Having a drone around the house can be a very impressive feat. They’re tons of fun fly around, and great boredom killer, but most drones today start with a high price tag attached to them, and some might be too difficult for someone operates.
That’s why today we’re are going to be looking at some of the top 5 beginner drones that are not only cheap in price but also easier to fly around.
The JJRC H36 is one of many drones that have surfaced, ever since the start of the Tiny Whoop trend. But this small drone is unique in its right, and guess what it only cost $22.
This ducted micro quadcopter can be a great toy for children because of its ducted motors and thick propellers which shorten the chance of any injuries. I know you’re happy moms. Anyway, with that, the only downside is that it uses a tiny 150mAh battery which some children might feel tempted to swallow or just put in their mouths, thinking its metal candy? Pfft, forget that. Anyway, for this reason, JJRC does not recommend this for anyone under 14. Micro quadcopters such as the H36 have a significant advantage over others with exposed propellers because of its ducts which protect the motors from damage and the thick propellers which are durable and easy to find, in case they get detached during a crash course.
Flight performance is where the H36 shines most. It is a very fast and agile flyer with decent yaw rates. It has most of the essential flight features you’d expect in a drone of its price range, headless mode,3D flips and one key return. It doesn’t have altitude hold, though, but that isn’t an issue because, without it, flying is a lot more precise. Two-speed modes are available. High and low yaw rates change accordingly and doing tight turns, funnels, smooth flips (thanks to no altitude hold) can be a lot of fun. My only complaint is that with such a tiny transmitter the control sticks can be difficult to use unless you’ve got baby hands.
Finally, if you want to go outside the box and do something other than the conventional zooming around the place, it can serve as an excellent platform for a Tiny Whoop with the addition of a micro 5.8G FPV camera with a built-in transmitter. Knock yourself out!
When you pick up the Proto X for the first time, you’ll notice that it is so small, you might mistake it for an insect if you are looking at it from far away.
The product which costs $39.99 comes in a very nice package. In it, you’ll find the Proto X Quadcopter, 2.4 GHz radio transmitter, USB charging cable, four replacement rotor blades, and of course instructions. However, a missing component from the package are two AAA batteries needed for the transmitter, so you’ll have to get those yourself.
It might take a while getting used to it because of its subtle size, but once you do, you’ll find it flies just as well as any other. The controls are user-friendly; right stick for direction left stick for altitude and rotation, an internal gyroscope that keeps it flat in the air and a couple of buttons for trim adjustment. Since the slightest breeze will throw it off balance, keeping it hovering in the air might need some practice. It’s even pointed out on the box its for indoor use, so that’s where you’ll want to use it most of the time.
Once it’s fully charged, the Proto X will fly for approximately 10-15 minutes. When it’s drained, it will take about 30 minutes to charge. The LEDs near each rotor will begin to flash repetitively when it’s about to run out of power. At this point, it has only about a minute of flight time left before it slowly floats to the ground and goes off. Unfortunately, you can’t extend that battery life because its 3.7 V 100 mAh Lipo battery is enclosed in its plastic body. Holding the controller itself feels like you are holding a child’s toy, especially if you have large hands because there’s no convenient way to grip both thumbsticks without awkwardly getting your fingers out of the way. Trim adjustment involves landing and pushing the direction for the desired direction and repeating until it begins to hover correctly. Honestly, having trim buttons for rotation and not just direction would have come in handy at times, and it’s also worth mentioning that it is much more durable than it looks. From smashing against a wall to ricocheting between chair legs, the Proto X will come out unscathed.
On a final note, I would like to say that for the price, it is a nice, dependable copter that’s straightforward and user-friendly, suitable for beginners. If you are looking for a quadcopter that can do fancy tricks, have a camera and some other cool stuff, then the Proto X is not for you. But, if you want just to sit back and relax during your leisure with a drone zooming around your living room, this is the one for you!
The Syma X5C is arguably one of the best-selling drones in the market at the moment. At just $60, it is well worth the price considering the excellent features it comes with. So, let’s get into discussing about this ‘excellent’ quadcopter, shall we?
Inside the box, you’ll find the Syma X5C Explorers Quad, 2.4 GHz 4-Channel transmitter, 1 extra set of propellers, a tiny screwdriver for propeller change, 13.7V 500mAh Li-Po battery, 4 removable propeller guards, USB battery charging cable with an LED indicator, an already installed 2 Gb Micro SD card, USB memory stick for video/photo storage and of course an instruction manual.
The Syma X5C bears an uncanny resemblance to the DJI Phantom, it kind of looks like an exotic DJI Phantom, maybe they are secret twins! The highlight of this quad’s design are the propeller motifs with LED lights and the all-white body color. The propeller guards will be very useful, especially to those new to flying drones.
The remote control has a balance flight behavior, regular or expert mode button, general directional trim buttons and a roll activation button. It takes photos and videos with the trim buttons. It up to 7 functioning buttons. The controller will fit comfortably in your hands and runs on 4 AA batteries.
Another principal part of the quad is its fixed camera which offers decent video and photo quality compared to other mini quads. The photos and videos are stored in the 2 Gb Micro SD card that comes already installed with the camera.
The Syma X5C is fast and responsive while in the air. The spread spectrum system of controls does a decent job-saving battery life, and the X5C can be expected to stay on the air for ten minutes or longer with the stock battery if used properly. Making the mistake of leaving the camera video rolling will drain the whittle the battery life down. The X5C is relatively light-weight, especially without the camera or the guards, so it isn’t ideal on a blustery day, but flies impressively in calmer weather. The X5C could be described as “scrappy.” It’s small, quick, and can get back up after a hit in the event of a crash. For novice fliers, this is a highly desirable quality and one that the quadcopter delivers well.
Flying the Syma X5C can be a lot of fun and entertainment. Fortunately, thanks to the 6-axis gyro technology, it is very stable in the air and can do various stunts almost effortlessly on your part because of the user-friendly controls. Buying a drone like this will help you stay within a reasonable price range and yet afford one of the best quadcopters!
Blade Nano QX
Blade is the brand name given to R/C Helicopter and Multirotors (Quadcopters, etc.) by Horizon Hobby, an American company which has been in business since the mid-1980’s. They have offices and manufacturing around the globe and, in this sense, differ significantly from many of the current “toy grade” vendors. The Blade Nano QX is a fun flying device that cost $90. Weighing it at only16 grams, this quadcopter is so durable because of how light it is; it doesn’t gain a lot of speed when falling to the ground, so if there’s an emergency, you can simply let go of the throttle and let it lightly crash on the ground.
It’s well-designed frame is made of a durable but flexible material, and the built-in prop guards do a great job protecting the propellers from damage in case you smash into a wall or something.
Asides its physical features, the flight controller, makes use of SAFE Technology (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope), so it has more sensors than most quads. There are two flight modes, which are the stability and agility modes. The stability mode is where the SAFE technology I mentioned earlier kicks in. This will stop you from going past a certain point in your flight area, where you couldn’t recover from, and this is why I recommend this to any beginner who wants to learn with a GPS quadcopter because the controls are user-friendly so you can learn flight basics and the general orientation almost effortlessly. The agility mode cuts through all the stabilization offered by the stability mode, and this is where you’ll do your acrobatics such as rolling, flipping, and the likes. The only downside is that it lacks an auto-flip feature and it might take a while for the beginner to learn how to do flips but we all eventually do and besides a lot of pilots know how to do flips with the Blade Nano QX!.
Finally, I would just like to say that this is a cool quadcopter and would recommend this to anyone who’s interested, and I do advise anyone who gets this to buy extra batteries because as you know, flight time even after its fully charged is not so much time and for some of you who enjoy hard flying, it’s even shorter. That said, if in the future you want to take things to the next level, you ought to upgrade to a Blade Nano QX FPV edition. The fun continues!
Parrot AR Drone 2.0
Ever wanted to control a drone like a spy, make video footage, etc. like Batman or one of those fictional characters? Now you can start living your dream with the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 at just $299.99 and $369.99 for the Power edition with two extended batteries.
This plastic quadcopter has four rotors, two Styrofoam bodies (an interior body with foam rings surrounding the rotors) and an exterior body that exposes the rotors. You need an Android or iOS connected to the Wi-Fi hotspot generated from the drone to control it because it comes with no controller, so get ready to use your tablet or smartphone! Well, a perk is that whatever you use to control it can serve as a point-of-view display for the drone’s onboard cameras. The mobile app uses a two-stick control system. Using the left stick, you can move in four directions to control elevation and the drone’s direction and the right stick to move the drone forward, backward, left or right relative to either where it is currently facing or a universal direction set when you turn the drone on. You can also opt for using a Nvidia Shield’s gaming device and control the drone with its physical sticks, if you prefer that to the touchscreen controls the mobile app on the tablets and smartphones offer.
The drone sees through its forward and downward cameras, and everything it sees is recorded and stored in 720p by the mobile app. So, every video or photo taken are automatically saved on your tablet or smartphone because the drone itself has no storage feature and because the rotors would drown out any sound, it does not record audio. Also, it can map out, geotag your flights and upload your photos and videos to Parrot’s AR Drone Academy service and let you see other user’s photos and videos.
The drone does a splendid job staying in the air, hovering in place when it’s not directly controlled. Nevertheless, prepare yourself for a few crashes now and then while you’re still learning to fly it. So, you should probably stay indoors at this stage until you’re sure you’ve gotten the hang of it. Thankfully, it automatically shuts down when it crashes, informing you if something went wrong in the app and preventing damage that could come from the rotors uncontrollably spinning against a surface. Similar to other drones, a full charge gives about 12 minutes of flying time, not very impressive but that’s how things are at the moment. The battery charges with the included AC adapter and it takes approximately an hour and a half to fully charge. If you want more, you can purchase the AR Drone 2.0 Power Edition which comes with two higher-capacity batteries that give a combined 36 minutes of flying time! Nice. So, it’s either this or getting extra batteries for the regular one and swapping every 10 minutes.
The Parrot AR 2.0 is a perfect example of a model somewhere between a toy and enthusiast device. It’s not a remote controlled quadcopter for the average individual and not a sophisticated camera mount type for professionals, but this is something more than just a toy drone.
I will honestly say that I fancy all this drone business and that I can already see them as something that will be revolutionary in shaping the life of the future, so grab a drone now and just have fun exploring its potentials. Trust me, Tony Stark’ s got nothing on you!