drone gift guide

You may or may not have thought much about drone gifts before when you were meticulously putting together your list for the upcoming holiday season. With so many options ranging in functionality, size and controls, there is seemingly a UAV option for every person on your list that is remotely interested in the tech. Ideally you have a better understanding of the most popular varieties of drones right now, which can greatly help you to determine which type is best for the enthusiast in your life.

 

You might not know a lot about UAVs and drones, and this article will help you to understand differences between the types and choose the gift that best suits who you are buying for. There are several reasons that these devices make great additions underneath the Christmas tree this year. The first, is the fact that drones offer an experience that you cannot replicate with other electronics. You literally have the full functionality of flying, typically without the limited controls that tend to plague remote controlled options. Advancements in electronics reduce the long learning curve that was traditionally associated with RC. Now new flyers can have sucessful flights straight out of the box.

 

Getting drones for people does not have to be a complicated or stressful process. We have taken the time to break down all the best systems in different categories in our tables below. When looking at specs and features,take some time to look over all of the options, but understand that there are certain things you should be looking out for.

-How is the drone controlled? (Mobile device, controller, etc.) It’s good to have a remote controller to take full control of the drone. Also for new pilots they well develop proper flying techniques.

-How long can you expect the battery to last for each flight? This is more critical on the more expensive camera drone systems. Common flight times are between 22-30min.

-What is the drone made of? Can it handle minor accidents? Tough plastic, foam and carbon tend to be the strongest materials. The smaller sized drones can usually take a rough landing do to their lighter weight.

-Is the drone easy to operate or does it require a steep learning curve? Drones with GPS, avoidance sensors, and flow sensors will be the easiest to operate. Most of the higher priced camera drones have some or all of these functions.

-What is the range and does it have a live video feed? This is more important for camera drone systems. Some of the DJI systems can reach 2-5km with a HD video feed. FPV racers don’t necessarily require long range but rather low latency FPV feeds.

-What type of camera does the drone have and what resolutions will it record. When selecting the perfect camera drone you want to take a close look at the camera capabilities. The camera should be electronically stabilized using a 3-axis brushless gimbal. Furthermore most camera drones will shoot 4K and slow motion video.

-Whats included with the drone? This is important if you are buying a drone gift. We recommend buying drones as a kit. Most of our recommendations are ready to fly. Here are the primary components required for flight: Drone Craft, Radio Controller, Battery, Battery Charger, FPV system (If required), smart phone or tablet running the manufactures recommended operating system.

 

 

 

Since you might not be all that familiar with Drones in general, you might not know that there are several different categories they can fall into. This is typically based on whatever their primary function would be beyond just becoming airborne. Below you will get a quick introduction to some of the best selling categories of drones, offering you a chance to see which style best suits the enthusiast on your list this year.

 

 

Drones with Cameras for those who love to capture stunning aerial images

 

This style of drone is arguably among the most popular options that are purchased for those looking to seriously upgrade their electronic fun. With the ability to go great distances into the air, and the user having complete control of the flight path and hovering, this remains one of the most versatile options as well.

 

The draw to these models is their on-board camera, which can relay real time imagery back to the controlling device or computer. This is part of what has made a camera drone so game changing for the world of law enforcement surveillance and real-time crime fighting efforts, according to CNN. What it has meant for consumers is more of elaborate selfie shots, and new vantage points into the world you see from the same angles every day.

 

This type of UAV is ideal for most of those who are interested in drone technology. They have already likely read about high vantage picture taking and video making. This would also be an excellent choice for someone that has a vast area of property to take care of, including livestock or crops, as this allows them to quickly fly over the area and make sure everything is in order.

 

In terms of the top companies making products like these for the holiday season, check out our table outlining the best camera drone products this year.

 

 

dji inspire 2DJI INSPIRE 2

The ultimate holiday gift. For those who want the best consider the DJI Inspire 2 camera drone. Shoots amazing professional grade footage when paired with the DJI X5 or X7 cameras. Buy in a combo and save.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
phantom 4 pro for saleDJI PHANTOM 4 PRO

Photo lovers will not be disappointed with this camera drone. The Phantom is the worlds best selling drone for a reason. Available with a screen or can be used with a smart phone or tablet.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
mavic platinumDJI MAVIC PRO PLATINUM

DJI Mavic is an amazing drone that appeals to the masses. This drone offers the best in portability, flight time, video quality and price. Anyone would be thrilled to get this amazing drone as a gift.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
phantom 3 seDJI PHANTOM 3 SE

The Phantom 3 series may not be the latest and greatest but offers exceptional value. This Phantom 3 SE version shoots amazing video and takes excellent images as well. All in a budget oriented platform.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
typhoon h yuneecYUNEEC TYPHOON H

Yuneec typhoon H offers some unique features that sets it apart from the pack. It's powerful 6 rotor design offers added security from in flight motor failure. Get it with the Intel RealSense for real time obstacle avoidance.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS

 

 

Personal Sized Mini Drones With Cameras

 

In terms of popularity, mini camera drones are really taking off in their own right. This comprises all of the allure of the traditional, larger camera drones and condenses it to fit into the palm of your hand. These devices would be ideal for someone who is just started to get interested in the technology behind camera equipped UAVs, as they are usually much less expensive than the full-size variety.

 

The varying nature of their very small size can also be a draw to this type of drone. While they are undoubtedly smaller than the traditional UAV options listed above, their small stature ranges from roughly the size of a closed fist to options like the DJI Spark, which the developer (DJI) has dubbed the most advanced mini camera drone available for consumer purchase.

 

Top companies that you should check out offering pint-sized flying camera tech are listed in the mini camera drones table below

 

dji sparkDJI SPARK

DJI spark is a great way to get into camera drones. It's small pocket sized but has may great features the larger drones have. The Spark will undoubtably be one of the top selling drones this holiday season.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
yuneec breeze selfie mini droneYUNEEC BREEZE

The Yuneec breeze is a great personal sized mini camera drones. It's high performance camera can even shoot 4K video. Although the arms don't fold it's still ultra compact and portable.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
hovercamHOVERCAMERA PASSPORT

Hovercamera's passport is a really cool design as it folds up like a small book. This little drone also has some really advanced functions such as gesture control and face / body detection for follow modes.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
geniusidea droneGENIUSIDEA

The Geniusidea, although new to the scene offers a tilting camera which sets it apart from it's competitors. Also has a very nice design and offers many of the same advanced functions it's competition has to offer.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
wingsland S6 Mini droneWINGSLAND S6

Wingsland's S6 drone is ultra compact and offers some fun accessories. Optional add-ons include search lights, toy gun, emoji LCD screen and much more. This is a fun drone that take great video and images as well.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
zerotech doby - selfie mini droneZEROTECH DOBBY

Another ultra compact drone you can take anywhere. The Dobby was one of the first of it's kind to hit the market. Great design with folding arms. and pocket sized.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS

 

 

Drone Racers for the Adventure Seeker

 

You might have someone on your list that just isn’t all that interested in aerial photography or interesting Instagram selfies taken via drone. If you have a couple of folks on your shopping list that are far more interested in being able to take their competitive spirits to the skies, you might find precisely what you are looking for in a line of race ready drones.

 

These offer higher performance and more manual level of controls than their camera drone counterpart, without all of the added weight to slow them down. Now racing fans can take their dueling to new heights (literally) as they steer their tech through whatever real world structures create the virtual track. In the world of consumer drones, racing tech and mods for these devices are growing more popular by the day.

 

Racing drones can vary greatly in size, appearance, and performance. Many of the models are not meant to be upgraded, but there are also several pre-built kits that you can interchange parts for better performance. But if your loved one is more of a hobbyist by nature, you might also be interested to learn about the new craze surrounding building your own racing drone piece by piece. Digital Trends put out an informative article recently about all of the components needed to create your own racing drone, labeling each essential component individually.

 

If this seems a little overly complicated for who you had in mind, there are still great pre-built options listed in our FPV Racing Drone Table below

 

Rise VusionRISE VUSION 250

Instant FPV fun with the Vusion 250. Package includes everything you need to get flying straight out of the box. Has detachable arms for quick field repairs.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
WALKERA F210

Walkera F210 Racer features a rugged carbon fibre air frame and quality FPV camera that functions well in low light. Take to the night sky with the 210's infrared camera mode. Available in craft only or as a ready to fly kit.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
REDCAT RACING CARBON 210

RedCat Racing carbon racing drone offers a durable sleek design. Ready to go out of the box with included RadioLink Controller. The kit however does not include a monitor or goggles for first person view. The but in transmitter will work with most FPV Goggles.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
REDPAWZ R011 NANO FPV RACER

For micro sized racers the R011 package is hard to beat. This is a great bang for you bug with a radio controller and FPV Goggles all included. Because of it's small size and propeller protection it is well suited to indoor flying.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
BLADE INDUCTRIX NANO FPV RACER

Another awesome nano sized racer avalable in a Ready to Fly package. Unlike some of the others this one comes with a screen. This little blade will make for countless hours of indoor racing fun.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS

 

 

 

Fun Toy Drones for budget minded buyers and stocking stuffers

 

There are undoubtedly people that are just starting to get a grasp on what drones are and what they can do. In order to just get a feel for the tech and not get bogged down with functionality and a learning curve to their operation, toy drones have served as a great buffer in between those who know very little about drones and those who are experienced with operating them. You can spot these models by their size (as they often smaller in size) and they are typically considerably cheaper than all drone options on the market.

 

These RC copters are going to be a great choice for a younger pilot that is just starting to get their feet wet with the premise of flying devices. This is also a fun gift for anyone on your list that has ever spent time enjoying the use of remote controlled vehicles that remain on the ground or in water. In many ways, the controls of these new devices mimic that of traditional RC models, some of them even having the rudimentary controller you might expect. The flight characteristics of these toy drones may not be as stable as the higher priced models with GPS and position holding capabilities, but still a blast to fly.

 

There are numerous companies that have put out small, toy drones over the last year or so. Among the best of these brands and products are listed in the table blow.

 

jjrc santa droneJJRC HOLIDAY SANTA NANO DRONE

Who can resist this little nano drone. This is the perfect holiday stocking stuffer and suitable for kids and adults. Pick up a few and have Santa races around the Christmas tree. At only $26 this little copter is a bargain.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
JJRC Holiday eggJJRC HOLIDAY FLYING SELFIE EGG

If the flying Santa is not enough fun already check out this flying Christmas egg. Another super affordable toy drone with a 720P camera and built in WIFI for live streaming to your smartphone via. app download.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Spiderman droneSKY-VIPER SPIDER DRONE

Spiderman Homecomming Movie inspired, this drone is perfect for spiderman lovers. Voice feedback from the controller with phrases from the movie.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
drone force anglerDRONE FORCE ANGLER ATTACK

This drone is bound to get a few laughs. The crazy looking flying fish lights the night sky with glowing eyes and multiple LED lights.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
hs160 droneHOLY STONE HS160 SHADOW

The HS160 folding drone is a great starter that has a integrated 720P camera and can be controlled with a smart phone or via the included radio controller. With no propeller protection this one may not be the best choice for kids.
GET IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS

 

 

 

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