Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Popular and actively conquering the sky in recent years, quadrocopters are still quite an expensive pleasure, especially if it is only about entertainment. Much cheaper and more affordable 'little brothers' of full-fledged drones – mini-quadcopters – can easily cope with this task. The best models in the first half of 2020 are presented in the latest magazine review.
- Rating of the best mini quadcopters
- Best inexpensive mini quadcopters without a camera
- Hubsan Nano Q4 H111
- CXHOBBY CX-10
- Syma X11
- Syma X51
- Syma X26
- Best mini quadcopters with camera
- JXD 515V
- Syma X23W
- Xiaomi Mi Tu Minidrone 720P
- Ryze tech tello
- Hubsan X4 FPV Brushless H501S High Edition
Rating of the best mini quadcopters
|Nomination||a place||Name of product||price|
|Best inexpensive mini quadcopters without a camera||1||Hubsan Nano Q4 H111||1 280 RUB|
|2||CXHOBBY CX-10||RUB 1,250|
|3||Syma X11||RUB 1,570|
|4||Syma X51||RUB 1,990|
|5||Syma X26||RUB 1,890|
|Best mini quadcopters with camera||1||JXD 515V||RUB 3,430|
|2||Syma X23W||RUB 2 850|
|3||Xiaomi Mi Tu Minidrone 720P||RUB 3 600|
|4||Ryze tech tello||RUB 10,000|
|5||Hubsan X4 FPV Brushless H501S High Edition||RUB 18 490|
Best inexpensive mini quadcopters without a camera
First of all, we will consider a selection of the most affordable mini-quadrocopters that have shown the best results in a set of other important characteristics, besides the cost itself. The lack of a camera makes such models almost exclusively a leisure item for entertainment. Alternatively, on a cheap model, you can train your copter control skills, and then look closely at more expensive and functional models.
Hubsan Nano Q4 H111
And we will start with the cheapest copter, and at the same time almost the smallest. The model Nano Q4 H111 by the Chinese manufacturer Hubsan even belongs to the conventional category of micro-quadcopters in terms of size.
Indeed, the dimensions of the mini-drone are quite miniature – 45x45x23mm with a weight of 12g. The body is predominantly plastic, the main color scheme is white, there is also a yellow one in the range. The screws are also plastic, for their protection there is a special rim in the device delivery set. Its use is optional, at the discretion of the user.
The level of control difficulty in this mini-quadrocopter is declared as for children, which also hints at the target audience. The dimensions of the micro-drone allow it to be fully launched in calm weather on the street and even on the scale of a city apartment. The flight time on a full charge of a standard battery with a capacity of only 100 mAh is only 5 minutes, but during this time the copter can easily overcome tens of meters, and in open space it can be lost sight of.
Despite its simplicity and affordable price, the Hubsan Nano Q4 H111 does some good entertainment. So, there are three modes of operation: Normal – piloting only in horizontal directions; Medium – vertical axis available – recommended for more experienced operators; Expert – all functions are unlocked that allow making high-speed maneuvers and aerobatics. The drone has built-in LEDs for visibility when flying in the dark.
This model uses a radio channel for wireless communication with the control panel. The approximate range is about 50 meters, but in open space the real indicator may be greater.
The aforementioned battery, although it provides only 5 minutes of flight, does not take too much time to charge it – up to half an hour. The remote control is powered by conventional batteries.
The Hubsan Nano Q4 H111 mini quadcopter is supplied with the drone itself, a protective rim, a screwdriver, spare screws, a charging cable, and a battery.
In general, users and experts highly appreciate the mini-drone's maneuverability, balance, ease of control, and the presence of different difficulty modes. The drone's responsiveness to control commands from the remote control may seem somewhat redundant, but it can be adjusted. The screws can fall off from impacts, so the manufacturer generously added spare to the package. One way or another, contact with foreign objects during the flight is best avoided.
- durable body;
- nice appearance;
- Ease of controls;
- instant response to commands from the remote control;
- adjustable sensitivity;
- effective stabilization;
- three modes of flight difficulty;
- easy to disassemble;
- the screws fall off from the blows of the copter on third-party objects;
- excessive sensitivity.
Consider another miniature Chinese drone of the unpronounceable CXHOBBY brand second in the selection of the simplest and most inexpensive mini-quadcopters. In fact, the 'brand' does not mean anything here, as this same product was previously present on the market under the Cheerson brand. It can only be recognized by its appearance and characteristic symbols on the upper part of the case.
This mini-quadcopter is also slightly larger than a matchbox – 40x40x20mm and weighs the same amount – 12g. The exterior is also very nice, but with fewer design details, which is even a plus to a certain extent. The plastic of the body is strong enough, inside there is a metal frame, which makes the drone indestructible. The screws are also plastic, and in the same way they become consumables when starting indoors. Unfortunately, there is no protection for screws in this model, and there are only 4 spare ones in the kit.
The range parameters here are approximately the same as in the previous model. Speed - up to 8m / s, maximum flight duration – about 4min. Radio control with the manufacturer's declared range of up to 30 meters.
The mini-copter is equipped with exactly the same battery as the above model – with a capacity of 100mAh, only here it already gives 'officially' up to 4 minutes of flight on a full charge. However, this is only a rough estimate, and in fact the device can fly longer – up to 7 minutes, depending on the modes and style of 'piloting'.
As for the modes, there are also three of them, adapted to the experience of the operator, in order to cope with high speeds and aerobatic figures. It's nice that this rudimentary model is able to do flips automatically, providing a 'headless mode' – you don't need to constantly keep in mind the relative position of the drone in relation to the remote control and remember where it has 'right' and 'left' at any given time. With automatic turns-flips in the air, the copter is constantly in a 'clear' position.
In general, a very good model, but here it is a little worse than the previous mini-quadrotor the safety of the screws is realized when the copter hits the walls. In the previous one, at least the rims were included, but here there are only four spare screws, which, of course, is not enough.
- minimum dimensions and weight;
- ruggedized case;
- metal frame;
- three flight modes;
- automatic functions;
- headless mode;
- effective stabilization;
- knows how to make flips.
- no protection for screws;
- few spare screws included.
The rest of the collection will be devoted to the Syma mini-drones, which in the first half of 2020 burst into the first positions of 'user liking' in this segment. The first to consider is the Syma X11, which has four screws, an elegant design and a protective rim. The differences between the neighboring Syma X11 and X11C models are only in the configuration and in the 'body kit' – the C-version contains a built-in camera, a memory card slot, a memory card itself in the kit and a slightly more capacious battery.
This is the most basic model in this series, but is in great demand for a particularly elegant design and solid quality at an affordable price. The dimensions of the copter are already slightly larger than the previous two very tiny models – 152x152x37mm and weighs 35g. The design is stylish, sophisticated, the screws are protected by a stationary plastic rim. The most popular color option is white, but there are also black and red.
It is worth noting here a significant functional difference of this model from the previous one – the absence of a 'headless' mode. Many regard this as a disadvantage, while others, on the contrary, consider it an advantage, since a novice user initially learns to navigate in parts of the world. However, since this particular category of drones is used almost exclusively for entertainment, and often by children, a 'headless' mode would still be very useful here. There is also no automatic return of the drone to the operator, but in this price category this is no longer a minus.
The maximum declared flight duration of the Syma X11 is 8 minutes, but in practice it is less – up to 6 minutes, despite the fact that it has a two times more capacious battery – lithium polymer, with a capacity of 200mAh. The remote control is made in the shape of a gamepad, so the format will be very familiar to children and gamers. The remote control is powered by two AA batteries, which will need to be purchased specially.
The scope of delivery includes four spare rotors to replace broken ones. All Syma X-series mini quadcopters use motors with a gear principle of torque transmission. This imposes some restrictions on the operating environment: the ideal environment is an enclosed space, and in open spaces the mini-copter can only be safely launched in complete calm.
- quality of materials and workmanship;
- elegant design;
- six-axis gyroscope;
- reliable protection of screws;
- convenient remote control.
- no 'headless' regime.
Another Syma mini-quadrocopter, this time it's not even exactly a quadrocopter, since there are not four screws, but three. But, given the well-established general meaning of the term, let's not be overly meticulous in the definitions. In principle, this model is very similar to the previous one, but it radically differs in shape precisely because of the number of screws, and even wins in this. To be precise, there are still four screws, but this is only formally, since one pair of screws is used in one seat.
This mini-drone is already significantly larger than the first two – 170x145x74mm and weighs 45g. The main rotor is completely the same in size, shape and lift, but the placement and design of the seats is not completely symmetrical, which gives the aircraft a certain orientation along the conventional head and tail parts. The mentioned double screw is located just in the head with the protective elements of the case. The design style is similar to the previous model, but here there are interesting spectacular design elements.
The declared flight time for the Syma X51 is 6 minutes. The principle of remote control is a radio channel at a standard frequency of 2.4 GHz. The receiver is included in the delivery set, as well as the remote control – you will need to purchase 4 regular AA batteries for the remote control. The signal reception range is designed for open spaces and is up to 50 meters.
The in-flight capabilities of the copter are comparable to similar low-cost models. The orientation of the device in space is based on the data of the built-in six-axis gyroscope. Various flight modes are available, including 'automatic funnel'. The mini drone can do 360-degree automatic flips.
The relatively short flight time is due to the massiveness of the drone, a noticeable share of which is occupied by the battery itself of a rather large capacity – 380mAh. Full charge time is 60 minutes. When discharged, the drone will give a signal.
The Syma X51 mini-quadcopter as a whole is not much different from the previous model in terms of capabilities, here the main 'feature' is in the form dictated by the three leading screws and the fuselage design. Some complaints are caused by the lack of a 'headless' mode, but at the same time, many users consider this point insignificant. The short flight time with a relatively capacious battery collects a little more claims.
- quality materials and assembly;
- successful asymmetrical shape;
- spectacular design;
- reliable protection of screws;
- different flight modes.
- relatively short operating time for such a battery capacity;
- no 'headless' regime.
Another Syma mini quadcopter, model X26, will complete the first selection. It is notable for enhanced piloting capabilities and some additional useful functions.
This is again a fully symmetrical four-rotor mini-drone measuring 131x131x44.5mm and weighing 51g. Outwardly it differs from the previous two models of the same series, but only due to the massive protective rims with stiffening ribs and light green screws. The general style is quite guessed.
A distinct feature of this model is a significant emphasis on protecting the mini-drone from damage by all available means. So, each propeller here is surrounded by a wide plastic rim, reinforced with 'spokes', which additionally protect the blades from above and below. But even collisions with the same walls themselves here for the most part may not occur due to built-in sensors that distinguish obstacles and give a command to the drone to fly over. Enhanced protection slightly affects the appearance of the drone, making it a little overweight, but the durability increases significantly, if not orders of magnitude.
Syma X26 is equipped with a 380mAh battery, which should be enough for 6 minutes of flight when fully charged. Charging via USB interface. The control is carried out through a standard remote control, which works over a radio channel with a signal reception range of up to 70 meters, up to a maximum of 100 under favorable conditions. The remote control is powered by 4 AA batteries (you need to purchase it separately).
This mini quadcopter is also equipped with a gyroscope, an altitude sensor and an optical sensor. Automatic flips in acrobatic mode are supported. There is a 'headless mode', a 'return home' function and an altitude hold.
Spare propellers are included with the mini drone just like other models in the series. Some buyers are happy that they did not have to use any such 'spare' – the protection is implemented so well in this model. The model is really durable, but the official warranty is as short as for most other budget mini quadcopters – 1 month.
- quality of materials and workmanship;
- good design;
- case illumination;
- enhanced protection of blades and hull from collisions;
- signal reception range;
- “headless mode”;
- function “return home”;
- built-in obstacle sensors.
- expensive batteries.
Best mini quadcopters with camera
The second compilation of the review of the best mini-quadrocopters according to the magazine is devoted to models that resemble full-fledged drones in functionality – at least they are equipped with cameras. The quality of the shooting can vary greatly, and the mini-drone, accordingly, can be used simply as a fun toy, or maybe as a useful tool.
The nomination will be opened by a Chinese mini-quadrocopter, of good quality, with good capabilities and a simple camera on board. The model is twice as expensive as almost any previous one, but in this category it is the most inexpensive.
The dimensions of the device are 138x138x50mm, the weight is 84g. The body is made of good plastic, the design is in the style of space fiction – in some marketplaces this drone is called the JXD SpaceShip 515V. The screws are protected by thick plastic rims. LED lighting elements are built into the body.
The mini-drone is controlled via a standard 2.4GHz radio channel with a signal reception range of up to 60, maximum 70 meters. Thanks to the barometric altimeter and gyroscope, the device easily determines its own position in space at any moment. Automatic flight modes are available, such as automatic turns, one-touch return to base, 'headless mode'.
The mini drone can shoot what is happening on the built-in camera with a resolution of 0.3 megapixels. The maximum video frame rate is 25fps at 480p. The footage is recorded to the flash memory card. The cards are replaceable, there is a separate slot.
The autonomous power supply of the drone is provided by a built-in battery with a capacity of 350mAh. Charging time from zero – up to 130 minutes. The maximum flight time on a full charge is 5 minutes. The maximum speed is 6 km / h. Charging via USB interface, charger included.
In general, the JXD 515V collects mostly only positive feedback, only in this price category users are already starting to complain that the flight time could have been longer.
- good materials and assembly;
- reliable protection of the blades;
- nice lighting;
- automatic modes;
- spectacular Sci-Fi design.
- flight time.
The review will be continued by the trade mark with which we completed the previous nomination – Syma, and its 'medium-weight' mini-quadrocopter X23W. The successful series of Chinese mini quadcopters is complemented by a model with a noticeably better camera than the one described above.
Drone dimensions – 210x210x50mm, weight – 80g. Durable ABS plastic housing. The design is as futuristic, subtle and elegant as the aforementioned group of models from the same brand. The propellers are protected against horizontal collisions, but not solid rims, but plastic 'bumpers' in a circular segment of about 90 degrees. There is a case illumination.
You can control the mini-quadrocopter by radio from a standard remote control or via Wi-Fi using a wearable gadget, the same smartphone. Radio signal reception radius – up to 70 meters. Gesture control is supported. Various modes are supported, including Headless, Auto Return, Acrobatic, Waypoints, Auto Takeoff and Landing, 3D Piloting.
The built-in wide-angle camera in Syma X23W is capable of taking photos in quality up to 1280×720 pixels and video in quality up to 480p. First-person live broadcast (FPV) mode is supported, but only via Wi-Fi.
The mini drone is powered by a built-in 500mAh battery. A full charge should last for 7 minutes of flight. In the context of more expensive models, this is a rather weak result. Charging from USB up to 130 minutes, usually takes an hour to charge. The battery is a very common format – 1S.
The Syma X23W package includes the copter itself, four main and four spare propellers, protective bumpers for propellers, a smartphone holder, a charger, a screwdriver, and documentation. The blades look the same, but when replacing, you need to pay attention to the markings, to which seat which screw fits. In the lineup there is a modification of Syma X23W with the RTF index, which means 'Ready-to-Fly' – you do not need to buy any additional accessories for this version.
Despite the fact that the mini drone is relatively massive compared to the previous ones in the review, it is an illusion. The model is equally suitable only for launches in a house or in an open space in the complete absence of wind.
- strong body;
- elegant design;
- camera with good resolution;
- gesture control;
- flying over the Waypoints route.
- short flight time on a single charge.
Xiaomi Mi Tu Minidrone 720P
Couldn't do without the ubiquitous company Xiaomi in this sub-niche of the market. The company decided to launch its mini quadcopter in response to the bright success of the relatively inexpensive Ryze Tello series. The attempt was successful, and MiTu mini drones are in high demand to this day. The functionality of the mini-drone itself is quite wide, and some functions even disarming the public at all.
The dimensions of the drone are miniature – 91x91x38mm, the weight is perceptible – 88g. Signature design by Xiaomi, unique in its elegant and sophisticated minimalism. There are no complaints about the quality of materials and assembly either, here the manufacturer is at its best, as always. The most popular color is white, there is also a variant with a golden case, but it is less common on sale.
The model sharply differs from all of the above described by the increased flight time. Here this figure reaches 10 minutes. The declared maximum height is 25 meters. The operating time is provided in the most obvious way – a capacious 920mAh battery. At the same time, the full charge time is only 60 minutes – unlike many budget models. The battery is removable, and in which case it can be replaced.
Another important difference Xiaomi Mi Tu Minidrone 720P is the control methods. Here, piloting is carried out through a wearable gadget – a smartphone or tablet – via a channel Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The declared control range is up to 50 meters. If you plan to fly the drone via Wi-Fi, the Wi-Fi module in your smartphone must support the 5.8GHz band.
An extended Wi-Fi range will also be needed for live video streaming from the camera. The camera itself is built into the body, takes photos with a resolution of 1200×1600 pixels, and video in 720p quality. If there is no need to broadcast the video right away, it will simply be recorded into the built-in 4GB memory.
Xiaomi Mi Tu Minidrone 720P shows itself in flight in the most dynamic and exciting way. Wide range of sensors: ultrasonic, accelerometer, optical for visual positioning, barometer, infrared. All this is necessary for flying around obstacles, precise control, performing automatic figures and modes. The mini-drone can do flips, hold altitude, and perform automatic takeoff and landing. Interesting additional and extremely effective opportunities – launch with a throw from the hand and imitation of air combat with other MiTu drones. It even provides the ability to control through Bluetooth – a gamepad, which adds drive.
- quality materials and flawless assembly;
- good camera;
- powerful processor;
- flight time;
- 4GB internal memory;
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi;
- hand launch;
- imitation of air combat with other MiTu drones;
- typical for Xiaomi elegant design style.
- instructions in Chinese only;
- not the best blade protection.
Ryze tech tello
Now let's take a look at the advanced model of the Ryze Tello series, which unwittingly inspired management Xiaomi to create MiTu mini quadcopters. This Ryze Tech Tello is a versatile miniature drone with good range and flight duration, and a number of interesting additional features. The copter is more than twice as expensive as the previous one.
Mini drone dimensions – 98×92.5x41mm, weight – 80g. The body is plastic, the screws are relatively large – 76.2 mm in diameter, equipped with plastic bumpers to protect against horizontal collisions. The design is modest but stylish. Two colors available – dark gray and white.
An even more capacious battery is installed here – 1100mAh, which gives up to 13 minutes of flight. The maximum speed is 8 m / s. The drone contains a set of sensors: barometer, optical for visual positioning, ultrasonic. When piloting, automatic takeoff and landing, automatic coups, 5 programmed flight modes are available.
The mini-drone is controlled via Wi-Fi from a wearable gadget. To do this, you must first download the proprietary Tello application (available for Android and iOS). The program is well translated into Russian, extremely simple and clear to learn.
The declared control range is up to 100 meters. If the connection is lost, the drone will automatically land.
Control is also possible from some gamepads that this model supports – Apple MFi and Gamesir remote controller. The controller can be connected via the channel Bluetooth, but in this case the control range will dramatically drop – to the standard 10 meters for Bluetooth.
The Ryze Tech Tello has a relatively powerful 5MP camera. The maximum viewing angle is 82.6 degrees. Photo resolution – up to 1936×2592 pixels, video – up to 720p. The model supports connecting VR devices with subsequent broadcast from the drone's camera.
We should also emphasize the successful implementation of built-in automatic piloting programs in this model. There are five programs in total, the drone behaves in them clearly, accurately and predictably. The behavior itself is well thought out, down to the smallest detail. High-quality implementation is expressed not only in the aerobatics themselves, but also in the nature of the shooting during their execution.
- strong body;
- large screws;
- nice design;
- powerful camera;
- support for VR devices;
- useful and competent automatic piloting modes;
- requires good lighting for correct positioning on the optical sensor;
- collector engines (in cheaper drones this is not considered a problem).
Hubsan X4 FPV Brushless H501S High Edition
And the review of the best mini-quadcopters of the first half of 2020 according to the version of the most expensive model concludes. It is almost three times more expensive than the previous one, but 'full meat' in terms of characteristics brings the mini-drone closer to full-fledged quadcopters. And this is a high-end racing drone, so the price, though high, is fair enough.
Copter dimensions – 220x220x70mm, weight – 410g. We see a significant gap from any of the above models in terms of massiveness. Many factors played here – the overall dimensions of the mini-drone, the presence of a metal frame, but the hardest part is the battery. Its record capacity in this context, 2700mAh, is required to provide 20 declared flight minutes. The appearance of the device is elegant and sporty, without any frills. Two body colors – white and black.
This is the first and only mini quadcopter in our review to be equipped with brushless motors. Positioning, orientation in space are carried out according to the indications of a set of sensors, as well as the built-in GPS module. Automatic modes are available – follow, fly around, panorama, headless mode, return to base. Analog FPV kit included. The Failsave option is provided, in which, in the event of a connection loss, the mini-drone will automatically return to the pilot.
During piloting, you can shoot with a FPV camera in FHD quality. The camera is very good, but you shouldn't have high expectations about the quality of the shooting itself. A mini drone is well suited for dynamic amateur photography, and it is less suitable for serious scenes.
Despite the tangible cost, the described model turned out to be so good for the consumer that Chinese accessories are even being produced for it. All sorts of suspensions are even invented for installing an action camera – the thrust of the engines has such a significant reserve that a small additional camera will be lifted without problems.
- high level mini racing drone;
- flight duration;
- positioning accuracy;
- powerful camera;
- brushless motors;
- automatic modes;
- attractive design.
- fair but high price.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.