So you want to buy a drone? You’ve seen numerous drones for sale all over the internet; you’ve seen the rave reviews, and you want some of the thrills for yourself too! Good idea. Owning and flying drones is fascinating and exciting.
In this guide, you will discover all you need to know about drones and the best drone products on the market.
What type of drone are you looking for?
As you’re here on this page, I should imagine you’re looking for the best drone for your money. But you probably realize there are a lot of drone types on the market – racing drones; cheap toy drones; photo drones; sports drones, and so on.
Getting Familiar With Drones
A “drone” is the term used to describe an unmanned aerial vehicle, also known as a UAV. The aircraft is usually piloted by a pilot located at ground level, using a remote transmitter. This is often through an app on a smartphone or tablet.
Drones can come in all shapes and sizes, whether its a micro-quad copier that can fit in the palm of your hand or a one-meter fixed-wing aircraft that requires a runway.
Quadcopters are known for their maneuverability and safety – It is also possible to match quadcopters with propeller protectors that encompass rotors, further reducing the potential for damage.
Characteristics to Note when Searching For a Drone
When it comes to purchasing a drone for the first time, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. You may not know what to look for and what features are essential for the first-timers. Below are some of the features that all the best drones have and we explain what they do and how useful they are.
Consider the design that meets your taste. This is because progress has been made in drone design. High-end models now come with GPS capability, which allows the drone to adjust to the wind or even return to its base. Drone models ensure that you enjoy the best balance and control when flying the drone. Other factors to consider are the size and weight of the drone. For example, drones will require more power to operate but will handle well in high winds. If you want a smooth flight, consider buying one that has GPS capability.
Vital criteria to consider when you want to buy a drone is flight time. Believe me, it’s incredibly annoying to change the batteries every 10 minutes. A good flight time would be 18 minutes plus, with the longest time you will get with a rotary drone being about 27 minutes.
Many people buy 3-4 extra batteries, so they simply change them when they run out of power and continue flying. Nonetheless, when it comes to bigger and costlier drones, the kits and accessories become even more expensive. Depending on how seriously you take your new hobby, you can get an additional battery and basically double your air time.
The quality of a drone camera will be paramount if you are looking to shoot aerial photos or videos. When you want to buy a drone, it is incredibly essential that the drone is equipped with either a 2- or 3-axis gimbal stabilizer.
This will keep the camera steady and level when the drone is in the air, allowing you to shoot some beautiful, smooth-looking photos. The camera is an everyday accessory for a drone. It comes as an additional component for cheaper drones, and it is up to you whether or not you want to install it.
However, when it comes to aerial photos/video drones, video cameras are a must. Some drones rely on their own cameras attached to the body, while others rely on third-party cameras.
Depending on the manufacturer, many features can be fine-tuned, such as ISO, shutter speed, photo/video size, and more. Think of it as professional photo/video equipment flying in the air. You attain a lot of freedom when soaring up in the sky and you can achieve an impressive recording.
Here is an excellent video from CNET, which gives some great information about Drone Buying Tips.
This is another critical factor that will determine the amount of freedom you have once in the air. A full range is excellent for shooting aerial videos because it gives you more space to explore and expand some great photos.
Speed and height
The height and speed of your drone need to meet your expectations. For example, if you want to capture live-action videos during games, you need a drone that can reach heights of 300 meters, which will ensure that you get the full field experience. Most drones exhibit speeds of 10-15 miles per hour. If you want to make videos with games or parties, you should buy a drone that gives you the top speed available.
As we all know, each drone has one front and one rear. When you are facing the same direction with your drone, pressing the left steering stick of the remote control should direct the drone to the left. However, when the drone turns, and the front is facing you, the controller and the front of the drone are in the opposite direction
However, when the Headless mode is activated, this problem is quickly resolved – as long as you turn on the mode when the remote control and the front of the drone face the same direction, it will always go to the left when you press left, and it will always be to the right
Return Home Function
The “Return Home” feature does exactly what you think it does – returns your drone to the starting point with the push of a button. This feature works brilliantly in situations where you lose sight of the aircraft; You can return the drone to where it took off safely.
On a GPS drone, you must first wait for the drone to sync on the GPS satellites. This allows the drone to know precisely where it is before taking off, so when you press the Return Home button, it knows where to go.
Be sure to check battery life before taking off. Also, check your upload time, because you want one that you can upload quickly. Most models come with batteries that last two hours to charge. Some drones can fly for 6 minutes, while others last 12 minutes before the battery is recharged. Consider buying drones that come with replacement batteries, because they help you when the battery is dead or if it can no longer hold a charge. Click here for some great deals on drone batteries.
Some parts of your drone may need to be replaced or repaired, which means you should buy a drone with equipment that you can easily find. Note that if you choose models that do not allow easy replacement, your drone will be useless in a case where everything breaks. Common parts which may need replacement include propellers, batteries and gears.
Here are my thoughts on the best drones to buy in 2020:
If you’re in the market for a cheap 4K camera drone, Eachine E520S is the drone you’re looking for. This is a well-designed foldable drone, which weighs less than 300g and comes with some fantastic features, the best of which is its 4K camera. With this you will be able to make some amazing videos and shoot great aerial images, it also comes with GPS for more stable flight experience.
Eachine e520s drone key features:
- 4K camera
- 6 axis gyroscope
- Intelligent flight modes
- 3-speed switch
- Automatic return home
- Flight time – 15 minutes
Intelligent flight modes
Like many modern drones, Eachine E520S comes with several intelligent flight modes. The modes make it easy for anyone to fly this drone and take videos and pictures is much easier because you don’t have to worry about drone control.
The drone also has a return to home feature, if you see the battery charging start to leak or lose sight of your drone, just press the RTH button on the controller and the drone will return. This is an exciting feature that will minimize your chances of losing or crashing your drone.
Flight performance for each Eachine E520S is quite good, stable, and even in windy conditions, it is not so difficult to control, although there is a bit of interference if you use the FPV functions. Because it has GPS, you can navigate the drone smoothly, and GPS also allows you to make better images and videos. There are three-speed modes; it is a fast drone even in the lowest speed mode, so switch to faster modes only after you become a more experienced flyer.
There is never enough time to enjoy the experience of drone flying entirely, so you should buy extra batteries. Fortunately, each one comes with a package that comes with three spare batteries, which will stop you from buying them separately and save you money.
Final thoughts on the Eachine E520S
Eachine E520S is a great drone that comes with some amazing features, a 4K camera and is very easy to fly. Amazingly, this drone is suitable for beginners and experts. If you are looking for a cheap 4K camera drone, Eachine E520S will not disappoint you.
Holy Stone GPS FPV RC Drone HS100
The HS100 is a new drone from Holy Stone. With the HS100, Holy Stone seems to be trying to enter the mid-range market segment, both in terms of quality and price. So far, Holy Stone, a leading Chinese drone manufacturer, has launched low-budget drones; this is not so with the HS100. With the increased price comes greatly increased quality.
Holy Stone HS100 is suitable for everyone, but especially for those who are new to the drone world. It comes with many fantastic features, such as the fantastic HD 1080p camera, which has a 120° wide-angle lens. It has a single-key take-off and landing feature and comes with an automatic return home feature.
- 1080p camera with 120° angle lens
- FPV capacity
- Automatic return home
- One-Key Take-Off
- 15 minutes of flight time
With high definition 1080p recording mode, along with a 90° adjustable tilt, this drone has it all. It can fly to its stated maximum height and can capture amazing aerial images.
The quality of the videos is bright and clear, and the camera does not get confused during high speed. This drone’s FPV wi-fi camera lets you make real live videos with everything the drone sees.
The entire construction of the transmitter is sturdy and durable. It is a little heavy but holds very well on the palms. It consists of a simple set of three buttons together with two control buttons. The buttons are for activating pressing the altitude, for returning the home function and for starting the transmitter. Even if the drone flies out of range, the transmitter reconnects with the drone as soon as it enters the field.
The battery that comes with it is powerful enough to cover the drone without problems. However, the long charging time of 3-6 hours is its most significant disadvantage. The battery has a capacity of 2500 mAh, which ensures a flight time of 12-15 minutes. The battery operates at 7.4V, so it can provide a lot of power to powerful motors without brushes.
Follow Me Mode – This mode commands the drone to follow you every step of the way and capture aerial videos or photos. This is done through the GPS support function. Useful for when you want to register by running or riding a bicycle. Activate the follow me mode, start running, and the drone will faithfully follow you like a dog, recording your movement.
Returning home – This is one of the best features of the HS100. This ensures that you do not miss the drone. This feature allows the drone to find its way back home when it loses signal, or the battery becomes weak, etc. Return home mode uses GPS to bring the drone back to its starting position at the push of a button. It works very well and is entirely accurate, avoiding the built-in obstacles.
Final Thoughts on the Holy Stone HS100
HS100 is one of the most compact and reliable drones in terms of the price range. I have used this drone many times and tried it at different altitudes. I haven’t been disappointed so far. This product gives you an excellent combination of price, quality, and performance. Both beginners and more experienced drone pilots can quickly fly this drone.
DJI Mavic Air Drone Fly More Combo
This small, yet powerful quadcopter drone is as tall and wide as a standard smartphone when folded so you can take it almost anywhere. In-flight, the Mavic Air can record 4K video, HDR snapshot, and use advanced features such as ActiveTrack, QuickShots, and SmartCapture. This version includes 3 batteries, 6 pairs of propellers and many more.
Excellent engineering and design, Mavic Air was built to go wherever your adventure takes you. Inheriting all the best of the Mavic series, this ultraportable and foldable drone offers high-performance flight capabilities and extensive exploration functionality.
- 32 MP sphere panoramas
- Foldable and portable
- 3-Axis Gimbal & 4K camera
- 3-way environmental sensor
- Flight time of 21 minutes
The Mavic Air Fly More Combo Kit is much less expensive than buying separate parts. The kit includes extra batteries, a propeller, and a travel bag. With a fully charged battery, the Mavic Air can fly for up to 21 minutes. It records 4K quality life-like images at 30 frames per second.
The drone has a 3-axis gimbal. This limits vibrations and shocks. The powerful HDR camera sensor gives you more control over the light settings. As a result, you can even see precise details in darker areas. The drone can be easily controlled by hand gestures. You can also use the remote control or the smartphone app for more control options. Because the drone is compact and foldable, you can take it anywhere you want.
This time, Mavic Air comes with a combination of glossy plastic and a robust industrial look, the largest Mavic Air brand. It looks absolutely amazing. It is obvious that strength was definitely a top priority during the manufacturing process too.
The camera looks even more robust than the Mavic Pro’s gimbal, which is still flimsy, agitated, and seems prone to breaking when stopped. Not this one – it stays firmly in place with or without the additional protection against the supplied gimbal cover.
Behind a lens with an 85-degree field of view is a 1/2.3-inch camera sensor. The Mavic Air camera sounds just like the Mavic Pro and DJI Spark so far. Fortunately, there is another story. The main upgrade of the Mavic Air camera is the ability to record videos at a data rate of 100 Mbps.
As with all DJI drones, Mavic Air was an incredibly easy-to-fly drone. It floats well in all gusts of wind, but very strong (the application will warn you if it is too windy) and slides effortlessly.
A new feature called Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS) will automatically cause Mavic Air to fly around objects, such as trees and bushes. When this feature is activated, the wind blows a little slower than usual, but APAS works well. In Sport mode, Mavic Air moves very smoothly. According to DJI, it can reach speeds of up to 48 miles per hour.
Similar to the DJI Spark controller, the Mavic Air controller has two arms that extend from the main body to hold the smartphone in place. I like that the Air controller uses a physical cable to connect it to the phone (there are adapters for Android and iOS devices). Frankly, this is more reliable out and about than wifi or Bluetooth.
In terms of performance, Mavic Air offers several flight modes, can reach a maximum speed of up to 43 km/h, and provides a maximum flight time of up to 21 minutes. For safety and security, Mavic Air uses an advanced flight control system, which relies on several sophisticated technologies, including Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) and Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS), to locate in 3D space, detect objects and avoid collisions.
Becoming the best of the Mavic series, this device brings many new features that Spark and Mavic Pro don’t have. This is not just a new Mavic, with a few new firmware updates or updates. DJI listened to the feedback and redesigned a new drone from the bottom up and redefined what it means to be a photo drone.
FAQ for Mavic AirDrone Fly More Combo
Yes, an SD card between 16GB and 128GB will be needed. I have had good experiences with the Sandisk range.
Yes. You can use an ordinary USB cable to connect your smart phone to the remote controller via the USB port at the bottom of the controller. This may result in some discomfort when handling, but different cables come with the aircraft to meet your needs.
2 to 6 metres
Further Information and reading about the best drones and how to use drones safely
Some Useful Reading
- Civil Aviation Authority – information about all aspects of unmanned aviation
- Dronesafe – loads of helpful information about how to fly your drone safely and legally
- The Drone Code – a detailed look at the Drone Code (see image above)
- Drone Registration required for drones weighing more than 250g from November 2019