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Best Quadcopters for 2017

There are many drones, quadcopters and other sorts of multi-rotor helicopters available on the market right now thanks to their rise in popularity as an easy way to capture great photographic and video footage from aerial positions. Unfortunately, the number of different types of drones makes it tough to find which one is really the right one for you. There are many factors that you should think of before buying one, such as the price, features and especially the quality.

Check out our buying guide here.

Today, we will look at the different drones and see which one is the best quadcopter out of all of them. We have broken down this article into different segments, and, hopefully, you learn new information so you have the knowledge to choose which one is the best for you out of all those we list here. You can even go to a store or browse a website and see which features you need, and then select one for yourself.

Pricing

The price is one of the most important things to look at when you are going to buy a drone. For entry level mini-quadcopters, you will probably have to shell out around $15, but this means that it does not come with a camera unless you have an extra $70 to pay. If you have a budget of $120 or upwards, you can get a live video feed on your smartphone using a free app, and even a color screen remote control. These are just some of the extra features you can get if you are willing to shell out extra money.

Most affordable: Revell X-Spy

The Revell X-Spy only costs around $100 online and it has a mount installed above the remote control so you can add your smartphone to assist in controlling. This is what we always suggest for those who are thinking of venturing to the world of quadcopters as a means of taking aerial videos and pictures. It has a good lifespan, as long as you take good care of it, and maintain its parts very well.


Best for the buck: Parrot AR Drone and DJI Phantom 2

If you are willing to shell out some extra cash to get more flight time and have upgraded onboard processing so you can maneuver the flight pattern easier, then you have to look no further than the Parrot AR Drone, and the DJI Phantom 2. You can use them to hover in one spot with much-needed stability. Compared to other, cheaper drones where you have to constantly maintain the position of your drone while it is in the air, these two can do this mundane task for you so you can focus on your shots.


Cameras

Since not every drone that you will end up buying has a camera installed, it is imperative that you know how to keep an eye on your drone wherever you fly it. Not only is this safer for both you and your drone, since you will not get in trouble, this is also a way for you to practice the maneuverability and the flight patterns of different drones. If you are interested in getting a drone that has a camera, take note that it might not always have a FPV (real time video stream) that middle to higher end drones tend to provide.

For the cheaper drones with cameras, you are looking at least a 1280×720 (720p) resolution whenever you take an aerial video. You have to make sure that you check the quality of the video feedback as well, since not all 720p cameras have the same quality even though they might have similar resolutions. A 720p camera might be able to shoot and give you detailed footage on par with some mobile phones, while some might give you a CCTV-looking footage straight from the 1980’s.

Are cheap drones worth buying?

With quality, you have to make sure that the storage of the drone’s in-house memory is enough to hold several minutes or hours of footage. Typically, the recorded video will be directly copied to a microSD card, while others give you the option to send the footage remotely to a computer, or even a smartphone, provided that they have the apps for such functionality.

Flight time

Obviously, one of the most important things when you look for a quadcopter is its flight time. You have at least 5 minutes and 20 minutes at most of flight time for the typical drones until you have to charge them. Charging usually takes at least half an hour. This means that if you want your drone to be in constant flight for a short period of time, it is better to invest in multiple batteries so you can charge one while using another one to power the drone; in this case, have a small budget to spend on rechargeable AA batteries.

Range

If you are looking for a drone to fly over vast spaces, then you definitely have to consider the range for the remote. You will not be able to fly a quadcopter easily if you stay in a room while you try to maintain its flight pattern from over 100m away. The safest distance to assume that you can get from your remotely controlled quadcopter is 50m at best. In many states, it is mandated by law that you have to be within line of sight of the drone at all times.

Conclusion

With all the features considered above, let us give you a few suggestions of great quadcopters to buy in 2016. There are the WLToys V303 and the Flying 3D X8 that can both handle GoPro style cameras—you will need to have sufficient funds for these though. If you want something decent, that will not burn a hole in your pocket, then go with the DJI Phantoms, since they have a passable recording quality that will most likely not disappoint you if you are just starting out.

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