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Popular and actively conquering the sky in recent years, quadcopters are still quite expensive, especially if we are talking only about entertainment. Much cheaper and more affordable “little brothers” of full-fledged drones, mini-quadcopters, can easily cope with such a task. The best models in the first half of 2020 are presented in the latest review of Expertology magazine.

Rating of the best mini quadcopters

Nomination place Name of product price

The best cheap mini quadcopters without a camera

one

Hubsan Nano Q4 H111

1 280 ₽

2

CXHOBBY CX-10

1 250 ₽

3

Syma X11

1 570 ₽

four

Syma X51

1 990 ₽

5

Syma X26

1 890 ₽

The best mini quadcopters with a camera

one

JXD515V

3 430 ₽

2

Syma X23W

2 850 ₽

3

Xiaomi MiTu Minidrone 720P

3 600 ₽

four

Ryze Tech Tello

10 000 ₽

5

Hubsan X4 FPV Brushless H501S High Edition

18 490 ₽

The best cheap mini quadcopters without a camera

First of all, let’s look at a selection of the most affordable mini-quadcopters, which showed the best results in terms of a combination of other important characteristics, besides the cost itself. The absence of a camera makes such models almost exclusively a leisure thing for entertainment. Alternatively, you can train your copter control skills on a cheap model, and then look at more expensive and functional models.

Hubsan Nano Q4 H111

Rating: 4.9

Hubsan Nano Q4 H111

And we will start with the cheapest copter, and at the same time almost the smallest. The Nano Q4 H111 model of the Chinese manufacturer Hubsan even belongs to the conditional category of micro-quadcopters in terms of its size.

Indeed, the dimensions of the mini-drone are quite tiny – 45x45x23mm with a weight of 12g. The case is predominantly plastic, the main color scheme is white, there is also yellow in the range. The screws are also plastic, to protect them, the device comes with a special rim. Its use is optional, at the discretion of the user.

The level of control complexity in this mini-quadcopter is declared as childish, 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 will easily overcome tens of meters, and you can lose sight of it in open space.

Despite its simplicity and affordable price, the Hubsan Nano Q4 H111 does a few things to keep you entertained. 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 that allow performing high-speed maneuvers and aerobatic maneuvers are unlocked. The drone has built-in LEDs for visibility when flying at night.

For wireless communication with the control panel, this model uses a radio channel. The approximate range is about 50 meters, but in open space the real figure may be more.

Although the mentioned battery provides only 5 minutes of flight, it 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 package includes 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 responsiveness of the drone 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 has generously added spares to the package. One way or another, contact with foreign objects during the flight is best avoided.

Advantages

  • durable case;

  • nice appearance;

  • Ease of controls;

  • instant response to commands from the remote control;

  • adjustable sensitivity;

  • effective stabilization;

  • three modes of flight difficulty;

  • easy to understand;

  • equipment.

Flaws

  • propellers fall off from impacts of the copter against third-party objects;

  • excessive sensitivity.

See also: 10 best quadcopters for kids

CXHOBBY CX-10

Rating: 4.8

CXHOBBY CX-10

The second in the selection of the simplest and most inexpensive mini-quadcopters, consider another miniature Chinese drone of the unpronounceable brand CXHOBBY. In fact, the “brand” here does not mean anything, since the same product was previously on the market under the Cheerson brand. It can only be recognized by its appearance and characteristic symbolism on the upper part of the case.

This mini-quadcopter is also slightly larger than a matchbox – 40x40x20mm and weighs the same – 12g. Appearance is also very nice, but with fewer design details, which to a certain extent is even a plus. The body plastic is strong enough, inside there is a metal frame, which makes the drone indestructible. The propellers are also plastic, and in the same way become consumables for indoor launches. Unfortunately, there is no protection for the 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 4 minutes. Radio control with a range of up to 30 meters declared by the manufacturer.

The mini-copter is equipped with exactly the same battery as the model described above – with a capacity of 100 mAh, only here it already gives “officially” up to 4 minutes of flight on a full charge. True, 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 aerobatics. It’s nice that this elementary model can do flips automatically, providing a “headless mode” – you do not need to constantly keep in mind the relative position of the drone in relation to the remote control and remember where it is “right” and “left” at any given time. By automatic turns-flips in the air, the copter is constantly in a “clear” position.

In general, a very good model, but here the safety of propellers is implemented a little worse than in the previous mini-quadcopter when the copter hits the walls. The previous one had at least rims in the kit, but here there are only four spare screws, which, of course, is not enough.

Advantages

  • minimum dimensions and weight;

  • increased strength body;

  • metal frame;

  • three flight modes;

  • automatic functions;

  • “headless” mode;

  • effective stabilization;

  • can do flips.

Flaws

  • no protection for screws;

  • Few spare screws included.

Syma X11

Rating: 4.7

Syma X11

The rest of the selection will focus on the Syma mini drones, which in the first half of 2020 broke into the first positions of “user favorites” in this segment. Let’s first look at the Syma X11 model with four screws, an elegant design and a protective rim. The differences between the neighboring models Syma X11 and X11C are only in the configuration and body kit – the C version contains a built-in camera, a slot for memory cards, the memory card itself in the kit and a slightly more capacious battery.

This is the most elementary model of this series, but is in great demand for a particularly elegant design and good quality at an affordable price. The dimensions of the copter are already slightly larger than the previous two very miniature models – 152x152x37mm with a weight of 35g. The design is stylish, sophisticated, the screws are protected by a fixed plastic rim. The most popular color option is white, but there are also black and red.

Here it is worth immediately noting the significant functional difference between this model and the previous one – the absence of a “headless” mode. This is regarded by many 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 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 twice as capacious battery – a lithium-polymer battery with a capacity of 200 mAh. The remote control is made in the form 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 separately.

The package includes four spare rotors to replace broken ones. All Syma X-series mini quadcopters use gear driven motors. This imposes some restrictions on the operating environment: the ideal environment is a closed room, and in open spaces, a mini-copter can only be safely launched in complete calm.

Advantages

  • quality of materials and assembly;

  • elegant design;

  • six-axis gyroscope;

  • reliable screw protection;

  • convenient remote control.

Flaws

  • there is no “headless” mode.

Syma X51

Rating: 4.6

SYMA X51

Another Syma mini quadcopter, this time it’s not even quite a quadcopter, since there are not four screws, but three. But, given the established general meaning of the term, let’s not be too meticulous in definitions. Fundamentally, this model is very similar to the previous one, but 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 formal, 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 rotors are completely identical 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 conditional head and tail parts. The mentioned double screw is located just in the head part with the protective elements of the body. The design style is similar to the previous model, but there are interesting spectacular design elements.

The claimed 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 package, as is the remote control – you will need to purchase 4 ordinary AA batteries for the remote control. The signal reception range is calculated for open spaces and is up to 50 meters.

The flight capabilities of the quadcopter are comparable to similar inexpensive models. The orientation of the device in space is based on the data of the built-in six-axis gyroscope. Available different flight modes, including “automatic funnel”. The mini drone can do 360-degree automatic flips.

The relatively low flight time is due to the massiveness of the drone, a significant share of which is occupied by the battery itself of a rather large capacity – 380 mAh. 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 “chip” is in the form dictated by the three leading screws and the design of the fuselage. Some criticism is the lack of a “headless” mode, but at the same time, many users consider this point to be insignificant. A little more claims are collected by a short flight time with a relatively capacious battery.

Advantages

  • quality materials and assembly;

  • good asymmetric shape;

  • spectacular design;

  • reliable screw protection;

  • different flight modes.

Flaws

  • relatively low operating time for such a battery capacity;

  • there is no “headless” mode.

See also: 14 best quadcopters with a good camera

Syma X26

Rating: 4.6

Syma X26

Completing the first collection is another Syma mini quadcopter, model X26. It is notable for its enhanced piloting capabilities and some additional useful features.

This is again a fully symmetrical four-rotor mini-drone with dimensions of 131x131x44.5mm and a weight of 51g. Outwardly, it differs from the previous two models of the same series, but only due to massive protective rims with stiffeners and lime-colored screws. The general style is quite guessable.

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” that additionally protect the blades from above and below. But even collisions with the same walls here for the most part may not occur due to built-in sensors that distinguish between obstacles and give the command to the drone to fly around. Reinforced protection slightly affects the appearance of the drone, making it a little overweight, but durability increases at times, if not orders of magnitude.

Syma X26 is equipped with a 380 mAh battery, a full charge of which should be enough for 6 minutes of flight. Charging via USB interface. Control is carried out through a standard remote control operating via 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 (need to be purchased separately).

This mini quadcopter is also equipped with a gyroscope, an altitude sensor and an optical sensor. Supports automatic flips in acrobatic mode. There is a “headless mode”, a “return home” function and an altitude hold.

The package of the mini-drone includes spare screws, as in other models of the series. Some buyers are satisfied that they did not have to use any of these “reserve” – ​​the protection is so well implemented in this model. The model is really durable, but the official warranty is as short as for most other budget mini quadcopters – 1 month.

Advantages

  • quality of materials and assembly;

  • good design;

  • body lighting;

  • enhanced protection of the blades and body from collisions;

  • signal reception range;

  • maneuverability;

  • “headless mode”;

  • function “return home”;

  • built-in obstacle sensors.

Flaws

  • expensive batteries.

The best mini quadcopters with a camera

The second selection of the review of the best mini-quadcopters according to Expertology magazine is devoted to models that resemble full-fledged drones in terms of functionality – at least they are equipped with cameras. The quality of shooting can vary greatly, and accordingly, a mini-drone can be used simply as an exciting toy, or maybe as a useful tool.

JXD515V

Rating: 4.9

JXD515V

The nomination will be opened by a Chinese mini-quadcopter, 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.

Dimensions of the device – 138x138x50mm, weight – 84g. The body is made of good plastic, the design is in the style of space fiction – on some trading floors this copter is called the JXD SpaceShip 515V. The screws are protected by thick plastic rims. LED lighting elements are built into the case.

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 given 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 0.3MP. The maximum video frame rate is 25fps at 480p resolution. The footage is recorded on a flash memory card. The cards are interchangeable, there is a separate slot.

The autonomous power supply of the drone is provided by a built-in battery with a capacity of 350 mAh. Charging time from zero to 130 minutes. The maximum flight time on a full charge is 5 minutes. The maximum speed is 6km/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 beginning to complain that the flight time could have been longer.

Advantages

  • good materials and assembly;

  • reliable blade protection;

  • nice backlight;

  • automatic modes;

  • spectacular design in the style of Sci-Fi.

Flaws

  • flight time.

Syma X23W

Rating: 4.8

Syma X23W

The review will be continued by the trademark with which we completed the previous nomination – Syma, and its “medium-weight” X23W mini-quadcopter. The successful series of Chinese mini quadcopters is complemented by a model with a significantly better camera than the one described above.

Drone dimensions – 210x210x50mm, weight – 80g. Housing made of durable ABS plastic. The design is as futuristic, subtle and elegant as the above group of models from the same brand. The propellers have horizontal collision protection, but not solid rims, but plastic “bumpers” in the form of a circle segment of about 90 degrees. There is a body light.

You can control the mini-quadcopter via a radio channel from a regular remote control or via Wi-Fi using a wearable gadget, the same smartphone. The radio signal reception radius is up to 70 meters. Gesture control is supported. Various modes are supported, including headless, automatic return, acrobatic, Waypoints, automatic takeoff and landing, 3D piloting.

The Syma X23W’s built-in wide-angle camera is capable of capturing photos at up to 1280×720 pixels and video at up to 480p. First person view (FPV) live streaming is supported, but only via Wi-Fi.

The mini drone is powered by a built-in 500mAh battery. A full charge should be enough 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 an hour is enough for a 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 the 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 for which seat which propeller 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, this is an illusion. The model is exactly the same only suitable for launches in the house or in open space in the complete absence of wind.

Advantages

  • strong body;

  • elegant design;

  • camera with good resolution;

  • WiFi;

  • gesture control;

  • flying around the Waypoints route.

Flaws

  • short flight time on a single charge.

Xiaomi MiTu Minidrone 720P

Rating: 4.8

XIAOMI MITU MINIDRONE 720P

Could not do without the ubiquitous company Xiaomi in this sub-niche of the market. The company decided to release its mini quadcopter in response to the spectacular success of the relatively inexpensive Ryze Tello series. The attempt was successful, and MiTu mini-drones are in great demand to this day. The functionality of the mini-drone itself is quite wide, and some functions even have a disarming effect on the public.

The dimensions of the drone are miniature – 91x91x38mm, the weight is tangible – 88g. Signature design from Xiaomi, unique in its elegant and sophisticated minimalism. There are no complaints about the quality of materials and assembly either, here the manufacturer is on top, as always. The most popular color is white, there is also an option with a golden body, but it is less common on sale.

The model sharply differs from all the above described by the increased flight time. Here this indicator 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 can be replaced if necessary.

Another important difference between Xiaomi MiTu Minidrone 720P is control methods. Here, piloting is carried out through a wearable gadget – a smartphone or tablet – via 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.

Extended Wi-Fi range will also be needed to live stream video from the camera. The camera itself is built into the case, it takes photos with a resolution of 1200×1600 pixels, and video in 720p quality. If there is no need to immediately broadcast the video, it will simply be recorded in the built-in 4GB memory.

Xiaomi MiTu Minidrone 720P shows itself in flight in the most dynamic and exciting way. A wide range of sensors: ultrasonic, accelerometer, optical for visual positioning, barometer, infrared. All this is necessary for flying around obstacles, precise control, performing automatic tricks and modes. The mini-drone can do flips, maintain altitude, and perform automatic takeoff and landing. Interesting additional and extremely spectacular features are launching with a throw from the hand and simulating aerial combat with other MiTu drones. Even the ability to control via a Bluetooth gamepad is provided, which adds drive.

Advantages

  • high-quality materials and impeccable assembly;

  • good camera;

  • powerful processor;

  • flight time;

  • 4GB internal memory;

  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi;

  • hand launch;

  • imitation of air combat with other MiTu drones;

  • characteristic of Xiaomi elegant design style.

Flaws

  • instruction only in Chinese;

  • not the best blade protection.

Ryze Tech Tello

Rating: 4.7

Ryze Tech Tello

Now consider the advanced model of the Ryze Tello series, which unwittingly inspired Xiaomi management to create MiTu mini quadcopters. This Ryze Tech Tello is a multifunctional miniature drone with good range and flight duration, and with a number of interesting additional features. The copter is more than twice as expensive as the previous one.

The dimensions of the mini-drone are 98×92.5x41mm, and the weight is 80g. The case is plastic, the screws are relatively large – 76.2mm in diameter, equipped with plastic bumpers to protect against horizontal collisions. The design is modest but stylish. Two colors – dark gray and white.

An even more capacious battery is installed here – 1100 mAh, 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 flips, 5 flight modes set by software 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 understandable 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. You can connect the controller via a Bluetooth channel, but in this case, the control range will drop dramatically – 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 the connection of VR devices with subsequent broadcast from the drone’s camera.

Separately, it is worth emphasizing the successful implementation of the built-in programs for automatic piloting in this model. There are five programs in total, the drone behaves in them clearly, unmistakably 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.

Advantages

  • strong body;

  • large screws;

  • cute design;

  • powerful camera;

  • support for VR devices;

  • useful and competent automatic piloting modes;

  • backlight.

Flaws

  • 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

Rating: 4.7

HUBSAN X4 FPV BRUSHLESS H501S HIGH EDITION

And the review of the best mini-quadcopters of the first half of 2020 according to Expertology is completed by the most expensive model. It is almost three times more expensive than the previous one, but the “full stuffing” in terms of characteristics brings the mini-drone closer to full-fledged quadrocopters. And this is a high-end racing drone, so the price, while high, is quite fair.

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-breaking capacity of 2700 mAh in this context is necessary to provide 20 minutes of flight. 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 that is equipped with brushless motors. Positioning, orientation in space are carried out according to the readings of a set of sensors, as well as the built-in GPS module. Automatic modes are available – following, circular flight, panorama, “headless” mode, return to base. There is an analog FPV kit. The Failsave option is provided, in which, in the event of a loss of communication, the mini-drone will automatically return to the pilot.

During piloting, you can shoot on the FHD camera with FHD quality. The camera is very good, but you should not 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 subjects.

Despite the tangible cost, the described model turned out to be so good for the consumer that Chinese accessories are even starting to be produced for it. All sorts of suspensions are even invented for installing an action camera – the thrust of the engines has such a significant margin that a small additional camera will be raised without problems.

Advantages

  • high level racing mini drone;

  • flight duration;

  • positioning accuracy;

  • powerful camera;

  • brushless motors;

  • automatic modes;

  • attractive design.

Flaws

  • fair but high price.