A standard drone
provides tons of fun these days, just like many other toys that can be controlled remotely such as RC helicopters
, RC boats
, RC vehicles and others. There is so much joy in maneuvering a motorized gadget while standing still and performing various spectacular maneuvers with it! This time, we'll talk about what are probably some of the smallest flyable devices out there – nano drones!
You can think of these items as the little brothers of regular drones. They are much more compact, lightweight, and they fly for relatively shorter amounts of time, but they are also more affordable and easier to fly in some cases. We will help you buy the right drone for you or your little one and discover the pleasures of being a drone pilot!
Nano drones also provide the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with these gadgets and explore their possibilities before making the leap to a high performance drone or quadrocopter. You can get one now, fly it for a while, and see how it feels. Afterwards, you might want to get a larger drone that can also take video footage in HD and use it to spy on your neighbors. The possibilities are endless!
When it comes to prices, you might be happy to find out that nano drones are less expensive than regular drones, yet they provide almost as much fun as their bigger brothers. For example, most high-quality nano drones will eventually cost between $20 and $30 with some higher-end models being priced close to the $70 or even $80 mark. Obviously, you don’t have to invest that much if you don’t want to, as a good nano drone around $25 will do the trick just fine.
Similarly, you might want to stay away from cheap nano drones; usually those that cost less than 15 bucks. These are typically made from poor quality materials and they have small batteries, so your fun is seriously limited.
Let's go ahead and take a look at what makes a drone "tick." They come with various features that you'll eventually want to discover for yourself, but in the meantime, let's take a look at a couple of standard nano drone advantages:
- Fly Time and Recharging Time - these are variable, but in most cases, you'll be able to fly a good drone for around five minutes and get it back to life in about 50 minutes or so.
- LED Lights - if a nano drone has LED lights, it means that you can safely fly it during the night as well.
- Flying Modes - today's drones are really smart and they can have various functions. For example, one-key return means that you can call the drone back to you by pressing just a button. Altitude hold function means that the drone will automatically keep the set altitude while you are free to fly it forwards and backwards.
- Range - this is also important. The standard range is around 100 feet from the remote, meaning that your drone won't go further than that. However, there are also drones out there which have a range of around 300 feet, which is very interesting.
If you are a beginner, almost any nano drone will do the trick for you (as long as not too complicated), but if you want to experiment more, get yourself one which has a greater range and more flying modes. This will prepare you and sharpen your pilot skills, making you ready for a larger drone!
Construction and Design
There are several important aspects to mention regarding the construction and design of mini drones. First of all, don’t expect nano drones to be made from stainless steel or other tough materials, because they are supposed to be lightweight and compact. Therefore, these gadgets are made from aluminum, plastic, or similar light materials. Although these drones might not score great points when it comes to resistance to wear and tear, they can be safely used for months or even years to come as long as you don’t fly them in trees, birds, or other obstacles.
Similarly, we also need to point your attention towards an excellent safety feature – the protection guard. This guard is a small piece of material which surrounds the blades of the drone, preventing injuries. Basically, in those unfortunate events when you lose control of your drone (and scream S.O.S. loudly), should the drone fly into you, your cat, or a flower, the blades won't hurt you because the guard will be there to provide adequate protection. Therefore, if you want to have more peace of mind, get yourself a drone which has a protection guard and you'll be golden!
Lastly, keep in mind that nano drones also come in various colors such as red, blue, green, yellow, and others. Pick the one which matches your preferences and style.
Performance and Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use, all drones come with a remote that incorporates batteries of some sort (typically AA or AAA). Sometimes, the batteries are included, other times they are not, and it is up to you to buy them (another $5 purchase, not really a big deal). The remote is usually large and easy to use, and it allows you to slide through the flying modes, any additional features, as well as the standard 6-directional buttons – up, down, left, right, forward, backward.
Keep in mind that today's drones are also accompanied by warranty periods, they come mostly preassembled, and in the package, you'll find detailed instructions on how to fly your drone. Therefore, even if you're a complete newbie to drones, you're covered and ready to master this skill in no time! Enough with advice, pick your favorite drone now and go out and hunt for some UFOs!
It is a bit complicated to pick the right drone, especially if this is the first time you are buying one, but hopefully the points we made in our buying guide will make the process easier for you. Keep reading to discover our five contenders and find out which one best fits your preferences.
GoolRC makes hundreds of cool gadgets, the ones you secretly yearn for, but at the same time knowing that they are not actually meant for adults! This brand manufactures a wide variety of mini drones as well as battery chargers for them, radio controllers, landing pads, and many other attractive devices.
The GoolRC Scorpion T36 Mini RC Quadcopter Drone we picked for this review is available in two colors – red and yellow – and it is currently a bestseller. It is basically a teeny-tiny drone with a 6-axis gyro flight control system that makes it very stable in the air. You'll also be able to do 360 degree rotations with this drone just by pressing a single button on the remote.
Another interesting feature is the one-key return button that basically calls the drone back to the remote. You just press this button and the drone will come to you in a short while, so you don’t have to bother with manually flying the drone to your position. The actual working time is around five minutes and the charging time is around 50 minutes, which we think is reasonably enough.
Virhuck is another brand focused on drones of all types. The company makes them in various colors and sizes, and best of all, it also offers various accessories that can go well with them. For example, if you have a drone with a camera, you can get a purpose-built hand watch from Virhuck, which will allow you to see exactly what the drone is seeing while in flight!
However, if you're a beginner, you might want to take a look at the Virhuck Volar-360 Nano Drone, which is especially designed for novice drone flyers. It is available in 4 colors such as green, blue, orange, or yellow, and it responds quickly to your commands thanks to the built-in 2.4Ghz radio transmitter.
The drone can also perform various spectacular maneuvers, including 360 flips, while in air, and it can come to you by just pressing a single button. If you are curious about charging time, that's about 40 minutes and you'll eventually be able to fly your nano drone for around 6-7 minutes. Not bad for such an affordable and cute little drone! When you are finished flying the mini drone stores safely inside a compartment on the remote.
DoDoeleph sells a multitude of pocket drones in various colors and with different features. For example, you can get cute, lightweight little drones that are ideal for small kids as well as more sophisticated ones with Wi-Fi connectivity and many other bells and whistles. DoDoeleph also makes spare batteries and chargers for its drones, so you can extend your flight time.
The Syma X20 Mini Pocket Drone from Dodoeleph is available in white, black, and gold and features a 6-Axis gyro flight mode, which means that you can fly your drone forwards, backwards, upwards, downwards, left, or right. It can also make eye-catching 3D flips and turns, which will definitely impress your friends.
This model is enhanced with several LED lights, which will make your drone super-attractive during the night! You can take advantage of the Headless as well as Altitude Hold modes, and the charging time is less than 70 minutes. What more can you ask for? This drone has been seriously upgraded and improved to be more stable during flight, and it provides the best bang for your buck.
Eachine strives to provide its customers with highly-attractive and practical gadgets, particularly nano drones. Their products are affordable, they come in various colors, and you have lots of options at your disposal. For example, you can go for nano drones with LEDs, drones with cameras, simple and lightweight drones that are ideal for beginners, you name it. Apart from drones, this brand also makes Bluetooth speakers that feature a spectacular LED light show while playing music.
For now, let's take a look at the Mini UFO Quadcopter Drone from Eachine and find out its advantages. You can have this drone in green or red colors. The drone incorporates many flight modes, including the Compass mode, which basically lets you turn and rotate the drone by changing the direction of the remote control.
The drone can be charged in around 40 minutes, which is more than reasonable, and you can fly it for around five minutes. It includes a rechargeable 150mAh battery, and you can put it together very quickly once you take it out from the box. Lastly, if you don’t want to fly your drone back to you manually, take advantage of the one-key return function that will send the drone back to you automatically.
Hubsan doesn’t only make a plethora of attractive nano drones in various colors and shapes, but it also specializes in remote control toys such as buggies, helicopters, and quadcopters. Their products are seriously light and compact, and can be the perfect gift for your kid, whether it is Christmas or not! Don’t forget to take a look at their wide range of propellers and other drone accessories as well.
The H111 Nano Q4 Nano Drone from Hubsan is available in a beautiful yellow color, and it has four built-in LED lights that will make flying this thing in the dark a true spectacle. The drone has a 6-axis gyro flight system and multiple flying modes, as well as a rechargeable LIPO battery.
One of the best things about this drone is that it can be recharged in around 30 minutes and afterwards you'll enjoy at least five minutes of flight. The range of the remote is also impressive at up to 330 feet, which is excellent for performing various maneuvers and stunts in air. By the way, this drone is also capable of 3D flips and rolls, which you should absolutely capture on video and show to your friends.
You can fly most of these drones almost anywhere, during the day or night. Whether you buy one for yourself or offer it as a gift to your kid, the excitement and fun will be at superlative! Just remember not to fly your drone in the house; otherwise, you're good to go.