Curious about what the best quadcopter is right now? Looking to buy a quadcopter for a friend or family member? Then you’ve come to the right place! The table below has the best quadcopters on the market right now, across various price points. But there are plenty of other great models out there too, so be sure to check out all the options before you make your purchase! Personally I think that the best quadcopter to begin with is either the Blade Nano QX or the Hubsan X4 H107C, though if you are looking to do more advanced video recording and have experience flying remote control aircraft, then perhaps the DJI Phantom 2 or DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ would be a better choice. If you’re looking for the most advanced video quadcopter on the market and want an easy, ready-to-fly package, check out the DJI Inspire 1.
|Estes Proto X||Hubsan X4 H107C||Blade Nano QX||DJI Phantom 2 Vision+||DJI Inspire 1|
|Price||~$30 on Amazon||$50 at Amazon|
~$50 at B&H Photo Video
|$90 on Amazon.com||$1,100 at Amazon.com|
$1,150 at B&H Photo Video
|$2,899 on Amazon.com
$2,800 at B&H Photo Video
|Review||Estes Proto X Review||Hubsan X4 H107C Review||Blade Nano QX Review||DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Review||DJI Inspire 1 Review|
|Dimensions||1.8" (wide) x 1.8"" (wide) x 0.7" (height)||3.2" x 3.2" x 1.0"||5" x 5" x 1.8"||18.5" x 18.5" x 7"||17" x 18" x 12"|
|Remote Control||Included, 2.4Ghz||Included, 2.4Ghz||Included, 2.4 Ghz||Included, 5.8Ghz||Included, 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz|
|Battery Size / Flight Time||3.7V 100mAh / 6-8 minutes||3.7v 240Mah / 6-8 minutes||3.7V 150 mAh LiPo / 6-8 minutes||11.1V 5200 mAh / 20-25 minutes!!!||22V 4500 mAh / 16-18 minutes|
|Weight||0.4 ounces / 11.5 grams||1.8 ounces / 50 grams||0.58 ounces / 16.5 grams||44 ounces / 1242 grams||103 ounces (6.5lbs) / 2935 grams|
|Camera||None||0.3 MP 720x480 SD 25fps camera - (Note: HD version available with 1280x720 30fps)||None||14MP Full HD (1080/p30 or 1080/60i), live FPV streaming to smartphone, 3-axis stabilized gimbal||12MP Full HD (4K video @ 24fps, 1080p @60fps, 720p @ 60fps)|
As you’re making your decision, keep in mind what you want to do with your new quadcopter – is it a gift for a friend? Are you just buying it to have fun? Do you want to use your quadcopter for video? By identifying your needs and usage you can narrow down your choices considerably and therefore make a better and easier decision and the best quadcopter for you.
If you are on a limited budget, then the Hubsan X4 quadcopter is a great option for those on a limited budget. It packs a punch and is very zippy, and you can buy it for about $40 without a video camera or $50 with the integrated HD video camera. If you don’t want to spend much AND you’re looking for a really small quadcopter (i.e. a nano quad or micro quadcopter), then check out the Estes Proto X. At just $30 it is one of the cheapest models you can buy, and it is a ton of fun! Great stocking stuffer or anytime present.
If you have a few more dollars to spend, then the Blade Nano QX is the way to go as it offers an amazing flight experience; super stable, extremely responsive, and very agile. It also offers a built in hover mode and collision detection, which is helpful for those new flyers out there. At about $90 it is a bit pricier, but it is a great quadcopter to learn on and replicates the feel of the DJI Phantom series but on a much smaller scale.
If you want to take some videos and control the quadcopter with your phone, seeing what it sees, then one of the most established models is the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 quadcopter. However, the AR.Drone is starting to show its age – Parrot has not released a new model in over a year, and the technology has advanced rapidly. Parrot recently put out a smaller drone, the Parrot Rolling Spider MiniDrone, but it does not offer real time video streaming so you cannot see where you’re flying. Parrot has said that it will be releasing a successor to the AR.Drone series shortly, the Parrot Bebop Drone, but as of late October 2014 we haven’t seen it yet! Hopefully they come out with something before the Christmas season…
One of the main companies pushing into the quadcopter market is DJI with its Phantom line of quadcopter. The Phantom is the Cadillac of consumer quadcopters, offering video capability, GPS integration, insane control and smoothness, and ability to program waypoints and have the quadcopter operate nearly autonomously. The Phantom models are serious pieces of technology with professional capabilities, but packaged into a very easily understandable and usable interface. Highly recommend it to anyone interested in doing amateur or professional aerial video work. The Phantom comes in various different options (with links to our reviews):
Phantom 1 ($400) – The original Phantom, now very outdated but the lowest cost. Requires a GoPro camera for video.
Phantom FC40 ($500) – The same as the original Phantom, but with a high definition (720p) video camera included. This isn’t really the best quadcopter for video, but if you are on a strict budget and just want to get something that will work right out of the box it is not a bad bed.
Phantom 2 ($679) – Updated version of the original Phantom – increased flight time and control, requires a GoPro and a gimbal for smooth video.
Phantom 2 Vision ($1,000) – Updated Phantom with an integrated high definition (1080p) video camera with gimbal – solid video footage.
Phantom 2 Vision+ ($1,300) – Updated version of the Phantom 2 Vision, with a smaller and more advanced camera (also 1080p 14MP) and a vastly improved 3-axis gimbal. In my opinion, this is the quadcopter to get if you want to get into aerial videography but don’t have your own cameras (GoPro or otherwise) or just don’t like tinkering that much.
DJI Inspire 1 ($2,900) – DJI’s latest quadcopter offers full 4K video filming capability, a super high tech gimbal to keep your shots smooth, and a remarkable transforming design that keeps the quadcopter legs out of the shot. Highly maneuverable and with full FPV capability built in, the Inspire 1 is the best quadcopter on the market for video recording right now – but it does come at a steep price!
As you can see, DJI has a ton of options for consumers looking to get into aerial video – almost too many! But keep in mine this is their full lineup and shows the older models, which may be discontinued at some point too. Right now, I’d recommend buying the newest version of the Phantom 2 or the Phantom 2 Vision+. While you can get a steep discount on the older models, you’ll miss the updated features. The 3-axis gimbal on the Phantom 2 Vision+ is really a game changer and well worth the additional cost. This is now the gold standard for out of the box ready-to-fly aerial videography in quadcopters – order yours now!
On the even higher end, the DJI Spreading Wings S1000 offers professional level solutions for aerial filming. It is the best quadcopter (actually an octocopter!) for high end filming and photography.
There are tons of other models though, so if you need any advice about what is the best quadcopter for your needs and at your price point, just shoot me an email and I’ll be sure to respond to you ASAP! Happy Flying!