Besides the regular, outdoor use, many (mostly smaller) drones are suitable for indoor use as well. This could come in handy especially during the winter, and to people who don’t have a big backyard to fly their drone in. Another group of people that would want the best indoor drone with camera are probably the people living in apartments who are afraid they’ll crash their drone if they fly it out through the window.
If you found yourself in any of the reasons I just mentioned, then you have come to the right place. Why? Because today we’ll talk about the best indoor drones that are currently available on the market. So, with this in mind, I will cut straight to the chase and start off with the list of best indoor quadcopters.
TABLE: 5 Best indoor drones
|Image||Name||Camera||Range||Flight Time||Best Offer|
|5. Altair Falcon||720p||100m||8min||See best offer|
|4. HStone F181W||1080p||80m||8min||See best offer|
|3. Altair 818||720p||150m||15min||See best offer|
|2. Altair AA108||720p||100m||10min||See best offer|
|1. DJI Mavic Mini||2.7K||4km||30min||See best offer|
5. Altair Falcon
The first drone we’re going to discuss today is Altair’s relatively new entry to the low-end of the spectrum, the Falcon. Yep, a pretty generic name for a drone, but I promise it’s worth your time. After all, it’s cheap, and there are not that many great options at this price point anymore…
Affordable Entry-Level Flyer
As stated above, Falcon is a relatively new model that has already conquered the lower portion of the market. It’s small, lightweight, and comes with an extra battery that doubles your flight time. The standard flight time of a single battery goes anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes which isn’t half bad for the price. Especially with the second battery onboard. What makes this bugger great for flying indoor is its altitude hold ability. At this price point, altitude hold is a great feature to have! No, Altair Falcon doesn’t have GPS so the accuracy isn’t the greatest. It’s still above average in this price point, which is absolutely fine.
Great for Outdoor Use Too
Another cool thing about Altair Falcon is its flight range. Even though we’re strictly talking about indoor drones here, a good range is always a big plus. Altair Falcon passes the test with flying marks, all thanks to cca 100 meters of flight range. That’s more than enough for a drone as cheap as this one, making it potent as both an indoor and backyard flyer.
4. Holy Stone F181w
I believe most of you have heard about Holy Stone, a pretty good drone brand that mostly deals across the entry-level market. With a stellar fleet of drones available, they seem to be doing themselves justice. Today, we’ll be focusing on their F181w which seems to be an excellent choice around the $100 price point. So, let’s cut the introduction here and kick things off with this birdie’s specifications.
Flight Time & Operating Range
Kicking things off with the battery – Holy Stone F181W sports a 1S 750mAh pack. In fact, it sports 2 packs which effectively doubles the flight time. So, 1 battery equals to around 7-8 minutes of flight time. Considering there are 2 batteries inside the package, it effectively means you have a 15-minute flight time straight out of the box. You will even get an additional charger meaning you can charge both batteries simultaneously. The operating range is pretty good too, extending to roughly 80 meters in normal conditions.
Features & Camera
Altitude hold and headless mode are the 2 basic features you can expect from Holy Stone F181 indoor drone. Additionally, this little birdie also sports one key return to home. On the downside – it’s not powered by GPS but it’s still precise to an extent. Lastly, Holy Stone F181W incorporates a miniature camera that snaps right into place at the bottom of its build. We’re talking about what seems to be a 2mpx sensor capable of recording videos in 720p.
The quality is not spectacular, but still decent nevertheless. Considering everything stated above together with several thousand positive reviews on Amazon (that’s something you don’t see every day), there’s no doubt this mini indoor drone with a camera is one hell of a choice!
3. Altair 818 Hornet
Let’s face it guys, Altair is one of the best entry-level drone manufacturers, surely among the top 3. It has gotten there by hard work, dedication and, obviously, plenty of great models. This includes their 818 Hornet drone.
For under $200, it sports very nice specifications and several basic features that make up mid-tier drones. There’s a great build quality too as well as a decent camera. Overall, Altair 818 Hornet is a great package and a great choice for indoor flyers.
A Ton of Good Stuff
Why don’t we start off with this little bugger’s specs… If you are thinking of buying Hornet 818, then you will be really happy to know it sports spectacular specifications… and I’m not even exaggerating. You see, this entry-level drone is not only great for indoor use but it also does so for quite a long time. It is capable of flying for approximately 12 minutes per charge. Undoubtedly, that’s a great flight time coming from an entry-level drone. The operating range is pretty good too, but that’s to be expected considering it works over 2.4Ghz frequency. You can expect around 150 meters under ideal conditions.
The Rest of the Package Looks Solid
Moving onto the camera, indoor drone with camera Altair 818 Hornet sports a big ass camera underneath its body. It looks to be like one of those Zenmuse models considering its size. Unfortunately, though, it’s all just a gimmick since this is a standard 2mpx sensor. The housing does feature vibration dampening to an extent so that’s a plus. However, the maximum resolution is limited to 720p which is to be expected from a 2mpx camera. Oh, and I almost forgot – it supports WiFi FPV too.
This brings us to the features – altitude hold, headless mode and one key takeoff/landing are the basics of what you can expect from Altair 818 Hornet. This is all in terms of software, of course… I guess it is also worth mentioning that this birdie sports thick and sturdy prop guards incorporated in its build. Needless to say, they provide an extra layer of safety for the drone itself and can greatly increase its lifespan. All that considered, we can proudly say this is one of, if not the best indoor drone in 2020 available on the market. Even more so if its in the hands of a clumsy pilot who crashes a lot… All in all, if you’re looking for a great beginner-friendly indoor flyer that can take a beating, there is no better option than Altair 818 Hornet.
2. Altair AA108
Altair AA108 is one of those best indoor drones with a camera that simply amazed us with its stability and general performance. At an incredibly affordable price point, this little bugger offers awesome features that are rarely seen for such low money.
Still, we all know the competition is touch in this low-end market section. There are many models to choose from so Altair AA108 will have a tough task presenting itself even despite its stellar array of features… But, I’m pretty sure it will emerge on top after all.
And why shouldn’t it? After all, this bugger sports some impressive hardware inside that’s well worth the price it goes for. It allows for stellar performance. Want more precise numbers? Well, how is this for precision – Altair AA108 offers up to 10 minutes of flight time thanks to its proprietary LiPo battery. We’re talking about a 2-cell 350mAh pack which is more than enough at this price point. Too bad it’s proprietary though, you know I’m not the biggest fan of those…
On the bright side, you get an extra one so you’re basically saving a lot of money on a separate purchase afterward. Another bright side is definitely the operating range which extends all the way to 100 meters thanks to the provided 2.4Ghz controller.
Solid Camera for the Money
Altair AA108 is a nimble little flyer that comes equipped with an incredibly small camera. It’s not the best one in the world, though – only 2 megapixels. But then again, that’s just enough for it to capture solid aerial footage and a bunch of flying selfies. At the end of the day, that’s what Altair AA108 is all about.
In terms of features, Altair AA108 brings forth the likes of altitude hold, low voltage alarm and even flight route options. There’s no GPS however, so the precision of these features might not be ideal. However, you won’t need so much precision for indoor flights… and let’s face it, that’s what Altair AA108 is all about!
1. DJI Mavic Mini
The best indoor drone is the superb DJI Mavic Mini. Buyers beware – it’s a lot more expensive than all previously featured drones. This little bugger goes for around $400 which is quite the money for an indoor flyer. However, DJI Mavic Mini can do much more than simple indoor flying.
Indoor & Outdoor Perfection
DJI Mavic Mini’s compact size coupled with pinpoint hovering accuracy makes it the perfect drone for indoor use. I’m not even exaggerating here – if you’re looking for a premium-quality drone that can fly around your home without breaking a sweat, DJI Mavic Mini is the one you should be looking at.
Best of all, its camera is by far the best thing you’ve seen in this list thus far. It’s a 2.7K sensor that’s fully stabilized by the onboard mechanical gimbal. This ensures nothing but utmost smoothness as well as crystal clear footage quality thanks to the 2.7K res. It’s not 4K, I know, but the difference is almost non-existent…
When it comes to raw performance, DJI Mavic Mini is bound to amaze you. Not only can it reach pretty far away from its dedicated controller but its smart battery gets almost half an hour of flight time per charge. The exact range goes around 3.5 to 4 kilometers, depending on the surrounding area. Of course, it’s not that I count such a range for this particular piece, seeing as we’re talking about indoor drones, but it’s still a great bonus to have.
FAQ: Best indoor drones
Is it safe to fly drones indoor?
When it comes to safety, it all depends on the pilot’s experience levels. An inexperienced pilot will cause the same damage no matter if he’s flying indoor or outdoor (Take a look at Drones For Beginners).
But still, flying indoor requires more technical skills and quick reflexes, especially with faster best indoor quadcopters. Prop guards are a must if you want to avoid causing damage to your belongings or your family.
Even more so if you are using your home to hone your piloting skills. In that case, be extremely careful and don’t be too proud to turn on Training Mode if your drone supports it.
While we’re talking about Training Mode, believe it or not, an indoor flight is a great way to teach yourself the basics of flying a drone… but we’ll talk more about that later on…
What is the best type of indoor drones?
This heavily depends on the price range you are aiming at. For low-end models, best drones for indoor usage are definitely smaller ones. They’re quick, agile and don’t require a lot of practice. They are also unable to do a lot of damage to objects they crash into, which is not the case with bigger drones.
Additionally, what you want to look for is the so-called hovering function. This will allow your drone to keep a steady pace in your home without “twitching” everywhere around you. Prop guards are a must as well – not only will they keep your furniture safe and sound but your family members as well.
When it comes to higher-end models, besides everything mentioned above, you should also look for obstacle avoidance sensors. Such models are pretty scarce and you will have to pay quite a lot of money for them. But still, if indoor use is your primary objective with your new drone, drones with obstacle avoidance are well worth it.
Can your new best indoor drone be used for practicing your flying skills indoor?
Short answer – yes you can! Indoor flying is, at least in my opinion, a great way to learn the basics of operating a drone.
Long answer – When I first got my DJI Phantom (the original one, the first model that came out), I did not even go outside with it for the first couple of days. I was “drone-proofing” my room with pillows and blankets on top of all sharp edges after which I kept practicing until I could no longer feel my fingers. It was a fun time nevertheless.
After I was done with learning the basic maneuvers and controls, I went outside for a first proper flying session. Luckily, I did not crash it (although I was pretty close to it) thanks to my newly acquired skills from flying indoor.
Nowadays, I am encouraging my son to practice indoor too. I have even bought protective covers on eBay so he can put them on all essential items in his room. It’s spacey enough for him to operate his Mavic Mini without any issues.
Unfortunately, he is not a very obedient little boy and his DJI Mavic Mini already went to surgery (broken arm).
What are the benefits of flying drones indoor?
The first one is rather obvious – since drones aren’t waterproof (read – they should not be used during rains or snow), indoor flying brings drone piloting experience during bad weather. In addition to that, when you’re flying indoor you do not have to worry about potentially losing your drone (except if you have a miniature one and you crash it behind your closet… in that case you’re pretty much screwed).
But that’s not all – if you have a spacey house you can set up obstacle courses and make your own racing track. This works best with miniature drones which are speedy and agile, allowing you to test your piloting skills like never before.
What’s there left to be said about indoor drones?
These days, you can get small, compact drones for as little as $50 and as high as $400, assuming the max size we’re going to accept is that of DJI Mavic Mini. We’re not limited to cheap drones, which was the case just a few years back. With the likes of DJI Mavic Mini and even Hubsan Zino (which almost found its way int our list), I’d say that the indoor drones market is stronger than ever. These drones aren’t just suitable for indoor but outdoor use too, feature spectacular battery life and nearly professional-grade camera.
What more do you need?