Are you interested in buying the best drones in 2018, but you are not sure which one to get since there are so many options? We have made it easy for you by figuring out what the best drones are in the different categories. The categories that we will cover in this guide are best overall, best long range, best for beginners, best folding drone, and best for professionals.

Using this guide you can quickly select a drone that matches your requirements by looking at the relevant category. For example, if you’re a professional, then the best drone for professionals category is where you should be looking. Furthermore, for each category we will explain the different uses of that drone. This will give you a better idea of what category you should be looking at for the specific requirements you have.

It can be hard to select a drone if you have never bought one before, or are unfamiliar with the way they work. Therefore, in the next section you can learn about the various features that you must pay attention to when selecting a drone to buy.

Top Drones in 2018 Comparison Table

Make and ModelControl RangeFlight TimePrice
DJI Phantom 4 Pro5,000 meters30 MinutesCheck Price
Altair Aerial AA108100 meters10 minutesCheck Price
DJI Mavic Pro7,000 meters27 minutesCheck Price
DJI INSPIRE 27,000 meters27 minutesCheck Price
WALKERA VOYAGER 4Limitless via 4G25 minutesCheck Price

Best Drones in 2018 By Category:

Click below to get detailed information on each drone by category.

The best overall drone in 2018

To ensure that you get a mix of value and performance, and no feature is sacrificed, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is our choice for the best overall drone to buy in 2018. For buyers that are not interested in spending hours of research figuring out the sweet spot in the marketplace right now should pay attention here.

The typical process of selecting a drone means you need to look at the features of the best drones and compare them against the price. You also need to weight up the features available against the ones you actually need.

The drone in this category is suitable for everyone and you’ll find that the features do not impose much of a limitation on the user. You also get to have the bragging rights of letting others know that you have the best overall drone out there. If you are the type of tech buyer that likes a great deal and the latest technology then our best overall pick for 2018 is a must buy.

1. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

DJI Phantom 4 ProView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

DJI is the premier drone company in the world, so it makes sense that they have the best overall model in 2018. This drone is a great pick for professionals, but amateurs with a budget will also love the comprehensive array of well-implemented features.

One of the notable features of the Phantom 4 Pro is the camera, which provides a photography resolution of 20MP. The resulting images will be clear and of a professional standard. The video recording resolution is at a maximum of 4K, but you can also choose between 2.7K, 1080p, and 720p. Note that the higher the resolution the lower the frame rate you’re going to get.

The top speed of the drone is 45mph, and the control range is a 5km. This combination ensures the drone is fast enough to navigate a large surrounding area at a decent speed. The battery life is at 30 minutes, which is one of the competitive aspects of the drone.

The obstacle avoidance features of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro are excellent. They are activated when the drone is 30 meters away from an obstacle. You’ll know this feature is working because a flashing LED and beeping noise will kick in. The drone has a mix of infra-red and visual sensors to detect the obstacles. The only weakness of the system is the lack of protection on top of the drone. Therefore, when the drone is ascending the lack of obstacle avoidance can cause a collision.

The Lightbridge Transmission technology of the controller ensures the signal quality will be maintained – even when the drone is at the outer reaches of the control range. Also intelligent flight features can be used to navigate the drone in a hands-off approach. For instance, the terrain follow mode can be used to follow a target at a certain range.

To conclude, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a versatile drone that is capable of meeting the requirements of any task. The combination of impressive automated flight features, advanced obstacle avoidance, a reliable camera, and lengthy battery time is desirable. The price tag isn’t cheap, but the list of features justifies it.

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Tech Specs
Weight: 10 pounds
Battery: Lithium polymer
Charging Time: 90 minutes
Control range: 5,000 meters
Flight time: 30 minutes
The Pros
Advanced obstacle avoidance technology
Long control range
4K video capture
Great flying time
The Cons
Must pay extra for touchscreen controller

Best 2018 drone for beginners

Are you a looking for an affordable drone that is ideal for beginner drone pilots looking to gain some experience? Then our pick in this category is the ideal choice for you. There are many budget drones that have features for beginner pilots and they are great before moving onto the higher priced drones.

It would be a disaster if you bought an expensive drone and crashed it due to a lack of experience flying. It would cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, which represents a big dent in your wallet.

Beginner drones are typically lighter and smaller and the professionals drones. Therefore, they are easier to fly. Some of the beginner friendly flight features include hover mode. This means the drone is going to hover at a specific distance above the ground when you stop piloting it.

2. Altair Aerial AA108

Altair Aerial AA108View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

For the beginner the Altair Aerial AA108 is the ideal choice as it comes with a number of beginner friendly features and is only priced at around $100. The drone comes with 2 batteries and has a black design.

The first beginner friendly feature that’s worth mentioning is the plastic guards around each of the rotors. This ensures that upon crashing the rotors of the drone will not receive damage. It’s an important point to note, because the rotor is the most vulnerable part of the drone. Overall, the drone has a sturdy build, which means it can take a lot of punishment before you’ll begin to see the effects of wear and tear.

The drone has a feature called altitude hold, which means the drone will hover at a specific altitude. This gives you a moment to gather yourself and figure out how you will use the controls to fly without crashing. For beginners this feature can provide a great way to learn the basics of flying the drone.

There is a 720p camera that can be used to fly the drone without looking at it directly. It has an FPV camera with an angle of 120 degrees, which gives you a great perspective of what the drone is looking at.

The drone has a flight time of 10 minutes and the control range is at 100 meters. This is what is to be expected for a drone of this kind. Drones in a similar price range will have similar performance. You can also fly this drone indoors, if you wish to get to grips with the controls in the comfort of your own home.

To conclude, the Altair Aerial AA108 is the perfect buy if you’re looking to buy a gift for a child or a beginner drone pilot. It might cause them to get interested in the technology, and once they have mastered the basics invest in a more advanced drone. The mix of a budget price and beginner friendly flight features is what makes this drone the best beginner drone in 2018.

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Tech Specs
Weight: 1.66 pounds
Battery: Lithium polymer
Charging Time: 60 minutes
Control range: 100 meters
Flight time: 10 minutes
The Pros
Budget price
Beginner friendly
Two batteries included
The Cons
Flight time could be improved

Best foldable drone

There is a category of drone that is dedicated towards the portable market. They are highly portable, light, and small. The foldable aspect of the drone means that they can be reduced in size significantly.

The point of having a foldable drone is to be able to take it on the go anywhere. Some drones are small enough to fit in your pocket just like a smartphone. This means you can record footage anywhere when travelling. This is highly practical and ensures you can capture footage when you least expect to be taking it.

Let’s say that you’re walking home from work and an unexpected event occurs. Perhaps a supercar is advertised in a public location or a big car crash took place. You can use the drone to record the event right there and then.

Foldable drones are small in size and therefore tend to cost less than their bigger counterparts for the same array of features. Also you’ll find that foldable drones have less advanced features. So you’ll need to consider the balance of features against the foldable benefits of the drone.

3. DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic ProView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

One of the more popular drones of the DJI brand is the Mavic pro, and it comes with an amazing array of features for the price. The combination of portability and professional grade features is what makes it stand out in the current marketplace.

The weight of the drone is 1.64 pounds yet it manages to pack in an excellent camera, GPS, obstacle avoidance, and long range. Using the Lightbridge Technology the control range is an amazing 7km.

The camera of the drone is capable of recording video at 4K resolution and it is attached via a 3 axis gimbal. This results in high quality footage that is smooth and suitable for professional applications. You can also record the footage at 1080p, and achieve a higher frame rate of 60fps. For the photography you can capture images at 12MP.

A flight time of 27 minutes can be achieved, and this relatively long flight time makes it easier to travel to the outer reaches of the 7km control range. Also the top speed of the Mavic Pro is 40mph, which is competitive at this size.

Intelligent flight features allow the DJI Mavic Pro to be used in a hands-off way. For example, the orbit feature allows the Mavic Pro to fixate on a specific object and then it will fly around that object. This means taking photos and recording footage of something from all angles is straightforward. Other intelligent flight features include the follow me, return home, and hover.

The GPS here is provided by both the Russian and USA satellite systems. This means that around the globe the quality of the connection to the GPS is stable. You are less likely to lose connection regardless of where you are located.

To summarize, the DJI Mavic Pro is a drone that is highly portable, yet boasts great features that can be used for professional applications. The extra long range of 7km means it is an ideal scout drone, and with the flight time of 27 minutes the value is great here. Also the camera quality doesn’t let it down as 4K video recording is possible.

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Tech Specs
Weight: 1.64 pounds
Battery: Lithium metal
Charging Time: 60 minutes
Control range: 7,000 meters
Flight time: 27 minutes
The Pros
4K video capture
Portable
Long range
Automated flight features
Competitive price
The Cons
Motor not powerful
Images not perfect in low light

Top Drone in 2018 for professionals

For buyers that require industry leading features for professional applications this category is ideal. Our pick for this category has a great camera, which is a must for the majority of professional applications. For example, if you’re a service industry like wedding planners then having a state of the art camera to capture the event is a must.

Furthermore, the build of a professional drone is what sets it apart from the competition. The premium finish means you’re getting a product that is built to last. They are tested for performance at the factory so that the end user has a working product the day it arrives.

While there are a number of great drones in the intermediate category, the professional ones have advanced features. They build upon the success of earlier generations by increasing the flight time, control range, and camera quality. For those of you that are professionals unable to sacrifice on the quality of the features then our pick in this category is a no-brainer.

4. DJI Inspire 2

DJI Inspire 2View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The drone that should catch your attention in 2018 if you’re a professional is the DJI Inspire 2. It has improved on the features of the first version to bring you a comprehensive package that’s worth investing in. Granted the price tag of around $3,000 is steep for most people, but if you’re looking to make an investment then this drone will not let you down.

Firstly, the camera is perfect for moviemakers as it can record at a resolution of 5.2K (not included). Other options are 4K, 2.7K, 1080p, and 720p. The trend is that the lower the resolution the higher the fps. This is what is to be expected with almost all drone cameras on the market. The photography resolution is also impressive at 20.8MP – one of the best out there.

The quality of the camera means professionals can record footage without worrying about the quality of the end result. With practice industry leading content can be created. Another aspect that contributes to the quality of the footage is the 3 axis gimbal mechanism. This allows the camera to be secured to the drone in a way that removes vibration problems.

Another aspect of the drone you should note is the advanced obstacle avoidance. The drone uses a mix of infra-red, stereo vision, and ultrasonic sensors. The technology can detect obstacles at a distance of 30 meters away, but the maximum speed at which this can be achieved is 34mph. At faster speeds there is not enough time for the drone to guarantee that it will stop.

A feature called Spotlight Pro is available where the drone can capture dramatic and complicated images. For example, the drone can lock onto a moving car and record footage, which means manual flying is not required. This allows you to concentrate on the creative aspects of video capture instead of the flying mechanics.

To summarize, the DJI Inspire 2 is the ideal drone for the professional that is interested in all the features at the highest quality. You’ll have a hard time finding a better consumer grade drone that has better features than the DJI Inspire 2. The mix of an industry leading camera, intelligent flight modes, and advanced obstacle avoidance means you’re getting the best of what the drone marketplace has to offer.

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Tech Specs
Weight: 24.2 pounds
Battery: Lithium polymer
Charging Time: 120 minutes
Control range: 7,000 meters
Flight time: 27 minutes
The Pros
Industry leading camera
Top speed of 58mph
Long control range
Great build
The Cons
Costly
Need a fast computer to process data
Limited flight time

Best drone for long range in 2018

Are you interested in a drone that has excellent range and can go further than the majority of the other drones on the market? Then you’ll be pleased with our pick for this category, which is the WALKERA VOYAGER 4.

A long range drone can be useful for both professionals and amateurs. The professional might need to investigate the entire area of their farm or industrial complex. Therefore, the range can be the biggest limiting factor other than the battery life.

Amateurs might want a long range drone to explore a large area. In the future if there is a big increase in automatic charging stations, then you could literally fly a drone across the country. The only caveat is that it must have 4G wireless connectivity like our top pick in this category.

5. WALKERA VOYAGER 4

WALKERA VOYAGER 4View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The best long range drone in 2018 is the WALKERA VOYAGER 4, and it has a number of other competitive features too. The only downside is the premium price tag that the average consumer probable cannot afford. However, the professional build quality and combination of useful features means this drone is worthy of your consideration.

Using the controller the range of the WALKERA VOYAGER 4 is only 1,000 meters. However, when you take advantage of the 4G network this increases dramatically and is effectively limitless. Anywhere the 4G network provides a signal the drone will be able to travel. Then you are limited by the flight time of 25 minutes. Also the top speed of the drone is 20 m/s, which means getting from A to B is pretty fast.

The camera of the WALKERA VOYAGER 4 uses the 1/2.3 SONY IMX117 CMOS sensor. An 18x optical zoom is available, which means moviemakers can use this for some great footage. 4K video recording is possible and the resolution for photography is an amazing 20MP. The camera is suited for professionals that require high-grade equipment to capture industry leading footage.

The build of the drone is ultra-thin carbon fiber, which means it’s strong yet doesn’t consume the battery at a fast pace. The battery life of 25 minutes is excellent when you consider the high-performance nature of the drone.

A number of automated flight features exist such as waypoints. This allows the drone to be navigated in an automated manner,and there is no limit to the number of waypoint that you can set. Other useful features include the follow me and orbit modes.

To summarize, the WALKERA VOYAGER 4 is the best long range drone in 2018 because of the potentially limitless distance. You can travel anywhere you need while there is a 4G network signal. Also the mix of advanced intelligent flight features and excellent camera means you’re going to enjoy using this drone. The only negative is the premium price tag that’s associated with this drone.

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Tech Specs
Weight: 33.07 pounds
Battery: Lithium metal
Charging Time: 60 minutes
Control range: Unlimited via 4G
Flight time: 25 minutes
The Pros
18x zoom
Advanced shock absorption
Limitless range
Competitive price
The Cons
Expensive