Want to buy a drone? Don’t know where to start? If you’re looking for the best drones for sale, you’ve come to the right place.
Before we get started, if you didn’t already know, all of these drones for sale are actually considered multirotors, but most people still call them drones because it’s easier to say. A quadcopter is another type of multirotor aircraft with four rotors.
If this is your first time looking at drones for sale, then you probably don’t understand all of these crazy drone terms. Check out “5 Things You Should Know Before You Buy“. After that, you can come back to this page with a lot more drone buying knowledge.
It’s May 2016. MyFirstDrone will be posting the best deals we can find online, and info on the new DJI Phantom 4 drone. This month we’ll also feature some of the hottest new drones for FPV racing, so come back frequently as we update this page and the rest of our site as fast as we can.
This guide will take you through all of the best ready-to-fly drones for sale. It should also give you a reason to pick one over the other. You will learn about all of the most popular models out there, from camera drones to racing drones.Korey Smith
What Kind Of Drone Are You Looking For?
If you want a drone, you probably don’t want just any drone. That’s why we’ve broken all of the drones up into three very distinct types. Click on the type of drone that you’re interested in to learn more about them, and find the best drones in that category.
Each model in the three categories was picked based on features, quality, ease of use and value. Although these are numbered lists based on which models we personally like in a particular category, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider all of them when buying your first drone.
Everyone has different needs and reasons for wanting one over the other, so just keep that in mind when looking at drone reviews online.
Taking Creativity To New Heights
These are the drones that most people are familiar with. Camera drones are usually ready-to-fly quadcopters that have stabilized cameras for shooting video and stills. Drones with cameras have a massive amount of uses in different industries, such as video production, search and rescue, agriculture and more. Most people don’t buy camera drones for a one specific reason. People tend to use their drone for many different reasons. Some of the more popular reasons include exploring the world from new perspectives, experiencing what it’s like to fly, and capturing memories in a completely new way is a perfectly good reason for wanting a camera drone.
List Of Camera Drones
Below you will find a list of the most popular camera drones for sale right now, with the best drones being at the top. Please note that pricing may change at any time, so click on the price to see current pricing and availability.
Top Camera Drones
|Name||anchor||Model Name||Estimated Price (USD)||Type|
|DJI Phantom 4||#dji_phantom3_index||DJI Phantom 4||$1399 - Check today's price||camera drone|
|DJI Phantom 3||#dji_phantom3_index||DJI Phantom 3||$499 - Check today's price||camera drone|
|DJI Inspire 1||#dji_inspire1_index||DJI Inspire 1||$2899 - Check today's price||camera drone|
|Yuneec Q500 4K||#yuneec_q500_index||Yuneec Q500 4K||$929 - Check today's price||camera drone|
|3DR Solo||#3dr_solo_index||3DR Solo||$999 - Check today's price||camera drone|
|Parrot Bebop||#parrot_bebop_index||Parrot Bebop||$399 - Check today's price||camera drone|
#1 DJI Phantom 4
Right now, there are a ton of camera drones for sale, but the DJI Phantom 4 is by far the most innovative. It can fly super fast. It’s very reliable. The HD live video streaming works better than any other drone out there. It’s super easy to set up and use. The list of things that you can do just goes on and on.
The main feature of the Phantom 4 is the added 3D cameras and new computer hardware for mapping out environments in three dimensional space. This is what allows it to avoid obstacles and maneuver around them. However, features like obstacle avoidance aren’t the only thing that puts the Phantom 4 above all the other drones out there.
From a design standpoint, the Phantom 4 is made extremely well. It’s not the kind of drone where it just looks cool. Every part has been designed to be functional, but still elegant.
Recently, DJI has expanded their customer support team and now they even have DJI Care, which is like a damage protection plan for drones. With DJI Care, you can send your Phantom 3, Phantom 4, or even Inspire 1 to DJI and they will fix it for free even if the crash was your fault. If you want to know more about DJI care, check out the DJI Care article.
One of the best drones for sale right now is the Phantom 4. Here are some of the features that make the Phantom 4 my favorite video drone.
- 4K Video with 12 Megapixel Photos
- HD Video Streaming to your Mobile Device (over 4 mile range in good conditions)
- Powerful Mobile App (just like the DJI Inspire)
- Longer Battery Life (over 22-28 minutes)
- Advanced 3D Vision Positioning for More Stable Flight
- Front Facing Obstacle Avoidance
- Active Visual Subject Tracking Technology
- Quick Release Propellers
- Free In-app Flight Simulator for Learning to Fly
Right now, the DJI Phantom 4 is priced at $1,399 which is pretty amazing considering that you’re getting the most technologically advanced drone on the market.
#2 DJI Phantom 3 Series
If you’re looking for the easiest drone to fly with the most flight time, features and great video quality, the Phantom 3 is the only option that I would recommend to just about anyone. There are a few other drones that have similar functionality to the Phantom 3, but nothing else is going to give you a great all around experience with all of the most popular features for the same price.
Right now, the Phantom 4 is what I fly the most (when I’m not flying the inspire 1), but the Phantom 3 was my favorite camera drone before the Phantom 4 came out and it’s still better than any other option in it’s price range. I used to tell people to buy a smaller drone so that they could learn how to fly before investing in a Phantom, but now with better flight characteristics and the built-in flight simulator, there really isn’t a reason to do that anymore.
One thing that isn’t immediately apparent is how large the DJI user community really is. Compared to other drones, the amount of YouTube videos, websites and people in general talking about the Phantom 3 is huge. Any questions that you might have, there will always be someone out there who knows the answer. You can also find after-market accessories for sale like carrying cases, lens filters, GPS trackers and more.
When I flew the Phantom 3 for the first time, all I could think was “this thing flies like a mini Inspire 1!”. It’s much more stable than the Phantom 2 and the video quality is exactly the same as the inspire 1, however there are some big differences between them. If you aren’t sure which one to buy, read this article comparing the two.
Four Phantom 3 Models To Choose From
The Phantom 3 comes in four different models. At the top of the food chain, DJI’s Phantom 3 Professional comes standard with follow-me, GPS waypoints, point-of-interest, optical-flow and ultrasonic sensors (for hight and position hold when no GPS signal is available), 4K video recording, 20 minute flight times and more. The Phantom 3 Advanced will do everything that the Phantom 3 Professional can do, but at 2.7K instead of 4K. At $499, the Phantom 3 Standard is the cheapest Phantom 3 you can buy. It has a cheaper controller design (taken from the older Phantom 2), no optical-flow or ultrasonic sensors, but it still has follow-me, GPS waypoints and shoots 2.7k video. With the Phantom 3 Standard, you’re basically getting something comparable to a 3DR Solo with a GoPro Hero 4 Silver and gimbal for half the price. The last model which came out a few months ago is the Phantom 3 4K. It has the ability to shoot 4K. but at the same price as the Phantom 3 advanced.
For more detailed info about the model differences, head over to the comparison article where I talk about the strengths and drawbacks of all four Phantoms.
#3 DJI Inspire 1 With 4K Raw video
Let me just start off by saying, if you ever get a chance to see this drone in person, you’re going to want one for yourself. With a design that looks like it came from a sci-fi movie, the inspire 1 is the most professional ready-to-fly drone you can buy.
The DJI Inspire 1 is probably one of the most advanced quadcopters I’ve ever seen. There isn’t much that the Inspire 1 CAN’T do. it comes standard with all of the features of the Phantom 3 Professional, but with a much bigger, cooler and higher quality design. It’s almost twice as big and twice as fast as the Phantom 3 and with it’s transforming design, the propellers will almost never be seen in your videos. Additionally, the Inspire 1 comes with a 4K camera on a 360 degree panning gimbal, which means that you can control the motion of the camera completely independently of the Inspire 1. This makes it great for dual pilot operation, but also for getting locked in shots in almost any wind conditions.
For Professional video use, the Inspire 1 comes in two other variants with superior image quality to even the most expensive aerial platforms in its size. If you need a high quality camera for shooting pro quality video The Inspire 1 Pro is a version of the Inspire 1 that features a micro-four-thirds 4K camera with 13 stops of dynamic range, interchangeable lenses and a sensor that’s 8 times larger than the standard Inspire 1 camera. If you’re looking for an even higher end solution, DJI will also be coming out with the Inspire 1 Raw, featuring a 500GB SSD and 4K Raw video recording for working in professional post-production environments.
I can’t cover everything about the Inspire 1 in this article, but one thing that I will talk about is that this is not something that you would buy your 10 year old son as a gift. The Inspire 1 costs about $2900 and is mainly for people who want an amazing tool for aerial photography, videography, search and rescue, 3D mapping, or any other professional application. That being said, the Inspire 1 is actually one of the easiest drones to use and fly out there. So whether you have a real use for this drone, or you just want something that will impress all of your friends, the Inspire 1 is definitely something worth looking into.
If you want to learn more about the Inspire 1, you can find a ton of info about it in this article: “What Makes The DJI Inspire So Compelling?“.
#4 Yuneec Q500 4K
Compared to DJI and 3D Robotics, Yuneec is a relatively unknown company, however that hasn’t stopped them from competing. The q500 4K is the newest model from Yuneec and as the name implies, it shoots 4K video just like the Phantom 3 and Solo. Although the Yuneec looks like a pool vacuum cleaner (in my opinion), it has lots of great features for the price. For example, it comes with two batteries and a hand mount that allows you to take the camera (and gimbal) off the quadcopter to use it as a mini handheld stabilized camera system.
At $1300, it’s definitely a good price for what you’re getting, especially compared to the Solo, though it’s not as cheap as the Phantom 3. Because the Q500 4K isn’t super popular compared to the other models, you won’t find a lot of information and videos about it yet, nor will there be any third-party accessories available, but that shouldn’t stop you from considering it as an option. The most interesting feature of the Q500 4K is that it has a Android device built into the controller, so there’s no need to use your tablet or smartphone, although the quality of the screen on the controller is definitely subpar compared to an iPad. If you do plan on buying the Q500, make sure that you get the new silver and black 4K version, because the original Q500 had a 1080p camera and it wasn’t all that great.
#5 3DR Solo
The 3D Robotics Solo is extremely functional, yet easy to use. It has many features similar to the Phantom 3 but instead of using a built-in camera, it uses the GoPro Hero 4. This means that you have the ability to take the camera off and use it for whatever you want. The biggest difference between the Solo and almost any other ready-to-fly camera drone is that it’s modular/upgradable but still easy to use. It has a gimbal bay and an accessory bay, meaning that third-party companies can easily make new gimbals along with other accessories (No accessories or gimbals are currently available though).
You can get the Solo for only $999, however this price does not include the GoPro or 3 axis gimbal. If you want to get the Solo with the 3DR gimbal and a GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition, The total cost will be around $1900. Basically, there are other cheaper options out there like the Phantom 3 and the Yuneec q500 4K that can produce videos with the same great quality, but if you can afford it and you like the options that the Solo has to offer, it’s not a bad choice.
#6 Parrot Bebop
The Parrot Bebop is one of the more technologically advanced drones for sale right now. It’s the AR Drone’s smaller, smarter, faster and more expensive little brother.
Just like the AR Drone, you can control the Bebop with your iPhone or Android device. But with the Bebop, there’s an optional SkyController which will allow you to have real joystick controls, extended range, HDMI output and a few other cool things.
The Bebop has a lot of improvements over the AR Drone 2.0, but the most interesting feature is the video system. It has a 14 megapixel camera with a 180 degree field-of-view fisheye lens. Since the camera lens has such a wide field-of-view and a really fast processor, the Bebop is able to take the full 14 megapixel image, fix the image distortion (eliminating the fisheye effect), stabilize the image, then send the live video back to your phone. What all that means is that you’ll be getting a digitally stabilized standard definition video feed straight to your phone. At the same time, It also records digitally stabilized 1080p video to the 8GB of onboard memory.
The Parrot Bebop is a really cool drone, but there’s a few issues that I have with it. The first is that the video stream seems to have a lot of lag, making it unusable for really fast and precise FPV (first-person-view) flying.
The second problem is the price. The price for the Bebop is $499 USD. It’s not a bad price, but you have to use your smartphone to fly it, which means that you won’t have precise controls unless you buy the optional $400 SkyController (making it $899 USD total). A lot of people are also having reliability problems with the Bebop. Take this review from The Verge for example.
Overall, I think that the Bebop will be very popular “as a cool tech gadget” for the Christmas season, but I can’t see it being used for professional video in the same way that people use the Phantom 2 and Phantom 3. On the other hand, it’s a pretty good price (not including the SkyController), so I guess it wouldn’t be a bad gift idea.
Take Flight To The Next Level
If drone racing and freestyle flying sounds like something crazy you would see in a movie, you’re right! If you’re even considering getting into the sport of drone racing, do it! This is the intense, fast paced, super addictive side of drone flying. Racing drones are like race-cars. They will take a lot more research and time than any other type of drone to start out with, but the experience you get when flying is unlike anything else in the world.
Drone Racing is a real sport with real competitions and very real prize money, and it’s starting to take off all over the world. Nobody knows where this sport will end up years down the road, but it’s only getting more intense as technology advances. One day drone racing could become just as popular as any other major sport, so if you want to be the best, you better start now. Click here to learn more about drone racing and where to start.
|Name||anchor||Model Name||Estimated Price (USD)||Drone Type|
|TBS Vendetta||#tbs_vendetta_index||TBS Vendetta||$499 - Check today's price||racing drone|
|IRC Vortex 250 Pro||#irc_vortex_250_pro_index||IRC Vortex 250 Pro||$499 - Check today's price||racing drone|
|IRC Vortex 285||#irc_vortex_285_index||IRC Vortex 285||$329 - Check today's price||racing drone|
|Lumenier QAV250||#lumenier_qav250_index||Lumenier QAV250||$539 - Check today's price||racing drone|
|Eachine Racer 250 RTF||#eachine_racer_250_index||Eachine Racer 250 RTF||$359 - Check today's price||racing drone|
#1 TBS Vendetta
The TBS Vendetta is a tiny little quadcopter designed specifically for FPV (first person view) racing and freestyle flying. Today, you can find quite a few mini FPV racing drones that come ready to fly, but the Vendetta is the best option out there. It comes with almost everything you need to start learning to race. The only things that it won’t come with is a controller, battery, charger and FPV video goggles, but in the world of drone racing you’ll usually want to choose that stuff to fit your needs anyway.
Racing drones like the Vendetta are usually much smaller than camera drones like the Phantom 4, but don’t let the small size fool you. The TBS Vendetta will easily reach speeds of 70mph and above when racing on a track, or over 100mph when doing nose dives down the sides of cliff faces.
There are a few reasons why we think the Vendetta is the best ready-to-fly racing drone, but the main reason is because it’s designed well and all of the parts have great performance and quality. The Vendetta is a drone that’s going to be hard to break, but if it does, no problem! It’s one of the only drones that doesn’t require a soldering iron when you need to replace components after crashing. This is a big deal for racing drones, because you’re always crashing and repairing it at racing events, or even just at the park. Because of its modular design, you can also upgrade to bigger motors, add a high-voltage battery and instantly have a faster machine.
As far as price goes, it’s about $500 (which is pretty normal for a drone this size with all of the features that it has). Availability for the Vendetta is not the best right now because it’s new and high in demand, but if you ordered one today you could expect to have it in your hands within a month.
#2 ImmersionRC Vortex 250 Pro
The Vortex 250 Pro is another great ready-to-fly racing drone and it’s a direct competitor to the TBS Vendetta. It’s about the same size, but a bit heavier and comes with two bladed propellers instead of three like the vendetta. Typically, two bladed props will be slightly more efficient, but three bladed props have more power and a crisper flight characteristic to them. You can change the props on both quadcopters if you want to, but then the flight controller will have to be re-tuned.
The main difference between the Vendetta and the Vortex 250 is that you aren’t getting the removable arms or the modular components. With the Vortex, it’s not going to be as easy to fix and you won’t be able to upgrade it to get more power, but I think it’s still a good alternative to the Vendetta and better than the older Vortex 285.
#3 ImmersionRC Vortex 285
The Vortex 285 is another drone from ImmersionRC. It’s actually one of the first ready-to-fly FPV racing drones that came to market back in 2015, but because of the features it has and the price, it’s still very relevant even today. It runs similar firmware to the Vortex 250 Pro, but the hardware is just slightly slower which means that it shouldn’t be as responsive. It will still feel like a very precise machine, matching performance to most of the custom racing builds out there, it’s just not the best of the best.
The biggest drawback of the Vortex 285 is the frame design. It’s about 35mm larger than the Vortex 250 Pro (which isn’t a problem for traveling thanks to the folding arm design), but the frame has a lot of small plastic pieces holding it together. In other words, the Vortex 250 Pro will be a lot stronger than the 285 because it has a stronger and more simple frame design.
So why would you want the Vortex 285? Because the current price is only $330 ($170 cheaper than the 250 Pro).
#4 Lumenier QAV250
The QAV250 is a quadcopter designed for freestyle flying and FPV racing, just like the Vendetta. It’s actually just a frame that’s sold by Lumenier so people can add their own electronics to it, but you can get a ready-to-fly version with all of the electronics installed if you’re willing to pay extra.
This is truly a hobbyist type of multirotor and all of the parts and components are high quality, customizable and made by completely different companies. Getting it set up and fixing it when you crash would be a lot harder than most of the other ready-to-fly options out there, but it’s a good choice for someone who wants to use specific parts to build the perfect racing drone.
The price for the frame is about $130, but once you add up the cost of buying the high quality components, it will be in the same price range as the TBS Vendetta.
#5 Eachine Racer 250
This is a drone that looks great from the outside. It’s small and looks like it could be pretty fast. It even comes with everything you need for FPV racing (a controller, charger, batteries and FPV gear). You get all of this for a low price of $359.99 which sounds great, but racing drones like these are not what they seem. You might have a lot of fun for the first few days of owning a drone like this, but after getting more familiar with what a good racing drone really is, you will soon be looking for something much better.
I’m using the Eachine Racer 250 as an example, but there are a lot of cheap ready-to-fly racing drones out there in this price range, and the story is always the same. They all use the cheapest components possible, cutting corners with the design whenever they can. Quality control can also be a big issue, but the main reason why I wouldn’t recommend these kinds of drones is because they just aren’t designed to grow. You probably won’t be using the cheap controllers, battery chargers and FPV gear that come with these kits on future drone builds, so you’re basically throwing away money if you plan on upgrading.
However, if you’re dying to try FPV racing and you just can’t afford to spend the extra money on a proper setup, a drone like this could be the best option.
Simple Yet Incredibly Fun
Just like the title implies, all of the drones in the list below are simple and fun toys. They are great as gifts, or even just to keep you busy while you research into getting the drone that you really want.
Some people will recommend buying drones like the ones in the list below to learn with before getting a Phantom 3 or Phantom 4, but in reality that really isn’t necessary. Drones like these are simple, but they are actually much harder to fly because they lack sensors like GPS to keep them in one spot.
|Name||anchor||Model Name||Estimated Price (USD)||Drone Type|
|Syma X5C||#syma_x5c_index||Syma X5C||$44 - Check today's price||toy drone|
|Hubsan X4||#hubsan_x4_index||Hubsan X4||$34 - Check today's price||toy drone|
|Blade Nano QX||#blade_nano_index||Blade Nano QX||$74 - Check today's price||toy drone|
|LaTrax Alias||#latrax_alias_index||LaTrax Alias||$97 - Check today's price||toy drone|
|Parrot AR Drone 2||#ar_drone_index||Parrot AR Drone 2||$250 - Check today's price||toy drone|
|Proto X||#proto_x_index||Proto X||$30 - Check today's price||toy drone|
#1 Syma X5C
The X5C is nothing special. It’s a simple quadcopter that almost looks like a DJI Phantom at first glance, but you won’t be taking amazing aerial videos with it, or racing through the forest. It has gyros and accelerometers to keep it stable and an auto flip feature like most drones out there. It also comes with a small camera for recording video with quality similar to a an old webcam.
So why is the X5C on the top of the list of toy drones for sale? There’s nothing particularly special about the Syma X5C, but it works and it’s really cheap. It’s a blast to fly if you’ve never flown anything before and it’s cheap enough where you don’t have to feel bad if you lose it on the roof top of your house. That’s probably why it has over 4,200 reviews on Amazon, which is a number that no other drone has come close to.
#2 Hubsan X4
The Hubsan X4 is personally my favorite (small) beginner drone. It’s about the same size as the Nano QX, but roughly half of the price. There’s 4 different versions of the Hubsan X4.
The cheapest version is about $45 USD (including the controller). It doesn’t have an agility mode like the Nano QX so you can’t fly with complete manual control, but it’s pretty fast and maneuverable (even with auto leveling). It also has 6 LED lights which can be turned on and off from the controller. Speaking of controllers, the controller that comes with the 3 cheaper Hubsan models is actually pretty nice. I like it better than what comes with the Nano QX and the Proto x).
The next 2 versions of the Hubsan X4 have cameras. They’re slightly bigger and heavier than the cheaper version of the X4, but the flight time is about the same. The H107C is the version with a standard definition camera and the 61170-02 is the one with a 720p camera. The Hubsan X4 with the standard camera is ok, but the 720p camera takes much better video. The only problem with the HD version is that it’s more expensive and the flight time is slightly less.
The most expensive version of the Hubsan X4 is the H107D. It’s mainly for FPV, which allows you to see everything that the drone can see in real time. The design is slightly different from any of the other models and it has a black antenna on the bottom. Although FPV is really cool, this is probably my least favorite version of the Hubsan X4, mainly because the flight time isn’t as good as the other models and the FPV range is only a couple hundred feet. It’s also about 2 times more expensive than the Hubsan with the HD camera.
#3 Blade Nano QX
The Nano QX is a lot like the LaTrax Alias but smaller. Because it’s a few inches smaller than the Alias it doesn’t have as much yaw authority, but it’s still a lot better than the tiny Proto X.
It has two flight modes, stability and agility. In agility mode, you have full control over the quadcopter to learn how to fly manually (it will not auto level itself). In stability mode, it will automatically level itself when you let go of the controls.
The Nano doesn’t have the auto flipping functions that the Alias does, but that isn’t a problem since you can do flips manually and it’s more fun. Since the Nano QX is smaller than the Alias, it’s only $90 instead of $150. The only annoying thing about having a smaller quadcopter like the Nano QX is that it’s harder to see when flying far away, so it’s easier to lose orientation, but in general, it’s still a good quadcopter to learn with, especially since you can also use it with any DSMX RC transmitter.
#4 LaTrax Alias
If you want to learn how to fly a quadcopter manually, the LaTrax Alias is a great way to start. The reason why it’s a good quadcopter to learn with is because it has a full manual flight mode and it’s extremely durable. This means that you can learn how to fly without worrying too much about crashing.
Since it’s about 7 inches wide and has big propellers it also has great yaw authority, so doing bank turns, pirouette maneuvers and more would be no problem. It’s also big enough to carry a small camera like the 808 keychain camera. I’ve even seen people install video transmitters and do FPV.
The only downside about the Alias is the price which is about $150. It might seem a little bit pricey at first, but at the same time it’s built well and even if you do manage to break it, all of the parts are replaceable. This is not the type of quadcopter where you end up throwing it away after a month of use.
#5 Parrot AR Drone 2.0
When the AR Drone 2.0 first came out, it was one of the coolest drones for sale on the market. It has a 1GHz 32 bit processor, 1GB of ram, gyros, accelerometers, magnetometers, a pressure sensor, an ultrasonic sensor, 2 cameras and more. Even though it’s over 2 years old, the AR Drone is still one of the most advanced quadcopters available in its price range which is $299.
The biggest feature of the AR Drone is that it can be controlled from your iPhone. You can also see a live video feed from the phone screen and record video. It’s even running Linux and there’s an AR Drone open API platform, so you can program it to do whatever you want.
Like the other multirotors on the list, this is “not” a perfect quadcopter. The biggest feature of this drone is actually one of its biggest problems. The AR drone can only be controlled with your phone, meaning that you can’t use a normal RC controller with real control sticks. That also means that there’s no way to fly manually.
If you’re planning on learning how to fly so you can operate a more advanced model in the future, you won’t learn anything with the AR Drone.
#6 Proto X
The Proto X is one of the smallest drones for sale on the planet. It has 3 gyros, 3 accelerometers, 4 motor speed controllers and a radio receiver all shoved into a tiny PCB board about the size of a quarter.
The price for this little drone is only about $38. It’s one of the cheapest quadcopters you can buy (but cheap isn’t necessarily a good thing). It’s very fast for how small it is, but at the same time since the rotors are so small and close together, people have found that it’s a bit hard to do bank turns with it. Since the Proto X is so cheap, there is a chance that you could buy a defective one, but you can always just send it back.
I can’t really recommend this quadcopter if you’re serious about getting into the hobby, but it’s definitely a good toy if you just want something to bash around the house.