Trying to find the right drone to buy?
We’ve spent hours testing and researching the top UAVs and quadcopters out there, and we’re happy to say we’ve narrowed it down to a select few.
This article lists of some of the best remote control (RC) drones for sale on the market right now. Whether you’re looking for a cheap indoor flyer or a professional rig for aerial videography, we’re confident you’ll find a quality drone on this list that will meet your needs.
Want to skip the details and go straight to the list itself? No problem:
“RC drones” can mean many things (cars, boats, planes, etc) but this article focuses on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Because they’re awesome! (And they’re our specialty ;).)
We’ve categorized this list by type of remote control drone for sale. You can use the following links to navigate to each section (or just scroll down to start from the beginning).
Read on to find out which sUAS is right for you:
Note: All specs/features come from either the manufacturer or retailer.
Note #2: When checking out prices, we’ve included models available for sale on Amazon, one of the largest and most respectable online drone retailers. We do our best to keep these listings up-to-date on a regular basis, but if you see something we missed, let us know at email@example.com.
Note #3: Big thanks to USA Toyz, who sent us a few of the models on this list to test and review. USA Toyz is a U.S. based company that sells through Amazon. Unlike many of their non-U.S. counterparts, they offer quality customer service, user manuals you can actually understand, and good business ethics.
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard is one of four models in DJI’s Phantom 3 line. (The other three are the Advanced, 4K, and Professional.)
With a range of over half a mile and crystal clear live video streaming over Wi-Fi to your mobile device on the free DJI Go app, the Phantom 3 Standard delivers sophisticated functionality with a simple learning curve and an accessible price point. At 25 minutes, the P3 Standard actually has a slightly longer flight time than the P3 Advanced, but control distance is capped at 1,000m (compared to the Advanced’s 5km).
Pro Tip: Buy an extra battery to add more flight time to your sessions.
The Phantom 4K is the next level up. The 4K offers an upgraded 4K video capture and 25 minutes of flight time. Control distance is capped at 1200m.
Finally, the Phantom 3 Professional offers 4K video, 23 minutes of flight, and a 5km control distance. This is the second highest level version.
DJI also recently released the Phantom 4 Pro, an upgraded version of the Phantom 3 series with an obstacle avoidance system.
All of these versions are solid rigs and they’re ranked #1 in this list of drones, but the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is equally balanced on all fronts, making it a great camera drone for recreational and commercial pilots.
These extra parts are available for the DJI Phantom 3 Standard:
→ Extra Propellers (2 Pairs)
The Bebop 2.0 is one of the top all around drones for sale with a camera. The 2.0 offers a whopping 14 megapixel full HD 1080p image and video capture, and the camera gives you a 186-degree field of view.
Full-digital image stabilization technology allows you to take stable and clear aerial footage regardless of the Bebop drone’s movements. The lens is also splash and dust proof.
Their Freeflight 3 mobile app also lets you control the quadcopter, adjust settings, and take pictures/videos straight from your mobile device.
Check out Parrot’s second version of the Bebop drone for a great all-around photography/videography UAV experience.
These extra parts are available for the Parrot BeBop 2.0:
UDI is a highly reputable and affordable sUAS manufacturer that’s been constantly upgrading their training / beginner drone models over the last couple of years.
This model, the U818A, boasts altitude-hold and a first-person-view (FPV) screen, so you can see exactly what the HD camera of your drone sees…in real time. Great practice for those of you looking to get into FPV racing.
But that’s not all! You also get bonus VR goggles, an extra battery, extra propellers, AND and a bonus power bank for additional charging.
The HD camera can capture 720P video at 30 frames per second (with an SD card). This is one of the most popular training quadcopters on the market, and I like this particular package because it comes with an extra battery.
The LCD screen on its transmitter displays a full range of flight stats to keep you in the know. Its light but durable frame makes it a great quad for new pilots to practice with.
These extra parts are available for the the U818A:
UDI is one of the top manufacturers of quality RC drones at affordable prices. The UDI U45 Blue Jay is one of them.
One of the big upgrades with the Blue Jay is “Altitude Hold,” which gives you the ability to take your left thumb off the throttle and to have the drone hover at the same altitude. This makes controlling the drone a LOT easier for beginners and those looking to truly master multirotor orientation. You also get a one-touch take off and landing, and a custom route mode that allows you to trace your desired flight path on your phone or tablet screen. In the past, these features were reserved for higher end RC drones, but now we’re starting to see them in the $50 to $150 range.
The UDI U45 Blue Jay wouldn’t be a camera drone without an HD camera to capture 720p high definition aerial photos and 2MP video. Camera can be synced to controller.
For less than $170, this drone is an excellent choice for aspiring videographers.
These extra parts are available for the UDI U45 Blue Jay:
→ Extra Battery (to extend your flight sessions)
In 2014 and 2015, the Parrot AR Drone line was one of the most prolific RC drones on the market. Using their FreeFlight app, you can choose to pilot this camera drone entirely using your smartphone or tablet, or you can fly it with a traditional dual-joystick controller or first-person view system.
720p HD video can be streamed directly to your smartphone, and while you’ve got the app open, you’ll be able to read things like your altitude, speed, and battery level.
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 sits somewhere between a traditional training quadcopter and an introductory professional system. We chose it for this list because: 1) it’s reasonably priced for a beginner pilot; 2) Parrot is a reputable, French-based company that has been one of the larger global RC manufacturers; and 3) we love the foam frame!
The DJI Phantom 4 launched in March 2016. What are the big improvements from the Phantom 3 series? Better battery life, obstacle avoidance, and a newly designed camera lens.
Also, a newly designed lens offers crisper, cleaner video.
Improvements to the Vision Positioning System (VPS) and front-mounted obstacle sensors help provide greater security and confidence when flying indoors, or with obstacles around.
The DJI Inspire 1 is bigger and offers a full 360° camera rotation, providing an unrestricted view of the world below. It’s 3-axis gimbal and camera system can easily be removed from the aircraft for safe transport and future upgrades.
Because DJI offers different camera systems (like the Zenmuse X3, Zenmuse X5, Zenmuse X5R, Zenmuse XT, etc.), the DJI Inspire 1 is flexible and the kind of model you can grow with over time.
Ever heard of dual-operator mode? The DJI Inspire 1 lets one person fly, and another person control the camera. I’ll tell you this: Once you fly with dual-operator mode, it’s hard to go back to flying solo. Operating sUAS with a talented crew member is really fun.
If you’re looking for a bigger bird with payload flexibility, 360° camera rotation, and dual-operator mode, the DJI Inspire 1 is a great fit.
If you haven’t heard of Yuneec, you’re missing out on some high-quality aerial camera platforms that may very well be the perfect fit for your recreational (or business) needs.
The Typhoon H comes equipped with six rotors, a 360-degree gimbal camera and retractable landing gear with Yuneec’s standard of being ready out of the box, easy and safe to fly, with stunning Ultra HD 4K video and stills.
The Typhoon H comes with the Android-based ST16 controller, which has a large 7-inch integrated display and HD 720p first-person-view (FPV) downlink for incredibly clear real-time video reception.
DJI is a drone manufacturing giant.
Their DJI Phantom 3 series arguably represents the best selling drone models of 2015 and 2016. Within the series, there are four different models: Standard, 4K, Advanced and Professional.
The DJI Phantom 3 Professional is the most sophisticated option in the series, and as the name suggests, was designed for professional pilots.
It offers 4K video, 23 minutes of flight time, and a whopping 5km control distance.
The quadcopter also comes with five advanced flight modes:
These autonomous modes allow you to focus on camera control and getting the right shot. This makes the DJI Phantom 3 Professional a smart choice for pro pilots.
If you are on a budget and/or able to sacrifice some of the bells and whistles of the newer systems, the Phantom 3 series offers more affordable pricing but units that still pack a lot of punch.
Walkera manufactured one of the most popular RTF FPV racers: The Walkera Runner 250 Pro.
This RC quadcopter features a carbon fiber frame that is ultra-durable and crash resistant. It’s simple to disassemble and reassemble. This allows pilots to customize its features and tune the rig.
The Walkera Runner 250 Pro reaches speeds of up to 21-25 miles per hour, and the Runner 250 Pro is equipped with an 800TVL HD camera for live FPV streaming.
If you’re looking to get into drone FPV racing, this drone is a solid start at a modest price.
These extra parts are available for the Walkera Runner 250 Pro:
→ Extra Propellers (<— smart, because you’ll probably lose/break a bunch of these)
The ARRIS FPV 250 is one of the highest rated racing quadcopters you can find on Amazon.
The ARRIS 250 FPV is made of a durable carbon/glass fiber composited material to help it handle crashes and accidents. The drone is also equipped with a 700TVL camera that offers zero delay between what the drone sees and what you see.
Another thing to note is that all parts are tested by the manufacturer and ready to fly.
Looking for a high-rated racing drone? Check out the ARRIS FPV 250.
These extra parts are available for the ARRIS FPV 250:
Even in moderate winds, the Syma X5C held up very well during my test flights. This exclusive package comes with an extra battery, effectively doubling your flight time. You’re also getting extra propellers as well.
The Syma X5C also comes with a forward-facing HD camera (720p) and 2GB SD card. That, plus a few autonomous features like headless mode and one-button flips and barrel rolls, make the Symca X5C a great drone for beginners.
Note: We have other lists of drones, similar to this one buy covering different, more advanced models like: 13 Remote Control Drones to Buy.
These extra parts are available for the Syma X5C:
First, it’s got SAFE technology. SAFE stands for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope. It helps you prevent crashing your drone and assists you in takeoff (two necessary skills for any newbie pilot).
If you lose control or need to take a breather, simply let go of the sticks and the quadcopter will hover in place.
When you get more advanced, switch the quad to agility mode to perform skillful maneuvers and hit top speeds.
The Blade Nano is a beginner drone (for under $100) that will carry you into the veteran landscape. (Blade was also featured in our list of drone companies to watch, among a few of the other manufacturers listed in this article.)
These extra parts are available for the Blade Nano QX:
The Hubsan X4 H107L is the model we first used to learn how to fly.
It’s fairly basic but flies well. It has a built-in 720 pixel camera. Its compact size still makes it an excellent indoor flyer. Please note that this model does NOT come with an extra battery, propeller guards, etc. Consider getting a “crash pack” from the link below. We wish we would have bought one when we first started flying this thing back in 2014.
The Hubsan X4 H107L is a great first model for the newbie pilot, but pretty bare bones compared to some of the other models on this list.
These extra parts are available for the Hubsan X4 H107L:
Allow us to introduce one of the best-selling RC multirotors on Amazon — the Cheerson CX-10 Mini.
It’s a best seller for a reason. This thing is a perfect quadcopter for beginners, and veterans will enjoy flying it as well. It’s great for all skill levels.
The Cheerson CX-10 Mini is (super) small and durable, so even if you do end up losing a few propellers, spare parts are inexpensive. Despite its size, Cheerson still managed to pack a 6-axis flight control board in there for advanced maneuvers, which is great.
These extra parts are available for the Cheerson CX-10: