Drones are an increasingly popular pastime for many people nowadays. Likewise, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are also proving to be quite useful in a range of commercial and industrial uses too. With that in mind, you might be looking to buy your very first drone for use either as a hobby, or for business. Regardless of your intended use of your drone there are some basic principles worth remembering before parting with your hard earned cash. Find out how in our Drone Buying guide for beginners below:
What Is a Drone?
When you hear the word “drone”, you usually think of an army gadget used in military purpose to eliminate human casualties when performing aerial assaults. But in this era drones have become synonymous with UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), or remote controlled aerial machines built for recreational purposes, making awesome aerial photos and videos, tracking wildlife, carrying cargo and much more.
This variety of uses made the drone industry grow immensely just to keep up-to-date with the growing demand. At first, these unmanned systems were exclusive to people who liked radio controlled gadgets, but as time went the technology became more approachable and cost effective, leading to the development of professional drone racing, professional drone pilot licenses and a new chapter of commercial aviation.
In some parts of the world they are already considering making drone transportation a part of the daily routine as a mean of lightening traffic congestion, and laws are being drafted so this innovative branch of aerial vehicles gets its own set of rules. But, let’s slow the pace down, for people who are just joining this trend, in this article we are going to talk about a few topics and help you decide if this is for you. Let’s start from the beginning.
Who Should Buy a Drone?
The better question is who shouldn’t? Wouldn’t you love to have a flying robot that moves and does as you command him? But seriously, no one can tell you if you’ll be into it or not, except yourself. You have to hold the controls in your hands and appreciate the effort and excitement of this hobby to really decide if it is for you. As we stated previously, the biggest consumers are conventional remote control hobbyists using it for recreational purposes, photographers and video makers looking to enhance their perspective, and last but not least, people who look at this opportunity from a commercial standpoint.
Ready-To-Fly vs Self Build Options
The first thing you should know when you go out to buy a drone is that you don’t have to buy it. You can build the drone of your liking and taste putting together pieces to make the flying robot of your dreams. Of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, as you have to program them, code them and calibrate all the pieces to fit in perfectly. So for any of you who relish the experience of building their own toys, this is the way to go.
For the people who like to go the other way and purchase the whole product, there are Almost-Ready-To-Fly (ATF) drones, which can be set up and calibrated in approximately 45 minutes, and Ready-To-Fly (RTF) drones, which give you instant gratification, as you are in control and flying them just a few minutes after you open the box.
The difference moneywise isn’t that big, you won’t save a stack load of money by building the drone by yourself. If you’re the guy who likes to eliminate the process of getting his hands dirty, in the next segment we’re going to talk about some of the best and most exciting drones you can purchase for under 200 bucks.
Top Beginner Drones on the Market
So, let’s get into the works. There is a huge variety of drones on the market, but most of the people, at least non-professionals, choose quad copters.
Quad copters are also recommended for beginners as they are easy to fly and have features that will make the leaning curve less steep. So when you’re looking for your first drone, this kind is recommended.
Before we list the best drones you can get under or around 200 dollars, you have to keep in mind some things, such as the following:
- The batteries on these models have a relatively short life span, so if you’re into long training sessions, you might need to buy a couple of reserve ones.
- Most models with this price tag are light, which has its certain pros and cons. The biggest pro is that they are easy to handle and maneuver with, but on the other side, you have to be careful, because on the slightest amount of wind you may lose the controls of your robot pet.
- When you’re spending whis amount of money, the drones you’re affording don’t have stabilization systems, so don’t get your hopes up when it comes to camera and image quality.
After some extensive research and input from other UAV enthusiasts, we have come up with a list of the best drones for your buck:
- Hubsan X4 H107 L – An inexpensive and practical quadcopter, perfect for beginners who just want to get into it and gain some flight confidence.
- UDI 818A FPV – this is an exclusive from USA toyz, and in the package you get an extra battery. This drone is also equipped with an HD camera and live video.
- Blade 180 QX HD – This multi-purpose drone has different configuration levels and it can handle newbie trainings ranging from small indoor spaces to open outdoors.
- Blade Nano – A lightweight robot that weighs a little more than have an ounce, has stable controls, and is perfect for indoor flying enthusiasts.
- Syma X5C – If you wanna start with the most extreme one, you should pick this quadcopter. It can do flips, carry a small payload and is the most stable one on this list when it comes to the outdoors.