Wish you could fly? Here are the best drones on the market right now

In recent years, drones have been transformed from an amateur adventure to a complete cultural phenomenon. Now they are everywhere, and they are available in almost any shape, size or configuration you could wish for.

The market is absolutely saturated with them now, even some fantastic models below $ 500. To help you navigate in the increasingly large and constantly changing panorama of unmanned aerial vehicles for consumption, we prepare a definitive list of the best drones on the planet at this time. So without further ado, here is the cream of the quadcopter harvest.

Our selection

DJI Mavic Air

 DJI Mavic Air Review "data-image-id =" 1311217
Dan Baker / Digital trends [19659003] Dan Baker / Digital trends

Why should I buy? this: has all the features you need in a drone, but it’s still compact enough to fit in a backpack or purse

 
 

The best
DJI Mavic Air
has all the premium features that always wanted, and occupies less space than an Xbox controller
 

For who it is: Anyone looking for a full-featured but highly portable drone [19659015] How much will it cost: $ 799

Why we chose the DJI Mavic Air:

What makes the Mavic Air so incredible is that, despite being one of the most compact and portable drones that we have ever flown, it is also one of the most capable and with all functions. It is equipped with a 4K camera, a 3-axis gimbal, avoidance of forward / backward / downward obstacles, tons of autopilot modes, range of more than four miles, and somehow still fits in the palm of your hand. It is living proof that reducing size does not necessarily mean reducing features and that big things can really come in small packages.

The portability factor is huge. Thanks to a very intelligent hinge system, Mavic’s arms are folded into a small, clean package, smaller than the dimensions of a common brick, which makes transporting your backpack or travel bag an easy task and taking your adventure. Photographers always say that the best camera is the one you have with you, and the same could definitely be said about drones. If it’s portable, it’s much more likely that you have it with you when you need it.

When it comes to portable drones, the Mavic Air has no equal, although the Mavic Pro remains a pretty solid competitor. It has slightly better camera specifications and lasts a little longer in the air, but it also costs an additional $ 200.

Our complete review of DJI Mavic Air

The best drone for beginners

Yuneec Breeze [19659023] Review of Yuneec Breeze “data-image-id =” 1077063 “/> Rich Shibley / Digital Trends

Rich Shibley / Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: Because it’s easy to fly, relatively cheap, reasonably durable, and also gives you a lot of room to grow and progress as a pilot

 
 

best drone for beginners
Yuneec Breeze
With a 4K camera, a portable design and a price lower than 500, this drone is a fantastic starting point for beginners
 

For whom: Novice pilots who want a rugged and easy-to-fly drone with a decent camera and a plethora of upgrade options

How much does it cost? cost: $ 200- $ 230

Why we chose the Yuneec Breeze:

Some people will tell you that the beginner pilots should squeeze low-end drones, but in our expert opinion, that does not make sense . Why? Crappier drones are harder and less reliable to fly, which means they are much more likely to crash and destroy them. We believe that it is a smarter idea to start with a slightly more pleasant drone with reliable and responsive controls, a decent warranty and an easy to repair or update design.

With these goals in mind, Yuneec Breeze is a fantastic option for any greenhorn drone driver. It is relatively cheap, but not so cheap that it will encourage you to fly carelessly. It also has a pretty decent 4K camera in the undercarriage, and it has an ultraportable form factor that makes the transport, well, a Breeze.

And the best part? You can fly with your smartphone, or pick up Yuneec’s dedicated control 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 driving a quadcopter, but the most important thing is that you can also update your configuration as your skills progress and your needs change.

Our complete review of Yuneec Breeze

The best drone

Hubsan Desire FPV

 Hubsan Desire FPV

Why should I buy this : Despite having less than $ 200 dollars, it boasts all the essential features you need.

 
 

The best cheap drone
Hubsan X4 H502S FPV Desire
The Hubsan Desire FPV has GPS position, great stability and a dedicated controller with a built-in FPV screen. [19659014] For who it is: Beginners, anyone who wants an economic but stable drone
How much will it cost: $ 170
Why we chose Hubsan Desire FPV:
The problem with most of The drones in the sub- $ 200 category are that they do not have a great stabilization and ures position, so they are super squirrels and difficult to fly, but Hubsan’s Desire FPV is a notable exception. This small zipper has integrated GPS, altitude retention and a very decent self-stabilization software, which makes it much easier to fly.
As an added bonus, the Desire is also equipped with a 720p wide-angle camera that can record video to a built-in Micro SD card (not included), or simply make a live video back to your controller’s screen . There is even a “follow me” mode that allows you to give up control while the autopilot keeps the camera trained in the controller position, which is usually only found in high-end drones. If you are spending on a budget, the Desire FPV should definitely be on your list.

The best drone for filmmakers

DJI Inspire 2

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Why should I buy this : Because it’s a professional camera drone that’s ready to fly, straight out of the box

 
 
best drone for filmmakers
DJI Inspire 2
If you’re looking for a Professional camera drone ready to fly fresh out of the box, look no further
 

For who it is: Amateur and professional filmmakers who do not want to build a custom camera with drones
How much it will cost: $ 3,000
Why we chose the DJI Inspire 2:
There’s a reason why you see the inspiration of DJI appearing everywhere, from movie sets to concerts by Enrique Iglesias, 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, avoidance of obstacles ahead and 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.
DJI’s latest Zenmuse camera, the X5S, is a mirrorless Micro Four Thirds 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 wide ISO range of 100 – 25,600. As a further advantage, this platform is cradled within a 3-axis gimbal damped by vibration, so that its archival material looks smooth as silk no matter how madly it flies.

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 subject. With a configuration like this, you do not even need previous experience in film or piloting skills to obtain professional-looking images.

Our complete DJI Inspire 2 review

The best drone for racing [19659006] Lumenier QAV250 Mini FPV Carbon fiber edition

" Because you want a drone, you can compete and improve, but you do not want to build a scratch

 
 

The best drone for racing
Lumenier QAV250 Mini FPV Carbon Fiber Edition
The Lumenier QAV250 is a solid drone to start competing and presents a customizable design.
 

For whom: Beginner and intermediate racing drivers
How much will it cost: $ 434
Why do we choose the Lumenier QAV250 Mini FPV Carbon Fiber Edition:
Lumenier & # 39; s QAV250 wins our selection for the best racing drone for a few different reasons, but the first and most important one is that it is m Ocular and customizable. You can buy it pre-assembled from Lumenier, and while the stock configuration should be more than enough to satisfy the pilots who are new to drone racing, you will not be locked into that configuration forever either. If you ever want to update your drone, you can easily change any of the pieces for a newer and better one.
This flexibility is crucial. If you look at the winners of most drone races, you will notice that most professionals fly their own custom drone equipment that can be adjusted and 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 course of action is to get a team that takes you to the air and to the races, but that also allows you to evolve, and that is precisely what the QAV250 will do.

The best drone for children

Parrot Mambo

 Parrot Mambo
Parrot

Why should I buy this : it is stable and easy to fly, and comes with a variety of funny accessories.

 
 

The best drone for children [19659012] Parrot Mambo
The Drone Parrot & # 39; s Mambo is one of the most stable and accessible drones we have tested.
 

For who it is: Children and adults who want a drone that can shoot darts
How much will it cost: $ 120
Why do we choose the Parrot Mambo:
To tell the truth, You can get a cheaper drone so that your son will probably go crazy in the same way, but in reality they will be able to fly this one. There is a boat full of mini drones right now that you can get for less than $ 50, but in our experience, the vast majority of them are too complicated and difficult for an average child to master.
The new Parrot Mambo is different. Unlike most other mini drones, it is designed specifically for children. In addition to a large number of motion sensors and an advanced autopilot software that keeps the drone stable, Mambo also comes with a handful of accessories that make it more fun and attractive than a basic quadcopter. Inside the box you will find a barrel accessory, 50 foam cannon balls and a grip arm that can hold and transport small objects.
And the best part? Parrot also offers you the option of driving through a smart phone or with a dedicated dual joystick controller. The Flypad, as it is called, is sold separately for $ 40 dollars, but it could be worth the extra dough if you do not have a spare smartphone out there and do not feel like giving your son your new iPhone every time he / She wants to fly.

The best selfie robot

DJI Spark

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Why you should buy this: Because you want something portable you can fly without a controller [19659093] The best drone selfie
DJI Spark
DJI & # 39; s Spark is one of the most portable and easy to use drones on the market at the moment.
 

Who is it for : Anyone who wants to take epic selfies

How much will it cost: $ 500

Why do we choose DJI Spark:

If there’s something DJI is good at, is filling a lot of features and functionalities in drones getting smaller, and nothing shows this talent more than the Spark. Despite the fact that the drone’s helmet is about the size of a Twinkie, DJI somehow managed to fit many of the same products that you would find under the bonnet of the larger, bulkier and more expensive Spark brothers. .

Apart from its small and hyperportable design, the biggest feature of the Spark is possibly its large number of intelligent flight modes. In addition to the standard DJI material, the Spark has several new modes, including Rocket, Dronie, Circle and Helix (more on those in a moment). The drone also comes with gesture recognition capabilities, which allow it to be operated without a smartphone or controller.

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 built one in the Spark’s hull. 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 you avoid accidents.

Oh, and let’s not forget the camera. In addition to a 12-megapixel camera that records 1080p video at 30 frames per second, 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. This also gives you an advantage in the competition; Most self-contained drones only have single-axis mechanical stabilization.

Read our full review of DJI Spark

How do we test drones

Quality and compilation design

The first thing we do when we have a new drone is to win a little. We do not take it down the stairs or anything like that, but we’ll give it some bumps, twists and shallow drops to assess the quality of construction and durability. Do you feel weak or feel that you could survive a forced landing in the park? We give each unit of review a light beating (and usually a couple of involuntary accidental landings) before giving a definitive answer on how durable it is.

Flight performance, range and autonomy

To measure flight performance, we put the drone through a series of tests to see how the manufacturer’s claims are sustained. First we take it to a local soccer field and we see how fast 100 yards can pass, then we do some calculations to get an objective reading of the speed in miles per hour. After that, we do a similar test to evaluate the speeds of ascent and descent, and at the same time, we take notes on how sensitive the controls are, how stable the ship is, how far it can get before it is out of range, and how is the general piloting experience compared to other drones.

Battery life and charging time

After taking the drone to play for a while and write down some notes about how long the battery lasts, we put it in the charger and grab a stopwatch to determine the recharge time. Then we take it out again and do a stationary flight test. By flying the drone in the least demanding conditions, we can have an idea of ​​what the maximum flight time is. And finally, we took a few good and hard flights to discover how long the battery lasts (on average) under normal conditions.

Camera, accessories and update capability

If the drone we are testing happens to have a camera capable of recording, we capture all the material we can. We will shoot in dark places, light places and places with a lot of color and contrast. This video is compared to all the most outstanding reels that we filmed with other drones, which helps us to have an idea of ​​the strengths and weaknesses of the camera. We also test the accessories that accompany the camera, such as lenses, filters, cardans or FPV glasses. Finally, we’ll also let you know if the camera configuration is upgradeable, so you will not be stuck with an obsolete shooter in two years.