Flying drones often seems much more complex than it actually is. These days, drones come equipped with all sorts of safety and accessibility features that aid the pilots and help them navigate through even the most demanding terrain.
Even toy drones now come with seemingly premium stuff like GPS positioning, smart return to home and hover mode. The latter is what we’re here to talk about – drones with hover mode.
They’ve flooded the market a long time ago, so it’s about time we gave them a closer look!
Table: Best Drone with Hover Mode
|8. Syma X400||720p||100m||10min||Check Price|
|7. Potensic T25||2K||300m||15min||Check Price|
|6. HStone HS110D||720p||200m||10min||Check Price|
|5. Ruko F11 Pro||4K||1.2km||25min||Check Price|
|4. DJI Mini 2||4K||8km||30min||Check Price|
|3. Autel EVO 2||8K||8km||40min||Check Price|
|2. DJI Air 2S||5.4K||12km||32min||Check Price|
|1. DJI Mavic 3||4K||15km||45min||Check Price|
8. Syma X400
Let’s start off with an affordable drone that comes with hover mode – Syma X400! Yep, Syma is still a big name in the drone business, despite the obvious lack of premium drones. That section of the market is almost exclusively packed with DJI drones, with little to no space for others like Syma and co. But, the folks over at Syma are used to this. They keep pushing entry to mid-level drones, and it seems as though they’ve perfected their offerings.
Can Do All Sorts of Tricks
Let’s start with the biggest downside first, then move up to some awesome quirks. Unfortunately, Syma X400 does not have a built-in GPS. This renders it a tier above some of the following drones… but hey, considering the price, we can’t hold the lack of GPS against it.
Now for the fun part – despite not having GPS, Syma X400 can do all sorts of tricks! One tap 3D flips, headless mode, hover mode, FPV transmission. Yep, you’re getting proper video transmission from this little bugger too! True, the camera quality isn’t ideal, but come on – you can’t expect a lot from such a cheap model.
Should You Buy It?
Great thing about Syma drones is the fact that spare parts are readily available. If something breaks, and things will break, you won’t have to buy a brand-new drone. Just order the parts that broke (typically propellers and motors) and you’ll be good to return back to your flight routine in no time! So yeah, if we take that into our final equation, Syma X400 is definitely worth buying!
7. Potensic T25
Next up, Potensic T25! This here is another affordable drone, though slightly more expensive than Syma X400. It does, however, deliver a much better performance. T25 by Potensic offers additional goodies too, so make sure you stick around to find out why this drone is in our list of the best drones with hover mode!
DJI Phantom Lookalike
The very first thing you’ll notice, even if you don’t have any concrete experience with drones, is that this thing looks a lot like DJI’s old Phantom drones. A few years ago, before the breakthrough of foldables, this device was used by drone markets across the market, from low end to high end. If you don’t mind having a slightly bulkier model, then Potensic T25 is the right choice for you.
Its size and design allow it to be far more stable than the vast majority of similarly-priced counterparts. It sports brushless motors too, which help it climb greater highs and fight stronger winds. This thing is fast too, but there are several flight modes available so make sure you take things steadily.
Features and Camera
This bad boy comes with a 2K camera that’s actually decent! It’s mounted on a gimbal of sorts that can tilt up and down 75 degrees. It’s not the best stabilization solution out there, but it’s still better than nothing at all.
As for the numbers, T25 can handle around 800 to 900 feet and roughly 15 minutes per battery. Keep in mind that the base model comes with two batteries in the package, as well as a hard-carrying case that’s very similar to the old DJI ones.
6. Holy Stone HS110D
Holy Stone HS110D is the next drone on the chopping block! Holy Stone, just like Syma, are basing their drone business around low and mid-end devices. Their HS110D belongs in the low-end basket, featuring an all-around good platform that offers outstanding value for money. Here’s why:
Just like many other drones in this category, HS110D comes with not one but two batteries. This doubles its flight time to around 15 to 20 minutes in total. Yep, that’s roughly 8 to 10 minutes per battery, which isn’t half bad, really.
FPV and Specs
HS110D has FPV transmission. It’s marketed as 1080p but there’s no way it’s even 720p. Still, it’s adequate, especially when compared to other similarly priced models. As for the specs, we already told you about the flight time. That leaves us with an operating and video transmission range. The former maxes out at around 250 to 300 feet; the latter at 150ish.
5. Ruko F11 Pro
Ruko F11 Pro is the epitome of a middle-of-the-pack drone. It costs around $300 to $400, depending on the availability and ongoing promotions, and indeed offers solid performance for the money. It’s one of the best drones with hover mode at this price range; allow me to elaborate why:
Mid-Range Foldable Greatness
I’m just going to list out all the facts here so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Ruko F11 has GPS, smart return to home, 4K camera, carrying case, can fly for around 20 to 25 minutes, reach as far as 1500 feet without losing FPV signal, and comes chalk-filled with smart flying modes.
Best Bang for Your Bucks?
The question now becomes – is Ruko F11 the best mid-range foldable device you can buy right now? Well, while it does excel in numerous departments… and while it does offer great bang for your bucks, if you add just a bit more to your budget you’ll be able to get the next drone on our list… and if precise drone with hover mode is your thing, then you better keep on reading!
4. DJI Mini 2
Slowly but surely, we’re moving into the big boy territory – DJI drones! The first DJI drone on our list is the ever-present Mini 2. The spiritual successor of the OG Mavic Mini, DJI Mini 2 packs even more oomph and comes with upgraded features that are bound to sweep you off your feet!
You Deserve This
If you’re thinking to yourself “why should I pay this much money for such a miniature device”, you’re not the only one. But, let me assure you – this thing sweeps the floor with everything we’ve touched upon so far. Plus, it weighs in below .55 lbs or 250grams, meaning you don’t even need to register it. You can fly it right out of the box, which is unheard of for a drone of this quality.
Can Shoot Brilliant Aerial Footage
Not only does Mini 2 come with an abundance of smart features and flying modes (some of which are photography/videography-based and will outright amaze you), but it also sports a beast of a camera that’ll exceed all of your expectations. This thing can shoot in 4K at 30 frames per second and has fully-fledged 3-axis stabilization.
Don’t even get me started on the specifications! It’s marketed for around 6 miles of video transmission, though you’re likely to get less than that in forests and urban areas. The battery duration is pretty good too. You’ll consistently get above 25 minutes of flight time, even if you record for the majority of the trip.
3. Autel Robotics EVO II
Autel Robotics EVO II is no joke! It’s the best non-DJI prosumer model available… but real talk though, DJI is so dominant in this market that Autel EVO II doesn’t really have any quality competition besides them.
O for Orange… and Omnipotent
There’s really no point in comparing this one to DJI Mini 2. They might offer similar specifications, but Autel Robotics EVO II is a much bigger drone featuring a larger camera sensor, more powerful motors, and superior performance across all remaining departments.
Another thing worth mentioning is its bright orange color. It’s just an Autel Robotics thing – don’t mind them! Not only will it turn quite a few heads around the park, but will also allow you to clearly distinguish your drone from others (in case you’re flying in a meeting of similar).
What Can It Do?
It can do everything DJI Air 2S can, but with added extras like better flight stability via its hover mode, superior camera solutions (several options to choose from, depending on your needs), faster top speed, and much more.
Obstacle avoidance is present too; omnidirectional, mind you. Combine that with everything mentioned above and you’ll begin to understand why it costs so much.
2. DJI Air 2S
The runner-up on our list of the best hover mode drones currently available is DJI Air 2S. What makes it better than Autel Robotics EVO II? Well, performance-wise, it’s not better… but it’s cheaper and manages to win on price-per-value ratio.
Plethora of Features
Despite having a relatively affordable price tag (considering everything it brings to the table), DJI Air 2S is considered as a flagship device. Its set of features definitely backs this up. Not only does it have the full array of mid-tier DJI smart camera features, it also has additional quirks you wouldn’t expect from a model in this price point. We’re talking stuff like obstacle avoidance, one of the main reasons people have opted for flagships instead of lower-tier models in the past.
Gotta Respect the Performance
We aren’t even done with the good stuff yet! Moving on with the positives, DJI Air 2S has impressive numbers in the specs’ department to show off! Its hefty 3500mAh battery allows for around 25 to 27 minutes of flight time. Yes, it is marketed for above 30, but you know that drone manufacturers always pump those numbers up…
As for the range, you can hope for the full (read advertised) 7.5 miles, but in reality, you’ll be getting 6ish. For our European readers, that’s somewhere around 10 to 12 kilometers, approximately.
1. DJI Mavic 3
And finally, we’ve reached the best drone with hover mode that you can buy right now. It is, of course, the all-new DJI Mavic 3! This is the best drone according to most (if not all) imaginable criteria. It’s just so darn good. But, quality comes at a cost, and this thing sure is pricey!
DJI Mavic 3 is the best drone with hover mode
Let’s be clear right away – this thing is pricey! It’s not meant for casual users; DJI Mavic 3 is meant for people who need drones for commercial purposes. I mean, sure, if your budget allows for such a big dent, then by all means go for it. But, if you’re a mere mortal and all you’re looking for is a hover mode drone with stabilized camera, there are far cheaper options that will deliver adequate results. For these buyers, DJI Mavic 3 is an overkill, and even that’s putting it lightly.
What Can You Expect?
You can expect brilliance, plain and simple. No matter which of the two available models you choose from, Standard or Cine, DJI Mavic 3 platform will give you everything you can imagine. A plethora of smart features, omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, almost ten miles of video transmission, and over half an hour of battery duration.
Don’t even get me started on the camera(s). No matter what you’re thinking of using this drone for, it will deliver. It will keep on delivering for years to come too. DJI Mavic 3 has just been released, meaning if you buy it now, you’re basically futureproofing your business… or hobby, it’s all up to you!
What is a Hover Mode on a Drone?
Before we start dissecting the best drones with hover mode, why don’t we take a step back and actually talk about the mode itself! For starters, what is hover mode? It’s basically the same thing as altitude hold – the nomenclature varies from brand to brand but, in essence, it’s the same exact thing.
Hover mode AKA Altitude hold uses the drone’s downward-facing sensors to calculate its distance from the ground, then feeds that data to the main flight controller board which then tells the motors how much throttle they need to output to remain stationary at the current height.
Without hover mode (or when it’s turned off), you have to manually adjust the throttle to keep your drone steady. Long story short, hover mode allows you to concentrate on shooting aerial photography instead of solely focusing on keeping your drone level.
How do I Make My Drone Hover?
Most models that come with hover mode have it set on by default. This means that if you take off with your drone and let go of the throttle stick, it won’t go back down but keep its altitude and hover in place. Some models require users to manually turn the feature on. There’s either a button on the provided controller or on the drone’s app. It’s pretty straightforward – just press the button and your drone should stabilize in front of you.
Why is My Drone Not Hovering?
Typically, if your drone isn’t hovering, it means it doesn’t come with that feature. If, on the other hand, you’re certain it does, you either have to manually turn it on, or recalibrate the IMU (inertial Measurement Unit).
Can All Drones Hover in the Air?
Nope, not all drones can hover in the air. In fact, lots of lower-end models that are marketed for altitude hold or hover mode can’t really do it. Their “optical flow” downward facing sensors just don’t do well enough of a job to keep the drone perfectly steady.
How Long Can a Drone Hover in One Place?
It depends on which drone you have. Typically, toy drones can hover for around five to ten minutes, whereas high-end models can hover for upwards of half an hour. If you’re worried your drone’s flight duration won’t be enough for you, you an always buy more batteries. Just make sure you give your drone a short break in between flights, just so the motors and its internals can cool off a bit.
Is Altitude Hold the Same as Hover Mode?
Yes, it is! We’re looking at two identical features, just different nomenclature. Some drone manufacturers opt for one, some opt for the other. If you’re currently on the lookout for cheap drone deals and this confuses you, just remember it’s the same thing and you’ll be alright!
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