So you want to get into the drone flying action? Good call! However, knowing which quadcopter to buy when you are a beginner or just getting started in this hobby is not easy because of all of the options that are available on the market. Some drones are sold for as little as $20, while other more advanced drones can sell for upwards of $3500! Don’t be overwhelmed, and do not let the process stop you from one of the most exhilarating and technologically advanced hobbies around today. Here are five questions to consider to help you choose the right drone for you!
What size drone?
One of the first things you need to consider when thinking about purchasing a drone, is what kind of things do you want to do with it? Are you looking for a drone you can just have some fun quickly zipping around the house or backyard? If so you may be interested in purchasing a smaller sized drone which typically go for under $50.
Our suggestion? Start with the UDI U27. It’s a very forgiving drone – easy to fly and it can stand up to numerous “impromptu landings” (i.e. crashes). You can read our full UDI U27 review here.
Perhaps you are looking for a drone that is a bit more substantial, perhaps one that can be flown primarily outdoors, one that can go greater distances, or a drone that has a camera. If that sounds more appealing, you may consider investing in a drone that is a bit more expensive.
We suggest the Syma X5SW. It is a mid-size drone with a camera and it even can stream live video to your cell phone. It is an easy drone to fly and can withstand the occasional hard landing. You can read our full Syma X5SW review here.
Does your drone need a camera?
Perhaps you are a real estate agent or professional photographer that has hopes of taking pictures or shooting video with yourdrone? In that case you need a drone with a high quality camera. Photography drones come in two styles: ones with a built-in camera and ones with a camera mount for adding a specialized camera.
The fact is, the DJI Phantom has the market cornered as far as photography drones go. On the more affordable side is the Phantom 3 Standard, which can be had for under $500.
The next step up is the Phantom 3 Advanced, which has a better camera, further range, and a better controller with more features.
If you’re gonna do drone photography, the Phantom 3 is the way to go.
How easy is it to use?
Obviously you want to be able to handle your drone once you get it. It might take a couple hours or a day or so to get the basic hang of piloting the aircraft, but any drone that takes much longer to learn how to use may not be worth your purchase. Noteveryone can dedicate that much time to flying their drone because of work and other responsibilities, so a drone that is fairly easy to use is ideal for most buyers. Once you get more experience and comfortable flying a drone, you can choose to move on and test your abilities on more complicated, intuitive, and higher priced aircraft.
Is it durable?
One crucial thing to consider when buying a drone is the drone’s durability. You may find the perfect drone, with the perfect specs
and features that you like, but, if it gets destroyed at the slightest crash, it is not worth your money. Drones that can withstand a few crashes are best, because no matter how skilled you are at piloting, eventually you will crash your drone. It would also be beneficial to see how replaceable the parts are, because you may have to do maintenance to replace worn out or broken parts. It would be a tremendous disappointment to waste a large amount of money on a drone that was flown once. The phrase you get what you pay for rings true when purchasing quadcopters, so keep that in mind.
What is your budget?
Once you have figured out all of the abilities and features you need in your drone, and have done your homework by researching the prices of drones currently for sale on the market, you need to set yourself a budget. You should also include within your budget expenses you may need for replacement parts or upgrades, such as switching out weak batteries for higher powered ones.
Drone flying is one of the most exciting new hobbies available today, something that can be fun for both children and adults, and great to get the entire family involved with. You will be the center of attention wherever you fly your drone, and sure to be the talk of your neighborhood. A wise option may be buying a cheap drone at the beginning to allow yourself an inexpensive way to practice, and then eventually graduate to a more advanced drone. Whatever you do, have a blast piloting your drone, and always make sure you do so safely.