Best Micro Drones: Which One Is The Top Pick?
I recall buying my first drone and making a big mistake. I went with a large, high-end model that I ended up crashing right away. When it comes to your first time flying drones, minis are the best way to go due to their controllability and affordability.
My team and I set out to provide you with the best mini drones on the market. You’ll be surprised to find out which one came out on top.
Our Top 5 Micro Drones
Altair Falcon AHP
This model comes with an autonomous hover and positioning system (AHP), which should make it easy to fly for beginners. It eliminates some of the up and down movement of quadcopters. It comes with two batteries that will give you about 10 minutes of flying time each.
It comes with propeller guards, which will provide damage control for some of those first-time flying mistakes. It features a 720p HD camera that is designed to provide a means for viewing.
- 720p camera
- Two battery packs
- AHP system
- Might be out of price range
The Cheerson CX 10 comes with a 6-axis gyro that provides a stabilization system while flying. This micro quadcopter has bright LED lights that might help if you decide to fly at night. It has 3 speed modes so you can adjust while in the air. It has a flight time of 4 to 8 minutes.
It does not come with a propeller guard so you should be careful while flying. For the price point, this nano quadcopter is within budget for beginners and kids.
- 3 speeds
- Fits in the palm of your hand
- 6-axis gyroscope
- Not a large battery capacity
Hubsan X4 H107C
This nano drone comes with a 480p camera with video recording and a 0.3 MP camera. You need to buy a memory card or extra micro SD card since it’s not included. You can charge this pocket drone by USB cable.
It can also do 360-degree flips and rolls, which might enhance the flight experience for intermediate users. It will last for about 8 minutes of flight on one charge.
- 480p camera
- USB charger
- Return function
- Requires recalibration often
Holy Stone HS170
This tiny drone from Holy Stone comes with an above-average battery life of 16 minutes due to its 2 batteries. It has a one-key take-off and landing function. It has a shortened learning curve because of the different flight modes and speed settings.
It should be suitable for all skill levels with one-touch flight control. It features a headless mode so you can fly it in any direction.
- High-quality controller
- 2 batteries included
- Comes with extra blades
- Not the best propellers
This mini quadcopter comes with strong and thick guards, which enhances the safety features for kids. It comes with a stable flight mode that has an altitude hold function, which allows the drones mini controller to set the altitude without user interaction.
It has a 35 to 40 minute charging time and includes 2 batteries. One of the great features that might help with safety is the low battery alarm.
- Barometer set height
- Low battery alarm
- Easy to use controller
- Prone to drifting while flying
Buyer’s Guide For The Best Micro Drones
Most mini quadcopters with 1 battery have a runtime of about 5 minutes. Nano drones with 2 batteries can last from 10 to 20 minutes in the air. If you want to spend less time charging, then we recommend a quadcopter with two large-capacity batteries. The average charge time is anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The mechanism that keeps a mini drone stable is the internal gyroscopic technology. Most of the models on our list come with at least a multi-axis internal gyro. A micro drone that does not have an internal gyro will be prone to up, down, left, and right movement without user interaction. Always read the user manual to calibrate the gyroscope in your drone.
We recommend buying a micro quadcopter with a propeller guard if you are new to flying. They will help eliminate any damage that may be sustained due to dropping or newbie flying. Most of the models that we reviewed came with propeller guards. Some of them are removable so once you get better at flying, you can remove them.
All of the models that we tested required AAA batteries for the controllers. It might be important to invest in a comfortable and user-friendly controller, especially if you are flying with children. Most controllers come with 2 joysticks and a calibration button.
The range of your drone is based on how far away the drone can get from its drone mini controller. Most of the models on our list can fly between 50 to 100 meters (164-328 feet). Once a micro drone is out of range, it will either fall from the sky or alert you.
One extra feature might be different flight modes, such as easy, intermediate, and expert. These settings determine the sensitivity of your drone. Another extra feature might be different speeds that you can set your drone, such as low, medium, and high. Altitude holding is a bonus feature that keeps the drone at a certain height.
Q: Are mini drones good for beginners?
A: Yes, they are the best option for beginners because they can be easily controlled and are budget-friendly.
Q: Is it legal to fly a micro drone?
A: Yes, it is legal to fly in the US and UK as long as the take-off weight is under 250 grams (8.8 oz). All of the drone models that we tested fall well under this weight.
Q: Do mini quadcopters come with cameras?
A: Most nano models do not come with cameras unless they are more expensive. Two of the models that are on our list came with cameras, but the rest did not.
After flying all of the best micro drones on the market, and having heated discussions, my team and I have found the top 5 drones. Most of these models are similar in size and function, but our opinion is that one stands out. We chose the Altair Falcon AHP as the best mini drone because of its beginner-friendly hovering and stabilization system and 720p camera.