While many people will purchase kits in order to build the best quadcopter, there are plenty of readymade versions available on the market, allowing the buyer to be instantly in the air. These quadcopters have a range of different functions. When equipped with a camera, they can take sweeping aerial video, their relatively simply mechanics makes them a great introduction to the world of flying, and they are simply fun to pilot. There are many quadcopters on the market, from a range of different brands, but here are the ten that really compete for the title of best quadcopter.
DJI Phantom 3
For those looking for the overall best quadcopter with camera, this is probably it. That said, it is also one of the most expensive quadcopters on this list, and there are plenty of others that still fly beautifully at a lower price. If you’re looking for the very best, however, this is the one for you. Some of its best features include a 4K camera, nearly a half hour of flight time, and a range of over a mile, along with plenty of stability if you do want to use that camera. Other features like a return to home mode, which will automatically bring the quadcopter back to you if it flies too far away, and programmable flight paths, makes this the best quadcopter for someone who really wants a professional, functional device. Its sleek white exterior is far more streamlined than other models and it’s also extremely durable, so you do not have to worry about this device, no matter where it flies.
The best quadcopter that provides a more cost-effective option is this Hubsan X4. While it is often billed as being only for beginners, it has lots of features that intermediate and even advanced flyers will enjoy. It’s also small enough that if a pilot wants to test it out indoors before sending it out into the world, he definitely can. It is lightweight, fun to fly, and extremely responsive, with a camera built right in, which is something that most other inexpensive quadcopters omit. The controller has a shape that is reminiscent of video game controllers, which most pilots find to be very intuitive, and because the cost of investing in this quadcopter is less than most other quadcopters, this is the best quadcopter for someone who is just learning to fly this type of drone.
Parrot Ar. 2.0
The Parrot sits right in between the DJI Phantom 3 and the Hubsan X4. It is more expensive than the X4, but less expensive than the Phantom 3. What really makes this quadcopter different, however, is the design. Unlike most quadcopters that have their rotors exposed, this drone has them enclosed, providing a very futuristic design which also protects the propellers from impacts as the pilot is learning to fly. Unlike many other drones on this list that also come with a dedicated controller, the Parrot AR. 2.0 is piloted from the user’s smartphone or tablet. It beats out most of the quadcopters in its class, with over a half hour of flying time, as well as the ability to live stream the video it is capturing, as well are record it. Relatively small, lightweight, and fun to fly it’s the best quadcopter for a range of different applications.
Yuneec Q500 4K
This is another relatively expensive option, but if you are looking for the best quadcopter, this one should definitely be on your list. It is designed to be super stable and it comes with a 4K camera that makes taking aerial footage extremely easy, even if you are not yet an expert videographer. The Q500 is a more advanced option than some others on this list, and its controller does take some getting used to, but once you have mastered how to fly it, you have lots of capabilities that you would not have with a more basic model. The quadcopter even establishes its own geo fence, to make sure that you only fly it within a safe distance and at a safe height, adhering to the FAA guidelines for these sorts of drones, so even someone with little experience keeping a drone at a safe height can do it easily.
If you’ve tried your hand at beginner and intermediate drones and you are ready from something more advanced, this is the best quadcopter for you. Often recommended for those who are specifically looking for a drone for aerial filmmaking, the camera, stability, and intuitive controls make it a great drone even for those that aren’t specifically looking for a quadcopter to make movies with. It even have an autopilot function, so that if it has strayed out of your sight, it will guide itself back to you. One of the best features of this particular unit is the flight simulator that comes with the quadcopter, allowing you plenty of opportunities to practice flying it before you actually take it out into the world. The app that can be used to both fly and view a live feed of the drone’s camera will even tell you whether or not you are flying it safely.
Some have called this drone “scary smart,” and that is probably an accurate description. Not only is it equipped with a high-powered camera and stabilization, it is equipped with a computer that allows the pilot to use a number of preprogrammed settings to get great shots of just about everything. The controller is extremely easy to learn to use, and even if you just want to watch the live feed and do not want to actually film anything, you’re going to get views of whatever you are flying over or towards. For those who are interested in using it to make videos or movies, it’s got plenty of great features. For those that just want to fly a gopro quadcopter, it’s still a great unit.
For those who want a durable little drone with lots of different features, this is the best quadcopter to choose. It is an inexpensive alternative to many of the other drones on this list, with advanced stabilization, a lightweight, yet robust frame, and a controller that lets you see what the quadcopter is seeing. It has the added benefit of being able to fly in the dark and can even do flips and barrel rolls. Though it is small, it has a 480P camera and has a range of up to a hundred meters. Because the video feed is right on the controller, the flying experience is more immersive and the lower price makes this a great introduction to not just drone flying, but quadcopter flying.
Syma X8C Venture
On the lowest end of the price scale is the Venture. While it has neither the most powerful motor nor the best camera, it is still plenty stable and has a good enough camera that you can get interesting shots, without having to pay out hundreds and hundreds of dollars just to get the shot. Unlike many other quadcopters at this price point, the camera is built in and there are a number of different features that make it very easy to control the unit, keep it on target, and pilot it home when the battery is up. Complete with blade protectors to keep the propellers from becoming damaged while the pilot is still learning how to control the drone, this is the best camera quadcopter option for someone looking for a low-investment way to start flying.
Parrot BeBop Drone 2
Not only does the BeBop have a truly unique design, it also outperforms not just drones at its own price point, but more expensive drones, too. The camera captures at 1080p for video and can take pictures with a huge resolution. With the ability to download an app that lets you monitor and control the drone’s live feed, it’s easy to get great shots. It has a range of over a mile, depending on what extras are purchased for it, and a flying time of up to twenty-five minutes, which is comparable to most other drones in its class. Flexible propellers ensure no serious damage is done either to the quadcopter or items it encounters, and a stabilization system that uses seven sensors ensures that the drone and the video stay level, no matter what comes its way.
3D Robotics Iris+ Quadcopter
With its high-tech design and twenty-minute flying time, the Iris+ is one of the most versatile quadcopters on this list. Unlike most that are ready to fly right out of the box, this one does need a little bit of construction. This is by design, allowing the user to upgrade the quadcopter or replace its parts as necessary. Compatible with a GoPro, this is the best quadcopter for those who want a drone that can go where most of the other units on this cannot go. It is more durable, and the interchangeable nature of the propellers, arms, legs, and batteries makes it easy to keep flying, even if it does take a tumble at some point during the flight. It is one of the only quadcopters on this list that allows you to buy extra batteries so you can continue using it without having to recharge the entire drone.
Drone pilots of all types are just starting to become popular, which means that while some people will have extensive knowledge of which ones are the best, most people will have no gauge for what makes a great quadcopter. Some people might not even really know what a quadcopter is and what makes it different from other types of drone pilots.
The quadcopter design is actually one of the oldest flying machines on record. Even before the Wright Brothers achieved their first lift off, a quadcopter built by Louis Breguet was being tested. The modern quadcopter, however, has little in common with those century-old designs, except for the four propellers, two of which spin clockwise and two of which spend counter-clockwise. It is the four different propellers that gives person flying the quadcopter a great deal of control over its direction and its speed. Unlike other similar drones, the best quadcopter can quickly change speed and direction.
What sets the quadcopter apart is that the setup of its rotors solves many of the problems that are associated with other types of flying machines. They are more efficient, are easier to make, and are ultimately less expensive than most other machines. Their only real drawback is that there is a limit on propeller size, which limits the momentum even the best quadcopter can achieve is limited without also sacrificing some measure of control for the pilot.
Because of the nature of the quadcopter, they are much more accessible than most other types of drones. Almost all are designed to be intuitive to fly and to be extremely versatile. This list is comprised of both introductory and advanced options, depending on just how familiar you are with quadcopter kits and what exactly constitutes the best quadcopter for each person.
Some will want a better camera. Others will want more flying options and will not care if the camera is less impressive. Many of the more expensive options are designed specifically for video, while others are built with the pilot in mind. Before making your choice, consider whether or not you want to be able to see what your quadcopter is doing and what type of safety features (if any) you prefer, as these are the factors that see the most variation among even the best quadcopters. No matter what you plan on doing with your quadcopter, one of the options on this will be ideal for you.