Drones of 2018

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For those who don’t know, camera drones have become a lot popular over the past couple of years, all of this thanks to the YouTube personalities and film makers like Casey Neistat. In case you don’t know, Casey Neistat is an award winning YouTuber and film maker, who along with his brother, created a series that aired on HBO named The Neistat Brothers; the series quickly rose to fame, and soon Casey started his own YouTube channel by the same name.

In case you don’t know, he happens to be a fan of these drones, and actually own, almost all the latest models that come out. His personal drone of choice is the much revered DJI Phantom 4, as a matter of fact, he has a total of 7 of them, although 6 of them broke because of physical damage, there’s no denying that DJI Phantom 4 is perhaps one of the most impressive drones there are; it comes with one of the best cameras that is capable of shooting high quality footage, and take stunning videos, as well as photos that are brimming with details.

With that said, for those who are thinking about buying yourself a camera drone, there are a lot of things that must be put into consideration, for starters, you have to start with your budget.  Camera drones certainly don’t come cheap, especially when you are talking about a 4K camera. However, there are some entry level drones that come for a lot cheaper but they have integrated cameras, however, they are not as good as some of the high end drones. In many cases, you can also get drones that come with attachments you can use to attach the Go Pro camera, or any other action camera that is supported by the attachment.

Another thing you need to know about these camera drones is that there are plenty of these drones available in the market, while some are really, really good, others fail to impress as much. With that said, another thing you need to keep in mind is the amount of drones that are available in the market. Even when you are looking at the enthusiast class drones, there is so much to choose from that you are often left confused, and sometimes, can’t make a decision. However, we are here to make things easier for the confused customers.

Today, we are going to take a look at some of the best drones that are available in the market. We will be looking at a total of 10 drones, and will be discussing them in depth, taking a look at all of their pros, as well as their cons, along with how they are well built, and how much they can last on full. So, without further ado, let’s start our list.

Note: We would like to let the readers know that the advertised battery, as well as the battery result that comes in our review can be a bit different, or a lot different. Battery on drones is something that completely varies from person to person. While some may have a really good battery time, others might not be able to match it. Battery timing gets affected by factors such as the weather conditions, as well as how you fly the drone. As a matter of fact, the same applies to the range and speed as well, so we would advise you to take these with a grain of salt.

Top 10 Best Drones of 2018

Name Weight Battery Flight Time Price
DJI Phantom
4
3.1 pounds 5350 mAh 28 minutes
DJI Mavic
Pro
1.6 pounds 3830 mAh 24 minutes
Go Pro
Karma
2.2 pounds 5100 mAh 28 minutes
Blade
Chroma 4K
14.9 pounds 6300 mAh 30 minutes
Yuneec
Typhoon H
12 pounds 5400 mAh 25 minutes
DJI Phantom 3
Professional
9.2 pounds 4480 mAh 20 minutes
DJI Phantom 3
Advanced
8.6 pounds 4480 mAh 22 minutes
Yuneec Typhoon
Q500
2.5 pounds 5400 mAh 25 minutes
DJI Phantom 3
Standard
8.2 pounds 4480 mAh 25 minutes
3D Robotics
Solo
3.3 pounds 5200 mAh 22 minutes

1. DJI Phantom 4

dji-phantom-4-best-drones-2017

The first drone we are going to take a look at is the DJI Phantom 4, and in case you don’t know, it is perhaps one of the most well-known drones in the market available at the time, it actually comes with a lot of features. You get a 4K camera that is capable of delivering wonderful performance when it comes to stunning videos, as well as amazingly detailed photos. In addition to that, the drone has one of the best constructions we have seen on a drone, and is really, really easy to assemble, and take apart. Sure, the Phantom 4 can be quite difficult to assemble for some but if you can’t seem to figure out anything, you can simply start with reading the instructions manual that is provided. Following the review tradition, we are going to start by discussing how well the drone is built, so without further ado, let’s start.

Design and Construction

For those who don’t know, the Phantom 4 is basically designed like most of the drones out in the market, it doesn’t follow the same UFO style, and does have feet it can stand on when it’s not flying anywhere, and while it may not be a good thing for some, a lot of people actually appreciate it. With that said, the DJI Phantom 4 comes in white, so be prepared to clean it whenever the it’s necessary, as for how well it’s built. Well, the overall construction is very solid, and it may look flimsy to some, but we are glad to let you people know that the DJI Phantom 4 is one of the most solidly built camera drones we have tested, and you won’t be having any issues with flying it, just make sure you fully know about the OSS system that is built into the drone to make sure it doesn’t just randomly bump into objects. The good thing is that the entire design of the DJI Phantom 4 is streamlined, and has support for Gimbal as well.

Battery Life

Perhaps one of the most important part of any drone is the battery life it gives, and while DJI has updated the design along with an updated battery, the battery timing still remains in question. Now you should know that as per DJI, the Phantom 4 can last up to 28 minutes on a single, full charge, and while it is certainly an impressive timing, a lot of people may not feel as impressed by the battery life. However, it is up to us to let you know DJI Phantom 4 offers perhaps the best battery life when it comes to camera drones. You also need to keep in mind that the battery timing strictly depends on the flying conditions, keeping that in mind, you may end up getting a higher battery time, or even a lesser battery time. Still, you can always go ahead and spend more money.

Camera

Now comes another crucial point of the DJI Phantom 4, the camera. Well, you should know that the camera didn’t change a lot from the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, as a matter of fact, it is hard to tell the difference between both cameras, and that’s not a bad thing because the Phantom 3 Professional managed to provide some of the most amazing videos, as well as pictures. However, DJI wasn’t going to let the consumers go empty handed; the company did add some updates to the camera and now it supports slow-mo videos with an amazing resolution of 1080p, and at 120 frames per second. The company also improved the lens in order to lessen the overall chromatic aberration, and improve the overall sharpness. Sadly, the camera is fixed and cannot be replaced.

Range and Speed

Another thing a lot of people ask about when they are selecting a drone is the maximum transmission range of the drone, as well as the ascending, descending, and forwarding speed of the drone. The Phantom 4 managed to score pretty decently, and has an ascending speed of 13.4 miles per hour, as for the descending speed, it happens to be 8.9 miles per hour, and as for the forwarding speed, it’s an impressive 45 miles per hour. Last but not the least, the DJI Phantom 4 has an impressive transmission range of 3.1 miles, something that is pretty good for a drone of this size. The maximum height that is electronically possible for the drone is 400 feet.

Final Thoughts

While you may not be getting a real upgrade if you are moving from the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, but there is no denying that the Phantom 4 is one of the most capable drones in the market, it certainly doesn’t offer a lot in terms of upgrading, but for those who are looking to buy a new drone, it definitely is a worthy thing to buy. With that said, you do get an easier flying experience, some minor improvements to the camera, as well as the overall design. Making DJI Phantom 4 one of our top picks, and a definite buy for any aspiring film maker, and experimental photographer.

Pros

  • Incredibly easy to use for both newcomers and veterans.
  • The obstacle sensing system is perhaps one of the most innovative ways of stopping the drone from accidents.
  • Sport mode is a welcomed addition for making the drone fly faster.
  • Camera still manages to take stunning photos and videos, and provides a live feed straight to your phone.

Cons

  • For a drone with such a hefty price tag, the battery timing isn’t justified.
  • You have to attach a phone or a tablet with the control in order to take the full control of the drone itself.
  • Camera and landing gear can’t be removed, making the drone a bit hard to carry.

 

2. DJI Mavic Pro

Editor’s Choice The Best Portable Camera Drone

dji-mavic-pro

When DJI came up with the Mavic Pro, it is safe to say that the heads ended up rolling. After the booming success of the DJI Phantom series, it was time to bring in something new, and if you think that the Phantom 4 was a bold move by DJI, think again. The Mavic Pro is perhaps one of the most advanced drones in the market right now. In case you didn’t know, the drone just got out, so there are quite a few reviews. We managed to get our hands on one of the review units, and to be honest. We were blown away by just how good the Mavic Pro is. However, this shouldn’t come to anyone as a surprise, DJI has a history of doing innovations with their drones, and this isn’t a different case at all. So, without further ado, let’s dig into some interesting details.

Design and Construction

While the design change from the DJI Phantom 3 to the Phantom 4 was minor, you should be glad to know that DJI has done a complete overhaul and turned the Mavic Pro in one of the best looking drones we have seen. The overall design is much more aggressive, and angular looking while maintaining a very specific stealthy profile. In simpler words, the DJI Mavic Pro looks like a drone that comes straight out of the black ops division. As for the construction, considering the price you’d be paying, you should know that the construction the Mavic Pro is one of the best we have seen. However, that isn’t the best thing about the Mavic Pro, the best thing is the fact that it is perhaps the most portable drones from DJI, you can simply fold the arms into the drone itself, and unlike the Phantom series, it doesn’t have large feet to stand on, the Mavic Pro almost lies flat on the body with small legs protruding out of the arms. In case you are wondering, once you’ve completely folded the Mavic Pro, it becomes small enough for you to throw it in your backpack, and that’s progress.

Battery Life

We had high hopes with the battery of the DJI Mavic Pro, but sadly, the battery didn’t get much improvement. Some of it is actually understandable considering how the DJI Mavic Pro uses a small battery due to its size, and looking at the battery capacity, the given time seems more than enough. With that said, DJI stated that the Mavic Pro can go on an impressive 21 – 27-minute flight time on a relatively small 3,830 mAh battery. Something that we found really impressive. With that said, you should also know that the type of environment and weather condition also has a dramatic effect on how long the battery will last. So, you may exceed the timing, or may not get the minimum suggest timing.

Camera

While we won’t say that the camera went a step forward, it’s still one of the best cameras on a drone we have seen. The camera is able to do all the things the camera on the Phantom 4 was able to do, the 4K videos are stunning, and the pictures come out brimming with detail. However, you should know that the camera is only as good as how you can control the drone. With that said, we only have one gripe with the camera, to make the camera focus, you have to tap on a desire point on your smartphone screen. Not doing so will let the camera stay unfocused, other than that, we can’t really complain about the excellent camera DJI uses.

Range and Speed

Most of you are always concerned about the speed as well as the range of the drones, well, you should be glad to know that the DJI Mavic Pro has an impressive transmission range of 4.3 miles (7 kilometer) and that is certainly an improvement over the DJI Phantom. For the forwarding speed, we are looking at 40 miles per hour. Now here is some confusion, a lot of people think it was a downgrade from the Phantom 4’s 45 miles per hour, however, you should know that the speed is on Sport mode, however, the 40 miles per hour speed on the Mavic Pro is not any sort of mode.

Final Thoughts

While there is no denying that DJI has finally managed to revolutionize the enthusiast grade drones, a lot of thoughts are put into wondering whether or not the company ended up playing safe. Would it have been better if the company chose a bigger footprint giving space to a higher capacity battery? We’re not too sure about that. However, there is absolutely no denying that the DJI Mavic Pro is a drone that doesn’t have any rivals that are out to buy. Yes, the Go Pro Karma is one of the rival, but we are still waiting to see that drone in proper action. As for our thoughts on the Mavic Pro, we have some minor complaints here and there, but there’s no denying that the DJI Mavic Pro is the perfect drone one can buy provided they have the money.

Pros

  • Excellent, top of the line design with the right curves, and angles.
  • Incredibly compact, enough to fit inside a back pack.
  • Lasting battery life considering the total size of the battery.
  • Easy to fly, and learn even for the beginners.
  • Fast forwarding speed as well as a longer transmission range.
  • Can capture stunning 4K videos, and beautiful pictures.

Cons

  • Camera focuses only when you touch the point on your phone’s screen.

Casey Neistat’s Favourite Drone 

 

3. Go Pro Karma Drone

go-pro-karma-drone-best-drones-2017

Go Pro’s foray into the drone industry is shaping up to be really nice. The company took the audience by a surprise when they announced an ultra-compact Go Pro Karma drone, and while a lot of people thought that the Go Pro Karma is trying to do what the DJI Mavic Pro has already done, it’s safe to say that both drones have their own identity and that’s something we already wanted. Now, before we begin, you should now that the Go Pro Karma shares a lot with the DJI Mavic Pro, that’s not a bad thing considering how there is a little innovation left to do. As for the Karma drone, it still awaits a public release date, but the review samples are being sent, and the early impressions are good. With that said, you should know that the once publicly available, the drone will come with 2 options; with camera, and without a camera, and yes, unlike many high end drones, you can actually detach the camera that ships with it, and attach another Go Pro camera. With that said, let’s get down to the impressive details.

Design and Construction

One thing is for sure, when Go Pro designed the Karma, one thing they had in mind was the compact factor. Seriously, apart from the DJI Mavic Pro, the Go Pro Karma happens to be one of the most compact drones out in the wild. In case you are wondering how small it is, it can literally hit in the palm of your hand, and we consider that to be something really, really good. The overall construction is really solid, and much like the Mavic Pro, the Karma also manages to fold, making it easier for you to carry. The good thing is that Go Pro being nice enough to provide you an amazing carrying case that you put your drone in and carry it wherever you want.

Battery Life

Now comes the interesting bit, you should know that as compared to the DJI Mavic Pro, the Go Pro Karma has a larger 5100mAH battery. So, in theory, it should perform better than the 28-minute time on the Mavic Pro, right? Well, sadly, the time on the Mavic Pro is stated 20 minutes, however, we would advise you to take this with a grain of salt because the actual battery timing depends on the weather conditions, if the drone doesn’t have to struggle with the wind, the battery time will automatically be better. So, make sure you keep that in mind as well.

Camera

Now this is the fun part, if you decide to pay the full price for the Go Pro Karma, you will get their new Go Pro Hero 5 camera in the box, and guess what? It totally blows the competition out of the water. To put it in simpler words, if DJI is the brand who is an expert when it comes to a camera drone, Go Pro is an expert when it comes to camera. The camera on this drone is quite simply the best, however, in case you are wondering, even if you buy your drone without a camera simply because you have an older Go Pro, you can attach that to a drone with a simple, inexpensive attachment that Go Pro is selling separately. With that said, the camera does everything you ask it to do, the videos come out stunningly, the pictures are beautiful, and the overall experience is very, very steady. You also get a stick mount that you can use for more stability.

Range and Speed

Now comes the important bits; just how fast is the Go Pro Karma when compared to the direct rival. Well, you should know that where the Mavic Pro offers a top speed of 40 miles per hour, the Karma falls a little short and features a still respectable 35 miles per hour. As for the transmission range, Go Pro has stated that the transmission range on the Go Pro Karma is an impressive 9,840 feet with an impressive altitude of 10,500 feet. There’s no denying that the Go Pro Karma is certainly one of the most impressive drones out in the market. Yes, it could have been better, but for people who don’t want the DJI Mavic Pro simply because they are paying almost the same and getting more with the Karma, it certainly adds up to the equation.

Final Thoughts

Considering how this is the first drone from Go Pro, we can say that the company has outdone themselves. Yes, we already know how excellent they are when it comes to delivering top of the line superior action cameras. Still, considering how the Karma is their first drone, it only goes to show the potential Go Pro has when it comes to releasing more, better drones in the future. With that said, you should keep in mind that there is still a lot of room from improvement. With that said, the Go Pro Karma is certainly a drone to buy, and if you are someone who wants better camera quality, in terms of both videos, and photographs. The drone comes with a slew of accessories, including a very good stability grip, as well as a backpack that you can put the drone in.

Pros

  • Compact design best made for carrying the drone whenever you want, wherever you want.
  • A lot of accessories that actually make the experience better.
  • Solid construction through and through.
  • The Go Pro Hero 5 is a perfect addition, and acts as an amazing camera.
  • Great controller that is both functional and easy to use.

Cons

  • With all the great stuff included, the drone itself feels like a filler.

 

4. Blade Chroma 4K

blade-chroma-4k

The next drone we are looking at is the Blade Chroma 4K, now before we begin, there are some things you should know about. This drone isn’t associated in any way with Razer, now in case you are wondering why we made that Statement, because both the words “Blade” and “Chroma” are very closely associated with Razer, and have been used countless times in conjunction with their products. With that out of the way, you can say that the Blade Chroma 4K is basically a very capable 4K equipped drone from Horizon Hobby, and in all honesty, looks like a redesigned version of the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4, another camera drone that we will be looking at later in our review. As for the Blade Chroma 4K, let’s start by looking at just how good this drone is.

Design and Construction

Design and construction is one of the departments that are taken seriously by a lot of drone users, for starters, you obviously would want to know just how good the drone you are flying is. Keeping that in mind, you should know that although the construction on the Blade Chroma 4K doesn’t look all that strong, the drone actually happens to be quite sturdy. Yes, it’s white like most of the drones out in the market, but in case you are not a fan of that colour, you’d be glad that the Horizon Hobby sells adhesive skins that you can buy and opt for a different style. In addition to that, you should also know that there are some other good things you should know about the drone; it doesn’t need assembly because it comes fully assembled straight out of the box, just put on the included propellers, slide the battery in, and you’re good to go.

Battery Life

When people are investing a lot of money in a drone, the most important thing they normally need to consider is the battery. Now in case you don’t know, the Blade Chroma 4K comes with a 6,300mAh battery, and considering the size of the drone, it’s actually better to have a bigger battery. With that said, as per Horizon Hobby, the Blade Chroma 4K can last up to 20-30 minutes on full charge, and while that is certainly a bold claim, we managed to get the drone to last around 25 minutes, and that’s still very respectable. However, we would like to state that the actual flight time largely depends on the weather conditions, so do keep that in mind.

Camera

Sadly, you simply can’t just remove the camera from the Blade Chroma 4K, however, as the name suggests, the drone does come with a 4K ready camera, that offers UHD at 30 frames, and FHD at 60, as well as 120 frames per second. So, you should be more than aware that the camera is capable. Now, another important you need to know that while the camera is capable enough to record videos at ultra-high definition resolution, it’s not as good as the cameras we have seen in the DJI Phantom series. With that out of the way, that thing gets addressed as soon as you look at the price difference because there is quite a prominent price difference between both of them. With that said, if you are planning on watching the videos on small screens, then the Blade Chroma 4K does give you an impressive result, so you shouldn’t worry a lot. In addition to that, the 3-axis Gimbal support makes sure that the video you are shooting with the camera comes out stable, and doesn’t look shaky at all.

Range and Speed

The speed and range is something that a lot of people are more interested in because it actually determines the quality of just how good the drone is. With that said, finding an exact number is not something really easy because it depends on various different conditions. For starters, the speed of the wind is one of the determining factor when it comes to finding out the speed of the drone, and the amount of obstacles in the way can play an important role in the actual transmission range. In our testing, the transmission range varied from 1,500 to 2,000 feet before the signal started getting weaker. Still, there’s no way that this transmission can actually determine the actual range because it will vary from user to user. As for the speed, if you have the GPS stabilization enabled, you should expect to fly somewhere between 15 miles per hour, and 20 miles per hour.

Final Thoughts

The good thing about the Chroma Blade 4K is that it doesn’t sell itself as an enthusiast level drone, and that’s certainly a good thing because it’s not. In case you are wondering, the Chroma Blade 4K can be considered the Phantom 4 of hobbyist drones, and that is nowhere a bad thing. Sure, there are a lot of improvements to be made, and they will be made, but looking at the drone right now, for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of money to splurge, buying the Chroma Blade 4K is certainly the right thing to do so. Just make sure you are already aware of the downsides there are.

 Pros

  • The Blade Chroma 4K is comparatively small, and compact. You can also break it down and take it for travelling.
  • Provides a good enough video camera for recording 4K footage, as well as footage on other resolutions.
  • Battery life happens to be better than most of the more expensive competition.
  • The control offers a screen that you can use to see the 1st person view.
  • The follow, and tracking features are a nice addition.
  • Spare parts can be purchased easily, and the customer support is brilliant.

Cons

  • Although the camera is good, it’s not as good as it may seem, it’s only good when you view the videos on a comparatively small screen.
  • Lacks advanced flight features found in other drones.

5. Yuneec Typhoon H UHD 4K

yuneec-typhoon-h-uhd-4k-best-drones-2017

Just like DJI is the go to company when it comes to buying high end drones, if you find yourself on a budget, the company you should go to is Yuneeq, in all honesty, this one happens to be one of the best drones available in the market, and while people may think that the price is a bit bothering, it really is a matter of perspective. With the Yuneeq Typhoon H UHD 4K, you obviously get 4K video recording and quite a lot of other features that make it one of the better budget drones in the market. Sure, it’s not here to replace the likes of DJI Phantom, or the Mavic Pro, but the good thing is that the Typhoon H manages to have its own identity, and that is something very, very impressive in a market that happens to have a lot of saturation. With that said, let’s take a look at what the Yuneec Typhoon H UHD 4K brings on to the table.

Design and Construction

The good thing about the Yuneec Typhoon H UHD 4K is certainly the design, it doesn’t look like your run off the mill drone, and it certainly doesn’t look like a lower priced knock off of the much revered Phantom series by DJI. What that means for the Yuneec Typhoon H UHD 4K is that the drone can establish its own identity, and that’s certainly a very good thing considering how companies like these need more and more exposure. With that said, unlike some of the traditional drones, the Typhoon H UHD 4K comes in black, and there is no denying that it is certainly one of the best looking drones that are available in the market at the time of writing this. We are thoroughly pleased by the how good the construction is, and thanks to a design that can be collapsed, the Typhoon H UHD 4K wins the portability points as well.

Battery Life

Now comes a really important bit about pretty much any drone in the market; the battery timing. Well, according to the company itself, the Typhoon H UHD 4K is capable of giving you a maximum flight time of 25 minutes, while that is something that is surely one of the most impressive battery timings, you need to keep in mind that the battery timing actually depends on different factors like the weather conditions, the speed of the wind, and some other things. So, don’t be surprise if you get somewhat different battery mileage. In case you are wondering about the capacity of the battery, it is an impressive 5,400mAh, and while we know it’s not as good as some of the other batteries, it’s still good enough.

Camera

The good thing about the camera on the Typhoon H UHD 4K is that it comes with a 3-axis Gimbal support, and in case you are wondering why this is so important, it’s mainly because the Gimbal support doesn’t let the camera lose balance when the drone is flying, and it’s really important for smooth footage. In addition to that, you should know that unlike some other drones in the market, the camera on this one can’t be detached, and while that maybe a deal breaker for some, you should know that the camera is able to produce some of the most stunning videos and photos we have seen. In simpler words, the camera on the Yuneeq Typhoon H UHD 4K is literally everything you’d want to have in a drone and the camera itself.

Range and Speed

Another important piece of information that a lot of users require normally is the speed and range of the drone they are about to buy. According to the company itself, the drone can easily achieve a mile, however, you need to keep in mind that just like the total battery timing, the total transmission range actually depends on a number of factors. So, there is no “certain” way of to tell the actual range. With that said, as for the speed, you should know that it’s definitely respectable enough, and you must also know that the speed actually depends on the number of factors. However, the advertise speed of the Typhoon H UHD 4K is actually 22 miles per hour, and it’s actually way slower than a lot of other drones in the market, but we can overlook it thanks to the overall brilliance.

Final Thoughts

So, after spending an insane amount of time with the Typhoon H UHD 4K, and comparing it with the competitors like the DJU Phantom 4, we can say that it’s quite simply the best drone there is in the price tag, It’s actually everything you want from a drone. The camera is supreme, the battery timing is pretty solid, and in addition to that, the overall drone is just really, really good. We love the fact that Yuneec decided to go with a black construction that is missing from so many other drones. If we were to recommend this over the DJI Phantom 4, we would. Simply because it’s THAT good. With that said, do keep in mind that just like every other drone, the flight time, as well as the battery timing completely depends on the condition the drone is being flown in.

Pros

  • Brilliantly stable flight thanks to the 3-axis Gimbal.
  • Top of the line camera for both 4K videos as well as still photography, can also rotate 360 degrees.
  • Comes with dedicated touch screen controller.
  • Has a lot of advanced autonomous flight features.
  • Amazing value of money even at a high price.

Cons

  • Construction feels flimsy at places.
  • Battery takes a fair share of time to recharge.

 

6. DJI Phantom 3 Professional

dji-phantom-3-professional

It’s pretty safe to say that pretty much everyone in the market is aware of DJI, the have been around for as long as the drones go, and have produced quite simply the best drones one can buy. Their Phantom series happens to be the most popular drone series there is, and while a lot of people think they are very expensive, there is no denying that the price to performance ratio is really, really good. With that said, today’s product is the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, and while it is a comparatively old product as compared to the newer Phantom 4, as well as the Mavic Pro, there is nothing stopping this from becoming a part of our list. With everything said and done, today, we are going to take a look at the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, and find out why it has been on the list of best drones for years, and still manages to stay there.

Design and Construction

First look at the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, and you realise how the Phantom 4 took an enormous amount of inspiration from the Phantom 3 Professional, and there is no denying that the design is absolutely beautiful. The design on the Phantom 3 Professional is really, really good. The white looks good combined with the golden accents that can be found on the arms of the drone itself. There is nothing much revolutionary here, but you should know that the drone you are getting is amazing. One thing you should keep in mind about the design is that unlike some modern drones, the design can’t be collapsed, so it means that you can’t really just put it in your backpack, and carry it around. Something that has the potential of being a deal breaker to a lot of other people. With that said, another thing you need to keep in mind that while the drone is built properly, you need to make sure you don’t end up bumping it into trees, and buildings.

Battery Life

Now comes the most talked about factor when it comes to any drone out in the market; the battery life. Well, in case you are wondering what the battery life of the DJI Phantom 3 Professional is, as per the statements from DJI, the battery can last you ranging from 20 to 23 minutes, however, as we have stated numerous times in each battery section of each drone, as well as in the beginning of this article. The battery timing is something that is completely dependent on the weather conditions as well as some other factors. So, while some may get less than the advertise battery life, there are a lot of people who will get more out of their use. In our testing, the DJI Phantom 3 Professional lasted around 20 minutes outside on a single charge, and an impressive 25 minutes indoors. This further strengthens the point how the battery time can easily vary.

Camera

If you are wondering about the camera on the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, don’t worry. It’s perhaps one of the best cameras we have seen on the drone, yes, you can’t detach it, but you get an amazing camera that is 4K stabilized, and that means that your stunning video won’t be blurry or shaky just because the camera started moving. In addition to taking stunning videos, the camera is also capable of taking some of the best looking pictures we have seen through a drone camera. Each and every picture taken through the camera on the DJI Phantom 3 Professional is brimming with details, something that is really, really important for people who like to do stunning aerial photography. Needless to say, the DJI Phantom 3 Professional’s camera is a dream come true for the photography enthusiasts.

Range and Speed

While certainly not as important as some other features like battery, having a good range and speed on your drone is really important for some people. With that said, you’d be glad to know that both the speed as well as the range on the DJI Phantom 3 Professional is exactly what anyone would expect them to be; impressive.  During our testing in an open field, we managed to take the DJI Phantom 3 Professional as far as 3.2 miles, and even at that point, the signal was strong. However, that doesn’t properly tell you the actual range, so do keep that in mind when you are buying this specific drone. As for the speed, this again matters on the wind condition, you’ll notice that your drone will fly faster indoors mainly because It won’t be struggling with a lot of wind. The advertise speed with no wind is 16 meters per second, but then again, not having any wind is not really possible to begin with.

Final Thoughts

There is no denying that it can easily be said that DJI managed to create one of the best drones when they released the Phantom 3 Professional. Sure, this one is a bit expensive, and for a lot cheaper, you can get the other Phantom 3 variants too, but as the name suggests, the Phantom 3 Professional is clearly aimed at the professionals, and rightfully so. The camera is top of the line, the drone itself flies like a breeze for the professionals as well as the newcomers. However, the only gripe we have with the DJI Phantom 3 Professional is that the drone suffers from the portability issue, and that’s something that’s not new as all the older drones suffer from that. However, you shouldn’t be worried as modern drones like the Mavic Pro, and Karma are bringing in designs that can be collapsed.

Pros

  • The drone is very, very easy to set up and fly once you’re done.
  • One of the best designs we have seen; looks good, as well as feels solid.
  • The drone operates well, and can be handled with perfection even by the newcomers.
  • One of the best cameras we have seen in a camera drone.

Cons

  • Can be expensive for some.

 

7. DJI Phantom 3 Advanced

dji-phantom-3-advanced-best-drones-2017

The next up we have the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced, and in case you are wondering, this one is a slightly upgraded version of the Phantom 3 Standard, however, it does have some bells and whistles that make it worth an upgrade over the original DJI Phantom 3 Standard. Before we start going into the details, you should know that the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced is definitely a lower version than the Phantom 3 Professional, and instead of offering a 4K camera, you get a camera that is capable of recording videos at 1080p. However, you should know that it’s completely fine for a drone camera to record videos on anything less than a 4K. This is mainly because 4K is still relatively expensive, and a lot of people don’t even have 4K capable screens. With that said, we shouldn’t waste any time, and take a look at just how good the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced is.

Design and Construction

First things first, we are going to talk about the design and construction of the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced; to be honest, we had some reservations in the start mainly because as compared to the Professional variant, this costs cheaper, and a lot of buyers were concerned about DJI compromising on the build quality. However, we were proven wrong. It’s good to know that DJI didn’t really compromise on anything, and made sure that the both the design and construction of the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced is as good as it gets. Obviously, you can’t really say if there is an awful lot of difference between the different variants of Phantom 3 variants, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to tell them apart, there are very, very small distinctive properties between all 3 models, and that’s a good thing because it helps in creating a distinctive look.

Battery Life

The age old question when it comes to the drones; what is the best life? Well, you should know that DJI claims that the Phantom 3 Advanced will be able to give you a battery life of 23 minutes, and while that situation may hold true, you should know that sometimes, the result can be drastically different. However, in our case, it didn’t happen. The drone managed to stay in the air for 22 minutes before we started getting the low battery warning. Considering the advertised time is 23 minutes, the 22-minute average wasn’t bad enough. However, you should know that you will get probably better timing when you’re flying in doors thanks to the fact that the wind resistance will be the lowest. With that out of the way, there’s no way to deny that the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced comes with one of the best battery timings we have seen on a drone.

Camera

Now comes the important bit, a lot of people were wondering about the camera on the Phantom 3 Advanced, and Phantom 3 Professional, and here’s when things start to get interesting. You see, the camera on the Phantom 3 Professional is capable of recording videos in 4K, however, when it comes to the camera on the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced, you are limited to recording videos at 1080p. Now it makes sense to see the price going down. However, you should know that the camera on the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced is nowhere near being bad, as a matter of fact, it happens to be one of the most capable drone cameras out in the market. As for the framer per second, the maximum FPS you get from this camera is basically 60, so for those wondering if they can shoot videos in slow motion, we’re afraid that won’t be possible. Still, the camera manages to be really good when shooting videos and taking pictures.

Range and Speed

In case you are wondering if DJI made a compromise on the speed or the range of the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced, then you should know that it’s exactly the same as the speed and range of the Phantom 3 Professional, and while many people may find an issue in that, there’s nothing wrong with it. In all honesty, a lot of people don’t know but Phantom 3 Advanced is just a cut-down version of the Phantom 3 Professional, and in our testing, we realized that the differences between both is basically just the camera, and some colour/design, and that’s about it. So, you shouldn’t be worried about this too much.

Final Thoughts

In simpler words, the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced is basically a drone for people who don’t want to spend the extra money and buy a drone just for the sake of some gold accents, and a 4K capable camera, especially when most people are still not in a possession of a 4K capable television or display. With that said, there’s no way the Phantom 3 Advanced a bad drone, as a matter of fact, it’s one of the most capable camera drones we have seen and doesn’t even begin to justify it. The camera quality is amazing even if it’s just 1080p, and the pictures come out as good as you’d expect.

Pros

  • Very, very convenient and easy to fly.
  • Solid construction, and brilliant legacy design.
  • Slew of sensors help make the flight experience really, really good.
  • Cheaper than most of the competition.

Cons

  • Much like some other high end drones, the drone can’t be collapsed.

 

8. Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K

yuneec-typhoon-q500-4k

It has already been stated that we are no strangers to the amazing drones from Yuneec, and this time, it’s no different. We have already mentioned that we loved the Yuneeq Typhoon H UHD 4K, and the one we are looking at right now is known as the Yuneeq Typhoon Q500 4K. Needless to say, it belongs to the same Typhoon series people love and adore so much. In terms of form and functionality, not much has changed, still, the Typhoon Q500 manages to keep its own identity, and that is certainly a good thing in a market where borrowing design elements has become a lot more necessary than it used to be. The good thing about the Q500 is that it neither looks like a DJI clone, nor like the Typhoon H, and that is the thing most companies are normally looking for.

Design and Construction

Now comes the important bits, like we stated earlier, the Typhoon Q500 4K manages to keep its own identity, and that is the thing we love the most about some of the drones that are available in the market. In terms of the design, the Typhoon Q500 manages to remain both subtle and aggressive design thanks to the anodized feel along with some pretty aggressive angles. While the simplicity lovers may find the design a bit questionable, in all honesty, the Typhoon Q500 is one of the best looking drones we have seen in the market. As for the construction and build quality, we only have good things to say about it. In all seriousness, the Typhoon Q500 is one of the best built drones, and while all the modern, high end drones come with special certifications, it’s always good to know that the company didn’t make any compromises on the design.

Battery Life

Now comes the more pressing matter at hand, the battery timing of the drone. Well, you should be glad to know that the battery on the Yuneeq Typhoon Q500 4K is nothing short of impressive, and in case you are wondering why is the case, well, because in our testing, the drone managed to stay up for 25 minutes, and that happens to be one of the most impressive timings we have seen. Now do keep in mind that the drone is powered by a 5,400mAh battery, and the battery timing is something that will obviously depend on the weather conditions, mainly the wind in the area you are. There are chances that you might be able to get a better battery timing. With that said, you should also know that using different flying modes will get you different battery timings. Overall, the battery timing still earns the respect from us.

Camera

As the name suggests, the camera on the Typhoon Q500 is 4K ready, however, what the name doesn’t suggest is that the camera is capable of shooting videos at other modes such as the much revered 1080p at 120 frames per second as well, meaning for the slow-mo enthusiasts, there is definitely something to look forward to. With that said, all the testing went really, really well. The camera managed to perform exceptionally well, and is a treat for both the newcomers as well as the veterans who like to have more control over the camera itself. It may be sad for some that the camera can’t be detached, but don’t let it fool you, the camera performs so good, that you won’t really need to detach it at all.

Range and Speed

Now before you start looking for your credit card, you should know that the Typhoon Q500 4K is not made for people who are looking to take the drone to long ranges, and while the advertised range of 800 meters isn’t a bad thing at all. Yes, there are plenty of drones that offer more speed, but never forget to account in the price, as well as the features together, and then see who wins. Moving on to the speed, the drone obviously will operate on speeds according to your surroundings, however, if you want to know the advertised speed, the Typhoon Q500 4K is capable of travelling at 18 mph, and you should keep in mind that the speed will actually depend on the wind condition, as well as the weather.

Final Thoughts

The good thing about the Yuneeq Typhoon Q500 4K is that the drone is built with all rounding in mind, it means that for people who are always looking for something better will have plenty to look forward to when they buy this drone. It literally has everything one needs. With that said, there is certainly not much one can improve about the design. However, much like a lot of other drones in the market, the design on this one isn’t collapsible, so, you’re pretty much stuck with it, and would have to carry it in the rather large carrying case. Overall, keeping that aside, there’s no denying that the Yuneeq Typhoon Q500 4K is one of the best drone with camera out in the market, and without a doubt.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality and design.
  • Impressive battery life through and through in many different conditions.
  • One of the best cameras we have seen on the drone; stunning videos at a resolution of your preference up to 4K.
  • Easy to set up, and even easy to fly thanks to the feature packed remote control.

Cons

  • A bit too large for some users
  • Takes a fair share of time to recharge fully.

 

9. DJI Phantom 3 Standard

dji-phantom-3-standard-best-drones-2017

In case you are wondering why we have listed all the models of the DJI Phantom 3 in the list, that’s because each single model is actually built for specific users in mind. Whereas the Phantom 3 Professional, and Phantom 3 Advanced are made for people who want to take stunning photos, as well as videos. With that said, if you are wondering what’s the purpose behind the release of DJI Phantom 3 Standard, then you should know that this is the best drone in the market for beginners. It comes for a lot cheaper price than the price of the Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional, and while it’s doing that, it manages to make sure that it is the best budget oriented drones in the market. What makes it so special? Let’s find out.

Design and Construction

If you are worried that DJI might have compromised on the construction quality of the Phantom 3 Standard mainly because of the price, don’t be. The Phantom 3 Standard is built as nicely as the other Phantom drones that are currently available in the market, and that is certainly a good thing. With that out of the way, as for the design, almost everyone who is aware of the design language that goes into the Phantom series. For those familiar with the gold accents on the Phantom Advanced, you will be welcomed by somewhat better looking red accents on this model, and while a lot of people have questions regarding this colour, it actually goes really, really well with the overall white design of the drone itself. As for the construction or the build quality, it’s pretty solid.

Battery Life

Unsurprisingly, the battery on the DJI Phantom 3 Standard remains as impressive as the battery on the other drones we have seen in the market. For instance, DJI has promised an impressive battery timing of 25 minutes on full charge, and in our testing which included hovering, and hovering while in the presence of moderate wind. With that said, you do need to keep in mind that the battery time will obviously be different for different people, and while some may score excellent results, some may not be able to achieve the same impressive battery timing. With that out of the way, you shouldn’t worry about the battery life on the DJI Phantom 3 Standard because it is every bit as impressive as per DJI.

Camera

Now the important bit for people who don’t know the difference. The main difference between the Standard, Advanced, and Professional is the camera, and in case you are wondering, the camera on the DJI Phantom 3 Standard isn’t capable of shooting videos in 4K, however, it does s hoot videos in 2.7K, and that is not a resolution to be meddled with. In case you didn’t know, the movies we see are shot in 2K, so there’s definitely a good upgrade. With that said, the camera as good as things can get, even if it’s not 4K, the videos look amazing, the good thing is that you don’t have to rely on a smaller screen for the videos to look good because they will look as good on a bigger screen regardless of the screen resolution.

Range and Speed

Now, in case you are wondering if the operating range along with the speed, then you should know that the advertised speed of the Phantom 3 Standard is an impressive 36 mph, and as for the operating range, it’s an impressive 1,000 meters. Now a word of advice for the unaware, while the advertised speeds hold true in many cases, you need to know that there are times when these may not hold true. This actually depends on your surroundings and the conditions you are flying the drone in. Still, there’s no denying that the DJI Phantom 3 Standard lives up to the name.

Final Thoughts

DJI has proved everyone wrong that you don’t need to spend an insane amount of money when it comes to making an amazing product; the Phantom 3 Standard costs half the price of some of the best drones in the market, and still manages to go against them in almost every department. It provides amazing camera, brilliant flying experience, and the tried and tested design that made DJI famous in the first place. For those who can’t spend an enormous amount of money on the Phantom 3 Professional, or Phantom 4, the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is a brilliant option to choose.

Pros

  • Incredibly easy to operate.
  • Amazing build quality.
  • Competitively priced.
  • Great camera in both stills and videos.
  • Stays true to the Phantom legacy.

Cons

  • Doesn’t manage to stand out of the rest of the DJI series.

 

10. 3D Robotics Solo

The Best Drone Under 300

3d-robotics-solo

The last product on our list is basically known as the 3D Robotics Solo, or 3DR Solo. Now a lot of people don’t actually know but this drone was released as a direct competitor to the much revered DJI Phantom 3, and in case you are wondering whether or not the 3D Robotics Solo did good in the market, well, if it hadn’t, it wouldn’t have been on the list. With that out of the way, there is no way one can say that the 3D Robotics Solos is a mid-ranger drone as it is built for drone enthusiasts, and people who don’t like the overall design and some specific features of the Phantom series. With that out of the way, today, we are going to take a look at some of the things about the 3D Robotics Solo, and find out why it happens to be one of the best drones out in the market. Let’s begin.

Design and Construction

There is no doubt that the Solo happens to be one of the most well-built drones we have in the market, sure, it may not look as good as some of the other high end competitors but the fact that it looks good, and it’s built well is enough of a reassurance that this happens to be one amazing drone. As for the design, well, it looks a lot like DJI Phantom series, and some other similar looking drones. This may come as a shock to some but we have reached a point in camera drones where most camera drones somewhat look like each other, and that’s perfectly okay.

Battery Life

Battery life is something that has always been the pressing issue when it comes to camera drones, as well as other drones while we are at the topic, and while the maximum time hovers somewhere between 20-25 minutes, you need to know that there’s no way this battery timing can be deemed disappointing. With that said, in case you are wondering about how good the battery timing on the 3D Robotics Solo is, then you should be glad to know that during our testing we didn’t really face any issues with the battery, and it managed to stay impressive. The drone managed to stay 25 minutes without the camera, and a still impressive 20 minutes with it. Needless to say, it was still impressive to see, and it can largely be dependent on how you fly the drone, and under which condition you fly it.

Camera

Here’s the interesting thing, there is no camera on the drone. Yes, you have to bring your own Go Pro camera if you want to take aerial videos and photos. Now that is something that some people may consider to be a bad thing, but it’s actually good, and way, way better than having the drone limited to its own camera. In case you don’t know, Go Pro has some of the best action cameras in the market, and in many cases, these cameras are actually better than the cameras we see on drones like DJI Phantom series. With that said, you can add pretty much any camera you want, and you’ll be good to go.

Range and Speed

In case you are wondering about the range, the 3D Robotics Solo has an advertised range of half a mile, and while it’s certainly not as impressive as some other drones in the market like the DJI Phantom 4, there is no denying that half a mile is still good, and people won’t really let the drone stay away from them for that long. With that said, you shouldn’t be too worried about the range at all. As for the advertised speed, you’d be glad to know that the 3D Robotics Solo happens to be the fastest drone on our list, and offers an impressive speed of 55 mph. Again, you need to keep in mind that this advertised speed is only accurate under certain circumstances. So don’t be surprised if you don’t get the advertised speed.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there’s no denying that the 3D Robotics Solo happens to be the best drones in the market, sure, it can’t rival some of the other drones in the market, but what it has is the ability to attach your own Go Pro camera, and that is something a lot of high end drones, even the DJI Phantom 4 is missing on. With that said, there are a lot of other impressive things that are offered by this drone including the fact that this bad boy can actually offer you a top speed of 55 mph. In case you are wondering if it’s going to be your purchase or not, we hope that the review helps you decide.

Pros

  • Camera can easily be upgraded thanks to the detachable system.
  • An impressive top speed of 55 mph.
  • Comes with small, but powerful enough battery.
  • Looks great in black.
  • Easy to fly with quite a lot of flight modes.

Cons

  • Takes some time to recharge.
  • Controller doesn’t have a screen, needing a mobile to fully function.

 

Final Conclusion:

So, there you have it. An article with brief reviews of every single top drone you can find in the market at the very moment. Yes, we did exclude some of the drones, but the purpose of this list is not to include very drone out in the market, the purpose of this list is to make sure that all the good drones are listed, and people who are having troubles finding the best drones can find them easier than they will in the market. Believe it or not, market place can perhaps be one of the most confusing places when it comes to buying drones, and other similar things. Here is to hoping that the list has actually helped you decide the best drone for yourself.