Though these high-performance drones are the best of the best, they certainly cost a pretty penny with both models ringing in at over $1,000.
And that’s not to mention that high-end models like these are created with experienced pilots in mind. They’re not exactly beginner friendly.
Luckily, there are options for those new to the UAV world that don’t want to break the bank but still want to own their very own drone. These small, cheap, basic quadcopters might be commonly called “toy drones,” but we feel that label is slightly misleading.
Yes, they are toys, but toy drones are still incredibly fun to fly. They offer a good introduction to flying a drone. Many even come with built-in cameras so you can learn the ins and outs of aerial photography and videography as well.
Simply put, toy drones are more than worth it (especially considering their low price). Here’s everything you need to know about them.
What Are the Benefits of Toy Drones?
So what are the benefits of toy drones in the first place? Here are the top 7 reasons to consider purchasing a toy drone for yourself.
- Future – Drones are quickly becoming one of the most important developing technologies. According to Futurism, a few future applications for drones include search and rescue, infrastructure maintenance, agriculture, and package delivery.
- No Registration – New FAA regulations recently came into effect regarding larger drones with human pilots. Toy drones usually don’t fall under these regulations, meaning that you won’t have to go through the hassle of registering yours.
- Affordable – Toy drones are remarkably affordable. You can easily find a top-quality toy drone for around $100. The Cheerson CX-10, the “smallest quadcopter in the world,” is just $15!
- Learning Tool – Flying large, powerful drones isn’t a walk in the park, even with the help of a drone simulator. Starting with a toy drone is one of the best ways to learn the controls in a nearly risk-free environment.
- Durable – Toy drones can withstand a lot of abuse. Thanks to their small size, basic design, and slow speeds, you can crash them with few negative effects. And if you do damage yours, replacement parts are very cheap.
- Versatile – Most toy drones are no larger than a small book. This makes it easy to transport them from place to place. The small size also allows them to be easily flown indoors.
- Fun – The top reason to buy a toy drone is the same reason to buy any drone: they’re a lot of fun! Seriously though, if you’ve never flown a drone before, you’ll be blown away at just how much fun they are to fly.
Who Are Toy Drones For?
The best thing about toy drones is that they’re so easy to use. Just about anyone can learn to fly them in a couple of minutes at most.
This makes toy drones great for:
- Kids – Most kids, especially those under 14, don’t need a high-end drone to keep them happy. Small toy drones offer a fun and easy way for your children to learn about drone technology. Check out our list of the best indoor quadcopters for kids.
- Beginners – Adults that have never flown a quadcopter before are often better off starting with a toy drone. Their simple design and controls makes them easy to learn how to fly. Our guide to essential info for new pilots will help point beginners in the right direction.
- Casual Users – It’s easy to get sucked into the world of drones, but some people really do just want a toy. Well then, toy drones are perfect for you! If you don’t plan to use your quadcopter often, a cheap toy drone is a good bet.
Most toy drones are designed for indoor-only use. Their small size and relatively weak motors makes them difficult to fly outside. Even a hint of wind can seriously mess up their handling.
That’s why toy drones are the perfect options for those that want a drone solely to fly around inside their own home.
What are the Best Toy Drones?
There are seriously a lot of options for toy drones available on the market. Our brief reviews of the 3 best toy drones below takes some of the guesswork out of the buying process.
The above-mentioned Cheerson CX-10 is a heck of a toy drone no matter how you look at it.
At just $15, it’s one of the cheapest toy drones available. It’s also noteworthy as the “smallest quadcopter in the world.”
What makes the CX-10 such a good toy drone is just how fun and easy it is to fly. Additional features like LED running lights are a neat touch. Flight time is about 4 to 8 minutes on a 30 to 40-minute charge.
The $60 Syma X5C is still a toy drone, but it packs a much bigger punch than the CX-10.
For starters, it comes equipped with an HD camera, making it a good starter drone for those interested in aerial photography/videography.
Flying the drone is extremely fun. Not only can it be flown outdoors in good weather (aka no wind), mid-air flips can be performed at the push of a button.
Check out this video of the Syma X5C to see its full capabilities in the air.
Holy Stone F181
Enough can’t be said about the Holy Stone F181, our top-rated toy drone.
It’s easy enough for beginners to use, but is powerful enough not to bore those with more experience. A 2MP camera makes capturing aerial footage a cinch.
We also love the drone’s excellent handling. It’s very easy to control with the highly intuitive controller. The controls are smooth and reliable. The “Key Return” and “Headless Security System” mean that you’ll never lose the drone. Simply press a button and it returns to the controller (and you).
Our in-depth Holy Stone F181 review breaks down the pros and cons of this exceptional toy drone in more detail.
Toy drones offer a great introduction to UAVs in general. They’re cheap, easy to use, and extremely fun to fly. To answer the titular question, yes, toy drones are more than worth it.