We all know what to search for when shopping for a drone. Open your web browser and type in “best drone for (insert price range here).” And that’s a really good mindset - as some drones are cheaper while still offering similar performance to the high-end ones.
But we’re asking a much bigger question here - what’s the best drone brand? Well, maybe not just one brand; we feel that a round-up is needed here.
Most drone enthusiasts have that one brand they root for and support, no matter what. But what if you’re not there yet, though? What if you’re a beginner to all this, still looking for a brand that’ll “define” you?
Well, let’s do the best drone brand round-up and figure this out, shall we?
Top 5 Drone Brands On The Market Today
If you’re in a hurry, here’s a list of brands that I feel deserve a spot in this round-up:
- HOLY STONE
But if you’re not, I strongly recommend that you keep on scrolling and read more about each brand - and their top-performing drones!
1. DJI - Our Number One Pick
I’m not sure if anyone’s even surprised by my top pick, but it just makes sense.
DJI or Da-Jiang Innovations is a Chinese company that helped popularize drones, bringing them to the mainstream. They have their loyal fanbase - and there’s hardly a shortage of haters. And for many, they are the biggest trendsetters in the recreational drone industry.
If you think about it, they’re a bit like the Apple equivalent among drones.
This Chinese company is a massive business; they hold approximately 70% of drone sales in the entire world!
The quality of their drones is top-notch, every model boasts an impressive amount of features, and their in-house apps are in a league of their own. It’s a win-win-win for DJI.
Not only are they used by professionals in the film industry, but they’re also the frequent choice in law enforcement. Impressive, huh?
I already told you:
DJI is kind of the Apple of the drone industry - even those that don’t like their products have to have a level of respect for their success!
What’s even more impressive about the things I mentioned is that the company started back in 2006. Let’s be honest here - that’s a long list of accomplishments for a company that’s not even two decades old.
So what’s my favorite DJI drone as of today?
Well, there were many models to choose from in their product lineup - but I just like the Mavic Mini 2 a bit more than the rest.
DJI Mavic Mini 2
The new and upgraded DJI Mavic Mini 2 improves all of the stats and features of the foldable, under-250-grams drone, taking things to a whole new level.
The Mavic Mini 2 combines the Mavic series' signature 4K camera and stability, class-leading flight range, and hard-to-beat flight time.
It's lightweight and easy to transport in a backpack, making it ideal for travel, capturing outdoor events, vlogging - and pretty much anything else you can think of, really.
Oh, and it’s the most precise and stable drone under $500.
The Mavic Mini 2 comes with some pretty impressive specs - like the 10-kilometer max control range, which is an improvement over the last model’s four-kilometer range.
And when you consider how small the drone is, the flight time is beyond impressive, too. Mini 2 remains in the air for up to 31 minutes per charge, so it’s safe to say that its battery performance is excellent.
You’re probably wondering, are there any downsides?
The one downside I should mention is that it does not provide object tracking. Other than that - well, it’s a DJI drone. Enough said.
To summarize everything, here are the pros and cons:
2. Holy Stone
Next on my list is the brand Holy Stone. Remember how impressive it looked when I said that DJI got their start back in 2006?
Well, Holy Stone might just be even more impressive given the reputation that they’ve built in a short amount of time:
This drone company opened its doors in 2014, just seven years ago (at the time of writing this). And in that short time, they managed to gather a loyal user base that buys their drones for the quality and durability they’re so famous for worldwide.
And they’re not kidding with that quality, either.
Holy Stone sells drones for everybody - every group of users has a model to choose from, from amateurs to professionals. And each model is as robust and well built as the one before it.
The prices are pretty reasonable, too - which can’t be said for DJI. If you’re just starting, you’ll have no problem finding a well-built yet affordable drone.
The only reason Holy Stone isn’t at our number one spot is that you kind of need to know about drones to have heard of them. DJI, on the other hand - well, everybody knows about them. But hey, that’s top-notch marketing for you.
So, which HS drone would I recommend here?
Well, I wanted to stick to the mid-range king for this one - the HS720E!
Holy Stone HS720E
I must admit that HS720's performance astounded me. It's like you’re piloting a high-end drone - it feels far more pricey than a mid-range one.
Highly responsive, extremely agile, and capable of flying in strong winds; that’s how I’d describe it.
Oh, and if you're interested in aerial photography and videography but don't want to spend a lot, Holy Stone's HS720 is one of the best drones you can buy.
It will not disappoint you at the cost of less than $350. If you’d like to know more - check out my review here!
The Holy Stone HS720 has specs that even the formidable DJI Mavic series can't match - not at this price point, anyway.
For starters, the drone has a range of up to 1600 meters. If you like long-range drones as much as I do, you'll enjoy flying the HS720. It will travel well beyond your field of vision and still return safely because of the auto-return feature.
In terms of performance, each battery will provide up to 26 minutes of flight time per charge. Not too bad, huh?
- 4K EIS Anti-Shake Camera with Sony Sensor: The EIS (Electric Image Stabilization) technology reduces video...
- Easy to Use: With air optical flow & air pressure altitude control system, the drone can hover stably both...
- Advanced Flight Modes: The intelligent flight modes enable the drone to fly automatically and free your hands...
While Parrot managed to make quite a big splash in the drone industry, there are probably still a couple of people out there wondering:
Hold up; Parrot makes drones now?
Well, there’s a good reason for this:
The French company’s been making drones for some time now. And not only that - as of 2017, they switched to drone designing and manufacturing only.
But the company has been around since 1994!
They’ve been a part of the wireless industry for almost three decades now, so you can imagine that they didn’t have a hard time switching to our favorite flying gadgets. And boy, was it a good thing that they made the switch!
Parrot makes high-quality drones; we’re talking professional-grade stuff here! They do have a bit of a learning curve to them - which is why they’re lower on our list - but these are incredibly well-made drones, nonetheless.
I have to point out that Parrot isn’t the best drone brand for beginners. However, if you’re a pro whose loyalty is looking for a new brand - look no further.
With all that said, here’s my favorite Parrot drone right now:
Parrot AR Quadcopter 2.0 Elite Edition
The Parrot AR 2.0 is, by all means, a competent drone - and a popular pick among seasoned pilots who want to take their skills to the next level.
This drone’s recommended for children aged 14 and up.
It doesn’t include a remote controller and can only be piloted using your smartphone. That’s why I generally recommend this drone to older children who are more comfortable with smartphones.
There are three different kinds of this drone - sand, snow, and jungle. This drone is ideal for kids and beginners because it’s crash-friendly.
Here is what comes in the box for the Parrot AR. 2.0 Elite Edition:
- Parrot AR. 2.0 Elite drone
- Indoor hull and Outdoor hull
- 1000 mAh lithium-polymer Battery
- Battery Charger
To pilot the AR 2.0 Elite, you must first download and set up the FreeFlight piloting app on your phone or tablet, though.
Flying the Parrot AR. 2.0
Connect the phone to the drone's Wi-Fi signal once you've finished setting up. The program is straightforward - resulting in a simple flight. However, if this is your first flight, be sure to use the slowest speed modes.
The following are some of the controller app modes:
- Joypad ON: Touch-screen joystick
- Joypad OFF: Tilt function for control
- Reference-control mode
Flying is simple once you get used to it - but learning all of the functions and features of the app might take some time.
As I already mentioned, the Parrot AR 2.0 Elite isn't the ideal drone for younger kids - not as a beginner drone, anyway - but it's a fantastic drone for more experienced pilots.
Sure it’s a complex gadget to master, but if you've flown a drone before, you shouldn't have any trouble getting the hang of it.
4. Hubsan Technology
Hubsan’s been around for about a decade now, and they’ve made some fantastic contributions to the drone industry. The Chinese company is pretty much the benchmark of the “bang for your buck” mindset.
They have been focused on toy drones for a long time, ruling the beginner's flyer market - and giving a whole generation an affordable start in drone flying.
But don’t let a beginners-first reputation fool you:
The tech giant is slowly but surely making its way into the big league. In the last couple of years, they started selling pricier, more “mature,” professional-grade drones.
And I have to admit; I’m pretty impressed so far!
They still have to work on their business plan if they plan on taking on the likes of DJI and Holy Stone - but it’s a brand with potential, and I believe that you really should keep them in mind the next time you’re out drone shopping.
Here’s my favorite pick from the brand’s product line-up:
Hubsan Zino 4K Drone
The Hubsan Zino 4K foldable quadcopter ranks among the top five best drones in the mid-range portion of the market.
It’s Hubsan's newest FPV drone - and it's just over $300. It’s ideal for beginner and experienced pilots alike.
One of the best things about Hubsan's Zino 4K is that, despite its lower price, it offers a lot of value in terms of quality features. It outperforms many of its competitors in this category regarding build quality, smart features, and technical specifications.
If you want to see more drones under $500, you can do so here!
The Zino 4K drone boasts a control distance of up to 2.5 kilometers! And in this price range, it's highly unlikely that you'll need - or find - an FPV drone with a longer control range.
The flight time is 23 minutes in perfect conditions; it's safe to assume that the average user's trip time will be approximately 20 minutes.
The Hubsan Zino 4K’s features go neck-to-neck - if not beyond - with its competitors, especially considering its fantastic price.
The only serious flaw is that it lacks obstacle avoidance sensors and has a transmitter that does not alert the user when the battery’s low.
Hubsan made up for it with various intelligent flight modes - and additional safety measures, like the Headless mode.
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You pretty much can’t find a top 10 list of drones that don’t feature a Ruko drone.
The brand has a loyal fanbase that I think is getting bigger by the day. They’re a great company that’s mainly focused on toy drones - while still meeting some high-grade ambitions, as well.
They are famous for affordable drones that are packed full of features that shouldn’t even exist in the price range that they’re at - and that’s exactly what I love about them.
Some may argue that they don’t provide the same level of quality that the more high-end brands offer - but I have to disagree with that statement respectfully:
The Ruko drones that I’ve tested and reviewed have been robust and incredibly well built. Many of their models are small and foldable, giving them an “edge” that some more expensive drones might not have.
And yet, the quality isn’t that far off when compared to the more expensive drones.
So, what’s my go-to Ruko drone?
Well, the F11, of course!
Ruko F11 With Gimbal
The innovative and impressive Ruko F11 Gim has a wealth of high-end capabilities.
Even though Ruko is a small and foldable quadcopter, its design appears to be larger than Holy Stone's HS720E.
The Ruko F11 is a tiny camera drone with a bulky appearance - but it remains compact because it’s foldable. And, again, its set of skills are astounding.
Because of its agility and three intelligent flight modes, I found this drone incredibly easy to fly:
Ruko F11 can fly smoothly - while still being sturdy enough to withstand any mid-flight crashes.
Trust me; the specifications of the Ruko F11 make it a strong competitor in the market.
The drone boasts a 1.2-kilometer control range, which is reduced to 500 meters for live video transmissions. Because it has a return to home feature, you can securely let it reach beyond your vision.
On paper, Ruko F11 claims to hold up to 30 minutes of flight time. However, in my experience, a single battery charge provides a good 26 minutes of flight time.
It includes a spare battery, though, allowing you to fly for up to 52 minutes straight.
You can learn more about it here!
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So there’s the list of the best drone brands, and hopefully, I nailed it.
Don’t get angry if your favorite brand didn’t make the cut or if it's lower on the list than you would like. We all have our favorites, after all.
We’re here for one reason - and one reason alone - drones. Whether you already have a flyer at home or you’re a beginner looking to start, you have to admit:
It’s a great time to be alive!
Last update on 2022-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API This article contains affiliate links which for which the owner of the site may receive a commision.