Simple toys or true hobby? Whatever you think, here’s a guide with all the best drones 2018 you can buy in the USA.
Buying a drone is not always an easy task. In fact, despite their increasing diffusion these products always remain a niche. This is mainly due to the high-end model costs and the poor performance of cheap drones.
Compared to the past, however, when drones were more of a whim, considerable progress was made in this area. Above all, the battery life, and a camera drone market considerably grew.
If you are wondering which drone to buy, then you are in the right place today. We will analyze together the best drones 2018 that are available online and we will reveal those features that we considered suitable to enter this special ranking.
First, however, it is good to do a little study. When you want to buy a drone for the first time it is necessary to know some regulations that rule this sector.
Drone Flight Regulations
There are a few things to know before you start flying your drones. In fact, given the increasing extension, the FEDERAL drone regulations decided to regulate its usage. Unfortunately, there is not one place in the law where we can look and say “here specifically are all the drone regulations in sequential order.” There are many different regulations spread out all over that apply in certain circumstances. Thankfully, we can say that ALL of the federal regulations are located in one code – the code of federal regulations (C.F.R).
Recreational / Hobbyist Rules—Flying for Fun
- You must fly for hobby or recreation ONLY (no side jobs or in-kind work allowed).
- You must register your UAV with the FAA on the FAADroneZone website.
- You must fly within visual line-of-sight.
- You must follow community-based safety guidelines and fly within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization (CBO) like the AMA.
- You must fly a drone under 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization.
- You must never fly near other aircraft.
- You must notify the airport and air traffic control tower prior to flying within 5 miles of an airport.
- You must never fly near emergency response efforts.
Commercial Rules—Flying for Work
- You must hold a Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA to fly commercially.
- You must register your UAV with the FAA on the FAADroneZone website.
- Your UAV must weigh less than 55 pounds, including payload, at takeoff.
- You must fly in Class G airspace.
- You must keep your UAV within visual line-of-sight.
- You must fly at or below 400 feet.
- You must fly during daylight or civil twilight.
- You must fly at or under 100 mph.
- You must yield right of way to manned aircraft.
- You cannot fly directly over people.
- You cannot fly from a moving vehicle, unless in a sparsely populated area
Now at least we all know the basic regulation of the drone flight so its time to see the drones features. Do not underestimate this part because it will help us to choose the most suitable model for you. If you want to buy a drone you will find it really useful to learn to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Battery: It is one of the most important features. As for smartphones, or maybe even more, if the battery is low, the flight sessions will be short. The majority of drones for recreational use allow between 10 and 30 minutes of activity. If possible, then try to towards a model with interchangeable battery and buy a spare. In fact, charging times are often long and will force you to exhausting expectations.
Weight and Dimensions: These are two characteristics that greatly influence maneuverability. It would be useful to start with small and light drones, perhaps cheap drones. They are perfect for practice and will not bleed you if broken. After a trial period, the choice is wide and depends on your tastes. Always remember the discriminating of the legislation.
Camera Drones: Video camera is a must now! The smaller drones have spent an integrated video camera. However, the resolution is low and is unsuitable for quality shots. The high-end models instead are equipped with much more versatile cameras. Obviously, along with quality the cost also rises. But if it is an essential element for you, you will find models that record videos in 4K resolution, with stabilization and independent controls for video recording.
Flying Range: Also regulated by the law. While remaining within the prescribed deadlines the differences between the various drones are sensitive. The most compact is suitable for indoor and outdoor flying. Always keep in mind both height and operating distance at the time of purchase.
Controls: They can be of two types. The simplest method involves using your smartphone. The commands are intuitive and immediate, but the range is limited. The more expensive models instead are equipped with a dedicated radio control. This increases the range and the precision of the control. GPS is also often available to facilitate flight maneuvers and return to base.
Price: If for you drones are just a pastime, we doubt you want to spend large amounts. The positive factor is that the cheap drones start from a few bucks. The Pro models instead cost several hundred bucks, but also offer superior quality. In between there is everything and for all tastes, the choice is up to you!
Now that you know a little bit of theory, it’s time to find out which drone to buy among the multitude of models in stores all over the world.
Best Drones 2018
If you have recently approached this world, you will particularly find it necessary to find out which drone to buy to start. In case your budget is limited, there are some cheap drones available in the market that we want to offer you.
Hubsan X4 H107
|Hubsan X4 H107L LED with Propeller Rotor Protection Guard||$34.99||Buy on Amazon|
If you want to buy a drone to start and look for a fun, but not challenging product, this model could really be perfect. Equipped with four rotors and a six-axis control system, it also integrates a 2 MP camera, certainly not of a high standard but perfect to monitor your first flights.
|UDI U818A 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with Camera RTF Mode 2||$38.80||Buy on Amazon|
Remaining on the budget drones, but with a decidedly more captivating design, we find this DBPower model quite attractive. It is a product suitable for beginners with which it is possible to take away some satisfaction. The included camera shoots at 720p, while the controls are designed for those who do not have much experience in this area. Good battery life, a superior product in the budget segment.
Hubsan X4 H507A
|Hubsan H507A X4 Star APP Driven Drone GPS 6 Axis Gyro 720P HD Camera RTF Quadcopter||$61.50||Buy on Amazon|
We conclude this section dedicated to drones for beginners, this drone is also not very expensive but very satisfying. The compact size makes it perfect to carry it with you and capture the best moments with a 720p camera. Among the most interesting features, we certainly find the automatic takeoff and landing and the possibility of tracking a subject.
Best Mid-range drones
If you are already familiar with drones and look for a more performing product, you can look forward to the mid-range. Here you will find much more advanced models than those drones for beginners and able to give good satisfaction.
Parrot Bebop 2
This mid-range drone is the perfect match between budget and performance. The camera uses a 14MP fisheye lens with software stabilization to eliminate unwanted movements during recording. Excellent video resolution that can reach up to 1080p.
|Parrot Bebop 2 FPV - Up to 25 Minutes of Flight time, FPV Goggles, Compact Drone||from $321.75||Buy on Amazon|
The body of the drone is made of light and resistant materials. A remote controller is available separately, which will take your flight sensations to other levels. Unhelpful battery life, which can still be improved thanks to a third-party battery.
DJI is undoubtedly one of the leading brands in this field and we could not include a mid-range drone of this brand. Spark is small in size so you can enjoy the most fun wherever you want.
It can be controlled very easily thanks to the smartphone through really innovative and fun to use. The camera mounted on the body is 12MP and allows you to record good quality videos. The only flaw is the lightness that can be an inconvenience on windy days.
Do you love high performance? With this mid-range drone, you can fly up to an incredible speed of 80 km/h. This is a model that is no longer very recent but that continues to be an excellent alternative, especially for those with a budget above the economic band but not unlimited.
|Parrot Disco FPV – Easy to fly fixed wing drone, up to 45 minutes of flight time, 50 mph top...||$606.95||Buy on Amazon|
Equipped with a single rotor, it incorporates a camera with FullHD video recording. Remarkable battery life, which is around 45 minutes and thus prolongs your enjoyment. The package also includes a controller and a viewer.
Best high-end drones
If the budget is not a problem that concerns you, and you only look for the best, in this section you will find the best high-end drones. This is a segment dedicated to true enthusiasts who do not want to incur restrictions or compromises.
DJI Mavic Air
DJI Mavic Air is undoubtedly the best compact-sized drone that is currently available on the market. Equipped with extreme portability, it allows you to record videos in 4K quality, with a very fluid data transmission.
If you are looking for an acrobatic drone, with this model you will be able to do many of the evolutions that you have already imagined in your mind. Not autonomous battery, which can still be increased with special kits. However, it is a compact drone where the place for batteries is really minimal.
DJI Mavic Pro
Always staying in the range of compact drones, we cannot fail to highlight DJI Mavic Pro. It is a completely foldable drone that can be safely stored in a bag and taken anywhere you want.
|DJI - Mavic Pro Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Gray||$765.00||Buy on Amazon|
The camera is mounted on a gimbal, so as not to affect the videos in 4K with imperfections due to vibration and movement. Excellent flight speed, which can reach up to 64 km/h. In the box, you will find a dedicated controller that will make the flight much easier and fun.
DJI Phantom 4
Decided improvement of the previous model, this DJI Phantom 4 drone brings with it an improved structure a really excellent remote controller. The integrated 12MP camera allows you to record excellent videos in 4K resolution.
|DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter Drone w/ Hardshell Backpack + Spare Intelligent Flight Battery Bundle||$1,008.00||Buy on Amazon|
This is absolutely an excellent high-end drone, penalized slightly by a not really encouraging battery life. There are about 20 minutes of free flight, which can still be increased with special kits.
We have reached the end of our guide and we hope to have clarified what drone to buy. The models in circulation are really many, from the cheapest to semi-professional. It is up to you to choose the product that best suits your use and your budget.
In the meantime, if you want to consult another dedicated guide, we leave you with the Best Cheap Drones that we are sure you will find interesting.
However, in the end, let’s see together what are currently the most sold drones on Amazon.
- GPS assisted flight: Provides you with accurate positioning details of your drone. Built in Return-to-Home (RTH) function for safer fly, the drone will automatically return to home precisely when its battery is low or the signal is weak when flying out of range, never worrying about losing the drone
- Optimized 1080P 120° FOV FPV Wi-Fi Camera: 90° Adjustable angle, captures high-quality video and aerial photos. You can enjoy the Real-Time Viewing right from your remote control. Ideal selfie done, catching every moment of your vacation from a birds-eye perspective.
- Follow Me Mode: The drone will automatically follows and captures you wherever you move. Keeping you in the frame at all times, easier to get complex shots, provides hands-free flying and selfie
- Flying time up to 15 minutes / Longer control distance: Capacity of 2500mAh high performance battery and reaching up to 500m control distance giving you a more extensive flight experience.
- Headless Mode, Altitude Hold and One Key Takeoff and Landing for easier operation, you will not have to worry about orientation and with the simple press of a button your drone will rise to a height or land, perfect for beginners. PS: Blades are stored under the white foam box.
- Headless/IOC function. Usually, the forward direction of a flying multi-rotor is the same as the nose direction. By using Headless/IOC, the forward direction has nothing to do with nose direction. This lessens the steepness of the learning curve and allows the pilot to enjoy flight while slowly learning each specific orientation of the quadcopter.
- Equipped with the latest 6-axis flight control systems, 3D lock, More scheduled flight, operating more to the force!
- Equipped with HD camera to take photos and videos while flying! Bring a new perspective to your photos and videos from the air.
- Wifi FPV allows you to view photos & video while flying It supports any IOS and Android phones. The cell phone holder keeps your phone secure all the time
- One key 360° roll, continuous roll for perfect action and wonderful performance.
- FOV 120° 720P HD FPV CAMERA: This high-quality camera captures memorable moments. See the world through the eyes of a bird on your phone.
- ALTITUDE HOLD: It allows the rc quacopter to suspend in mid-air even with your hands off the joystick, for hands-free hovering. Easy, stable flight experience makes this a perfect drone for beginners, kids, starters, newbies, etc.
- HEADLESS MODE: Orientation of the drone is in relation to the pilot, easier to control and fly back when the drone is out of sight, you'll have total control for a straightforward flying experience.
- MODULAR BATTERY AND CAMERA: The 3.7V 1000mAh high capacity battery can support a longer flying time; the modularized design of battery and camera offers more convenience and safety. PLEASE CHARGE WITH ORIGINAL CHARGING CABLE FOR SAFETY.
- MOBILE CONTROL: Operate the drone through an APP in a smart phone to activate multiple functions. Operate the camera function and flight in the APP interface.
- Advanced 5G 1080P FHD Camera: The upgraded camera with 110°FOV (field of view) lens gives a panoramic view for recording your unforgettable moment. 5G 1300FT transmission ensures high-quality real time video - ideals for selfie. GoPro Hero 2/3/4 Compatible!
- GPS Assisted Flight: With GPS location, the drone can hover stably and automatically return to Home precisely when its battery is low or the signal is lost. Shot with ease when the drone can follow you or fly in a circle along the path you set.
- 20 Mins Max Flight Time: The High-capacity 2800mAh intelligent battery yields up to 20mins flight time. It also has low-power alert. You can immerse yourself in a substantial flight.
- Brushless Motor: It is so quiet but very powerful when running. Breakdown rarely occurs and motor replacement is seldom required, which makes your flight more enjoyable.
- Simple Control: Quick launch by pressing one key; quick-Release propellers can be set up with no screws; stable flight while keeping its altitude locked; easy direction control with headless mode. You can focus on camera control and more complex shots.
- ✈USER-FRIENDLY✈ SNAPTAIN S5C drone is user-friendly. Simply press one button, it will take off, land or return to your command. Smart voice control, headless mode, and the fascinating 360° Flips & Rolls come handy even for the drone newbies.
- ✈FARTHER & CLEARER✈ The SNAPTAIN S5C provides video transmission within a range of up to 80m. Edit and upload instantly your videos on Social Media by iPhone or a 720p video transmission signal up to a scale of 80m, allowing you to fly farther. Edit HD footage and directly upload it to social media from your iPhone or iPad. The video clips are automatically saved to the Micro SD card.
- ✈POWERFUL & SAFE✈ Protective Propeller Guards to ensure a safe flight. High quality ABS material to free your worries of a sudden shock or drop. Best choice with enough fun for beginners.
- ✈STEADY & TRACKABLE✈ Altitude-Hold function ensures a steady hover in the air at a certain altitude. Great aerial pictures and videos are feasible thanks to this function. Trajectory Flight function is the newest technology that by drawing a flight course on the touch screen on your smartphone, the drone will fly accordingly. Pure fun awaits.
- ✈GRAVITY CONTROL✈ A built-in G-sensor is designed to allow controlling the drone by adjusting the vertical and horizontal position of your smartphone via the Snaptain Era App downloadable on iOS and Android App market.
- FOLDABLE STRUCTURE: Foldable & flexible blades make the drone small and portable. Also provides a better and safer flight experience
- Wi-Fi FPV 720P HD CAMERA: Equipped with 720P HD camera to take aerial photos and videos. Images and videos will be stored in both the app and the mobile album system
- APP CONTROL SYSTEM: Operate your drone through an APP after connecting the Wi-Fi to your phone (iOS or Android), offering you real-time image transmission, easy to shoot and read, fun to share
- MODULAR and BONUS BATTERY: There are 2 powerful 3.7V 500mAh Modular batteries including 1 bonus, which can support longer flight time for you and your family, this modular design ensures the safety of charge and storage
- ONE KEY START/ LANDING: Allows players of any level to fly the drone easily with perfect control and wonderful performance. WI-FI Connection: serach wifi signal (HolyStone FPV-XXXXXXX). Input the WIFI password: 6264657134 and connect it.
- HIGH-QUALITY DRONE GREAT FOR BEGINNERS: Equipped with REAL-TIME WI-FI transmission and HD camera. Wonderful choice for starting their journey with drone flying. It's made of premium materials and comes at a fantastic value.
- ONE-KEY RETURN FOR EASY CONTROL: Never lose your drone! When the drone is flying in headless mode, press one key return button, the drone will fly towards to player. Press the one key return button again or operate the forward/backward control stick, the drone will exit the one key return function.
- REAL-TIME WI-FI TRANSMISSION WITH HD Camera: Take things to new highs and enjoy a live video feed in high-definition straight to your mobile device with the all new FPV Wi-Fi feature.
- NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT NO IMAGES: WIFI connected, APP Opened, but no images solution:When installed the APP, or first open it, there should be a question asking whether allow the APP to get access to the phone camera, please select Allow, then connect WIFI and open the DROCON APP to watch the real-time video.
- TWIN-SPEED MODES: Whether you're already skilled or a first time flier, there is a speed that will suit you. Plus, the unique streamlined-shaped body structure improves aerodynamics, thus reducing air resistance and makes landing operation more stable.
- Dual GPS: GPS positioning + GLONASS positioning provide you with accurate positioning details of your drone. Also able to provide with automatic return, low power return and no signal return.
- Follow Me Mode: Follow to the GPS in your smartphone, ensuring your drone automatically follows and captures you wherever you go.
- All-Round Functions: Headless mode, altitude hold and one key takeoff / landing for easier operation, no need to worry about orientation and with a simple press on the button your drone will rise to a height or land, perfect for beginners.
- 1080P(Need SD Card) HD Wi-Fi Camera: 90° Adjustable angle, captures high-quality video and aerial photos. Possessing 1080P HD camera, high-speed picture transmission without delay. It records all your wonderful time, you only need enjoy real time beautiful scenery.
- Farther Control Distance: Can up to 300m, you can see a wider world and enjoy a more pleasant flight experience.
- Equipped with 2MP (720P) HD camera to take aerial photos and videos while flying! Bring a new perspective to your photos and videos from the air. Movie resolution has been upgraded to 1280 × 720 at 30 frames per second. With removable Micro-SD (TF) card stores enough for several flights.
- ONE KEY TAKE OFF and ONE TOUCH DOWN function: allow beginner to easy to fly the drone without any skill. One Touch Down function is most important to protect the drone when it is out of control or low battery power, the drone will fly down slowly and land on the ground automatically before the motors stopping.
- Headless mode makes easier flight: Once the fuselage direction can not be recognized, it can enter headless mode so as to continue the flight. One key 360° roll, continuous roll for perfect action and wonderful performance.
- Hover / Altitude Hold Mode: Drone altitude specified a flight mode. Beginners easy to manipulate; Aerial photography more stable.
- 2pcs Batteries Included, double your flying time! It can be swapped or charged in place easily via USB with your power bank or car charger!
- Equipped with One Key Return & Headless Security System to assist beginners and help prevent losing the drone
- Altitude Hold Function: Powerful air pressure altitude hold function allows the drone to hover at it's current height after releasing the throttle stick. Easy for you to shoot quality images or videos.
- One Key 360° 4-Ways Flip (left,right,forward,backward), Continuous Roll For Perfect Action And Wonderful Performance
- Come With Two Batteries (BONUS BATTERY) For Longer Flight Time.
- Range: About 50-100 Meters. Battery Flight Time: About 7-9 Minutes. Charging Time: About 80 Minutes. No FPV (First Person View).