Best drones for beginners 2019: What to buy for first-time pilots – Mashable

Everyone starts off as a beginner. Even someone great at what they do like Michael Jordan was a beginner at basketball at one time and look how far it took him. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the Michael Jordan of droning one day.
But for now, you have to start somewhere. We scoured the internet looking for the best and brightest drones for first-timers. No matter what your field of interest, like photography or racing, we found a drone that’s perfect for you.
We also didn’t forget all the kids out there looking to get into droning. We found just the right drones for children ages 8 and up, while also taking into consideration teenagers and parents who want to know there are safety features and settings that will help prevent accidents and mishaps.
PSA: Before we start talking about drones, we have some important information to share about drone registration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). We don’t want you to get in trouble with the authorities and piloting an unregistered drone is highly illegal (no pun intended).
Drones weighing between 0.55 pounds (8.8 ounces) and 55 pounds have to be registered with the FAA. It doesn’t matter if its for casual use in your own backyard, the drone has to be registered.
Go to for rules and regulations, and then go to for drone registration. It’s only $5 and will help you avoid any future headaches, if you get caught flying without registration.
Here are the best drones for beginners:
The F100 Brushless Drone from Force1 is designed with balance and weight in mind for amazing aerial photography when paired with a GoPro action camera. 
However, the drone’s stable design also makes it ideal for long journeys and range. In fact, the Force1 F100 Brushless Drone can reach up to 1,640 feet (500 meters) for up to 15 minutes without missing a beat.
The F100 features a brushless motor, which contributes to its long range and stability for smoother flights. It’s even quiet during takeoffs and landings with enough raw power to reach such great heights.
In addition, the drone’s easy-to-use controls make it ideal for beginners with the drone’s bag of tricks, like 360-degree flips and rolls. For less than $100, the Force1 F100 Brushless Drone is a wonderful option for beginners and new photographers looking to up their game.
Amazon customer Cat’s Meow writes:

If you’re looking for an all-purpose drone that’s good for light photography or doing tricks in your backyard, then the Syma X5C RC Explorer is the beginner quadcopter for you.
It features a solid HD camera to take photos or shoot video, while its anti-collision blade guards make it great for flights indoors and outdoors alike. The drone features a six-axis Gyro stabilization system, which is perfect for beginners, as its seven-minute fly time makes it ideal for measured and stable flights.
The Syma X5C RC Explorer remote control is made for beginners with its very user-friendly interface and controls. Even assembly is a breeze and comes with everything you need to get started, including screwdrivers and other tools. 
This is the affordable, easy-to-use, and durable drone that’s built for beginners. It’s ready to fly out of the box, and includes a single USB cable, AC adapter, 2GB SD card, USB memory stick, an extra set of drone propellers, and a handy user manual.
But don’t just take our word for it. Amazon customer nightshade writes:

For less than $40, the Race Vision 220 FPV Pro Drone from Toy State is one of the best drones you can buy on a budget. It’s a speedy lil’ devil with a top speed of over 25 miles per hour with three flight modes for beginners and advanced pilots alike.
The Race Vision 220 comes with an LCD screen on its remote and a really cool pair of FPV goggles, so you can get an up-close-and-personal view during flights. Simply put, you can see exactly what the drone sees in real-time. In fact, this drone uses a 5.8 GHz analog transmission and true FPV (first-person view) without the delays of Wi-Fi or cellular connections.
This drone is also highly durable and flexible, so don’t let that inexpensive price point fool you into thinking that this drone is cheap. After all, the Race Vision 220 is for beginners, and novice pilots crash all the time.
Amazon customer Luis writes:

If you’re a teen or have one in your family, then the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers2 is a great entry into droning without spending a lot of money on something high-end that you’d be too afraid to crash. And let’s face it, you’re going to crash again and again. But that’s OK. That’s how we learn.
The Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers2 features a headless/IOC function that lessens the learning curve and frustration young pilots get when droning for the first time. Instead, new pilots can enjoy flights, while learning specific orientations of droning.
It features a six-axis control system that makes it really easy to learn the ups and downs of flight, while it also has one-button tricks for thrilling 360-degree flips and breathtaking drops. Although this drone’s camera is mediocre at best, the true mission for the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers2 is for first-timers to build confidence and learn how to fly.
Amazon customer Simon S. writes:

My only complaint is the controller, but for under 50 bucks, this still deserves 5 stars. The camera also is not worth anything, at least in my eyes.”
If you’re a first-time drone pilot and have some money to spare, the Parrot ANAFI Drone is a very good high-end drone for beginners. In fact, it’s a near-professional drone that’s also suited for first-timers with up to 25 minutes of flight time and easy-to-use controls.
The drone is designed with a lightweight carbon frame, while it’s also compact and foldable for instant portability. With a top speed of 34 miles per hour, the Parrot ANAFI Drone is speedy and durable with Geofencing, SmartRth, and Find My Drone features, which means you’ll never lose this baby in the field.
It’s also equipped with a full HD camera with 21 megapixels that can take 10 photos per second in Burst mode. The camera can also film in 4K with HDR. With its build quality, camera, and durability, you can see why it’s a high-end option, but its Skycontroller remote with smartphone activation via the Parrot Android and iOS app make it a good choice for beginners too.
Amazon customer Tyler Keppler writes:

The Altair Outlaw GPS Drone is a very good mid-range quadcopter for beginners and advanced pilots alike. It ticks all the boxes of a solid drone, like a good HD camera, easy-to-use controls, and stabilization and collision detection. You’ll also get a lot of bang for your buck with its low price point. This drone is right down the middle with almost every feature.
This drone also has a very good range of over 3,000 feet (1,000 meters) and a dedicated GPS with “auto return” features built-in. Simply put, you can call this drone back to you with just a push of a button. In fact, most of this drone’s operations and controls can be accomplished with just a push of a button, so you can spend more time piloting and shooting aerial photos and true HD videos.
It even has a true FPV (First-Person View) with VR support. This means you can strap on a headset or a pair of FPV goggles and get a great view of the world above. The Altair Outlaw GPS Drone is recommended for first-time pilots who are older than 12 years old with adult supervision, of course.
Amazon customer J.D. Hoffman writes:

Now this is a starter drone that everyone in the family can enjoy! The Force1 U818A HD Camera RC Quadcopter is an easy-to-use all-purpose drone that’s built and designed with first-timers in mind — namely its one-button controls for tricks, takeoffs and landings, self-correcting flight paths, and auto-return.
This drone features LED lights, so you can fly it during the daytime or at night, while its headless FPV camera makes it fun and exciting to fly with a VR headset. This is probably the easiest drone to use to get the most basic of skills and awareness down without feeling intimidated about droning. 
While its camera system is HD quality, it’s a bit ho-hum with just presentable photos and video, but the Force1 U818A HD Camera RC Quadcopter‘s selling point is its low barrier to entry and fun factor with its flight time up to nine minutes. 
In addition, this drone comes with an extra battery, so you can have more fun with double the flight time. In fact, you can charge one battery while the other is in use. So when one dies, you can plug the next one in to squeeze some more out of the drone.
Amazon customer Kelly writes:

Do you have a need for speed? No, this is not Top Gun, but it comes pretty close to the “danger zone.”
The Blade Inductrix Radio Control Drone is the perfect FPV (First-Person View) drone for beginners for indoor use. Don’t be put off by its size, this drone is crazy fast and more than capable of making tough turns and maneuvers, as you learn to become a better racer. 
Made with Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope technology, this drone racer is ready to fly out of the box. It can also race several drones at one time without getting interference from the other racers, while its controls are simple and intuitive, so you can focus on racing and not the remote.
Since it’s for beginners, the drone is easily repairable, even after crash after crash with exchangeable propeller blades and mounts included.
Amazon customer Pablito G. writes:

The Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone is a great introduction to the wide world of aerial photography because of its easy and intuitive controls and solid HD camera. With a full range of over 300 feet (100 meters) and a flight time of up to nine minutes, this drone has very good stabilization features that make it possible to shoot amazing photos from above the ground.
This drone also features a robust 360-degree axis with four-way directional flips that make it a very good option for first-time photographers looking to up their game. The camera is also very dependable at 720p HD, while it can record video at any moment in the air. Keep in mind that this is a drone and camera system that’s made for beginners, so it’s not as high-end or advanced as drones for experts.
One feature that sticks out for first-timers is the drone’s one-button return, which can assist pilots when winds get rough. This feature prevents the drone from ever getting lost, even if you lose sight of it altogether. Just push the return button and this drone will come back to its remote control source with ease. Honestly, every drone should have this feature.
This drone also features one-button takeoffs and landings that beginners can use until they build enough confidence to pilot without it.
Not convinced? Amazon customer LADavis writes:

With adult supervision, the Akaso X5C can be a fun and safe drone for kids ages 8 and up. The plastic build might make it feel like a toy, but make no mistake about it, this drone takes off and soars. However, it does have some safety features that will make parents feel better, like propellor guards and collision detection. 
This drone features a six-axis gyro quad-rotor for strong stability and easy controls, while it’s even sturdy in flight with wind resistance built in. Don’t worry, Akaso X5C won’t fly away during a strong wind gust, but rather it will keep on course.
The Akaso X5C even has one-button tricks to really wow your friends and family. They’ll think you’re an expert at droning, but little do they know, you just pressed a button to perform flips and dives.
While its HD camera can record video and shoot photos in the air, it’s really just there to give pilots a better sense of flight at a low cost. It also flies with ease without interference from other drones or radio frequencies because its 2.4GHz transmitter is on its own separate channel.
Need a second opinion? Amazon customer Elizabeth Hayden writes: