With hundreds of RC drones to choose from, it can be difficult to make the right choice. Each model offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks. For example, the Syma X5C is budget-friendly and fast, but it doesn’t handle well in the wind.
On the flipside, the DJI Inpsire handles itself very well in the wind. The downside is that it costs thousands of dollars. As you can see, making a decision isn’t always easy. In this article, we’re going to show you the best drones for sale in 2017.
This guide will show you all of the best RTF (Ready-to-Fly) quadcopters on the market today. With each model, we’ll talk about things like flight time, recording, stability, and much more. The goal is to be as objective as possible. All in all, this information should help you make the right choice when shopping for an RC drone.
Best Camera Drones
Camera drones are a lot of fun to fly. They allow you to capture beautiful aerial shots at the push of a button. If you’re going to fly a camera drone, we recommend getting one with FPV (first person viewing) capabilities.
That way, you can see what your quadcopter sees in real time. Also, note that the following models are all battery-operated. Gas-powered models are still relatively rare on the market. Below are some of the best camera drones for sale.
First on our list is the DJI Inspire. If you’re looking for high-quality recording with long flight times, then this is the best choice.
With a range of about one mile, it’s great for aerial photography. It delivers 4K video footage at 24-30 FPS.
The drone’s gimbal is able to tilt up or down a full 125 degrees, providing you with a greater field of view. But that’s not the best part about it.
The DJI Inspire comes with a signature app that shows flight height, GPS location, flight speed, and much more. Perhaps the only downside to this remote control drone is its price.
- Very Stable
- High-Quality Camera
- Good Flight Time
- Unforgiving Crashes
Since it's priced relatively high compared to other drones, it's definitely geared towards people who want a professional aerial photography experience. If you’ve got the funds and want the best of the best, this model is highly recommended.
DJI Phantom 4
The DJI Phantom 4 is currently one of the best drones for sale that money can buy.
It has so many features that it would be impossible to list them all in this section. But we’ll cover the main ones.
First, it has a flight time of about 28 minutes. Compare that to the Phantom 1- which has a flight time of only 15 minutes- and it’s clear that DJI has come a long way.
The Phantom 4 has three max speeds which vary depending on what flight mode you’re in. When object avoidance is turned on, you can fly at 22 MPH max. For surveillance purposes, there's arguably not better model out there.
- 28-Minute Flight Time
- Max Speed of 45 MPH
- 1200 FPS Camera
During normal flight mode, you can fly at 35 MPH. And in sport mode, you can fly at 45 MPH. The camera delivers pristine 1080p footage at 1200 FPS (frames per second).
The gimbal will keep your shots still even in windy conditions. The DJI Phantom 4 weighs in at about 3 pounds and has a max ascent speed of 13.5 MPH. Check it out and you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Parrot Bebop 2
The Parrot Bebop 2 offers an impressive flight time of about 25 minutes.
This is way better than the previous version which had a flight time of only 15 minutes. As one of the best drones for sale, it has a 14-megapixel 1080p camera that delivers high-quality footage at 30 frames-per-second.
With a range of 300 meters, you can travel quite far before the drone starts to lose connection with the transmitter. The camera’s fish-eye lens will give you an impressive 170-degree recording angle.
- 300-Meter Range
- HD Aerial Footage
- 25-Minute Flight Time
- Can Be Buggy
With this line of sight, you can pretty much capture everything during flight. Finally, you can fly the Parrot Bebop 2 in FPV mode for a more immersive flight experience. Not bad for a quadcopter that's competitively priced.
Yuneec Typhoon Q500
The Yuneec Typhoon Q500 is an accurate representation of what a quality consumer quadcopter should be like.
It has a 5,400 mAh Li-Po battery that allows it to fly for 20-25 minutes. The live stream range is about 600 meters, which is more than enough for most flyers.
The 130-degree field of view allows you to capture more scenery, while the video recordings are adjustable to 48, 50, or 60 FPS. The Q500 comes with a 10-channel 2.4GHz transmitter that has an FPV screen built directly into it. From an aesthetic standpoint, this quadcopter looks pretty cool!
- 130-Degree Field of View
- Cool Design
- 600-Meter Range
Itt's affordable, fun, and will provide you with a great flying experience. Another reason why it’s one of the best drones for sale is because of Yuneec’s fantastic customer support. If you have any questions regarding your quadcopter, they’ll get back to you quickly.
The 3DR Solo drone is the epitome of what a “smart” drone should be like.
It’s built with dual Linux computers- one for the drone and one for the transmitter. This allows commands to be processed extremely quickly.
In short, you’ll never need to worry about your quadcopter bogging down or lagging. The drone’s LED lighting system allows you to fly at night, while the 5200 mAh battery will keep you in the air for about 20 minutes.
The control distance for this quadcopter is about 800 meters, which is very impressive. This is an example of a GoPro drone since it doesn't come with a camera already-built it and needs an external action camera to record aerial footage.
- Several Shooting Modes
- 20-Minute Flight Time
- 800-Meter Range
- Doesn't Come With Camera
The drone’s intelligence gives you access to features that you won’t find in cheaper models. For example, you can set up computer-assisted “Smart Shots”.
Simply set up the shot you how you want it, hit ‘play’, and let the drone do the rest. It also offers “Follow Me Mode”, which as its name implies, makes the drone follow you wherever you go (great for surfers, snowboarders, etc.).
Best Beginner Drones
As a beginner, flying a drone for the first time can be a challenging experience. If you’re nervous, it might be better to hone your skills on something cheaper.
That way, if you crash, you won’t be out a lot of money. Some of the beginner RC quadcopters below have cameras while some don’t. Still, they’re all perfect for people who’ve never flown before.
In our opinion, there are no better beginner drones for sale than the Syma X5C.
When most people start flying for the first time, this is the quadcopter they buy.
We’ll start with the basics: it has a 7-minute flight time, a camera, a flip button, and prop guards. On top of that, it’s very easy to maneuver. The controls might be a little awkward at first, but after practicing for an hour or two, you should be fine.
- Has a Camera
- One-Button Flips
- Not Stable in Wind
- Camera Quality Not HD
Another great thing about this drone is that it's light enough to avoid serious damage during crashes.
Heavier drones like the DJI Inspire don’t have this luxury. And since it’s so cheap, even if it does break you won’t be out a big investment. Check out this video review to see the Syma X5C in action:
The UDI U818A is a great option for something who’s never flown a drone before.
As you can see from the picture, the props are completely enclosed by plastic, decreasing the chances of a break.
Priced on par with the X5C and JJRHC, it offers an average flight time of about 7 minutes. Even though this quadcopter is relatively tough, its design makes it very susceptible to windy conditions.
- Extremely Durable
- Slow Recharging
- Not Suitable For Windy Areas
So I would avoid flying when there’s wind out. Another potential downside is that the battery takes 100-120 minutes to charge completely.
When you’re eager to get out and fly, this can feel like an eternity. Still, the UDI U818A earned its spot as one of the best beginner drones for sale.
The JJRC H8C is a fun flyer that looks pretty cool. It comes with a camera that, while not HD, picks up decent footage.
Thanks to the drone’s LED lights, you can fly it outdoors without a problem. The flight time for this model is about 7 minutes.
Note that if you fly aggressively or if you record, the flight time will be lower. Another thing that beginners will love about this remote control drone is that it’s capable of performing single-button flips.
- 360-Degree Flips
- Three Flight Modes
- Complaints of Premature Motor Failure
That’s right- at the push of a button you can perform a full 360-degree flip in the air!
Now you can look and feel like a professional flyer right from the start. Finally, due to its lightweight design, you can effortlessly zip through the air. Overall, it’s a great model that beginners will definitely love.
Hubsan X4 H107C
The first thing that you’ll love about this beginner quadcopter is that it’s capable of recording!
Granted, the aerial footage isn’t HD, but it definitely isn’t bad for the price.
The Hubsan X4 H107C looks and flies just like its close cousin, the H107L (below).
The main difference is that it has a camera. The camera records at 25 FPS (frames-per-second) and has a video resolution of 720 x 480. That’s a great bargain considering the low price tag.
- Cheap Camera Drone
- Fast Flyer
- Surprisingly Durable
- Low Flight Time When Recording
- Doesn't Handle Well in Wind
It doesn’t handle well against the wind so try to fly in calm conditions. It’s also small enough to fly indoors. Overall, it’s lightweight, flies aggressively, has a decent flight time, and is even a good choice for kids.
Hubsan X4 H107L
For the average newbie, the Hubsan X4 H107L will be a lot of fun. It’s easy to fly, budget-friendly, and has a flight time of 5-7 minutes. Weighing in at just 50 grams, it’s capable of flying very fast and aggressively.
The downside is that due to its low weight, the H107L can be difficult to control in the wind (avoided beaches). The box comes with prop guards, a USB charging cable, a 2.4 GHz 4-channel transmitter, and a battery.
- Very Responsive
- Great For Kids
- Anti-Flip Mode
Also, note that it comes with something called “Anti-Flip Mode”. Basically, when this mode is turned on, the drone won’t be able to enter a flip (useful when you’re flying in advanced mode). If you’re looking for a beginner model to get your feet wet, then this is one of the best drones for sale that you can buy.
Best Nano Drones
Do you want something small that you can fly around the house? If so, then buy a nano drone. They’re great for kids and beginners.
Since they’re so small and lightweight, you can fly them indoors without having to worry about breaking anything.
Note, I’m a huge fan of the Cheerson CX-10C (see below) since it has a camera! Let’s take a look at some of the best nano drones for sale.
The Cheerson CX-10 is the perfect nano drone for newbies. Weighing it at just 12 grams, it’s capable of fast and aggressive flights.
Just avoid flying in the wind since it won’t stand a chance. Depending on how aggressively you fly it, you’ll get a flight time of 4-5 minutes.
When you’re learning the basics of flight, this is the best drone to practice on. If you crash it, you won't be out that much money. When recommend investing in prop guards for the Cheerson CX-10.
- Flip Mode
- Small Transmitter
- Flight Time
They’re relatively cheap on Amazon and go a long way towards preserving your props. This model is capable of flips, has 3 different flight modes, and even has LED lights for night flying. If you’re shopping for your kid and don’t know what to buy them, consider a CX-10. They’ll absolutely love it (great for adults too).
Made from the same company that brought you the X5C and X8C, the Syma X12 is a fast and responsive nano drone.
Of all the nano models on this list, the X12 is arguably the fastest and most aggressive.
It’s capable of flips, has a flight time of about 5 minutes, and is affordable.
It’s a great indoor flyer. Perfect for flying around the house when you’re trying to kill time. It weighs 13 grams, has a range of 20 meters, and charges up to maximum capacity in about 40 minutes.
- Fast and Agile
- Great Indoor Flyer
- No Stability in Wind
Note that Syma is an excellent company that produces a lot of great drone models. You can buy with confidence knowing that the X12 is durably built. An added bonus is that the transmitter doesn’t look boring like most traditional plastic ones do.
It offers a cool-looking red/white design with trim buttons, a flip button, and more. Just be careful that you don't drop it because it's made from cheap plastic. Click on the button below the video to read the latest reviews for the Syma X12 on Amazon.
Estest 4606 Proto X
In some cases, bigger isn’t better, and the Estes 4606 Proto X is the perfect example of this. Weighing in at just four ounces, it’s one of the smallest quadcopters in the world.
The reason why it’s one of the best nano drones for sale is because it’s so durable. Despite crashing mine into trees, pavement, and my house, it still flew without a problem.
With that said, it’s better to fly this quadcopter indoors since it doesn’t stabilize well in the wind. The Proto X has a flight time of 4-5 minutes and charges to maximum capacity in 30-40 minutes. You can easily charge it using the USB charging cable that comes in the box.
- Flight Time
Also included in the box are spare propellers (trust me- you’ll need these). If one of your props break off it’s easy to replace them. The official dimensions for the Proto X are 5.5 x 4 x 2.5 inches. That should give you a perspective of just how small it is.
Cheerson CX-10C (Camera Version)
The Cheerson CX-10C is currently the world’s smallest camera drone.
It’s no bigger than a cell phone and weighs just 15 grams. Since it’s so small, you can fly it indoors and have a lot of fun with it.
I’ll be the first to admit- the camera quality is not high-quality. But for the price, you can’t complain. When recording you’ll get a flight time of about 2.5 minutes. With the camera turned off, it goes up to about 3 minutes.
- Smallest Camera Drone in World
- Surprisingly Cheap
- Safe For Kids
- Poor Flight Time
- Mediocre Camera Quality
The Cheerson CX-10C can perform flips, has three different flight modes, and comes ready-to-fly straight out the box.
As one of the best nano drones for sale, it’s an excellent model for kids who want to experience the joys of aerial photography.
Despite being so small, this drone can take a beating, so don’t think that it’s going to break apart after a crash or two.
The final nano drone on this list is the UDI U839. As the lesser-known model on this list, it’s also one of the most fun to fly.
It’s surprisingly aggressive, which should be a lot of fun for some people. It comes with prop guards that you can remove once you become comfortable behind the controls.
Like all of the models on this list, you can adjust the sensitivity of your transmitter to either fly more aggressively or more conservatively. It has a flight time of about 4-5 minutes, a range of 20-30 meters, and a cool design. Here are some benefits and drawbacks to consider:
- Cool Design
- Prop Guards
- Flight Time
The drone’s transmitter is orange and black and is actually quite small (could be a problem for people with big hands).
I’d be careful about dropping the transmitter since it’s made from a cheap plastic that breaks easily. The transmitter operates on a 2.4GHz frequency so you can fly without worry about interfering frequencies from nearby flyers.
Best Racing Drones
Sometimes referred to as the “sport of the future” drone racing is becoming increasingly popular around the world.
Imagine flying 75+ MPH thorough a complex maze of twists and turns as another drone is hot on your tail. That’s the reality of drone racing. In this section, we’re going to talk about some of the best racing drones for sale.
Walkera Runner 250
This RTF (ready-to-fly) racing drone is easy to assemble/disassemble, tactile, fast, and above all, budget-friendly.
What we like most about this model is that the frame is composed of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is a material that is both lightweight and very strong.
Since drone racing involves a lot of crashing, you definitely want a frame that’s made from carbon fiber. The Walkera Runner 250 flies at about 35-40 Km/h and has a relatively long range. Many of the high-end racing drones are very expensive. But this particular model is more affordable.
- Cheap Racing Drone
- Strong Carbon Fiber Frame
- 35-40 km/h Max Speed
- Some Complaints About Connectivity
Great for people who are getting into the sport of drone racing for the first time. Note, if you’re going to be flying FPV, we highly recommend getting some FPV goggles. It takes drone racing to a whole new level!
Eachine Racer 250
The next model on our list is the Eachine Racer 250. Priced slightly higher than the Walkera Runner 250, it comes with a lot.
This includes a built-in monitor (on the transmitter), a carbon fiber frame, real-time image transmission, and a high-quality transmitter with long distance range.
This is arguably one of the cooler-looking racing drones for newbies. The LED lights on this model are super-bright, so flying it at night won’t be a problem. For the price, it’s one of the best pre-built racing quadcopters that money can buy.
- Long Range
- Cool Design
- RTF (Ready-to-Fly)
It has a lot of power, which really allows you to push it to the limit. The Eachine Racer 250 comes ready to fly straight out the box. Be sure to read the dozens of positive customer reviews that people are writing about this model on Amazon. This should give you some confidence when buying.
Lumenier G10 QAV250
The Lumenier G10 QAV250 is one of the best racing drones for sale you can buy.
The combination of the drone’s powerful motors and lightweight frame make it one aggressive flyer.
Whether you’re a newbie or experienced flyer, you’ll have a lot of fun with this quadcopter. Keep in mind that this model does not come with a camera.
However, it does have a placement within the drone’s body where you can add your own. This will be an additional cost to you so remember this while shopping around. Besides that, it comes with everything you’ll need to get into the air.
- Fast and Responsive
- Good Flight Time
- No Camera Included
Once in the air, the Lumenier G10 QAV250 is agile, responsive, and fast. You’ll be able to zip around corners quickly and aggressively, and if you crash, the drone’s durable frame should absorb the impact nicely.
More Information About Drones
I hope that this guide has helped you make the right choice when shopping for a quadcopter.
With so many drones for sale out there, you might feel a little overwhelmed. Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with so many models, that’s probably no longer the case.
Thanks for reading, and as always, good luck and fly safe.