The best beginner drones: basic drones perfect for novices

Drones

If you think that drones look cool, you’re absolutely right. But starting out with one can be tricky when there is such a wide range of products on the market, all with different specifications. Whether you are looking to get a drone purely as a hobby, or your profession could benefit from the use of a drone, there are a number of different sizes and style available that will ease you into flying solo. If you are looking for the best drone for a beginner, keep reading for our top picks.

Drones are remote controlled aerial machines that are often used purely as a toy, but have now been implemented as essential tools in jobs such as surveying and aerial photography and videography.  When starting out with a drone, we recommend opting for some of the simpler models, which is why most of the products we have included in this list are ready-to-fly drones. 

Many drones for beginners aren’t too costly either. Some mini drones don’t cost much at all, but if you want one with a camera, you’re definitely going to want to opt for one over the £50 mark. For more advanced features such as video, we’re talking around the £100 mark and for anything else, up to £200. While some drones are built to be robust, those with a camera are naturally more delicate and require extra care when learning to fly. In which case, as a beginner we recommend looking out for helpful tools and features such as self-stabilisation and an easy-to-use controller so that you don’t end up crashing on your first flight. 

Drones

1. OKPOW 2MP Wide Angle Selfie Drone

A great little drone for taking pictures when out and about

Best for: HD Aerial Footage | Type: Aerial photography | Weight: 699g

Great value for money
Record straight to your phone
Very delicate 

If you’re a keen photographer and want to give drones a try, then you’ll love the OKPOW 2MP Wide Angle Selfie Drone. This is a great beginner’s drone for practising aerial photography, and would also be ideal for those considering getting one to assist with surveying work. For the price, this is an incredibly good quality drone. However, it is very delicate so we recommend taking things slow so you don’t damage the camera but you’ll also have help from the 6-axis flight control system which provides stability while you’re learning to fly. Once you have built up confidence then you can have great fun trying out different moves with this drone’s 3D flip function  

Drones

2. Parrot Mambo Quadcopter Mini Drone

A mini drone for learning to fly with precision

Best for: Precision flying | Type: Mini Quad | Weight: 64g

Easy to fly
Control by smartphone
A little basic for some 

The Parrot Mambo Quadcopter Mini Drone is great fun if you’re looking to fly drones as a hobby. It features a grabber which allows you to pick up and drop items, which also makes it easier to learn how to fly with precision when you have a target to aim for. For a mini drone, the Parrot Mambo has a decent flight time of up to 9 minutes and you also get use of a vertical VGA camera. The stable flight function helps with an easy flight however after time some may find this restricting in what you can do.  

Drones

3. Wizard X220 Freestyle FPV Quadcopter

A slightly more complex model, great for roaming free

Best for: Freestyling | Type: Acrobatic | Weight: 484g

Durable 
Lightweight
Doesn’t come FPV goggles 

For those who want a little more freedom when learning to fly, the Wizard X220 Quadcopter is a little more advanced than some others, but still comes ready to fly and is strong enough to take a few hits while you’re finding your feet (or wings, so to speak). The battery is easy to install and it has a handy USB port on the side so you can simply plug into your computer when it needs recharging.  

Drones

4. Parrot Swing Quadcopter & Plane Minidrone

A great beginner’s drone for learning to fly outdoors

Best for: Outdoor flying | Type: Plane/mini-drone | Weight: 73g

Takes pictures and video
Self-stabilisation 
Not suitable when windy 

With this Quadcopter and Plane drone you can learn to fly indoors and outdoors and try your hand at some amazing stunts including looping, barrel rolls and U-turns as well as fly up to 19mph (and you’ll have the self-stabilisation mode to ensure a smooth flight). You’ll get around 7 minutes flight time but remember to only fly indoors when it’s really windy outside! 

Drones

5. Hubsan FPV X4 Mini RTF Quadcopter

A great introduction to FPV drones

Best for: FPV Learning | Type: Freestyle | Weight: 354g

Records flight footage
Sturdy
Not the best range 

For the perfect introduction to an immersive FPV flight, this drone is easy to use and features 6 Axis Gyro Stabilisation for a smooth introduction to flying drones. It comes with a controller and has an FPV video range of up to 100 metres, but if you want to go further you’ll need to invest in goggles to improve distance and quality. It is by no means the best quality drone on the market, but for the price this is absolutely one of the best drones for beginners as it allows you to practice your skills and technique without any pressure. This is a great little entry level gadget. 

Drones

6. Micro FPV Tiny Whoop Based on Eachine

A basic drone for flying indoors; ideal for complete beginners

Best for: Complete beginners | Type: Mini-drone | Weight: 82g

View FPV on smartphone
Ready to go
A little basic 

If you’re on a budget, then this is the best drone for learning the basics from scratch. It is a mini drone that is pretty much ready to fly out of the box and has a flight time of around 3 minutes 40 seconds.  It has an easy-to-use controller which allows you to get the hang of flying indoors and a small FPV camera which you’re able to view on your smartphone. For just over £50, this is a great value for money drone that is perfect for recreational use.  

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If you're already an experienced droner, head over to T3.com to find the best indoor drones or try something a little different with an underwater drone instead.