Weight: 249g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 2.7K | Battery Size: 2,400mAh | Range: 4,000 meters
The DJI Mavic Mini is the world's favorite consumer drone company's answer to recent regulations requiring drones over 250g to be registered in the UK and US. Coming in at 249g, this tiny foldable drone not only offers an easier flight in this regard after all the restrictions put in place over the last year, but also a price tag to smoothen the experience even more. It's not skimping on the specs either, though this isn't the 4K quality performance drone that we've come to expect from DJI.
Instead, the affordable Mavic Mini offers 2.7K video recording and an impressive 30 minutes of flight time. There are a few features that didn't make the cut to this highly efficient machine - there's no object tracking on board and 60fps at 2.7K won't be an option, you'll have to drop down to 1080p for smoother frame rates. That said, this is a spectacularly impressive piece of kit and one that will easily slot into even the smallest of gear bags.
At just 5.5 inches by 4 inches, this mini drone can fit in the palm of your hand. But just because its size is diminutive doesn't mean that this drone is short on features. It comes equipped with one-key takeoff and landing; an altitude hold function, where you can lock it to maintain a specific height; headless mode, where it can fly in any direction without worrying about which way it is "facing;" and speed adjustment, which you can set based on your flying proficiency. Better yet, this little drones comes with a small price tag.
Weight: 703g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 720p | Battery Size: 3.7V 500 Mah Li-poly | Range: 30 meters
Billed as "the ultimate drone for beginners," the Syma X5C features a six-axis flight control system. This makes it capable of 360-degree rolling. It also features a decent camera for a drone at this price. And paired with a 2.4GHz remote, it has better response and a greater range. With all this for under $50, it's an affordable option for your first drone.
If you're ready to get serious about your drone, but aren't ready to empty your bank account doing so, the Holy Stone HS100 is an exceptional mid-priced option. It has a flight session time of 15 minutes and a range of 500 meters, allowing the user to do some serious flying. Plus it comes equipped with GPS and one-key return to ensure that you don't lose it in the process. Best of all, you get all this for under $300.
Weight: 100g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 720p | Battery Size: 3.7V 500mAh Lipo | Range: 100 meters
Another beginner option, the Eachene E58 is a step up from the Syma X5C for just a little bit more money. You get a 2-megapixel camera with a 120-degree viewing angle and capable of 720p video, while the drone has a range of 100 meters. And it has a night flight function with an LED. Plus, it folds up so that you can easily carry it in your pocket. It's been compared to the Mavic Pro (which you can see below), but it is still under $100.
Weight: 408g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: n/a | Battery Size: 3.7V 300mAh Li-poly | Range: 30 meters
Another tiny drone with a tiny price tag, the Theefun Mini benefits from a six-axis gyro stabilization system that will help beginners to fly straight. It doesn't have a camera, but the range is short so it will never be out of eyesight anyway. And at under $30, it's perfect for the younger members of your family.
Weight: 430g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 4K | Battery size: 2375mAh LiPo | Range: 10 kilometers
It's hard not to absolutely love the DJI Mavic Air, the premier foldable drone that can capture steady 4K video at 60 frames per second, yet fit into a backpack or even a jacket pocket. There aren't many compromises either if you're okay with 21-minute battery life. Our tests proves its true flight time can be as little as 18 minutes, but that's enough time for most people, especially if you buy into the recommended Fly More Bundle with three batteries (totally worth it).
Weight: 30g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: n/a | Battery Size: 3.7V 300mAh Li-poly | Range: 50 meters
Though this drone is only 4.5 inches square, you can make it even more portable when you fold it up. Plus, this beginner drone features three speed modes so you can start slowly and increase your speed as your flying skills improve. You'll no doubt be doing the 360s this drone is capable of before too long. It lists at Amazon for only $35, but right now you can get an additional $5 off when you click the coupon box on the product page.
Weight: 734g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 12.35MP | Battery Size: 3830mAh | Range: 4.3 miles
Until the DJI Spark and DJI Mavic Air came along, the Mavic Pro was the smallest drone in DJI's lineup. It also features folding arms so it can be stowed away in your bag. Don't let its small size fool you, though, as this pint-sized flyer boasts the kind of performance that DJI's larger drones are famous for.
The camera is mounted on a gimbal, which is unusual for drones of this size. It delivers fantastic results with both photos and video in good lighting, although the small size of the sensor means low-light shooting can sometimes be tricky. The Mavic Pro has a top speed of around 40 mph, so it's no slouch in that department, and the battery is good for around 20 to 25 minutes of aerial action.
As is the case with other DJI drones, the Mavic Pro comes with a dedicated remote control that uses your phone's display to show you exactly what the device is seeing. Range is quoted as being over four miles, giving you the opportunity to capture some amazing stills and video without worrying about the connection dropping.
Weight: 500g | Controller: Optional | Camera resolution: 14MP | Battery Size: 2700mAh | Range: 300 metres
The Bebop 2 is a mid-range offering that won't break the bank yet offers a surprising amount of features for the price. The camera utilizes a fisheye lens, and stabilization software removes the need for a gimbal; combined with the intelligent construction of the chassis, which uses rubber dampeners to reduce vibration in-flight, this results in video footage that's refreshingly judder-free.
On the downside, Parrot has locked away some of the Bebop 2's more interesting features, such as route planning and 'follow me' functionality, behind a paywall, which means the cost increases further if you want to use these. Battery life is also somewhat disappointing, so it may be worth investing in a spare power cell.
Despite its humble status (and rather odd name), the Dobby is a surprisingly powerful and versatile machine. Pitched by ZeroTech as a "selfie drone," it's small enough to fit in your bag, which gives it an advantage over many drones that are often too large to be carried around easily.
The small size of the Dobby means it gets battered around in strong winds, but on a good day its performance is impressive. It's controlled via a smartphone application and features such as orbital moves, object tracking and facial recognition are all included as standard, and are easy to execute. The drone's audio and visual sensors, fixed on its underside, mean you can perform palm take-offs and landings, and you can use it indoors.
Weight: 300g | Controller: Yes/Not included | Camera resolution: 12mp | Battery Size: 1480 mAh | Range: 2 km
The DJI Spark is the company's most approachable drone. With its incredibly cool gesture controls that make you feel like a Jedi and its different colored body shells, it's definitely more fun out of the box than a lot of the others on this list.
It is easily controlled using your smartphone, but it's worth noting that that's the only controller you're going to have unless you fancy buying a separate controller. It's definitely affordable in terms of drones, but still we would like to have a controller thrown in for good measure.
It's an incredibly light drone, unsurprisingly as it's the size of a can. This is both one of its greatest strengths and its greatest weaknesses as it's super easy to carry around in your bag, but will be affected by wind during flight.
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