Sunday, May 20, 2018

Drone Comparison Charts: Best Drones of 2018

The drone market is currently seeing many inventions, and there is so much variety for the customer. You will get everything from FPV drones, video recording drones, waterproof drones, drones that can be used for search and rescue, and drones for beginner drone pilots as well as hobbyists. The prices are also another thing one needs to look into and make the wise decision.

Read also these following linked reviews are grouped with different types to make it easier to stick to your requirement to find your drone:

 

 

We have seen drones come and go, reviewed over 90% of them in different price ranges, and features. Today, we will look into comparing different drones, and the features that make them great drones. We have been undertaking a study where we seek customer feedback on their experience with the drone, as well as the company regarding customer service, the extra accessories that come with the drone to sweeten the deal. We also put drone enthusiasts who fly drones as part of their professional duties. This post will give you the much-needed insight by comparing different drones and their features. So let us get into it, here is our take on the best drones by comparison.

 

Which Are the Best Drones?

There are drones for all types of uses, but there are those that will offer the whole package. Here are the types of drones that you will get in the market that will have you rearing to get out and fly.

Best FPV Drones

This is the best type of drones, they are perfect for drone pilots, cinematographers, and professionals who need to inspect work that is either too high in the air or well below the earth. Most will come with a camera, while others will give you the option of a gimbal where you can mount your GoPro or any other action camera. These are the best drones by comparison.

1.  UDI U818A

Features

  • Weight: 2.6 pounds (1179 grams)
  • Dimensions: 9.9 x 35.6 x 40.9 cm
  • Battery: 350mAh Li-Po
  • Battery Flight Time: 6-9 minutes
  • Remote Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • 6-axis flight control system
  • 3D lock
  • Camera: 2MP HD Camera
  • Max Video Resolution: 720P 30 fps
  • Manufacturer Recommended age: 14 years and beyond
  • 4GB Micro-SD card

Price

The UDI U818A is a fairly priced FPV drone, and it is one of the bestselling FPV drones on Amazon. It has earned an average of 3.9 stars out of a possible five stars.

Pros Con
  • Headless/IOC function
  • Elastic-plastic blade protector
  • Two batteries for extended flight time
  • Android and iOS compatible
  • Most sellers do not ship it to all the countries

Conclusion

This is a perfect drone for people with varied drone flying experience. With the increased interest in drone flying, the UDI 818A with its protected rotors and Headless/IOC function, you get uninterrupted forward direction. The 14 years shelf life makes it the FPV drone with the best value for your money. It will operate optimally at between 80 and 100 meters above the ground.

 

2.  DJI Phantom 4

Super   DJI Phantom 4

Features

  • Dimensions: 15 x 8.7 x 12.8 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds
  • Camera sensor: 1/2.3’’ Effective pixels 12.4MP
  • Battery: 1 Lithium Polymer batteries
  • Video transmission system: Built-in DJI Lightbridge Video Downlink
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 14 years and above

Price

There is hardly any FPV drone that comes close to what the guys over at DJI can do. They fit the most advanced drone technology in this tiny drone, and it will blow you away every time you use it. It is arguably the best drone in the market, and there is a possibility that only they can improve on their best.

Pros Cons
  • Intelligent flight support systems
  • 3-axis- u-frame camera stabilization
  • Advanced aerodynamics that helps in ensuring stability
  • Integrated long-range transmission
  • Record video, capture photos and save to your device
  • Compatible with Android and iOS tablets and smartphone devices
  • Extended flight time
  • Obstacle avoidance system
  • 4K is for video only
  • Only one battery provided

Conclusion
The Li-Po battery is a good one and with the 28 minutes of flight time at top speeds of 45 mph, it is a good FPV drone. However, you do not get an extra battery, which means that you have to wait at least two hours before the battery charges up fully. You can lock on moving subjects and thanks to visual tracking, the drone will track them, and all you have to do is to stay n range of the drone to capture the footage.

 

3.  Dromida Ominus

outstanding Dromida Ominus

Features

  • Dimensions: 11 x 18 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Battery: 3.7 v 700mAh Li-Po battery
  • Flight time: 10-12 minutes
  • Camera: 1280 x 720 resolution
  • Remote frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 15 years and above

Price

Given that there are very few ready to fly drones, it makes sense to get it, and the price is pocket-friendly. It will surprise you what this drone can do compared to the more expensive options in the market.

Pros Cons
  • High maneuverability
  • It is a ready to fly drone
  • HD Camera
  • Bright color-coded LED lights
  • Four flight modes
  • Sunlight shade
  • No extra battery, which means there is an extended period of downtime

 

 

Conclusion
Dromida continues to give updates on their already amazing drones, and they always come back with a better drone than the previous model. It is fairly priced, and it is one of the best buys in the FPV drone market.

 

Best GoPro Drones

There are the drone manufacturers that make drones for use with GoPro action cameras, especially the Hero3, Hero3+, and the Hero4 cameras. The drones are engineered in a way to ensure that they offer maximum performance and features such as autonomous flight modes that allow you to focus on getting the best footage from your GoPro camera. GoPro had launched their drone (GoPro Karma) for use with their GoPro action cameras, but they suffered a rocky launch, and the customer reviews led to the company to recall a large number of the drones sold.
There is news that the GoPro Karma might be making a comeback, however, before they do a re-launch the GoPro Karma, you can get the pre-owned first model from various sellers on Amazon, at massive discounts. Here are the best GoPro drones by comparison.

1.  DJI Phantom 2 V2.0

Stunning DJI Phantom 2 V2.0

Features

  • Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 7.1 inches
  • Weight: 2.43 pounds
  • Battery: 5,200 Li-Po batteries
  • Flight time: 28 minutes
  • Remote Controller:
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 14 years and up

Price

Despite DJI having other new models, the Phantom 2 V2.0 remains as their best GoPro drone. For $399, it is still the best GoPro drone on the market.
Conclusion
The Phantom V2.0 still holds the top position as the best GoPro drone in the market. It offers amazing functionality at a fantastic price, so get yourself the DJI Phantom 2 V2.0 and be ready to rule the skies with your GoPro.

Pros Cons
  • Return to Home feature
  • Highly receptive controls
  • Stable Go Pro mounting platform
  • Handy autonomous features
  • Powerful battery with a better than average flight time
  • Does not ship to all countries
  • Lacks anti-collision technology
DJI Phantom 2 V2.0 Quadcopter
Price: $399.00
3 new from $399.007 used from $291.01

 

2.  Yuneec Typhoon G

Remarkable

Features

  • Dimensions: 20 x 16.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Battery: 1 Li-Po battery
  • Flight time: average 20 minutes
  • Remote controller: ST10+ Ground Station
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 10 years and up

Price

The Typhoon G goes for over $500, and it is a fair price given that the gimbal is part of the package. This is one of the best drones from Yuneec, and you will have fun with your GoPro.

Pros Cons
  • The gimbal is included in the package
  • Various flight modes
  • Great flight stability thanks to altitude hover and the 3-axis gimbal
  • FPV with LCD screen on the powerful ST10+ Ground Station
  • Live feed streaming
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Low flight time than expected

Conclusion

The Typhoon G is a great GoPro drone to add to your collection though it is a letdown when it comes to the battery capacity gives it an average flight time of between 15 and 20 minutes. Otherwise, this is one of the best buys in the GoPro drone category, and it is ready to fly, so you do not have to assemble it.

 

3.  Walkera QR X350 Pro FPV

Admirable Walkera QR X350 Pro FPV

Features

  • Dimensions: 11.4 x 11.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Weight: 6.75 pounds
  • Battery: 3S 5200mAh 11.1v Li-Po battery
  • Flight time: An average of 25 minutes
  • Remote controller: Devo 7 2.4GHz seven-channel transmitter
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 14 years and up

Price

You can get the Walkera QR X350 Pro FPV for $549.96 a superb price to pay for an amazing drone. It is one of the bestselling GoPro drones and you ought to get yours while the stock lasts.

Pros Cons
  • Advanced GPS system
  • Impressive battery life that gives a better than average battery life
  • Easy to fly and navigate
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Excellent autonomous flight modes
  • Auto takeoff and landing
  • Ready to fly meaning there is no assembly required
It takes approximately 4 hours to charge the battery

Conclusion

The Walkera QR X350 Pro FPV is an amazing drone, with the easy to use flight controller, it is perfect for beginners, and it gives experienced professionals precise control of the drone’s flight path. However, you can choose the autonomous flight modes if you want to focus on getting the GoPro to take the best footage or stills.

 

Best Waterproof Drones

Most of the drones on the market are designed to fly over land, and this can be very limiting for drone hobbyists who wish to fly it from their boats, on the beach and over large bodies of water. Waterproof drones come with various advantages includes undersea research, fishing, and they can carry a life vest to a person thrown overboard. Here are the best waterproof drones by comparison.

 

1.  Garlus Mariner 2

Super GARLUS Splash Drone (Mariner 2)

Features

  • Dimensions: 500 x 120 x 230 mm
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Battery: 4S 4200mAh Li-Po battery
  • Flight time: 20 minutes (without load)
  • Remote control: 2.4GHz 8 Channel remote controller with a 7-inch video monitor
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 1 year and up

Price

The drone goes for $799 on Amazon, and it attracts a $15.49 shipping charge, but it is worth the money. It has an amazing 5/5 star rating, and this makes it worth the money.

Pros Cons
  • It is waterproof
  • Made from lightweight but sturdy materials
  • Brushless motor
  • Powerful battery
  • Better than the average payload
  • First person view capability
  • Altitude hold
  • Smartphone compatible
  • Less than desirable 2-axis gimbal

Conclusion

This is an amazing GoPro drone to have since it offers exceptional functionality, and you do not have to steer it away from the water. It can be used for fishing, search, and rescue delivering life vests to persons thrown overboard, as well as in underwater explorations. It also means that it will go anywhere you want it to for that perfect shot.

 

2.  Swellpro’s Waterproof Splash Drone 3 Auto

 

Features

  • Dimensions: 24 x 7 x 19 inches
  • Weight: 14.2 pounds
  • Battery: 4S Li-Po battery
  • Video Resolution: App Control 1920 x 1080 (30/60p), 1280 x 720 (30/60p)
  • Remote control 2880 x 2160 24p, 2560 x 1440 30p
  • Picture resolution: 14 megapixel (4320 x 3240) 10 megapixel (3648 x 2736) 5M (2592 x 1944)
  • Maximum Ascend speed: 4m/s
  • Maximum descend speed: 3m/s
  • Maximum flight time: 16 minutes
  • Remote Controller: S3 flight controller 2405-2475HMZ
  • Waterproof level: 600 mm

Price

The Splash Drone 3 is not the typical drone that beginners can pick up and fly, but it makes better sense in the hands of a professional. You can get it on Amazon for $1,699, and you can have all the fun you want on land as well as on the high seas.

Pros Cons
  • A waterproof camera capable of taking 4K quality videos
  • Ready to fly
  • Sturdy quick-release rotor blades
  • Stainless steel parts
  • All-in-one FPV remote controller with LCD screen
  • Easy and safe to fly
  • Durable waterproof frame
  • Less than reliable customer service
  • Lacks extra batteries and rotor blades

Conclusion

The Splash Drone 3 is the best water quadcopter drone thus far. It can carry items up to 2.5 pounds (1 Kg), it can be used to carry a life vest to a person or drop bait when fishing, thanks to the remote release feature. However, there are complaints about the customer service from Swellpro, but despite that, it is a good drone to have, and it does not cost an arm and a leg.

 

Best Nano Drones

While you might be familiar with the larger drones, there are Nano drones that pack breathtaking technology that will leave you surprised. Nano drones pack all sorts of features, and you will find everything from high tech drones to simple and easy to use. Most of the Nano drones in the market use 3.7v Li-Po batteries, and they give an average flight time of between 5 and 7 minutes. Here are our best Nano drones by comparison.

1.  Original JJRC H2O Nano Hexacopter

 

Incomparable Original JJRC H2O Nano Hexacopter

Features

  • Dimensions: 6.4 x 6 x 2.7 inches
  • Weight: 11.7 ounces
  • Battery: 3.7v Li-Po battery
  • Flight time: a maximum of 7 minutes
  • Remote controller: 2.4GHz transmission with four channels
  • Transmission range: 30 meters
  • 6-axis gyro stabilization system

Price

The Original JJRC H2O Nano Hexacopter goes for $20.51 and an additional $0.99 shipping fee on Amazon. Follow the link below to make a purchase.

Pros Cons
  • Rolling 360-degrees and sideways flying among other aerial tricks
  • 4 LED lights to locate it especially when flying it in the dark
  • Better than average flight controller transmission range
  • Acceptable flight time from the battery
  • One key return function
  • Can be charged with the typical USB cable connected to a computer
You will have to buy the AAA batteries that power the flight controller

Conclusion

This drone is perfect for when you are trying to fly without distractions. You can fly it indoors as well as outdoors, and you will love the 6-axis gyro stabilization system. Unlike most drones that use f propellers, the Original JJRC H2O Nano Hexacopter comes with six propellers, and this allows for better flight stability, and maneuverability.

 

2.  Sky Viper Nano Drone

Top Sky Viper Nano DroneThis is designed for drone hobbyists keen on agile flying without spending a pretty penny. It packs a host of sophisticated technology, and it is perfect for beginners or drone pilots looking for a new flight experience. It comes with multi-dimensional functions such as a camera transmitter as well as landing skits

Features

  • Dimensions: 2.7 x 7.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Weight: 250 grams
  • Battery: 3.7v 100mAh Li-Po battery
  • Remote flight controller: 2.4GHz
  • Transmission range: 20 meters

Price

The Sky Viper is available on Amazon for under $50, and it is the best Nano drone buys you will ever make. Find see the link for the prices and accessories.

Pros Cons
  • Precise and adjustable sensitivity allowing 50-100% speed range
  • Agile and stable flight
  • Flies indoors as well as outdoors
  • Duraflex frame
  • Amazing aerial flights
  • 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer
  • A dedicated Stunt button
  • The flight time is dependent on the battery used
  • Lacks propeller guards

Conclusion

The Sky Viper Nano Drone is a versatile Nano drone that you will love. It is adaptable meaning that you can fly it indoors as well as outdoors. It is also price friendly, and it suits everyone who is a novice or professionals looking to beat the monotony of flying the typical drones.

Sky Viper m500 Nano Drone - AUTO Launch, Land, Hover
Price: $19.95
You save: $10.04 (33 %)
3 new from $19.950 used

 

3.  Syma X12

Best   Syma X12This Nano drone is perfect for drone enthusiasts looking to have their first go at drone flying. It is designed to be used inside. It comes with various features such as protective rotor blade protection, and so you do not have to worry about the drone leaving holes in your walls.

Features

  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 1.5 x 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 10.7 ounces
  • Battery: 3.7v 100mAh Li-Po battery
  • Flight time: 4 minutes
  • Remote controller: 2.4GHz transmission with up to 4 channels
  • Transmission range: up to 20 meters

Price

You can get the Syma X12 for under $30 on Amazon plus free shipping. See the link below for the Amazon store selling the Syma X12.

Pros Cons
  • Protector rotor blades guard
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Charge the batteries with the typical USB cable
  • Low voltage alarm
  • 6-axis gyro stabilization system
  • 3D 360-degree rotation functions
  • 360-degree eversion
  • Limited flight time
  • You have to supply the flight controller’s batteries

Conclusion

This is a perfect drone to give to a child or first-time drone pilots. The fact that it is designed for flying indoors makes it perfect for people dwelling in apartments in the cities, as well as when it is raining or snowing and you cannot go outside. When making the purchase, you can request the seller to gift-wrap it for you, and it will be the perfect gift this holiday season.

Criteria for Evaluation

The drone market is getting more competitive with drones of various sizes functionalities and prices. It was not an easy task coming up with this list. We had to invest time and resources asking for feedback from middle-income level drone hobbyists as well as different professionals to come up with the list. We also compared reviews made by drone enthusiasts, and we got drone test pilots to fly and give their unbiased reviews. All this hassle was to acquire data on the specs and the handling of the drone. Afterwards, we used the following criteria to compile this list of the best drones by comparing all the popular types of drones available.

  • Ease of Use

This was the first item that we considered since we understand that even the most experienced of drone flying professionals will be stuck in the first few tries. We looked for the drones that come ready to fly that also required little or no configuration before flying. Most drones on this list will recalibrate the camera or the gimbal when it powers up, and take off with ease. All the drones on this list have Android and iOS mobile apps that help you to calibrate and control the drone.

  • Flight Time

The flight times will vary with the type of drones and on this list, we have drones that have flight times starting at 4 minutes to over 20 minutes. The flight time is dependent on the battery power, and it helps to have an extra battery to minimize the drone’s downtime. For some of these drones, you will have to buy an extra battery while some manufacturers will include one or two extra batteries and a charging hub.

  • Crash Protection

Crashing a drone is a painful thing, and that is why drone manufacturers are trying to mitigate the issues arising from crashing a drone. We considered the drones that have the anti-collision technology to brake and maneuver around the obstacles in their way. Others have rotor blades protection to avoid damaging the motors and making holes into your walls. This ensures that the drones stay safe from crashing into obstacles in its flight path.

  • Smart Features

We considered the smart features the drones had to offer the middle-level consumer and added them to the list. We looked into drones with autonomous flying, which allows you to focus on getting the perfect shot, and to hover for sharper stills. We also looked at the maneuverability offered by each of the drones as a factor.

  • Compatible Devices

To lessen the burden of downloading the media from the microSD card to your computer or phone, all the drones on this list have Android and iOS apps that allow you to configure the drone to your specification and record the videos and stills straight to your device.
Tips for Buying a Drone

  • Available Accessories

No matter how much you are willing to spend on a drone, you ought to get your money’s value. Some manufacturers will quote a hefty price tag and back it up with extra accessories. However, others will hardly provide the accessories you need, and they will try to convince you of the quality only for them to come up short.

  • Consider Trusted Brands

In every industry, there are market leaders, and they take their brand image seriously. Go for trusted brands that keep upgrading their drones with new technology. Unknown brands that are just starting out will have a myriad of issues, and they will be at pains to offer the right service. This becomes crucial especially when buying the drones on an e-commerce site. With our years of experience in drone flying and reviews, we have provided a link to trusted sellers on Amazon.

  • Price

This ought to be the last thing to consider. You need to have the specs in mind of the drone you want then do your research and compare it with other drones in its category. Make a price comparison and looking into the accessories included and the functionality of the drone.

 

Read also these following linked reviews are grouped with different types to make it easier to stick to your requirement to find your drone:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I identify the best drone seller?

A. The number of drones on offer in the market is be overwhelming. It does not help that manufacturers and sellers are shoving their products in your face. We have broken the information to explain the industry jargon as well as gone the extra mile to provide a link to reliable sellers on Amazon. However, be sure to see that they ship the drone to your country and make the proper arrangements.

  • Q: How do I buy the best drone?

A: If you have ever owned a drone then you know what to look for in your next buy. For a first time buyer, it is much harder getting the best buy in the first strike. Whether you are a beginner or you have had a few drones before, with our review of the best drones by comparison and the criteria we used to compile the list will help you in making the right choice.

  • Q: How do I make the battery in my drone last longer?

A: Most drones use smart battery chargers that stop charging after the battery gets full. However, avoid leaving the battery on the charging hub; it takes on average 2 hours to fully charge a battery. Leaving them on will overcharge it and hence reduce the lifespan of the battery.