There are hundreds of different drones out there on the market.
The popularity of drones have exploded over the last years. This means that a lot of manufacturers are just pumping out different models.
So which one should you choose when you are a beginner?
In this guide, we have listed the 8 best beginner drones to purchase in 2021. Under each product tag you will find an in-depth review of the product.
Disclaimer – This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.
The Best Drones For Beginners in 2021
Altair Aerial AA108Camera: 720p
Range: 300 feet
Outlaw Se GPS Drone
Range: 1.2 miles (2 km)
|DJI Mavic Pro|
Camera: 1080p or 720p
Range: 4.3 miles (7 km)
|Holy Stone HS170 Predator|
Range: 30-50 meters
|Parrot Bebop 2|
Range: 300 meters
|Parrot PF728000 Anafi Drone|
|Yuneec Typhoon H Pro|
Range: 1 mile (1.6 km)
1. Altair Aerial AA108 Beginner Drone
The Altair Aerial AA108, in general, has fantastic features. It comes with three skill levels that even seasoned pilots can enjoy. There is one button that you use for takeoff and landing, another for holding altitude and the headless modes. With the altitude hold, you’re assured steady flights whereby the drone keeps hovering in the air without input from the pilot. That way, you can make stable photos and videos. The camera is 720p HD with a built-in 120 degree wide-angle. That allows you a first-person view when flying.
You also can fly the AA108 indoors and outdoors. It has a flight time of seven to ten minutes and two batteries that you can switch to continue capturing more photos and videos. When the battery is on, the drone sounds a low-battery alarm, so you know to return the drone in time for a change. With this feature, you’re assured that the drone is always safe.
The Flight-Range falls under 100 meters that give you more coverage. If you want an enhanced flying experience, you can connect this drone to the Flyingsee App. However, you don’t need a phone to control it; the remote works just fine alone. You do need one though when you want to make a custom route for the drone via the GPS.
The construction is made of durable plastic that can withstand crashes. These are likely to happen for the new pilot as they master their flying skills. With such a construction, that is one less thing to worry about. What you will find as a beginner is that the AA108 has a more stable hover which makes it reliable and friendly for the new user. The other feature that this drone has is the ability to make an emergency landing, usually in the event of strong wind or frequency interference.
- Exceptional Durability
- Long-Distance and Flight Time
What we liked:
- Premium Camera
- Low Battery Alarm
2. Outlaw Se GPS Beginner Drone
Next, we have the Altair Outlaw. It comes with a built-in camera with the specifications of 1080p HD and has an incredible 600- meter range. That said it has an impressive flight time of 18-20 minutes and the drone comes with a rechargeable battery. You can also activate the GPS flight mode where you’re able to let the drone fly on its own to the destination. It is this factor that makes this drone one of the most technologically advanced drones. You can take gorgeous pictures on its way to the target, and there’s not much else to do on your part.
There are three flight modes with the Outlaw that includes headless flight mode. It is also overall an easy drone to fly because it has GPS Automatic Stabilization and GPS Height Hold. You merely have to steer the drone to the position you want it to stay and then leave you taking photos or videos. There’s the option of flying the drone indoors or outdoors too.
You can do more with the Altair Outlaw, including activating the Follow-Me Mode for making some great footage. That is ideal for people who are doing sports or other activities such as skating. The drone remains steady as it tracks you doing whatever action you or another person are doing.
When you’re done for the day or when the battery’s running low, you can activate the Return Home functions, and the drone will make its way back to the starting point. That ensures that your drone is safe at all times, and you won’t be caught unawares, and thus causing your drone to crash.
- GPS Flight Mode
- Headless Mode
What we liked:
- Pro caliber camera
- Multiple flight mode
3. DJI Spark Beginner Drone
The DJI Spark comes with impressive features that include a flight time of 15 minutes and a seriously impressive range of 2,000 meters. That is when you’re using the remote/radio controller; if you’re using your phone, you only get a range of 100 meters. Other aspects that make this drone impressive and entirely honestly worth the purchase are the obstacle avoidance function as well as the advanced gesture mode.
There is also the automated flight mode that lets you focus on taking amazing photos and videos instead of concentrating on flying the drone and steering it in one spot. You’re able to capture memories thanks to the built-in 12 MP and 1080p HD camera. The camera is mechanically stabilized and also with the GPS activated, the drone can hover without drifting.
As mentioned, there is an advanced gesture mode that you can use. The Spark uses gestures and face detection that allows it to respond to gestures. For example, if you make a square with your fingers, the drone will take a photo. You don’t need your phone or remote to activate these functions. That allows you to take selfies with simple hand gestures. Another aspect about the Spark is the Intelligent Flight Modes as well as intuitive controls that will enable you to make creative aerial vides by just a few taps.
As you’re flying, you have the front-facing collision detection that activates in the vent that the drone is about to ram into something that you can’t see from your position. There is a shied though that protects the 2-axis camera gimbal. The Spark can also use a USB adapter for charging, similar to the one you use on your phone. For editing templates and filters you can use the DJI GO 4 app. You can also quickly edit pictures and videos and after that, share them on your social media accounts.
We also have to talk about the ActiveTrack and Stay on Target aspects of this drone. It can automatically tell objects apart and track them as per what they are and the speed in which they are moving. With such functions, tracking becomes so much easier and quite reliable.
- Stable and detailed imaging
- 2-axis stabilized gimball camera
What we liked:
- Mechanical Gimbal Stabilization
- Lithium-ion batteries
4. DJI Mavic Pro Beginner Drone
This Mavic Pro drone boasts quite several settings and other features as well. Some of the impressive aspects of this DJI model are that it has a flight time of 27 minutes and an impressive range of 4,000 meters. There is the built-in high definition camera that has 4k support; another feature that is to be liked about this drone. The quality is exceptional, and quite honestly something you can use for professional photography.
The three-axis stabilized gimbal gives you super-smooth footage. The ability to take long-range imagines and also HD live video streaming is thanks to the OcuSync feature. It is this aspect that changed how the Mavic Pro would be received in the market.
The design of this drone is sleek, which makes it instantly likable for beginners as well. When compared to the DJI Mavic 2, you’ll find that the Pro is a lot simpler to fly. That’s because the brand mainly had beginners in mind. The Mavic 2 is a lot more complicated and more suitable for experts in piloting drones. In the Pro, you’re able to put the beginner mode as you get the hang of it.
When making the purchase, depending on the deal you get, you’ll have to purchase the controller separately. Otherwise, you can upgrade to the FlyMore combo where you also get extra batteries, a case and other essentials for an additional amount. The charging aspect is, however, taken care of by the USB cable where you can charge the drone while you’re out and about using your power bank or laptop.
Portability is also something people look for when purchasing a drone. The Mavic Pro plays well in that regard. You’re able to fold the propellers for more compact storage. Overall, it is small, light, and easy to transport.
- OcuSync Transmission Technology
- Compact design
What we liked:
- DIY option
- Smooth footage
5. Holy Stone HS170 Predator Cheap Beginner Drone
Here we have Holy Stone HS170 Predator that is both stylish and surprisingly cheap. With the performance you get from this drone, you’ll see clearly that a drone doesn’t have to cost a fortune to meet your basic demands. However, there’s a catch. Even though you’re able to do much, as is, the HS170 Predator doesn’t come with a camera.
The HS170 Predator has three flight modes. That accommodates people with varying flight experience. The drone also has a six-axis gyro that promotes stability. The flight range is 50 meters, which is less than other drones on this list. The best use for such a drone is thus taking selfies. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. What further pushes the selfie use is that the HS170 Predator only has a flight time of seven minutes. Even then, the charge time is thankfully short compared to other drone batteries, taking about 40 minutes to charge.
What makes people gravitate toward this drone as beginners are because it costs much less than $100. It makes getting a drone accessible, especially when you’re recently interested and don’t have much chance to spare. That aside, there’s the Headless Flight System that beginners appreciate known as the quadcopter’s flight controller which makes flying exciting and more manageable. Additionally, there is low-frequency interference.
If you wish to do some stunts, you can do amazing flips with the HS170 Predator. One thing to also note is that the construction of this drone is quite durable and can withstand crashes. When it comes time to land, however, don’t be surprised when the drone flips over. That happens because it has springy feet.
Given that the drone is quite cheap, there are other things you ought to be aware of. After the near 10 minute flight time, let the drone rest. That’s because it is prone to heating up and thus requires cooling. You want to do that so that parts last longer. When you first get the drone, you can start flying ASAP. It requires no FAA registration because it’s under 0.55lbs.
- Low-interference 2.4GHz technology
- 6-Axis gyro stabilization system
What we liked:
- Charging time: 45-60 minutes
- Headless flight system
6. Parrot Bebop 2 Beginner Drone
The Parrot Bebop 2 is created with the first-person view (FPV) in mind for when you’re capturing your videos and photographs. It comes with a built-in 1080p camera as well that can get panned down straight to the ground. That is to say that Bebop 2 is a consumer quadcopter designed for a fantastic capturing experience in mind.
There a lot of ease that the beginner will enjoy, such as intelligent flight assistance. What it does is it gets the drone to fly on its own to some extent, leaving you to focus on what you’re capturing. You’re in essence activating autopilot which is welcome for a novice flyer. The Bebop 2 is a durable drone thanks to the issues that the designers solve with regard to its construction. Overall, it is both compact and light. Even with its small structure, it can do an excellent job of holding its position even in strong wind.
The total flight time on Bebop 2 is around 25 minutes with a range of 2,000 meters. That is thanks to the battery that has a longer life than the other drones in the Bebop series. In the market, this drone is one of the best mid-range drones there are. It’s a good companion all round. Other features present are Auto Takeoff and Auto Landing Autonomous Flight Plan and Waypoints, among others.
One thing to note about the Bebop, however, is that you have to be mindful of the WIFI connection. Typically drones should go back home after being disconnected to the WIFI, but that’s not always the case. The aim, therefore, to remain in range either with the phone or remote to avoid getting disconnected and losing your drone or if crashing.
Otherwise, you can do tricks and flips with the Bebop when taking footage. It can also make swift turns for where you need to make them. When airborne, you have complete control of the drone. You can also do autonomous flight commands and get the Bebop to follow a specific subject well. Do note you’ll have to pay extra for the unlocking of the follow-me mode.
- Freedom of Flight
- Fly With Peace of Mind
What we liked:
- High Performance
- Powerful rear flash LED
7. Parrot PF728000 Beginner Drone
The designers of Parrot Anafi had beginners in mind as well. In general, it is simple to fly. The built-in camera is 4K HDR and as a good flight range of 4,000 meters. It also has a flight time of 25-minutes. This quadcopter is also ideal for professionals and people who wish to learn and after make the most of the drone. Adults are best placed to use this drone for their learning as it can be a bit complex for children.
When you’re done capturing your images and videos, you can use the easy-to-use app to edit and after share them on social media. Here’s where using your smartphone instead of the remote comes in handy. Another thing that the Anafi comes with is the remote control though you can fly the drone purely off your smartphone. Some might end up preferring that option because the remote is on the bulkier side as compared to others in the market. You can charge both the drone and the remote using a USB Type-C charger
One area you do need to be careful of is when it comes to avoiding obstacles. Unfortunately, the Anafi does not have a strong obstacle avoidance feature meaning you can end up hitting something along the way. That aside, the Anafi does have the cool Autonomous Follow-Me flight mode. It can track you as you’re doing cool activities and it is stable throughout, capturing some impressive footage that you’ll be happy to brag about.
With regards to storage, you’re able to fold the arms away so that it can fit neatly into its case. The Anafi is also light and highly portable. When it comes to flying, the Anafi is quite stable when it comes to the camera. Even as the drone itself gets affected by the wind, the camera can remain in place and capture spectacular photos or footage. There’s also the SmartDronies feature for creating significant effects with capturing video. Essentially how it works is that the drone moves backward and zooms in at the same time, keeping you the same size. You’re, therefore, able to take movie grade shots for professional and leisure activities.
- Easy to use
- Ultra-portable design
What we liked:
- Stylish and Durable Case
- Skycontroller 3
8. Yuneec Typhoon H Pro Beginner Drone
On our list, the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro is among the most expensive for beginners. There is a reason for that. It has eight propellers that prove to be reliable, as well as five autonomous GPS flight modes. All these modes together make it easy for the beginner to learn how to fly.
This drone comes with a built-in 4K and ultra HD camera. You can take some amazing still photos and 4k video too. The controller is quite bulky and contains a large 7-inch screen where you’re able to see real-time footage from the camera. The transmitter is quite powerful, and you’re ready to view HD720p footage on the controller’s screen. The controller is not just an integrated transmitter; it is also a receiver and Android platform.
The aspect that is most impressive with the Typhoon H Pro is that it has a 10,000-meter range. The flight time you get from the drone is 25 minutes. Other automated flight modes include Journey, Point of Interest, Orbit Me, and Curve Cable Cam. It also has the Return to Home flight mode in the event you lose sight of the drone, or you’re done with shooting.
The Typhoon H Pro also features obstacle avoidance which works perfectly. That is through the use of the Intel RealSense Technology that is used in detecting and avoiding obstacles. It allows you to navigate safely even when it is on Follow Me/ Watch me mode. So what happens in the event of an obstacle is that it will self-navigate around it and continue on the set path. That is something beginners will be grateful for as they are getting the hang of the drone.
Should the motor fail, there are the six-rotor design will automatically switch down to five. That way, the drone can remain in flight and making piloting safe. When it comes to taking shots, there is the 3-axis gimbal that keeps the camera steady. You also get 360-degree rotation that allows you to take charge of the images and footage you’re capturing, all with a creative edge.
- Orbit Me
- Point Of Interest
What we liked:
- Curve Cable Cam
- Easy to Fly
Guide: Which Drone to choose
There are plenty of features that make the drones mentioned above the best. With regards to the flight time, which is something any drone owner looks for, is the DJI Mavic Pro. That is followed by both Parrot drones on the list, the DJI Spark and lastly the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro. When you look at portability, the DJI series do quite well.
In terms of flight range, the Typhoon H Pro is the best drone and it hits the ball out of the mark with an impressive 10km range. That allows for capturing some fantastic footage all around without having to move from your spot. You also have the screen that shows you what you’re capturing long after your drone is out of sight. In that regard, opt for this drone. What you have to trade it off for is that it is quite heavy and bulky so you’ll need designated space for it everywhere you go.
Let’s also look at the Holy Stone HS170 Predator. If you want a drone for cheap, then you can get this drone to get you started. You can use it to get the hang of flying before you invest. You might not want to remain as a beginner drone, especially if you’re going to use a drone professionally. You do have to purchase your camera, but for under $50 it is well worth it.
If you’re looking for a recreational drone where most of what you’ll be capturing is selfies, then you can use the drones with shorter ranges and flight time. They are considerably cheaper too. That means that you can opt for Altair Aerial AA108 for starters. You don’t need to invest tones of money on a drone whose features you won’t use.
There are tons of drones in the market, but we hope our top eight picks have been able to give you insight into what to look for and purchase.