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The best nano, micro, and small options: mini quadcopter!

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Before, drones are only considered a toy for geeky hobbyists. However, as time passes by drone technology is becoming more and more popular they are one of the leading trends that outline this era.

Today, learning how to fly quadcopters or drones becomes a lot easier. Moreover, one the most natural ways that you can do to get started is to get the best mini quadcopter and familiarize it with yourself.

Since they became trendy and useful, there are now lots of mini-drone models on the market. As a result, choosing the best one has never been a stress-free task. Undeniably, it’s very challenging especially, if you are a new flyer or don’t have any idea how to choose the best one.

If you’re a new flyer, it’s recommended that you get started on a mini quadcopter. Why? Because it will allow you to master the basics of flying.

Once you become good with a small quadcopter, then you can upgrade to a larger, more expensive one.

Another benefit to small models is that they can be flown inside without the worry of breaking something (good luck trying to fly your DJI Phantom 4 inside!). Let’s look at the best mini quadcopter models on the market.

So to help you with your acquisition, we have collected and reviewed the best small drones which you can buy today.

However, before we proceed to the best products let’s first find out what this most sought-after piece of technology is.

Mini Drone: What Exactly It Is?

Compared to best nano drones which can fit in the hands a mini quadcopter is also the same with the size of your hands.

As the name implies, this drone is the smallest in the family of drones which is next to nano. However, when it comes to best nano quadcopters, there are also lots of options where you can choose from.

This sought-after device is ideal for beginners and both outdoor and indoor applications. Moreover, it is robust to crashes and very affordable.

Even though it lacks features which are commonly found in more expensive and bigger model if you’re a hobbyist flying a small quadcopter is as exciting as the actual deal.

Reasons to Buy A Small Quadcopter

Without a doubt, there are lots of good reasons why buying small quadcopters is worth considering. So if you’re still hesitant to invest in this small machine keep on reading and find out the reasons why buying one is a good deal.

Affordable

Buying any piece of equipment is considered an investment. However, the most common reason why most people buy a small quadcopter is due to its affordable cost.

Today, the professional and bigger drones that are accessible on the market may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. However, mini-drones are cheaper most especially for average customers.

If you’re seeking for fun, then this drone is the best option for you. They are also easy to use.

Perfect to bring during travels and vacations

When traveling, you don’t have to bring your costly and regular size quad with you. While the majority of quads can’t perform the same thing as higher-end models it does provides lots of conveniences.

Moreover, most importantly, it allows you to carry your favorite hobby with you wherever you go. Some of them come with a decent camera which is very useful if you want to capture footages of your trip without risking your much-loved quad.

Great for indoor use 

Flying a drone inside of your is a challenging endeavor since your device is susceptible to crashes in this kind of area.

However, with a mini quadcopter, flying inside your home always come in handy. The weight and size make this device resistant to bruises and crashes as well as incredibly durable.

Great Design and Registration is not needed

Since this type of quad is more compact and smaller as compared to more significant options, it’s a great choice.

In today’s day and age, portability is paramount, and this quad passed the requirements. Nevertheless, this quad is light in weight and miniature in size.

Unlike bigger drones, small quadcopters don’t require registration. Plus, it gives every drone enthusiast to fly their device without any trouble.

Good Battery and Flight Time

Another good thing about these quads is their longer flight time as well as quick charging time. These are only a few of the many reasons why most people opt for a small quadcopter.

Almost all mini quadcopters are equipped with a Lithium Power battery. This battery has a capacity of 53mAH with a voltage of 3.7V.

Moreover, the battery will allow to fly your UAV for around six minutes and then recharge it afterward. Nevertheless, charging may last for one hour thru a USB cable.

Other Features

Most small quads come equipped with LED lights which are installed in their bodies. The lights are useful when flying in dark areas or at night as they help the flyers see their drone with ease. In addition to that, such UAVs also sport an intricate design.

Top 12 Mini Drones or Quadcopters

1. Cheerson CX-10

The Cheerson CX-10 is an affordable and fun model, to begin with. It is ideal for new flyers who are learning the ropes for the very first time.

This quad comes with various flight modes (advanced, beginner, and intermediate) that can be adjusted depending on your flying skills and experience.

The CX-10, on the other hand, has a flight time to 3 to 4 minutes and the charging time takes about half an hour. This one of the best nano quadcopters comes with a USB cable that you can utilize to charge it with ease and more rapidly.

Notwithstanding of its small size, this one of best micro quadcopters as well can fly fast especially when set on “advanced mode.”

When it comes to the transmitter, it is larger than the device itself. Moreover, it is straightforward in design as well as comes with a power button, two analog sticks, and sensitivity adjusters.

Even so, its remote control perfectly fits in hand and reaching the controls is quite easy allowing the user to change directions and fly quickly.

Pros

 

  • Affordable
  • Intuitive and nice remote control
  • Capable of performing stunts
  • The controller is very easy to use
  • Great flight time
  • Highly versatile
  • Excellent maneuverability
  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for beginners

Cons

 

  • No wind-proofing
  • Doesn’t come with a camera
  • Blades tend to break easily
  • The propel guard isn’t included

2. Eachine H8 Mini

One thing that sets Eachine H8 Mini is its return-to-home function. This feature will make the quad return to its original starting place in just a push of a button.

Because of this function, I considered H8 Mini one of the best nano quadcopters on the market. Also, I like the fact that its body is made of foam.

Similar to Cheerson CX-10, this drone is very affordable. Moreover, it is built using a decent plastic material. However, its propeller guards are quite fragile as a result they tend to break easily.

On the other hand, this mini quadcopter has two different flight modes: 40 percent and 100 percent. Furthermore, it features an inbuilt six-axis gyroscope which gives this drone a stable fly. That said, you can still control it in narrow areas easily. Nevertheless, you can also use this outdoors under a windy condition.

The H8 Mini is specially designed for beginners. You can fly it in headless mode. It means you don’t need to worry about the drone’s orientation as it will fly relative to the transmitter’s position.

With a single battery charge, this mini quadcopter will fly up to seven minutes which isn’t bad for the cost. Also, charging may take 45 minutes.

Either way, it comes equipped with four LED lights that can be utilized during night flights.

Pros

 

  • Fun and easy to fly
  • Inexpensive
  • Headless mode
  • Return-to-Home function
  • Great flight time
  • Comes equipped with four LED lights
  • It can be utilized in windy situations
  • Impressive yaw rates
  • Lightweight airframe
  • Durable

Cons

 

  • Small controller
  • The propeller guards are fragile

3. Cheerson CX-10C – Camera Version

The CX-10C is a close counterpart to the Cheerson CX-10. However, the main dissimilarity is that features a camera. Yes, you read it right this mini quadcopter features a camera. That said, you will be able to record your flight experience.

The Cherson CX-10C, on the other hand, is little and fun quad that you can fit on the palm of your hand with ease. Moreover, it comes with a small-sized controller which can be held comfortably as well as a USB cable for charging. Charging this device may take around 15 minutes.

Despite its small size, this drone is quite powerful, though it has only a flight time of 2 to 3 minutes. When it comes to stability, you can also count on this model.

However, with this device, you should not be afraid of crashing since it’s durable and its components are cheap.

Similar CX-10 it also has three different modes: advanced, intermediate, and beginner. In addition to that, it is also great for outside flying.

Nevertheless, this mini quadcopter is ideal for everyone starting with ten years old. What’s more, it a perfect present to a loved one or friend, since it’s inexpensive.

Pros

 

  • Suitable for everybody
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a camera
  • Headless mode
  • Very affordable
  • Can fly in any direction
  • Three flight modes
  • Fast charging
  • Durable
  • Powerful
  • Great stability

Cons

 

  • Consumes more battery
  • Low flight times
  • Average controller
  • Average camera

4. Photo X by Estes 

When looking for a drone that features a small body, this Photo X Nano Quadcopter by Estes is worth considering. It is a Ready-to-Fly or RTF drone.

Meaning to say, you can use it the moment you recharge its battery. Though you need to take good care of the battery since it’s not a replaceable component. Nevertheless, it utilizes a lithium-ion polymer battery.

This mini quadcopter looks very appealing since its PCB frame is arranged correctly. What’s more, its controller is very easy to use and only implements a few controls.

However, the controller doesn’t utilize infrared technology. This device weights 11.5g or 0.4 ounces making it ideal for indoor as well as outdoor use.

Despite its lightweight, the Photo X can withstand significant crashes. As a matter of fact, from concretes to roofs I have crashed my mini quadcopter several times, and yet it still flies great.

When it comes to flight performance, this device can travel as fast as 10ft. Per minute which is fast enough for a small drone.

Even so, it features a gyroscope which makes the device more stable when in the air. Nevertheless, the rotors are very responsive, and the lights are organized evenly around the drone’s body.

Pros

 

  • Bright and organized LED lights
  • Decent flight time
  • Fast charging
  • Inexpensive
  • Great flight performance
  • Fast yaw rates
  • Stable
  • Smooth flying
  • The rotors are responsive
  • The controller is very easy to use
  • Agile
  • Easy to fly

Cons

 

  • Doesn’t come with advanced controls
  • The propellers fall off quickly
  • The battery can’t be replaced

5. Syma X12

The Syma X12 is considered one of the best micro quadcopters on the market today. This mini quadcopter is ideal for everybody who wants to how drones work. However, the Syma X12 is specially designed for indoor use.

No worries, it has protective measures, so you are sure that it will not cause any holes on your surface or walls when crashes occur. 

One thing that sets this mini quadcopter from other models is its ability to perform 360-degree flips. By just pressing a button this device will automatically flip depending on the direction you choose.

Another common reason why it is considered one of the best is that it’s very responsive. With that said, Syma X12 will immediately respond to the controls. Just like any other models in this list, this one also comes with four super bright LED lights which let your track this small quad when flying in dark areas or at night.

Regarding flight performance, this mini quadcopter can give you a quick, fun, as well as aggressive flying session. Even so, this quad is powered using a Li-Po battery (110mAh) and has a flight time of up to 5 minutes. However, the charging time may take about 40 minutes, and unfortunately, you can’t change the battery.

What’s more, its controller perfectly fits on the hand and it’s bigger compared to the quad itself. Either way, the controller needs four double-A battery to function.

Pros

 

  • Affordable
  • Great controller
  • It can perform 360-degree flips
  • Four Super Bright LED lights Responsive
  • Fun to fly quad
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Sturdy
  • Comes with protection measures
  • Easy to use controls
  • Easy to fly

Cons

 

  • Short flight times
  • The battery can’t be changed
  • It does not operate in a single spot

6. Blade Nano QX BNF Quad

Technically, the Blade Nano QX BNF quad is not a microdrone. However, I think it is small enough to be included in this list. Without a doubt, this drone from Blade is an excellent option for beginners.

That is because this mini quadcopter comes equipped with the signature SAFE technology of Blade. SAFE, on the other hand, stands for “Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope.”

Essentially, the SAFE technology will allow your drone to keep a steady fly even though you are not that experienced.

Compared to other models in this list, this mini quadcopter is quite expensive, but it provides way more power as well as value.

This model, on the other hand, has a flight time of approximately eight minutes and a charging time of 25 minutes. In addition to that, it comes with a USB cable for charging.

This one of the best nano quadcopters has a powerful and smooth lift, thanks to its potent brushed motors. It also has a lightweight yet robust airframe that comes equipped with blades.

Even so, it is a ready-to-fly drone however its propeller guards are not foolproof. The Nano QX doesn’t come with a camera.

When it comes to the controller, it looks like an Xbox controller and has two sticks. Activating the sticks is very easy. Nevertheless, this mini quadcopter is ideal for both veteran and beginner flyers.

Pros

 

  • SAFE technology
  • Durable
  • Stable
  • Ideal for veteran and beginner flyers
  • Easy to set up
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Small
  • Nice controller
  • Responsive controls
  • Flies in restricted areas

Cons

 

  • No camera
  • It is quite expensive
  • Not suitable for outdoor
  • flight Short flight range

7. Syma X11

Another model that may qualify as one of the best small quads is the Syma X11. The good thing about this drone is that it can be flown outdoors and indoors without any problems. Apart from that, this model glides smoothly.

Similar to other quads in this list, Syma X11 features a single-flip button as well. This mini quadcopter comes with two different flight speeds. The flight speeds, on the other hand, can be modified depending on the flyer’s skill and level of experience.

Even so, this quad stays in the air for around seven minutes before having to be recharged. Moreover, it has a charging time of 40 minutes as well as comes with extra props in case you damage the originals. Though the propeller guards of this drone should lessen the risks of propellers breaking.

Nevertheless, the Syma X11 is the ideal training dummy for new flyers who want to learn how to fly a quad. It’s very cheap while preserving a qualitative and very sturdy design.

This drone doesn’t have a headless mode. However, the absence of this feature is blessing in disguise. Why? Because it will help you learn how to fly a quad without any guidance.

However, its durable design and weight make this mini quadcopter crash resistant. That said, with this device you don’t have to worry about crashing.

Pros

 

  • Great value for the money
  • Long flight times
  • Crash-resistant
  • Fun and smooth to fly
  • Great for indoor flying
  • Durable
  • Features 2 different flight speeds
  • Comes with extra props
  • Sturdy design
  • Four colorful LED lights

Cons

 

  • Turns off when the battery runs out without prior warning
  • Doesn’t support a camera
  • It’s now wind-proof
  • Blades are prone to damage

8. Syma X11C (With Camera)

The X11C is the camera version of standard Syma X11. However, the camera of this drone isn’t ideal for professional aerial photography.

The Syma X11C is specially created for entertainment. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a quad that you can use to capture high-quality aerial footages, then check out our guide on the 18 quads for sale.

Similar to Syma X11, this model has a flight time of seven minutes and two flight speeds as well. Moreover, it is one of the best micro quadcopters today.

Even so, this quad is easy to fly as well as fast to work on. On the other hand, the controller feels like the controllers of Xbox. Plus, it features a right size, and it needs four double-A batteries that are not included in the box.

Even though you are in an area with low sensitivity, it still feels incredibly responsive. Design-wise, it has a plastic shell body and sports a traditional micro quad design. What’s more, it has a plastic ring that protects the prop from any damage and four arms that are also made of plastic.

Nevertheless, it has a charging time for about forty minutes and comes with a USB charger.

Pros

 

  • Great flight times
  • Comes with a camera
  • Easy to fly making it for intermediate and beginner flyers alike
  • Smart design
  • Responsive
  • Swapping out batteries is possible

Cons

 

  • Low yaw rates
  • The video quality isn’t great
  • Long charging time
  • The controller’s batteries are not included in your acquisition

9. HS170 Predator by Holy Stone

HS170 Predator by Holy Stone is one of my favorite quads because it provides good flight time of six to seven minutes and has three flight modes. It is also one of the best micro quadcopters today. 

The HS170 Predator comes with a battery that is removable making it easier to recharge. When it comes to the charging time, it takes about an hour. So if you don’t want to wait before flying again, o suggests that you buy spare batteries.

About the controller, it is a bit bulky as well as require six AA batteries. The controller, on the other hand, has the normal throttle for up & down motions as well as a lever for right and left controls.

Just like any other small quads, the HS170 Predator features a headless mode as well. However, you need to activate this feature by pushing and then holding the button. Overall its controller is a bit comfortable to use.

Nevertheless, this drone is very durable and very responsive. You’ll have much fun when you use it outdoors or indoors. However, its gyro works perfectly, causing the quad to fly in place without having any issue after trimming.

Pros

 

  • Long flight times
  • It’s quite sturdy
  • Fun to fly
  • Its gyro works perfectly
  • Headless mode
  • Great for indoor and outdoor use
  • Three flight modes
  • Removable battery
  • Rugged
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Registration is not needed

Cons

 

  • It takes about an hour to charge
  • Low yaw rate
  • The controller requires six double-A batteries which are not included in the package
  • Poor battery life
  • It doesn’t feature a camera

10. Holy Stone HS190

The Holy Stone HS190 is a mini quad that can be folded up and carry around with ease. You can fold its arms and fit inside its controller that serves as the carrying case. 

HS190, on the other hand, has an altitude hold that utilizes an air pressure sensor to repair the flying altitude.

With this quad, landing and taking off is also easy. All you have to do is push a particular button. In addition to that, it is straightforward to maneuver and control especially for new flyers. It also has a headless mode which makes flying a lot easier. When you press the button, the drone will fly back to your location automatically.

When it comes to the battery, it will allow you to fly your drone for about five minutes and has a charging time of forty minutes. Though it’s a small-sized quad, it has six-axis gyroscope which allows for a more stable flight.

Nevertheless, the impressive features this item marks it one of the best small quads on the market today.

Pros

 

  • Altitude hold
  • Stable flight
  • Headless mode
  • Highly portable
  • Easy to maneuver and control
  • Ideal for beginner flyers

Cons

 

  • Short range
  • Long charging time
  • It doesn’t have a camera

11. Hubsan X4

If you’re looking for a mini quadcopter that can offer you an impressive flying experience at a very affordable price, then the Hubsan X4 is for you. At less than 40 dollars this drone features a decent camera. If you want to capture video and pictures using a quad, then this one is for you. 

The Hubsan X4, on the other hand, is an excellent flyer and has a six-axis flight control system. In addition to that, it has a flight time of up to 8 minutes, and it takes half an hour for the batteries to be fully recharged.

This drone has both expert and standard mode as well as a four-way flip commandment: backward, forward, right, and left.

Similar to other drones in this list, it also comes with a USB charger that can be connected to computers and other devices.

Pros

 

  • ​Fun to fly
  • Great value for your money
  • Its natural learning curve is ideal for beginner flyers
  • Features a 2-megapixel camera
  • Durable
  • Great for indoor flying
  • Great flight times
  • Sturdy propeller guards
  • Easy to set up

Cons

 

  • Users will not be able to turn off the camera remotely.
  • The camera is quite complicated to operate.

12. Syma X20

Another tremendous mini quadcopter from Syma that is accessible at a very affordable price tag. Syma X20 is a nice present for both kids and adults as well as for those who are looking for a small quad that they can use indoors.

However, the Syma X20 doesn’t have a camera and removable battery or components. The battery and the propeller guards are inbuilt into the quad. Meaning to say, you cannot swap out the battery.

On the other hand, this mini quadcopter has a five minutes flight time, while the battery will take less than one hour to recharge. Even so, you can control it over a range of twenty meters.

Moreover, comes with a small radio controller that is pebble shaped. However, the transmitter doesn’t have typical control sticks. Instead, the controls slide in almost all directions.

When flying, this mini quadcopter is exceptionally responsive. Plus it performs 3D flips and has an altitude hold as well as a return-to-home feature.

Pros

 

  • Altitude hold
  • Return-to-home feature
  • Responsive
  • Low price
  • Great flight performance
  • Nice transmitter design
  • Great for indoor flying.

Cons

 

  • Built-in propeller guards
  • Built-in battery
  • Restricted flight features
  • Doesn’t come with a camera

Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the best mini-drones, it’s time to find out what are things that you need to consider before making a purchase.

Buying Guide: Features to Consider When Buying a Mini Drone/Quad

Keep in mind that buying a mini quadcopter isn’t as easy as buying some toys. To have the best flying experience and make the most of your money, you need to choose the right model that suits your needs.

To help you, listed below are the essential features that you need to consider before making a purchase.

1. Ease of controlling 

Almost all small drones are being controlled using an analog controlling pad. Nevertheless, some controllers are a lot easier to use compared to others. That is why previewing the controllers before purchasing a quad is highly recommended.

2. Supplementary Components

If you’re on the market for a small drone, make sure to look for a model that comes with goggles, warranty, additional batteries, and even drone guides as these other components always come in handy.

3. Camera 

As what I mentioned a while ago, not all mini quads come with or support a camera. If you want to go for a camera that comes with a camera bear in mind that such models have short flight times.

In addition to that, the camera will make your mini quadcopter heavier, and the battery will be drained more rapidly. Nevertheless, mini-drones do not support a high-quality camera.

4. Additional Cost

When you’re buying a small quad, considering the cost is also important. However, some models may need additional maintenance cost.

For example, the Cheeson CX-10 needs additional prop blades since the originals are quite fragile. While others may require you to buy batteries as they are not included in the package.

Moreover, if your controller is damaged, you have to spend your own for the repair unless it is covered with a manufacturer’s warranty.

5. Battery

As you can see on the products I have reviewed above, the majority of them have moderately short flight time about two to 20 minutes that is accompanied with a long charging time of about 40 minutes to one hour.

Nevertheless, since these small machines are entertaining and easy to fly, it is best if you buy a model that has longer battery life and short charging time.

6. Your Flying Skill Level

Before investing in a mini quadcopter, knowing the level of your drone flying skill is very important.

This will help you route your device. Moreover, during crashes or collisions, the damage is insignificant as well as less costly.

However, if you’re a beginner flyer, it is best for you to begin with a cheaper model. Moreover, if you develop your flying skills, then you can go for a bigger and professional version.

Additional Tips

If you’re buying online, considering both customer and seller reviews is crucial. Low rated quads, on the other hand, are likely to have a low quality. However, low rated sellers will provide poor selling terms and even services.

By merely reading some customer reviews, you will be able to find out various drawbacks which are involved to the products.

Another important factor that you need to consider is the protection and landing gear. Don’t ever land your mini quadcopter in tall grass that has dew and most especially, in wet places.

Bear in mind that such devices have a small landing gear. Thus, wet areas, as well as tall grass, may produce an electrical malfunction.

Tips for Flying A Small Drone 

If you’re new to drone flying and just bought your very first small drone, knowing the basics of flying is very crucial. Learn to fly and land before anything less, and after which try some movements.

So if you want to have a great flying experience with your small machine here’s what you need to do.

Be easy. Beginner flyers tend to control very high during their takeoff which is not advisable. A drone controller is very sensitive. So I am advising you take your first flights easy.

Ready yourself for repairs. Crashes and collisions are regular with drone flying. That is why having additional drone components on hand is very important. Make sure to purchase extra batteries and even propellers when you buy a quad.

Controls take practice. When doing tricks, flips, or other stunts, make sure to do it in open areas. Learning the basics is a lot easier when you’re flying in areas without obstacles.

Bottom Line

The above-mentioned products are only some of the best micro quadcopters that are currently available on the market.

However, if you are planning to get one for a young person and can’t still decide which one to understand even though you’ve already read the whole article, you can check my guide about the best drone for kids. Here, you will see lots of excellent models that are suitable for younger flyers and teens.

Apart from that, be sure to read my article that is all about how to fly a drone. In fact, in this content, you will be able to find out some useful tips on how to comfortably control the controls and your drone even if you are still a newbie.

As a final point, if you are having a hard time flying your drone for a more extended period, you can read my article on how to extend a drone’s flight time.

Hopefully, this content helps you a lot in choosing the best small drone that suits your needs. If you have any question feel free to ask them in the comment section below.

As always, good luck and most especially fly safely.

About the Author David

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