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7 Best Mini & Nano Drones in 2018 – Our Top Picks & Reviews

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Nano drones are the tiniest drones that can be held in one’s palm whereas mini-drones are the small ones that can be fit inside a medium sized backpack. Having said that, it is obvious that the nano drones are suitable for indoor use. They are lightweight and too small to face even the slight breeze. Moreover, you may find it difficult to locate the tiny drone once it starts flying in the open sunlight.

The mini drones are slightly bigger in size and have stronger motors than their nano counterparts. They can fly steadily and hover properly during light winds so that you can comfortably pilot them all over the backyard and even few blocks down the lane. Now, the obvious question would be, are the best nano and mini drones ideal for beginners?

Most of the people think that small drones are not for a beginner because of the fact that the mini drones lack most of the advanced features and are not user-friendly like the advanced ones.

Well, it is not true actually. In fact, nano drones are indeed good to start with, when you are just learning to fly a drone. Today even small drones let you have great flying experience with all the necessary controlling features.

Most of the mini and nano drones are less expensive and you can have the same fun as compared to their serious and expensive big brothers. After all, how can you enjoy piloting an expensive drone when the thought of crashing it and the obvious end result of the broken drone is going on in your head.

Since most of the nano and mini drones are less expensive, you will not repent looking at the drone graveyard back in your garage! Here, in this post, we have picked and reviewed some of the best in mini & nano drones from which you can start your piloting journey or just gift them to your little one on the special occasions.

In the detail review section of each of these drones, we have specified their key features, advantages, and limitations, so that you can easily buy what you are looking for without any chaos.

7 Best Mini & Nano Drones in 2018 - Top Picks & Reviews

Image
Model
Rating
Select
 
Newest Syma X20 Mini Pocket Drone
4.6
PRICE ON AMAZON
 
Rabing Mini Foldable RC Drone
4.5
PRICE ON AMAZON
DROCON Scouter Foldable Mini RC drone
4.5
PRICE ON AMAZON
TOZO Q2020 Drone RC Mini Quadcopter
4.3
PRICE ON AMAZON
 
SKEYE Mini Drone with HD Camera
4.1
PRICE ON AMAZON
BLADE Nano QX BNF Quadcopter
4.0
PRICE ON AMAZON
 
EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter Drone
4.1
PRICE ON AMAZON

Reviews of 7 Top Mini/Nano Drones

Newest Syma X20 Mini Pocket Drone

 

The Syma X20 mini pocket drone is nothing but a bunch of surprises. Headless mode, altitude setting, LED lights, one button operation all in this one small quadcopter is truly unbelievable and makes it worth every penny you spend.

Key Features

  • Altitude hold mode to maintain a consistent height at which the drone can fly.
  • Headless mode to make one experience hassle-free piloting without having to worry about the orientation issues.
  • One button operation. With the push of a button, the quadcopter takes off or land at the same point where it had taken off.
  • Function: 360-degree roll and hovering.
  • 6 axis gyro quad rotorcraft provides great stability.
  • LED lights are fitted into this pocket quadcopter that looks beautiful and also helps to fly in the night.
  • Flight Time: About 5 minutes.
  • Charging Time: Approx. 50 minutes.
  • Control distance: 50 meters.
  • Built-in camera: No.
  • Available Color options: White, gold, black.

>> Price On Amazon <<

PROS

  • Easy to operate and try out various flight movements even for beginners.
  • Auto takeoff and landing comes very handing during initial flights.
  • Headless mode and one button takeoff/ landing are the cool features to expect in this price range.
  • Easy to maneuver and strong wind resistance.
  • The unit weighs only 0.2 ounces and easy to carry around.
  • The drone offers precision flighting and easy hovering.

CONS

  • No camera. But it is a typical pocket drone whose flight quality and remote sensitivity are better than most of the mini drones out there on the market.

>> Check Full User's Reviews On Amazon <<

 

 

Rabing Mini Foldable RC Drone

 

Are you ready to see your surrounding from completely a different perspective? No, you don’t have to shell out a lot of money or need to be an expert in drone flying. Learn to fly and enjoy capturing snaps at the same time with the Rabing mini foldable quadcopter. You can record wonderful moments of the family outing, picnic or a simple evening stroll using its 0.3MP camera.

Please note that it is a mini-drone that fits in your palm/pocket. But quite well built and sturdy for outdoor use as well.

Key Features

  • Flight duration:about 7-10min.
  • Remote control distance:about 100m.
  • Charging time:30min.
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 14 years and above.
  • 4 axis foldable mini quadcopter.
  • Compatible with IOs and Andriod devices.
  • Work on 2.4 GHz frequency range for an interference-free flying experience.
  • 0.3MP camera to capture pictures and video recording.
  • WiFiUFO is the app that is used for this mini-drone.

>> Price On Amazon <<

PROS

  • Compatibility with smartphones is a great feature this quadcopter is offering. You can choose to operate it from the remote controller or the smartphone, indoor or outdoor; fun assured always!
  • Highly portable and lightweight with deformable wings. You can easily fold it and carry around easily.
  • Affordable mini-drone with video recording capacity and smartphone compatibility.
  • You can also use FPV (First Person View) goggles to see what exactly your drone is seeing in real time (goggles not included though)

CONS

  • It is a small toy and you can not expect a great quality video.
    However, having HD camera and smartphone compatibility in this price range itself is a great deal. Moreover, the drone is very responsive and allows you to perfect your pilot skills gradually over the period.

>> Check Full User's Reviews On Amazon <<

 

 

DROCON Scouter Foldable Mini RC drone

 

Drocon definitely owe special thanks from every drone addicts (beginners in particular! ) for making it possible to own a mini-drone that flies smoothly, easy to operate even for an amateur and totally entertaining with unique hovering and spinning functionality all in all in an affordable price range.

If you are one among those parents who think twice and in fact thrice before spending money on toys thinking less expensive ones won’t last long, then sorry, your theory has got an exception here.DROCON Scouter mini RC drone is a great sturdy toy. Backed with all the interesting features, this little gadget worth every penny you spend. The micro quad can be a great gift for the young drone enthusiasts out there.

Key Features

  • Charging time: 30 to 50 min.
  • Flying time: about 5 to 8 min.
  • Remote control distance:about 100m.
  • Equipped with LED searchlight, Drocon Scouter is easy to fly even on dark nights.
  • Three speed settings – low, middle and high
  • Convenient charging with two charging method – one is using the USB cable and the.other one is the built-in cable inside the controller.
  • Packed with all the necessary features like headless mode, Altitude hold etc.
  • With the unique spinning function and hovering, Drocon is sure to be everyone’s favorite.

>> Price On Amazon <<

PROS

  • Three different speed settings help you learn flying the mini RC drone step by step from novice to drone expert.
  • The Drocon Scouter is foldable and easy to carry around.I like the design of the remote control and the idea of folding the drone and keeping it inside the center compartment of the remote control. It is completely sleek in design and offers great portability.
  • This adorable tiny drone is easy to operate with one button take off and landing.
  • Can have great fun spinning and hovering this mini-drone with just a push of a button.
  • The red and blue LED lights make it easy and more fun to fly during nights.

CONS

  • No camera.

Initial manufacturer version did have a 30m camera (which is going to be less useful anyway). But it is been removed to offer the product at an affordable price range and to increase the flying time.

The next model is promised to feature HD camera.

>> Check Full User's Reviews On Amazon <<

 

 

TOZO Q2020 Drone RC Mini Quadcopter

 

‘Small yet so much fun’ – is all one can exclaim by flying this mini quadcopter from TOZO. It is a nice basic drone that is definitely going to give you a lot fulfilled flying experiences. This stable fun toy is sure to beat all your expectations from lower end mini drones.

Key Features

  • Control range: 30-45 Meters.
  • Flying time: 8-10 minutes.
  • Charging time: 60 minutes.
  • Three-speed modes for the convenient learning experience.
  • 6 axis flight control system provides more stability.
  • 2.4GHz technology for zero interference while flying.
  • Altitude hold mode to keep the mini-drone in the current height.
  • Bright LED lights and headless mode for easy flying.
  • The anti-collision feature ensures less damage to the propellers during accidental crashes.

>> Price On Amazon <<

PROS

  • The three different speed modes – low, mid and high makes the piloting journey from beginner to an expert a lot more easy, comfortable and fun.
  • Can be used both indoor and outdoor.
  • The bright lit LED lights are not only beautiful but come very handy during night time drone adventures.
  • 360-degree flips and flops are really fun to try with Tozo.
  • The protecting anti-collision feature allows you to enjoy drone flying even outdoors without having to worry about after effects of accidental (yet natural!) crashes.
  • Considering the price to quality ratio, the mini quadcopter from Tozo is definitely the best buy.

CONS

  • Initial synching the drone with controller may take some effort. However, the detailed manual will come to your rescue.

Tips for beginners

  • If the quadcopter goes out of the control range, don’t worry, just long-press the speed button for emergency landing.
  • You need to adjust the throttle slowly to maintain control since it has powerful, ultra-responsive motors.

>> Check Full User's Reviews On Amazon <<

 

 

SKEYE Mini Drone with HD Camera

 
Want to video record your first drone flying experience? Yes, it is made possible by Skeye mini-drone with HD camera. Get better at flying step by step; first in beginner’s mode and then by setting the advanced mode. The luxury of recording every progress in the entire pilot journey is a big plus.

Thanks to SKEYE, now you can fly this mini-drone comfortably with style and great quality and enjoy every bit of it by hovering and spinning. So, if you are looking for a mini-drone with high thrust, low weight, and incredibly responsive controls then your drone hunting ends here. The SKEYE quadcopter is for you. Happy flying!!

Key Features

  • Charging time: 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Flying time: 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 1280x720 HD camera for video recording.
  • Comes with a 4GB memory card.
  • Two level controller sensitivity - ‘ beginners’ to learn light basics and ‘advanced’ for experience piloting.
  • 6 axis flight control for stable flight.
  • Adjustable Gyro sensitivity.
  • One year validity included.

>> Price On Amazon <<

PROS

  • The mini-drone is elegantly designed and the double color (white and orange) looks bright and stand out in the from the regular bore black drones.
  • The great outdoor mini drone that can even record the amazing bird-eye view.
  • The unit comes with a memory card so that you do not have to spend any extra bug for the fantasy of video recording every time you fly the drone.
  • It is an easy to fly drone with the super responsive controller.
  • Separate controller sensitivity for beginners and drone experts makes it every drone enthusiast’s favorite choice.
  • Hovering is made easy. Simply, take your hands off the stick in the remote controller and the quadcopter starts hovering.
  • The unit is backed by 1-year warranty, so even beginners can try their luck without worries.

CONS

  • Battery life is not that great. However, video recording capacity of this mini-drone justifies that little discomfort you may face.
  • No camera live feed. You need to insert the memory card (included with the unit) to the computer,r to see what the drone has captured.

>> Check Full User's Reviews On Amazon <<

 

 

BLADE Nano QX BNF Quadcopter


Remember, it is a nano drone. Having said that, be ready to receive a tiny drone that is of your palm size and works well only indoors. Also, the unit is BNF (Bind and Fly) type and you need to have a transmitter that needs to be bond with this nano drone.

Now, if you want a drone just for indoor use and not expecting to capture photos or for any other serious use, then the BLADE BNF quadcopter is a good choice to opt for.

It flies well, easy to operate and hover. Once you master the art of drone flying you can easily increase the speed of flying by setting agitation mode.

The unique SAFE mode ensures comfortable flying by not letting the drone go out of your control.

Key Features

  • Flight time: 5 minutes.
  • Charging time: 30 minutes.
  • It is a small Bind and Fly (BNF) quadcopter that is ideal for indoor use.
  • Works with DSM2 or DSMX transmitter.
  • Small, lightweight and yet tough airframe with blade guards.
  • Powerful brushed motors for smooth lifts.
  • SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology makes the unit more stable and easy to operate.
  • Assortments of extra rotor blades are included in the package.

>> Price On Amazon <<

PROS

  • Lightweight and hence easy portability.
  • The SAFE mode makes you feel very confident while flying from the very first attempt at keeping the quadcopter under your control.
  • Easy to hover with the stability mode.
  • Once you have learned to maneuver the little drone, you can switch to agitation mode for faster piloting.
  • Tiny little drone flies well inside a room or office.

CONS

  • Binding the copter to a transmitter is little tricky. Go through the instruction thoroughly. Once you trim and then bind it, flying is very much easy and fun.

For most of the true drone enthusiasts this may not be an issue since they will be very much familiar with the procedures and terminologies.

>> Check Full User's Reviews On Amazon <<

 

 

EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter Drone

 

This UFO quadcopter from EACHINE is one little fun gadget that is going to be a great surprise gift for the kids (or for those who are young by heart!) With its built-in positioning system, the drone can locate the controller and by pressing the one key return button, the drone will fly back to the remote control’s location. So, even if you are an amateur drone pilot, you can enjoy every minute of drone flying without feeling anxious about drone getting lost!

Look wise, it is a neat little drone that is available in three different colors – green, red and black and are fitted with bright LED lights. For those who are particular about features, EACHINE has got a lot to offer. EACHINE quadcopter offers 360-degree flip functionality to try different flips, tricks, and stunts so that you won't get bored quickly by simpling flying drone just upward/backward, left/right

So, in short, with EACHINE quadcopter in hand, unlimited fun is assured! Also, for the sake of having the fun of flying a drone, you need not have to burn your pocket. The EACHINI E010 mini UFO quadcopter is available in an affordable price range.

To sum it up, if you are looking for a small drone for beginners, without great expectations like the built-in camera and other fancy things, then this simple, less expensive tiny drone is sure to be a satisfying purchase.

Key Features

  • Flight time: about 5 minutes.
  • Charging time: 30 to 50 minutes.
  • Flying distance: 30 meters.
  • The 3D rolling special effect makes the overall flying experience a lot of fun.
  • One- key return to make sure that the drone never gets lost.
  • Compass mode changes the quadcopter direction to the direction of the remote control.

>> Price On Amazon <<

PROS

  • One of the less expensive tiny drones for the novice.
  • Great value for money since the little guy offers many interesting features like 360-degree flip, compass mode, and one key return.
  • Available in three different colors and LED lights to add up to the attraction.

CONS

  • The unit is made of tiny little parts. Be careful while using if grabby toddlers are around.

>> Check Full User's Reviews On Amazon <<

We hope, after going through our thorough unbiased review on some of the best mini-drones available on the market, now you are clear with your drone shopping plans. However, by reading so many new drone terminologies and key features and many other technical kinds of stuff you may be still having some doubts. Relax, we the drone trends are still with you and happy to help you.

Our detailed mini drone buying guide is sure to solve all your doubts.

How to Choose the Best Mini Drone? Tips & a Buyer's Guide

To assist you further in selecting a decent drone, in this Mini Drone Buying Guide, we are discussing some of the basic things to be considered while looking for a drone.’

Consideration #1: Battery Life Or Flight Time

Flight time is nothing but maximum how long the drone can fly once you charge the batteries. Some brands may call it by a different name – battery life. But the idea remains the same.

The battery life that the company claims is achieved under lab conditions in a controlled environment. In reality, the battery life of a drone depends on several factors. The faster you fly the drone, the more flips and tricks your trying, the worse the weather you're flying in, the quicker the battery dies. Video recording and taking pictures also count here.
Battery life of most of the mini drones will be less than 10 minutes.

Consideration #2: Skill Level

Now, this is about doing your self-assessment before buying a drone and is an important factor to be considered because of the obvious reasons.

If you are totally new to this drone thing and buy an expensive, advanced drone, you may end up crashing it. You drone may even go totally out of control and fly away, orbiting around the earth. Jokes apart, you end losing a lot of money.

So, it always recommended to hone your drone flying skills on cheaper models and then slowly work your way up.
Keeping this in mind, some of the drone manufacturers like DROCON or SKEYE have intelligently developed drones with different speed levels. This helps in learning the art of drone flying step by step easily.

Consideration #3: Control Distance

The control distance is the distance till where the controller can maneuver the drone. For mini drones, the remote control distance will vary from 30 to 100 meters.

While flying the mini-drone indoor, coverage distance may not be a concern. But, trying all the stunts and tricks outdoor, you may forget to notice that the drone is flying too far away from the controller. In such cases, you may even lose the drone completely.

To address this issue, some quadcopters like DROCON U31W  Force1 drones feature, out of range indicators.

Consideration #4: Return Home

I personally feel, this particular feature is a ‘must have’ feature in every drone especially beginner's drone.
It is the GPS sensors that allow this neat, useful feature. Using GPS sensors you can set specific coordinates for your drone. Once set, the drone will fly back to those coordinates automatically. By pushing the return home button, the drone can be brought to its original location from where it had started its flight.

The feature comes extremely handy when you are unable to locate your drone up in the sky.

Consideration #5: Camera Specs

Thanks to the advancing technology. You can by a drone with the built-in camera for as less as $50 these days.
However, the basic, less expensive models usually won’t have FPV capabilities and the camera resolution also won’t be that great.

As they say, ‘something is better than nothing’, having a low-quality bird-eye view of your surrounding is better than not having at all.

You can still have advanced models with a camera that can capture high-quality videos, but as said earlier it is better to master the skill sets first. (remember what we spoke about self-assessment in consideration 2!)

Consideration #6: Controllers

Controllers ( or the remote control) is what maneuver the drone. Majority of the controllers for mini-drones operate at the 2.4GHz frequency.

Controllers that have clear LCD lit display are nice to have. They show real-time diagnostics of the drone flying up in the sky.

Mini Drones - Things You Should Know & FAQs

Aiming to provide a comfortable and joyful drone flying experience to every quadcopter enthusiast out there, in the FAQ section below, we are discussing some of the useful information and tips about the legal formalities for drone flying, different useful mini-drone functionalities, safety measures to be taken while flying etc.

Please go through it and happy and safe flight!.

Can we replace the motor of a mini-drone with a stronger one?

Just to make it more powerful? No, we do not think it is a good idea. We think this DIY project on a little adorable flying toy may not do any good. Instead, you may face the following issues :

  • The battery may dry out faster than usual.
  • You may face issue with the sensitivity of the motor when the drone is at full speed; you may not able to control it well.

Either way, it is not going to do any good by replacing the existing battery with the high kV battery. Mini drones are indeed meant for beginners and kids and fly well inside the house (or outdoor when the wind is blowing lightly) If you want to fly bigger drones, better buy an advanced one once you get the confidence of piloting.

Do you not need to register these mini-drones?

Luckily the answer is NO. You can fly these mini drones without worrying about any legal formalities to be followed. In the United States of America, you can fly, maximum of 0.55 pounds of drones without any registration. Since all these mini and nano drones are very lightweight, it is not going to be a major concern.

For more information, you can visit - https://www.faa.gov/uas/faqs/#reg

What is the headless mode on a quadcopter? How is it useful in flying?

The headless mode also called ‘head free mode’ or ‘carefree mode’ is mainly related to the drone’s orientation.

Nowadays, all most all drones, starting from a basic nano drones to even the most advanced ones, feature headless mode.That proves how important the feature is.

Now, let us explain it in brief so that even beginners will understand it clearly. Once you start flying your drone and it goes far away from you, it is difficult to say which is the drone’s head and which is its tail and of course even the left and right will be confusing. Headless mode of a drone is to address this issue.

Once you activate the headless mode, the drone movement will be aligned relative to the controller.So, no matter which way your drone is pointing, when you push forward, the drone moves forward relative to remote control’s direction.

What is altitude hold mode? How is it useful?

Altitude hold mode maintains the drone at approximately consistent altitude.

Most (in fact all) of the today’s mini-drones come with this feature anyhow. Moreover, mini-drones are mostly used by beginners to learn drone flying and even kids use it for fun. In case of mini drones, the altitude hold feature is useful to hover and have fun.

Whereas, the feature is going to be very useful in case of the advanced drones with quality HD camera, to take high-quality pictures and video from a particular angle.

About the Author Drone Trends Team

This article is brought to you by Drone Trends’s Editorial team. Drone Trends team is passionate about drones and quadcopters.

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