Are you planning to give someone a drone this Christmas? Do you want to know what’s the best brand and model to buy when giving a quadcopter as a present?
If you are looking for a drone as a Christmas gift for someone dear to you, I’m pleased to tell you that this article is for you. I have flown many types of drones from the affordable to the most expensive ones and those that make it to my list stood out in terms of quality and performance. Some of them are very affordable, too.
Are you ready to know the best options available for you? I know you are and in just a few months it would be Christmas, so let’s get started!
1. DJI Mavic Air
Video Resolution: 4K at 30fps
Max Flight Time: 21min
Max Speed: 68.4kph in Sport mode
Notable Attributes: SmartCapture, Gesture Control, Foldable and Portable, 3-axis gimbal for stability, 3-directional environment sensing, 8 GB of internal storage
Mavic Air is one of the most popular and powerful quadcopters from DJI with a superb camera. If you are planning to give someone a great drone camera, this is highly recommended.
Mavic Air has a 3-axis gimbal system that stabilizes the camera even during high-speed motion allowing you to record smooth videos and capture sharp pictures consistently. Anyone who wants to use a drone for aerial photoshoot or videography will surely love this because it delivers HD quality images.
Also, if the one you are giving this present is into extreme sports, he or she will surely love this because this is equipped with slow-motion video. It can record 1080p 120fps slow-motion video which is perfect for high-speed adventures. This is the best feature for recording cycling, skiing, white water rafting and more.
Aside from an awesome camera, Air is compact and lightweight. It has a foldable design, too, which makes it ultraportable.
It has foldable arms that flush against its aerodynamic chassis. The magnesium alloy brackets reinforce its seven onboard camera, the rear vents dissipate heat efficiently and the gimbal camera recessed for better protection.
Due to its design, this is the perfect drone for those who are always on the go and who wish to bring a quadcopter to document their trips and adventures. This is high-quality and durable, so you can count on it.
For added convenience, this comes with a foldable remote controller, too! The dedicated remote controller has an ergonomic design that holds the smartphone for maximum convenience. The control sticks are detachable and can be stored inside the remote controller, so you can comfortably pack this when on the go.
Mavic Air is pricey compared to most brands, but I must say, it offers many advanced features you won’t find in cheap drones. Most importantly, it is durable, high-quality and high-performance. Mavic Air won’t let you down.
- Compact and small
- Better build quality
- Won’t struggle to fly back home even with strong headwind conditions
- Video crop
- Short battery life
- Doesn’t support D-Log
- Poor range and radio signal quality
- Only slim smartphones fit in the controller
2. DJI Spark
Dimensions: 143×143×55 mm
Flight time/battery life: 16min
Transmission distance: 1.2mi
Speed: Up to 31mph
VPS Range: 98ft
Gimbal: 2 axis
Camera resolution: 12mp
Video resolution: 1080p 30fps
Weight: .66 pounds (SUPER light)
Camera details: 1/2.3 Sensor Powerful Lens, 1080P resolution
Notable attributes: PalmLaunch, Gesture and TapFly Control, Obstacle Sensing, Subject Tracking from Various Angles
DJI Spark is a mini drone that features all of the signature technologies from the brand. Despite its small size, this allows you to seize the moment whenever you are inspired because it is fully equipped with everything you need to deliver incredible images and footage.
It has a high-performance camera that can capture amazing photos and stabilized videos. Thanks to its mechanical gimbal stabilization and UltraSmooth technology you can make shake-free shots because the aforementioned features reduce shake and rolling shutter effect for stable and detailed shots.
This camera drone is versatile. It has multiple shooting modes and adopts to all previous DJI drone shooting modes with two additional modes: Pano and ShallowFocus.
This is also very fun and easy to control because it is equipped with deep learning gesture recognition. You can control this with simple hand motions to take selfies or record videos.
If you want a FollowMe drone, this is also a great option. It is equipped with ActiveTrack that automatically recognizes objects of different shapes and sizes and tracks them accordingly, which makes tracking easier, more reliable and more fun.
If the one you are giving this has no drone flying experience, there is nothing to worry because this is beginner-friendly. One can tap the phone on the screen and fly the quad at their fingertips.
This is also equipped with FlightAutonomy with enhanced awareness to sense obstacles. It has GPS too that enables the Spark to Return to Home when the battery gets low or the connection is lost.
For added safety, this allows you to fly smarter. Spark has DJI’s GEO system that informs you of safety or security concerns when flying your drone near airports or stadium, so you can pilot your quad responsibly.
Spark is the most affordable quad from DJI. It is small, but it is as powerful as the other models from the brand. This is very impressive for its price, built and features. I’m very happy and satisfied with Spark, so I highly recommend this.
- Gestures controls
- Quickshot modes
- Control, edit and share via DJI GO app
- Short flight time
- Wi-Fi range is limited
- No controller
3. Ryze Tello
Flight time: 13min
HD Transmission: 720p
Smart Switching: 2 antennas
Notable attributes: Auto Takeoff/Landing, Vision Positioning System, EZ Shots, 8D flips for aerial stunts, Throw & Go, Bounce Mode
If your budget for a drone is under $100 but you want a quality quad like the ones manufactured by DJI, Ryze Tello is highly recommended. This mini drone is equipped with DJI flight tech with industry-leading components to ensure stable flights.
Also, you’ll be surprised at how amazing Tello is in terms of features and performance. This quad is just as amazing as the ones DJI offers but at a fraction of the price.
Tello can perform awesome tricks with just a tap on the screen. Even those without piloting experience can enjoy this because it is so simple and easy to fly.
Simply throw and go or toss Tello to start flying it into the air. It has Bounce Mode, too, that enables it to fly up and down from your hand automatically.
You can slide on the screen to perform cool aerial stunts. Yes, you read that right, this quad is capable of 8D flips. For those who love a stunt drone, this is perfect.
As for the camera, this is equipped with EZ Shots that enables the user to record coordinated short videos with Circle, 360 and Up & Away.
Its electronic image stabilization helps you capture 5mp photos for clear images consistently. Its Intel processor also helps yield high-quality footage.
When it comes to safe flying, there is nothing to complain about this drone. It has Auto takeoff/landing for easier operation, low battery protection that alerts you when the power is low, Failsafe protection for safe landing if you lose connection and Vision Positioning System that facilitates precise hovering.
Tello is very impressive for its price. It is durable and smartly built. So, if you want a drone under $100 for Christmas, this is a great option.
- Super safe
- User-friendly app
- Smart and interactive
- Small and lightweight
- Delivers high-resolution images
- Compatible with Bluetooth controllers
- No dedicated remote controller
- You need to spend more to maximize its potential (Bluetooth controller and VR goggles)
4. Holy Stone HS160 Shadow
Drone Size: 7.09 x 7.09 x 1.8 inches
Drone Weight: 83 g / 2.925 oz (no need to register with FAA)
Drone battery: 3.7V 500 mAh Li-po battery (in the Battery Compartment)
Camera Pixel: 1280 x 720P
Charging time: About 50-70 minutes (USB Charging)
Flying time: About 7-9 minutes
Control distance: About 50-70 meters
Holy Stone HS160 Shadow drone is very affordable, so you will surely love this. However, aside from the price, its design and performance are something that I’m very happy with.
It has foldable and flexible blades. Once you fold the blades, it becomes small making it ultraportable. It can even fit in your pocket.
It has 720p HD camera and supports FPV. You can even watch a live video stream or snap wonderful photos in this mode.
If you want to enjoy an immersive flying experience with this quad, you can switch to 3D Mode and you will be blown away. It is super fun when you pilot the quad in this setting.
For beginners, I’m pleased to tell you that this is very easy to maneuver. It has One Key Start/Landing and Altitude Hold functions that enable the drone to fly by itself with just a single press of a button. It is equipped with Gravity Sensor Mode, too, that follow the direction you move your smartphone, so you won’t easily lose it.
Overall, I’m very happy with this quad. I didn’t expect too much from it, so I was amazed that it was as great as the others considering its low cost. So, if you are on a tight budget but want to get a quality drone, this quad won’t let you down.
- Modular Batteries
- Wi-Fi FPV Real-Time Transmission
- 3D VR Mode
- 720P HD Camera
- Altitude Hold Function
- Gravity Sensor Mode
- One Key Start/Landing
- 4 Speed Modes
- LED Light
- Very affordable
- Easy to control
- Decent flying time
- Includes bonus battery
- Poor camera
- No GPS
- Not usable during windy days
5. Syma X5C-1
Control Mode: 2.4Ghz Remote Control
Camera: 2MP HD
Control Distance: about 30m
Battery for Drone: 3.7V 500mAh LiPO Battery (Included)
Charging Mode: USB charging
Charging Time: About 100 mins
Play Time: About 5-7 mins
Notable features: 6-axis Gyro Stabilization System, Blade Protector and Lights, 360° Eversion
It has 2mp HD camera with 6-axis gyro stabilization system that helps pilot record awesome footage and amazing photos. I would say that its camera is not for professional use, but good enough for those who want to start aerial photography.
I think the quality of its camera is not disappointing considering its price. Aside from this, the quad is designed to be safe.
X5C-1 comes with propeller protectors to ensure safe flights. Your propellers are protected in case of a crash or collision. Also, flying this drone at night is very convenient because it has colorful flashing lights that make it easier to spot the quad.
This drone is also capable of performing stunts. It can perform 360-degree rolls. Try to show it off to your friends and they will surely be impressed.
For those who are into customizing things, this drone has a modular design. It is very simple to assemble and easy to maintain. Its throttle is changeable, so you can work around to make this your dream quadcopter.
This quad is strong and durable. It can sustain many crashes, which is very impressive considering its low cost.
Overall, I’m very amazed at how capable this quad is for its price. Personally, I’m confident to give this away as a Christmas present because even if it is cheap, its qualities are not.
- HD camera
- Wind resistant
- Very responsive
- Can be used indoor and outdoor
- Short control range
- Short flight time
- No Headless Mode
- No Altitude Hold Mode
6. Eachine E58
Item NO.: EACHINE E58
Quadcopter Battery: 3.7V 500mAh Lipo
Transmitter Battery:3 x 1.5 AA battery (NOT Included)
Charging time: 60-70mins
Flying time: 7-9mins
Wind level: below 4
R/C distance: 80-100m
FPV Range: about 30m
Camera: 2MP 720P wide angle
Dimensions: 27×19.5x5cm ( not folded)
Dimensions: 12.5×7.5x5cm (folded)
Weight: 96g (with battery)
If you are looking for a drone under $100, Eachine E58 is another highly recommended product. This is high-quality and high-performance and is built with a smart design.
E578 is foldable and its arms are replaceable. In case, you damage it, don’t worry because you can just replace it and the quad will work as if it is brand new.
This drone is super easy to pilot and it is beginner-friendly. It has features that will help you control the quad conveniently like the One Key Return Home, Headless Mode, and Trimming.
It has Altitude Hold, too, that accurately locks the height and location for a safe and stable flight. This feature is very useful when taking photos and videos.
If you are into exhibition and stunts, good news, this can do 3D flips and rolls. This also comes with WiFi FPV transmission system that you can connect with your phone so you can view directly the scene on the screen of your phone and conveniently take photos or record videos.
Overall, I am very happy with this small drone. It is very functional for its size. But, what impressed me more were its durability, stability, and ease of use. Anyone who receives this drone this Christmas will surely be happy.
- Easy to fly
- Compact design
- Foldable transmitter
- Foldable propellers
- Has a built-in camera
- Strong support
- Average camera
- Limited control range
- No GPS
7. Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3
Size: 12.4 x 12.4 x 4.13in
Flight time: 7min
Environment: Indoors and Outdoors
Camera: HD 0.3MP WiFi FPV
Battery: 3.7V 500mAh Li-Po
Charge time: 90 – 120min
Syma X5SW-V3 is another budget drone, but you should not underestimate this for its price because it offers so much making it a great value for money. I understand that some are hesitant to buy an affordable drone because of the questionable quality, but this one, I guarantee you, it works as promised.
The first thing that you will notice with this is that it resembles DJI Phantom in terms of design but without the fan guards. So, yes this quad looks very sophisticated. The good thing is, aside from an impressive aesthetic, it performs well.
It comes with a 6-axis flight control system for a smooth and stable flight. It has Headless mode too that makes piloting easy.
Even if this quad is small, you can fly it indoors and outdoors. It has a flight range of 50 meters and a flight time of 7 minutes. While these properties are inferior compared to DJI drones, these are already good for a drone in its size and price.
Syma X5SW-V3 is a good entry-level drone that kids and beginners will surely appreciate and enjoy. I enjoyed my time flying this drone and I’m sure that those new to drones would feel the same way. So, you should consider this if you are looking for a budget drone for Christmas.
- Easy to fly
- Simple to maneuver
- Can perform air stunts
- Compatible with both iOS and Android
- Poor camera and video quality
- Short flight time
- Not very stable
- Doesn’t support devices lower than Android 4.0
- No SD card slot
Drones are great gifts for Christmas because they are fun to pilot and both kids and adults enjoy it. So, if you are planning to give someone special a present, the drones mentioned above are highly recommended.
All of them are high-quality and high-performance. I have tried all of them and I enjoyed my time with them.
Do you know any other drones that would make a great Christmas present? Feel free to share it with us, we would love to hear from you.