What is the Best Drone for Beginners 2022?
When starting out in the drone world, the large variety of drones available on the market can be overwhelming. While some of the most technical and professional drones are on the pricier end of the scale, there is a wide range of affordable drones that are perfect for beginners. This guide covers the best drones currently available on the market for beginners.
Key Things to Consider When Choosing a Drone as a Beginner
When deciding what drone is best for you, you should consider the following:
- What are you using the drone for?
There is not a one size fits all model when it comes to drones. Each drone is better suited for different purposes. For example, photographers and videographers should prioritise drones with a high-quality camera and good drone stability. It is worth noting that to achieve the perfect shot, individuals may have to invest in a more expensive drone with good camera and video resolution.
2. Where are you flying your drone?
The environment in which you will be flying will determine which drone best suits your needs. Small drones with limited capabilities such as the Ryze Tello will be sufficient for indoor or sheltered areas. Alternatively, outdoor projects in slightly windier conditions with more obstacles will require a more robust drone with advanced capabilities.
3. Accidents can happen
Unfortunately, accidents and crash landings are often part of the process when learning to fly a drone. However, many drones have built-in safety features to prevent any significant damage being caused. This is worth taking into consideration when choosing what drone to buy.
In the UK, all drone owners must register their drone with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regardless of its weight. Additionally, drone operators must obtain an Operator ID which only costs £9 per year.
If your drone weighs 250g or more, you also require a Flyer ID. This involves taking an online multiple-choice exam which helps ensure that you fly your drone safely.
There are a variety of drone laws which must be abided. For example, you must always keep your drone in eyesight and there are restrictions as to where you can fly. Familiarise yourself with these rules before flying.
Drone regulations vary across countries and are constantly evolving so it is important to keep up to date with the most recent rules and any changes.
Which Drones are Best for Beginners?
DJI Mavic Mini 2
Dimensions: 138x81x58 mm (folded); 159x203x56mm (unfolded)
Flight Time: 31 minutes
Camera resolution: 12MP
Video resolution: 4K/30fps
Max speed: 57.6km/h
Transmission range: 10km
The Mavic Mini 2 weighs in at just 249g – a clever move by DJI – meaning a Flyer ID is not required to fly this drone. With an impressive battery life of 31 minutes, this compact drone offers many advanced features found on more expensive models without the large price tag.
With a 12-megapixel camera and the ability to record 4K videos, this drone is capable of capturing breath-taking aerial images and videos while it’s built-in gimbal keeps shots smooth and vibration free.
Using the DJI Fly App, this drone is easy to fly. Simply attach your smartphone to the controller. Furthermore, with features including a GPS-based Return to Home option, you can fly this drone with confidence.
The innovative specs of this drone coupled with its lightweight nature and credible flying time makes this the perfect drone for those starting out.
Ryze Tello Powered by DJI
Dimensions: 98×92.5×41 mm
Flight Time: 13 minutes
Camera resolution: 5MP
Video resolution: 720p
Max speed: 8m/s
Transmission range: 100m
Produced in partnership between DJI and Ryze, the Tello is a portable and inexpensive drone that is great to learn the basics of drone flying.
You can control this drone using the Tello app on your phone and connecting to Wi-Fi. The 13-minute flight time is very reasonable for the price tag and its ability to perform aerial stunts makes this a fun drone to fly.
Admittedly, the camera and video resolution on this are not as high-quality as some of the other drones mentioned in this guide. However, this drone was not designed with advanced capabilities in mind.
If you are looking for a drone with exceptional performance abilities, this is not the drone for you. However, if you are looking to master the basics of drone flying or to fly a drone for your own entertainment, this drone is ideal and is more impressive than other models within this price range.
Autel EVO Nano
Dimensions: 140x90x50 mm (folded); 264x310x50mm (unfolded)
Flight Time: 28 minutes
Camera resolution: 48MP
Video resolution: 4K/30fps
Max speed: 15 m/s (S mode), 10 m/s (N mode), 5 m/s (C mode)
Transmission range: 6.2m
Some people automatically associate drones with DJI, meaning gems like this can sometimes get overlooked. It’s 48-megapixel camera coupled with a 3-axis gimbal enables this drone to capture high-quality footage.
This lightweight drone – under 250g – has some of the most technical features on this list including a ½inch CMOS sensor and Dynamic Track 2:1 which enables users to track subjects such as people, cars and animals.
It’s inbuilt three-way obstacle avoidance with binocular vision sensors is a rare occurrence for a drone of this size to possess, making it particularly attractive to beginners.
Best Value for Money
DJI Mavic Air 2
Dimensions: 180x97x84 mm (folded); 183x253x77 mm (unfolded)
Flight Time: 34 minutes
Camera Resolution: 12MP and 48 MP
Video Resolution: 4K/60fps
Max Speed: 12m/s
Transmission Range: 10km
This drone is one of the most technical drones in this guide but proves ideal for beginners who want to invest in a sound first drone that they will continue to use in the future. It’s 34-minute battery life is the best on this list and the camera functions on this drone are impressive. Videos can be captured in 4K wide or 4K zoom and it has a 3-axis gimbal to prevent vibrations affecting your shots.
Its sturdy build means it can handle a few bumps but with the DJI Fly App, individuals can set fly perimeters and the beginner’s setting will set these by default to prevent any unfortunate accidents.
Though this is an advanced drone, it is great for someone who wants to invest in a drone that they will have and use for a long time. Its built-in safety software and durable nature is perfect for mastering drone flying.
Best Drone for Entertainment
DJI FPV Drone Combo
Dimensions: 225x312x127mm (with propellers); 178x232x127mm (without propellers)
Flight Time: 20 minutes
Camera Resolution: 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K/60fps
Max Speed: 39m/s (M mode); 27m/s (S mode); 15 m/s (N mode)
Transmission Range: 10km
The DJI FPV Drone Combo is one of DJI’s most enjoyable drones to fly. Renowned for its high-speed capabilities, this drone boasts three modes: Manual mode, Sport mode and Normal mode. Beginners can master the art of drone flying in Normal mode before progressing to more advanced levels.
What makes this drone particularly entertaining is the headset that comes with it. Rather than using a smartphone screen, users gain a first-person view through goggles. Not to forget its high video resolution, flying this drone creates an immersive experience.
While the high speeds this drone is capable of can be riveting to thrill seekers, we strongly advise you don’t use the advanced modes until you have perfected your flying skills. The inbuilt obstacle detection sensors supported in Normal mode provide warning of potential hazards and prevent accidents. Whilst difficult to crash in this mode, this drone does not have automatic obstacle avoidance like the Mavic Air 2 which is worth bearing in mind when starting out.
The FPV Combo proves one of the most exciting drones to fly while its three settings allow users to gradually learn the basics before progressing to more advanced modes. This is a great drone for hobbyists who will want to build their drone flying skills over time.
So, what is the best drone for beginners? Ultimately it depends on your needs. For example, if you want to capture great aerial photography, the Autel EVO Nano is a great drone to begin with. Alternatively, if you simply want to buy a cheap drone to master the basics of drone flying, the Ryze Tello is a good choice.
Nonetheless, we think the DJI Mavic Mini 2 is the best all-rounder for beginners. Reasonably priced, compact, under 250g yet with some advanced capabilities, you will continue to reach for this drone even once you have expanded your drone collection.