Drone flying is a rare hobby that is truly accessible to a wide variety of people. While an advanced drone could be a little intimidating, there are plenty of beginner drone options on the market with easy-to-learn controls and a price tag that won’t break the bank.
Whether you’re interested in simply learning to fly or you want a drone to take your photography to the next level, there are a variety of models out there that are worth considering.
Do you know the key considerations you should have in mind for a starter drone purchase?
Beginner Drones Reviewed In This Guide:
DJI is a well known maker in the drone industry and the DJI Mini 2 is clearly the Best Beginner Drone hands down. Here is why.
Key features: With the ability to fly to an altitude of 4,000 meters, the Mini 2 can capture images and video from a huge distance. And, with 4X zoom, you can still pick up those minute details. It is also incredibly lightweight, at just 249 grams.
Additional features: The included battery can handle up to 31 minutes of flight time and the included extra propellers are useful in the event of a crash. Intelligent modes make the controls easy to learn, as well, so you can spend more time focusing on your pictures and videos.
Pros: If you were drooling over the Mavic Air 2 but couldn’t justify the price, the Mini 2 may be a bit easier to stomach. It includes a stunning 4K camera, the same video transmission distance (up to 6.2 miles), and level 5 wind resistance, allowing you to capture clear shots even in less than ideal conditions.
Cons: While the Mini 2 is certainly cheaper than the Mavic 2, it is still on the expensive side for a beginner drone.
Ideal user: The Mini 2 was made for photography. If you are new to drones but not to cameras, this is an option worth considering.
Bottom line: The price may be high, but DJI’s Mini 2 is well worth it.
The Droncon X708W is affordable and its features make it a good beginner drone also.
Key features: Real-time video transmission allows you to see what you are recording while your drone is still in flight. One-key return is useful for recalling your drone if you do lose sight of it and headless mode allows you to move in any direction regardless of which way the drone is facing.
Additional features: The 3D VR mode is a neat feature that allows you to use your smartphone to experience the drone’s flight in 3D and in real-time.
Pros: Highly budget-friendly, the X708W allows you to learn the basics of drone flight and photography without sinking a great deal of money. The controls are easy to learn and also include the ability to perform basic tricks such as flips and rolls.
Cons: The battery life on the X708W is not great. In general, you can expect between seven and nine minutes of flight time per charge, so you may want to invest in multiple batteries if you want to spend more time flying per session.
Ideal user: This drone is ideal for someone who is looking to learn how to fly a drone and doesn’t need too many additional bells and whistles.
Bottom line: Drocon’s X708W is an excellent choice for a budget-conscious beginner.
Its no surprise that the DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great starter drone that will not let down pickiest buyer.
Key features: Spotlight 2.0 allows you to lock-in on a subject and to record video or pictures from various angles during flight.
The drone transmits 1080p images in real-time, allowing you to experience your drone’s flight in hi-def and the low noise propellers mean you don’t have to worry about recording too much extra noise while taking video. DJI also includes an intelligent flight battery that is capable of 34 minutes of flight time.
Additional features: Obstacle sensors help you avoid collisions and make this drone even more beginner-friendly. It folds up to a compact size when not in use and is compatible with a wide range of smartphones, including both iPhones and Android devices.
Pros: This is a high-quality drone with a 4K HD camera, easy-to-use controls, and a truly impressive image transmission distance of 6.2 miles. It also comes with a variety of tracking features that allow you to better focus on your photography.
Cons: The only real drawback of the Mavic Air 2 is the price tag. It is a huge investment for someone who is just getting into drone flying, but if you are serious about photography and are positive drones are something you want to stick with, it is well worth the price.
Ideal user: The Air 2 is designed for the individual who is highly invested in their photography or videography.
Bottom line: DJI’s Mavic Air 2 may not be the most budget-friendly option out there, but if you are serious about drone photography, it is worth considering.
Holy Stone drones are becoming a big brand name like DJI and the Holy Stone F181W is a great drone for beginners.
Key features: Voice control is useful for performing tasks such as landing, stopping, and moving forwards or backward. You can also preset a custom flight path in the app so you don’t have to worry about the controls while recording video or snapping pictures.
Additional features: Altitude hold is another useful function, especially for photography. The included carrying bag helps protect your drone in between uses and 3D flips allow you to add a bit of fun to an otherwise ordinary flight.
Pros: The built-in 1080p camera includes a 120-degree wide-angle lens, allowing you to truly capture the big picture. A variety of smart controls make for easy operation and allows you to better focus on taking pictures and videos.
Cons: It is important to note that the transmitter range for the F181W is between 50 and 100 meters. If you put additional distance between you and the drone it is highly possible that your drone will lose touch with the controls and could potentially get lost.
Ideal user: The F181W is perfect for a beginner who is interested in learning the basics of flight while also dabbling in drone photography.
Bottom line: Holy Stone’s F181W is a budget-friendly option that includes a variety of useful features.
The Ruko U11 is among a group of drones I feel are ideal hobby drones.
Key features: There’s no doubt that the 4K camera is one of the most impressive features this drone has to offer. Auto return is also highly useful if you lose sight of your drone while flying outdoors, as is the Find the Lost Drone feature inside the app. Altitude hold is another popular feature, especially when it comes to photography.
Additional features: With both an indoor and outdoor mode, you can practice drone flying in a variety of different settings. Waypoints Fly allows you to draw out a flight plan on the app using waypoints while Follow Me Mode enables your drone to simply follow behind you without any need to utilize the controls.
Pros: The 4K ultra hi-def camera can capture stunning images and video and can be adjusted up to 90 degrees, allowing you to take in several different angles. Ruko also includes an extra battery, allowing you to extend your drone’s flight time to 40 minutes.
Cons: While the controls are intended to be beginner-friendly, some reviewers noted that they had a hard time getting the hang of take-offs and landings, even with the one-touch feature.
Ideal user: The U11 is perfect for any beginner that is willing to invest a little more for a better camera.
Bottom line: Ruko’s U11 is an excellent option for budding drone photographers and videographers.
It is clear that the Snaptain A15H is one of the best drones for beginners when you take a close look at its offerings.
Key features: The 1080p HD camera system is a huge selling point for the A15H. Altitude hold is useful for taking better quality images and videos, as well. The gravity sensor mode is also pretty unique– when this feature is enabled, you simply move your smartphone around and the drone will follow in that same direction.
Additional features: Trajectory flight allows you to draw out a route on your phone that your drone will follow. Circle Fly mode is handy for taking 360-degree video of an area and the voice controls make basic tasks such as take-off and landing easier than ever.
Pros: This drone is budget-friendly and includes many features you may not expect at this price point. It’s easy to use and can last for an impressive 24 minutes of flight time per charge. It is also capable of performing a variety of tricks as you become more comfortable with your flight skills.
Cons: It is a bit on the delicate side and may not be able to stand up to a high-impact crash. For that reason, you need to make sure you are flying the drone in a wide-open area without any potential obstacles.
Ideal user: The A15H is ideal for an adult or child who is looking to get into drones without spending a fortune.
Bottom line: Snaptain’s A15H packs a substantial amount of features into a beginner-friendly price point.
Features to Look for In a Beginner Drone
One Button Feature
Here is a list to consider:
- Take Off
- Altitude Hold
- Follow Me
Advanced or Intelligent Mode Features
Some great examples are gesture control which allows you to control the flight of drone by just putting your hand in path of drone so it changes course. Another great feature is flight path. Flight path allows you to draw a path on controller or phone and the drone will fly accordingly.
Battery Life or Additional Batteries Included is a Great Feature
Some drones battery will last 7-12 minutes. For a beginner this gives limited time to fly so finding a drone that will fly closer to 15 minutes is a big advantage. Whle lower priced drones usually fly less than 15 minutes some may come with a second battery. This doubles the time you can fly without having to charge your battery.
Common Questions About Beginner Drones
What’s the best drone to buy for a beginner?
Our research shows the clear winner is the DJI Mini 2. This drone is easy to fly with a ton of features as you see above.
What drone is easiest to fly?
Again we recommend the DJI Mini 2. I hate to be redundant, but for the features this drone just stands alone.
What is the best drone for your money?
Which drone is best and cheap?
Considerations when purchasing your first drone
When looking to purchase a drone, it is a good idea to create a list of the features you need as well as any extras that you want. For example, maybe you need a drone with a 4K camera and it would be nice if it also had an altitude hold mode. Differentiating between your needs and wants will increase the odds of finding a drone that will work for you at your desired price point.
Once you know what you are looking for, do your research. If you won’t be happy with anything other than the highest-end features, know that you are going to be spending a little more. On the other hand, if you are simply looking to learn the basics of flight, you can definitely get away with a more budget-friendly option. This research will give you a realistic idea of the amount you can expect to spend.
It’s also important to look into the controls. As this is likely your first drone, you want something that is beginner-friendly. Look for drones that have intelligent mode options such as one-touch take-off and landing, the ability to draw out a flight path, an automatic recall button, and voice controls. These are all features that can make your life as a beginner drone pilot much simpler.
Enjoy Your New Beginner Drone
There are great starter drone options out there for any budget. Whether you are a complete newbie or have some experience these drones have beginner friendly options and more advanced options that hobby drone users will enjoy. Clearly drones for beginners are packed full of features that will not disappoint.