When shopping for a drone, racers, enthusiasts, photographers and hobbyists alike must consider more than just cost. Flight time, wingspan, weight and method of control all affect a drone’s performance.
With an eye on several key data points, the team at SpecOut assembled a list of the top 10 consumer drones in terms of their calculable value. To be included, each drone must have a built-in camera with more than 2 megapixels of resolution, a maximum flight time of at least 10 minutes, an operating range of at least 50 meters and a current, available price.
We calculated the price per megapixel, price per meter of operating range and price per minute of flight time of each drone, and then took the average score to determine the ranking. The drones are ranked from lowest to highest average score in these metrics.
And now with the holiday season fast approaching, DJI, Yuneec, GoPro, and other drone manufacturers are offering lots of deals on new drones and accessories. You can discover some of the hot deals on PGB deals page.
#10. Walkera Furious 320
Flight Time Rank: 27Operating Range Rank: 6 Camera Rank: 8Price: $609Max Flight Time: 10 minutesOperating Range: 1,000 metersCamera Quality: 12 megapixels, 1080p video
This quadcopter can stay in the air for 10 minutes at a range of 1,000 meters. Perfect for racing or for hobbyists, it can be operated remotely with an independent remote control that links to a phone or tablet via mobile app. One of the smallest drones on the market, it weighs just 1.8 pounds.
#7. DJI Phantom 3 Advanced*
Flight Time Rank: 17Operating Range Rank: 3 Camera Rank: 19Price: $1,000Max Flight Time: 23 minutesOperating Range: 2,000 metersCamera Quality: 12 megapixels, 1080p video
*Tied for seventh place
With a 2,000 meter range and an impressive 24-minute flight time, this quadcopter is made with photographers and filmmakers in mind. It is controlled with either a tablet or a phone and a separate remote controller, which are unified through a mobile app.
#7. Aries BlackBird X10*
Flight Time Rank: 9Operating Range Rank: 21 Camera Rank: 9Price: $900Max Flight Time: 25 minutesOperating Range: 500 metersCamera Quality: 16 megapixels, 1080p video
Use a mobile device and an independent remote controller to make this quadcopter fly. It has a wingspan of 450 millimeters and a long, 25-minute flight time. It excels at film and photography applications.
*Tied for seventh place
#7. SMD DV Drone*
Flight Time Rank: 5Operating Range Rank: 32 Camera Rank: 2Price: $400Max Flight Time: 15 minutesOperating Range: 100 metersCamera Quality: 16 megapixels, 1080p video
This quadcopter’s 16MP still camera resolution makes it perfect for photography and film applications. It can fly for an above-average 15 minutes.
*Tied for seventh place
#6. AEE AP10 Pro
Flight Time Rank: 13Operating Range Rank: 14 Camera Rank: 11Price: $1,000Max Flight Time: 25 minutesOperating Range: 700 metersCamera Quality: 16 megapixels, 1080p video
Photographers and hobbyists alike can enjoy this quadcopter’s impressive 25-minute flight time. A separate remote control works together with a mobile device to control the drone’s flight. It can carry 0.22 pounds in addition to its natural weight.
#5. Autel Robotics X-Star Premium
Flight Time Rank: 13Operating Range Rank: 3 Camera Rank: 18Price: $1,000Max Flight Time: 25 minutesOperating Range: 2,000 metersCamera Quality: 12 megapixels, 4K video
With a wingspan of 352mm, this quadcopter was designed for filmmakers and photographers. It is controlled via independent remote control, which works together with a phone or tablet powered by a mobile app.
#4. DJI Phantom 3 Standard
Flight Time Rank: 6Operating Range Rank: 9 Camera Rank: 15Price: $800Max Flight Time: 25 minutesOperating Range: 1,000 metersCamera Quality: 12 megapixels, 2.7K video
With a long flight time of 25 minutes and a range of 1,000 meters, this quadcopter, equipped with a 12MP still camera, is built for photography. To control it, users operate a designated app on a mobile device.
#3. Parrot Bebop
Flight Time Rank: 4Operating Range Rank: 17 Camera Rank: 5Price: $500Max Flight Time: 22 minutesOperating Range: 300 metersCamera Quality: 14 megapixels, 1080p video
Recreational hobbyists and photographers can control this drone with a mobile device — which receives instructions from a mobile app — that functions in combination with a dedicated remote control. It weighs in at 0.9 pounds and has a wingspan of 248mm.
#2. Syma X8G
Flight Time Rank: 2Operating Range Rank: 18 Camera Rank: 4Price: $170Max Flight Time: 12 minutesOperating Range: 100 metersCamera Quality: 5 megapixels, 1080p video
Designed for hobbyists and photographers, this drone is controlled with a standalone remote control. At 3.5 pounds, it’s fairly heavy, and it can fly for 12 minutes maximum.
#1. Walkera Runner 250 Advance
Flight Time Rank: 8Operating Range Rank: 2 Camera Rank: 6Price: $429Max Flight Time: 12 minutesOperating Range: 1,000 metersCamera Quality: 12 megapixels, 1080p video
Designed for racers and hobbyists alike, this quadcopter has a 12.3-inch wingspan and weighs just 1 pound. It has a 1,000 meter range and can stay in the air for 12 minutes.
This post was written by Andrew Lisa for SpecOut.com and has been republished with permission.