Written by: João Santos
If you’re a beginner and just getting into drones and you want to buy your first drone, well then this is the article is for you. We’re going to try to make it really quick and simple.
This piece is not going to cover all aspects and every possible option on the market, but we’re going to recommend you drones that, we believe, are appropriate for beginners, people who’re just starting to get into drones.
Your first drone should be one that doesn’t cause you any problems, has a pretty good camera and a good flight time, and overall, you should get a pretty good experience, while the quality of the drone itself is not bad for the price you pay. Speaking of price, expect to pay for your first drone, unless you want to buy a really good one, $200, all the way down below $100. The quality of the drone, as well as the level of tech will increase with the price. You can also modify most drones to fit your specific needs. Don’t feel pressured to buy the best of the best. In fact, take it slow and maybe use a simple monthly budget template to map out what you can realistically afford.
These drones all have one thing in common: they are all GPS drones. GPS is the greatest thing when it comes to drones because your drone will take off and just sit in the air. No, don’t fly them indoors, it’s outdoors only because GPS only works outdoors.
Also, if you start to go a little wonky, you can just hit the return to home button and your drone will come back and land right where it took off. If your phone does not have the Wi-Fi protocol 802.11ac, well you can’t really fly a lot of the modern-day drones because that protocol is what the drones require.
1 – JJRC x7
Powered by a 2s/2600mAh LI-PO battery, the JJRC X7 has more than 20 minutes flight time. Furthermore, it has powerful brushless motors, GPS positioning system and full HD camera – all for less than $150. The design of the JJRC X7 is very minimalist, with elegant lines.
You have two color options: white and black. Build quality is nice, the fuselage feels sturdy. In order to enable all the features of the JJR/C X7 drone you need to download and install the Enjoy-Fly APP on your mobile device. Under the general settings menu you can initiate compass and gyro calibration. Here, you can also activate “Beginner” mode, which limits flight distance to 200 meters as well as flight altitude to 120 meters.
2 – SJR/C Z5
It comes with similar foldable design and about same features. While the VISUO drone adopts nice rounded lines, the SJRC Z5 quadcopter has square edges. The transmitters of these two drones are a bit different. According to the advertised specs, the 2s-1200mAh battery allows up to 14 minutes play time.
While the control range is more than 500 meters, the FPV range is about only 100-150 meters. In front of the drone is located a full HD 1080P camera with remote angle adjustment. You can opt between 2.4G and 5G FPV versions. The SJ Z5 camera is capable of shooting 1080p video but only at a maximum frame rate of 25 fps.
The specs on the camera aren’t certain, but we would expect it to be a 2 MP camera. It does seem that the angle of the camera is adjustable so you can angle it downward 90-degrees if you choose. I expect the quality to be very similar to the C-Fly Dream.
3 – Holy Stone HS700
Holy Stone has been a steady player in the drone industry for quite some time now. They started out with miniature drones aimed primarily at children but moved their way up the food chain since then. HS170 Predator, their most notable mini drone, received quite a lot of praise in its time. There were few iterations afterward, but none managed to create enough fuss.
Then, they surprised everyone with HS100 – their first ever mid-range model. With impressive build quality, GPS, return to home and an interesting motorized camera, Holy Stone HS100 was a massive success. It’s a good drone, no doubt about it. A combination of brilliant built quality, decent camera and a solid set of features makes it a force to be reckoned with in the mid-range market.