If I was learning how to fly quadcopters all over again, my choice would be the Hubsan X4.
It’s an extremely stable quadcopter that both beginners and experts can enjoy.
It flies just like some of the higher end drones, but without all of the fancy bells and whistles. Oh, and without the thousand dollar price tag, too!
With that said, there are many options available for the best starter quadcopter. Drones are not a “one size fits all” solution.
I’ve put together a list of the top quadcopters for those just getting started, all of which are fantastic for beginner pilots. Let’s get to it!
Beginner Drones Comparison
|Model||Flight Time||Indoor or Outdoor flying||Features||Price|
|Blade Nano QX||6 minutes||Indoors||- Most stable option.|
- Can preform manual flips.
- Best indoor flier.
|Syma X5C-1||8 minutes||Outdoors||- Included 2 MP Camera|
- Great outdoor flier
- Cheap repairs
|XT Flyer XT001A||7 minutes||Indoors||- Protective cage protects drone and always lands the quad upright||See Price|
|Hubsan X4 (H107L)||6 minutes||Indoors||- Very Stable|
|Cheerson CX-10||4.5 minutes||Indoors||- Smallest of the bunch|
- Great for flying in tight spaces
- Cheapest option
|Dromida Ominus||12 minutes||Outdoors||- Very durable|
- Sporty flights
The Best Drones for Beginners Are…
The XT Flyer XT001A is quickly gaining popularity as one of the best quadcopters for beginners learning to fly. The reason why sticks out immediately upon first glance.
The XT001A features an amazing and unique protective cage. Not only does this amazing cage protect your propellers, but it also always flips the quad rightside up. Let’s take a look at why these features are so helpful for beginners.
When just learning how to fly quadcopters you are going to be crashing… A lot. The amazing propeller guard protects people, walls, any furniture (and cute pets) around you. Plus it also protects the drone itself from damage!
Having such an amazing propeller guard saves you the hassle of having to constantly shell out money on repairs. Sweet, now what about the self righting feature?
Self righting is just XT’s way of saying that this quad always lands on it’s feet. When you crash another drone, it’s possible that it’ll land on it’s propellers. You’ll need to walk over to it, pick it up and place it down right side up before flying again. So much work!
The XT’s cage, however, always rolls this quad upright, so you can take off immediately no matter what side it lands on. This feature is amazing, and that’s not even the best thing about this quad!
In addition to these awesome features it also flies amazingly well. Be warned, it’s not the easiest quadcopter to pick up and fly. Even in lower rates it can feel very responsive and quick. This will be a little bit of a problem when just starting out. Once you gain a bit more experience, however, you’ll be glad that it has this much speed and control.
Overall, this quad’s protective cage offers a lot of room for error for newer pilots, and that’s exactly what you’ll need. It’s still fun to fly around the house even for experts, and it’s self righting feature is an awesome bonus.
All of these newbie-friendly features easily puts the XT Flyer XT0001A as one of the best micro quadcopters for beginners.
Hubsan X4 H107L
Ahh, the Hubsan X4 H107L. Very popularly recognized as one of the best beginner quadcopters and also a personal favorite. It is easy enough for beginners to pick up and learn how to fly, while still being an enjoyable drone for more advanced pilots.
The x4 features two modes – beginner and expert. Beginner doesn’t allow you to fly as fast as expert mode, but is better for beginners as the name suggests. Flying the X4 in expert mode, however, can be enjoyable for pilots of any skill, since it can fly quite fast and has good maneuverability.
This quad isn’t the most durable on the market but it can sure take a crash or two and is quite stable which means beginners won’t have a hard time picking this thing up to learn the basics.
It’s a great choice for beginners wanting to pick up an affordable option to hone your skills indoors, or outdoors in minimal wind.
The Syma X5C-1 is another excellent choice for those learning to fly drones for the first time. It’s larger than the Hubsan X4, making it great for flying outdoors.
Due to the larger propellers and power you can expect to be able to fight light to moderate winds. Anything more than that and there’s a good chance it’ll flyaway since it’s so leight. It can take quite a beating upon crashes and repairs are very cheap.
This drone comes stock with a very mediocre max range of only 30 meters, way shorter than I would like. However, this can eventually be upgraded through some range hacks. Beginner pilots won’t be too bothered by the limited range regardless.
It’s all white frame and lackluster LED lights can make orientation difficult during the day. Easily resolved by painting the front or back propellers a different color to differentiate them, but some more visible LED lights would have been nice.
One of the neat features that the X5C has is it’s stock 2 megapixel camera. Although the camera quality is reminiscent of an old school flip phone, you really get what you pay for when it comes to drones and i’d think of this camera more of a bonus than a reason to buy it. Click here to see an example of the X5C’s camera quality
Overall, despite it’s few flaws, this is a fantastic beginner quadcopter. You can beat it up without having to worry much about it breaking, and it offers an affordable option for those looking for one of the best beginner camera drones on the market.
Blade Nano QX
The Blade Nano QX is a more premium, and thus more expensive, option compared to the Hubsan X4. It features a very durable design with built in prop guards for added protection and is also one of the highest preforming micro drones.
Something that often draws pilots to this quad is it’s ability to turn off the gyrosocope stabilization. This is often referred to as “acro mode” and allows you to take complete control of the quad, and preform manual flips and stunts. This is usually only possible with higher end and custom built racing drones. Flying in acro mode is much more difficult, but also much more fun and satisfying once you get the hang of it.
You won’t be able to interchange the Blade Nano QX’s replaceable batteries with other similarly sized quads like you would be able to with the X4, but this is still one of the most popular micro quadcopters for in the RC community. I’s ability to fly in acro mode for such a reasonably priced quad is rare, and it’s amazing flight characteristics make this a great indoor flier for even the most experienced pilots.
Cheerson CX 10
Formerly known as the world’s smallest quadcopter, this drone is still a fantastic value. The CX 10 and all of it’s variations fly great. They’re extremely stable and precise for their size and by far the cheapest drones for beginners.
It’s flight time isn’t the best, and you can’t remove the battery. The good news is that they’re so cheap, you can buy multiple and rotate through them. Charging the CX 10 you’re not flying at the time is always a good idea.
It’s not as durable as some of the other options, and it’s extra tiny transmitter can be uncomfortable for those with bigger hands. Past that, it’s a great choice for those looking to fly indoors in tight spaces or around the office without being too much of a nuisance.
Often regarded as one of the best outdoor beginner quadcopters, the Dromida Ominus was actually my first. The Ominus is known for its surprising durability and is the sportiest flying quadcopter on this list.
It flies well outdoors and can handle even light to slightly moderate winds.
It can feel a bit underpowered at times, and its lack of a camera makes the X5C-1 a more popular choice. It does fly faster than the X5C, at the cost of some precision and stability.
In most regards except for handling, this drone flies like a more powerful Syma X5C-1. It’s a little bit pricer (almost double the price) and has the neat option to fly in acro mode. It’s a little too underpowered to perform manual flips consistently, but that’s to be expected for the price.
There is also an FPV version available for fliers who are looking for the next skill to master.
The Ominus also requires batteries that at nearly $12 a pop can be quite expensive. You’re probably going to want multiple for an average flight session.
The Ominus is a great training quadcopter for outdoor flying. If you want something a bit more powerful than the X5C that can still take a beating, the Dromida Ominus may be for you.
What about that fancy FPV racing drone DJI Phantom 4 for beginners?
There’s a good chance that if you are looking into buying your first drone, it’s because you want to eventually be able to fly a more professional model for aerial videography such as the DJI Phantom 4 or the DJI Inspire 1. Maybe even a zippy first person view racing rig. Whatever your motivation, it’s recommended that you start off with one of the cheaper “toy grade” models we have listed above and the reason is simple.
Learning how to fly one of the cheaper options will teach you most of the skills you need to be able to fly any of the higher end models – without the risk. Sure, the DJI Phantom and Inspire type drones do often come with a GPS to help stabilize it when it’s in the air, but there are going to be times when you lose connection and need to fly it back to you manually. This is where having the experience on a toy drone really helps.
Learning to fly and crashing on a cheap toy drone is much better than spending thousands of dollars and crashing a professional aerial drone. The fundamentals of flying ANY drone is the same, no matter the cost. Save yourself a headache and upgrade to the fancy DJI Inspire 1 or Phantom once you’ve already mastered the basics.
We hope this article was helpful in choosing your very first drone to purchase!
Let us know what quadcopter you would recommend to new pilots in the comments below. 🙂