Considering the way things are evolving, you should be prepared to seeing more drones hovering in the air or zooming over your head while you go about your business. Drones are becoming more and more popular which is why today our discussion will be about the best civilian drone on the market.
But before we delve into that topic, I believe it’s imperative that we explain the concept of a drone for civilians. First, you should know that drones started their history as a military device (like all great technologies in the world, actually), and you can get more familiar with this topic in our article about types of military drones. They were initially used for recon missions, but today they are even armed with missiles and they can shoot weapons at a very accurate range. The fact that there is no need for an actual pilot is one of the reasons why drones are so popular with the military.
Civilian drones, on the other hand, have no weapons attached and are generally used by the general public for commercial and recreational purposes. One of their most popular purposes is the aerial photography and videos which brought us amazing images from the skies. However, their usefulness doesn’t stop here as big commercial companies are jumping onboard and they are planning to use drones in the near future for delivery purposes.
As you can see, having a drone is not that unusual. So, if you are looking for one, continue reading as we reviewed the best 5 civilian drones for sale on the market.
Top 5 civilian drones on the market
Walkera QR X350 FPV Quadcopter
With up to 15 minutes of flight time, a top quality camera and a premium build, the Walkera QR X350 definitely made it on the list as one of the best civilian drones for sale. It comes in a sleek, sportive design that will definitely grab your attention and it will also impress your friends. Also, for a better insight into what this model has to offer, you can also read our QR X350 in-depth review.
You can fly this quad right out of the box and when you do, you will see that it was built to be agile, speedy and easy to use. It is packed with impressive features, such as optional WiFi control, FPV capability, low voltage detection, altitude sensor, one key return home, GPS hold system and brushless power.
Its transmitter comes with a beautiful LED screen that compliments its intuitive controls perfectly. The transmitter has a range of one to two kilometers, so you know you will have lots of fun with this quadcopter once you finally get it in your hands.
The Walkera QR X350 FPV quadcopter also sports an anti-vibration camera mount that is made from the same high-quality, sturdy material that makes up the rest of the quadcopter. This will help in getting images and videos of superior quality – another reason why you may want to grab your own Walkera QR X350 before they are all gone.
Walkera Tali H500 Hexacopter
The Walkera team strikes again with yet another impressive product that is worthy of endless praise. This time around it’s the Walkera Tali H500 hexacopter and they promised that it would be ‘the perfect one stop solution for aerial videography and FPV’. I certainly hoped that they kept true to their promise and that they did!
In the box, you will find the Walkera Tali H500 hexacopter along with its DEVO F12e transmitter, its battery charger, its 5400 mAh lithium polymer battery and its ilook+ 1080p camera with a 3-axis G-3D gimbal to mount it. You will be impressed by the hexacopter’s sleek design which hides every last cable within the interior of the drone.
The legs of this hexacopter are also removable although we did find them to be a bit flimsy for our taste. That must have been the only downside we found with this hexacopter- the other impressive features simply blew our mind!
This hexacopter will stay airborne for up to 25 minutes on one full charge. This will afford you the opportunity to fly your hexacopter to far-reaching distances and get great photographic and video footages along the way.
And you also don’t have to fear that the hexacopter will run out of charge midflight; once its battery begins to run low, the Walkera Tali H500 will warn you so that you can wrap up the flight session and bring your drone back to safety.
This drone has a range of 0.62 miles or 1 kilometer. It also sports an easily understandable controller, which gives you access to information such as distance, altitude, temperature, battery life and of course, a first person view from the drone up above. For more information on this model, we suggest checking out our Walkera Tali H500 in-depth review.
Yuneec Typhoon G
You may have heard about drone manufacturers, such as 3D robotics, Parrot, and DJI, but does the name Yuneec ring a bell? If not, then you’re missing out on a pioneer in electric aviation – a team that holds many patents and one which has been around since the year 1999.
But don’t fret; today you are going to learn about one of their newest innovations and trust me: you will be impressed. Today, we are going to discuss the Yuneec Typhoon G, which has been specifically built to house a GoPro camera.
Unboxing the Yuneec Typhoon G and getting it started will be a breeze as its setup is easy, without the typical intense software installations, calibrations and reading that usually comes when you’re starting off with an advanced aerial system. The battery will charge up fully in about half an hour and then after that, you can easily take it outdoors, power it on, turn on its transmitter and start flying. You can view the setup here at:
The Yuneec Typhoon G sports many configurations and modes that will help you make the best use of your drone, whether you are a beginner or a pro. Take for example its Home Mode. This will instruct your drone to fly in a straight line towards its transmitter as long as you’ve got a GPS lock.
It will also instruct it to land within 4-8 meters of its transmitter in an automatic and safe manner. This feature would be great for beginners who are not quite ready for manual landing.
On the other hand, Angle Mode would be great for experienced flyers since it gives the flyer full control over the device. Smart Mode can be used by both beginners and experts alike. It has dedicated features such as Follow Me, which instructs the drone to follow its transmitter even if the pilot is moving.
Your Yuneec Typhoon G will give you about 25 minutes of flight time and it is fully equipped with a 3-axis precision gimbal for your GoPro camera and an additional steady grip too. Its ST10 “smart” transmitter will give you FPV from up to 400 meters away.
Like this amazing product? Then you can buy it from Amazon.
Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma
This drone was made specifically for videographers who already own a GoPro Hero 4 or a GoPro Hero 3. It comes equipped with a 3-Axis gimbal that you can attach to your GoPro Hero 4 or 3 for flawless video streaming. The gimbal also tilts up and down. A video transmitter, which you will have to install yourself, is also included in the package and it will stream videos from your camera to the ST10+ remote control.
Aerial videos captured on the Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma are steady and smooth, even when making sudden maneuvers, changing altitude and turning. The GoPro Hero’s 3 and 4 have a wide field view and so they sometimes capture the propellers of the Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma in the videos. But you can remedy this by cropping your 4K footage down to 1090p or 2.7K when you are editing it or you can capture your videos with a narrower field of view.
The ST10+ remote control has a large, touch screen display that shows live video from the drone and real time information like battery voltage, altitude and speed. The screen is 5 ½ inches at its longest point and surrounding it are various slider switches, buttons and camera controls.
It sports a 6300 mAh battery that will give you about 24 minutes of flight time from a full charge. It is pre-configured so that the drone will not fly higher than 400 feet or farther than 650 feet away from the ST10+ remote control. You can change this, however, by using the Chroma GUI; please note that the Chroma GUI is not compatible with Windows 10.
The Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma also features various flight modes to help protect your drone and give you steady and smooth images. All flight modes feature the use of altitude sensors, GPS and self-leveling to precisely hold position. It even has a return home feature that will safely land the drone for you if you run into problems.
If you think that this product could be useful for you, then you can buy it from Amazon.
The WLtoys V303 Seeker Quadcopter
The Taiwanese giant DJI has had many years of dominance in the drone market and the WLtoys Company has risen to the occasion to take a bite of their market. Don’t be fooled by their name – the WLtoys V303 Seeker is one of the top drones on the market and it was made to impress.
It features a GoPro camera mount on which you can easily attach a GoPro camera and take movie-like clips that would have previously required a full-sized helicopter and a movie camera. Its batteries will give you anywhere between 10-15 minutes of flight time although some users have even recorded flight times of 16 minutes. The batteries are also easily replaceable so consider getting yourself some spare batteries because the charging time is quite long.
It sports two main modes that will enable you to do just about anything. Flying the WLtoys V303 quadcopter in these modes will be quite easy too because the drone is very stable. The GPS also locks in quickly and it flies quite leisurely at its maximum speed.
Its best feature is without a doubt its affordable price. You can easily purchase this drone for yourself and your family without feeling a burn in your pocket. You will also get to enjoy the premium features of a professional quadcopter while you are at it too. Its instructions are easy to understand and you can even tweak some aspects of the drone and personalize it for your specific needs too.
All in all, the WLtoys V303 quadcopter is a powerhouse of a machine and it can definitely compete with all the big brands on the market. If you will need a top-quality quadcopter but you can’t afford the high prices, then the WLtoys V303 quadcopter is your best choice.
Like this amazing product? Then you can buy it on Amazon.
Buying guide: what to look for?
There are many factors to consider when you are trying to get your hands on the best drone. Price is definitely an important factor to consider and you will have to make a budget to see exactly how much funds you can put into buying the perfect drone.
Price is not the only factor to consider, however; other factors such as battery life, durability, whether or not there is built-in camera and whether or not you can easily get replacement parts are also important.
- Battery life is especially important to people who are going to be in the field and away from charging ports, whilst still needing superior shots from up above. Ensure that you consider this factor when you are buying your drone and see if you can get replacement batteries for it too. Replacement batteries will help you to be back up and running in no time without the need for the long pause for recharging.
- Durability is also another factor to consider. If you will use your drone in a condition where it may suffer many drops or accidents, then you will definitely need to pay more for one that is made of extremely durable material. On the other hand, if you will be extra careful with your drone and you won’t operate it in extreme conditions, then you could easily get by on a drone made of less durable material and you would save on the costs too.
- Whether or not there is a built in camera on the drone will also affect your final decision. If you already have a GoPro camera in your possession, then there will be no need for you to buy a drone with a built in camera. Simply buy one with a camera attachment and use your GoPro to take fantastic shots from the sky.
- Easily accessible replacement parts are also an important factor to consider and it is indeed related to the durability of the machine. Even if your machine is durable, you may have to replace some of its parts at some point or the other and it is imperative that those parts be easily accessible. Otherwise, your drone will be down and out for a very long time until you eventually get those spare parts or maybe you will have to replace your drone all together.
Not sure what model to buy?
So you’ve seen all the top drones on the market and now you have that arduous task of choosing the one that’s right for you. To help you out, I’m going to give you a quick recap and highlight some possible pros and cons that may affect your final decision.
Hopefully, these will help you to choose the drone that is right for you and bring you one step closer to taking those epic aerial shots that you have always dreamt of.
The Walkera QR X350 is fully compatible with the high quality GoPro Hero 3 and GoPro Hero 4 cameras. It is also fast, agile and very easy to use. However, its battery only lasts for 15 minutes, which is not bad for a top quality camera.
The Walkera Tali H500 has a longer battery life, replaceable accessories in case you want to upgrade, a high quality default gimbal and a great default camera. On the downside, its GPS takes quite a long time to lock and multiple users have recorded GPS lock times as long as 3 minutes. So you must give it enough time, otherwise you might lose your drone.
The Yuneec Typhoon G is great for those pilots who already have a GoPro Camera and you can feel safe knowing that your drone will protect it well and give you those aerial shots that you love. It also has a quick charging time of 30 minutes and from that, you will get up to 25 minutes of flight. On the flip side, the camera’s gimbal adjusts very slowly, the battery charger can get quite hot and it only includes one battery.
Just like the Yuneec Typhoon G, the Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma with ST10+ has slow adjusting times for its camera’s gimbal and its charger also tends to heat up. In addition, its operating range could be better but it makes up for these faults with its superior Follow and Return-to-home modes, its configurable geofence and its high quality remote with built-in LCD.
Finally, the Wltoys V303 Seeker is perfect for anyone who is on a tight budget but still needs a superior device with lots of features. Just be careful not to drop it because its material seems like it breaks quite easily.
So you’ve seen the top five drones of 2017. Each has its own unique features and each promises to give you an experience like no other. Only you can know which model is best for you, so think about it carefully and decide. Either way, you will be getting a top quality machine as long as you choose your drone from the ones in this list; so enjoy your flying.