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The best mini drones: compact high flyers

The best mini drones

Whether you’re zipping it around the living room or taking a sneaky selfie, small drones are just as fun and full of features as some of their bigger counterparts. Drones are so dependent on the weather – just the slightest bit of wind and some of them are really difficult to fly – so if you’re looking to hone your flying skills, no matter the weather outside, investing one of the best mini drones is definitely a worthwhile purchase.  

A mini drone isn’t just for indoor use, though. Buy one with a decent camera, and you can shoot footage inside the smallest of spaces or, on a professional level, you can discreetly shoot aerial shots at weddings or even footage for television programmes. 

When it comes to choosing the best mini drone, our picking from Parrot, the Parrot Mambo FPV is a good all-rounder. In terms of the wider market, it’s comfortable priced and comes packed full of fun features including a camera, grabber and cannon to keep you entertained inside and out.

If you’re on this page because you’re looking for a mini drone that does it all, there’s the perfect option for you, the DJI Spark Mini Drone. It’ll set you back near on a month’s rent, but it features an HD camera and offers double the flight time.  

The best mini drone

1. Parrot Mambo FPV

The perfect gift idea for mini and adult drone lovers alike

Battery: 9 mins
Weight: 64kg
Fpv: No
Reasons to buy
+ Easy to control, ideal for beginners 

In relative terms, this Parrot is fairly inexpensive, and it comes with a bunch of cool features that make it more than just a gizmo that you fly around. Whether you’re using the cannon to shoot targets, the grabber to move objects around the house or you’re just getting to grips with the interface on your smartphone, the Parrot Mambo FB with its vertical VGA camera and 9 minute battery time, will certainly ensure you have plenty of fun.  

Hubsan X4 H107c

2. Hubsan X4 H107c

A good starting point for any budding drone enthusiast

Battery: 8 mins
Weight: 58kg
Fpv: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Cheap, cheerful and great to learn on 

Before you can trust yourself to fly something like the DJI Spark Mini Drone, you’ll need to get the grips with the basics. Learning to fly a drone is no mean feat, so it’s handy that this one comes with spare propellers just in case it takes a hard landing. Perhaps one of its most attractive features is the camera, which allows beginners to get to grips with controlling the drone via front person view once they feel comfortable with the controls. It can also take recordings and store it on an SD card so you can easily check out the footage on your TV or laptop.  

Syma X20 Mini Pocket Drone

3. Syma X20 Mini Pocket Drone

A zippy palm sized drone with helping hands when it comes to learning to fly

Battery: 5/7 mins
Weight: 222kg
Fpv: No
Reasons to buy
+ Ideal size for flying around the house 

Costing you in the region of just £22, this mini pocket drone is a great one for beginners. In addition to altitude hold mode so you don’t lose height, one touch launching and one touch landing, the drone is capable of 360 degree rolls and night flights so there’s plenty of features to explore. Although the battery only lasts 5 to 7 minutes, charge time isn’t as long as other drones, and people say that it’s pretty good at taking a hit too, so there shouldn’t be too much expense on spare parts.  

JJRC H37 Elfie Quadcopter

4. JJRC H37 Elfie Quadcopter

Supporting both an app and G-sensor remote control, this drone is techy without the price tag

Battery: 7 mins
Weight: 420kg
Fpv: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Shoot HD pictures and video 

You definitely get a lot of drone for your money with the JJRC H37 Elfie Quadcopter. Whether you’re learning to fly with headless mode or using the G-sensor controller to direct it with your hand movements, this drone will satisfy the needs of any tech fanatic. Although it shoots in lower res HD, features such as beauty mode and flight planning mode ensure even beginners can shoot high quality, accurate footage. You’ll need to purchase some extra batteries; flight time is 7 minutes and recharging takes 70, but for the price, you can’t really complain.  

DJI Spark Mini Drone

5. DJI Spark Mini Drone

For pro flyers only

Battery: 16 mins
Weight: 300kg
Fpv: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Maximum capacity of 4.3 miles – but you’ll need a CAA/IAA permit to take advantage of it 

This little drone leaves all the others standing when it comes to techy features, and so it should at that price. Cool features include being able to launch it from the palm of your hand, controlling the camera shots you take by using a range of commands, tracking and keeping up with moving objects and following hand gestures. This is probably one for professionals, or those with some serious skills under their hands – crash this mini drone and that’s roughly £450 down the drain. But for that price-tag, you also get a HD camera, 3D sensing system and plenty of other really techy elements that any enthusiast would love to take advantage of. 

Micro FPV Lite Quad Tiny Whoop

6. Micro FPV Lite Quad Tiny Whoop

A tiny whoop, but still worth the celebration

Battery: 4 mins
Weight: 82kg
Fpv: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Adapt and upgrade this drone to your liking 

If you like the idea of tinkering with your drone, there’s plenty of scope for adaptation with the Tiny Whoop and once you’ve got your head around the parts, you can even have a go at building one from scratch. It’s incredibly light and super small, which makes it idea to fly around the house, and with Fpv capabilities, you can get some practice in before you upgrade to a bigger, more expensive drone later on. 

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