A quick scroll through your Tik Tok feed is all it takes to see the increasing popularity of drones. Consumer reports on global drone market revenue indicate that this upward trend is set to continue through 2025. These little aircraft are used not only for content creation, but also search and rescue operations, agricultural monitoring, and even package delivery.
But with so many models available in the market, finding the right drone can be challenging, especially if you’re a beginner. So to help you, we’ve compiled a list of the best drones for beginners that are easy to use and value for money. Whether you’re looking for the best FPV drones for a more immersive flying experience or the best camera drones for optimum video quality, we have you covered.
For more budget-specific drone recommendations, check out the best drones under 700, 800, 900, and 1000.
Ryze Tech Tello
The first on our list of the best drones for beginners is the Ryze Tech Tello. The Tello drone is an affordable, lightweight option perfect for starters who want to master the basics of quadcopter flying. It can be controlled using the Tello app on your smartphone via Wi-Fi or even with a Bluetooth gaming controller, although the latter has a shorter range.
During our tests, we found it to be highly responsive and agile. It also features stability sensors that help prevent unwanted drifting when hovering in place, and its battery life of 13 minutes is respectable for its price point.
However, the Tello has a few downsides. The drone’s flight range is limited, and it can be easily blown off course by even the slightest breeze. The 720p camera is also subpar, and without any built-in storage, it streams all footage and images directly to your phone, resulting in choppy videos during an unstable Wi-Fi connection.
But despite these drawbacks, the Ryze Tello remains a solid choice for beginners looking for a reliable drone that won’t break the bank. It’s a top pick in the cheap beginner drone category and excels at the fundamentals of quadcopter flight.
See Ryze Tech Tello price on Amazon
DJI Mini 3
Another amazing camera drone for beginners is the DJI Mini 3. The Mini 3 is lightweight, foldable, and easy to control, with useful automated filming modes. Although it does lack collision avoidance from the Pro version, it proved to be a high-quality drone during testing, with an exceptional drone flight experience using the standard controller. Even in windy conditions, drift was only a minor issue.
And even though this premium beginner drone doesn’t have the Log profiles of DJI’s premium drones, its 1/1.3-inch sensor produces stunningly sharp 4K/30p footage. In addition, it can rotate its 12MP sensor to portrait orientation for social media content.
If you already own a DJI Mini 2, you may not need to upgrade, but if you’re looking for a beginner drone that’s well-built and packed with features, the DJI Mini 3 is one of the best options.
See DJI Mini 3 price on Amazon
Potensic Atom SE
The Potensic Atom SE is a compact, lightweight drone that is a great alternative to the expensive folding drones from DJI. In our tests, it proved to be one of the easiest to fly drones for beginners, with a controller that can hold large smartphones and a simple-to-use PotensicPro app. And despite its budget-friendly price tag, we were impressed with its solid build quality and respectable flight times.
However, there are a few trade-offs. Like the DJI Mini 3, the Atom SE lacks collision avoidance features, and although it has some basic automated flight modes, the footage lacks mechanical stabilization. The camera settings are also limited, and the image sharpness decreases towards the edges. But despite these drawbacks, the Atom SE is still a decent low cost drone for aspiring drone pilots, with its straightforward controls and useful form factor.
See Potensic Atom SE price on Amazon
Autel Evo Nano+
Another of the most reliable drones for beginners is the Autel Evo Nano+. Taking on DJI’s Mini 3 Pro in the sub-250g drone category is no easy feat, but the Autel Evo Nano+ is up for the challenge. While the Mini 3 Pro is near perfect, the Evo Nano+ is an impressive beginner drone in its own right.
In our tests, we found that it surpasses our current top pick, the DJI Mini 2, in low-light performance due to its superior sensor and is just about on par in handling windy conditions. This makes it a solid recommendation, especially for those who enjoy capturing sunsets and nighttime cityscapes.
Although the Mini 3 Pro has the overall edge, the Evo Nano+ will likely improve over time through firmware updates and new features. If you’re in the market for an alternative to DJI’s drones, the Autel Evo Nano+ should definitely be one of your top picks.
See Autel Evo Nano+ price on Amazon
Fimi X8 Mini
When it comes to drones, DJI is often considered the gold standard. However, the Fimi X8 Mini is a solid contender and could be the perfect entry-level 4K drone if the DJI Mini 2 didn’t exist. Despite being slightly cheaper than the Mini 2, the Fimi X8 Mini offers many of the same features, making it a compelling alternative.
The folding quadcopter drone weighs within the sub-250g category. But despite its small size, the Fimi X8 Mini performs impressively under normal conditions and can withstand windy weather.
It also boasts a solid battery life of 30 minutes and captures sharp and stable 4K footage at 30fps with its 12MP Sony CMOS sensor and 3-axis mechanical gimbal.
Although the Fimi X8 Mini lacks forward-facing collision sensors and isn’t quite as polished as the best premium beginner drone DJI models, it still offers an amazing all-around package that makes it a more affordable alternative to DJI’s drone lineup.
See Fimi X8 Mini price on Amazon
Potensic Dreamer 4K
While the Potensive Dreamer 4K may sound like it records 4K video, its video resolution is limited to 2.7K, despite its 4K-capable photo mode. Regardless, this compact drone packs some surprising features for a toy drone.
For starters, the Dreamer 4K boasts a premium build quality, a long-lasting battery, GPS capabilities, and a sturdy controller with smartphone grip, all of which make it feel like a more professional-grade drone, akin to DJI’s Phantom series.
Unfortunately, its performance doesn’t quite live up to its appearance. In testing, we found that the gimbal-less camera produced shaky and unstable footage, and the controller’s video feed became choppy after a range of just 50m.
That being said, the drone’s battery life is impressive, offering over 25 minutes of flight time per charge. Plus, the drone does fly smoothly and responsively over its Wi-Fi connection. Despite its shortcomings, the Dreamer 4K is still a good choice for those seeking an affordable drone with a decent feature set. As long as you don’t expect the drone to perform like a top-of-the-line, high-end model, then you won’t be disappointed.
See Potensic Dreamer 4K price on Amazon
Last but definitely not least is the DJI Avata. While this racing drone may not be as easy to use as traditional drones, it provides an excellent introduction to FPV and allows its users to fly indoors or outdoors and record impressive 4K/60p video.
Despite being one of the most well-designed, crash-resistant, and easy to fly drones, the DJI Avata has a few drawbacks. One of which is the confusing placement of its microSD card slot inside one of its blade rings.
It would also be better if DJI offered a bundle that includes its FPV Remote Control, which is sold separately. But regardless, the drone can reach top speeds of 60mph no matter which controller is used.
For professional photographers and videographers, the Avata supports the ‘flat’ D-Cinelike profile. With awareness of its limitations (such as requiring a ‘spotter’ when flying drones outdoors), it’s an excellent option for novice FPV drone pilots who want to capture unique aerial footage.
What are the best beginner drones for outdoor use?
When considering a drone for outdoor use, there are several key features to look for. Firstly, a sturdy build that can withstand gusts of wind and a few crashes. Another one is obstacle avoidance sensors, which can help the drone avoid collisions with trees, buildings, and other outdoor obstacles.
Additionally, a longer battery life is essential for outdoor flights, especially if there’s no nearby recharging power source. Finally, a high-quality camera with a stable gimbal can help capture stunning aerial photography or videography of outdoor scenery.
Make sure to look for drones with these features for a more enjoyable outdoor flying experience.
Why do most drones for beginners lack obstacle avoidance sensors?
Adding obstacle avoidance sensors to a drone increases its price, which may be prohibitive for those who are just starting out and don’t want to spend a lot of money. Additionally, obstacle avoidance sensors require complex hardware and software systems to operate, making them difficult for beginners to understand and use. As a result, many entry-level drone manufacturers prioritize ease of use and affordability over advanced features like obstacle avoidance sensors.
What are the best drone accessories for beginners?
There are a variety of drone accessories that can enhance the drone flying experience for beginners. Here are the most common ones:
- Spare Batteries: Having extra batteries can extend the amount of time you can fly your drone and capture footage.
- Landing Pad: A landing pad can provide a designated spot for your drone to land and take off, protecting it from dirt, debris, and damage.
- Remote Controller Phone Mount: Attaching a phone mount to your remote controller can provide a secure spot to view and control the drone’s camera.
- Carrying Case: A carrying case can protect your drone during transport and make it easier to carry.
- ND Filters: ND filters can help reduce glare and improve the quality of aerial footage captured in bright sunlight.
- MicroSD Card: A high-speed microSD card with ample storage capacity is essential for storing and transferring photos and videos captured by your drone.
What is the best beginner drone for indoor use?
You’ll want to choose a small drone that is light enough to easily navigate furniture and other indoor obstacles without causing damage. Additionally, drones with propeller guards can help protect both the drone itself and any objects it might bump into during flight.
Another important consideration for indoor flying is stability and ease of control. Look for a drone with a stable hover and intuitive controls that allow for accurate movements in tight spaces. A drone with an altitude hold function can also be helpful for maintaining a steady height while flying indoors.