April 6

Best Mini Drones – Top x Nano drones for 2020

Reviews

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Choosing the right drone is, by no means, an easy task – but at the same time, you couldn’t have picked a better moment to get one:

Small drones have upped their game over the past few years, improving pretty much all aspects of their design and performance.

There was a time when getting a top-notch drone meant spending hundreds of dollars, but now, you have all these brands and models that are every bit as impressive but come at a fraction of the price.

And sure, they may look like children's toys at first glance, but they're still worthwhile investments and outstanding flying machines – if you know how to pick the best ones, that is.

The thing is, even if they're relatively cheap, not all of them are worth it – and that's where I come in:

I spent countless hours testing and flying drones of all shapes and sizes, and today, I'm reviewing the best mini drones on the market.

Let's get to it! 

In a hurry? ​This Is The Best Mini Drone On The Market:

What makes it stand out?

The DJI Mavic Mini is a beautiful balance of all the essential

features that a mini drone should have. It nails this sweet spot of core

flight performance, flight time, and camera quality, amounting to an exceptional flight experience!

What Is A Mini Drone & Why You Should Get One

A mini drone is precisely what the term suggests – a drone that's relatively compact, or even miniature, in size, lightweight, and, more often than not, made entirely out of plastic.

With the rapid advancement of drone technology, these tiny drones have improved in many ways over the years.

They still boast some of their signature features, like a not-so-steep, gentle learning curve, the pre-assembled, ready-to-fly design with remote control, and relatively short flight time.

And at the same time, they're also packed with tons of new – and improved – features, such as HD cameras, FPV capability, and flight modes that improve control and maneuverability.

In short, with the way things are going, there's not a lot a full-size drone can do that a mini one can't.

There are plenty of solid reasons why buying a mini drone could be the right choice for you.

First off, there's the apparent advantage of their incredibly pocket-friendly price tags. You'll find quite a few cheap mini drones, yet offer a ton of excellent features. And even if you happen to crash one – everyone does at some point – the repair won't cost much, either!

Furthermore, their compact frames that easily fit into the palm of your hand – with some drones taking things to the next level by being foldable, as well – is another advantage of mini-drones. Unlike full-sized drones, these can be packed up and taken pretty much anywhere.

Lastly, mini drones are one of the best entry-level options out there. If you're exploring the exciting world of drones for the first time, a little drone is a way to go. 


​​Top 3 Mini Drones – Comparison Table

Product

​Features 

Rating

Current Price

​​DJI Mavic Mini

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Punch

Camera Resolution:  12 MP camera on a three-axis motorized gimbal

Flight Time: 30 minutes 

Max Range: 4Km 

5/5

SNAPTAIN S5C

SNAPTAIN S5C

Camera Resolution: 720p HD camera

Flight Time: 16 Minutes

Max Range: 80 m

5/5

Holy Stone HS170

Holy Stone HS170

Camera Resolution: No camera 

Flight Time: 6-8 Minutes

Max Range: 50 m

4.5/5

Best Mini Drones of  2020 Reviewed

Those of you who are thinking of getting their first drone probably noticed that there are a ton of entry-level drones aimed at beginners at tempting price points on the market. And as good of an option as they seem at first, a lot of them will either lack vital features or have a questionable build quality.

That's not too say that you can't find a reliable mini drone, though – my top picks are here to prove it!

DJI's high-performance drones – the Mavic Air, for example – have ranked among the best time after time. The newest release, the DJI Mavic Mini, a drone in a league of its own, took things to a whole new level:

It makes minimal compromises in terms of performance, but at the same time, stands as DJI's most lightweight, compact drone to date.

I like to think of the DJI Mavic Mini as the best mini drone – for most people. As blown away as I am with everything that this mini drone and its camera can do, the price tag is hard to ignore. 

Design & Performance

Much like its larger siblings, including the Mavic Air, this mini drone is collapsible – a few quick maneuvers transform it into the familiar quadcopter. Even the color scheme and the contours have "DJI" written all over it.

The headline feature is the drone's weight of 249 grams. In the world of drones, the 250-gram is the threshold for FAA registration. The Mavic Mini escapes it by a single gram!

Below this tiny, 6.3 x 3.1 x 0.4 inch frame sits a camera – and an impressive one at that.

The 12 MP camera sits on a three-axis motorized gimbal and is capable of capturing stunning aerial photography. Unlike the Mavic Air camera, this one's video-capturing abilities cap out at 2.7K Quad HD – but it's still one of the best cameras for drone I've tested.

As for the performance part, this drone is a joy to fly. And yes, that holds regardless of your piloting skills. DJI wasn't making any compromises regarding its core flight performance.

It's every bit as responsive, quick, and stable as its predecessor, the Mavic Air, and the low weight doesn't seem to be a problem, even in windy conditions.

Most of the flight controls are available within the DJI Fly app, which is relatively easy to use, and loaded with beginner-friendly tutorials, too. You'll have access to three speed modes – Position, Sports, and CineSmooth – DJI's pre-programmed QuickShot mode, and several safety-oriented features.

Oh, and let's not forget the battery life, which, by the way, blows the competing mini drones out of the water:

When it's fully charged, the battery has a flight time of up to 30 minutes straight!

Pros

  • Compact, foldable frame that weighs 249 grams
  • The drones camera sits on a three-axis, motorized gimbal
  • Three flight modes, safety features, and QuickShot mode for the camera
  • Rechargeable battery with a flight time of up to 30 minutes

Cons

  • Much more expensive than other models

I'll admit that I was blown away by everything that the SNAPTAIN S5C has to offer, while still fitting right into the budget-friendly range.

It feels well thought out and balanced, with all the essential features of an entry-level drone. At the same time, though, there's something "premium "about it – enough to get the drone enthusiasts hooked.

It's giving other drone manufacturers a run for their money, that's for sure!

Design & Performance

It's hard to ignore how stylishly crafted – and oh-so-cool – this drone is.

There's an undeniable futuristic vibe to it, with sleek, yet defined contours, a matte black finish, and blue highlights. The spacecraft aesthetic makes this a drone that you'll proudly show off to others!

Even more so, it boasts surprisingly sturdy construction, especially for a mini drone in this price range. Unlike most entry-level drones, the SNAPTAIN S5C is made of ABS plastic and doesn't skimp out on sturdiness and durability.

Plus, the body is designed to withstand crashes and collisions, as evident by the strategically placed propeller guards.

The gaming-console-wanna-be vibe of the remote control leaves a lot to be desired in the design department, but it does allow for incredible ease of use – and it's packed with features, too.

So, yes, the S5C is, by all means, an easy-to-fly drone full of hidden "safety nets "for beginner pilots.

The drone offers three speeds, depending on how confident you are in your skills, and feels surprisingly snappy but stable in all three of them.

The controls are beyond beginner-friendly, especially the fact that the drone takes off, lands, and returns home with a push of a button!

Even more so, it has the Headless Mode and Altitude Hold functionalities built into it, as well, which is an excellent way to ease into maneuvering the drone as a beginner.

Oh, and yes, it comes with a drone camera! Granted, the 720p HD camera sensor isn't the best you'll come across, but with the six-axis gyroscope and the hover mode, it does capture relatively decent aerial footage. Plus, it's FPV-enabled, and more importantly, VR-compatible!

Also, it's one of the very few drones in this price range that boasts actual voice and gesture control!

The flying time is about nine minutes, give or take, which isn't impressive – but it still beats some other drones I've tested. 

Pros

  • Sturdy, ABS plastic construction
  • Strategically placed propeller guards
  • Fitted with a 720p HD camera for drone
  • FPV- and VR-compatible
  • Six-axis gyroscope adds stability
  • Three speeds and one-button take-off, landing, and return
  • Has Altitude and Headless Mode functions built-in
  • Hand gestures and voice control available

Cons

  • Not very resistant to wind

If you want a drone that's small and simple – and one that you can fly throughout your home and DIY obstacle courses without risking any damage – then the Holy Stone HS170 Predator fits the bill.

Even though it doesn't have an HD camera or any other fancy features, it's a great little drone that promises to deliver tons of fun – and, more importantly, delivers on that promise.

Design & Performance

The fact that it measures 5.3 x 1.6 x 5.3 inches should come as a surprise; it's a mini drone, after all. What surprised me, though, was how "aggressive "it looks, despite its diminutive size. 

The four rotors feature white propeller blades in the front, and black ones in the back, as well as LED lights – blue in the front, and red in the back. These color-coded touches are quite helpful for beginners, who may have a hard time determining the drone's direction.

Plus, the propellers come fitted with corner guards, which absorbs the shock of accidental crashes and not-so-smooth landings. The flexibility of the curved landing legs helps a lot, too.

I've seen it hit things around the house, and it never showed – or left – signs of damage!

It's fun to see it buzz around, especially if you set up some obstacle courses, although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for outdoor use. As tiny as it is, it's sensitive to windy conditions.

As for the performance and overall flight experience, the HS170 Predator is one simple and stable mini drone. It requires some practice, but you can count on the handy features to make things easier.

For instance, it has three speed modes, giving you the freedom to adjust the speed to your piloting skills. The added sense of stability and fast recovery comes from the six-axis gyro technology, the drone's stabilization system – and you can even perform flips with a push of a button!

The Headless Mode is the key feature here, though. With the orientation fixed relative to the remote control, and not the mini drone itself, this feature gives beginner pilots a much-needed boost of confidence.

Pros

  • Best suited for indoor use
  • Features propeller guards and flexible landing legs
  • Color-coded LED lights and propellers for orientation
  • Headless mode and three speeds available
  • Six-axis gyro technology ensures stability

Cons

  • Quite sensitive to windy conditions
  • Doesn’t come with extra batteries

This mini drone checks out all the boxes cheap micro drones for beginners should – it’s as simple as that.

If you're not up for spending tons of cash on a state-of-the-art drone and want to practice your piloting skills on a cheap, toy-grade drone, the Potensic A20 micro drone is perfect for the job!

Design & Performance

You can't help but notice how tiny this little drone is. I measured this micro drone at 3.1 x 3.5 x 1.25 inches; it's barely the size of my hand. Yet, at the same time, it feels well structured and sturdy, even though it weighs no more than 6.7 ounces.

It has this toy-like appearance, but it's far from a toy durability-wise.

The compact and lightweight – but sturdy – frame comes with a few advantages, including portability. If you'd like a drone that fits in your backpack, this is it.

The safety features incorporated in its design are worth noting, too:

The blades are enclosed in round propeller guards to minimize the risk of damage – I told you that this thing handles crashes like a pro – and the battery is protected by insulation plastic.

Another advantage of this drone's tiny size is the incredible agility that comes with it – especially since it's paired with user-friendly operation.

Seriously, it's so easy to fly the Potensic A20 that even absolute beginners can get it off the ground – and, more importantly, keep it there!

You have one-button take-off and landing to help you with that, while the Altitude Hold function means that you don't even have to worry about maintaining a specific height. The Headless Mode and three speeds are a convenient addition for all skill levels, too.

Even if you happen to lose control over the drone – highly unlikely, but you never know – the Emergency Stop button will land the drone pretty much instantly!

I mentioned that the battery is detachable and rechargeable – the charging time is about half an hour – which is a plus. The downside, however, is that it doesn't last more than five or six minutes. 

Pros

  • Features propeller guards for added safety
  • One-button take-off and landing
  • Three available speeds, Headless and Altitude Hold functions
  • Comes with detachable and rechargeable batteries
  • Agile and easy to control
  • Budget-friendly and suitable for beginners

Cons

  • The average battery life is five to six minutes
  • Hard to control in windy conditions
  • Doesn’t have a camera

Even though mini drones are generally labeled as "entry-level, "some models are deemed more beginner-friendly than others – and the SNAPTAIN H823H is the perfect example of what I'm talking about here.

If you don't care much about drones equipped with a camera, this incredibly cheap drone may be worth considering – whether you're shopping for yourself or the kids!

Design & Performance

The H823H measures a mere 2.8 x 3 x 1 inch, which is already a pretty good indicator of how incredibly portable and lightweight this little drone is. It is, after all, one of the smallest drones on my list! At the same time, at 7.2 ounces, it feels surprisingly sturdy and well-made. 

DJI's high-performance drones – the Mavic Air, for example – have ranked among the best time after time. The newest release, the DJI Mavic Mini, a drone in a league of its own, took things to a whole new level:

It makes minimal compromises in terms of performance, but at the same time, stands as DJI's most lightweight, compact drone to date.

I like to think of the DJI Mavic Mini as the best mini drone – for most people. As blown away as I am with everything that this mini drone and its camera can do, the price tag is hard to ignore. 

There's a cage-like, fully-enclosed guard covering the propellers – top, bottom, and sides – that makes this already crash-resistant drone safe for the user, too. The risk of injuries is minimal!

The drone's jet-black finish goes perfectly with the striking red accents. The bright LED light, besides being cool-looking, also plays a role in helping you identify the drone's direction.

Now, as for the performance, I would describe it as incredibly safe and easy to maneuver. It's a beginner-friendly mini drone, after all – and if you paid attention so far, then you should have an idea of what that means feature-wise.

It offers the user three different speed levels, going from low to high, along with the convenience of one-button take-off and landing. And for maximum comfort, it even returns home with a push of a button, too.

What's more, it comes with Altitude Hold and Headless Mode, with the former enabling the drone to hover at any height. The latter helps inexperienced pilots by switching the drone's orientation so that it matches the user. Together, these features do wonders for flight control!

Also, while you do get seven minutes of flying per charge – which is pretty standard for mini drones – this one does come with three easy-to-swap batteries. And that brings your total flying time to an impressive 21 minutes.

Oh, and did I forget to mention all the cool stunts, like flips and rotations, that it performs, too? 

Pros

  • Safe, easy to maneuver, and beginner-friendly
  • The propellers are fully enclosed in cage-like guards
  • LED lights help with orientation
  • One-button take-off, landing, and return functions
  • Altitude Hold and Headless functions, and three speeds
  • Comes with three batteries and a flying time of 21 minutes total

Cons

  • Not the best suited for outdoor flights

I'll finish things off with one of the best micro drones for kids and beginners – the Holy Stone HS210.

Pretty much everyone in the drone community knows about this brand and their oh-so-stylish drones – and I couldn't skip this opportunity to show you another one of their best-selling models.

If you want a drone that's cheap and beginner-friendly – and don't necessarily need a camera – this one's worth considering!

Design & Performance

The Holy Stone's tiny quadcopter is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, so you can't escape the feeling that you're dealing with a toy drone here.

I mean, it measures 3.1 x 3.1 x 1.2 inches and weighs less than an ounce – no one's going to blame you for questioning its durability. But as unbelievable as it sounds, this little bugger still manages to feel relatively solid and well-made, especially for a drone its size. Plus, it comes fitted with protective propeller guards.

It's insane how tough this little guy is!

Also, I have to add that, between the LED lights and the eye-catching colors, this drone looks incredibly sharp, too.

And while it may not have some more advanced features – the HD camera being one of them – it more than makes up for it with the build quality, ease of use, and reliability.

Another thing to grab my attention was the remote control. Unlike most other micro drones, it doesn't go for a gaming console vibe. Instead, it adopts a clean, simple, almost professional design.

The HS210's flight performance is excellent – stable and responsive, and pretty fun to fly, as well!

It packs all the features one needs to keep the drone up in the air, regardless of experience – the one-button take-off and landing are the perfect examples here. Even more so, it includes hovering and headless mode functions.

And to top it all off, it can perform cool mid-air stunts, too, flipping in all four directions!

The battery life is pretty average, allowing for a seven-minute flight time per charge. On the plus side, though, the drone comes with two extra batteries, which amounts to 21 minutes of flight time total. Also, it comes with a handy low battery alarm, so that you're never caught off guard. 

Pros

  • Weighs less than an ounce but still feels sturdy
  • Features propeller guards
  • Feels stable and responsive
  • Hovering, headless mode, and one-button take-off and landing
  • Has a low battery alarm
  • Comes with two extra batteries for extended flying time

Cons

  • Doesn't have a camera
  • Doesn't include the "Return Home" function

Best Mini Drone – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the smallest DJI Drone?

A: DJI's drone design – especially the Mavic Pro and Mavic Air – has had a significant impact on the drone industry as a whole. The company spent the last couple of years refining its product lineup, and the next logical step in DJI's evolution was finally revealed in 2019 when they launched the Mavic Mini.

Light and easy to carry, this drone's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, while still being able to capture stunning aerial footage.

And to answer your question – as if it weren't evident already – the Mavic Mini is also the DJI's smallest, most lightweight drone to date.

Q: How much does a mini drone cost?

A: It's hard to talk about best mini drone prices in general terms because they vary drastically depending on the intended uses and target audiences. I mean, you can find toy drones as cheap as $20 bucks, and then, on the other hand, you'll discover DJI's mini drones that cost an upward of $400 and up to $1000.

Still, I do think that you can find excellent mini drones somewhere in the range from $100 to $300, depending on what features and level of performance you hope to get.

After it’s all said and done, we recommend...

What makes it stand out?

The DJI Mavic Mini is a beautiful balance of all the essential

features that a mini drone should have. It nails this sweet spot of core

flight performance, flight time, and camera quality, amounting to an exceptional flight experience!

Of all the best mini drones I came across recently, my seal of approval goes to the DJI Mavic Mini Drone FlyCam Quadcopter – but that doesn't mean that the other drones aren't worth considering.

Sure, you might have to make some cuts in the camera or battery performance departments, but then again, with these drones, it's all about finding something that matches your piloting skills and is fun to fly, too!


Lada

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