Since their introduction, drones have been transforming the world. People across the globe purchase them for a variety of different reasons. These machines are not only for entertainment purposes but also for professionals. Today, drones are used in professional photography, music videos, and even movies as well. Once you have decided to purchase one, you will come across a sea of options.
Starting from as low as $50, the sky’s the limit for these things in terms of price and features. However, you need to consider some things as well before getting your hands on a drone. If the process of finding the perfect drone is both hectic and confusing for you, let us help you out.
Things to consider when buying a drone
Drones are designed and manufactured for different purposes. Depending on what you need it for and how regularly you will be flying makes a lot of difference. Therefore, consider the following things so that you are able to narrow down the list.
Types of Drones
If you are in search of a drone just for fun and thrill, then you should opt for toy drones. Flying a drone requires skill, which develops with time. Toy drones are relatively inexpensive and will satisfy your entertainment needs. Furthermore, these drones are more focused to be fun than features. Their controls are user-friendly, intuitive, and easy for the user to understand. Moreover, you shall also be able to control them through your smartphone.
Beginner drones fly for a very limited time as well, which should be sufficient for a kid or someone who is an amateur. They can perform several stunts and if anything goes awry, you need not be worried as the parts are affordable and readily available. Therefore, if you are a new entrant in the drone world, start from a basic version.
Camera drones as compared to beginner drones are a bit complicated and consist of more features. These drones are designed to capture images used in professional photography or making videos. Since these types are specifically designed for capturing images, they are fitted with lenses. As a result, such drones will capture high-quality images and videos while performing tricks mid-air.
In addition to that, camera drones usually require additional equipment, which makes the overall package quite heavy. Therefore, it needs to be registered with the FAA. Depending on the price, the quality of images captured and the battery life of the drone vary. You can purchase an extended battery if you wish to prolong the filming sessions. Camera drones are fitted with gimbals that allow the user to adjust the lens perfectly over an area to capture images. Similar to toy drones, spare parts of camera drones are easily available as well but will vary according to the built-in camera and other related features.
As the term suggests, racing drones are only made for racing. You might be new to this but there is something such as drone racing. Professional drone racers from around the world gather to race their drones and set record timing. Racing drones need to be fast, stable, and extremely agile. Furthermore, since these drones will be flying pretty fast, it is important that they are strongly built to prevent major damage.
Most racing drones feature built-in first-person view lens and headsets as well to allow the user to navigate obstacles easily. However, then again, consider buying one only if you are a professional. If you are still not clear regarding the type, we have further made things simple by categorizing drones in different price brackets and the features you should look for accordingly.
If you are a beginner and looking for something very basic, then you could get your hands on a drone, which is not heavy on your pocket. Furthermore, such drones are solely meant for entertainment purposes and are a perfect option for a head start. The good news is that Hubsan believes in providing value in even its budget-friendly products.
Therefore, for something between $50-$60, you could get and definitely consider a drone that at least features a 480P camera with around 5-6 minutes of flying time. In addition to that, you should be looking for a drone that can travel to a range of at least 50 meters with ease. Make sure that it has built-in LEDs for night flying and built with sufficient durability to withstand impacts.
A mid-range drone could be used for different purposes. On one hand, you could use it to perform stunts and on the other hand use it for capturing special occasions and memories. Mid-range drones are neither too expensive nor too cheap but provide the best of both worlds. When looking for a mid-range drone, get your hands on one that features at least a 1080P camera for capturing sharp images. There are drones available in the market that feature 2K FHD cameras as well along with features such as image stabilization as well.
Furthermore, it should consist of all basic features such as ‘Return to home’ and ‘Follow me’ etc. Mid-range drones could fly for nearly 15-20 minutes and even more depending on the battery. However, that is the least you should be bargaining for in addition to around 1600 meters of flying range. Lastly, consider the built quality as well, the frame should offer sufficient durability and rigidity, allowing it to travel fast and withstand mediocre impacts at the same time.
Drones that are highly-priced usually belong to the professional category. Such drones are used by professional photographers, movie makers, and drone racers. The reason being that these drones are extremely fast, agile, and durable. Furthermore, they are packed with powerful Li-Po and Lithium-Ion batteries to provide a flight time of more than 30 minutes.
In addition to that, their flight range measures to around 4000 meters, whereas the remote control could transmit signals up to 1 kilometer. Professional drones could also carry weight up to 50 pounds, which could be used for delivery purposes. In terms of camera features, you could easily get a 4K camera with around 20x zooming and 3D image capturing features. The users will also get headsets for point of view action to navigate and capture precise images. On top of that, these drones come with built-In GPS integration and LTE connectivity, which itself isn’t cheap.
Stability & Durability
The most important feature when it comes to buying a drone is stability & durability. Stability is important when you are flying at high speeds and altitudes. On the other hand, durability is necessary if you are a beginner. During the learning process, you will be crash landing your drone quite often, therefore, the drone needs to be durable enough to bear the impacts. Consider buying a drone that is budget-friendly yet durable enough to help you through the initial stages.
The Hubsan X4 H501SS RC drone is built to capture stellar images. It comes equipped with a 1080P HD camera, which records high quality still images and videos. Furthermore, it has a built-In brushless motor as well. Considering its features and purpose, the Hubsan X4 has a sufficient flight time of 20 minutes and could fly to up to 400 meters. The 5.8G FPV live video features allow you to record videos of special occasions and could be easily navigated using the 4.3 inch LCD controller. Lastly, it comes with an automatic return home option as well, which enables the drone to return to the take-off point if the battery is too low or the controller signal is interrupted.
- 1080P HD camera
- 8G FPV Live Video
- 20 minutes fight time
- 400 meters flight range
The Hubsan X4 H107L Quadcopter is a budget-friendly option for someone who is new to drone flying. It is made from a durable one-piece mainframe that allows it to withstand minor and medium impacts. It includes a 4 channel 2.4 GHz control that allows easy and stable controlling. Furthermore, this HubsanQuadcopter features a built-in stunt mode as well along with powerful coreless motors and high-capacity LiPO battery. You can fly this drone indoors as well, thanks to its 6-axis ultra-stable adjustable gyro sensitivity. Lastly, you could charge it by using a USB cable while you are on the go.
- 6-axis ultra-stable adjustable gyro sensitivity
- 4 channel 2.4 GHz control
- Durable one-piece frame
Featuring RC drone configuration, the Hubsan X4 H216A Wifi drone is a solid option if you are looking for something in the middle. It has a built-in 1080P HD camera resolution along with an HT009 transmitter. This is an APP compatible drone, which means that it could be connected via cellphone wifi and is compatible with Android and iOS. The HubsanWifi drone is able to track an accurate GPS position, returns home automatically, and even packs a follow-me feature. The follow-me feature enables the drone to follow the user anywhere he/she goes. Moreover, it can fly for nearly 11 minutes and will take around 130 minutes to fully charge.
- 1080P HD camera
- HT009 transmitter
- Android and iOS compatible
- Follow me feature
The Hubsan H107C Headless IOC Quadcopter features less money and more value. It has many features that a beginner will look for in a drone. It flies smooth and steady and performs stunts on command. The Hubsan H107C Quadcopter uses a 720P HD camera to record videos and capture still images. The 2.4 GHz technology adopted helps with anti-interference so that you could fly it without being disturbed by frequencies of any kind. Lastly, it is a well-built drone that supports a durable frame for bearing minor impacts.
- 720P HD camera
- 4 GHz technology
- Durable frame
- Built-in LiPO battery
A compact yet user-friendly drone, the Hubsan H107D is equipped with a 480P camera with a 4.3-inch LCD remote control screen. It can perform 360-degree flips & rolls with the help of a 2.4 GHz anti-interference feature. Considering its price, it is both a strong and durable built drone intended for entertainment purposes. The 6-axis flight control system adds to the stability of the drone and makes it more stable at high altitudes. Its light-weight design makes it more agile and fast while reducing the chances of damage upon impact. You can fly it during the night as well using the mini light bulb, which helps you navigate easily during the dark.
- 480P Camera
- 4 GHz anti-interference
- 6-axis flight control system
- Lightweight and durable
As the buying guide reaches its conclusion, we are sure to have helped you narrow down the list of drones you could buy. To further make things easier, we would like to share that our top pick would be the Hubsan X4 H501SS RC Drone. It is a well-priced drone with all the necessary features you would need in a drone. The camera quality is impeccable whereas the flight time is sufficient as well. On top of that, it is a well-built drone, which supports light and durable frames for regular flying. Built for both beginners and professionals, this drone lives up to its value.
However, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option with basic features, you could consider the Hubsan X4 H107L Quadcopter for its durable frame and optimum stability. It features a high-capacity LiPO battery that will provide enough flying time at initial stages. Its compact size allows it to be flown both indoors and outdoors and could be charged easily via USB cable.