If you have never bought a drone before, they are fun enough to be worth the money. You will have too much fun to regret your investment.
Unless you want to race drones or use them for an oddball purpose like fishing, drones are for exploring, photography, and video. The best drones for either new or experienced hobbyists are those with the best photography and video capabilities.
Some drones are poorly made or are overpriced for what they offer. If you want to get an excellent deal, you should know a fair bit about drones and their features before making your first purchase. The SNAPTAIN SP700 is one of the best choices for a beginner; you might go with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro if you want to start with something pricier.
As well as a good camera, a drone needs a long enough battery life to get where you want it to go and make it back again. You might also need a drone with a long range, a crash avoidance system, and the ability to return to you automatically if you lose contact with it.
Not all drones share the same quadcopter design. Some are similar to propeller planes, not helicopters. Plane shaped drones can be fun, but they are also harder to control.
If you are using a plane-shaped drone, it is harder to take video since it takes too much effort to control. Get a quadrocopter model instead if what you want is to take the best photos and video. Drones that are hexacopters (six rather than four arms and propellers) are also a good choice.
You won't have much fun with a drone if it is a hassle to control it. The controls should be simple and responsive enough that it is effortless to fly it well before the end of the first day you try it.
Usually, 20 or 30 minutes' worth of battery life is what you can expect from a good drone. It is not easy to find a drone with a much longer-lasting battery in 2021. Some cheaper drones have shorter battery lives.
A way around this limitation is to use a drone that can change batteries in the middle of a flight. Batteries are heavy, but you can still increase your flight time by getting a drone that can change to a second battery while in the air.
A gimbal is what helps keep your drone steady and controllable. Without a good gimbal, you won't be able to keep your drone still enough to take high-quality video. A very stable drone will be able to hold still even in the wind, allowing you to use the camera without it shaking around too much.
While many people only fly their drones as far away as they can see them, and the law requires people to fly their drones only within their sight in many places, long flight time is useful for many other people. You may find it hard to take the videos and photos you want if you cannot control your drone at a far enough distance.
If your drone loses contact with your controller, you need the drone to come right back to you, or else you may never find it again. This is known as a return home feature - the drone returns to your location when it stops picking up your signals.
The drone can also return to your location without you having to control it if you press a button. A drone might also have more advanced AI, such as crash avoidance and stability in bad weather.
Nothing is worse than buying an expensive product that breaks and is not backed by a good warranty. Even if you are looking for a relatively cheap drone that does not have too many bells and whistles, it must be reliable.
To test the capabilities of a drone, we take it up in the air in less than ideal conditions. A drone that works perfectly fine on a day with no wind does not always work so well on a windy day. We always test our drones in poor conditions to make sure they are worth what people pay for them.
We also tested the video capabilities of the drones we review extensively. We look at the photographs and videos in detail, zooming in to see how clean the images look up close. We also test the cameras in weather that is not great for photography.
We also make sure that the manufacturers are telling the truth about their drone's specifications. Can the drone fly as fast as they say, or does it struggle to go that fast? We make sure the speed, maneuverability, control range, and other features work just as well as the companies claim.
The Snaptain SP700 might be the single best choice. Its artificial control features make it stand out for such a cheap drone. The Snaptain SP700 can follow you, fly in a circle, and hover using a GPS to steady its position.
Its ability to fly itself is not limited to a basic return home feature. For an inexpensive drone, this is more than what you can usually expect.
The drone can also take off and land with one button and won't fly past a certain line - an "electric fence" - if you set it. You can also activate "headless mode," which makes it much easier to fly the drone for a beginner who doesn't know how to fly.
While the camera is 2K rather than 4K, the camera is still excellent. You can get high-quality video and photographs, even if the light is not excellent. The video capabilities are some of the best you can find on an inexpensive drone.
Snaptain has been in the business for years and has established a reputation for making quality drones. Their products are backed up by strong warranties and are recommended by Forbes and by the New York Times. On Amazon, you can find hundreds of reviews and an excellent average score for the Snaptain SP700.
If you fly your drone at night, in bad weather, very high in the sky, or while drinking, you might lose it. You don't have to be extremely careful and only fly your drone in ideal conditions, but be aware of everything that raises the risk of you losing your drone.
Sometimes, your drone can be dangerous to other people, and there are laws you have to obey when using a drone. The laws are different in different places, so be aware of the laws in your area. Use common sense and do not put other people in any danger when using your drone.
Flying your drone above a highway is a bad idea. If your drone breaks down and falls to the ground, there could be an accident.
A falling drone can also hurt other people. Don't fly a done over a stadium or a soccer field.
You also need to avoid interfering with manned aircraft. It is illegal in many places to fly a drone any higher than 400 feet for this reason. Be safety conscious and know what the laws are in your area.