Ultimate Guide to Buying Your Drone in 2019

Can’t decide on a drone yet?

Choosing just one from a list of hundreds can turn out to be way more stressful than you might have anticipated.

None of us want to look back and say “I should’ve bought another one.”

It isn’t a simple task. There are just so many factors you must take into consideration.

Speed, camera quality, range, battery life, size, features, and the list goes on and on.

A perfect drone for all consumers simply doesn’t exist. So which is the right one for you?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer for everyone. Because it all really depends on what you’re looking for.

Are you pursuing a career as a photographer? Do you want to be a racing pilot? Are you just looking for a fun hobby?

Whatever your reasons, don’t worry because I’ve got you covered.

In this guide, I’ll talk in details about drones best suited for photographers, hobbyists, beginners, and racing pilots.

I’ll also be sharing a list of Top 3 Drones in all categories.

 

 

Best Range Drones:

It’s really important for a drone to have a long range. It saves you the inconvenience of having to follow your drone wherever it goes.

Using a short-ranged drone can turn into a long walk. Comparatively, one that has signals ranging up to a kilometer or more is much more convenient.

One thing you should know is that all drones aren’t actually what they’re promised to be.

For example, I’ve seen people complaining about the loss of signals within the mentioned range. This is a big problem when you’re specifically looking for an extensive range.

Buying a product from a renowned manufacturer like DJI or Parrot can help solve this problem.

Their products are tested by several professionals to ensure minimum flaws.

A product isn’t released to the public until all the major flaws have been eradicated.

I personally prefer DJI over Parrot because they’re more experienced and mostly live up to their promises.

Good battery life and long range are two features that make for a perfect combo.

A long ranged drone in the absence of a durable battery cannot get the job done on its own.

The two main factors to consider for this list are range and battery life. Still, I’ve made my list keeping in mind other aspects as well.

 

1). DJI Mavic Pro

Mavic Pro makes the top of my list because it’s simply matchless. This is one of those drones that have it all. Every pre-installed function and hardware is of high quality.

It’s a guarantee that you’ll have a great time flying this light quadcopter.

This small bird can travel as far as 7 kilometers making it perfect for flying over hills, mountains, oceans, etc. It definitely has the best performance/size ratio.

In addition to its long range, the DJI Mavic Pro has excellent stability even in the sports mode. Furthermore, it can fly at a stunning speed of 40 miles per hour comfortably for about 25 minutes.

It’s very popular, especially among drone photographers. This is due to its excellent camera quality and also because it can stream live videos without any lag.

While we’re talking about lag, the Mavic Pro has probably the finest quality signals. It doesn’t lag at all as long as you’re flying within the range which isn’t as common as you might think.

Most drones, especially ones with long range start to lag before they even reach their maximum range.

In addition to all the things mentioned above, it has many other great features. Let me tell you favorite two.

First one is a near perfect gimbal stabilization which allows it to move swiftly which really comes in handy when flying in bad weather.

The second one is an obstacle avoidance technology which ensures reliability and safety by helping it to sway away from any interfering obstacles present in its path.

I have to applaud the manufacturers on this fantastic product as they have delivered on all their promises.

As you can see for yourself, it’s the whole package. A high-quality drone which is well worth its cost.

 

2). DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus

Phantom 4 Pro Plus comes in at second when our main focus is range. Superior to most of its competitors in nearly every aspect, it’s without a doubt one of the finest drones built by DJI.

It has a beautiful design and comes in only one color which is all white. It’s definitely a dashing bird.

With a brilliant design and excellent features, it’s not shocking that Phantom 4 Pro Plus is getting more popular by the year.

It has been tested by thousands of users worldwide and received thousands of positive reviews.

It has the same maximum range as Mavic Pro which is 7 kilometers.

Although there have been some complaints by consumers about the loss of signals when it goes as far as about 4-5 kilometers, but that’s just mostly because of signal interference due to certain obstacles such as tall trees or buildings.

When it comes to specs, you’ve got nothing to worry about. It has a high-quality camera, capable of streaming in silk-smooth 4K quality, a built-in screen, a controller, etc.

In addition to high-quality specs, Phantom 4 Pro Plus has a lot of built-in features as well.

The best of these features is its superior obstacle avoidance technology. This technology allows it to sense obstacles in five directions, a feature which is very rare.

The only downside to this product is that it comes with a hefty price tag. This isn’t quite surprising as its excellent features and specs more than makeup for its high price.

 

3). Yuneec Typhoon H

Typhoon H is a hexacopter which makes it more powerful and heavier than Mavic or Phantom. It is a premium quality drone which has all the features needed for smooth piloting.

Although it’s stronger and better for the most part as compared to its competitors, but when it comes to range, it simply cannot compete with the top 2.

It has a medium range of 1 kilometer which is exactly what kept me from placing it above Mavic Pro or Phantom 4.

The range isn’t what some people might be looking for, but still, it’s more than enough for most.

If you’re good with this range, then I’d definitely recommend Typhoon H over the top 2.

Why?

Simply because it’s better overall, it’s much more user-friendly, and that makes it perfect for beginners.

It’s actually so easy to fly that you’re not required to have any piloting experience at all.

This is all due to some great features such as automatic return-to-home, auto take-off, auto landing, and eight smart flight modes which make the flying part effortless.

This ultra hexacopter isn’t popular solely based on its easy controls. The specs are also some of the best ones in the market.

It has an Ultra HD camera which transmits videos in 4K.

It comes with a controller and an integrated 7-inch android touch screen. Usually, you have to install apps on your own mobile.

So this saves you from the trouble of purchasing an extra mobile phone.

In addition to all of this, the Yuneec customer support has received nothing but positive feedback from users which is more than I can say for the customer support of DJI.

Last but not least, Yuneec Typhoon H comes at a much more affordable cost as compared to its competitors considering its superior qualities in nearly every area.

 

 

 

Best Camera Drones

There have been significant advancements in drone technology during recent years.

Today, nearly all of these aircraft come with built-in cameras making them a great option for photography purposes.

Latest drones can record videos in full HD, ultra HD, and 5.2 K.

But why are they such a popular choice for photography?

This is mostly due to their tons of cool features on top of them being convenient tools for aerial photography.

You can use them to take images and record videos from ideal altitudes.

Also, most photography drones have a plural number of cameras that allow you to take shots from multiple angles.

The market is extremely competitive with DJI and Parrot being the current top 2 leading companies.

There are a countless number of products, and it is more than a burdensome task to evaluate all of them and decide which one is the best fit for you.

I’ve made my list to save you some time and give you a brief review of the best of the bunch.

I’ve spent a lot of energy and thought into this highly competitive category to make my list.

While camera quality is a priority but it isn’t the only ranking factor. I’ve taken all the factors into consideration.

 

1). DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Mavic 2 Zoom is my favorite camera drone. It has some of the best camera features making it a great choice for photographers.

It has a 12 MegaPixel camera with 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor which allows it to zoom without any decrement in the image quality.

It also has a 2-times optical zoom and can record videos in 4K with ultra-high bitrates all thanks to the use of advanced technology known as H.265 compression.

In short: it has one of the best cameras out there.

The camera isn’t the only great thing about Mavic 2 Zoom as it has been made with cutting-edge technology which makes it very powerful for its size.

People have been calling it a golden eagle (one of the fastest birds on the planet) as Mavic 2 Zoom can fly at lightning speed of 72 kilometers per hour.

On top of being speedy, it also has a long battery life which can last up to 30 minutes making it one of the most energy-efficient drones in the industry.

Even though it’s incredibly fast, it still moves swiftly because it has a proper gimbal stabilization system.

In addition to its premium specs, it has some awesome features as well. Some rare of them are omnidirectional obstacle sensing, hyperlapse technology, enhanced HDR photos with 13 EV, etc.

The design is pretty decent as it has a heavy build and yet it can fold up quite nicely. It looks massive and is very powerful.

Still, DJI has somehow managed to make its propellers run without making much of a noise.

Actually, its noise is surprisingly low as you’re most likely not going to hear it even when it’s hovering right over your head.

With a great many features, high technology, and a reasonable price tag Mavic 2 Zoom is a photographer’s dream drone.

 

2). Parrot Anafi

Anafi is by far the best product that Parrot has been able to come up with. It’s a wonderful drone as it is light, portable, fast, and comes in a stylish design.

Before Anafi, Parrot wasn’t really considered a serious competitor in the drone industry, but that has totally changed.

This was their first high-grade product and rather than increasing the price as compared to their previous drones, they decided to sell it for a reasonable cost.

It has all the specs and qualities that a photographer looks for which is the main reason behind its popularity in the market.

It comes with a camera that has ASPH lens, HDR, and most importantly it can capture 21 MegaPixel images and 4K videos at 2.8 digital zooms without any loss in quality.

One of its best features is the burst mode in which it captures ten images per second, which is insanely fast.

After viewing its camera specs, it becomes crystal clear why it’s a popular choice for photography.

Furthermore, the Anafi is an all rounded drone meaning that it isn’t just a camera drone.

This light bird which weighs only 300 grams is fast as a peregrine falcon because it travels at lightning speed of 35 miles per hour.

The battery life is one of the best ones offered in the industry as it can run for 25 minutes on a fully charged battery.

On top of great flight time, Annafi has signal ranging within an extremely long range of 4 kilometers.

It’s definitely a top-notch drone and can be used to capture high-quality and professional photography.

 

3). DJI Inspire 2

Inspire two is one of DJI’s best products. This metallic quadcopter is quite heavy as it weighs about 4 Kilograms.

Heavy drones have their upsides and downsides. There’s no denying that it’s inconvenient to pack Inspire 2.

But due to its heavy weight, this massively built aircraft can fly against extreme wind pressure without losing stability.

It’s bulky, but that doesn’t mean it’s slow. Inspire two can fly at an astonishingly fast pace at 58 miles per hour.

This makes it much more speedy than your average drone.

Inspire 2 is a photographers daydream as it has some fantastic camera features.

The top two of these features are 5.2 K video quality and 21 Megapixel camera resolution.

It’s 5.2 K feature is an extraordinary one. Because currently, there are only a few drones that can record at such high quality.

On top of its camera quality, it has some rare features as well. Some of them are listed below:

Power-efficient as it can run for over 25 minutes

Advanced obstacle sensing technology

1080i broadcast

Numerous intelligent flight modes

Interchangeable lens

Easily replaceable parts

Inspire 2 is a remarkable product, and I’ve to applaud DJI on a job well done!

 

 

Best Racing Drones

Finding a competitive racing drone can turn out to be quite a challenge.

If we go just a few years back, everyone had to burden themselves with the task of building one by self due to lack of quality in RTF (Ready to Fly) racings drones available in the market.

Well, this isn’t the case anymore. As of now, there are lots of RTF racing drones that are as fast as the wind. They are completely reliable as well.

With tons of lightning fast ones, it gets quite difficult to choose just one.

Speed is the ultimate factor to consider, but it certainly isn’t the only one. That’s why I’ve made my list keeping in mind all important factors including speed, durability, size, required skills, and cost.

 

1). Force 1

Force 1 is the finest racing drone that I’ve ever seen. It’s in an entirely new league of its own.

It’s made with high-quality material which makes it more durable than any other racing drones available on the market.

This is exactly why I love this drone, and it’s on the top of my list.

Whether you’re a beginner or a skilled pilot, Force 1 will serve you well. It’s simple enough to be handled by new pilots.

In the hands of a skilled pilot, it performs well enough to be used for competitive racing.

What’s the one word that I would use to describe this amazing aircraft?

It’s “Hi-Tech” in the absolute sense of the word. Force 1 uses superior technology, and that’s exactly the reason it tops all competitors.

Furthermore, it has a camera, wi-fi, FPV, and a fast speed remote controller which is protected by premium woven carbon fiber.

It’s traditional for a drone to have a camera, but this isn’t usually the case for racing drones.

Force 1 is one of those rare speedy aircraft with which you can capture the aerial scenery at an extremely fast pace.

Have your neighbors ever complained about your drone creating a disturbance due to all the irritating noise it makes?

If that’s the case, then you’ve got nothing to worry about with Force 1. It’s completely noiseless. Some people even call it ultra noiseless.

It doesn’t make much of a sound let alone any noise. It can be hovering over your head, and you still won’t hear anything.

I am not a big fan of aerial flips myself as they are quite dangerous. You can totally wreck your drone while performing these complex tricks.

But I’ve got no problem if someone uses Force 1 for aerial flips. Why?

Because it can do 360 degrees flips with the hit of a single button.

It really is that simple, all you have to do is press the button, and it’ll do a 360-degree flip.

Any downsides? Nope, as far as I can see, there aren’t any worth mentioning.

 

2). Arris X-Speed 280 V2

Arris X-Speed 280 V2 is second on my list due to its elegant design which allows flying at an extremely fast speed.

This product is completely reliable as it’s tested numerous times before being delivered.

There’s no configuration required at all. It’s ready to go as soon as you take it out of the box. All you have to do is charge the battery, and it’s good to fly.

The only thing I don’t like is that it comes without a charger. So, you’re required to make a separate purchase for a charger.

But that’s the only drawback, and fortunately, it isn’t a big one.

Coming back to its design, Arris X-Speed 280 V2 has a Raptor S-Tower attached to its body.

This efficiently designed tower not only makes the drone lighter but also makes it much more convenient for users to repair any damaged parts.

Let’s talk about some of the specs. It has a camera, lipo battery, 5.8 G fpv video TX, and an AT9S transmitter.

One thing I love about it is that it’s relatively easy to fly. It’s by far the most user-friendly one that I’ve ever used and one with simple and yet effective controls.

But I still suggest beginners fly at a slow pace. This ensures safety as it’s extremely painful to watch it crash onto something.

Overall, Arris x-speed 280 V2 is a perfect match for beginners. Lastly, it doesn’t cost much either.

 

3). Holystone HS 150 Bolt Bee

Holystone HS 150 Bolt Bee is light as wind and can go as fast as 50 kilometers per hour.

At the time of this writing, it is being sold at a super cheap price at approximately $45.

It comes with two modular li-po batteries so the flight time will be twice as long.

It also has perfect 3D rolling meaning that it can be flipped in a total of 4 directions.

What makes the Holystone HS 150 Bolt Bee special?

It’s cheap price and ultra features for a drone its size is what makes it a great match for beginners.

Even if you crash this small piece of metal unto a solid object such as a wall or a tree, you still won’t lose a lot of money.

It’s easily repairable as well as many customers have shown appreciation for its simply organized structure.

You don’t need any technical skills to fix or replace most parts of this tiny aircraft.

Another great thing about Holystone HS Bolt Bee is that it can get to maximum speed (50 km/h) in just 2-3 seconds. All thanks to its light propellers and efficient design.

Just to be clear, this isn’t the favorite product for competitive racing let alone for professional fpv racing pilots.

It’s more of a product for people who’ve used other drones but haven’t used one for racing before.

That’s why I recommend it to pilots who are new to drone racing but have previous piloting experience.

Finally, it isn’t powerful enough to compete in serious leagues. But as far as size/performance ratio is concerned, it’s without a doubt one of the best.

 

 

Best Drones For Hobbyists

As the years are passing by, the popularity of drones is increasing non-stop. What was once a hobby for a few people has now become a fun activity for hundreds of thousands of people.

Interest in drones has been increasing rapidly. This is mostly due to their ability to fly nearly everywhere and enabling us to see things at a bird’s eye view.

Safety comes first. I want to clarify this for those of you who want to fly without taking any piloting lessons. Don’t!

Piloting a drone is no joke. You simply cannot expect to take your drone out of the box and start flying without receiving guidelines from an experienced trainer.

There are several ways to learn how to fly. You can either watch tutorials online or hire a professional trainer.

Once you’ve got the hang of it, there are a ton of enjoyable activities.

I’ve made the following list with two main factors in mind which are simple controls and fun features.

 

1). Holystone F181

At the top of my list is Holystone F181. This light bird has all the fun features in addition to some high-quality specs.

The cost is more than fair especially when we consider its advance tech and rare features.

It’s one of the most user-friendly drones on the market. Piloting it is actually so easy that even a beginner can fly it without any real concerns.

In addition to its plain and simple controls, this steel aircraft is battle tested.

Users applaud the hardness of this drone. At a slow-to-medium speed, it doesn’t get any serious damage from a collision.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should just recklessly fly it around and crash it on against bricks or walls.

The design gives off a “Star Wars” vibe as it looks like Darth Vader’s Executor-class Star Dreadnought. If you or your friends are fans of Star Wars, then this is definitely the coolest drone for you.

It’s efficiently designed and that’s why it can run for more than a satisfactory amount of time.

It comes with two bonus batteries which increase the flight time to twice as long.

On top of this, it offers four different speed modes. Each of which makes it harder to control than the previous one.

The one button 4-way flip is another cool feature. All you have to do is press the button and it’ll flip in all four directions (forward, backward, right, left).

Holystone F181 is the coolest bird in town.

 

2). Hubsan X4 H107D

Hubsan X4 H107D is a mighty little quadcopter which has unbelievably great specs and features.

This small fellow can fly at an insanely fast pace and is astonishingly stable against light wind pressure.

However, this doesn’t mean that it can fly against heavy air pressure. It’s very small and that’s why it’s most likely to crash in extreme wind conditions.

A large number of more advanced drones have been built but people seem to favor Hubsan X4 H107D over the rest heavily.

This is mainly due to its excellent qualities. One of its great qualities is the range.

It’s such a small drone and yet somehow it can still fly over a long distance of about 100 meters. Some users even claim that it can go up to 150-200 meters.

Hubsan X4 H107D isn’t popular for nothing. In addition to its great specs, it also has a built-in camera that records HD videos.

This allows you to capture the scenery from various angles and from ideal heights.

An interesting fact about Hubsan X4 H107D is that it’s one of the smallest quadcopters in the world.

It also has an fpv mode using which you can watch what your drone sees.

There is one minor drawback to this great product. Piloting it is no piece of cake and it requires some serious practice.

Also, I suggest that you do yourself a favor by purchasing rechargeable batteries along with this product as the batteries of the controller get drained very quickly.

Overall, it’s the people’s favorite and you won’t get a better drone quality-wise in this size range.

 

3). Syma X5C Explorers

Syma X5C Explorers comes in at third on my list. This small quadcopter is surprisingly easy to fly.

It has the simplest controls and.literally anyone over ten years of age can pilot it without any problem. You’re not even required to have any previous practice to fly it at a slow to medium speed.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be a master in no time performing flips and other tricks.

It takes time and practice to become an expert pilot.

Syma X5C Explorers has received some criticism by experts because it isn’t exactly a high-specs drone.

The specs are mediocre but this isn’t something to complain about considering its more than fair price of under $50.

I have yet to come across another drone within this price range that has a video camera, micro SD card, and 200 meters of control distance.

Its camera isn’t HD but still, you can capture good quality selfies or record videos from angles of your choosing.

The long range of 200 meters is the best part. Because at this price tag there isn’t a quadcopter that can fly over such a long distance

The design is pretty decent as well. It looks like a stylish racing drone and its efficient design allows to fly against medium wind pressure.

All in all, Syma X5C Explorer is a fun hobby drone that comes with a pleasantly cheap price tag.

 

 

Easiest to fly Drones

The number of people who won’t buy drones because they’re overwhelmed by the complexity of controls is astonishingly high.

There are even a significant number of people who buy one. Take it out for a run and just after one failed try, they give up.

First of all, this isn’t the right mindset. Flying a drone isn’t a piece of cake but it’s not rocket science either.

Keeping this in mind, you’ll need to practice just like everyone else before you are able to control it properly.

If you’re a beginner then I would suggest that you use a cheap one for learning the controls until you become good enough to be flying safely.

Piloting a drone isn’t a simple task but it can be made easier if you buy the right drone.

A right drone for new pilots is one that has the simplest controls and yet effective ones.

Every year, the number of drones is increasing rapidly. There are hundreds of new products that claim to be user-friendly which makes it even more difficult to choose the right one.

I’ve made this list to help people who are just getting into the hobby of flying drones make a decision. The key factor that I’ve taken into consideration is the simplicity of controls.

 

1). Altair AA818 Hornet

AA818 Hornet is one of the easiest to fly drones on the market. I recommend it to all beginner pilots.

The manufacturers mainly aimed at creating a beginners level drone that anyone can fly.

The controls are pleasantly simple. So you’ll learn how to fly it in a matter of minutes.

It has received a high percentage of positive reviews and is loved by users and critics alike.

Right now, there isn’t a product available on the market which is a better fit for new pilots.

On top of its easy to learn features, this great product has many special qualities as well.

To name a few, gimbal stabilization, usable indoor as well outdoor, safe enough to be used by kids, and one button take off.

In addition to these qualities, AA818 Hornet has a great number of advanced features as well.

Following is a list of some top ones of its many features:

Automatic altitude hold which isn’t a common feature

Over 15 minutes of flight time

Single button landing and takeoff feature

An HD camera which records in 720p

Over 150 meters of range

3 flight modes

In summary: It’s a top-notch, easy-to-use, and energy-efficient quadcopter which is the best match for beginner pilots.

 

2). Altair Aerial Blackhawk

Aerial Blackhawk is another top product made by Altair. There are lots of great things about this product.

The first and best one being its range which is about 500 meters. This is a rarely long range for a drone at its price range.

Aerial Blackhawk comes at a fantastically low price of under $150.

It’s a heavy-duty and stable quadcopter which can move at a stunningly fast speed.

In addition to being super fast, this energy-efficient drone has a durable flight time of 15 minutes.

On top of all the things mentioned above, it’s an awesome product for photography as well.

It has four cameras for capturing aerial photography from numerous angles making it the best fit for photography purposes.

It is also compatible with GoPro Hero 3 and Hero 4.

Two special features of Aerial Blackhawk are six axis gyro and an independent ESCs built-in automatic lock protection.

The six axis gyro provides better altitude displacement controls as compared to the commonly used three axis gyro

The independent ESCs built-in automatic lock protection reduces the chances of burn out due to deadlock.

To summarize: It is fast, stable, and runs for a long time. These are three features which make for a rare product.

 

3). Altair Aerial AA108

Aerial AA108 is the previous version of the AA818 hornet. It’s a favorite community drone which can literally be used by anyone.

Some of its features are:

100 meters of range

Over 10 minutes of flight time

Headless mode for beginners

Single button takeoff and landing

An HD camera

It’s so easy to fly that the manufacturers have gone as far as guaranteeing safety in the hands of kids.

It’s fun to fly for both beginners and intermediate pilots. It also has some cool features on top of its uniquely simple controls.

Most users have found it to be even easier to fly as compared to its advanced version which is the Hornet.

I personally find the Hornet’s control much simpler.

The AA818 and AA108 are very similar in qualities but I prefer the AA818 over the AA108.

Why?

Although both are almost equally simple to fly, but the Hornet has much better features as compared to its predecessor.

Aerial AA108 comes at third on my list because it isn’t as stable as the top 2. Especially when we’re talking about flying against light to medium wind pressure.

Although it isn’t my first choice, it’s still one of the most competitive and easiest-to-fly drones available on the market.

 

 

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