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13 Best Drones for Beginners That Can Help You Reach Your Pilot Goals

Do you want your drone pilot dreams to take off? Equip yourself with the best drones for beginners first and learn the basics! Drone technology came a long way from hot air balloons to launching projectile missiles for the military. Now, drones are everywhere, and you can use them for just about anything.

If you’re on the lookout for the best beginner drones in the market now, you’re in luck! We have compiled the 13 best there are. But, before anything else, let’s get a bit of background of what drones are and how exactly they work.

 

What Is a Drone And How Does It Work?

what is a drone
Photo by Victor Larracuente from Unsplash

A drone is an unmanned aircraft or an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can be as big as an airplane or as small and light as a simple kite. Drones are robotic vehicles that can be tasked to do anything you can think of.

Amazon delivery? Check your front door, your delivery man is now a drone! And the Oscar for the best cinematography goes to? A drone! Yes, a drone can provide you with a cinematic shot worthy of awards too. Risky military operations? A drone can carry that mission out for you, no worries.

A drone can come in many shapes and sizes, depending on what you need it for. But all drones must have the basics. It must be easy to fly, easy to maneuver, stable in the air, and above all, can survive a few crashes.

For a drone to take flight, it must be made up of light materials and complex composites designed to absorb vibration. It has two main parts: the remote control ground system and the drone itself. The remote control is used by the drone pilot to launch, navigate, and land. The drone will act upon the ground system’s command by connecting through radio waves, like Wi-Fi.

A drone can hover, fly, and maneuver with its propellers and sensors built into the machine. It possesses a kind of autonomy a drone helicopter doesn’t have, as drone technology is smart. It knows how to hover without input from a pilot, and even navigate with its built-in GPS.

Initially, drones were made for space and military missions, but the technology entered the mainstream because of the efficiency and enhanced safety they bring to the pilots. Its remote pilot system opened new doors for different industries to achieve heights no human pilot could reach.

 

13 Best Drones For Beginners

Now, if you’re just starting your drone pilot journey, it’s best to start with the best drones for beginners first. Flying a drone can be an expensive hobby, so if you’re just dipping your toes in the water, go with an entry-level drone first. You can familiarize yourself with the basics of drone flying without the worry of drowning in debt when you inevitably crash your drone at least 10 times.

Here are the 13 best drones for beginners we have compiled to help you take off to new heights. We looked into the weight, maximum range, battery life, camera resolution, and controller of each drone for you to make this list.

 

1

DJI Mavic Mini

Weight: 249g
Max Range: 4000m / 2.5 miles
Battery life: 30 minutes
Camera resolution: 12 MP
Controller: Included; works with an Android and iOS device

A DJI Mavic is a great beginner drone and is one of DJI’s popular models. It’s perfect for travelers who are looking to start a vlog series with its compact and sleek design. You can fit it inside any bag or even your pocket.

This drone can give you stunning sharp video and photos with its 2.7K video and 12-MP camera. The DJI Mavic Mini also has a 3-axis gimbal, so you don’t end up with any shaky shots. This drone for beginners allows you to focus on flying for 30 minutes, which is a great flight time for an entry-level drone.

You can connect the DJI Mavic Mini to any Android or iOS smartphone. But, in order to fly, your device needs to be plugged into the controller while running the DJI Fly app.

2

JJRC X9 Heron

Weight: 258g
Max Range: 600m
Battery life: 15 minutes
Camera resolution: 1080p
Controller: Included; works with an Android and iOS device

The mark of the best drone for beginners is being feature-packed without breaking the bank, which is exactly what the JJRC X9 Heron offers. The drone sports a 1080p camera, which produces HD photos and video that can satisfy even professional photographers. It also has a 2-axis gimbal and brushless motors that can stabilize your image and video when flying.

JJRC X9 Heron boasts over 10 functions you can utilize when flying including three intelligent flight modes, Follow Me, Waypoint, and Point of Interest. It has a low battery fail-safe feature and a return to the home option you can use easily when you run out of your 15-minute flight time.

 

3

DJI Mini 2

Weight: 242g
Max Range: 10km / 6.2 miles
Battery life: 31 minutes
Camera resolution: 12 MP
Controller: Included; works with an Android and iOS device

DJI Mini 2 has been dubbed as the best drone for beginners by many and rightfully so. That is why it’s included on our list. Don’t be fooled by its almost palm-sized portable guise as this drone packs a punch.

The DJI Mini 2 is a game-changer in drone photography with its impressive 31-minute flight time, you can capture stunning HD photos and video like a pro. Its 12-MP camera is stabilized with a 3-axis gimbal that can produce 4K video.

It’s a great drone for beginners with intelligent features like Smart Return to Home, automatic takeoff, and hovering. The DJI Mini 2 takes out a lot of the intimidating factors when flying a drone. Plus, you don’t even have to register your DJI Mini 2 as it weighs under 250g, which is the pilot registration weight requirement in the USA.

4

Hubsan Zino

Weight: 700g
Max Range: 2.5km
Battery life: 23 minutes
Camera resolution: 4K high-performance camera
Controller: Included; works with an Android and iOS device

The Hubsan Zino is a good drone for beginners who want to focus on videography and photography. This drone packs an impressive 4K camera with a 3-axis gimbal that gives you exceptional footage no matter how fast or far you go.

This beginner drone is easy to fly and is also compact with foldable brushless motors. One of the great things about the Hubsan Zino is it’s one of the most affordable drones with the best camera available in the market now.

The Hubsan Zino can give you 23 minutes of flight time with a low-power failsafe flight control for a safer flight experience.

 

5

Ryze Tello

Weight: 80g
Max Range: 100m
Battery life: 13 minutes
Camera resolution: 5 MP
Controller: Any Android and iOS smartphone

Ryze Tello is created in partnership with DJI. This is the best beginner drone for those looking to master the basics of flying using something that doesn’t break the bank but does the job.

The Tello does not include any controller; instead, you control your drone using your smartphone with the Tello app running. This beginner drone is a reliable one with a decent flight time of 13 minutes and built-in sensors. Although the camera might not be its best feature, Ryze Tello’s 720p video and 5 MP are enough to show the beauty in your flying zone.

The Ryze Tello drone also supports Scratch, a simple block-based coding language. Adults and kids can have fun flying while having a little bit of coding education.

 

6

DJI Air 2S

Weight: 595g
Max Range: 18.5km / 11.4 miles
Battery life: 31 minutes
Camera resolution: 20 MP
Controller: Included; works with an Android and iOS device

The DJI Air 2S packs in a pro 20MP camera in its tiny body that produces an incredible 5.4K video resolution. This is one of the best drones for beginners who want a wide-range drone that produces high-quality photography as it is also equipped with a one-inch image sensor.

This DJI drone is fitted out with safe environment sensing that can see its surroundings in a forward, backward, up, and down direction. This gives the machine the ability to avoid obstacles at high speeds.

7

Eachine 520S

Weight: 280g
Max Range: 300m
Battery life: 16 minutes
Camera resolution: 8 MP
Controller: Included; works with an Android and iOS device

The Eachine 520S is an entry-level drone that’s equipped with a 1200mAh high-performance battery, giving you decent a 16 minute flight time. This drone has all the suitable features for a beginner flier such as headless mode, one-key take off, and landing.

The Eachine 520S has a built-in GPS that allows you to keep track of your drone, and a follow-me mode that can follow your smartphone’s GPS location wherever you go. This drone can also produce stunning visuals with up to 2K video resolution with its 8-MP camera. However, it doesn’t have a gimbal or any form of stabilizer. So, some footage might come out as shaky and blurry.

8

JJRC H36

Weight: 22g
Battery life: 6 minutes
Camera resolution: No camera
Controller: Included

The JJRC H36 might look like a plastic toy at first glance. But it is nevertheless the best drone for beginners who want to master flight and just want to have fun.

This cute quadcopter is suitable for indoor flying as it dons 360-degree propeller protectors that can give you reasonable height for you to hone your drone flying skills. It has a headless mode to help you navigate the drone’s directions easier and a one-key return mode.

With the JJRC H36, you can show off some tricks by doing flips and turns without doing any harm to your drone. This drone is perfect for kids and adults of all ages who want to have fun while learning to fly.

 

9

Holy Stone HS100 Navigator

Weight: 700g
Max Range: 500m
Battery life: 15 minutes
Camera resolution: 720p
Controller: Included; works with an Android and iOS device

The Holy Stone HS100 Navigator is one of the best drones for beginners that has it all. It has a GPS-assisted flight that gives you accurate drone positioning details, respectable photography and videography options, a quality mobile app, and a robust machine that’s capable of withstanding strong winds.

The HS100 Navigator can give you uninterrupted 15 minutes of flight time. A novice drone pilot can easily maneuver this as it is equipped with altitude hold, on-key takeoff, and landing. The camera, however, does not have a gimbal stabilizer so, the photography might not be as stabilized as you want it to be. Nevertheless, it can still produce beautiful birds-eye view content.

 

10

Potensic A20 Mini Drone

Weight: 190g
Controller: Included

The Potensic A20 Mini Drone does not come with any video or photo capabilities, but it still has the potential to be the best drone for beginners like kids or kids at heart. Start them young, so they say. This drone is a no-drama remote-controlled quadcopter that puts the fun in functionality.

This drone might be small in size, but it makes up for agility and durability. The Potensic A20 Mini Drone has three available speed modes you can enjoy and use through obstacle courses. You can also fly your A20 Mini Drone indoors easily if you want to practice inside your home.

The Potensic A20 Mini Drone has the basic functions of headless mode, altitude hold, one-key takeoff, and landing that are essential to any beginner drone.

11

Simrex X20

Weight: 595g
Max Range: 500m
Battery life: 30 minutes
Camera resolution: 1280p
Controller: Included; works with an Android and iOS device

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly drone camera with a gimbal stabilizer, the Simrex X20 might be the drone for you. The Simrex X20 produces sharp and focused photography with its 2-axis gimbal and 1280p camera.

One of the best features this beginner drone has is its built-in SD card slot, which enables you to record video without being dependent on the Wi-Fi connection to your smartphone. The Simrex X20 drone also has all the necessary features the best drones for beginners have like headless mode, GPS, and automatic return to home function.

 

12

Potensic Dreamer 4K

Weight: 765g
Max Range: 800m
Battery life: 30 minutes
Camera resolution: 8 MP
Controller: Included; works with an Android and iOS device

The Potensic Dreamer 4K may have 4K in its name, but that doesn’t necessarily mean video resolution. Unfortunately, this drone’s video resolution is limited to 2.7K, though it does produce 4K, but for photos only.

Despite this confusing fact, the Potensic Dreamer is still among the best drones for beginners out there. This drone has an impressive build and flight time of 30 minutes. It has an 8-MP camera that can give you great visuals that can reach up to 800m.

 

13

JJRC X8

Weight: 440g
Max Range: 600m
Battery life: 18 minutes
Camera resolution: 1080p
Controller: Included; works with an Android and iOS device

The JJRC X8 is a brushless drone with a great flight time of 18 minutes. This drone is one of those that give more bang out of your buck with a 1080p built-in camera that can give you stunning photos and video and a range of 500-600m.

The X8 can help you fly easily with their one-key takeoff and landing, altitude hold, and headless mode. With JJRC X8’s native GPS positioning, you can ensure a worry-free flight every takeoff.

This drone has all the good factors checked for the best drones for beginners. The X8 Features might not be as powerful as your professional and more expensive drones in the market, but it’s perfect for those just starting their piloting.

 

What You Can Do With Your Drone

Now with the 13 best drones for beginners given. Here are the many ways you can use your drone.

 

Aerial Photography and Videography

Aerial Photography Drone
Photo by Samuel Schwendener from Unsplash

Drones have boomed in the mainstream because of their ability to capture beautiful landscapes and cinematic shots. Almost all production companies have a good drone camera with them to up the ante on their cinematography.

 

Ambulance and Disaster Relief

ambulance drone
Screenshot from TU Delft’s YouTube channel

When emergencies arise, it’s vital that first responders arrive at the scene as soon as possible. That’s why there’s a new push by local agencies and first-responders to utilize drone technology. Drones can help with fires, search through rubble, deliver medicine and first aid, and many more.

 

Mining and Construction Surveying

Drones have been a mining and construction staple too. Drones can easily carry out surveying a large site in no time, and not to mention much cheaper. With the use of drones, efficiency and safety have taken a whole new level to construction and site workers.

 

Parcel Delivery and Shipping

amazon delivery drone
Photo from Amazon

One of the most innovative uses of drones right now is parcel delivery and shipping. The new sneakers you checked out in your cart a while ago can now reach your door in 30 minutes or less!

Amazon first launched Prime Air back in 2016, providing their customers a whole new meaning to same-day delivery. Soon enough, more companies followed suit, and drones are now capable of delivering anything from medical supplies to food and other goods.

 

Agricultural Aid

drones for agriculture
Photo by Herney Gomez from Pixabay

Drones have been side-by-side with farmers for a lot longer than most people know. Japan has been using drones for over 30 years to help with monitoring and planting its rice fields. Wine vineyards in California use drones with infrared cameras to check grapevine health, yield, and quality.

 

Entertainment Light Shows

Fireworks are hazardous to the environment and distressing to our fur friends. That’s why major companies and events have opted to utilize drone technology instead. A smoke-free, noise-free, and reusable alternative has been made possible that provides twice the magic.

Drones light shows are now being showcased all over the world, including in Walt Disney World.

 

Racing Sports

racing
Screenshot from The Drone Racing League

Drones are a by-product of many hobbies like photography, bird watching, stalking, and many more. They provide a safer way to pursue these hobbies and still let you enjoy the thrill.

Racing is one of the most dangerous things you can do, but with drone racing, you can rest easy. You can still have the experience of being in the driver’s seat or pilot’s seat when racing. It’s like a cross between video games and real-life racing because you’re there in the scene yourself.

 

What You Need to Look for in a Beginner Drone

Just like buying any other gadget, you have to consider a lot of specifications before buying the best drone for beginners. Here’s a quick guide on the things you need to look for in an entry-level drone.

 

Headless Mode

The best drone for beginners must have a headless mode. Now, this isn’t the mode where you decapitate your life’s nemesis, but a useful feature for novice drone pilots.

Headless mode makes flying your drone easier as it will follow the left and right directions of your joystick no matter what.

 

GPS Home Function

When buying the best drone for beginners make sure it has a GPS home function. It gives the assurance that your drone will make it back to you or where it took off.

 

Camera Quality

You are probably thinking of buying a drone because you want to try your hand in aerial photography and videography. It’s a good thing the best drones for beginners are already equipped with capable cameras that can produce beautiful photos and videos.

However, you still need to consider the drone camera’s shutter speed, image stabilization, frame rate, and many more to check if it will serve you well up in the sky.

 

Range

Range dictates how far your drone can fly before you lose connection and control. The range of the best beginner drones depends on what you’re going to use them for. Naturally, the more expensive the drone, the more range it has. But, do note the Federal Aviation Administration requires you to have a close eye on your drone so you don’t end up damaging property or wildlife or even injuring people.

 

Flight Time

Just like buying a smartphone, you hold battery life in high regard. This should apply to buying the best drone for beginners too, as battery life limits your flight time.

A good flight time can last up to 15 to 30 minutes, which most entry-level drones have. But, no matter how long the flight time on your device is, it’s better to have extra batteries reserved.

 

Final Word

Drone technology is one of the most exciting innovations in tech right now. And it’s good you’re looking to fly with the times and look at the world from a grander bird’s eye view perspective.

There’s a lot to think about when buying a drone and we hope this guide for the best drones for beginners will help you take off and reach your pilot goals.

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