We have reviewed all the best drones for the money in 2021 for all budgets and types from professional/commercial drones to Pocket and kids drones. We cover the best drones from our most popular categories below, this really is a the best of the best drones.
See our full review of the DJI Mini here.
|DJI Inspire 2 Drone||Buy on Amazon|
|DJI Mavic 2 Pro||Buy on Amazon|
|DJI Mavic Mini - Drone...||Buy on Amazon|
|DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 -...||Buy on Amazon|
|Holy Stone HS700D FPV...||Buy on Amazon|
|Mini Quadcopter Drone for...||Buy on Amazon|
|Tello Drone Quadcopter...||Buy on Amazon|
|Holy Stone HS700D 2K GPS...||Buy on Amazon|
|DJI Mavic Mini - Drone...||Buy on Amazon|
|Walkera F210 Quadcopter...||Buy on Amazon|
The build quality on the DJI Inspire 2 is impressive; it has props with a locking system that ensures they don’t become loose as the drone flies. In case of a crash, chances of damage are low since the build material is carbon fibre, making this drone reminiscent of a flying tank. Flight time on a single charge is also great – it clocks in at slightly over 25 minutes before going into an emergency landing mode to prevent crashing if it ran out of juice. Charging from 0 – 100 percent should take you about 80 minutes.
DJI drones became an instant hit among commercial photographers and videographers who need for the best professional drones available. That was about three years ago, and with the advancement of UAV technology, you can now get yourself a professional 4K camera drone at reasonable prices. The DJI Inspire 2 is one of these types of drones (not the pricing). One of the outstanding features of this UAV is the dual battery setup. With this feature, the drone benefits from a long flight time and more juice for the cameras and other systems that make the UAV work like sensors, processors, and stabilizers.
Related: Drone vs Quadcopter?
With a top speed of 58 miles per hour, the DJI Inspire 2 is one of the fastest drones you can find in the market. The range is also impressive standing at 4500 metres. Being a professional drone, the Inspire 2 costs around (Check current price on Amazon) with its high-end camera that captures fantastic shots from above. You can easily use this UAV indoors, thanks to its obstacle detection technology. The DJI Inspire 2 is one of the few drones that ticks all the boxes in regards to professional drone photography.
Related: See our top quiet drones for 2021 for our top picks of almost silent drones.
A dual battery system prolongs the flight time to a maximum of 27 minutes (with an X4S), while self-heating technology allows it to fly even in low temperatures.
Stable pictures and videos, Featuring a 1-inch sensor and compact design, the Zenmuse X4S makes it easy to capture visually stunning images with the Inspire 2 and the CineCore 2.0 image processing system.
The Inspire 2 takes everything that was good about the Inspire 1 and improves it. The image processing system CineCore2.0 has been upgraded to CineCore2.1, recording video at up to 6K in CinemaDNG/RAW and 5.2K in Apple ProRes when used with Zenmuse X7 camera. It goes from 0 to 50 mph (80 kph) in just 5 seconds and hits a maximum speed of 58 mph (94 kph) and has a max descent speed of 9m/s for unheard of speed and agility in an aircraft this size.
In addition to Spotlight Pro, a range of other intelligent flight and shooting modes are available. Obstacle avoidance is optimized when using Point of Interest and Waypoint modes, making complex shots simple and repeatable. Also available are QuickSpin, TapFly and ActiveTrack, to simplify challenging shots.
A new wireless HD image transmission technology sends video information from the master controller to the slave controller and the two controllers can be up to 100m apart without loss of image quality.
If you are looking for a powerful drone, you will feel right at home with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. The Mavic 2 may seem too expensive, but it offer the excellent value for the money, boasting a 31-minute flight time per charge and a top speed of 44 miles per hour. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro features a rather impressive 1080p camera with 8GB expandable storage to facilitate HD video recording. It also comes with a companion smartphone app that also streams live HD video even when more than 500 metres away.
Theoretically, the control range on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is 8000 metres, but we wouldn’t recommend trying it. You might get into trouble with the authorities. Crashes should not be part of your worries with this UAV – it has multiple sensors that facilitate obstacle avoidance in all directions. You may even key in a pre-set course, and the drone will automatically manoeuvre around obstacles. Regarding design, similar to Mavic Pro the DJI Mavic 2 Pro has a sleek, angular body featuring four foldable rotor arms, with the camera at the front and a battery pack at the rear end. A feature list that makes this drone our top pick for the best drone for the money in 2021.
Related: See the best Star Wars drones
When fully folded, easily pack this gadget into a small handbag, which weighs less than a pound with dimensions 91x84x214 mm. You can use it outdoors and it fly's great indoors, with the obstacle avoidance technology. It is also relatively quiet drone, allowing you to record videos and photos without attracting too much attention. Getting quality images out of a fold-able drone is not easy, so if that is what you are looking for, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is worth considering in this respect.
The batteries on the Mavic 2 Pro drones have a secure and reliable fit in the drone. This is aided by the battery release which must be pulled down in order to remove the battery from the drone, making it easy to swap out for another DJI drone battery, for more flight time.
The Mavic 2 boasts one of two new cameras. The Mavic 2 Pro carries an integrated Hasselblad camera with a 1-inch CMOS sensor and adjustable aperture, while the Mavic 2 Zoom boasts a smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor, as well as the ability to zoom from 24mm to 48mm.
Looking for a drone for room inspections? See our review of the top roof inspection drones for an overview.
A mini drone that features all of DJI's signature technologies, allowing you to seize the moment whenever you feel inspired. With intelligent flight control options, a mechanical gimbal, and a camera with incredible image quality, Spark empowers you to push your creative boundaries.
With sensors on all sides, it’s nigh-on impossible to crash the Mavic 2 Pro – unless you’re in sport mode, of course, which turns them all off. In certain flight modes, it’ll even maintain a preset course while automatically maneuvering around obstacles, but only when they’re in front or behind.
If you're looking to fly high, see our review of high altitude drones.
The controller folds down to around the size of a glasses case, and while it generally shares its design with the original Mavic Pro controller – including an LCD panel for at-a-glance flight info and adjustable arms that hold your phone in place during flight – it now features removable thumb sticks (plus slots to safely store them), which keeps its profile slimmer.
The DJI Spark is our first choice for the mini drone of 2021 offering the top flying performance and camera technology. For one, it doesn’t feature the usual overly-rugged look of most of the available drones in the market, but its simplicity and price makes it worth every penny you spend on it. Also, the DJI Spark is compact yet packs plenty of automated features. It is not easy to come across a tiny UAV with the capabilities that this one offers. The size is nothing larger than a soda can and smaller than a super-sized phone. Features include GPS drone stabilization technology, obstacle avoidance, and in-flight hand gesture recognition for various flight commands.
It weighs just 10.6 ounces, which when coupled with the small form factor, can easily fit into any bag. Unlike most other drones, the DJI Spark comes in a wide selection of color, not limiting you to the mundane black, white, and gray. The small form factor does come with some disadvantages though. For instance, being small means that the battery pack has to be small. As a result, the battery life is just over 10 minutes’ worth of flight time per 80-minute charge, meaning you have to worry about it, especially when flying outdoors.
Compare: The DJI Spark vs Mavic Mini
For the ultimate experience, you have to purchase a DJI Spark remote control for an additional 150 dollars. Using the smartphone app comes with a lot of glitches, so you have to get the remote if you want to fly this drone in peace. It allows you to record 4K video with its inbuilt camera and has a range of about 1.3 miles with a maximum speed of 33 miles per hour.
Compare: The DJI Spark vs Mavic Pro
Up to 16 minutes of flight time, which is under best-case-scenario flight. You can either use a charging cradle that comes with the Fly More Combo pack or the Micro USB charging port directly on the drone.
As for the camera, there’s a 1/2.3in sensor that captures 12-megapixel still images and 1080p video at 30fps rather than the 4K available on the Mavic Pro. The lens is also only 2-axis stabilized, rather than the 3-axis – the third axis is stabilized digitally. If you are looking for a smaller drone see our review of pocket drones or our round up of the best selfie drones.
Compare: The DJI Spark vs Parot Bebop 2
Meet Spark, the best looking mini, micro / nano drone that features all of DJI's signature technologies, allowing you to seize the moment whenever you feel inspired. With intelligent flight control options, a mechanical gimbal, and a camera with incredible image quality, Spark empowers you to push your creative boundaries.
Compare: The DJI Spark vs Mavic Pro 2
In addition to the custom flight modes, the Spark has a ton of quality of life features built in. Return to home and battery warning are particular standouts. Nervous about landing? Hit the return to home button and the quadcopter will return to a few feet above its takeoff position. When the battery is low, the Spark will automatically start to return to home, and even force a slow landing when near empty. These are incredibly useful in preventing a crash or accidentally going beyond the limits of the battery’s capacity.
Compare: The DJI Spark vs Mavic Air
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro v2 came out a few months ago with a few upgrades over its predecessor and is our top choice for a drone with a camera built in. Regarding build quality and design, it features the same hull shape, with differences coming at the positioning of various sensors. One of the shortcomings of this drone is portability since the props and arms aren’t foldable, but it is still small enough for you to fit into a bag, should you need to carry it around. Under normal conditions, this UAV can offer up to 30 minutes of flight time on a single charge, which should take you about 90 minutes to complete.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro v2’s top flight speed is about 31 miles per hour, even with maximum obstacle avoidance turned on, making it an ideal choice for indoor use. The chances of crashing are minimal with this feature. Outdoors performance is quite impressive too if you consider the additional autopilot feature including the Follow Me Mode or pre-setting paths for the drone to follow. It also has a return home feature that doesn’t merely take any route but attempts to retrace its original steps to avoid any obstacles.
See our full review of the best camera drones for 2021.
The range on this drone is also not bad at all. You can receive live HD video feeds from as long as 4.3 miles, thanks to DJI’s OcuSync video transmission technology. The range may be smaller depending on other variables. However, the Phantom 4 Pro v2 still has one of the longest range on the market. With this kind of performance, this UAV is our choice for photography and video shooting. It comes with a 4K 20 MP camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal for great angle shots.
Professional aerial imaging benefits from longer flight times. The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 features a maximum flight time of 30 minutes, providing more time in the air to capture the perfect shot. The DJI GO app shows battery lifetime and calculates remaining flight times according to the distance traveled and more. It will give alerts when it reaches a minimum safe amount required for a safe journey back to the takeoff point. An advanced battery management system is also in place to prevent overcharging and over draining. When placed in long term storage, batteries will discharge power to maintain good health. To help improve your drones battery life further see our guide on how to improve drone battery life.
The onboard camera has been redesigned to use a 1-inch 20-megapixel CMOS sensor. A custom engineered lens made up of eight elements is arranged in seven groups, it is the first DJI camera to use a mechanical shutter, eliminating rolling shutter distortion which can occur when taking images of fast moving subjects or when flying at high speed. In effect, it is as powerful as many traditional ground cameras. A more powerful drone with video processing that supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps, both with a 100Mbps bitrate. Advanced sensors and processors ensure everything is captured with more image detail and the image data needed for advanced post-production.
The new Phantom 4 Pro V 2.0 features an OcuSync HD transmission system, which supports automatic dual-frequency band switching and connects to DJI Goggles wirelessly. Like the Phantom 4 Pro and Advanced, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is equipped with a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor capable of shooting 4K/60fps video and Burst Mode stills at 14 fps. Plus, its FlightAutonomy system includes dual rear vision sensors and infrared sensing systems for a total of 5 directions of obstacle sensing and 4 directions of obstacle avoidance.
Flight Autonomy is expanded with an additional set of high-resolution stereo vision sensors placed at the rear in addition to the pair placed at the front as well as infrared sensing systems placed on the left and right sides. This network creates a total of 5-direction of obstacle sensing and 4-direction of obstacle avoidance, protecting the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 from more obstacles and giving filmmakers the confidence to capture more complex images.
The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0’s remote controller uses OcuSync video transmission,* which employs time-division multiplexing technology to send control signal and receive video signal simultaneously. When the controller is powered on, the OcuSync system scans for the frequency band with lowest interference and switches accordingly to maintain clear transmission. Also, thanks to OcuSync, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 wirelessly connects to DJI VR drone Goggles. Free from cable constraints, you can enjoy exciting FPV flight at speeds of up to 72kph (45mph) in S-mode.
The Holy Stone HS700 is the holy grail of GoPro drones. This amazing drone already has a built-in camera but can still hold a GoPro Hero 2,3 or 4. Now, about the camera, it includes a 5G 1080p resolution and a lens that can do 110 degrees of Field of View. The battery life lasts up to 20 minutes thanks to its 2800 mAH power. Overall, the price of this beauty is very reasonable; quite reasonable that it makes the DJI feel like a sham because why get the latter when you can get something better such as the Holy Stone HS700?
See our full review of the best GoPro Drones for 2021 here.
Eachine E019 includes an action figure that stands on the drone but you may be able to change his position including standing, sitting and even parachuting. The main good feature in the E019 is the simple controller that feels more like a Dualshock 4 or Xbox One controller You could consider this as a novelty drone but that is only because it is small in size and perfect for kids to play. While it may not travel very far nor does it have an extended battery life, it sure makes a great toy drone for the young drone enthusiasts or just something to play with.
See our full: Best Drones for Kids review here for a full overview of the top drones for children.
It may look like a dream at first, but the Tello is the cheapest drone of the brand that only costs a hundred bucks. But, does that mean they spliced up a lot of the great features? Not very much. In fact, it retains most of what makes a DJI drone great, especially with its quadcopter design. Its 5MP camera is laced with 720p 30 fps for some decent shots. The controls are fairly easy to learn and the headless mode makes this very beginner-friendly. Most of all, this is a highly-recommended drone for a budget buyer who wants to experience what it’s like to fly a DJI drone
See our full round up of the best drones under 100 dollars for 2021.
Recently, the Holy Stone HS700D got a huge price slash, making it my number one drone under $300 right now. Considered to be “better than DJI” according to its satisfied users, the Holy Stone HS700D is packed with premium features that will not cost you a lot. In fact, this drone is more than you will bargain for: 2K FHD camera, long 1600 m connection, 20 minutes of maximum battery time and heavy duty shock absorption. With all these features under a very reasonable price, you wouldn’t want any other way unless you are completely dedicated to DJI Mavic Pro 2 or more.
While the DJI Mavic Pro 2 is considered to be arguably the best drone ever made for a consumer-base, it takes time to understand how to use it. So, in order for inexperienced droners to have a taste of the brand’s glory, the DJI Mavic Mini serves as the best and cheaper alternative to the Pro 2; retaining all the core features of the Pro 2 but in a more miniature package. It uses a 2.7K camera, long battery life, and high altitude, making this ideal for both indoor and outdoor purposes. Put this as your must-buy if you are still a drone newbie.
The Walkera F210 is perhaps one of the fastest drones to ever exist; and also one of the best-sellers in the racing category. Thanks to its intimidating super chopper design and programmed with the latest F3 flight system, you bet that this baby can go from zero to one hundred really freaking fast. It also includes a highly-improved night vision and the Devo 7 transmitter means strong connections even from far away. The controls are highly responsive too. There is nothing else said about the Walkera F210. If you need the ultimate flight racer, this is it. Just get ready to pay top Dollars.
You can see our full review of the best racing drones available on the market here.
Like any other piece of tech, you need to consider a few things before investing in a drone. You will need to look at three essential aspects and find the right balance between them to ensure you get the best. These include:
The range of an UAV determines the distance it can cover without losing communication with its remote control. Depending on your needs, some drones can soar for up to four miles away from the signal. On the lower end, some budget drones can only cover as little as 150 feet. Going for a drone with a considerable range is a good idea because you won’t have to be careful of losing control every time.
Battery life is the trickiest part for most UAV manufacturers. They must find the right balance between battery size and capacity to avoid impending on a drone’s weight and at the same time allow it to fly for longer. Drones in the current market last for anything between 5 minutes and 35 minutes. Some come with a ‘return home feature’ that redirects the drone home in case the battery runs low.
Speed may not be important because it is not a limiting factor. However, you may be into fast drones for professional purposes. In this regard, some professional drones record speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
From our in-depth round up of the best drones currently available, you should be able to identify at least one that suits your needs. If you are a beginner, the Mavic Mini would be a good choice given its user-friendliness and cheap price, alternatively you could check out our review of the top syma drones. After sharpening your flying skills, you can then invest in improved drones like the options provided by DJI. For racing purposes, Walkera’s F210D should do a good job, and if you want a drone for your kids, why not go for the Altair 818 Hornet Quadcopter. It all boils down to your needs and whether you need a drone for professional or commercial use or if you are a hobby pilot.
If you want to become an aspiring pilot, change hobbies, or simply want to spend your time with an expensive modern kite, drones are fun to use that have challenges that are very satisfying to finish.
That depends on your drone's weight. In the USA, if your drone is less than 250 g, you do not need to get a license. If it is heavier than that, you need to register in the FAA.
In the USA, you can fly to a maximum of 400 feet above ground. Anything higher than that will put you at risk of apprehension.
Headless mode is a simplified drone operation where you can fly the drone without worrying about its head moving towards its desired direction.
As long as you are not letting your kid operate a drone that weighs larger than 249g, most drones are like toys for kids.