The best drones to buy —no matter the budget

Anymore, everywhere you go, any outdoor event you attend, there's a drone. Photographers and videographers are using drones more and more to get that perfect shot. But did you know you can also use drones for things like home security? Drones are here to stay, and we have the perfect drone for any budget imaginable.

The best drones to buy —no matter the budget
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Aerial Filmmaking Drone

So many drones. They’re everywhere. And if you’ve been looking to get in on that sweet drone action, we’re here for it. Or if you’ve already dipped your toes into the drone waters and are looking to upgrade, we’ve got a drone for that too. And, of course, we have drones that most of us can only dream about being able to drive. We have the best drones on a budget—even a Jeff Bezos budget. Because that’s the dream, right?

Sure, a lot of you are probably thinking, “What the heck do I even need a drone for?” There are more practical uses than you realized. You can absolutely be one of those people flying drones around every event. But what if you’re trying to map your property? Of maybe you have a large parcel of land, and you need home security for it?

Whatever your reasoning, check out this list of awesome drones to get you started, from budget drones to luxury drones.

AIR PIX Pocket-Sized Aerial Camera lets you take the best selfies

The AIR PIX Pocket-Sized Aerial Camera will change your selfie game. This small aerial camera can fly to capture the best photos you’ve had, even if you have a large group. It’s like having a personal photographer with you everywhere you go. This pocket-sized aerial camera is smaller than the iPhone X, so it’s easy to keep in your pocket. And you won’t sacrifice quality, either, as it captures Full HD videos and has a 12-megapixel camera. Additionally, this mini aerial camera can recognize your face, which means it will follow you during a video.

Price: $79

Tello Small Toy Drone is perfect for kids

Have fun flying an impressive tiny drone that both kids and adults can enjoy with the Tello Small Toy Drone. Aside from being fun to fly, Tello helps you learn about drones through coding education. It can also perform flips in up to eight directions and shoot high-quality videos with EZ Shots. You don’t even need any prior experience to use Tello. In addition, Tello comes with DJI flight technology to guarantee stable flights. Tello provides a flight time of 18 minutes and a flight distance of 100 meters. Finally, add VR goggles for a truly immersive flying experience.

Price: $99


Fairy Drone Portable Full HD Aerial Photographer is great for beginners

Fly your drone with confidence with the Fairy Drone Portable Full HD Aerial Photographer. Small enough to fit in your pocket, you can take this drone anywhere. In fact, it folds into the size of a phone and weighs 140 grams. Plus, beginners can fly it with ease thanks to its easy-to-use and extensive features. The Fairy captures 1080P HD aerial videos and 8-megapixel images anywhere you go. It even transforms into your personal camera with just one touch by using the app and remote controller. By turning on auto-tracking, the Fairy follows you around for a hands-free shooting experience.

Price: $99


Parrot Mambo FPV Camera Drone lets you experience first-person view

Enjoy first-person view with the Parrot Mambo FPV Camera Drone. Offering three innovative flying modes, this device allows you to turn into an FPV drone racing pilot. Using the FreeFlight Mini app with your drone, you can share your flights on social media in real-time. To top it off, FreeFlight Mini dramatically increases your experiences and gaming possibilities. With the Mambo FPV drone, you can experience endless possibilities.

Price: $179.99


Mark—The Ultra-Intelligent 4K Foldable Drone captures clear video

Capture ultra-clear 4K video from the skies with Mark: The Ultra-Intelligent 4K Foldable Drone. Capable of shooting up to 13MP images and true 4K video, this drone also comes with an image stabilizer to ensure clarity. Weighing about as much as your iPhone, the ultra-portable drone easily fits in your pocket or bag. It also delivers optimal portability and power with 20 minutes of flight time. Using VIO technology, the Mark Drone can distinguish the environment, so it knows its exact location. 

Price: $239


DJI Spark Mini Drone has intelligent in-flight modes

Capture the world around you one photo at a time with the DJI Spark Mini Drone. Complete with a camera, this drone has advanced technology to snap images unlike ever before. The Spark Drone has intelligent in-flight modes. Coming from DJI, this drone is easy to fly with a single tap. In addition, the powerful camera can actively track subjects to always keep them in the frame. Additionally, you can implement QuickShot to instantly snap a photo without missing a beat. Most incredibly, the Spark Drone responds to your gestures. You can usher the drone in from another room, place it in the perfect spot, and even command it to take a photo.

Price: $399

DJI Mavic Air Folding 4K Drone is easy to fly

You can now experience the professionalism of DJI at an affordable price with the Mavic Air Folding 4K Drone. This easy-to-fly drone is nestled between the very affordable Mavic Spark and the high-end prosumer Mavic Pro. A total powerhouse, the Mavic Air sports a powerful 4K camera. Taking to the skies, the camera is stabilized with the built-in 3-axis gimbal. Plus, it features SmartCapture technology, which lets you control the drone with simple yet intuitive hand gestures. Or, you can use your smartphone and also get a first-person POV for everything your drone sees. With a 21-minute flight time, this drone can also stitch together 25 photos in eight seconds for stunningly clear 32MP panoramas.

Price: $919


DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone features a powerful camera

Add cinematic quality to all your aerial shots with the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone. Featuring a powerful camera with 2x optical zoom, this new DJI drone changes the way you record. The Zoom version is complete with Dolly Zoom to enable the camera to zoom while flying. This produces additional suspense and drama for every shot, as well as the six other Quickshot recording options. You can follow pre-programmed flight paths and use automatic tracking. In addition, the drone comes with Hyperlapse and four more flying modes with just a tap. Plus, with a 5-mile transmission distance and 31-minute flight time, the Mavic 2 Zoom remains super silent.

Price: $1249


GLADIUS Advanced Pro Smart Underwater Drone reaches a depth of 100m

Capture footage under the sea with the GLADIUS Advanced Pro Smart Underwater Drone. Designed for recording, observing, and discovering, this portable device can reach a depth of 100 meters. Thanks to its user-friendly design, you can easily capture Ultra HD 1080P/4K quality photos and videos. On both sides of the camera are complete with adjustable LED lights. Optimized for underwater use, the dimming lights allow you to shoot beautiful 12-megapixel photos and 4K videos. Featuring a Quattro-Thrusters design and auto-stable algorithm, the underwater drone stays stable and nimble at all times. It’s even stable at its top speed of 4 knots. Complete with replacement ballasts, GLADIUS is suitable for both seawater and freshwater.

Price: $2199


Krossblade SkyProwler 2 VTOL Transformer UAV lets you take off and land vertically

Take off and land vertically with the Easily Krossblade SkyProwler 2 VTOL Transformer UAV. Designed for drone enthusiasts, this device uses four propellers to get it off the ground. Once the SkyProwler 2 is in the air, you can change to fixed-wing mode thanks to switchblade transformation. This feature activates the single rear-mounted propeller. Going into fixed-wing mode causes the propellers to fold in, which reduces wind resistance. In fact, the VTOL transformer UAV has an impressive top speed of 80 miles per hour. Finally, the SkyProwler 2 offers 60 minutes of fixed-wing flight and offers more carrying capacity.

Price: $3999


DJI Phantom 4 RTK Drone

Increase productivity and digitize workflow with the DJI Phantom 4 RTK Drone. This device makes construction mapping and surveying easier than before. Complete with a high-quality camera, the Phantom 4 RTK Drone can capture RTK data down to the centimeter. Featuring an integrated RTK module, the drone offers real-time positioning data to improve accuracy on image metadata. Additionally, the GNSS module under the RTK receiver helps maintain flight stability in areas with poor signal. The combination of both modules optimizes flight safely and ensures it captures the most accurate data.

Price: $6244.31

Sunflower Home Awareness System Drone Security Setup monitors your property

Add brighter security around your home with the Sunflower Home Awareness System Drone Security Setup. This system can sense and deter unwanted visitors before they even make it to your door. The Sunflower system consists of three main components, including the Bee, Sunflowers, and Hive. The Bee is an autonomous drone that comes with a camera while the Sunflowers are sensors that light up the area. Similarly, the Hive is a self-charging base that keeps the Bee ready. Following the Sunflowers’ sensors, the Bee flies autonomously to the scene to capture what is happening.

Price: $9950


Hoversurf S3 eVTOL Hoverbike Drone lets you fly without a pilot’s license

Ride above the ground with the Hoversurf S3 eVTOL Hoverbike Drone. This single personal drone makes it possible to fly without a pilot license. Offering complete freedom of flight, the eVTOL Hoverbike Drone works with an app to help you navigate in the air. Likewise, it prevents you from flying in restricted flight zones and interfering with others. Made of different kinds of carbon, the monocoque frame is a single element that is lighter than the previous model. Moreover, this luxury drone reaches up to 60 miles per hour.

Price: $150,000


Your budget probably isn’t $150,000, but that’s probably the coolest drone we’ve ever seen, hands down. Though we’re pretty sure there’s something for you on this list of best drones on a budget if you’re even remotely thinking about getting a drone. Or do you already have one? Which one do you have, and what do you think about it? Let us know in the comments!

The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest in tech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox? Subscribe ➜

Meet Tera Cuskaden

Tera has worked in the publishing industry since 2004 and considers the written word her first love. When she's not writing or editing, she's usually traveling, knitting, or binge-watching Netflix.

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