but drones can have as few as two and up to eight motors depending on how much power and stability you want.

  • Battery

You’ll want a good LiPo (lithium polymer) battery to power the motors for as long as possible to maximize your time in the air.

  • Receiver and radio

These devices will help you transmit messages between your controller and the drone. The stronger the signal, the better your range and agility.

  • Propellers

The materials should be lightweight and sturdy.

Simplify the Process with a Drone Kit

While you can certainly buy separate materials and build from there, you can buy kits. For your first build, we would suggest a kit. Here are some of the better ones. All can be found on Amazon.

RC Quadcopter

Courtesy of steve lodefink

BW® DIY F450 4-Axis RC QuadCopter MultiCopter Frame Airframe Kit

Once set up, a pilot will be able to cruise, hover, roll and other fun activities. You’ll be able to use the
F450 for aerial photography, FPV and entertainment. The completed carbon fiber drone will support a number of 50 mm control boards.

Hobbypower X525 Quadcopter Glass Fiber Folding Kit

The kit includes a fordling frame, mini flight controller, brushless motor with propeller adapter, four propellers, ESC, connect board, reinforced protection cover and more. Follow the instructions closely and get a good handle on building.

Hobbypower X525 V3 Quadcopter Foldable Kit

The 1000 kv motors provide extreme power. You will need a remote and battery. Experienced builders love the speed and flight time of the completed drone. But even those who swear by this kit purchase an extra set of motor mount plates as they find the ones that come with the kit to be inadequate.

Conclusion

Building is a great way to learn how components work together. The beginner wants ease of control and assembly, and if later you want to add on – camera, GPS, increased payload – know how difficult it would be.

Some kits may be pre-soldered or partially assembled. Stick with builds that require more as opposed to less work. Manufacturers will create kits that may seem less expensive and easier builds, but those kits will often require their proprietary – expensive! – replacement parts.

Making The Decision

We hope all this info about what is the best quadcopter to buy gets you closer to finding the beginner’s drone you want.

The beginner is a broad category and that will impact what kind of drone they need. A hobbyist will not need the same product that would benefit a land surveyor. Aerial videographer, stunt daredevil, construction site mapper or wildlife tracker. All need a specific type of drone.

Making The DecisionFlying is as much about skill and talent as it is about fun and adventure. That’s why we put together this guide for establishing how to buy a quad for the neophyte. You can look at a Hubsan or a DJI. You can go small and affordable for a junior pilot. Perhaps you’re the ambitious type who wants to build their own drone. While we suggest the beginner start with a quadcopter for its stability, reliability and capacity to teach, we also understand not every new flier may need to.

From buying a ready-to-go UAV to jumping in with a kit, this information gives everyone a great place to research and buy! We hope all this info about what is the best quadcopter to buy gets you closer to finding the drone you want to start flying.

The beginner can be in a broad category and that will impact what kind of drone they need. A hobbyist will not need the same product that would benefit a land surveyor. Aerial videographer, stunt daredevil, construction site mapper or wildlife tracker will all need a specific type of drone.

Flying is as much about skill and talent as it is about fun and adventure. That’s why we put together this guide for establishing how to buy a quad for the neophyte. You can take a look at a Hubsan or a DJI. You can go small and affordable for a junior pilot. Perhaps you’re the ambitious type who wants to build their own drone. While we suggest the beginner start with a quadcopter for its stability, reliability and capacity to teach, we also understand not every new flier may need to.

Finding a great drone for the beginner doesn’t have to be a mash of options and confusion. From buying a ready-to-go UAV to jumping in with a kit, this information gives everyone a great place to research and buy!

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