Drones are getting common nowadays and it seems to be a device everyone wants to have. It allows you to get awesome photos or videos. And we’re talking about footage that would be pretty much impossible otherwise. That’s why I’ve written this buying guide for you on which is the best drone to buy.
Maybe you’re wondering what is a drone. Well, they’re flying robots remotely controlled. You can control them with a drone controller or using your smartphone.
These devices use signals from onboard sensors and GPS for flight operations. You can use a drone for video recording or surveillance. Furthermore, it’s also valuable for search and rescue operations. Even for traffic and weather monitoring.
Drones are now being used for transporting orders to a pickup point in your area. Your next ordered meal could be one of those.
If you’re thinking of buying a drone this article is an excellent place to start.
Table of Contents
- Features to consider before purchasing the Best Drone
- Battery runtime
- Camera specs
- Right mobile device
- Need for registration
- Number of rotors
- Type of drones
- Other features to consider
- Drone Buying Guide Wrap-up
Features to consider before purchasing the Best Drone
Before making the choice of buying a drone, you must consider a range of aspects.
I’ve gone through explaining each of the most important features. If you take these into consideration, you should make an awesome buying decision. And have a drone that will get you amazing footage.
These are the features to consider:
The range of the drone is an important feature to consider before buying. The range tells you how far or what distance the drone can travel away from you.
Some drones are capable of covering a long distance. Meanwhile, some are built for more restricted operation areas. The range varies from product to product.
As an example, a beginner quadcopter can fly between the ranges of 164 ft (50m) to 328 ft (100m) using Wi-Fi frequency. At the same time, some more advanced drones can cover a range of 3.1 miles (5 kms) using wide radiofrequency.
Do you need to get the widest range of product? No, you really don’t. It all depends on your purpose. In my opinion, for most users, a range of 3280 ft (1000m) will be more than enough. Maybe you don’t even need that much.
If you’re using a drone like a professional tool then it can be a different story. Always consider your requirements before choosing.
It’s good to use a GPS antenna when flying the drone over a long distance to avoid losing it. It’s also important to know where you want to fly the drone.
Some areas are restricted and drone usage is prohibited. That’s the case in the airport areas. There have been some incidents where airplanes have been hit by drones. Word to the wise: fully respect these restrictions. Use your drones in safe areas only.
A longer range might be a great asset if you want to use it far away from cities. If you plan to use it in urban areas you probably will keep it at a closer range.
Beware that signal interference can also occur. Consider well where you intend to use your drone. In some areas signal reception might be difficult, causing temporary loss of it.
The further the drone is from you, the weaker the signal will be. Cities and areas with the usage of wireless communications generate more interference.
The battery is very crucial; it determines the flight time of the drone. The more battery capacity a drone possesses, the more the flight time.
Expensive drones come with a high in-built battery capacity that can last up to 15 to 35 minutes runtime. The more affordable ones usually can last up to around 12 minutes.
More sophisticated drones can stay longer in the air. So, always check the capacity of the battery before purchasing it.
As in many other aspects, the higher your requests, the higher the price.
But don’t worry. I’ll be giving you some recommendations to get an awesome drone without breaking the bank.
A great camera will make it easier for you to capture some stunning aerial footage. Drones are built with a variety of camera specifications. And nowadays new features are added to the camera to make them smarter and easier to use.
Some drones are capable of taking pleasant snapshots. And also video recording, with their built-in HD camera features.
Action cameras can be attached to some drones.
At other price points, drones will allow a DSLR. But remember that’s a considerable weight for a drone to carry, so it’s only possible in more capable drones. And you’ve guessed it, a lot more expensive, too.
Drones are becoming less expensive as technology evolves. A lot less expensive. It would seem impossible a few years ago to have this much quality in such affordable devices.
Improvements in drone technology have been constant in recent years. That includes more enhanced features and better camera quality. Also longer flight time and more power capacity.
Some drones are expensive while some are cheap, it really depends on what you need. Some are made for specific purposes like for kids, student drones, and photography. The best choice to make is to choose the best drone you can afford that’s able to fulfill your requirements.
Right mobile device
Another aspect to consider is using the right mobile device for the drone. Mobile devices come with varieties of features and some are not compatible with a drone.
Many drones are controlled by a mobile device instead of a drone controller.
It’s vital to know if the mobile device is designed with all the features required to operate the drone.
The software application is an essential thing to consider. It’s necessary to download the right apps to use with it.
The drone app helps you fly the drone, record your flight, track weather conditions, and more. And you have several ones available to download. Ensure you download one that is recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Need for registration
Fore safety measures you might need drone registration. Please check if that’s the case in your area. The registration will keep you safe in case something goes wrong or if the drone is manipulated.
You also have to provide all registration requirements during registration. It’s essential to register the drone if it’s required in your region. Some flying guidelines will be given to you after the registration. Please follow them to safeguard the usage of the device.
In the United States of America, you’ll have to register it if it weighs more than 0.55 lbs (250g). Register it with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). For complete and updated information check the FAA site.
Number of rotors
It might seem like just a technical detail but it makes a world of difference. Please, don’t ignore it!
Drones are built with many rotors. A Tricopter has three vertical rotors while a Quadcopter has four rotors.
The Hexacopter… yes, you guessed it… it has six rotors. Unsurprisiginyl, an Octocopter has eight rotors.
Why does this matter?
Different numbers of rotors provide different results.
Tricopters have fewer parts and that is good in the cost department. That was particularly important when these components were a lot more expensive. Nowadays, not so much.
Having yaw control at the tail helps the drone feel more agile and smooth.
Nowadays the cost of drones is a lot lower than before. That helps to make quadcopters very popular today.
They are not as agile as a Tricopter. But they have more lifting power. They are maneuverable and can fly in any direction. Hovering is also easy for this configuration.
Stability is another field where they excel against the Tricopters.
The quadcopters are very good. So why would you consider a Hexacopter?
Simply put, they add two rotors and improve almost everything on the Quadcopter. They’re even better for catching great photos or making video footage.
Is there anything where they are not better than a Quadcopter? Yes, there is.
More rotors mean more size and weight. And, most of all, hexacopters are more expensive to buy and repair.
And then there’s still the Octocopters. And you’re probably guessing the advantages and disadvantages.
If Hexacopters are better than Quadcopters, Octocopters are even better. Eight propellers provide even more lifting force.
Some of them even allow you to attach more than an action cam by being able to use a full-sized DSLR. And they will carry it around adequately. Or they might carry objects. Some companies are now using drones to ship orders.
As you already understood, at this level we’re talking about high-end drones.
They’re also quick. The stability is even better and allows to fly in rain and face strong winds.
Nothing is perfect and it also has its cons. You know the main drill when we talk about high-end products. Top prices come included, too.
In case of needing repairs, your wallet is going to suffer again. Battery efficiency is not the main priority so expect regular changes.
Type of drones
It’s important to consider the kind of drone you want before you get it. There are several types of devices. Let’s check them out:
The name doesn’t leave any doubts. These are developed thinking of beginners to the drone world.
They’re smart, cheap, portable, and durable. Most are built with good quality material. They come with a mode that ensures beginners learn basic flying techniques.
If everything drone-related is new to you, these ones might be a great option.
Yes, I also didn’t know that some time ago. But drone racing is a thing, really!
They have enhanced features that provide the best experience during racing events. They’re designed with small quad-copter UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) for first-person view (FPV) racing events. These are held around the world.
These types of drones have advanced features. They’re generally better suited while using a drone in a professional activity. These include avoidance detection systems and intelligent flight modes. These ensure you have great flying experiences.
Camera drones and selfie drones
Again, their main function is quite clear by their names. They’re made especially for taking accurate snapshots. They have advanced camera options for taking images and also recording videos.
These devices are great at delivering accurate hovering positions. Probably not too useful for a regular user. But it can be a must in a rescue mission.
Like the name says, they fold. They’re very good for travelers. Folding them makes them very compact. And they’re usually quite light. All in all, portability is usually one of their best attributes.
These might not be too clear but they’re interesting options for the public. Their main qualities are the ability to be programmable and codable.
You can code your drone with custom flight paths by programming its API module.
Educational drones are a favorite of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students.
Other features to consider
There are some other features you would like to take into consideration. For example RTF, ARF, BNF, FPV, and RTH. I know, I know, that sounds like just a bunch of letters put together. Let’s make each of them clearer.
The RTF (Ready to fly) means the drone requires little or no assembly. After you unpack it’s pretty much ready to fly.
Then there is the ARF (Almost ready to fly). That means the drones may need some minor adjustments before use. The same can be said of additional equipment, like Rx (Radio receiver) and Tx (Radio Transmitter), for instance.
The BNF (Bind-N-fly) models have a receiver. But they don’t have a transmitter. You have to get a transmitter separately and use it. Or use one that you already have.
The FPV (First-person-view) is the video feed from the camera of the drone. It’s a great aid for piloting or framing a photo or a video.
Another great feature is RTH (Return to home). This makes the drone fly back to its base automatically. Be sure to see how RTH works to avoid incidents.
Follow Me enables the drone to automatically follow you around. This can be of invaluable usefulness for you to capture unique aerial filming and shots
Drone Buying Guide Wrap-up
With these features into consideration, I hope this article cleared your doubts. Now you know what to look for to get a great drone.
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