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 ;).)
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 of drones for sale up-to-date on a regular basis, but if you see something we missed, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Compatible w/ GoPro Hero 3 and 4; 1080p60 and 720p60 video
The F100 Ghost GoPro Drone is an amazing value for the price.
The F100G rc quadcopter is both tough and nimble, and comes with a mount for a GoPro Hero 3 or 4, which means you could get professional quality shots. As you can see in the video below, it can be flown in windy weather and still allow for a controlled flight.
The brushless motors on the F100G not only make for a smoother, quieter flight, but allow for precise control while flying and longer flight times—at 19 minutes, this drone has one of the longest battery lives of drones on the market for this price point.
The F100G is also a good beginner/intermediate drone for still photography and aerial videography. It comes with High/Low Speed modes, which allow for greater control when it comes to getting the perfect shot.
If you decide to buy the F100G, make sure to register your drone with Force1 to get your free extra battery (value of $25).
The U49W Blue Heron drone, boasts altitude-hold and a first-person-view (FPV) screen with Camera Live Video, so you can see exactly what the HD camera of your drone sees in real time.
It also comes with an extra battery to help you fly for even longer before having to charge, and a great 720p camera for clear HD pictures and live video.
Add to that it’s impressively long flight time of 15 minutes, and you’re looking at a great drone for beginners (or intermediate pilots, for that matter) at an inexpensive price.
The U49C Red Heron quadcopter looks sleek and is a great gift for the newbie drone pilot.
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 Red Heron also comes with spare motors, which is a great value add, especially for beginner drone pilots.
Features & Specs
The X5UW Thunderbolt is a powerful drone with a high quality camera for the price point.
Because of its low-latency FPV video transmission straight to a built-in controller screen, the Thunderbolt is ideal for anyone who wants a fun drone to learn on, but also wants to learn how to race around obstacles with ease.
A big bonus with the Thunderbolt is that it comes with two extra batteries, which is a great value add and will allow you to fly for a lot longer before having to go back and recharge your batteries.
The Spark is a selfie drone that takes off from the operator’s hand and automatically enters “Gesture Mode”, which lets users send it into the air and shoot a video with pre-defined flight paths, like circling, following, or filming from straight up.
With it’s gesture recognition and obstacle avoidance technology, it’s not an exaggeration to say that DJI’s Spark is probably the most user-friendly drone on the market.
If you want to fly longer distances with the Spark you have the option of using a smartphone app for flights over 100 yards away, or you can use a remote control (the Spark can fly a distance of 1.2 miles). The Intelligent Flight Modes available with more professional DJI drones—such as TapFly and ActiveTrack—can also be found on the Spark.
The Spark comes with DJI’s new QuickShot mode, which automatically creates a 10-second video from the footage captured in your flight.
QuickShot allows you to avoid all the work needed to take raw footage and create a final video. Instead of taking your footage, uploading it, editing it, and then downloading it, QuickShot simply creates a video for you using your best shots.
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 $130, this drone is an excellent choice for aspiring videographers.
These extra parts are available for the UDI U45 Blue Jay:
One of the most awesome aspects of the Force1 F100 drone is its incredibly long battery life.
Without a camera attached, you can fly the F100 for up to 15 minutes, and with a camera it will last for about 12 minutes.
The F100 is a solid choice for videography, since it comes with a mount that’s compatible with the GoPro Hero 3 or 4.
You can also use the F100 for tricks and stunts, since it allows for 360° flips, and is easy to maneuver. All this, and it flies quietly due to its brushless motor, which makes it not only quiet but also helps it fly for longer.
The DJI Phantom 4 is one of the top drones on the market right now.
It’s the fastest Phantom so far, capable of reaching top speeds of 45 miles per hour. It also gets an excellent flight time of 28 minutes — great for pro pilots to get the shots they need and minimize downtime.
The Phantom 4 also has a built-in camera that can record video at 4K, 2.7K, 1080p and 720p. But one of it’s most notable features is the obstacle avoidance system. The drone can intelligently position and maneuver itself around obstacles mid-flight.
Couple all of this with a Tap to Fly system, DJI’s reliability, and robust software, and you’ve got a tough drone to beat.
These extra parts are available for the DJI Phantom 4:
DJI recently released the Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian, which comes with a magnesium shell and anti-fingerprint coating, not to mention the super cool-looking matte-grey obsidian coloring.
Check it out:
You can buy the Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian now on the DJI website.
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 H520 is 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.
Yuneec’s H520 was built for both industrial use and ambitious professionals. It comes with a long focal-length lenses that allows the drone to fly at a greater distance from an object and data storage that may be shared instantly from the ST16S Ground Station or delivered directly in 4K/2K/HD video or 20Mp still images.
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:
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: