Best Drones for Sale 2017: Quadcopter Reviews and Buying Guide

best drones for sale sunsetWith an explosive growth in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones particularly quadcopters, are one of the most buzzed-about, if not the, gift in 2015 and 2016. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) predicted that a million drones would be sold around Christmas 2015.  Are you going to join other enthusiasts and buy a drone? What are the best drones for sale in 2016? What are the most important things you need to look for when buying a quadcopter drone? What are the major differences among many popular quadcopter drones on the current market? Our quadcopter drone reviews and buying guide will answer all these questions with easy to understand information. We hope our site will help you find the best drones for sale that meet your unique requirements.

Drones vs. Quadcopters

First things first. Drones and quadcopters are used interchangeably everywhere. If you are new to the drone market, a brief explanation will resolve some confusion. A drone is actually a flying robot. It is formally known as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The flight of UAVs may be controlled either autonomously by onboard computers or by a pilot via a remote control. There are multirotor drones and fixed-wing drones. A quadcopter is a multirotor that is lifted and propelled by four rotors. At a small size, quadcopters are cheaper, more reliable and more durable than conventional helicopters due to their mechanical simplicity. Most of RC drones for sale available are quadcopters.

Criteria for Selecting the Best Drones for Sale

best drone for sale viewThere are many models and styles of RC drones for sale on the market. Keep the purpose of what you want from a drone and the location of where you will be flying a drone in mind during the buying process. Besides your budget,  your goals will determine what to look for from a quadcopter drone. If you are a beginner, you definitely want different features than a professional requires. How much you want to do with aerial photography and videography will change the evaluation criteria. In general, we consider four criteria for choosing the best drones for sale: features, quality, easy of use and value. You should carefully look into the four aspects together and evaluate the trade-offs. Let’s talk about the four quadcopter buying criteria in more detail.

Features of a Quadcopter Drone

So many features available, I know! It’s confusing when you are new to the quadcopter drone market . You should first pay close attention to some of the essential features, such as flight time and battery life, the aircraft weight/size, and the connectivity range. They will greatly impact your flying experience. Some quadcopter can be flied both indoor and outdoor, while some are most suitable to fly either outdoor or indoor only.

If you want to take photos and videos, look for a quadcopter with camera. Besides normal camera specifications, some drone camera features will greatly impact the quality of your photos/videos and your photo/video experience. Gimbal-stabilization systems and FPV( first person view) systems are the two most talked about camera quadcopter functionalities.

Some of auto features of a quadcopter will provide convenience for a drone flyer especially for a beginner, such as return to home GPS and autopilot.  Although auto-flip may provide some fun experience, you may want to practice flipping manually anyway to master drone flying skills. On the other hand, it may not be desirable if a cheap quadcopter is packed with too many auto features, since the quality of the drone may be compromised.

best drones multirotorQuality and Durability of a Quadcopter Drone

No one want their new quadcopter to break down shortly after the excitement of drone flying experience has just started. Sturdiness, durability and reliable operation of a drone are very important. We suggest sticking with a well-known brand since there are many inferior products on the market. Please be aware learning to fly a drone is not an easy task. A kid or a beginner’s first drone will inevitably crash many times before getting the hang of it. Whether a drone is designed to take beatings should be considered. On the other hand, every drone flyer has crashed their drone at one point or another and you will too. When it does happen, an easy to repair quadcopter will be less headache.

Easy to Use Quadcopter Drones

Some drones are plug-and-play and ready-to-fly (RTF) whereas other drones require more calibrating before you can send them into the air. We recommend a ready-to-fly quadcopter for your first drone. When flying a drone, ease of use and control will help you enjoy your flying experience much more, especially for a beginner. Normally the cheapest quadcopters are not the most easy to fly. The most easy to fly drones are found in the $700-$1000 price range. Surprised?

best drones for sale dji phantom 3Value of a Quadcopter Drone

$700-$1000 price range drones are not only the easiest ones to fly, but also offer great quality and more advanced features than cheaper drones. Normally the price of a drone scales with its quality and features. But there are some exceptions. The goal of our quadcopter drone reviews is to help you find the best drones for sale on the market among the ever-widening options. Talking about value, please consider whether affordable replacement parts are available as well when you are buying a drone.

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Best Drones for Sale Top Picks 2016

Applying the drone purchasing criteria discussed above, we picked the best drones for sale in different categories. Read on!

Best All-around Drone for Sale

The verdict: our pick of the best all-around quadcopter drone for sale is DJI Phantom 3.

Phantom 3 is from the well-known drone manufacturer DJI. It offers a combination of advanced features, reliable operation, easy to use, and a surprisingly good price with Phantom 3 standard at under $800. The whole package of DJI Phantom 3 is so impressive that hardly anything else on the market can match it. There are 4 different models starts with the cheapest Phantom 3 Standard with 2.7K video camera. The Phantom 3 Advanced can do everything that the Phantom 3 Standard can do but provides extended communication range, GPS+GLONASS dual positioning module, and advanced vision positioning system for GPS-free and indoor flight. The Phantom 3 Professional is at the top of the line with an impressive 4k video camera upgraded from the 2.7K for the Phantom 3 Advanced. The newest models is the Phantom 3 4K, priced the same as the Phantom 3 Advanced. Phantom 3 4K comes with a 4k video camera as the Phantom Professional’s but with shorter connectivity range similar to Phantom 3 standard.

DJI Phantom 3 is our favorite drone. You may find one of the models picked in another category of this best drones for sale reviews. We have summarized the major features below for your reference. We also provide a comparison table for the four DJI Phantom 3 models right after that for your convenience.

DJI Phantom 3 Features at a Glance

Check Phantom 3 Current Price & Reviews
Flight Time23 minutes (Advanced and Professional); 25 minutes (Standard and 4K)
Weight and Size2.82 lb or 2.68 lb(Standard); 1.94 feet (diagonal size including propellers)
Range0.62 mile (Standard); 0.75 mile (Phantom 4k); 3.1 mile (Advanced, Professional)
Easy of UseVery easy to fly;
Built-in flight simulator for practice;
Easy intuitive remote controls
Camera2.7K (Standard and Advanced) or 4K video (Professional and 4K);
12 megapixel photos;
3-axis stabilization gimbal;
f/2.8 lens with 94⁰ field of view to reduce distortion;
Live HD view, live video stream to mobile device and YouTube;
Powerful app with easy video editor, storage and sharing;
Remote controlled tilting and aiming;
Built-in Lightbridge (Advanced and Professional) or WiFi video transmission system (Standard and 4K)
Auto FeaturesAuto hover;
Preset safe flight limits;
Live GPS and map;
Auto return home;
Flight direction indicators;
Live power level stream;
Automatic flight logs;
GPS+GLONASS dual positioning module ( Advanced and Professional);
Vision Positioning System with ultrasonic sensors for GPS-free or indoor flight (except Standard)
Indoor/Outdoor FlightIndoor hovering (Advanced, Professional and 4K);
No indoor hovering for Standard
Estimated PriceStandard: $499 ; 4K and Advanced: $799; Professional: $1159

Compare the Differences among DJI Phantom 3 Series

 
Phantom 3 Standard

Phantom 3 4K

Phantom 3 Advanced

Phantom 3 Professional
Buy from DJI Store
Flight Time25 minutes25 minutes23 minutes23 minutes
Weight2.68 lb2.82 lb2.82 lb2.82 lb
Range0.62 mile0.75 mile3.1 mile3.1 mile
Camera2.7K video;
Built-in WiFi video transmission system
4K video;
Built-in WiFi video transmission system
2.7K video;
Built-in Lightbridge video transmission system
4K video;
Built-in Lightbridge video transmission system
Positional SystemsIntegrated GPS module;
No vision positioning system;
Indoor hovering is not available
Integrated GPS module;
Vision positioning system with ultrasonic sensors;
Indoor hovering
GPS+GLONASS dual positioning module;
Vision positioning system with ultrasonic sensors;
Indoor hovering
GPS+GLONASS dual positioning module;
Vision positioning system with ultrasonic sensors;
Indoor hovering
Remote ControllerOlder modelNewer modelNewer modelNewer model
Charger57 W flight battery charger;
Remote controller is charged via USB;
Flight battery charging time: 96 minutes
57 W remote and flight battery charger;
Flight battery charging time: 96 minutes
57 W remote and flight battery charger;
Flight battery charging time: 96 minutes
100 W remote and flight battery charger;
Flight battery charging time: 63 minutes
Estimated Price$499$799$799$1159
Check Price & ReviewsCheck Price & ReviewsCheck Price & Reviews Check Price & Reviews

Best Affordable Drone for Sale

The verdict: our pick of the best affordable quadcopter drone for sale is Syma X5C Explorers.

Although professional drones with advanced features are expensive, there are many great affordable drones for sale. Syma X5C Explorers is currently the no.1 best seller in the hobby RC quadcopters & multirotors category on amazon.com and has been like that for a while. Why does this simple-looking quadcopter hold the first best seller chair in the severely competitive drone market? The extremely popular drone is one of the best quadcopters on the market and it costs less than $50. Although it doesn’t come with many advanced features as the DJI Phantom 3, you get an agile and reliable flying drone with fast response to your remote controls, almost indestructible with propeller guards, and a decent HD camera on top of that amazing price. Here are the major features of Syma X5C Explorers.

Syma X5C Explorers Features at a Glance

Check Syma X5C Explorers Price & Reviews
Flight Time7 minutes
Weight and Size2 lb; 1.44 feet (diagonal size)
Range164 feet
Easy of UseEasy to fly;
Fast responsive remote controls
DurabilityPropeller guards included
CameraDecent HD camera;
1280 x 720 resolution;
30 frames per second video capability
Auto FeaturesHover & 360 roll
Indoor/Outdoor FlightIndoor/outdoor flight capability
Estimated Price$47

Best Beginner Drone for Sale

The verdict: our pick of the best beginner quadcopter drone for sale is Hubsan X4.

Beginners and kids are entering the drone market with enthusiasm to learn. The criteria to choose the best drone for beginners or kids are somewhat different from those of a experienced hobbyist. Many advanced features may not be that necessary. Low cost to buy and repair, easy to fly, small size more suitable for indoor practice, and especially durable to take beatings are the top things we are seeking from drones for kids or drones for beginners.

Hubsan X4 fits the bill. This series comes with 3 models: base X4 H107L, X4 camera H107Cand X4 FPV H107D. Although Hubsan X4 is a mini drone, it has packed with all the features you need when you just start to fly a quadcopter.

Hubsan X4 Features at a Glance

Check Hubsan X4 Price & Rerviews
Flight Time7 minutes
Weight and Size1.7 oz; 4.5 inch (Diagonal size)
RangeUp to 328 feet
Easy of UseEasy to fly; Stable fly
DurabilityLightweight with nice durability;
Optional propeller guards;
Spare parts widely available
Camera720p camera with video recording (X4 camera and X4 FPV);
FPV (X4 FPV)
Auto Features360 flip & roll
Indoor/Outdoor FlightIndoor/outdoor flight capability
Estimated Price$39 (X4 H107L); $40 (X4 camera H107C); $143 (X4 FPV H107D)

Best Camera Drone for Sale

The verdict: our pick of the best camera quadcopter drone for sale is DJI Phantom 3 Professional.

DJI Phantom 3 Professional is the best quadcopter with camera for the aspiring aerial photographer or videographer. Phantom 3 series is our pick for the all-around drone for sale. Phantom 3 Professional is a further standout in this group with its advanced features in aerial imaging. With a professional lens to eliminate the distortion that often occurs with wide aerial shooting, stable footage with 3-axis gimbal stabilization system, 4K video at up to 30 frames per second and 12 megapixel photo, paired with DJI’s powerful app and remote controls, you have an amazing package of the best drone with camera for aerial photographing and videographing.

DJI Phantom 3 Professional Features at a Glance

Check DJI Phantom 3 Professional Price & Reviews
Flight Time23 minutes
Weight and Size2.82lb;
1.94 feet (diagonal size including propellers)
Range3.1 mile
Easy of UseVery easy to fly;
Built-in flight simulator for practice;
Easy intuitive remote controls
Camera4K video;
12 megapixel photos;
3-axis stabilization gimbal;
f/2.8 lens with 94⁰ field of view to reduce distortion;
Live HD view, live video stream to mobile device and YouTube;
Powerful App with easy video editor, storage and sharing;
Remote controlled tilting and aiming;
Built-in Lightbridge video transmission system
Auto FeaturesAuto hover;
Preset safe flight limits;
Live GPS and map;
Auto return home;
Flight direction indicators;
Live power level stream;
Automatic flight logs;
GPS+GLONASS dual positioning module;
Vision positioning system with ultrasonic sensors
Indoor/Outdoor FlightIndoor hovering
Estimated Price$1159

Best Small Drone for Sales

The verdict: our pick of the best small quadcopter drone for sale is Cheerson CX-10.

Small drones are great for indoor flying and for beginners to practice. The cute tiny Cheerson CX-10, probably the smallest drone in the world, is extremely popular. Although it is so tiny that it fits in your palm, it has all the major features of other bigger quadcopters. It is also durable and easy to fly. Giving its price can be as low as $15, you can get couple to do some exciting quadcopter racing. Cheerson CX-10 comes with several pleasant and bright colors. When they are circling under your ceiling, the scene is candy to the eyes.

Cheerson CX-10 Features at a Glance

Check Cheerson CX-10 Price & Reviews
Flight Time4 minutes
Charging Time30 minutes
Weight and Size0.42 oz; 2.23 inch (Diagonal size)
RangeUp to 66 feet
Easy of UseEasy to fly
DurabilityLightweight with nice durability
CameraNo
Auto Features3D flip
Indoor/Outdoor FlightToo small to fly outdors
Estimated Price$15
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Things You Need to Know Before You fly a Drone

Drones are not toys. Irresponsible flying may cause damage to properties or people, violate people’s privacy or interfere with large aircraft. There has been some negative reports about consumer drone flying.  Before ending this best drones for sale – quadcopter reviews, we would like to bring some important matters to your attention.

The New Drone Regulation Law

best drone for sale dji phantom 3 moonHere is the new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) law on drones flying.

Starting December 21, 2015, anyone who owns a small drone weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds are required to register with FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry before flying outdoors. Drones that will be used for commercial purposes or those that are heavier than 55 pounds need special FAA approvals. The deadline to register for previous owners is February 19th, 2016. Drone flyers who fail to register will face civil and criminal penalties.

Other Rules You Should Know

If you fly outdoors, don’t fly the drone above 400 feet (the height of a 30 to 40 story building), never let it out of your eyesight, and don’t fly it near airports or populated areas like stadiums. You may also want to talk to your neighbors if you are going to fly your drone around their property.

Other than that, have a blast flying your new RC quadcopter drone!