9 Best Beginner Drones in 2021

DJI Mini 2 – Ultralight and Foldable Drone Quadcopter

DJI Mavic Mini (Drone FlyCam Quadcopter)

Parrot Anafi – FPV Drone Set

If you’re interested in the best drones for beginners, then this is the place to be. It doesn’t matter whether you’re interested in the drone to achieve aerial view photos or just want a good racing drone. However, choosing a drone can be difficult for a beginner, especially because of the number of innovations in recent years.

Today’s market is filled with different choices with varying features and prices, making it difficult to find an ideal choice. High end and professional drones can cost up to thousands of dollars which is a huge investment, but there are cheap drones that you can get for drone racing or aerial photography. Buying a cheap drone is a great way to gain experience with drones before investing in high-end drones.

Getting a cheap drone is also a great way to introduce your kids to this exciting and fun tech. There are different reasons to get a starter drone, they might lack the advanced features that the high-end drones have, but they offer you a simpler and easier introduction to flying remote control drones. Beginner drones are easy and fun to fly – if you intend to upgrade to a high-end drone, it is better to practice with a less expensive and less delicate drone.

Beginner drones come in different sizes, shapes, and price ranges, but the best models have the same basic features. A good quality beginner drone has to stable in the air, easy to operate, and sturdy enough to withstand a few crash landings. There are numerous affordable drones that can do everything mentioned above. However, if you want additional features such as automatic hovering or video recording, it will greatly depend on your budget and what you intend on using the drone for.

What isn’t so interesting about drones are the regulations. The government quickly brought out regulations as the technology emerged. It is important that you follow your local regulations. For example, if you purchase a drone that weighs over 8.8oz (250g), you will need to take an online exam and pay a registration fee. If you do not like this, you have to get a drone under the 250g limit; these types of drones are usually considered toys, so they are seen as safe.

Getting a light drone can be useful. The high-end drones usually come with sophisticated tech that can distract you from mastering the core controls; being able to learn the basic controls of a drone will pay you later on.

The most common control method of a drone is the two-stick method, and it is almost universal. Drones that don’t come with controllers will provide you with an equivalent on your phone screen. There is also an arrangement on the controller called Mode 2, and it is almost universal. This arrangement works by placing the throttle (up and down motion) and the rotation (yaw) on the left side of the stick while the roll and pitch that allow you to direct the flight are placed on the controller’s right side.

The drones that have the Mode 2 arrangement share a lot of features such as rechargeable batteries, a remote control receiver, an even number of rotating props, and a processor for translating input into action, such as increasing the propeller speed or turning the craft.

However, different drones have different features, and you may notice that while shopping for your drone. Depending on what you intend to use your drone for, you might find some that have interesting designs. If you want to race your drone, you have to get one that has speed and maneuverability, but if you’re going to use your drones indoors, you should consider the size and safety features. If you’re a photographer or videographer, then go for a drone with good camera quality and drone stability.

BUYING GUIDE FOR PURCHASING BEGINNER DRONES

When you’re shopping for drones as a beginner, there are some basic features that you have to take into consideration before investing in a drone. These features include;

THE TYPE OF DRONE

Quadcopter

This type of drone usually has four motors and propeller blades, and they generally come with an X or H square framework.

Camera Drone

A beginner drone might feature a camera. If it comes with a camera, you should know that the quality varies from drone to drone. The high-end drones feature insertion systems in order for the camera to provide you with smooth and clear movies or photographs.

WEIGHT

Beginner drones are mostly cheap, so they tend to be light in weight, which is great for beginners. Lightweight drones tend not to break when they crash; instead, they rebound. However, that doesn’t mean that your drone will be invulnerable till the end. Learning how to care for a drone will also help to improve your flying capabilities.

RANGE

Beginners drones usually have a compact selection when it comes to the range. The more expensive the drone is, the further the drone’s range will be, meaning the further the drone can fly away from the controller.

BATTERY LIFE

The majority of beginner drones have battery lives ranging from 6 minutes to 30 minutes. If you want to use your drone for longer, you’ll have to buy extra batteries and bill them before your flight periods.

GPS DRONE

Beginner drones are usually under $200, so they won’t have the GPS feature, and this feature has wonderful benefits such as its Return To House function that is incredibly useful.

Below, we have selected some of the best beginner drones available on the market, but their design and prices differ. This list includes drones that cost the price of a nice camera to drones that are cheaper than take out. Let us check out the list.

The Best Beginner Drones In 2021 Are Reviewed Below

We conducted our research and provided you with a list of the best beginner drones along with their various specifications, key features, pros, and cons.

1

DJI Mini 2 – Ultralight and Foldable Drone Quadcopter

The DJI Mini 2 is an aerial game-changer; it comes with strong battery life, great footage, and accessible controls. This model is very similar to its predecessor, but it features a few upgrades that make it a better beginner drone.

It is small enough that it can fit into your pockets; it is also easier to fly thanks to its upgraded controller. It is also under 250g, which is the specified pilot registration in China and the USA. It also features a GPS return home function and a share-friendly QuickShots.

It is fun to operate this drone with its maximum range of 10km. The hardware is similar, but it features improved motors, wind resistance, and stabilization to provide you with rock steady footage even in the windiest of conditions while providing you with a flight time of about 30 minutes.

Even though the sensor resolution is the same as its predecessor, the Mini 2 is able to capture smooth footage with its sharp 4K at 30fps camera. The camera allows you to select different effects such as panorama, manual exposure, Raw, exposure bracketing, and other features. This drone can be used indoors thanks to its sonar distance sensing systems and downward-facing visual, which helps it hover even though it doesn’t have the GPS function. For safety, this drone comes with optional propeller guards that prevent the propellers from getting damaged while flying close to obstacles.

However, this drone does not come with the obstacle avoidance function, but nonetheless, it is still a great beginner drone.

Key Features:

  • 3 axis gimbal
  • It supports 10km of HD video transmission
  • 4K camera
  • Maximum battery life of 31 minutes
  • 4X zoom
  • QuickShots

Specification:

  • Brand: DJI
  • Model: DJI Mini 2
  • Weight: 8.8 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.71 * 5.51 * 7.36 inches
  • Color: Grey
  • Control Type: Remote Control
  • Camera Resolution: 12MP
  • Maximum Speed: 57 kph / 35 mph
Pros
  • It is portable
  • It doesn’t have any registration cost
  • It features a beginner-friendly app
  • It comes with intuitive flight controls
Cons
  • It doesn’t feature a follow mode
  • It is more expensive than its predecessor

2

DJI Mavic Mini (Drone FlyCam Quadcopter)

The Mavic Mini was launched in 2019 and was made to avoid the 250g registration limit. It is a great drone for any beginner. This drone features a steady mechanical gimbal camera that captures great-looking 2.7K video footage and clear 12MP photos that are stored in its MicroSD card, which is suitable for Instagrammers and YouTubers. It also has a flight time of 30 minutes per charge with a 4km range.

As a beginner, the QuickShot function provides you with different striking and dramatic shots while you’re still learning how to properly fly the drone. However, the extended WiFi radio system means that you could lose the signal in bad conditions as the drone’s motors can only handle the force of 4 crosswinds, but you could use your drone indoors on bad days. It comes with a variety of safety features that include the return to home function, tutorial, hover, and geofencing that prevents you from getting into trouble when you fly close to an airport.

However, this drone doesn’t come with the anti-collision tech of the other DJI drones, and while the footages it takes are stable and beautiful, it isn’t 4K resolution. If you are not interested in taking 4K resolution footages and taking raw still photos, this drone will offer you better value for your money than the more expensive options.

Key Features:

  • It supports 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K HD videos
  • It supports iOS and Andriod system
  • Gimbal system
  • QuickShot mode

Specification:

  • Brand: DJI
  • Model: Mavic Mini Drone
  • Weight: 4.05 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.3 L * 3.15B * 0.39H inches
  • Color: Grey
  • Maximum Speed: 47 kph / 29 mph
Pros
  • It provides you with stable video footage
  • It has a good battery life
  • It is designed to be collapsible
  • It is compact and portable
  • It has no registration cost
  • Its app is beginner-friendly
Cons
  • Its radio system is susceptible to interference
  • It doesn’t feature 4K video resolution
  • It doesn’t have the avoidance or object tracking function
  • Its MicroUSB sockets are quite old fashioned
  • It makes noise in low light

3

Parrot Anafi - FPV Drone Set

The Parrot Anafi has been a well-known brand that has been able to mix fun and functionality into their drones. The Anafi drone is a professional drone that features a 4K camera that has the ability to zoom in video mode and a gimbal-stabilized camera. Some people choose this drone of the DJI models because it can tilt its camera up and down to make 3D models or mere mortals; it also provides you with some great angles for action shots.

It features First Person View goggles that allow you to fly it from the cockpit. The goggles are included in the FPV kit. When they first came out, they were the only goggles supported, but now a software update allows you to use other VR headsets.

The app has different features that are great for settings-obsessed photographers or Arcade mode racing. The only feature missing from this drone is a collision sensing system, but this drone is quite sturdy, especially the FPV that features improved legs. It is compatible with Pix4D tools, which offers you an interesting path into 2D and 3D survey jobs that if you want to offer your services on a commercial level.

Key Features:

  • 4K HDR camera
  • 3x zoom
  • FPV goggles
  • Full HD streaming
  • Flight time of 26 minutes
  • 16GB micro SD card

Specification:

  • Brand: Parrot Anafi
  • Model: Parrot Anafi FPV
  • Weight: 310 Grams
  • Dimensions: 15.39 * 9.72 * 5.35 inches
  • Color: Black and White
  • Maximum Range: 4 km
  • Maximum Speed: 55 kph / 35 mph
Pros
  • It features a 4K camera with HDR
  • It features a First Person View goggles system
  • It comes in a comfortable and convenient bag
Cons
  • It doesn’t feature any collision sensors

4

Ryze Tech Tello - Mini Drone Quadcopter

The Ryze Tello drone is designed in partnership with DJI. This drone is a lightweight and compact drone that is great for learning the basics of drone flying.

You can control this drone through your phone by running the Tello app and WiFi, you could also use a Bluetooth gaming controller, but that has a shorter range. Tello is a lively and responsive drone that will teach you the ups and downs of flying a quadcopter. It also comes with stability sensors that reduce drifting when the drone is meant to be static. It has a battery life of 13 minutes which is quite alright for a beginner drone.

However, not every aspect of this drone is perfect. It has a limited range of 30 meters, and the slightest breeze can make the drone drift off in whatever direction the breeze is blowing. It has a 720p video camera that isn’t great either, and it has no local storage, it sends all the pictures and videos you make straight to your mobile phone, and this causes choppy videos because of the WiFi dip in and out. However, as a beginner, this drone is quite suitable for your needs, and it has a better build than other budget models.

Key Features:

  • 5MP photos and HD720 videos
  • Two antennas
  • High capacity batteries
  • Equipped with a high-quality image processor

Specification:

  • Brand: DJI
  • Model: Ryze Tello
  • Weight: 80 Grams
  • Dimensions: 3.86 * 3.66 * 1.61 inches
  • Color: White and Black
  • Maximum Speed: 36 kph
Pros
  • It has responsive controls that make it easy to operate
  • It is compact and lightweight
  • Its battery life is quite decent
  • It uses the DJI software
  • It is VR compatible
  • It is affordable
Cons
  • Any strong breeze can make the drone drift away
  • It sometimes produces choppy videos
  • It doesn’t come with a controller
  • It has no SD card

5

EACHINE E520S GPS Drone

The E520S is Eachine’s top model drone that greatly resembles the DJI Mavic Pro but doesn’t compare to their features. It is constructed out of cheap plastic, and its camera abilities and flight range can not be compared with DJI Mavic Mini. It has a weight of 280 grams, so it has to be registered with the authorities.

However, it performs quite decent for its price. It has a battery life of 15 to 17 minutes which is quite alright for a drone; its size and price, its control range is up to 200 meters to 300 meters which is generous. It has GPS, making it easier to fly in tricky weather conditions, which makes it better than GPS-free drones. At least your drone won’t drift off with the wind.

Its camera provides you with 2K video clips and 4K resolution photos. However, there is no form of stabilization for the camera, so the videos tend to be shaky and distorted due to the wide angle lens. Because of the distortion, you’ll be able to see the front propellers in your shots. But it is better than the other cameras, which have lower resolutions camera, so you get clean and more detailed shots. It also features a microSD card slot that allows you to add local storage for photos and videos.

Key Features:

  • 5G WiFi 4K HD camera
  • GPS system
  • Various functions such as altitude hold
  • 1200 mAh high performance battery
  • Long flying time

Specification:

  • Brand: EACHINE
  • Model: EACHINE E520S GPS Drone
  • Weight: 1.68 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 11.54 * 8.07 * 3.66 inches
  • Color: Black
  • Range: 300 Meters
Pros
  • It comes with a GPS tracking system
  • It has a good range and adequate battery life
  • Its image quality is quite reasonable
Cons
  • It doesn’t feature a gimbal for video stability
  • It requires registration
  • It has a plastic build quality

6

Holy Stone HS100 2K GPS FPV RC Drone

This beginner drone introduces its user to a great flying experience and the basic features of a serious videography or photography drone at a cheaper price. This drone includes a GPS positioning system, and it is controlled through a great phone app; your mobile phone will connect to the radio controller and serve as the screen for maneuvering the drone.

Thanks to its app, you get high-end features such as the ‘follow me’ feature, which makes the drone follow the position of your phone as well as make the drone easy to operate. If you let go of the controls, the drone will hover, maintaining the same altitude even when a breeze blows. It also has the ability to return to its launch point at the tap of a button.

This drone’s design is inspired by DJI’s Phantom, even up to its 4-light intelligent battery. It also has a Micro USB port built into the drone for easy charging, that one feature DJI doesn’t have yet.

This drone-like other drone has its downsides; for one, it doesn’t have a gimbal system for stabilization. Because of this, the drone’s vibrations can be seen in the videos it makes and it sends its signal through WiFi, which tends to cut off after reaching 100 meters. But don’t worry, clean videos are saved in the SD card, which is on the drone. It also features some nice touches, such as its propeller guards, extra landing legs, and stylish pilots manual notebook.

Key Features:

  • Wind resistant
  • Powerful motors and large body
  • 2K optimized
  • Adjustable angle
  • Captures aerial photos and high quality videos
  • Foldable propellers
  • GPS assisted flight
  • Pre-assembled
  • In-built return to home function
  • Longer control distance

Specification:

  • Brand: Holy Stone
  • Model: Holy Stone HS100 RC Drone
  • Weight: 1.73 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 16. 9 * 16.9 * 6.9 inches
  • Color: Black
  • Battery Life: 15 Minutes
  • Range: 500 Meters
  • Maximum Speed: 18.5 mph / 30 kph
Pros
  • It features a GPS positioning system
  • The camera can be tilted using the remote control
  • It has a control range of up to 500 meters
Cons
  • Its brushed motors don’t last long
  • It features a 720p resolution which is quite disappointing

7

Potensic Dreamer GPS RC Quadcopter

Even though this drone’s name is the Dreamer 4K, it doesn’t record 4K videos. Its photos might be taken at 4K resolution, but its videos ate restricted to 2688 * 1512 or 2.7K. It’s a smart way to attract people, but it also has features that make it great to use.

It has a great build quality, GPS system, high capacity battery, phone holding twin-stick controller, and a well-packaged 4K look that gives it the feel of a serious drone. In real life, it a beginner drone with fancy covering. It doesn’t have a gimbal system, so the camera makes shaky and unstable videos, and the controller has a range of only 50 meters before the video feed becomes choppy.

It has a battery life of 25 minutes per charge, and the drone flies responsively and smoothly over WiFi connection, so it still has its pros. This drone might look like a serious flier, but its abilities do not match its looks; but nonetheless, it’s a good beginner drone.

Key Features:

  • 4K camera
  • 3000 mAh 4S smart battery
  • Brushless motor
  • In-built Sont sensor
  • Auto exposure function
  • Stable flight
  • Safe piloting app
  • Ergonomic remote control
  • Multifunctional

Specification:

  • Brand: Potensic Dreamer GPS RC Quadcopter
  • Model: Potensic Dreamer GPS RC Quadcopter
  • Weight: 4.19 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.7 * 12.59 * 7.67 inches
  • Color: White
Pros
  • It has a sturdy build quality
  • Its controls are responsive
  • It has a great long battery life
Cons
  • It has no gimbal system for stabilization
  • Its flight range is quite short

8

Holy Stone HS510 GPS Drone

This drone is a great beginner’s drone. However, they keep adding 4K to their marketing material when in fact, the camera can record 4K video but only at 16 frames per second. It is also available in 2.7K at 25fps, but that is rarely advertised.

This Holy Stone drone is a sturdy and compact folding drone that doesn’t offer you with professional video quality but provides you with landing and manual tilting of your camera angle, as well as GPS system functions such as orbiting at a point of interest or the return to home function which it still performs even if it has lost connection.

However, this drone is too large to be used indoors, but it still features an optical flow sensor which is a visual light sensor that points the drone downwards so the drone can maintain its hover position even if a wall blocks the GPS signal. It comes with a 32GB SD card that is great, and this drone can use this drone even in bad weather. It comes with all these features while still being affordable.

Key Features:

  • 4K resolution photos
  • 2.7K videos at 25 frames per second
  • Foldable propellers
  • GPS system
  • GLONASS navigation system
  • Brushless motor
  • Optical flow positioning

Specification:

  • Brand: Holy Stone
  • Model: Holy Stone HS510 GPS Drone
  • Weight: 2.79 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 11.61 * 8.43 * 3.66 inches
  • Color: White and Black
  • Range: 300 Meters
  • Maximum Speed: 18.5 mph / 30 kph
Pros
  • It comes with a spare battery
  • It has a high-quality build
  • It is affordable
Cons
  • You have to tilt the camera manually
  • Its 720p resolution is subpar

9

SIMREX X20 GPS Drone

This drone has a lower price point than DJI’s Mini, and it comes with its compromises, but it doesn’t miss out on some important features like other budget drones. It features a mechanical gimbal system and a class10 SD card slot. The gimbal system provides you with stabilized video, and the videos are saved straight to the SD card, so you don’t have to depend on a radio connection.

When you have seen an unstabilized video, you will know why it is important to have a gimbal system, but getting one in a drone this cheap is quite rare, and even in a foldable drone is rarer. This drone also comes with features such as a GPS system, and the return to home function, which makes it safe to fly the drone.

The footage is not as clear as a regular 4K camera, and its setup could be better, but it’s nearly the same as other expensive options. It is a more affordable option, but it still has a lot of useful features.

Key Features:

  • 3000 mAh battery
  • 4K HD adjustable FPV camera
  • Headless mode
  • GPS system

Specification:

  • Brand: SIMREX X20 GPS Drone
  • Model: SIMREX X20 GPS Drone
  • Weight: 3.84 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 11 * 10.4 * 4.9 inches
  • Color: Black and White
  • Range: 500 meters
  • Maximum Speed: 18.5 mph / 30 kph
Pros
  • It has a gimbal system
  • It is affordable
  • It records straight to the SD card
Cons
  • It uses USB charging only

Buying Guide Questions

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.

What is a good drone for a beginner? What age is appropriate for a drone?

When it comes to beginner drones, our top choice is DJI Mini 2; it provides you with all you need in a beginner drone.

Toy drones are usually okay for children eight and above, but it depends on the parent to decide if their child is ready for a drone.

What is the best drone under $100?

The DJI Tello is a great drone to purchase, and it’s under $100.

How difficult is it to fly a drone?

Drones are quite easy to fly, but they are also easy to crash.

What happens if I don’t register my drone? Can drones be harmful?

If you fail to register your drone that requires registration, then it might result in you getting regulatory and criminal penalties. You may be asked to pay up to $27,500 or more.

Drones are rarely harmful; they can become harmful when their radio frequency is interfered with, or someone is using it to invade your privacy.

Can you fly a drone over someone’s house?

Yes, you can fly a drone over someone’s house. The Federal Aviation Administration controls the air above your home, and property lines do not reach the sky.

How much do toy drones cost? Are cheap camera drones any good?

The range of prices of a toy drone is from $20 to $300, depending on the model.

Cheap camera drones are great for beginners because they are more user-friendly than expensive drones.

How do you tell if a drone is watching you at night?

If a drone is hovering over your house at night, it will look like a blinking star with rapid movements. If it’s flying close to the ground, then you can easily tell that it’s a drone.

What happens if the drone goes out of range?

Once your drone flies out of range, that means you can no longer control the drone.

Conclusion

If you’re just learning about drones, then it is best if you stick to beginner drones. The list above provides you with the best beginner drones that will help you perfect your flying skills and provide you with beautiful photos and videos.

Also, see;

(Best Drones For Kids)

(Best Indoor Drones)

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