What's one of the best drones that you can buy today? If you've stumbled across this article, it's likely you're asking the same questions as us, so let's take a look at what makes a great drone.
Firstly, it's worth considering what you want to use the drone for. If you're a beginner and just starting out a new hobby, then you can pick up some of the best beginner drones to improve your flying skills.
But if you're a professional photographer and want the best quality footage, there are some amazing camera drones with loads of interesting features that will probably suit you better.
It's worth noting what benefits come with spending a bit more money on a drone; higher-priced options will typically offer you better quality cameras with a higher range and more flying time, whilst cheaper ones will usually offer slightly less.
You may take a gander at our list and realise we've got multiple options from DJI. This is simply because DJI has become the go-to manufacturer for a lot of people and they make some of the best drones for all sorts of different uses, including for commercial purposes, like the beastly Matrice 300 RTK.
There are other manufacturers besides them who also make some great kit, such as FIMI, which is essentially a subsidiary of Xiaomi, makers of some of the best mid-range phones and some of the best cheap phones too.
With all that in mind, we’ve selected these drones based on their features, reviews, and other general points that we think make them worth considering. Plus, we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions so you can pick the best one for you.
So, let’s get to it – here are some of the best drones out there today.
Best Drone For Most People - DJI Mini 3 Pro
If you're a generalist looking for a brilliant all-round drone, then the long-rumoured DJI Mini 3 Pro looks like a fantastic option, and we'd even go as far to say it's one of the best drones for battery life out there, too.
It's small and compact, weighing just 249g, and retains the folding design of other DJI drones, such as the previous Mini 2, and the older Mavic Air 2, which means you can fold it away and sling it in a bag with ease.
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In addition, the DJI Mini 3 Pro also has 34 minutes of flight time with the standard battery, but if you go for the uprated Intelligent Plus battery, that can increase up to 48 minutes.
This drone can also offer the powers of 4K/60fps shooting, as well as 2.7K and 1080p at 60fps, and in slow-mo with FHD at 120fps. This all comes thanks to a large 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, which effectively gives you a 48MP sensor.
A large sensor is able to take more detailed images as it can let in more light, which in turn gives the sensor more 'information' to work with, as it were. Improved low-light performance and increased dynamic range are just a couple of the benefits of larger sensors.
Best Drone For Beginners - Ryze Tello
For those just starting out with a camera drone, the Ryze Tello looks like quite the handy choice.
Right off the bat, you get the chance to shoot 720p video thanks to its 5MP camera which should be fine for casual viewing.
Its flight time of 13 minutes means you can pop it up, fly it around and set it down for a quick bit of fun, and there's a load of preset functions that can be executed that makes the Tello perform some pretty neat in-flight tricks.
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The Tello app is simple to use and makes for a convenient method of getting the drone in the air with a simple twin-stick setup that should make for some remarkably responsive and easy flying with a range of up to 100m.
In addition, the Ryze Tello is quite a tiny drone with it weighing just 80g. A sturdy two-tone white and black plastic frame also means it looks rather nice too.
Best Drone For Enthusiasts - DJI Mavic 3
At the other end of the scale comes the DJI Mavic 3, which is an incredible choice for enthusiasts and professionals alike.
First things first, it looks fantastic and should be sturdily built, as well as remaining compact, with a weight just shy of 900g, as well as the ability to fold inwards keeping things convenient.
In addition, the actual flying experience should be smooth and responsive given that low weight, and there are also loads of object-detecting sensors to make sure you don't end up accidentally going off course.
Where the DJI Mavic 3 really shows its true colours is with its incredible dual Hasselblad camera that features both a 20MP 4/3 sensor with a 24mm focal length and a half-inch CMOS sensor for more zoomed-in shots, thanks to its equivalent focal length of 162mm.
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Moreover, if you're taking video, both cameras provide you with the opportunity to shoot at 4K at 30fps which should allow for some amazingly sharp video with incredibly vivid colours.
The Mavic 3 also features a beefy 5000mAh battery which should provide a long flight time of 45 minutes, given ideal conditions. Handily though, when you do get short of capacity, the drone can 'Return To Home' so you can charge it back up again.
Best Budget Drone - Holy Stone HS175D
If you're looking for the best drone and you're on a budget, then the Holy Stone HS175D looks like an immense choice.
What you'll be getting here is a drone that can shoot 4K video, as well as take 12MP stills, which should be pretty decent for general usage.
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In addition, this is also quite a compact drone, which can also fold up. This is particularly useful if you're travelling and you don't want your drone to take up too much space.
Moreover, the Holy Stone HS175D features a flight time of 23 minutes, which gives you a decent amount of time to fly it before it needs to be charged, and a weight of 215g should mean it's light and agile when you get it up in the air.
It's also very newbie friendly with features such as one-button takeoff, altitude hold and GPS auto-return, so if you're just entering the world of drones, we think this is a great choice.
Best Mini Drone - FIMI X8 Mini
If you're looking for a small and mighty mini drone with plenty of capabilities, the FIMI X8 Mini should be an amazing choice.
It features a powerful 12MP Sony CMOS sensor and 3-axis mechanical gimbal support so your flights should be steady whilst you shoot in 4K at up to 30fps, or 2.7K at up to 60fps, as well as in 108p at up to 90fps and 720fps at up to 120fps, which gives you the option for normal or slow-mo video, if you so wish.
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Colours should look nice and vivid with the FIMI X8 Mini out of the box, but do note that this drone can also shoot with a flat F-log profile if you want to grade your footage in the editing phase to make it look even better.
It offers up to 30 minutes of flight time and a range of up to 8km, so you should be able to fly around for a good while. This drone charges via USB-C which makes it super convenient.
Moreover, it's hard to get away from how tiny the FIMI X8 Mini is with its sub-250g weight making it one of the smaller drones out there, and the fact it can fold up is a nice bonus.
Best FPV Drone - DJI FPV
For those wanting to film and experience the flight of a drone in first person, the DJI FPV offers you a marvellous introduction to doing so.
LIke the other DJI drones on this, this last option is nice and compact and weighs in at 795g, but it definitely looks good, even if you won't be seeing it whilst you fly.
As a first-person drone, you will need a 'spotter', or someone next to you when you fly it to keep everything in check, but the actual controls all look to be pretty convenient, so getting it off the ground shouldn't be too difficult.
Once you're off the ground, the DJI FPV isn't half quick with a top speed of 87mph which makes it speedy and nimble, and the three different flight modes (Normal, Sport and Manual) mean it should be quite versatile too.
In addition, this drone can also shoot in 4K thanks to a 12MP sensor and you can also shoot at 1080p at 120fps for some cool slow-motion shots, which makes this drone a solid choice if you want to track fast-moving objects.
A 2000mAh battery and up to 10km of range also mean you should be able to fly quite the distance and for a decent amount of time too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are drones worth buying?
We'd definitely say that a drone is worth buying, either if you're just looking for some quadcopter-related fun, or you're using one for more professional reasons. They can be quite a versatile addition to your setup and are sure to be a rather good purchase.
There are always a few questions that pop up time and time again when it comes to drones, so here are our two cents to help you make an informed decision.
And if you decide to purchase your first drone, be sure to calibrate your drone correctly, to get the best experience.
How much does a good drone cost?
In short, this all depends on your use case and what you need the drone for. It's no use spending out on the DJI Mavic 3 for instance when you don't need its dual cameras.
Some of the more beginner-centred quadcopters will run you around $100, whilst some of the camera drones above will net you $400 or so, and for pro-level drones, a sum of $1000 is about right.
How far can drones fly?
This depends on the size of the battery inside your drone and the range it features. Most of the drones on our list feature flight times of 31-46 minutes and have ranges of up to 13km.
However, this must give way to the legal requirement that you must keep your drone in sight at all times, and for FPV drones (first-person-view), when flying it, you need a 'Spotter' next to you, so they can keep an eye on where your drone is.
How long does a drone battery last?
The duration of a drone's battery is linked with its flight time. So, for instance, some of the drones on our list above can last for around half an hour or so before needing to be charged back up again.
In reality, the flight times quoted provide a best-case scenario for the drone, and its flight time may be a bit shorter, but your mileage may vary.
What is a CMOS sensor?
CMOS stands for Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor , and refers to a type of sensor that uses millions of pixel sensors which have built-in photodetectors for each of them to convert light into an electrical charge and then further into colour and brightness value.
What happens if a drone goes out of range?
Usually, if a drone goes out of range, it will either return home, hover on the spot, or land. Most mid-to-high-end drones feature GPS inside, so they will fly back to you automatically when they lose signal, which is convenient.
Can drones fly in rain?
Unfortunately not. Drones aren't usually advertised as being waterproof and given their high-tech electronics if any water gets inside, then it could spell the end for your drone.
Also, the weather conditions wouldn't be right for flying a drone given you may not be able to see or keep track of your drone's position whilst you attempt to fly it in a heavy downpour.
Can I fly a drone in a public park?
This will depend on the rules and regulations of the park itself, but from a pilot's perspective, a wide open space such as a park is a good place to try your drone out.
With it, you'll be getting good visibility of your drone, which will allow you to keep an eye on it, and as a result, it's a good place to get acquainted with your new product.
Can I fly a drone in my garden?
As it's your own land, you may be able to fly a drone in your garden. The only constraint will be on how large a piece of garden you have - for the best experience, you'll need to have a larger garden, given the extra space it'll offer.