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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Drone Holiday Gift Guide: Top Drones From $20 to $2000

Updated With New Drone Models for 2019

Win the gift-giving game this holiday season, and cross off the most desired item on everyone’s wish list—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:

Top Drones Under $50

If you're in a hurry, check out our top pick:
UFO 4000 LED Stunt Drone
An easy-to-fly stunt drone for beginners and young flyers. Bright LED lights make flying even more fun.

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:

  • Battery life tends to be pretty short, in the 5-10 minute range. Buying multiple/extra batteries is often a good idea.
  • Because of their light mass, these models are surprisingly durable and can hold up well after crashes. Great for beginners!
  • They don’t handle wind very well. They get pushed around!
  • The propellers are fickle. Any nicks or bends in the propellers and you’re not going to get a smooth flight, no matter how much you trim/adjust your remote. Propeller guards can help, as can extra propellers.
  • Also, here’s a good set of guidelines to follow from Know Before You Fly.

Top Drones Under $300

If you're in a hurry, check out our top pick:
U49WF FPV Camera Drone
The U49WF FPV Camera Drone boasts altitude-hold and a first-person-view (FPV) screen that streams HD footage in real-time for an immersive flying experience.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re buying a drone for under $300 or near this price point:

  • We’re still in the toy category here, but you may see some quality improvements such as a heavier weight and better camera.
  • Drones in the $300-or-less category are easier to fly than those under $50. For a small increase in cost, these drones offer better intelligent features such as altitude control.
  • Some other drones we like that cost less than $3oo include the F11WF Folding Drone, U49WF FPV Camera Drone, and DJI Tello.

Top Drones Under $2000

If you're in a hurry, check out our top pick:
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
The latest and greatest camera drone from DJI, with a professional-grade camera from Swedish camera manufacturer, Hasselblad.

Here’s what you can expect from drones around the $300-$2000 price point:

  • Drones in this category have transcended the toy category and progressed into the prosumer/entry-level professional systems.
  • DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, dominates this category. So, it makes sense that our top pick is the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
  • Some other drones we like in this category include the DJI Mini, DJI Phantom 3, and DJI Inspire 1

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.

01

UFO 4000 LED Stunt Drone

battery

18 Min

good for

Hobbyists, FPV Racing

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.

 

Features & Specs

  • SIMPLE REMOTE CONTROLLER: A remote controller with 1-Key Start/Stop and easy joystick directional controls
  • LED LIGHTING SYSTEM: The UFO 4000 features durable propeller guards wrapped with glowing red, blue, and white LEDs making the drone durable and easier to see
  • STUNT FLIGHTS: Featuring 4 channels, 2 speeds, Altitude Hold, and Headless Mode; this beginner drone also performs 360° mini flips
  • FLIGHT TIME: Enjoy up to 18 minutes of flight time and the 2 included rechargeable batteries that get you flying again in no time.
02

Hubsan X4 107L

battery life

7 Min

good for

Hobbyists

The Hubsan X4 107L is an upgraded version of the model I learned to fly on back in 2014. This particular package comes with propeller guards and an easy USB charger.

Hubsan is a tried-and-true Chinese manufacturer. I’ve flown the vast majority of their cheaper models, and I’ve been impressed with how they’ve slowly been improving the X4 over the last few years.

This blue 107L 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. Also a great drone for kids.

Features & Specs

  • PRECISE HANDLING: 6-axis flight control system with adjustable gyro sensitivity
  • CLEAR VIDEO: 2.4 Ghz Transmitter with LCD screen
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Lightweight airframe with nice durability
  • FUN LIGHTING: Equipped with LED Lights and Comes with Blade Protection Guard
  • TWO FLIGHT MODES: Normal and Expert Mode
03

Cheerson CX-10 Mini

battery

4-8 Min

good for

Hobbyists

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.

Features & Specs

  • PERFORM STUNTS: 4 channel mini rolling quadcopter
  • EASY TO LAUNCH: Throw to fly, real 6-axis gyro
  • MOBILITY: Up/down/left/right/side flight/hover/flip / hand launch.
  • BATTERY: Low voltage alarm.
  • LIGHTS UP: With LED light for night flight
04

F111WF FPV Foldable Drone

battery life

7-9 Min

camera

720P HD

good for

Hobbyists

Moving on to the ‘$300-and-under’ price range, the F111WF FPV Foldable Drone, offering a great value at $99.99.

The ultra-unique F111WF Wi-Fi FPV drone folds for increased portability—a feature typically reserved for more expensive drones, but available on this affordable drone from Force1. This camera drone also combines great control features with a super-sharp 720p camera

Features & Specs

  • FOLDABLE DRONE QUADCOPTER: Tuck the folding drone arms and lock the 720p video drone rotors in place for increased portability.
  • STABILITY FOR IMPROVED FOOTAGE: A 6-axis gyro combined with Altitude Hold and Headless Mode provide flight stability so you can capture clear photo and video.
  • EASY TO FLY: One-key takeoff/landing gets this cool, kid-friendly quadcopter drone in the sky faster. Gravity Mode lets you fly the outdoor/indoor drone easily with your mobile device
  • BUILT-IN CAMERA: Use the 720p camera to take crisp drone HD video and photos.
05

U49WF FPV Camera Drone

battery life

15 Min

camera

720P HD

good for

Hobbyists

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.

Features & Specs

  • HD DRONE WITH CAMERA: This iPhone/Android compatible RC drone easily connects to Android and iPhones to grab stable 720p hover drone footage.
  • EASY TO FLY CAMERA DRONE FOR BEGINNERS: Three speeds and one-key control make this remote control drone ideal for teenagers, kids and novice adults. Fly this outdoor/indoor drone safely with its out-of-range alarm and bumpers
  • FLY LONGER: This FPV drone includes an extra battery (up to 30 min. total flying time), spare motors, and 2.4Ghz controller.
  • ALL THE EXTRAS: Drones for kids and adults hardly ever have the latest features but this camera drone helicopter is stacked with Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, Full Trim, and Real-Time Wi-Fi FPV.
06

DJI Tello

camera

720P HD

battery life

13 Min

good for

Beginners, Hobbyists

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.

Features & Specs

  • EZ SHOTS: Record coordinated short videos with Circle, 360, and Up & Away
  • ELECTRONIC IMAGE STABILIZATION: Capture smooth and stable aerial footage
  • INTEL PROCESSOR: Professional processing yields high-quality footage
  • HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOS: Enjoy 5MP/720P photo capture.
  • AUTO TAKEOFF/LANDING: Lift off or land with a single tap.
07

Mavic Mini

battery

30 Min

camera

12 MP

good for

Hobbyists

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).

Features & Specs

  • STILL IMAGE RESOLUTION: 12 megapixels
  • VIDEO RESOLUTION: 2.7K
  • FLIGHT TIME: 30 minutes
  • MAX SPEED: 29 mph (13 m/s in sport mode)
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: 249 grams
  • NOTABLE ATTRIBUTES: DJI Geofencing, visual positioning system, Return-to-Home, and Aeroscope remote identification
08

Mavic 2 Pro

camera

20 MP, 4K 10-bit Dlog-M

battery life

31 Min

good for

Professionals

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the latest and greatest camera drone from DJI, with a professional-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.

Features & Specs

  • 1″ CMOS SENSOR HDR CAMERA: High-quality, 20 MP, 1-inch CMOS sensor Hasselblad camera with enhanced HDR and color sensitivity.
  • FLIGHT TIME: Advertised flight time of 31 minutes compared to the 27 minutes of the first-generation DJI Mavic
  • QUIETER FLIGHT: DJI reduced the noise compared to previous models for a 60% quieter flight thanks to low-noise tapered (and more aerodynamic) propellers
  • OBSTACLE SENSING: Omnidirectional obstacle sensing in 5 directions (forward, backward, downward, left, right).
  • INTELLIGENT FLIGHT MODES: Active Track, Waypoint, and Point of Interest, Hyperlapse Mode, TapFly, Cinematic Mode, and more
  • PORTABLE: Foldable design for easy portability
09

DJI Phantom 3 (Standard)

camera

2.7K HD at 30 FPS

battery life

25 Min

good for

Professionals

It’s pretty wild that you can get a DJI Phantom 3 for less than $500. There are a few different variations of the Phantom 3, and while the “Standard” model is technically their version with comparably less features than their 4K, Advanced, or Professional models, don’t let that hold you back from taking a serious look at the Standard.

25 minutes of battery life and an 8GB micro SD card lets the beginner aerial photographer or videographer take advantage of a camera that shoots HD video up to 2.7K at 30 FPS, or still photos at 12 MP.

For a serious hobbyist or aspiring commercial pilot who’s looking to dip his or her toes into the waters with a professional system that won’t break the bank, the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is a great choice.

Features & Specs

  • LIVE VIDEO FEED: A live video feed gives you a 720p HD real-time view of what your camera sees right on your mobile device
  • GPS TRACKING: GPS assisted flight features let you concentrate on getting great images while the drone helps you fly safely.
  • INTELLIGENT FLIGHT MODES: You can achieve advanced camera perspectives with the Point of Interest, Follow Me and Waypoints modes
  • FLIGHT TIME: Fly up to 25 minutes with the included intelligent battery

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