Whether you’re looking for some short-lasting fun or you are contemplating on joining the hobby, you will definitely want a high-quality drone. Considering this, chances are high you will be forced to choose between several models each having different characteristics. Well, today we are going to be focusing on one of them – the motors! More precisely, in this article, you’ll not only see 10 awesome drones with brushless motors but also a lot of additional information on them.
This information will answer the most common questions such as what are brushless motors, how are they different from brushed ones, are they better and so on… So, if you’re interested in the topic I suggest you sit back, relax and continue reading.
But, before jumping to the explanations, here are the best brushless drones available, sorted into two categories:
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Best Brushless Drones for Enthusiasts
If you’re just starting out or you’ve already had a few beginner-friendly drones, perhaps it’s time to step up your drone game and get a nimble flyer that’ll last more than a few months. If that’s the case, what you’re looking for are drones with brushless motors. Not only are they much more durable than cheap brushed models, but they’re also much more power-efficient and stable, meaning a superior flying experience no matter the occasion.
|Image||Name||Camera||Range||Flight Time||Best Offer|
|5. HStone HS720||FullHD||0.8km||23min||See best offer|
|4. MJX Bugs 2W||FullHD||1km||16min||See best offer|
|3. DJI Spark||FullHD||2km||16min||See best offer|
|2. Hubsan Zino||4K||4km||22min||See best offer|
|1. DJI Mavic Mini||2.7K||4km||30min||See best offer|
5. Holy Stone HS720
Holy Stone HS720 is the first of all best brushless drones we’re going to talk about here. As you can see, it’s made by Holy Stone, a well-known and respected player on the drone market. However, they’re usually not standing behind pricier models, and HS720 seems to be the exception. Can the slightly higher price tag than Holy Stone’s standards survive on the highly competitive market?
Camera and Features
When it comes to the features, it definitely can. Holy Stone HS720 features brushless motors, night lights, altitude hold sensors and a bunch of software features that make sense of all the onboard modules and sensors. We’re talking dual GPS, auto return to home, precise altitude hold, and several additional intelligent flight modes.
The onboard full HD camera shows good overall image quality, with the main problem being image stabilization in videos. Still, images are good, but the footage isn’t anything to write home about even with a primitive stabilization system put into place.
Holy Stone HS720’s specifications are pretty good. It’s not exactly on the level of professional-grade drones with brushless motors, but they’re still slightly above average at this price point. Approximately 800 meters of flight range (FPV range is slightly shorter though) and 25ish minutes of flight time. Not bad Holy Stone, not bad at all…
4. MJX Bugs 2W
At the moment, the best value for money as far as brushless drones under $500 go, there is only one clear option and that’s Bugs 2W by MJX. This is an absolutely brilliant mid-sized quadcopter with plenty of power underneath the hood. However, even though its fast and agile, this little fella is also insanely stable thanks to the built-in dual navigation systems. Overall, I guarantee you will not find a better brushless drone for the same amount of money!
Camera and Features
Features-wise, Bugs 2W is MJX’s first drone to support GPS. But, not only does it support GPS but GLONASS too, allowing for around 10 to 15 GPS satellite connections. Needless to say, that’s much more than all of its nearest competitors. Furthermore, this little bugger is nicely poised with 3 different return to home protocols and sports altitude hold and headless mode too.
As for the camera, there’s a solid built-in wide-angle CMOS sensor. It records videos in 1080p at cca 30fps. Unfortunately, there’s no stabilization (hardware or software) but that’s not really a problem since the drone is stable on its own. Obviously, this reflects back on the footage which is pretty smooth for the most part.
If you thought the features and camera section is awesome, wait till you hear more about MJX Bugs 2W brushless quadcopter specifications. They are so good that I don’t even know where to start off… I guess operating range makes for a good start since it’s a nice round number – 1 kilometer. Yup, you read that correctly – this insanely affordable drone can go up to 1 kilometer!
Not only that but it can also fly around the area for up to 18 minutes which is another praiseworthy feat. Even if something goes wrong with the range or the battery, you don’t have to worry about anything. Why? Well, once again, this drone with brushless motors sports all the latest failsafe protocols meaning it will return to its takeoff location in a pinch.
3. DJI Spark
DJI Spark, DJI’s smallest brushless drone ever. Even though this was reserved for Mavic Pro (or at least that’s what the majority of us initially thought), the Spark took the throne soon enough. And quite frankly, this little bugger has cemented itself as the best selfie drone available on the market. With a beefy camera, outstanding specs and great in-flight performance, DJI Spark puts to shame virtually all other selfie drones out there. Here’s why…
Camera and Features
Considering we are talking about a miniature selfie drone here, I guess it’s only logical to start off with its camera. DJI Spark has a surprisingly good one. It can record in 1080p and actually sports a functional gimbal. It’s a 2-axis, not a 3-axis one but that doesn’t make a lot of difference. You will still enjoy nothing but buttery smooth videos and that’s pretty much all that matters.
When it comes to the onboard features, this little birdie really has a lot to offer. In addition to altitude hold, GPS, and all those supporting smart features, DJI Spark also sports facial recognition. Furthermore, there are 2 brand new features called PalmControl and PalmLaunch which allow for a true hands-free experience. Try it out and you’ll be amazed, I guarantee it!
Specifications-wise, DJI Spark is absolutely dashing. Depending on the area you live in (due to different technical standards applied), you will be able to fly this beauty anywhere from 500 meters to even 2 kilometers away from you. But, that’s only if you get the DJI Spark Fly More Combo. It costs slightly more than the standard version but will get you the dedicated Spark controller that’s in charge of the extra range. Battery duration is great too, allowing up to 15 minutes of constant flying per charge. Pretty neat coming from such a small drone, right?
2. Hubsan Zino
Hubsan Zino is a badass drone! I kid you not – we’re talking about a proper beast here. Zino is priced rather aggressively, possesses brutal hardware and firmware that would put to shame even some much pricier models.
Camera and Features
Features-wise, Zino is definitely among the leaders in the mid-tier foldable drones section. It sports a ton of intuitive intelligent flight modes, as well as sophisticated systems for precision flying and hovering. As an extra, Zino also features several return to home protocols, massively boosting its overall reliability.
The camera won’t disappoint you either. Hubsan Zino is a proper beast with a 4K camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal. The stabilization bonus does show, and it’s one of the key virtues of this little bugger, that’s for sure! You will like what Hubsan Zino has to offer! Better yet, there’s a Pro version available too. It comes with a slight boost in operating range as well as ND filters for that extra bit of cinematic power.
The specifications are identical across both platforms, with the exception of the operating range. The base version sports roughly 3 kilometers while Pro can, almost literally, go the extra mile. Well, an extra kilometer, but I’m sure you get my point. And finally, both models can reach approximately 20 to 22 minutes, which is roughly what you’d come to expect for the price.
1. DJI Mavic Mini
DJI Mavic Mini is the obvious king in the budget-friendly, enthusiast-level market. It brings forth exceptional, premium-grade performance and doesn’t cost a pretty penny. Yes, it’s pricier than, let’s say, Holy Stone HS720, but brings forth much better performance all across the board, especially in the camera department.
Camera and Features
Even though the resolution of DJI Mavic Mini’s camera is below that of Hubsan Zino, I’ll dare to say it sports superior image quality. The colors are much more vivid and the sensor seems to soak in more light. 2.7K is the maximum resolution of this little bugger, which isn’t really that far off DJI Mavic Mini. Still, for those extremely tech-savvy who want only the highest pixel count, I guess Zino is the winner here…
The features department swings the odds in Mini’s favor, but only for a small bit. Both drones have similar features, with DJI Mavic Mini winning because of a much cleaner and more intuitive interface of its dedicated app. Yep, DJI is the absolute king when it comes to app user interface, which comes as no surprise considering their experience and expertise in the niche.
DJI Mavic Mini is an absolute champ when it comes to the numbers. Almost half an hour of flight time means you won’t have to make any pit stops with this bugger, no matter what sort of task you put it up against. Better yet, you won’t have issues with it going out of range either. You’re looking at roughly 4 kilometers of lag-free operation, beating many (if not all) similarly priced drones with brushless motors.
Best Brushless Drones for Professionals
If you’re serious about your drone hobby, we warmly recommend you purchase something with a bit more oomph to its name. Obviously, models such as DJI Mavic Mini and Hubsan Zino are great, aggressively priced alternative to premium models, capable of doing all sorts of things. However, if you already own similar models and you’re ready to take the next step, these five drones with brushless motors ought to surprise you.
|Image||Name||Camera||Range||Flight Time||Best Offer|
|5. DJI Mavic Air||4K||4km||20min||See best offer|
|4. Parrot Anafi||4K||4km||25min||See best offer|
|3. Autel EVO||4K||7km||30min||See best offer|
|2. DJI Mavic 2 Pro||4K||8km||30min||See best offer|
|1. DJI Phantom 4 Pro||4K||8km||26min||See best offer|
5. DJI Mavic Air
Here’s another DJI model, following massively successful Spark and Mavic Mini. DJI Mavic Air represents the next level, featuring a bigger body, more powerful motors and a slightly better camera. The price tag is pretty high too, but I guess this fella’s features are able to justify it.
Camera and Features
As far as the camera goes, DJI Mavic Air has a wicked 4K sensor capable of recording crystal clear HDR images and buttery smooth footage. Of course, the buttery smoothness is enabled by the 3-axis gimbal system, which has become the standard in this price range. Heck, motorized stabilization has become a standard at lower price ranges too.
Features-wise, in addition to the usual stuff like GPS, image tracking, altitude hold, and return to home, DJI Mavic Air also has two-directional obstacle avoidance. It can detect and avoid obstacles both forward and backward. On top of that, DJI Mavic Air also has access to a bunch of smart flying modes that generate awesome cinematic results, just what your social media persona needs. Unfortunately, most of these smart flying modes make the dronefly sideways, and there are no obstacle avoidance sensors on the sides.
Around 4 kilometers is what you can expect from this drone if you’re under the FCC rules. If you’re under CE, you’re looking at roughly 1.5 to 2 kilometers, and that’s if you’re lucky to be in a completely clear and unobstructed area. As far as the battery duration goes, Mavic Air can handle approximately 20 minutes, which is kind of low for today’s standards, with the likes of Zino and Mavic Mini going well over it.
4. Parrot Anafi
We can’t forget about Parrot Anafi. After all, it’s the latest and greatest Parrot drone, their best one yet; mind you. It has the looks, the charm, foldable design, and powerful internals, everything a great drone needs in its arsenal… begging for us to take a closer look.
Camera and Features
Parrot Anafi’s camera can record in 4K HDR, making it a proper beast. The drone costs a pretty penny, though, so a proper camera was expected. But, that’s not everything you need to know about this camera. You see – the way it’s mounted on Anafi allows it to shoot straight up and straight down, unlike any other drone out there. While scenarios in which you need to shoot straight up are quite rare, if they’re an imperative, so is Parrot Anafi!
As for the features, Anafi is equipped with an array that could put to shame even the best of them. We’re talking all the basics, plus a few intelligent flight modes that’ll make an influencer out of you. Best of all, Parrot’s app is intuitive and won’t take a lot of time to get used to. At the end of the day, that’s what matters the most, right?
Specifications of this brushless drone
Parrot Anafi’s performance, in terms of operating range and flight time, is roughly the same as that of DJI Mavic Air. In fact, the operating range is identical, hovering around the 4-kilometer mark in ideal conditions. The French drone manufacturer, the Parrot, has done a slightly better job in terms of battery optimization. In other words, Anafi has longer flight time, capable of handling up to 25 minutes per charge.
3. Autel Robotics EVO
Autel Robotics EVO is a proper beast, there’s no doubt about it. This brushless drone is massive, powerful, comes with all the bells and whistles you could wish for, yet it’s still portable thanks to its foldable design. It’s charming too, with its fancy orange canopy that’s become Autel Robotics’ trademark over the years. With the all-new fleet of EVO 2 drones coming out soon, is the original Autel Robotics EVO still worth purchasing? Let’s find out…
Camera and Features
Starting off with the camera, Autel Robotics EVO can, of course, record in 4K and do so with proper style. The results are amazing, in all sorts of weather scenarios you can imagine. There’s no such thing as suboptimal weather conditions for the mighty Autel Robotics EVO!
Autel’s wunderkind doesn’t lack anything in the features department either. Thanks to obstacle avoidance, GPS, altitude hold, return to home, and several intelligent flight modes, this brushless drone can do both casual and professional tasks with ease.
Specs-wise, Autel Robotics EVO is second to none. This massive orange flyer can handle roughly half an hour in the air, and fly as far as seven kilometers, just like the best DJI drones out there. Like I said in the beginning – it’s massive and powerful but at the same time charming and portable. It’s brilliant. It’s Autel Robotics EVO…
2. DJI Mavic 2 Pro
If you want something that’s compatible yet immensely powerful, look no further than DJI Mavic 2 Pro. This is the absolute pinnacle of today’s drone tech. A superbly powerful drone in an insanely compact design. You don’t need a special case for it. Nope! DJI Mavic 2 Pro, once folded, can easily be placed inside your backpack… if that’s not impressive enough for you… wait till you hear more about its performance!
Camera and Features
DJI is definitely the go-to brand if you want the most comprehensive list of features available from your brushless quadcopter. From smart flight features to obstacle avoidance and failsafe protocols, this baby has it all. On top of all that, DJI Mavic 2 Pro also sports a foldable design that allows it to fit virtually anywhere. It’s small on its own but when completely folded it takes portability to a whole new level.
As for the camera, you will be outright amazed by the integrated 4K ready camera. In fact, there’s also a fully functional 3-axis gimbal that will make the photo/video quality that can be compared to that of DJI Phantom 4 Pro. All in all, if you are looking for a portable quadcopter with brushless motors that don’t have any performance-related compromises, DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the obvious way to go.
DJI OcuSync is among the biggest factors behind Mavic 2 Pro’s amazing success. This transmission technology allows Mavic Pro to travel up to amazing 8 kilometers without any issue at all. Thanks to the self-healing transmission and several layers of failsafe protocols there’s absolutely nothing that can go wrong while this little bugger is in the air. And it can stay there for quite a bit of time too. We are talking about numbers of full-sized models. More precisely, around the same flight time as its big brother DJI Phantom 4 Pro which is cca 30 minutes. Absolutely brilliant, don’t you agree?
1. DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus
The third drone with brushless motors made by DJI on this list is the well-known Phantom 4 Pro. This time around, we’ll be talking about the Plus version that sports an integrated display for viewing HD live stream thanks to DJI’s Lightbridge technology. It’s an incremental improvement, but a worthy one for sure. So, if you’re willing to dash out a bit more money, then DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus is the best mainstream drone currently available on the market!
Camera and Features
In contrast to the standard DJI Phantom 4 version, the Pro delivers a brand new camera with a mechanical shutter. We are talking about a highly sophisticated 1-inch CMOS 20mpx sensor capable of recording breathtaking videos (in every sense of that word). Of course, it’s not doing everything on its own, there’s also the integrated 3-axis gimbal which works wonders in terms of image stabilization.
As for the features, you can expect a whole bunch of autonomous flight modes as well as comprehensive failsafe protocols. Among them are the likes of ActiveTrack, TapFly, Return To Home, and many more.
The spec sheet continues in the same brilliant fashion. As mentioned above, DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus uses DJI Lightbridge technology which grants its impressive operating and live streaming range. We are talking about the 7-kilometer mark which is absolutely ridiculous. Flight time is not to be taken for granted either. DJI P4P Plus brushless quadcopter will hold in the air for about 25 to 27 minutes which is among the best flight times on the market.
Best Brushless drones: Brief terminology explanations
Here’s a quick rundown of the drone terminology which will be used in the next couple of sections. It’s all pretty straightforward so no need to worry.
Stands for Ready To Fly. If a drone sports RTF next to its name it means that it comes with everything needed to get it up and running.
Stands for Bind and Fly. This means the drone sports everything it needs to fly but you’ll have to provide your own transmitter.
- 1S, 2S…
1S, 2S, 3S, 4S and so on… These are all cell counts of LiPo batteries. Each cell has cca 3.7v meaning 2S (2-cell battery) has 7.4v, 3S has 11.1 etc.
Stands for Electronic Speed Controller. It’s a fundamental part of all brushless drones since it’s in charge of regulating and controlling their speed.
- XT30, JST…
These are just 2 of many widely available connectors for powering drone batteries. XT30, XT60, JST, JST-ph etc… the list goes on…
What is a brushless drone motor?
I’m sure you’ve all already heard about brushed and brushless motors. They are the base of all DC motors and as such, they should not be taken for granted. Their applications move from project building to handheld tools and even model RC cars and aircraft. But which of them is better?
Starting off with the brushless motor – it is a type of electric motor that’s commonly used for all sorts of projects. Needless to say, they come in all shapes and sizes, matching them for various types of needs. Today, of course, we will be focusing on brushless motors for drones. With that said, here’s a short definition for you:
BLDC (brushless DC electric motor) is a DC powered motor working with an inverter or a switching power supply. But what’s the difference between brushless and brushed motors? Let’s see…
Comparison – brushless vs brushed motors
Brushed drone motors
Brushed motors, as their name suggests, are based on a rotating set of wound wire coils. It basically acts like a 2-pole magnet. Unfortunately, due to the fact they possess brushes which wear out with use, brushed motors are nowhere near durable as brushless ones. They are cheaper though, making them a common occurrence in lower price tiers.
Brushless drone motors
Brushless motors, on the other hand, are much more expensive to manufacture. But, they have certain advantages. For instance, they don’t have brushes (hence the name brushless) but instead sport a permanently magnetic external rotor and 3 phases of driving coil. They require ESCs to work but are able to deliver more power and last much longer.
There’s no doubt that brushless motors make up for much better solutions than their brushed counterparts. Not only do they provide better efficiency and power/weight ratio but they are also much more durable thanks to the lack of brushes. With that in mind, if you are contemplating between buying a brushed or brushless drone, I believe the answer is simple – go for the brushless one!
What does Kv stand for in brushless drone motors?
Kv is the first thing you’ll see when purchasing brushless motors right next to their respective size. However, you will be surprised at the huge number of people that don’t actually know what does it stand for. I mean, they do know their way about the numbers behind Kv, but the actual concept of what it means is unknown to them. Well, don’t be one of those people… Here’s all you need to know about this marking:
So, for an example, a 6,000Kv brushless motor connected to a 3S (11.1V) LiPo battery will have a nominal speed of cca 66,600 rpm (66,600rpm/11.1=6,000). I said cca because this is only a theoretical speed since there are certain mechanical losses during the process.
Don’t forget ESCs
ESCs are a vital part of every brushless drone. They are in charge of controlling and providing the motors with enough power to carry on with its tasks. They come in all shapes and sizes with various characteristics. For instance, there are 4in1 ESC boards and then there are single ones. Other terminology you might encounter is the like of Input voltage, BEC, run current, burst current, mounting holes (if we’re talking about 4in1 ESCs), opto, and more. If you’re looking for the most basic explanation that will help you choose the right one for your build, you will have to know what sort of a machine you’re building. If you happen to get an ESC that is too weak for your build, you’ll be risking of possibly frying it… and you don’t want that to happen while making your first quad as its really disheartening.
Depending on your battery choice (2S, 3S, 4S) and the type of motor/propeller combination you’ll be running, you will have to match your ESCs accordingly. Let’s say you’re building that micro 120mm quad we’ve already described above. For that same build, you can rest assured 20A or even 15A 4in1 ESC will be just enough. For more aggressive builds you’ll have to go over 30A. BEC (battery elimination circuit) is also something to keep in mind since it can save you a lot of hassle. All in all, before ordering an ESC you must make sure it will fit into your build. If you’re building your very first quad it’s not bad to ask around the forums. People in this hobby are generally friendly and very helpful to each other so don’t be ashamed to ask around if you’re having trouble.
Brushless drones, in all their glory, indeed are the right way to go for all types of drone users. Brushed drones, although still on the market, are losing the race. Not only are they inferior in terms of performance and durability, but the price gap and manufacturing costs are becoming smaller and smaller in favor of their brushless counterparts.
This leads to the conclusion you should not even be bothered by purchasing a brushed model. I guess they’re OK if you’re thinking of buying a “weekend” drone under $20… but for anything above that price, I warmly recommend going with brushless drones. As you had the chance to see above, there are RTF brushless drones for slightly over $130 which is freaking amazing. Just 2 years ago, for that kind of money, you could barely buy a solid brushed model… Talk about competitiveness and price drops…
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