The Game of Drones is hot and getting hotter.
But maybe you’re not ready to launch into the unmanned skies. Maybe jargon such as gimbal, octocopters and gyros (not the delicious Greek wrap) makes your head explode.
Maybe instead you want to simply take a baby-step flight with a drone designed for newbies. DRONELIFE is here to help. We proudly present our picks of four drone models perfect for the newcomer.
Ehang GhostDrone 2.0 Aerial 4K
The Ehang GhostDrone may not be the cheapest drone but it’s well worth all $389. The quadcopter is ready to fly right out of the box and can be controlled by any iOS or Android smart-device (with an Ehang app).
Unlike many newbie drones, the GhostDrone can stay aloft for 25 minutes on a single charge and includes a 4k sports camera that offers four recording modes. Beginners will love the user-friendly autonomous mode as well as the nearly crash-proof Avatar Mode. Users can also plan a flight via GPS waypoints. Weighing in at only 1.5 pounds, the GhostDrone is easy to manage and yet still has the “get-up-and-go” to reach altitudes of up to 3,000 feet and 37 mph.
Hubsan X4 FPV
Another solid choice for neophytes, the Hubsan X4 FPV manages to wow drone veterans and still offer a beginner’s appeal. Equipped with a 1280/780 HD camera, the quadcopter only measures around 8 inches across – a manageable size for a newcomer. In fail-safe mode will return to base and land should you choose to just watch your new drone take a spin. If you feel nervous during manual flight, the flick of a switch on your RC controller also activates fail-safe mode.
Another cool feature is the Follow Me mode, which as the name implies, allows the drone to follow you by pinging the controller’s GPS. While the X4 looks like a toy drone, it packs the kind of features you would expect from a more expensive model. And the $289 price tag makes the drone perfect for the first timer.
Parrot Airborne Night MiniDrone
If larger commercial drones are just too intimidating, the Parrot Airborne Night MiniDrone is both small in size and price. At only $65, the Parrot displays a surprising array of features including acrobatic flight modes for flips and stunts and the Free Flight piloting app for tablet or smartphone. Like most mini-drones, the Airborne’s VGA mini-camera is not as sharp as the GhostDrone or X4 at only 480X640 resolution.
But, be warned: a lower price and size also means a much lower flight time at nine minutes. But you can spend those nine minutes flying in the dark since the Parrot sports a set of headlights that can blink and flash for a tiny light show (call the neighbors and make some popcorn).
Moving back up the price spectrum at $449, the Yuneec Breeze is a breeze to fly for any beginner and can be launched indoors or outside. Like the Hubsan X4, the Breeze boasts a follow-me mode but also sports four other flight modes: Selfie, Orbit, Journey and Pilot, allowing you to stretch your piloting skills as you learn. Like the Airborne, the drone can be flown with a smartphone or tablet. Unlike the Parrot model, the Breeze packs a crystal clear 4K camera as well as several social media functions, making video and photo sharing a breeze (yes, the bad puns keep coming).