Latest personal drone comparison buying guide
We can find many types, such as helicopter or quadcopter type, ie with four propellers. Here are the most interesting models at the moment and will update with innovations that are coming to market:
Hubsan X4 is a Quadcopter drone with 0.3MP camera with included recording module (need a microSD card), remote control and a battery of 380mAh / 3V7 allowing it to fly 7 min (the charging time is estimated at 40 min via USB) cable. It has four coreless motors (no core). Work with a frequency of 2.4 GHz and 4 channels. For flight control has a 6-axis and a gyroscope, which gives a very stable flight. Having a lightweight fuselage, reaches higher speeds and allows greater autonomy. It costs less than $100, including deals less than $90.
Hubsan H107C HD: almost identical to the X4. But the H107C HD features an HD camera with a resolution up to 1600 × 1200 pixels. It is very tough as his twin and the price is around $65, something affordable and designed to take good pictures.
Parrot MiniDrone Jumping Sumo: from the Parrot brand, known for its car GPS, also manufactures drones for recreational use. An example is the MiniDrone Jumping Sumo with only 55 grams and ultracompact. It can be operated from a mobile phone (Bluetooth) with great speed and stability thanks to its 3-axes and the accelerometer. Its price is around $150 and can be considered rather a toy.
Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider for around $120 you can find the MiniDrone Rolling Spider, with a very good flight agility. It has a system that shorts the power propeller of its engines on impact, to avoid damage. Weighs only 55 grams and is 6 times lighter than the AR Drone. It is designed to fly even at home, you can roll and its control system is 3-axis, like the MiniDrone Jumping Sumo. It features a vertical camera to record and can be controlled with the app FreeFlight 3 (compatible with Android, iOS, Windows 8 and Windows Phone) from a mobile device with Bluetooth. Its range is about 8 min (full load at 90 min) and control range of about 20 meters. It works thanks to the Linux operating system.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 (buy from Amazon) is more than a toy and therefore its price is around € 250. Contains a 720p HD video camera to record and capture photos with a remote device or a USB flash drive. It is piloted with AR.FreeFlight application, from which you can manage the cameras and obtain navigation data. It is made of high quality lightweight materials like carbon fiber, foam insulation, waterproof nano-coating, nylon, etc., all reparable. It has an onboard computer with CPU ARM Cortex A8 1Ghz and TMS320DMC64x 800Mhz DSP to control the video, with 1GB of DDR2 RAM. Powered by Linux kernel 2.6.32 and supports USB 2.0 and WiFi. The control system has a 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer, pressure sensor, ultrasonic sensor to measure altitude, etc. 4 inrunner brushless motors let you fly high and fast, with the Nylatron gears noise is low and controlled by a microcontroller with 8-bit AVR architecture as those found in Arduino boards. Its battery is 1000mAh, so its autonomy increases considerably (18 min) compared to previous models.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition (buy from Amazon): same as above, only this special edition includes three sets of propellers of different colors (orange, blue and red), a set of 2 high capacity batteries to reach 36 min of autonomy. In addition, the pack includes an exhaust replacement propellers with circlip. Its price can climb to $450.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition (buy from Amazon): the price is similar to conventional AR.Drone 2.0. What varies is its aesthetics with military camouflage colors (sand, jungle and snow). Otherwise it is the same characteristics to the traditional model. There is also a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Snow Edition, which is identical, except that includes nothing but snow camouflage.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 GPS Edition (buy from Amazon): with a housing arena, includes an integrated GPS module and can recrod about 350 additional flight parameters with respect to the previous models. Some of the possibilities that enables the GPS module are to make the drone back only to a site chosen for its landing. Its price exceeds $475.
BeBop Parrot Drone: with a Fisheye camera (fisheye) high resolution Full HD 1080p 14MP and a new system of electronic stabilization, allowing a view of 180 degrees. Will have 8GB of memory and GPS system. It can be operated from a portable device like the rest through WiFi and with a radius of 300 meters, with the possibility of being extended to a maximum range of 2 km with an extra antenna. It went on sale in late 2014 and is the third generation by Parrot. It is very light thanks to its material ABS glass fiber reinforced and robustness is ensured. In a collision, automatically stops propellers and has an “Emergency” mode to land immediately. A PPE included in the pack casing ensures that it is safe for flights inside of a building. The computer that controls it is 8 times more potent than the AR.Drone 2.0 and mounted on a support of magnesium with an electromagnetic shielding and for better cooling. Powered by Linux and has a SDK for development available completely open. For extreme stability and manageability, has Bebop 3-axis sensor (accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope) in addition to an ultrasound sensor 8 m range, pressure sensor and a vertical chamber to measure the speed. You can control through the app FreeFlight 3.0 and thanks to the GP you can plan routes of flights can save over 350 different flights thanks to the integrated (compatible with Glonass and Galileo) GNSS chip, with an accuracy of as only +/- 2m. The speed you can reach is around 11.2 m / s (40 km / h) and the maximum height is 199 meters.
iHelicopter (buy from Amazon) is a different drone compared to the others, shaped like a helicopter and a single central helix. Its price is below $60. Allows handling via smartphones and tablets from Apple and Google Android system with a turbo function for added fun and the possibility of using the movements of the device for controlling the flying machine by Motion Control. It has a camcorder to record what happens at that point and quite capable of recording images with the 512MB SD card, a shame the autonomy of solo flight lasts 7 min.
DJI Phantom 1 (buy from Amazon): the DJI Phantom is expensive, but this is a sign of how advanced it is. For starters, its design is streamlined and allows you to mount a GoPro or other light cameras in its case. Software installation and care are thoroughly done before being shipped to stores and detail taken care of, including the advanced charging LiPo batteries. Contains receiver remote control instead of relying on an app like those seen above. Thanks to the antenna control you can have a range of 300 meters and has an anti-interference design for a more reliable link. It integrates an advanced dynamic system (Naza-M +) with GPS that delivers great flight performance and the ability to switch between two flight modes: Control Mode and GPS. Phantom has a control function called Intelligent Orientation IOC by Naza-M +. It also has a failsafe system that allows the Phantom to come “home” if the GPS signal is good, in case of failure of control or RF signal is lost. Another protection system protects the battery from damage by stress. All this is complemented with a flight speed of 10 m / s and a vertical speed of up to 6 m / s, LED indicators, support for GoPro camera including a battery LiPo 3S 2200 mAh only 170g and with range of up to 15 min. DJI also gives us a professional briefcase for protection and storing and transporting our drone safely.
DJI Phantom 2 (buy from Amazon): it sells for around $1500, in some places you can find it for around $1200. With an intelligent supply and range of up to 25 min. Like Phantom 1 includes support for GoPro camera (Zenmuse H3-3D), but this is not included in the kit. Its characteristics are very similar to the Phantom 1 only has improved flight speed about 15 m / s (about 53 km / s), the battery is 5200mAh extended him to the communication distance and a open with the control area reaches kilometer.
DJI Phantom FC40 (buy from Amazon) is a version of the Phantom recommended for its price, about $600. Contains a built-in camera capable of x10 digital zoom, 720p HD video recording and the ability to transmit images and video over WiFi. It has a remote and receiver control, but to control the camera has an application called DJI FC40 App for smartphones and tablets. Thanks to its advanced materials allows an ascent / descent of 6m / s, as its older siblings while flying speed is 10 m / s.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision (buy from Amazon) is priced at nearly $1200 and the biggest difference with the Phantom 2 Basic is that it includes a video camera 14 MP HD capable, RAW and JPEG recording on a 4GB microSD. The camera control is performed by DJI VISIO app APP and sophisticated anti-vibration system stabilizes the camera during the flight. The control works through Wi-Fi and therefore can have a range of up to 300 meters. Its flight range is 25 min by its lithium polymer battery 5200mAh LiPo and has a locator (radar). The airspeed is equal to the previously seen Phantom 2.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ (buy from Amazon): the model Vision Plus raises its price up to $1600 (although it may seem expensive, it is not, since we can find drones up to $8,000 or more within civilian use ). As you can guess by its name, which distinguishes it from the above is that its aerial image system has been improved. Still has a 14MP camera capable of recording HD 1080p and 30fps, but also includes the ability to record in slow motion with 60fps and 720p mode. The Gimbal system offers a three-axis stabilization and can rotate the camera in the air. Besides the integrated GPS system has a great improvement in order to keep the drone in a fixed location or follow a certain route. Definitely a highly efficient device …
UFO UDRIC U816 (buy from Amazon) is a quadcopter, ie a four-helix drone saucer-shaped and with a very low price, around $70. It is easy to fly, fast and precise, capable of 360 degree loops. It has a slow mode and fast mode and the RC device lets you enjoy up to 8 min of autonomy.
Big RC Quadcopter Intruder (purchased at eBay) is a very affordable drone, about $90. Its architecture is equal to the Parrot AR.Drone, but for that price it does not have the qualities of Parrot. Is agile and with radio control allows you to control a range of up to 100 meters. You can also make 360 loops thanks to a 6-axis gyroscope. The integrated battery is somewhat better than the UFO U816 and therefore its autonomy rises to 12 min.
Jet Fighter Air Force X: as happened with the iHelicopter, this drone is out of the typical architecture and manufacturers have created it shaped like fighter plane. Despite its design, also has four propellers. It is lightweight and stabilization system is 3-axes. It is secure and its radio control can be managed at a distance of 100 meters. You can fly indoors and is not recommended to reach heights greater than 100m. Its price is quite low, only about $60.
Walkera QR Infra X Smart Drone (buy from Amazon) is a highly recommended drone, like the Parrot and DJI, if you are looking for more than a toy. You can get it from $500 and is one of the best in the long list of Asian brand from Walkera (on their website you can find a variety of helicopters and airplanes quad-copters). It has 10 sensors that make it nearly impossible to crash, with a radius control up to 100 meters and range of up to 7 min.
Walkera Dragonfly QR Spacewalker Micro OctocopterMicro (buy from Amazon): another small toy shaped this time shaped like a car body that is out of the norm for its eight rotors. The battery is 600mAh and weighs only 70 grams. It has a command control with DEVO 12 technology and this includes a decoding system based on an ARM microcontroller. With its 6-axis gyroscope you will have an easy handling for beginners. It is lightweight, small and you can get it for just over $130 (with battery, manual, charger, USB cable, control and drone).
Walkera Dragonfly QR-X350 (buy from Amazon): Walkera has yet another highlight is this one is quite professional drone and for a price of $390. GPS features similar to the DJI Phantom module. Includes a radio control and a camera mount Walkera DV04 in the pack and also has a to mount a GoPro camera on the drone. It has a 2200mAh LiPo battery and autonomy around 15 min. It has four brushless motors capable of moving the few kilos of the drone. The design is quite similar to the Phantom, so it may be a good alternative to this.
Walkera Scout X4 (buy from Amazon) is expensive, about $1000 or more, but quite professional. Its features a design that will approach similar drones from DJI. It can be operated from a mobile device, thanks to its GPS can be be set for planned flight paths and be located. Like the Phantom, has a come “home” option. The Scout X4 allows you to monitor in real time telemetry. Has ability to transform its 4 engines in 8 to give it greater ability in certain circumstances. Has some interesting flight modes, such as surround an object, rotating in a circle on a strong position in the GPS, addressing a point made in the GPS, return in case of losing the control signal (1.5 miles thanks to DEVO remote control), etc. The battery is 5400mAh LiPo and can fly up to 25 min. The pack includes, among other things, a iLook camera.
Extreme Fliers Micro Drone 2.0 (buy on eBay): as the name suggests is a fairly small in size. It is cheap and highly recommended for beginners who would be drone pilots. Loads a 720p camera and its size is quite small. The battery life reaches 8 min. The American manufacturer offers a version without camera that costs less than $120 and a slightly more expensive than one with an integrated camera module in the kit.
Dron Ball: is ideal for beginners, since it has rods forming a sort of protective ball that covers it from any shocks and thus sparing damage in those early flights. It has two speeds and can make good stunts. The price is about $80.
Multiaction Drone (purchased at eBay): small drone-like insect is versatile and cheap, with just a price of $170 you can get the pack with all accessories. It is especially suitable for those wishing to shoot video, offering good results in this sense (considering its price).
Zano: while the project is still under development and funded by the famous system of crowdfunding, it was announced via Web Kickstarter, this interesting drone that can fit in the palm of your hand. It is a small drone of only 55 grams and a size of no more than 6.5cm, which make it quite agile. It has an IR sensor and a GPS system to dodge obstacles and avoid unwanted shocks. Can be operated from an app installed on a mobile device (Android and iOS) via WiFi. It integrates a 5MP camera capable of capturing HD video at 720p. It has audio amplifier, high sensitivity microphone, display 8x8px RBG, etc. As for engines, they are bidirectional, capable of a speed of about 40 km / h and flight battery allows for 15 min, depending on weather. Its operating range is between 15 and 30 meters. The whole system is controlled by a 32-bit processor capable of reaching up 330DMIPS. Once funding and development is finished, you can find it in stores … If you want you can buy it for about 176 € and assist in helping to raise 125,000 pounds those who want its developers to begin production.
Choose yours and have fun flying them, remember they are for recreational use, for civil use you have to to get a license, abide by the laws regulating of your state or province. I recommend you read the instructions before trying anything and fly on a clearway and outside urban areas. If you meet the rules, your only enemy will be the wind …
Remember that we will expand on this article, surely the will as more and more companies that are interested in DIY drones and communities who are developing their own as Openpilot and ArduPilot.