Drones today are used for everything from surveying land to providing assistance in natural disasters, but the growth of this technology has also put these cool little aircraft in the hands of the everyday consumer. If you’re looking for a toy that’s out of the ordinary, one of the best choices is a drone. A drone is a safe way to explore the world for kids and a great gateway to learning how to fly drones more seriously.
HotRate wants to help you find the best mini drone of 2020, and we’ve put together a list of 10 phenomenal mini drones along with a guide that can help you shop for the best mini drone for your needs.
- 10 Best Mini Drones
- 1. Potensic Upgraded A20 Mini Drone
- 2. DJI Mavic Mini Drone
- 3. DROCON Mini Drone
- 4. Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone
- 5. SIMREX X300C Mini Drone
- 6. DBPOWER X400W FPV RC Mini Drone
- 7. Hubsan X4 H107L Mini Drone
- 8. Altair Aerial #AA108 Camera Mini Drone
- 9. DJI Tello Quadcopter Mini Drone
- 10. ORRENTE Mini RC Drone
- Mini Drone Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Mini Drones
1. Potensic Upgraded A20 Mini Drone
Even if you've never flown a drone before, you can pick up the fundamentals easily with the Potensic A20. You can launch or land this mini drone with the press of a single button, and once it's in the air, the altitude hold and headless modes make it easy to get your bearings and keep it flying steadily. But once you're confident in the controls, you can ramp up the difficulty by making use of the three different flight speeds. Best of all, this drone is available for under $30, so it's a simple enough choice to make as an impulse buy. Although features and build quality might not match the DJI Spark that we look at below, but this is definitely on top at this price point.
2. DJI Mavic Mini Drone
If the A20 is the perfect drone for beginners, this is the best choice if you're confident in your flight capabilities. It offers a best in class 30 minute flight time along with the ability to shoot 2.7K video. This drone may be a little bit small, but has a top-level capability of shooting professional-level footage. The accompanying smartphone app even comes with a range of easy to use editing tools, but the best inclusion may be the compatibility with SkyPixel - a GPS based social media platform that allows users to share their favorite videos and photos with people from all around the world. If you're looking for a model that packs the same features, but is a little bit smaller, then we recommend you check out the DJI Spark.
3. DROCON Mini Drone
We're back to kid friendly and budget priced with this little drone from DROCON. Most of the functions you could possibly need can be handled with the press of a single button, but the inclusion of three different flight speeds means that this is a mini drone that can grow with your own proficiency. And you can fly this mini drone at any time of day due to the inclusion of a spotlight designed for night flying, which we think it is a pretty top feature. Even cooler, it's small enough to fit in your pocket, and it can be charged with a standard USB cable, so you can take it with you anywhere.
4. Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone
Holy Stone has one of the most extensive catalogs of mini drones around, but we're particularly infatuated with the Bolt Bee. This six axis stabilization system provides a safety net for less experienced pilots, which is a nice boon as you start to escalate up the different speed settings. The battery life isn't the best around, but the inclusion of a spare allow you to extend your time in the air without having to wait for a charge. In addition to the standard headless mod, this drone lets you perform impressive flips and other stunts in four different directions.
5. SIMREX X300C Mini Drone
You don't need to pay premium prices for a drone with a camera. The X300C by Simrex offers an HD camera for only $40, and the inclusion of Wi-Fi capabilities allows you to control what you're trying to shoot straight through your phone's screen. The possibilities for shooting stunning photos are magnified by the easy to perform stunts, while the combination of headless mode and a six axis stabilization system makes it easier to capture more precisely framed photos and videos. The propellers themselves are equipped with protective rings, but one of the best additions is the compatibility with VR goggles.
6. DBPOWER X400W FPV RC Mini Drone
At its core, the DBPOWER X400W is pretty similar to the Simrex featured above, and with a comparable price, it's a nice alternative if you want a drone with a different look. The controller comes with a cradle that can hold your phone, leaving you with access to more intuitive controls, and the six axis gyro system provides you with a strong sense of stability, especially when you take into consideration the headless mode included. This drone has also been built from scratch to support virtual reality goggles, proving pilots with a more immersive experience than traditional drone flight can.
7. Hubsan X4 H107L Mini Drone
The X4 H107L by Hubsan isn't the most feature rich miniature drone we've found, but its royal blue hot rod design is sure to be appealing to kids, and the price will be even more appealing to parents. And with the inclusion of both a beginner and expert flight mode, both parents and kids can find enjoyment flying it. Blade protectors are built in, helping minimize the damage from any accidents, while the bright LED lighting makes this one of the best mini drones to fly at night. The nimble controls are ideal for both introductory racing and stunt performance.
8. Altair Aerial #AA108 Camera Mini Drone
The Altair AA108 finds the perfect balance of a fun toy drone and a more serious drone. The approximately $100 price tag is well justified considering the inclusion of both a 720p cam with a 120 degree range of vision, but that's not the only great feature here. The three different flight modes let you learn to fly at your own pace, while the altitude hold mode is perfect for capturing high quality video and photos. And this drone is well equipped to respond to unexpected conditions. It has an automated emergency landing mode and an alarm that goes off once it starts to go out of range.
9. DJI Tello Quadcopter Mini Drone
DJI has produced a drone that's both easy to fly and affordable with the Tello, but this drone offers more than just fun and games. The decent video and still performance makes them a solid choice for photographers looking for a budget priced solution, and the fact that you can fly these drones with just your phone lends them a more naturalistic experience than the bulky controllers that so often come with inexpensive drones. And with the above average flight time and image transmission distance, you'll have the opportunity you need to fly the Tello into position for your photographic adventures.
10. ORRENTE Mini RC Drone
The Orrente drone is available for less than $40, but it's worth a whole lot more. The sleek militaristic design helps it stand apart from more conventional drones, but just because it looks intimidating doesn't mean that it is. This drone is small enough to fit in your pocket, and the adjustable speed settings make it an appropriate choice for both kids and experienced adults. You can take off or land this drone with the tap of a single button, and flips are just as easy to perform.
Mini Drone Buyer’s Guide
A good drone offers a nice balance between providing a fun experience and offering all the tools you need to learn to fly. Fortunately, we’ve covered most of the key features and specs you should look for as a pilot elsewhere. Check out our ultimate shopping guide for drones if you want to learn what you should be looking for. We’ll quickly run through some of the most important shopping considerations below.
Charging and Flight Time
Figuring out how many minutes of flight time you get on a single charge is one of the most important things to consider. Five to ten minutes is pretty common for most small consumer drones, but some of the more expensive models will let you fly for up to 30 minutes. Just bear in mind that you’ll always expect close to an hour or more of charging time no matter what drones you’re looking at.
You shouldn’t expect expert level photography or videography with most mini drones. A 720p resolution is pretty standard, but a few models offer a resolution mode of 1080p or higher. You should check out our guide to the best FPV drones if video and still image quality is an important consideration when searching for the top mini drone.
Most drones won’t throw you into the deep end without giving you the tools to learn. Features like headless or altitude hold modes, one-touch takeoff, and landing, and an automatic return mode are a great way to learn how to fly but also provide an easier way to position an FPV drone for capturing video. On the more fun side of things, some models come with a stunt mode to perform stunts with a flick of the control stick.
How fast can your drone go, and how many speed settings does it offer? You want a drone that can help ease you into the learning experience but provides you with enough of a skill ceiling that you won’t lose interest after a few hours, so it’s important to find a model that has an appropriate top speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Mini Drone to Buy?
There are a lot of great mini drones on our list, but if you want the best in practically every category, look to the DJI range. These DJI mini drones offer a better flight time than any of the other mini drones on our list by a long shot but they still make it easy to learn to fly. It also has a fast top speed and a better camera than any of the other drones on our list.
What is the Best Mini Drone with Camera?
DJI produces some of the top FPV drones. The 2.7K video resolution mode is a great feature, usually reserved for some of the more top models. It offers some of the highest resolutions available among drones. Camera usage is further bolstered by the inclusion of a number of different assisted flight skills that can help you line up the perfect shot. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s our favorite camera drone.
What is the Smallest DJI Drone?
There are a lot of small mini drones on the market, but few match the compact nature of the DJI Mini drones. With these drones, DJI has created some of the most compact mini drones on the market, and you can take the fun with you thanks to the folding design of these DJI drones. These are undoubtedly the best mini drones that we have reviewed.
Are you looking for a drone? There’s no better place to start than with our list. We’ve covered all the basics you should know about when you’re trying to learn to fly your first drone, but finding a model that works for you is half the fun. We’re confident our guide can provide you with everything you need to know when looking for the best mini drone to fly for fun.If you liked our article on mini drones, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.