In this article we’ll show you 13 of the best remote control (RC) drones you can buy right now on either Amazon.com or Banggood (two of the most trusted online UAV retailers).
These quadcopters are some of the highest rated rigs on the market from some of the top drone manufacturers, like Syma, DJI, Hubsan, and Yuneec.
Whether you’re looking for a remote control drone for sale with a camera, a beginner quadcopter to learn with, a more professional drone for aerial photography, or even an FPV (first person view) racer, you’ll find the full spectrum of RC drones for sale in this article.
Not so interested in the specs, and just want to see the list of drones? We’ve got you covered:
Our hope is that this guide will help you get a strong feel for the options available without being overwhelmed with choices, so you can decide which RC drone is right for you and your needs.
To make things easier, we’ve organized this list based on price range. At the top of the list, you’ll find drones for less than $100. As you move down the list, you’ll find drones for less than $300, then finally a few models over $300.
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 and Force1 RC, who sent us a lot of models on this list to test and review. Both USA Toyz and Force1 RC are U.S. based companies that sell 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. Many of the models on this list link directly to these companies.
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.
BLADE is one of the most popular drone manufacturers. They specialize in smaller quadcopters that are great for practicing, but they also offer more advanced features that many competing drones of their size don’t have.
The Pico QX is the smallest drone BLADE has ever released. This makes it perfect for flying indoors and in tight spaces.
The Pico QX is also equipped with SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology. This technology was pioneered by Horizon Hobby. It helps remote controlled drones (or planes and helicopters) understand their position relative to the horizon — an imaginary stable flight position.
This improves flight control by helping prevent excessive or unusual turns. SAFE technology also allows you to bring your quad back to a stable hover when the control sticks are released.
This feature alone makes it a great nano drone, and for under $100 it’s a good investment for improving your pilot skills or taking bigger risks with your flying (without risking too much money).
These extra parts are available for the BLADE Pico QX:
This is the first of two Syma models in this list.
Syma manufactures a broad range of RC drones, from the smaller nano quadcopters to the high-end professional UAVs for aerial videography and 3D mapping and modeling.
(Note: Check out our online course, Mapping and 3D Modeling 101, if you’re curious about learning this skill.)
The Syma X9S is a hybrid remote controlled drone and car. This drone offers two modes: Land Mode and Fly Mode. Each mode gives you the choice of two speeds to cater to different skill levels.
Often with off-the-wall products like this, overall quality tends to take a hit. However, the X9 quad-car has over 4 stars on Amazon with a ton of raving 5 star reviews.
If you’re an RC car driver looking to merge your passion for drones, the Syma X9 will be a match made in heaven.
These extra parts are available for the Syma X9S Quadcopter Car:
→ Extra Battery (1) (product comes with one extra battery)
Hubsan has emerged as one of the top drone companies. They produce high quality quadcopters at affordable prices. The Hubsan X4 (H107L) is the same.
It’s one of the best learner quads out there, with excellent handling and over 9 minutes of flight time. It’s also great size for indoor flying.
The H107L is a durable quadcopter that can take a beating, but you can also buy a propeller guard to make it even more crash resistant, which can be helpful for new pilots.
It offers one-click flips (both forward and backward) for doing aerial tricks, and the drone only takes 30 minutes to charge, so you can take a coffee break and be flying again in no time.
These extra parts are available for the Hubsan X4 (H107L):
If you’re looking for your first camera drone, the X5SW sports a 2MP camera that can hold about 800 pictures and 30 minutes of video recording time.
It’s flight time is around 7 minutes and it takes about 90 minutes to charge, so the flight time to charge ratio isn’t excellent. But all camera drones have an increased payload that widen this ratio, so if you’re looking to take aerial photos and videos, extra batteries are highly recommended.
(You can charge your extra batteries while flying to maximize the flight session.)
This model comes with prop guards standard, and offers 360 flips in either direction — including while you’re recording.
If you’re getting started in aerial videography or you just want to take some cool pictures, try out the Syma X5SW for a great cheap starter quad.
These extra parts are available for the Syma X5SW:
UDI is a highly reputable (and affordable) drone manufacturer that’s been constantly upgrading their training / beginner sUAS 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 your additional charging needs.
The 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 the 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:
An exclusive training quadcopter from USA Toyz / Force1 RC, the U45 Blue Jay is one of the more durable beginner quadcopters out there. As you can see by those propeller guards, they can take quite a beating and keep on going.
This makes it great for beginners, but more experienced pilots will enjoy this quad as well. The Blue Jay has a skillful Custom Route Mode as well, allowing you to drag your fingers across your mobile or tablet app screen to create an automated flight path.
The Focus FPV Drone comes with an extra battery, spare propellers, and a 4GB Micro SD Card.
Another tried and true model with FPV capabilities if you’d like to practice FPV racing or master multirotor orientation with a more affordable beginner model.
The U28W Wifi FPV Drone is a tiny but mighty drone that can reach fast top speeds. And because of the low-latency FPV video transmission straight to a built-in controller screen, it’s ideal for anyone who wants a fun drone to learn on, but eventually be able to race around obstacles with ease.
Given the size of the frame, the motors are pretty powerful, making this drone super fast and agile. As with many of the other models on this list, it has an easy “flip” button which is fun to see through the built-in FPV controller screen.
These extra parts are available for the U28W Wifi FPV Drone:
First, it’s got SAFE technology. SAFE stands for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope. This technology helps you prevent crashing your drone and assists you in takeoff (two necessary skills for any newbie pilot).
If at any time 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 you can 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 in this article.)
These extra parts are available for the Blade Nano QX:
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) sUAS camera needs.
The Typhoon H is fully 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 photography stills.
The Typhoon H is controlled by the Android-based ST16 controller, which has a large 7-inch integrated display and HD 720p first-person-view (FPV) downlink for stunning real-time video reception. (See the last image in the gallery.)
We’ve had a lot of fun testing the Yuneec Typhoon H. Here’s a fun shot of a sunset orbit selfie I recorded with my father-in-law.
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 great newly designed camera lens.
And 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 lots of obstacles around.
The DJI Inspire 1 V2.0 is bigger and offers full 360° camera rotation, giving you an unrestricted view of the world below. It’s 3-axis gimbal and camera system can be easily removed from the aircraft for safe transport and for future upgrades.
And because DJI offers different camera systems (like the Zenmuse X3, Zenmuse X5, Zenmuse X5R, Zenmuse XT, etc.), the DJI Inspire 1 V2.0 is flexible and the kind of model that will allow you to grow over time.
Ever heard of dual-operator mode? The DJI Inspire 1 V2.0 lets one person fly, and another person control the camera. I’ll tell you this. Once you fly with dual-operator mode, it will be 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.
DJI is a drone manufacturing juggernaut.
Their DJI Phantom 3 series arguably represents the best selling drone models of 2015 and 2016. Within the series there are four different models: the Standard, the 4K, the Advanced, and the Professional.
The DJI Phantom 3 Professional is the most sophisticated option in the series, and as the name suggests, it was designed for professional pilots.
The 3Pro 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 let you focus on camera control and getting the right shot. This makes the DJI Phantom 3 Professional a smart choice for pro pilots.
If you’re on a budget and/or need 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.