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Cross off the most desired item on everyone’s wish list this holiday season—a drone.
Everyone from gadget geeks to photography enthusiasts to business owners is having fun learning to fly, and some are even choosing to get certified by the FAA to make some money as a professional drone pilot.
Racking your brain about what drone to buy as an upcoming birthday or holiday gift?
Below are our top holiday drone gift ideas for every gift-giving price range.
It goes without saying that this list is not all-encompassing. There are dozens of quality drone manufacturers and model variations to consider.
This list is loosely organized by price, with cheaper models at the top, and the more expensive, professional drone models toward the bottom. If you don’t have time to check out the full list, we’ve set apart our top pick for each category in the following section:
Another drone we like in the under $50 category is the Hubsan X4 107L. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re buying a drone for under $50 just to set your expectations:
Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re buying a drone for under $300 or near this price point:
Here’s what you can expect from drones under $1000:
Here’s what you can expect from drones around the $1000-$2000 price point:
Continue reading for more details about all the drones we’ve mentioned thus far, plus a few other drone holiday gift ideas.
Note #1: All specs/features are obtained from the manufacturer or retailer.
Note #2: On this list, we’ve included models available for sale on Amazon, one of the largest and most respectable online drone retailers. As an Amazon Associate, UAV Coach earns from qualifying purchases. We’ve tested many of the models on this list, and we wouldn’t recommend anything we wouldn’t fly ourselves.
The Cheerson CX-10 Mini is easy to fly and for under $20, it’s the perfect starter drone. Its small size makes it easy to fly indoors without the fear of crashing.
This mini drone has three flight modes—beginner mode, intermediate mode, and advanced mode. If you’re just starting out, beginner mode will allow you to get a feel for the controls before moving onto higher sensitivity modes.
This incredibly fun drone makes a great gift for the holidays. However, before you fly, you’ll need to charge it up using the included USB cable. The controller is powered by AA batteries, purchased separately.
The Hubsan X4 107C features a HD 2 megapixel camera, it also comes with propeller guards and an easy USB charger making it the perfect gift this holiday season.
Hubsan is a tried-and-true Chinese manufacturer. We’ve flown the vast majority of their cheaper models, and we’ve been impressed with the drones they have been producing.
This red 107C model comes with LED lights, fits in the palm of your hand, and is a great trainer for someone looking to get into small unmanned aerial systems as either a hobbyist or aspiring professional.
The UFO 4000 LED Stunt Drone, is a mini drone that will be hard to miss with it’s bright red, white, and blue LED lighting system as it flys at high speed and performs exciting stunts.
Propeller guards increase the durability of the drone and make this affordable drone great for beginners. The simple remote controller makes this drone compatiable for all ages with 1-Key Start/Stop and easy joystick directional controls.
Looking for a beginner stunt drone? Look no further, with 4 channels, 2 speeds, Altitude Hold, and Headless Mode; this beginner drone also performs 360° mini flips.
The Ruko B7 drone proves that you do not have to drop thousands of dollars for a great drone. It features a unique dual-camera system with a 4K front camera and a 1080p camera on the bottom of the drone which is unheard of at this price point. The included follow me modes and gesture control allows you to capture cinematic footage or even capture a selfie.
Enjoy up to 36 minutes of flight time with two intelligent flight batteries. The rugged design of the Ruko B7 and its optical flow positioning system ensures a stable and safe flight experience. The ease of operation and the number of robust features make this the perfect drone for beginner drone pilots.
The U49WF FPV Camera Drone looks sleek and is a great gift for hobbyist or beginner drone pilots.
Like the F111WF above, the retailer Force1 includes an extra battery in this model, which doubles your flight time and is great for folks logging those first few hours of flight. The U49WF also allows you to connect to your drone’s Wi-Fi signal and stream live, first-person-view footage directly to your iPhone or Android device. Intensify the immersive experience by pairing your mobile device with a VR headset, and strap in for the epic 120-degree wide-angle view.
The DJI Tello is a perfect gift for kids and adults that’s a blast to fly and helps users learn about drones on an affordable model.
Flying Tello is simple and easy, even for first-time flyers. Use the DJI app on your mobile phone for intuitive controls. Once you’re in the sky, try doing an aerial stunt like a 360-degree flip, or try taking video with the Tello’s 720P HD transmission. Tello has two antennas that make video transmission extra stable and a high-capacity battery that offers impressively long flight time.
Weighing just 249 grams (about half a pound), the DJI Mavic Mini can be flown recreationally without the need to register it with the FAA, which makes this the perfect drone gift for a hobbyist flyer.
While its tiny size is the most unique and outstanding feature, the Mavic Mini has a handful of other exciting characteristics. The 12 MP camera captures compelling footage in high definition, and its new DJI Fly app’s suite of creative features enables you to create professional-looking images even if you have no filming or editing experience. The drone has three flight modes (Position Mode, Sport Mode, and CineSmooth Mode), and five QuickShots (Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix).
The Mavic Air 2 makes for a great gift due to its various features and its small footprint. It is the first consumer drone to be equipped with AirSense. Which is essentially ADS-B In tech that enables the drone to pick up on nearby aircraft. DJI has done an incredible job once again with including a large array of features in such a small drone.
The popular foldable design from the Mavic series has carried on in the new Mavic Air 2, making it one of the highest tech portable drones on the market. With 34 minutes of flight time, 48-megapixel camera, and an 8K Hyperlapse feature, it will be difficult to find a comparable drone in this size and price range.
The Mavic Air 2 is going to be the drone to beat for the serious hobbyist and content creators, and even for new professional pilots looking to get into the industry with an affordable drone.
See our review of the Mavic Air 2 here.
Is there someone on your gift list this year who looking for Hollywood-like aerial footage? Well, then the Skydio 2 is a drone that you should seriously consider. With an advanced 45-megapixel obstacle avoidance camera system, it’s designed to take the heavy workload off the pilot. Intelligent flight modes allow it to zip through even the most complex terrain without losing sight of the subject.
The 1/2.3” CMOS sensor equipped on the Skydio 2 records stunning 4K HDR footage at 60 fps and captures 12-megapixel stills. With autonomous speeds up to 36 mph, it captures dynamic cinematic shots with ease. Fly from the app, hand-held Beacon remote, or with a controller for even more precision. Its portable design makes it a compelling option for travel bloggers, documentary compilers, and commercial drone pilots in any industry.
Priced at just under $1500, the newly released Autel Evo II Series is a serious contender in the increasingly competitive foldable drone segment. The Autel Evo II Drones pack some serious hardware under their bright orange shells. With 40-minutes of flight time, it also has the longest flight time of any prosumer drone offered on the market.
A unique feature with the EVO II is the ability to change out the gimbal payload. It can be equipped with an 8K sensor, 6K Pro Sensor, or a Dual sensor that combines an 8K sensor with a thermal sensor. The ability to alternate sensors is unheard of in the consumer/prosumer drone market. With 12 advanced omnidirectional computer vision sensors, the drone can easily navigate the most challenging environments while focusing on the task.
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the perfect gift for those who are looking to work as a professional drone operator. It features a pro-grade camera from Swedish camera manufacturer, Hasselblad. The 1-inch CMOS sensor Hasselblad camera offers 20-megapixel photography with enhanced HDR and color sensitivity.
A new feature debut to come along with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is omnidirectional obstacle sensing—it can sense obstacles from five directions (forward, backward, downward, left, right). Plus, it’s equipped with upgraded versions of Active Track, Waypoint, and Point of Interest modes, so professional photographers and videographers never have to place a cap on their creativity.
The Mavic 2 Pro is great for professional photographers, videographers, and content creators. Its portable design makes it an essential companion for travel bloggers, documentary compilers, and commercial drone pilots in any industry. Check out more drones for professionals as you continue to shop for the tech- and drone-enthusiast this holiday season.
The DJI Phantom series drones are still one of the ultimate holiday gifts. It is easily one of the most capable and recognizable drones on the market. The original Phantom 1 was a revolutionary aircraft that put DJI and prosumer drones on the map. The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has collectively built on the series success and continues to be used for photography, filmmaking, inspections, and various other applications.
It features a professional-grade 1-inch CMOS sensor that can record in 4K video resolution and 20 megapixel still photos. Its mechanical shutter makes this model a rarity and highly sought after for aerial inspections and mapping. Advanced omnidirectional obstacle sensing makes it even easier to capture that picture-perfect shot, without compromising the safety of the operation.