Best drones to buy in 2017. Includes buying guide and flying tips.

Hello guys! After weeks of research we have finally completed final version of our Ultimate drone buying guide. This is a long, in depth guide where we discuss more than 50 currently available drones for sale. Our list also contains top things you should consider when buying a drone, and we explained most popular drones features and how they work.

Browse this post by Category: Click any of the links below to jump to each category.
1.   Things to consider when buying a drone
2.   Common features and how they work
3.   How we sort drones on this list [IMPORTANT]
4.   Top 30 quads for sale – sorted by price
5.   >> $10 to $50
6.   >>>> $51 to $100
7.   >>>>>> $101 to $300
8.   >>>>>>>> +$500

What’s the best drone for sale in 2017?

SKIP BORING PART and Scroll down to : Comparison tables

Today, in the 21th century, we are watching the rise of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, the so called UAV’s or drones, as media named it and consequently we did too. Despite still common belief, drones for sale do not just have military purposes. On the contrary, drones are meant for our amusement, for our photography and videography needs, for our pleasure, reaching places we never thought we could reach. Just imagine, your wedding, how great would it be to record all the guests, all the fun, from the sky? Imagine, how amazing would it be to go spend the day in the park and race your drone with others? How spectacular would it be to watch in real time from the comfort of your home what’s going on in your street? It is all possible! Drones enable an all new point-of-view. The sky no longer is the limit!

DJI Inspire drones for sale, on sunset. Author : Aldryn Estacio.

Industries have come to realize the big potential in this new technology. New drones are being released to the market every week, each one aiming to bring new improvements from its predecessors. More flight time, faster speed, better camera quality, more useful and amazing features, all at the tip of your fingers and the sight of your eyes! Yet, the big question still is: from all the drones in the market, which one best fits your needs? We at Drones Globe have a goal. The goal to guide you and help you throughout this new technology, informing you on the best products for your budget. Money is important. Your money is important. You should spend it wisely. At Drones Globe you won’t regret your buy, we discuss every detail of a product and compare to other same price drones, so you can always have the best bang for your buck! Further in this article we will discuss the best drones for sale currently in the market for each type of budget. But first, if you are a beginner you may want to consider this:

What are the factors you have to take into consideration when purchasing your first drone?

Ease of use
 It is your first drone and you do not want to spend your money on a product you cannot control. It needs to be easy to manoeuvre, somewhat wind resistant and above all stable.
Durable
You do not want a drone which will break easily, you need something resistant to most common crashes. Made from carbon fibre or if your budget is low a good ABS plastic, not the weak one.
Flight Time
Keep in mind your first flights will be for you to learn, for you to understand how it moves and what you can and cannot do it. A below average flight time might become annoying, because you will have to wait for it to recharge until you take it on the sky again (unless you buy extra batteries).
Extra parts
You want some facility to find extra parts, either to repair or just to increase your “drone garage” utilities. A drone from a rookie company may give you a hard time when it comes to buying new parts for your drone.
Features
This factor depends more on your taste than the others, but a feature we recommend for beginners is the headless mode, although it is not advisable for beginners to always fly on this mode (because you won’t learn normal directions as fast), it is a safe point, making your drone easier to fly.

 

Common features drones have and how they work:

Headless Mode
 If we were to see the chronology of commercial drones development, Headless Mode would be one first the features to start becoming commonly added. What is Headless Mode you ask? Sometimes when the drone reaches a distance, from which you cannot distinguish front and rear of the drone, this is when Headless Mode comes in handy. Before taking off position the front of the drone to be your front. Normally the left stick on a Mode 2 controller doesn’t have anything to do with the drone’s orientation (left is left and right is right, despite where the drone is pointing at. Activating Headless Mode changes how the drone reacts to rudder (the right stick on a Mode 2 controller). Meaning any directional change is compensated. For example, when you turn your drone 90 degrees to the left, it will still go forward when you push the rudder forward (on a non-headless mode drone, it would make the drone turn left).

One Key Return or Return to Home
 A more recent feature, started to appear on commercial drones in 2015. It does what you think it does. The name describes it well (sometimes, I will explain further), by hitting the Return to Home button on your controller the drone will come back to where first began flight. Some drones use an inner compass for this, others use GPS, and others came up with other methods. However, sometimes, some lower budget quadcopters advertising Return to Home feature, in fact, are not real Home Return and the drone just fly backwards. BUT and this is a tip for beginners if you do this while on Headless Mode and point the controller to the opposite direction of the drone it will comes back to you.

Automatic Landing and Taking Off
 Also a feature that has become more common on commercial drones since 2015. The name is self-explanatory it does what it says it does. With the push of a button the drone will take off and hover in the air by itself (some drones let you set the altitude it fly automatically too); on the other button it will land by itself. No need for pilot’s input.

Altitude Holder
 This is one of the most recent features added to commercial lower budget drones, higher budget drones already added it (in some cases). It is very common on drones meant for photography and videography. The pilot will be able to set the drone to steadily hover in the same place in air. Allowing the pilot to focus on the video. Some lower budget drones may not be able to stay as steady as one needs to record a professional video, but professional drones do this with a lot of precision, not moving almost at all.

Follow Mode
 At the moment this feature can only be found on high budget drones, no low budget drone currently has it. What it does? You can command the drone to lock on a person and follow it automatically. Once again, this is very useful for photography and videography, allowing the pilot to focus on the video or photos while the drone follows the person by itself. Together with this Mode some drones also have circle function, in which the drone will lock on an object (or person) and fly around it.

Automatic Flight
 Only found on higher priced drones. Via GPS satellite the drone is able to automatically fly pre-programmed flights by the pilot. Through a GPS software the pilot programs the flight he wants the drone to do. And as expected, the drone performs the flight by itself.

MORE
 Features such as the 360º spin stunt (with just a push of a button) and the LED lights, have become more than common. They are almost mandatory and can be found in almost any drone.

 

The best (camera) quadcopters for sale, sorted by price :

$10 to $50 Budget drones for sale:

Most quadcopters within this affordable budget are toy rated micro quads, with the usual ABS Plastic and low quality cameras. However, around the $50 quadcopter you already find some bigger sized quadcopters with a decent camera and easy to manoeuvre.

NameImageFlight timeRangeCameraPrice
JXD 509Vpioneer-jxd-509v-300x1386 minutes80 meters3.0 MPShow me !
MT 9916mt9916-1-300x1296 minutes50 meters2.0 MPShow me !
JJRC H8Cjjrc-h8c-300x737 minutes100 meters2.0 MPShow me !
FY326 Q7fy326-300x648 minutes100 metersNoShow me !
HT F803Cf803c-300x776 minutes80 meters1 MPShow me !

Tier 1

  • best drones for sale, jxd 509vPioneer JXD 509V is a recent quadcopter from Pioneer. But it’s not any common quadcopter, JXD 509V is packed with awesome features, more than any other same price quad. Such features include: Return to Home, Altitude Holder and Headless Mode. Plus a 2MP camera. It has an 80 meter control distance. Another amazing thing about this drone is its futuristic design resembling the Yuneec Q500. As you can see it is our only Tier 1 quadcopter, mainly because it represents a big leap on how good and cheap a drone can be. Setting the bar high to other same price drones. That being said, for now it is the only Tier 1 drone within this budget.

Tier 2

  • mt9916Moontop MT 9916 comes with a 2MP camera. Don’t expect videos and photos to be high quality, this is very cheap drone. It is easy to manoeuvre, can stay in air for around 8 minutes and only takes around 30 minutes to charge!! Its control distance is just 50 meters, that’s the downside of it. Otherwise, very affordable drone and good pick. Personally, I’ve bought few of these last Christmas for my nephew. They are good for first time flyers. Good price / value ratio.
  • jjrc h8cJJRC H8C comes with a 2MP built in camera. It has a nice dark spacecraft design. It can fly as far as 80 meters and as a flight time of 8 minutes.

Tier 3

  • fy326FY326 Q7 is a great quadcopter for beginners, it only has the basic functions but it can fly beautifully, extremely easy to control and can go as far as 120 meters! It has the lifting power to carry a simple camera if you wish to attach one. And it is very affordable (around $20!)
  • f803cHT F803C is a great little quadcopter, easy to fly. Control distance of 100 meters and as a flight time of 6 to 7 minutes. It has a very decent built in camera of 1MP. Many will agree this is one of best drones of this size (nano).

 

$50 to 100$ Budget:

Quadcopters within this also affordable price range are still toy rated quadcopters, however they start to include some useful features and good power lift and nice cameras.

NameImageFlight timeControl rangeCameraPrice
Tarantula X6tarantula-x68 minutes300 metersSeparate buyShow me !
MJX X600mjxx6008 minutes100 metersSeparate buyShow me !
WL Toys V686Gwltoys-v686g8 minutes100 meters2.0 MPShow me !
JJRC H11Djjrc-h11d10 minutes120 meters2.0 MPShow me !
Syma X5SWsyma-x5sw6 minutes50 meters0.3 MPShow me !
Syma X8Csyma-x8c5 minutes50 meters2.0 MPShow me !

Tier 1

  • tarantula-x6Tarantula X6 is an amazing quadcopter. Extremely stable, easy to control, has very decent lifting power. Has an amazing 300 meters control distance!! Flight time of 8 to 10 minutes. It comes with IOC (Intelligent Orientation Control) which works much like an inner compass. Allowing features such as Return to Home. It also has Headless Mode. If you buy the camera pack version of this quadcopter, it comes with a 5MP camera. In this price range, Tarantula is definitely one of the best camera drones for sale.
  • mjx x600MJX X600 is a highly recommended drone for sale. What is the difference between a hexacopter and a quadcopter, well hexacopter has six rotors and the quadcopter has four. X600 can reach high yaw rates, making it a fast quadcopter. It has a flight time of up to 9 minutes and 125 meters control distance. Among its features we can find Headless Mode and Return to Home.
  • wltoys-v686gWLtoys V686G is one of the most sold low budget FPV quadcopters. Mainly because it delivers what it promises. A great flight time of up to 10 minutes! Good control distance of 120 meters. And a very decent 2MP camera which transmits real time video to the FPV screen with almost no delay.

Tier 2

  • jjrc-h11dJJRC H11D is one of the best and most affordable low budget FPV quadcopters. Together with a 2MP camera and a screen built-in in your controller, it probably is the number one cheap FPV quadcopter at the moment with a complete package. Flight time of 10 minutes (very good!) and 120 meters control distance. Packs some useful features such as the One Press Automatic Return and the camera is remotely adjustable (for better recording angles)
  • syma x5swSyma X5SW is a very affordable quadcopter with FPV (real time video transmission)! Yes, for a very low price you can have your own FPV quad, watch directly in your screen what the quadcopter is recording. Camera quality is of 2MP. It comes with Headless Mode and IOC (Intelligent Orientation Control). Unfortunately it only has a range of 50 meters. That is always the downside of the Syma X5 series: low range.
  • syma x8cSyma X8C Venture is a large size quadcopter with a design similar to the DJI Phantom. It has a nice smooth flight, it can stay on air for around 10 to 12 minutes which is very good. It can go as far as 100 meters distance. Depending on the package version it may come with a 2MP or 5MP camera. Its only feature is Headless Mode.

Tier 3

  • jjrc-h6cJJRC H6C is a micro quadcopter, very fun and easy to fly and it has a built-in 2MP camera with 720p resolution. JJRC H6C control distance is somewhere around 80 meters. Transmitter has small LCD screen where you’ll be able to track battery status, camera etc. Also, you’ll get 2GB micro sd card in package with this drone. H6C has a blade protectors, that means it’s appropriate for indoor and outdoor flights. 3.7V 350mAh battery will provide you with 5-6 minutes of flight time, which is not bad for this price range.
  • nextX-h20GPToys H2O is not the common drone. As you probably can tell by its name “H20”, one of this drone functions is being waterproof! Yes you can actually land this drone on the water as take-off from it. Control range of this drone is somewhere around 100 meters, which is great for this price range. 3.7V 650mAh LiPo battery will give you 6-8 minutes of flight time. We should also mention that it has built in LED lights, which means you’ll be able to fly it at night. Manufacturer claims that you have 30 days money back guarantee.

 

$100 to $300 Budget:

This is the budget line of the most expensive toy rated quadcopters. Expect some interesting features, better camera quality and an overall improvement of drone’s specifications.

NameImageFlight timeRangeCameraPrice
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0PARROT-AR-DRONE-2.010 minutes100 meters720pShow me !
Cheerson CX-20cheerson-cx-2014 minutes300 metersBuy separatelyShow me !
Wltoys V393wltoys-v393-300x988 minutes100 metersNo cameraShow me !
JJRC X1jjrc-x1-300x10013 minutes300 metersNo cameraShow me !
WLtoys V666wltoys-v666-300x937 minutes100 meters2.0 MPShow me !
Hubsan H107Dhubsanx48 minutes100 meters0.3 MPShow me !
WLToys V686Gwltoys-v686g7 minutes80 meters1 MPShow me !

Tier 1

  • parrot-ar-droneParrot AR Drone 2.0 is an amazing powerful and fun quadcopter. It connects to your iOS or Android device which will act as a controller and FPV screen. It has very powerful specifications such as 3 axis gyroscope 2000°/second precision, 3 axis accelerometer +-50mg precision, 3 axis magnetometer 6° precision. 1GHz 32 bit ARM Cortex A8 processor, 1GB DDR2 RAM at 200MHz and Ultrasound Sensors. One of the best toy rated quadcopters, with a unique beautiful futuristic design. Camera is also very good quality, so no doubt this is one of the best camera drones for sale you can buy for less than $300.
  • cheerson-cx20Cheerson CX-20 Auto Pathfinder is one of the most bought quadcopters currently in the market. It has Return to Home Function and Intelligent Orientation Control. It’s very easy to control. It has a great control distance of 300 meters and can stay in air for up to 15 minutes. It has enough lifting power to carry a GoPro. It is a great affordable substitute of professional photography and videography quadcopters.
  • wltoys-v393WLToys V393 is a drone packed with great features and amazing control distance. Its motors are brushless. Its features are GPS, Balance and pressure meter, Intelligent Flight Mode, Automatic Landing, Headless Mode and One-Key Return!! On top of all that it as a control distance of 500 meters! And a flight time of 15 minutes!

Tier 2

  • jjrc-x1JJRC X1 has been one of the best latest releases in the market. JJRC has done a great job. X1 has an amazing range of 300 to 400 meters! Awesome surprisingly flight time of up to 15 minutes! X1 is JJRC first brushless quadcopters and its powerful motors provide enough lifting power to even carry a GoPro! On top of all this it has some features such as Headless Mode and Return to Home. X1 is very affordable being one of the cheapest drones within this budget!
  • wltoys v666WLtoys V666 is a large quadcopter with a very robust and durable foam protection. It is FPV ready, right of the box, no need for separate devices, it has its own 4″.3 5.8 Ghz LCD monitor. Control distance of 150 meters and flight time between 8 to 10 minutes. Camera is 2MP.

Tier 3

  • hubsan-x4Hubsan X4 H107D is a very small FPV quadcopter, from a great manufacture, Hubsan. The camera is only 0.3MP but it is great performance with perfect transmission through 5.8GHz assuring no lost connections and no latency. Supports Hubsan Video Googles for amazing FPV flights in real drone view. Control distance of 100 meters and flight time of 8 minutes.
  • wltoys-v686gWLToys V686G is a very affordable quadcopter, ready to fly out of the box, with 100 meters control distance and 8 minutes of flight time. It has both Headless Mode and Return to Home feature. Comes with its on FPV monitor. FPV transmission is done with no lag outdoor or indoor.

 

+$500 Budget:

In this budget you will find semi-professional and professional drones. The best drones in the market! Expect the best features and specifications! Amazing UAV’s!

NameImageFlight timeControl rangeCameraBuy now
DJI Phantom 4DJI-Phantom-425 minutes2000 meters12 MP, 4KShow me !
Typhoon Hyuneec-typhoon-h25 minutes1000 meters12 MP, 4KShow me !
DJI Inspire 1dji-inspire1-300x9818 minutes2000 meters12 MP, 4KShow me !
3DR Solo3dr-solo-drone-300x19620 minutes1000 metersGoProShow me !
DJI Phantom 3 Prodji-phantom3-advanced20 minutes2000 meters12 MP, 4KShow me !
Typhoon Q500yuneec-q500-typhoon22 minutes600 meters12 MP, 4KShow me !
Hubsan X4 Prohubsan-x4-h109s-pro-x25 minutes1500 meters13 MP, 1080p HDShow me !

Tier 1

  • yuneec-typhoon-hYuneec Typhoon H most of you probably expected some DJI model in 1st position, but our favourites goes to new model from Yuneec. H comes with a retractable landing gear and a camera which can pan a full 360 degrees. Unlike its main competitors (Inspire 1, Phantom 4) and previous Yuneec model (Q500), H comes with a six rotors instead of four. Yuneec says this will allow the craft to remain stable and land in the event it loses one or two motors. To conclude, Yuneec Typhoon H is a high-end, Hollywood-caliber drone, but at just two-thirds of the price of DJI’s Inspire 1.
  • DJI-Phantom-4DJI Phantom 4 is beautifully designed camera drone for sale. Its smooth curves and crisp white exterior make it a natural fit for Apple stores, where it’s being sold exclusively for the first few weeks. Phantom 4 is feature rich drone, it has a collision avoidance and object tracking systems. Handling is very smooth, and it seems to be slightly faster than DJI Phantom 3. Camera quality and flight time are slightly improved too. Don’t forget DJIs flight app (available for both Android and iOS) which is very intuitive and it will definitely make your flights easier.
  • 3dr-solo3DR Solo is often called smart or future proof drone. It’s built on open source platform, which means programmers can add new functionalities to it. It’s really feature rich and it comes with a well designed app. 3DR Solo does not have its own (built in) camera, which means you’ll have to use a GoPro camera which is always a good pick. You can buy it with or without gimbal and GoPro camera. Control range is somewhere about 1000 meters which is less than its main competitor drone (Phantom 3/4). Flight time is 20 minutes, which is relatively good, extra batteries can be bought and that’s what I always recommend.
  • dji-phantom3-advancedDji Phantom 3 Advanced is DJI’s most recent product, and incredible powerful machine able to record 2.7K video and capture 12 megapixels photos. An integrated 3-Axis Stabilization Gimbal supports GoPro cameras. Streams live 720p HD video directly to your smartphone or tablet in a maximum range of 2 kilometers. Among its features there are: Auto Take-off, Auto Landing, Auto Return to Home, Failsafe.
  • dji-inspire1Dji Inspire 1 is capable of flying up to 4.5KM distance. It comes with a software which allows the pilot to program automatic flights. Comes with an amazing 4K camera. It is one of the higher cost quadcopters. Mainly because it packs every feature you might think of. Therefore, we won’t go on much detail. It literally has all the great features you need.

Tier 2

  • dji-phantom-2-vision-plusDJI Phantom 2 Vision+ This high-end Vision+ quadcopter has GPS, Wi-Fi, and a fully stabilized 14MP camera with an F/2.8 lens that shoots video at 1080p/30. Its 5200mAh Li-Po battery powers 25 minutes of flight time. There are 2 new DJI drone generations (Phantom 3 & 4) but this is still a good buy. Price has significantly dropped last year. I’d say this is great start drone for someone who is looking to get in Aerial photography and videography business.
  • yuneec-q500Yuneec Typhoon Q500 has three flight modes: Smart Mode, Angle Mode, and Home Mode. All three modes use GPS. One awesome feature of Q500 is Geo Fence protection. It has 800 meters control distance and 20 to 25 minutes flight time. Camera is 12MP and you’ll get decent footage from it. Many people believe Q500 is better that it’s 1st competitor : DJI Phantom 3. Personally, I believe it is slightly better than Phantom 3. Since new version is out (Typhoon H), you can get this one for great, discounted price. I wouldn’t miss that opportunity if I were looking for drone of this type at the moment.

Tier 3

  • cheerson-cx22Cheerson CX22 brings great improvements, such as Dual GPS System, improved positioning accuracy and more stable flight. A Follow Me feature, Auto-return, Out of control and returning, a key to return, Autoland, Automatic stability augmentation system, Circle Mode (recording around a determined radius). Cheerson CX 22 has a range of 800 meters and 25 minute flight time. Camera records in 1080p resolution. Transmitter is high quality and it has its own LCD screen for FPV video transmission. You’ll get a carrying bag in package too. Please read reviews on Amazon before buying, it looks like some people are having negative experience with this drone.
  • 3dr-iris+3DR IRIS+ can be remotely controlled via Android and iOS by an application on pilot’s device, or through a nine-channel radio transmitter with on-screen telemetry for instant accurate flight data. The mobile app assists the remote control with features such as automatic take-off and landing with just a push of a button. Iris + has the awesome and useful feature Mission Planner software. By tapping on a displayed map and drawing intended flying path, Iris + will record it and perform it. All powered by a high-performance 32-bit Pixhawk autopilot system built on ARM Cortex-M4 Processor. Congrats 3DR, you created one of best drones for sale in this price range!

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8 comments

by Oldest
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1

Nice article, thanks Julio!

2

Took me 20 minutes to read, but it's worth it!

Maybe you should list 3DR Solo together with DJI Phantom & Inspire?

3

I am planning to buy one for my 8 year old Son, Can you please suggest a good model.

4

Hi Anna,

first of all, I want to say sorry for late response. Somehow I overlooked your comment.

I would suggest you to read our "JXD 509G review". That's awesome drone that comes at and affordable price. I mean, it has a camera, it's very crash resistant and it's easy to fly (even for a beginner !) . I bought one for my younger brother (14 years), it's still not broken! 😉

5
Michele Renzullo

Hi, please tell me how many and what are the versions of jxd 509...? What is the difference with jxd 509v and jxd 509g? Why there isn'y mjx x101c in this list? Thank you so much

6

Hi Michele,

well, there are 3 versions : 509G, 509W and 509V. You can read 509G and 509W reviews on our site. Main difference between 509G and 509W is controller. While 509G comes with a controller with a LCD Screen (FPV), 509W controller doesn't have LCD screen. Instead, it comes with a smartphone holder, so you can connect your phone with 509W and attach it on controller. It works great, I have tested it with Samsung Galaxy Alpha (it should work fine on all android and ios devices).

509V is the cheapest model, it does not have LCD screen and you CAN NOT use your smartphone as a video receiver. Which means, 509V IS NOT fpv model.

Also, 509G (2MP) has camera that's slightly better than on other two models (0.3MP). It has a 1-2 minutes longer flight time according to my tests.

Personally, I would buy JXD 509G. I hope that helps 🙂

7
Michele Renzullo

thank you 🙂 🙂 ++++++ but why there isn’y mjx x101c in this list? In dronesglobe newsletter, you suggest it

8

You're welcome 🙂

Well, I'm pretty sure it will be added to this list on next update. There are few new drones that will be added to this list next month. Some of them are DJI Phantom 4, 3DR Solo, MJX X101c.. stay tuned 🙂

Best drones to buy in 2017. Includes buying g…

by Anthony Turner time to read: 16 min
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