When searching for the best drones for beginners, you’ll need to decide on the features that are right for your leisure activities. We recommend that you prioritize drones with brushless motors and frames constructed completely or partially with carbon fiber and those that are built with newbies in mind. Make sure you consider the camera quality and its transmission speed. Also, when buying a drone for a beginner, look at what accessories are included and what control options are offered. Remember, the best drones may not be necessarily the best for beginners so it is important to find the right one.
After researching a wide range of racing drone models with different features and at various price points, we’ve concluded that the Holy Stone HS 100 is the best drone for beginners you can buy today. Plus, it could be considered a leading FPV racing drone. Continue reading for more on this model and our other top picks for the best drones on the market.
Top 10 Best Drones for Beginners
#1 Holy Stone HS100 Drone for Beginners
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Fantastic beginner drone for adults, with a light and portable form factor, weighing just 27 ounces, GPS integration with a return home function, and a decent battery that allows for 20 minutes of flight time per charge.
- Extremely light, at 27oz
- Return home functionality
- 20 minutes of use per charge and 1800 feet control range
- Not as sturdy as some on market
- Camera resolution maxes out at 720p
The Holy Stone HS100 is one of the best beginner drones with a camera and GPS, as this drone not only integrates seamlessly with GPS but allows for a quick return home function with just a few button pushes. This is a light and portable model, weighing just 27 ounces, that is easy to assemble and control. We appreciated the decent battery life on offer, allowing for 20 minutes of use per charge, and the lengthy control range that maxes out at nearly 2,000 feet.
The materials used in the construction of this drone are not as sturdy as what is found with some available models, which could be an issue for some. Additionally, the built-in HD camera maxes out at a 720p resolution. A better camera would be found in the best selfie drone that has an integrated 1080p camera, which excels at live streaming.
#2 Parrot Mambo Fly Drone for Beginners
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Allows for easy control via your smartphone or tablet, though it does ship with a dedicated remote, in addition to offering an extremely light form factor and a useful autopilot mode.
- Easy smartphone and tablet controls
- Integrated autopilot mode reduces accidents
- 20 minutes of use per charge and 1800 feet control range
- Battery lasts just 10 minutes
- Does not ship with a camera
The Parrot Mambo Fly Drone for Beginners is a great choice for amateur coding enthusiasts, as this model integrates with a wide variety of coding platforms to allow for the programming of complex maneuvers and tricks. This is great, especially if you know how to program a drone. We appreciated the seamless smartphone and tablet controls, along with the dedicated remote control it ships with, and the integrated autopilot mode, which will automatically take over when user-inputted control cuts out.
The battery here does leave something to be desired, however, as it only allows for around ten minutes of continuous use before needing a recharge. Also, this is not the best drone for photography, as there is no camera installed, though a third-party model can be attached. You may also consider the best drone for GoPro which has an integrated HDMI port and an intuitive smartphone-based control scheme.
#3 DJI Mavic Air 2 Drone for Beginners
Award: BEST FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
WHY WE LIKE IT: Great choice for budding photographers, as this drone, includes a stunning 48MP camera, with the ability to shoot 4K video and 8K hyperlapse, and offers the ability to live-stream footage from up to 6 miles away from the receiver.
- Lengthy battery life
- Integrated software keeps camera locked on target
- Can be controlled via smartphone or tablet
- On the expensive side
- Too bulky for indoor use
This DJI drone is simply a great option for taking high-definition photos and recording HD video, as this model ships with an integrated 48MP camera that can shoot 4K video, 8K hyperlapse content, and live-stream from a distance of up to six miles away from the receiver. We appreciated the lengthy battery life here, which allows for nearly 40 minutes of use per charge, and the built-in tracking software that automatically locks the camera on a target, no matter how the pilot is performing. We also liked that this drone can be controlled via smartphone or tablet, but also ships with a high-grade control stick.
This is not the best cheap drone for photography, however, as it ships with a fairly expensive price tag. Additionally, this is a rather large and bulky device, so we would not recommend this drone for indoor use. For indoor drone photography, consider the best indoor drone that offers a relatively quiet operation and a design that allows for full control via a smartphone or tablet.
#4 DJI Mavic Mini Drone for Beginners
Award: BEST SMARTPHONE CONTROLS
WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts intuitive and easy-to-use smartphone controls, with a dedicated remote control including with purchase, in addition to featuring a high-powered lithium battery that can get 30 minutes of flight per charge.
- Light form factor, at 9oz
- Battery allows for 30 minutes per charge
- 3-axis motorized gimbal for camera stability
- Plastic form factor not that durable
- Cannot support third-party cameras
The DJI Mavic Mini Drone for Beginners is built to be easily controlled via a common smartphone or tablet, with an intuitive yet robust control scheme. We loved the light form factor here, coming in at just nine ounces, and the integrated lithium-ion battery that allows for up to 30 minutes of flight on a single charge. We also liked the 3-axis motorized gimbal attached to the camera, which provides superior stabilization during use.
Though this gimbal is great and the integrated camera is decent, though not great, third-party cameras cannot be used with this drone, as the model’s lightweight form factor simply cannot accommodate them. Also, this drone is largely made of plastic, so it is not the most durable model on the market. Compare this with the best drones that offer the durability of design and materials, stability, flight time, and camera quality.
#5 DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone for Beginners
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: High-quality drone that can easily reach a max speed of 44 MPH, with a lithium battery that allows for over 30 minutes of flight time, and shipping with a suite of accessories and attachments.
- 44 MPH max speed
- Over 30 minutes of flight per charge
- Omnidirectional obstacle sensors
- Extremely expensive
- No digital zoom
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone for Beginners is of exceptional quality, with a powerful motor that allows it to reach speeds up to 44 miles per hour and shipping with an integrated lithium battery that offers over 30 minutes of flight time per charge. We were impressed with the omnidirectional obstacle sensors, for safety, and the number of attachments and accessories that ship with this model, including extra batteries, a battery charging hub, a car charger, low-noise propellers, and a shoulder carry bag.
While these features are phenomenal, sometimes drones just have an issue with crashing into things. In that case, you’ll want to know how to make an obstacle avoidance drone.
Unlike the Air Hogs Supernova drone, this is an extremely expensive drone, however, likely due to the high-grade components and the number of accessories that ship with this model. Additionally, the integrated camera is impressive, with the ability to capture HD video and stills, but it does not offer the ability to digitally zoom. Compare that with the best VR drones that have a superior image and HD video quality.
#6 DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone for Beginners
Award: BEST ACCESSORIES
WHY WE LIKE IT: Ships with several useful accessories and attachments, including several batteries and a car charger, with a motor that allows for a 44 MPH max speed and a camera that excels at zooming in on objects.
- More than 30 minutes per charge
- Camera offers excellent zoom capabilities
- Max speed 44MPH
- Pricier than many competing models
- Proprietary batteries are expensive
The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone for Beginners is a fantastic all-in-one solution, as this combo pack includes a high-grade quadcopter and several useful accessories and attachments, including a shoulder-based carry bag, several batteries, a car charger, low-noise propellers, and more. We loved the battery life with this one, allowing for more than 30 minutes per charge, and the motor, which can easily reach speeds up to 44 miles per hour. We also appreciated that the integrated camera produces gorgeous visuals and is outfitted with a fantastic zoom capability.
This is an extremely expensive model, likely due to the high-grade components of the drone itself and the number of fantastic accessories included with the purchase. Also, this combo kit does include a trio of batteries, but replacement batteries beyond that can be expensive, due to the proprietary nature of their design. Compare that with the best professional drone that includes a lithium battery which allows for more than 30 minutes of flight time per charge.
#7 Hubsan X4 H122D Drone for Beginners
Award: BEST FOR TRICKS
WHY WE LIKE IT: Perfect choice for racers and those who like to perform acrobatic tricks, as this drone excels with flips, rolls, and other maneuvers, with an easy-to-use remote control that resembles a video game controller in both form and function.
- Gaming-inspired remote control
- Automatic return functionality
- Motor can reach over 20 MPH
- Battery gets 7 minutes per charge
- Camera is just 720p
The Hubsan X4 H122D Drone for Beginners is a fantastic option for would-be stunt flyers, as this model is built to perform acrobatic tricks, including rolls, flips, and other death-defying stunts. This fact is helped along by the gaming-inspired remote control that ships with the unit, which allows for an instantly familiar control scheme. We loved the professional-grade motor that can fly up to 22 miles per hour and the automatic return functionality, which allows the drone to return to the user when the battery runs low.
On the topic of an integrated lithium battery, the one that ships with this model can only offer seven minutes of flight per charge, with a charge time that takes nearly three hours. Additionally, the integrated camera is decent but maxes out at capturing video at 720p. Compare this with the best follow-me drone that can even transmit a live video stream.
#8 Parrot Anafi Drone for Beginners
Award: BEST DURABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: Exceptionally durable and sturdy design, with long-lasting components, in addition to featuring a nearly three-mile transmission range and a high-grade battery that can last nearly 30 minutes on a single charge.
- Nearly 3-mile transmission distance
- Battery lasts for 26 minutes per charge
- Camera includes zoom and dolly functions
- Somewhat expensive
- Some control services locked behind paywall
The Parrot Anafi Drone for Beginners is a great option for those seeking a long-lasting and ultra-durable model, as this drone is made from sturdy components. It should be able to withstand numerous crashes and accidents, which makes it better than constantly having to fix the drone. We admired the lengthy transmission range of nearly three miles and the integrated lithium-ion battery that allows the drone to fly for nearly thirty minutes before needing a recharge. We also liked that the included camera boasts both zoom and dolly functionalities.
Though we were impressed by the durability on offer with this drone, it is on the expensive side, so consider that before making a purchase. Also, the controls here are solid, as this item ships with a remote and allows for smartphone integration, some functionalities are locked behind a paywall, including a follow-me function and an app that allows users to draw up a customized flight plan. Other functionalities that make drones easy to operate include an automatic takeoff and landing feature, which can be found on the best fixed-wing drone.
#9 Ryze Tech Tello Drone for Beginners
Award: BEST VALUE
WHY WE LIKE IT: Value-friendly drone with a robust feature set that includes an extremely light and portable form factor, weighing just 3oz, and an easy-to-use control scheme that is perfect for both beginners and children.
- Can reach nearly 20MPH
- Easy-to-use control scheme great for kids
- Extremely light and compact, just 3oz
- 5MP camera
- 13 minute flight time per charge
The Ryze Tech Tello Drone for Beginners comes in at a value-conscious price while offering features in line with more expensive competitors, such as a high-grade motor that allows the drone to reach speeds up to 20 miles per hour. We appreciated the light and compact form factor, weighing just three ounces, and the easy-to-use control scheme that is perfect for beginners and kids alike.
Though the Ryze Tello is great for garden variety picture-taking, such as selfies, the integrated camera is just 5MP, which may not be great for all consumers. Additionally, the included lithium battery only allows for 13 minutes of flight time per charge. Compare that to the best drone for kids that ships with 2 batteries, totaling 24 minutes of flight time.
#10 Syma X5C Drone for Beginners
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: Budget-friendly drone that can hang with the big boys, thanks to features such as a high-quality 6-axis gyro stabilization system and a highly wind-resistant design that can be flown indoors or outdoors.
- 6-axis gyro stabilization system
- Wind-resistant design
- Performs tricks with single button press
- Battery lasts 7 minutes per charge
- No smartphone controls
The Syma X5C Drone for Beginners arrives at a price that won’t break the bank while boasting a fantastic feature set that includes a smartly designed 6-axis gyro stabilization system, allowing for a consistent flight path free from deviation or accidental damage. We appreciated the wind-resistant design here, allowing this drone to be flown indoors or outdoors, and the fact that rolls and other tricks can be performed with just a single press of a button.
Though is the best cheap drone for photography, the included lithium battery allows for just seven minutes of flight per charge, which may not be enough time to line up the perfect shot. Also, this drone does not allow for smartphone controls, though it does ship with a full-featured remote control unit. Compare that to the best foldable drone which features a remote control that utilizes an ultrabright 5.5-inch 1080p display that helps you to maintain clear visibility even in direct sunlight.
How We Decided
To help narrow down the above list, we thoroughly researched a wide number of popular drones, ensuring that they were built to be used by beginners or novice pilots. To that end, we liked drones that were easy to control, offering remote control via smartphone or tablet, allowing for new flyers to jump in and instantly feel comfortable.
Like all drones, models intended to be used by beginners should be exceptionally durable, so we tended to prefer drones built with sturdy and long-lasting materials that can easily survive a crash or two (or three.) We also liked drones with high-grade motors that could easily maintain high maximum speeds and batteries that allowed for lengthy use sessions before needing to go in for a recharge.
Cameras are an important part of the overall drone experience, so we ended up choosing models with integrated HD cameras that excelled at shooting both stills and video, with bonus points awarded to models that offered the capability to live stream. Finally, we liked drones that were light and compact, with designs that allowed them to be used both indoors and outdoors.
Best Drones for Beginners Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Motor and Battery
When deciding what drone to purchase, the built-in motor should be given prime consideration. This motor will allow just how fast your drone can go, in addition to providing support for tricks, such as rolls and flips. On the flip side, the integrated battery is also extremely important. These rechargeable lithium-ion batteries should offer plenty of flight time before they need to be recharged. Make sure to read the fine print to figure out if a battery has enough get-up-and-go for your daily needs.
- Integrated Cameras and Control
Most modern drones include dedicated and integrated cameras, to take still shots and video. These cameras are often HD or UltraHD and can offer the ability to live-stream footage as you fly, which can add up to some must-see streaming sessions. Modern drones also offer all manner of control variations, with some allowing control from smartphones or tablets, with others shipping with a dedicated remote. Some drones ship with a remote control and still allow consumers to use a smartphone or tablet if so desired.
- Additional Functionalities
In addition to expertly sailing through the skies and providing fantastic photos and videos, drones tend to offer all kinds of additional functionalities. Some drones are purpose-built for performing stunts and tricks, offering users the ability to roll, flip, fly upside down, and more. Some drones also boast “return home” functionalities that automatically send the drone home when it is low on batteries or once it extends your flight range. Take a look at a drone’s additional features to figure out the right model for you.