14 Best Drones of 2019 — The Ultimate Guide

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Drones and drone technology is forever changing as demand rises, and that’s a good thing. It means these flying robots continue to improve and become more affordable. What’s not so good are the overwhelming choices out there. That’s why I’ve put together the Ultimate Guide to highlight the best drones of 2019. There’s something here to meet all levels, budgets, needs, and expectations.

What to Look for in a New Drone

Specific buying considerations pertain to drone types. Also, people have different wants and expectations. That’s why I’ve divided this guide into categories. Some quadcopters are perfect for multiple uses. Others are better for specific purposes like travel, adventure, or business. However, there are 7 shared areas to consider with any new model. They include:

  1. Battery life or flight time on a single charge
  2. The cost of extra batteries
  3. Battery charging time
  4. Cost and availability of spare parts
  5. Flight range; the distance the quad can fly from its controller
  6. Crash resistance
  7. Flight features that matter to you specifically (make a list)

Each of these mini-reviews highlights the drone’s features, main specs, pros, and any cons.

Drone Jargon in Plain English

Sales pages often use jargon and assume the reader knows what the term and abbreviations mean. This section breaks down the common terminologies so that the reviews make better sense.

Ready-to-fly (RTF): The drone is ready to fly straight out of the box

Almost-Ready-to-Fly (ARF): Requires some assembly and a transmitter

Bind-N-Fly (BNF): The drone needs a transmitter to fly

Plug-N-Play (PNP): The drone kit needs a transmitter, receiver, battery, and charger

Camera gimbal: A mechanical device that keeps the camera steady while shooting video

Headless Mode: Drone flies according to the controls despite its orientation (nose direction)

Altitude hold: Drone hovers steadily at a fixed height

One-key return to home (RTH): Brings the drone back to its last take-off position

There are others that are self-explanatory and don’t need clarification. I explain any words or terms in the reviews that are unique to a model if it/they need further explanation.

About My ‘Best Drones of 2019’ Review Guide

I’ve scrutinized all the popular drones for 2019 and the reasons they’re favorites. The final shortlist is the result of personal thoughts, user feedback, and the opinions of industry experts. Here we have 14 incredible quadcopters in 7 categories for all budgets.

The table below shows the drones and their category as they appear on the page.

Best Drones of 2019 Comparison Table

Best Drones for Beginners, 2019

A good beginner drone is affordable, crash resistant, and sports several novice-friendly features. These typically include things like one-button takeoff/landing and one-key return to home (RTH). A headless model makes flying easy at the entry-level. And altitude hold helps to steady the craft. Low battery and out of range alarm are also helpful as are different speed modes (see opening intro for details).

The two quadcopters in this category check all the above boxes and more besides.

1. DROCON 2019 Upgraded Training Drone for Beginners

DROCON 2019 Upgraded Training Drone for BeginnersView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The affordable DROCON WiFi FPV drone is an excellent choice for beginners. The quad even has WiFi and First Person View (FPV) so that pilots can see what the camera sees on a smartphone screen.

  • Best feature 1: iOS/Android app control
  • Best feature 2: Headless mode
  • Plus points: Built-in HD camera, 2 speed modes, 1-key return, bright LED lights, 3D flips
  • Minus points: Mediocre camera, potential app issues

DROCON Beginner’s Drone Highlights

The DROCON X708W is primarily a training quad aimed at beginners. Certain features make a drone novice-friendly, and this one has most of them. DROCON’s iOS and Android app makes it easier for first-time pilots to control the bird. It comes with a handheld controller that has a clamp to hold most modern smartphones. There are 2 speed modes to choose from, i.e., high, and low.

Other beginner features include a headless mode and 1-key return to home (RTH). The model also comes with bright LED lights. The LEDs are useful for folks who like to fly in the dark. You can also perform aerial flips and rolls that look impressive yet are simple to achieve.

The Not So Good

Some users complain that the camera quality is mediocre at best, and they’re right. But it’s unfair to expect exceptional video quality for a model in this price category. The footage is perfectly viewable and provides a great introduction to flying in First Person View (FPV).

A more legitimate gripe is that the app has connectivity issues with some phones, primarily Android. Most users don’t have problems, though. Still, there are enough reports to make it a potential issue with some devices. Check phone compatibility with the seller first if you want this quadcopter.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 16.9 x 9.7 x 4.2”
Product Weight: 10.6 oz.
Camera: Built-in HD
Max Range: 262 ft. (80 meters)
Max Flying time: 9 minutes
Battery: 3.7V 550mAh Li-Po
Charging time: 90 minutes
App: DROCON
The Pros
iOS/Android app control
Headless mode
Built-in HD camera
2 speed modes
1-key return
Bright LED lights
3D flips & rolls
The Cons
Mediocre video quality
Potential app issues

2. Holy Stone 2019 F181C RC Camera Quad for Beginners

Holy Stone 2019 F181C RC Camera Quad for BeginnersView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The Holy Stone F181C is one of the most popular beginner RC camera quadcopters. The drone comes packed with novice-friendly features that make flying fun and easy.

  • Best feature 1: 720P HD camera
  • Best feature 2: Headless mode
  • Plus points: 1-Key start/land, 4 speed modes, 1-key return, left/right operation mode, LEDs
  • Minus points: Awkward to swap batteries, short flight time, scant manual

Holy Stone F181C Beginner Drone Highlights

Holy Stone’s F181C is an excellent training quadcopter with a 720p HD camera. Pilots can save their aerial video and photos to the included 4GM MicroSD card. The drone has 4 speed modes from low to high so that newbies can learn at a pace that’s comfortable to them. Other attractive learner features include a headless mode, 1-key start/land, and a 1-key return to home (RTH).

Users can also choose between left or right handed control which is handy. The F181C also has bright LED lights that make nigh flying possible. LEDs are also useful for finding a lost drone in the dark.

The Not So Good

This beginner quad comes with 2 batteries. That’s just as well since the maximum flight time is only 7 minutes. The makers say 10 minutes, but that’s overly optimistic. Swapping batteries is a pain too as the door to the compartment is stubborn and hard to close. The final con relates to the included manual which is scant in places. Download the guide from the Holystone website as it’s an better read.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 31 x 9 x 31”
Product Weight: 4.8 oz.
Camera: Built-in 720P HD
Max Range: 328 ft. (100 meters)
Max Flying time: 7-10 minutes
Battery: 3.7V 750mAh Lipo
Charging time: 90 minutes
The Pros
720P HD camera
4GB MicroSD card
Headless mode
1-key start/land
Altitude Hold function
4 speed control modes
1-key return
Left/right operation mode
Bright, controllable LEDs
3D flips
Bonus battery
The Cons
Awkward to swap batteries
Short flight time
Scant manual

Best Drones for Kids, 2019

The best drones for kids can provide interactive fun days for all the family. These quadcopters are typically small and lightweight. They should also be easy to fly, affordable, stable, and crash-resistant. Outdoor capable models will get the little one away from computer screens and out into the fresh air. Consider practicing on a flight simulator first if the youngster is a first-time flyer.

3. BOMPOW 2019 Flying Toy Mini Drone for Kids

BOMPOW 2019 Flying Toy Mini Drone for KidsView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Conventional quadcopters can be difficult for younger children. The BOMPOW is an RC Flying Drone with the appeal of a UFO. It’s an interactive toy that’s super easy to operate and 100% safe.

  • Best feature 1: Safe toy for kids
  • Best feature 2: Interactive fun
  • Plus points: Hand launch, 2 speed modes, auto-sensor, auto-hover, fast charging time
  • Minus points: Short flight time, whiny indoors

BOMPOW Mini Drone Highlights

The BOMPOW Mini is a 360° rotating drone and a perfect introduction to flying robots. It’s so much fun and a great toy to get kids physically active. All it takes to get airborne is a quick toss into the air, and away it goes. Simple hand gestures control the drone’s direction and height. You must see it to believe it. The model has 2 speed modes, an auto-hover, and an auto-sensor that stops it crashing into walls.

Kids can stop the mini-drone by grabbing it midflight and flipping it over. Don’t worry if it hits the ground hard. Its lightweight build and soft materials ensure it won’t break or hurt anyone. Charging time is fast at just 40 minutes, so it’s never long between new games.

The Not So Good

The flight time is short at just 5–8 minutes on a single charge and the battery isn’t swappable. The fast charging time makes it less frustrating, but it’s still short-lived fun. The other negative is the whining noise it makes indoors that may irk some parents after a while. It’s possible to play outside but only if there’s zero wind as it weighs just a couple of ounces.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 4.3 x 4.3 x 3.4”
Product Weight: 2.88 oz.
Maker’s recommended age: 8+ years
Camera: None
Max Range: 5 ft. (1.5 meters)
Max Flying time: 5–8 minutes
Battery: 3.7V 300mAh Lithium
Charging time: 40 minutes
The Pros
Safe for kids 3 years and above
Interactive fun
360° rotation
Hand launch & hand controlled
2 speed modes
Auto-sensor
Auto-hover
Fast charging time
The Cons
Short flight time
Whiny indoors

4. SYMA 2019 X22W Mini FPV Camera Drone for Kids

SYMA 2019 X22W Mini FPV Camera Drone for KidsView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

SYMA’s X22W is a mini, pocket-sized camera drone for older children. It’s an affordable yet feature-packed app-controlled quadcopter with lots of kid-friendly flight features.

  • Best feature 1: Easy 1-key start/land
  • Best feature 2: Headless mode
  • Plus points: App control, First Person View (FPV), altitude hold, 3D flips & rolls, bonus battery
  • Minus points: Shortish battery life, not good in a breeze

SYMA X22W Mini Drone Highlights

The SYMA X22W mini provides all the tools a youngster needs to fly a camera quadcopter. It has a built-in 720P HD camera that records decent video and takes photos. Kids can also fly in First Person View (FPV) via the free app and enjoy live streaming on a smartphone screen. Child-friendly features include 1-key start/landing, headless mode, altitude hold, and a quick release battery tray.

Kid pilots can perform impressive 3D flips and rolls with a simple button press (no skill needed). Other highlights are a low-battery alarm and a bonus battery to double the flying fun.

The Not So Good

You can expect just 8 minutes max from a single charge. The extra battery effectively doubles that to 16 minutes of course. Even so, it’s wise to allow the small motors to cool down for a few minutes between battery swaps. The SYMA X22W Mini is safe to fly indoors as well as outside. That’s good to know since it’s not steady outdoors in anything above a light breeze.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 12.6 x 7.5 x 2.8”
Product Weight: 2.4 oz.
Maker’s recommended age: 8+ years
Camera: Built-in 720P HD
Max Range: 82 ft. (25 meters)
Max Flying time: 8 minutes
Battery: 3.7V 400mah LiPo
Charging time: 60 minutes
The Pros
Easy 1-key start/land
Headless mode
App control
First Person View (FPV)
Track-controlled mode
Gravity sensor control
Altitude hold
3D flips & rolls
Bonus battery
Extra set of propellers
Quick release battery tray
Low power alarm
The Cons
Short battery life
Not good in a breeze

Best Drones for Photography & Filming, 2019

Today’s flying camera drones offer incredible aerial photo and filming opportunities. Even the cheaper quads can produce clear stills and shake-free video. There are some, though, that stand out from the rest. These are models that boast cinematic-quality video with a Hollywood feel. This section reviews two exceptional feature-packed, compact, foldable choices for serious RC’ers.

5. Autel Robotics EVO 4K 12MP Photography Drone

Autel Robotics EVO 4K 12MP Photography DroneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Camera quadcopters have come a long way in recent years. The Autel Robotics EVO is a powerful 4K 12MP photography and aerial filming drone. Its compact, foldable design, lets you take it anywhere.

  • Best feature 1: Buttery smooth 4K cinematic video
  • Best feature 2: Foldable design
  • Plus points: Striking stills, controller w/ OLED screen, obstacle avoidance, low battery alarm
  • Minus points: Price, affected by winds

Autel Robotics EVO Highlights

The Autel Robotics Evo is a close rival to the popular DJI Mavic. It’s an excellent photography and filming quadcopter. This bird produces buttery smooth 4K cinematic video at 60 frames per second (fps). Another standout feature is its live HD streaming directly to the controller’s 3.3” OLED screen. No smartphone needed. And the real-glass optics capture detailed 12MP stills with striking colors.

The battery life is an impressive 30 minutes on a single charge, and this drone includes three of them. The 4.3-mile range is equally remarkable. The drone also has an advanced obstacle avoidance (OA) system. OA lets photographers and videographers concentrate more on the filming and less on flying. A low battery alarm makes sure there’s always plenty of time to bring the bird back home safely.

The Not So Good

There’s much more to praise than criticize with Autel Robotics’ EVO high-quality camera drone. It’s excellent value, but its highish price tag is sure to put a few wannabe owners off. The other negative is that the small, lightweight design makes it a tad shaky when the wind gets up.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 7.8 x 3.8 x 4”
Product Weight: 30.4 oz.
Camera: 12MP 4K Ultra-HD
Stabilizing gimbal: 3-axis
Max Range: 4.3 miles (6.9km)
Max Flying time: 30 minutes
Battery: 13.05V 4300mAh LiPo
The Pros
4K cinematic quality video
Striking 12MP stills
Compact, foldable design
Built to last
Controller w/ 3.3″ OLED screen
Obstacle avoidance system
Low battery alarm
2 extra batteries (3 total)
Long flight time
Long control range
The Cons
Highish price tag
Affected by winds

6. DJI Mavic 2 Pro 2019 Quadcopter W/ Hasselblad Camera

DJI Mavic 2 Pro 2019 Quadcopter W/ Hasselblad CameraView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Our second drone for photography goes to the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. It’s the most talked about high-quality camera quad right now, and for good reasons.

  • Best feature 1: Lightweight, foldable, portable design
  • Best feature 2: Hasselblad camera w/ 1” sensor
  • Plus points: 20MP stills, aperture control, 4K HDR video, flight time, quiet, safety features
  • Minus points: Only 8GB internal storage, expensive

DJI Mavic 2 Pro Camera Quad Highlights

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the best camera quad in its class at the time of writing. It’s an exceptional tool for serious image makers. Consider this bird if you want a lightweight, foldable, highly-portable drone that delivers cinematic-quality footage. DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro is the only quadcopter to use a Hasselblad camera. The 1-inch sensor and adjustable aperture put this bird in a league of its own.

The 20MP JPG and RAW still imaging is unparalleled in quality thanks to the large sensor. Photos and 4K video display striking color depth and high dynamic range (HDR). Other standout features are the long batter life, flight distance, and quiet, steady flights. It’s fast too with a top speed of 45 mph.

Mavic 2 Pro Safety Features

Both the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom boasts a plethora of safety features. The obstacle avoidance system has sensors in all directions. There’s an auto return to home (RTH), intelligent battery management, automatic braking, and in-flight alerts. The list goes on. DJI’s safety features let aerial photographers and videographers focus more on the footage and less on flying.

The Not So Good

DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro comes equipped with 8GB of internal storage. It sounds reasonable, but it’s not much considering the space high-quality video and stills takes up. The quadcopter offers excellent value to semi-pro and professionals. Many keen amateurs won’t be able to justify its high price tag, though.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 12.67 x 9.52 x 3.30”
Product Weight: 32 oz.
Camera: Hasselblad 20MP 4k
Max Range: 11 miles (17.7 km)
Max Flying time: 31 minutes
Battery: 15.4V 3850mAh LiPo
Charging time: 90 minutes
The Pros
Lightweight, foldable, & portable
Obstacle avoidance
Hasselblad camera w/ 1” sensor
20MP stills
Aperture control
4K HDR video
Long flight time
Quiet flyer
Plethora of safety features
The Cons
Only 8GB internal storage
High price tag

Best Drones for Travel, 2019

The best travel drones are lightweight, portable, and durable. Subject tracking is another invaluable feature. Travel quads should also be quick to launch so that you can capture precious moments as they happen. Most important of all is a gimbal stabilized camera for taking aerial stills and video. These are the precious moments we love to keep and share with family and friends.

7. DJI Spark 2019 Mini Travel Drone Essential Bundle

DJI Spark 2019 Mini Travel Drone Essential BundleView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

DJI’s palm-sized Spark quadcopter is compact and lightweight making it an excellent travel drone. It’s intuitive, quick to set up, and super easy to use wherever you happen to be.

  • Best feature 1: Portable, mini-sized lightweight quadcopter
  • Best feature 2: Gimbal stabilized, 12MP camera
  • Plus points: Easy to fly, gesture controls, obstacle detection, USB charging
  • Minus points: Doesn’t fold, low-average flight time

DJI Spark Portable Drone Highlights

DJI aims its Spark at those who want quality stills and video in a tiny bundle. It’s a feature-packed drone despite its small size. Some of its highlights include palm launch, facial recognition, hand gesture control, obstacle detection, and USB charging. You can get this small drone in the air and filming at a moment’s notice. Some call it the ultimate selfie drone, but it’s so much more than that.

The Spark has a full HD video camera stabilized by a 2-axis motorized gimbal. That means shake-free video and blur-free 12MP aerial stills. There are some creative shooting modes too, i.e., Rocket, Drone, Circle, Helix, ActiveTrack, and TapFly. Lightweight travelers get to record, save, and share their special moments in a whole new way. This little drone is heaps of fun, easy to use, and exciting.

The Not So Good

The Spark is palm-sized and easily fits into hand luggage. Its arms are not foldable, though, so it’s not as compact as our next travel drone pick. Foldable drones are less prone to damage when stored. The main disappointment is the low-average flight time of just 16 minutes at best. Charging is quite fast at 90 minutes, but most travelers will still want to invest in an extra battery or two.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 5.6 x 5.6 x 2.2”
Product Weight: 10.56 oz.
Camera: Fixed 12MP 1080P 30fps
Stabilizing gimbal: 2-axis
Max Range: 1.2 miles (2 km)
Max Flying time: 16 minutes
Battery: 11.4V 1480mAh LiPo
Charging time: 90-minutes
The Pros
Portable, palm-sized & light
Gimbal stabilized 12MP camera
Super-easy to fly
Hand gesture controls
Palm launch
Obstacle detection
Creative shooting modes
USB charging
The Cons
Doesn’t fold
Low average flight time
Controller not included

8. DJI Mavic Air 2019 Travel Camera Drone Bundle

DJI Mavic Air 2019 Travel Camera Drone BundleView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The second travel-friendly drone pick is another quality DJI product. Meet the Mavic Air. It’s a folding mini-sized quad that packs incredible features into a tiny body.

  • Best feature 1: Small, foldable design
  • Best feature 2: 12MP 4K gimbal stabilized camera
  • Plus points: Hand gestures, palm launch, auto shooting modes, obstacle avoidance
  • Minus points: Average flight time, no controller included, quite pricy

DJI Mavic Air Foldable Drone Highlights

The DJI Mavic Air is a pocket-sized drone with huge appeal. It’s a kind of beefed-up version of the DJI Spark with a bit more of everything. It boasts a 12MP 4K camera stabilized by a 3-axis gimbal that captures stunning photos and shake-free video. The automated shooting modes and obstacle avoidance system makes flying fun and easy even at the entry-level.

Like the Spark, the Mavic Air has palm-launch and hand gesture controls. It gives users more control options, though. The drone has a small footprint but enormous appeal for folks on the move. It’s a fast flyer as well, with a top speed of 43mph in Sport Mode. Speed is handy when you need to fly far out and get back before the battery drains. And the range is an impressive 2.4 miles (4km).

The Not So Good

The Mavic Air’s maximum flight time is average at 21 minutes. That’s 5 minutes longer than the Spark. Charging is fast at just under an hour. Still, travelers who don’t buy extra batteries may regret it. Hand gestures are fine, but a remote control gives more options. It’s not included, so you must buy it as an optional extra. Finally, some first-timers are sure to find the price of a new Mavic Air too high.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 6 x 7.2 x 2.5”
Product Weight: 15.16 oz.
Camera: 85° FOV 12mp 4K
Stabilizing gimbal: 3-axis
Max Flying time: 21 minutes
Max Range: 2.4 miles (4km)
Battery: 11.55 V 2970mAh LiPo
Charging time: 55 minutes
The Pros
Small, foldable design
12MP 4K camera
Effective gimbal
Hand gesture controls
Palm launch
Auto shooting modes
Obstacle avoidance
Fast charging
The Cons
Average flight time
No controller included
Quite pricy

Best Drones for GoPro Action Cameras, 2019

So, you already have a GoPro camera and you’d love to attach it to a drone. The good news is that there are quads to accommodate popular GoPro action cameras. The secret is in the mount. Not all flying robots have independent camera mounts, and not all mounts can house GoPros. The two models in this section are GoPro compatible and ready to take your action camera into the sky.

9. DROCON Blue Bugs 3 2019 GoPro Compatible Drone

DROCON Blue Bugs 3 2019 GoPro Compatible DroneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The DROCON Blue Bugs 3 is an affordable and versatile quadcopter. It comes with a 4K camera mount that accommodates GoPro, Xiami, Xiaoyi, and other action cameras.

  • Best feature 1: Action camera holder for GoPro and others
  • Best feature 2: Brushless motors
  • Plus points: Advanced beginner drone, decent flight time, 2 speeds, alarms, 3D flips
  • Minus points: Lacks novice-friendly flight features, too fast for some

DROCON Blue Bugs 3 Highlights

DROCON’s Blue Bugs 3 is an excellent drone for advanced beginners who own an action camera. It’s feature-packed for a quad in its class and punches well above its price tag. The powerful brushless motors last longer than their brushed counterparts. And the 18+ minute flight time is double that of similar models. Two different flight modes let learners practice at a speed of their choosing.

A low battery alarm reminds pilots when it’s time to bring the birds safely down to earth. There’s also a weak-single alarm to prevent the dreaded flyaways. The fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down either, thanks to the bright LED night lights. Those who want to fly without filming can leave the camera off and enjoy high speeds and 3D flips ‘n’ rolls.

The Not So Good

This drone is easy to fly for advanced beginners and above. It’s not an ideal choice for first-time pilots as it lacks some failsafe features. The main ones are altitude hold and headless mode. The quad is also quick in Fast Mode—perhaps too fast for less experienced pilots.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 15.4 x 13.4 x 6.5”
Product Weight: 49 oz.
Camera: Mount for action cameras
Max Range: 984 ft. (300 meters)
Max Flying time: 18+ minutes
Battery: 1800mah LiPo
Charging time: 400 minutes (6+ hours)
The Pros
GoPro action camera holder
Houses other action cameras
Powerful, brushless motors
Ideal advanced beginner drone
Decent flight time
2 speeds settings
Low battery alarm
Weak signal alarm
3D flips & rolls
The Cons
Lacks some novice features
Too fast for novice pilots

10. Force1 F100GP Ghost 2019 GoPro Compatible Drone

Force1 F100GP Ghost 2019 GoPro Compatible DroneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Another action cam compatible drone is the Force1 F100GP Ghost. This quad already comes with a removable 1080p camera, but its clamp is also a perfect match for GoPro Heroes 3 and 4.

  • Best feature 1: GoPro action camera clamp for Heroes 3 and 4
  • Best feature 2: Includes 1080p removable camera
  • Plus points: 2 speed modes, LED headlamp, bonus battery, 360° flips, 2 extra skins
  • Minus points: Not beginner-friendly, scant instructions

Force1 F100GP Ghost Highlights

Force1’s F100GP Ghost is an ideal drone for those who want an introduction to aerial filming. It’s an excellent value GoPro compatible quad with powerful brushless motors. It lacks a few bells and whistles, but that also means there’s less to go wrong. The quad is fast, agile, and fun to race as well as film. The play time is up to 30 minutes thanks to the bonus battery.

More features include 2 speed modes, a bright LED headlamp for night flying, and 360° flips. Another bonus is the three body shells that come as standard. You can choose between black, blue, or white. The extra skins are also handy as replacements if one gets damaged.

The Not So Good

I wouldn’t endorse the F100GP as a first drone. It’s not overly challenging, but it lacks some beginner-friendly features. There’s no headless mode, altitude hold, or 1-key takeoff/landing. The instructions that come with the F100GP are also quite vague and missing a troubleshooting section. Still, there are plenty of online videos that provide clear instructions. Finally, the 5 hour charging is painfully long.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 16.7 x 13.1 x 6.2”
Product Weight: 2.88 oz.
Camera: 1080p + GoPro compatible
Max Range: 1640 ft. (500 meters)
Max Flying time: 15 minutes per battery
Battery: 7.4V 1800mAh (2)
Charging time: 300 minutes (5 hrs.)
The Pros
GoPro action camera clamp
Accommodates GoPro
Includes 1080p camera
2 speed modes (high/low)
LED headlamp for night flying
Bonus battery
360° flips
3 different colored body shells
The Cons
Not beginner-friendly
Scant instructions
Long charging time

Best Follow Me Drones for 2019

Follow Me technology is as fascinating today as when it first came out. The purpose of Follow Me is for the drone to track and film a person or object on the move. It’s a hands-free feature that allows pilots to concentrate on the action, not the drone. Think surfing, kayaking, snowboarding, or any other activity you want to record. This section reviews a couple of excellent drones that can track.

11. Potensic T25 2019 GPS Follow Me Camera Quadcopter

Potensic T25 2019 GPS Follow Me Camera QuadcopterView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The first Follow Me drone is the Potensic T25. Its advanced 9-axis gyro keeps the bird steady as it follows wherever you go. It works with the free Potensic-G app and any regular smartphone.

  • Best feature 1: Follow Me mode
  • Best feature 2: 9-axis stabilizing gyro
  • Plus points: Headless mode, altitude hold, return to home, HD camera, FPV, supports goggles
  • Minus points: Short flight time, not very wind-resistant

Potensic T25 Follow Me Drone Highlights

Potensic’s T25 is a favorite camera quadcopter for those moving away from toy drones. It has many of the features sported by costlier models at a much lower price. This model comes with a handy beginner’s mode that limits its flight range. Other novice-friendly flight features include a headless mode, altitude hold, and 1-button return to home (RTH).

You can capture aerial photos and shoot video with the 1080P HD detachable camera. The footage is not on a par with costlier models, but it’s perfectly viewable. The Potensic T25 is also a First Person View (FPV) drone. The real-time WiFi transmission lets you view what the camera sees on a mobile screen. You can also put your phone into FPV goggles (not included) for a truly immersive experience.

The Not So Good

The maximum flight time of the Potensic T25 is only 8 minutes at best. Charging is quite fast at 1 hour. Still, most buyers will factor an extra battery into the cost. This drone only weighs 6.5 ounces with the battery installed. Therefore, it’s not overly stable in the wind despite its advanced 9-axis gyro.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 10.3 x 5.4 x 16.3”
Product Weight: 6.5 oz.
Camera: 1080P HD wide-angle
Max Range: 984 ft. (300 meters)
Max Flying time: 8 minutes
Battery: 3.7V 1000mAH
Charging time: 60 minutes
The Pros
Follow Me mode
9-axis stabilizing gyro
Headless mode
Altitude hold
Return to home (RTH)
HD camera
Action camera mount
First Person View (FPV)
Supports FPV goggles
The Cons
Short flight time
Not very wind-resistant

12. JJRC X5 FPV Follow Me 1080P HD Camera Drone

JJRC X5 FPV Follow Me 1080P HD Camera DroneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The JJRC X5 FPV Follow Me drone comes with an adjustable 1080P HD camera and 5G WiFi system. It has powerful brushless motors and boasts a long 18 minute flight time on a single charge.

  • Best feature 1: Follow Me mode
  • Best feature 2: 0–90° adjustable camera with 1080p video
  • Plus points: Headless mode, altitude hold, GPS positioning, safe flight features, bonus battery
  • Minus points: Long charging time, fragile adjustable camera mount

JJRC X5 Follow Me Drone Highlights

Hands-free flying is for those who love to record fast action events. The smart Follow Me modes are not the only attractions. Pilots can adjust the camera angle from 0–90° via the remote for more creative shooting. Point of Interest (auto-circling) and custom flight path add to the X5’s appeal.

This quad uses powerful, low noise, brushless motors that are reliable and long-lasting. The flight time is decent at 18+ minutes, and there’s even a bonus battery included.

A Headless Mode and Altitude Hold function make this Follow Me quad a perfect choice for newbies. It also has essential, safe flight features. They include a 1-key return to home (RTH), Failure RTH, and Low-voltage RTH. You can expect 5G WiFi image transmission up to 980 ft. And the GPS positioning system guarantees full control of the drone at its outer ranges.

The Not So Good

An extra battery is always welcome, especially with drones that have long charging times. It takes around 5 hours to recharge a JJRC X5 which is painfully slow. Another negative point is the moveable camera mount. It feels like it could easily break. It’s adjustable via the remote, though, so it’s wise to control it that way to avoid potential damage.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 13.8 x 13.8 x 3.7”
Product Weight: 14.4 oz.
Camera: 1080P HD WiFi
Max RC Range: 1640ft
Max 5G WiFi image Range: 980 ft.
Max Flying time: 18 minutes
Battery: 7.4V 1800mAh Lipo (2)
Charging time: 300 minutes (5 hrs.)
The Pros
Follow Me mode
0–90° adjustable HD camera
Powerful brushless motors
Headless mode
Altitude hold
GPS positioning
1-key return to home (RTH)
Failure RTH
Low-voltage RTH
Bonus battery
The Cons
Long charging time
Delicate camera mount

Best Drones for Quad Racing, 2019

Drone racing is one of the fastest growing sports globally. It’s wild, furious, and immersive. Pilots need fast, crash-resistant, agile drones and lots of flying skills to compete. Racing quads come in two flavors, i.e., ready to fly (RTF), and kit form (unassembled). The latter is for experienced racers who need to customize and fine-tune their birds. This section looks at two very different racing drones.

13. Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee 2019 Mini Racing Quad

Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee 2019 Mini Racing QuadView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Holy Stone’s HS150 Bolt Bee Mini is a superb little racing quadcopter. It has a beautiful sleek finish and a whole bunch of features to boot. It’s also very affordable for a drone in its class.

  • Best feature 1: Fast acceleration and top end
  • Best feature 2: 5 speed modes to suit advanced beginners and experts
  • Plus points: 3D flips, modular batteries, headless mode, bonus battery, low battery warning
  • Minus points: Not ideal for raw beginners, short flight time, fragile prop guards

HS150 Bolt Bee Racing Quadcopter Highlights

Warning! Don’t let the cuteness and small size of this racing quad fool you. The Bolt Bee is super-fast, both in acceleration and top speed. It can go from 0 to over 31 mph (50 km/hr.) in seconds and perform 3D flips. There are 5 Low-to-High speed modes in all. An adjustable throttle lets new users practice according to their skill level. The modular battery is quick to remove and snap back into place.

First-time users also welcome the headless mode. It lets pilots focus on flying without knowing the orientation of the craft. Flight time is short (see below), but this racer does come with an extra battery. There’s also a low battery warning to notify pilots when it’s time to land.

The Not So Good

The Holy Stone HS 150 Bolt Bee is not for first-time racers despite its 5 speeds and headless mode. It lacks an altitude hold function for one, and it flies fast—even on the low-speed setting. Advanced beginners and above will love it, though.

The flight time (battery life) is only 5 minutes or just over on a single charge. There’s a bonus battery, but you must let the motors cool down for 10 minutes between swaps. The drone is durable and can take plenty of knocks, but not its prop guards which break easily.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 5.71 x 4.25 x 1.77”
Product Weight: 2.43 oz.
Camera: None. No FPV, line of sight (LOS) racing only
Max Range: 230 ft. (70 meters)
Max Flying time: 5–7 minutes
Battery: 3.7V 600mAh (2)
Charging time: 90 minutes
The Pros
Fast acceleration and top end
5 speed modes Low to High
Headless mode
3D flips & rolls
Modular batteries (easy to swap)
Bonus battery included
Low battery warning
The Cons
Not ideal for raw beginners
Short flight time
Fragile prop guards

14. Walkera F210 Professional Deluxe 2019 Racing Quad

Walkera F210 Professional Deluxe 2019 Racing QuadView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

This review guide ends with the Walkera F210, a pro-level deluxe racing quadcopter. It’s not the cutest drone out there, but it’s a fast, agile, and formidable performer in the air.

  • Best feature 1: Durable anti-shock full carbon build
  • Best feature 2: 700TVL FPV high-resolution night vision camera
  • Plus points: First Person View (FPV), FPV goggles, Devo 7 transmitter w/ on-screen display
  • Minus points: Short flight time, not suitable for beginners

Walkera F210 Racing Quad Highlights

All drone owners want a robust, crash-resistant bird, especially high-speed racing pilots. The Walkera F210 has a solid build with an anti-shock carbon fiber frame and aluminum parts. Its modular design makes it easy to upgrade or replace damaged sections. The quad is a stable flier and responds well to controls. You can expect to reach 50 mph (80 km/hr.) on full throttle.

The RC range for the F210 is 1640 ft. (500 m), and 1312 ft. (400 m) in First Person View (FPV). The FPV camera is a 700 TVL with night vision capability that lets the quad race in the dark. Its lens has a super-wide 120° angle. There are several recording modes to suit pilot preferences and flying styles. Quadcopter racing is at its most exciting and immersive wearing the FPV goggles (included).

The F210 racing quad comes with a Devo 7 transmitter. An OSD (on-screen display) shows up-to-the-minute flight-data. Pilots can also turn the OSD off if they don’t need the distractions.

The Not So Good

The maximum flight time is predictably short at just 9 minutes or less. There’s only one battery in the box, so racers need to invest in extras. Expect to pay around $30 a piece for an F210-Z-35 LiPo. Newbies to quadcopter racing may want a Walkera F210, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. This beast has too much power and agility for the novice racer. There are much easier quads to train with.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 26.8 x 13.1 x 5.7”
Product Weight: 13.05 oz.
Camera: 700TVL HD 120° wide-angle
Max RC Range: 1640 ft. (500 meters)
Max FPV Range: 1312 ft. (400 meters)
Max Flying time: 9 minutes
Battery: 14.8V 1300mAh 40C 4S Li-PO
Charging time: 120 minutes
The Pros
Durable anti-shock carbon build
Night vision capability
First Person View (FPV)
FPV goggles
Fast speeds
Devo 7 transmitter
On-screen Display (OSD)
The Cons
Short flight time
Not suitable for beginners

Contents

5/51 rating