BEST PICK

Best Quadcopter for Beginners: A Newbie’s Guide to Quadcopting

Best quadcopter for Beginners
Jack Brown
Written by Jack Brown

The world of drones is developing quickly and people are crazed over the idea of testing the flying experience. You may say that drones are the new big thing in for technology passionate people but everyone loves them starting with children old enough to understand their purpose and ending with people in the winter of their existence looking for something fun to do.

So, if you are a newbie looking to start your next drone adventure or you want to surprise your children with a new activity, you should know how to look for the best quadcopter for beginners. Why is that? Well, first of all, advanced quads are pretty expensive and a bad crash can completely destroy such a fine apparatus.

Begginer Drone

Second of all, not all drones are designed to be easy to drive – some have more complicated controls and some even require two pilots (one for the camera and one for drone).

Still Confused?

As a beginner, you should consider many things before purchasing your first quadcopter. Without a proper market research, you might get bored easily because the product doesn’t meet your expectations, or you might waste a large amount of money just to fly it for 10 seconds!

Best Quadcopter For Beginners

Below are a few factors that can affect your leisure time in learning how to pilot your quadcopter.

Personal Preference

Aesthetic appearance is the first one you have to consider for yourself. Who wants a dull, monochromatic vehicle that has wires still sticking out of the body? The market competition is heavy, and the hype on drones is peaking, so developers tend to design their quadcopter as appealing as possible.

You don’t have to worry about having a dull moment, but it really depends on your personal preference. As your first, you must pick the model that you will not regret afterward. Whether it crashes for the first 30 seconds or stays with you until you’ve mastered the art of quadpiloting, it should be something that you want to take pride in and eagerly display in a cabinet in your home.

Cost

Some may disregard this, but having a cheap model for the first quad, can be beneficial in the long run. Buying expensive drones that have multi-functional features is great, but can you fly them? As a beginner, the chance of crashing it into some pole or wall is pretty high and this will make those multi-functional features, worthless.

Cheap Quadcopter

If you know you still have a lot to learn in the art of flying, settle for a cheap quadcopter. It may not have those functions that you want, but some have built-in cameras and can do stunts that you may want to try for yourself. Learning to pilot is easy, but it is not something you want to invest in unless you really know how to do it.

Training Grounds

Another important factor to consider is where you would fly your first quadcopter. It is recommended to have an ample space for you to train, where there are no walls to bump into and no obstacles in place. Outdoor may be the best that you can think, but some quadcopters are sensitive to the wind depending on their structure and size, so indoor space can also be a good choice for you.

Flying Quadcopter Indoors

Many quadcopters have stabilization features that make them easier to fly and even allow the possibility to fly (and practice) indoors. Some others are specifically made to be flown indoors, making your room a perfect flight and landing spot for your first quadcopter.

Flight Time/Charging Time

As an aspiring quadcopter pilot, you should be expecting that most quadcopters will only fly an average of 5 to 10 minutes. This short flight time might be as disappointing as it gets, but you can’t do something about it. Don’t expect to have an hour of fun and flight on your first quad, since you will only get minutes of it. You can, however, extend this by removing additional loads, like prop guards and camera.

Charging time is also a big distress for beginners since they have to wait for a long time just to fly for a very short time. This matter, again, is just how quadcopter goes. You can have a shorter charging time by purchasing quads with no external electricity load like a camera. Just settle with a simple quad and you should be fine.

Charging Quadcopter Battery

If you can extend your budget, you can always but additional batteries so you won’t have to wait until the current one is charging. Even better, some quads support more powerful batteries that boost the flight time with a few minutes. Just make sure to check with the provider.

Best Products on The Market

In the past few years, the demand for quadcopters has been continuously escalating. With so many models being released in the market, it can be difficult for beginners to find the best quadcopter for their specific needs.

Basically, quadcopters vary in shape, size and function. If you are in the market for your first quadcopter, below are some of the top models for your level of expertise.

Voomall MJX X300C

Weight:  1.8 lbsWoomall X300C

Size:  16.4 x 11.4 x 2.7 inches

Camera: 0.3 MP

Battery: 3.7V 750mAh Li-polymer battery (Built-in)

Flight time: 8 minutes

Controller type: 6-axis gyro flight control system

Special features: FPV (First Person View) real-time video; throttle limit knob for beginners; headless mode; one-key return; 2.4 GHz control system

Best use: For beginners

Specially designed for beginners, the Voomall MJX X300C  has exceptional features that maximize user convenience. It is not only equipped with a throttle knob that functions as a limiter, but it is also photo and video-ready.

Now, you can transfer photos directly to your phone. Not to mention, it can record videos in real-time, allowing you to fully anticipate flight conditions.

In addition to that, its 6-axis gyroscope flight control system ensures flight stability for easy maneuverability. Since this quadcopter was made for beginners, this flight control system is also easier to operate as compared to other control systems.

Lastly, this quadcopter is a top choice for beginners because of its one-key return function, which enables effortless flying conditions.

Check the price on Amazon

Blade Nano QX

Weight: 0.6 ouncesBlade Nano QX

Size: 14.1 x 8.4 x 4.5 inches

Camera: Not included

Battery: E-flite® 1-Cell 3.7V Li-Po battery

Flight time: 7 minutes

Controller type: Standard Blade controller (included)

Special features: Proprietary SAFE™ technology for increased safety, blade guards, powerful brushed motors

Best use: Indoors flying, for beginners

Blade Nano QX is perfect for those first timers who want to enjoy the leisure of flying a quadcopter. This model is equipped with SAFE technology meaning means that even a beginner can rest assure that this model will last long enough for the training period to come to an end. SAFE is an abbreviation for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope engineered to help new pilots feel the rush.

With SAFE, there are two modes of flight: stability mode and agility mode. Stability mode is designed to welcome newcomers, which uses sensors to enable auto-hovering when not in control. If you have hesitations in your turns, just let go of the control and let the quad hover. Agility mode, on the other hand, is a mode designed for those who have mastered the stability mode and want more speed and maneuverability.

The model itself is intended for indoor use only, for heavy winds may disrupt its flight given the fact that it is so light. For that purpose, it comes with propeller guards that protect the propellers when the quad accidentally bumps into walls or ceilings.

You can charge the included battery using a USB charger. Charging takes somewhere around 30 to 40 minutes and you can order extra batteries so you don’t have to wait.

Check the price on Amazon

Syma X5SW

Weight: 2 lbsSyma X5SW

Size: 16.3 x 13.4 x 3.7 inches

Camera: 0.3MP

Battery: 3.7V 500 mAh Li-polymer battery

Flight time: 6-7 minutes

Controller type: 6-Axis Gyro        

Special features: Headless/IOC function; real-time transmission; 360°3D eversion function

Best use: For beginners (indoor and outdoor use)

If you are looking for a model that can offer you a one-of-a-kind flying experience without breaking the bank, the Syma X5SW should definitely be one of your top options. User-friendly and pocket-friendly, this model flaunts basic features that you will definitely love.

Firstly, the Syma X5SW has a headless/OIC function, which optimizes a beginner’s ability to learn more about maneuvering a quadcopter. With this model at hand, you can effortlessly hover at any direction. Plus, it also has a 360-degree 3D eversion function, which means that you can easily flip it with just one click.

Moreover, the Syma X5SW also has a built-in camera, which allows you to capture and record real-time images in HD. Now, documenting precious moments doesn’t have to be a million light years away.

Lastly, this model is engineered to withstand tough outdoor conditions. With Syma X5SW, you can expect stability, agility and a strong wind resistance.

Check the price on Amazon

DBPower Hawkeye I Quadcopter

Weight: 1 lbDBPower Drone

Size: 8.8 x 7.6 x 4.2 inches

Camera: 2 MP HD

Battery:

Flight time: 6 to 9 minutes

Controller type: DBPower Standard

Special features: 360-degree eversion; 3 flying speed modes (low, medium, high); blades with protective guard

Best use: For beginners

Bridging the gap between you and the skies, the DBPower Hawkeye I Quadcopter is the perfect model for beginners. Its cutting-edge features enable you to gain full control of your quadcopter. Plus, you can record special moments straight from the skies, thanks to its 2 MP camera, which is able to capture images in HD.

This quadcopter also has a 360-degree eversion feature, making it easier for you to fly in different directions. Now, going left, right, backward and forward doesn’t have to be a tough challenge even if it is your first time to fly.

Also, you can fully maneuver your quadcopter at your own pace because it is made with controls that enable you to switch flying speeds (low, medium and high).

Last but not the least, the Hawkeye I guarantees durability. Designed with novice users in mind, its blades were topped with protective guard, which makes it more resistant to damages.

Check the price on Amazon

Blomiky JXD 510G

Weight:  2.1 lbsBlomiky JXD 510G

Size:  15 x 18.6 x 5.2 inches

Camera: 720P HD camera

Battery: Rechargeable 3.7V 600mAh LiPo battery

Flight time: 6 to 8 minutes

Controller type:   

Special features: Camera capable of capturing real-time images in HD; FPV monitor; high-density air pressure sensor; air pressure altitude lock

Best use: For beginners

User-friendly and cost-efficient, the Blomiky JXD 510G has simple features ideal for beginners. Whether it’s your first time to fly a quadcopter or you are new to using FPV types, this model can best fit your specific needs as it offers functionality at a lower price.

The JXD 510G can capture images in real-time, making it easier for you to analyze possible flight conditions and avoid anything that can damage your quadcopter. It also comes with an FPV monitor, so you can effortlessly view images and videos.

Most importantly, this drone was designed with an air pressure altitude lock and a high-density air pressure sensor, enabling you to gain a better hold of your quadcopter. The package also comes with 4 extra 800 mAh batteries so you can extend your flight times.

Check the price on Amazon

Syma X8HG

Weight:  3.4 lbsSyma X8HG

Size: 14.5 x 13.8 x 6.9 inches

Camera: 8.0MP camera

Battery: 7.4V 2000mAh Li-Po battery

Flight time: 6-8 minutes

Controller type: 6-axis gyro flight control system

Special features: 8.0MP camera; headless mode; stable flight system; 3D flips (360 degrees)

Best use: For beginners

Made with cutting-edge features that other models within its price range lack, the Syma X8HG is definitely a top contender to beat in its class. It’s not only user-friendly, but it was also designed with specs that can make your flight times even more enjoyable and rewarding.

Firstly, its 8.0MP camera captures crystal-clear videos and images. Now, you can effortlessly record special moments without spending a fortune. No matter what occasion, you can count on Syma X8HG to be your eyes in the sky.

Additionally, its two-speed modes also allow you to gain full control of your quadcopter even if you are flying in small, tight spaces. Not to mention, you can also enjoy maximum stability even as you face difficult flight conditions, thanks to its stable flight system.

As a bonus, the Syma X8HG is also capable of performing 3D flips. With just one key, your quadcopter can rotate at 360 degrees. Indeed, there is no need to wonder why this model is gaining enormous popularity amongst quadcopter enthusiasts.

Check the price on Amazon

Blomiky MJX X601H

Weight:  2.4 poundsBlomilky MJX X601H

Size:  17.7 x 16 x 6 inches

Camera: 0.3MP Wifi FPV Camera

Battery: 7.4V 700mAh lithium battery (included in the package)

Flight time: 8 minutes

Controller type: 6-axis gyro flight control system

Special features: FPV Real-time image transmission; 3D flips and roll; headless mode

Best use: For beginners (indoor and outdoor use)

Soaring high into the sky, the Blomiky MJX X601H is a friend to enthusiasts who love flying indoors and outdoors. Sold at a very affordable price, this model has high-end features that can definitely match the needs of beginners.

The drone is camera and video ready. Aside from capturing and recording images in 640*480P resolution, it is also WiFi-enabled, making it easier for you to gain a wider range of connectivity. Since it has a built-in FPV camera, you can transmit images to your mobile phone during flight times.

In terms of maneuverability, this quadcopter can hover at any direction. In fact, it can also perform 3D flips and rolls, which means that you can fly at a 360-degree angle in just one click. You can also rely on this model to offer you convenience, thanks to its one-key start and one-key landing option.

Check the price on Amazon

Traxxas 6608 LaTrax Alias

Weight:  1.9 ouncesTraxxas 6608 LaTrax Alias

Size:  14.8 x 14.8 x 1.7 inches

Camera:

Battery: 650mAh LiPo battery

Flight time:

Controller type: 6-axis flight system

Special features: Ready-to-Fly (RTF); Quad-rotor thrust with auto-leveling 6-axis flight system

Best use: For beginners

The Traxxas 6608 LaTrax Alias is one of the most recommended models for beginners. As the name implies, it does not require any assembly or tweaking. It was designed to fly straight out of the box.

Engineered with simplicity in mind, the Traxxas 6608 LaTrax Alias has the basic functions you would need in a quadcopter. It flies with speed and agility, and it can offer you stability no matter how difficult the flight conditions are.

Lastly, the drone was designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. It may be small in size, but it is very durable, thanks to its top-caliber building materials.

Check the price on Amazon

Laws and Regulations

Due to an increasing number of drone owners in the U.S., there is a law effective December 2015 which states that drone owners should register their drone before flying. This law only affects drones which weigh more than 0.55 lbs. This means that almost all quads fall under this category.

As a law-abiding citizen, you must register your drone before trying to fly it. Even if this is your first quad and you have no idea how to fly it, you must register it. Besides, registering your drone is easy with its online platform.

FAA Registration

You only need to pay $5 registration fee per drone via credit card. Just visit the Federal Aviation Administration web page and from there navigate to the UAS tab to register your drone. This registration is valid for up to 3 years.

You’ve Got One

Assuming you have successfully purchased and registered your quad, what now? You don’t want to muster up your courage and fly it like a pro just for it to crash. You want to take things slowly to ensure you will get an awesome first-time experience. Below are some of the things you should mind when you got your first drone.

User’s Manual

Every package has an included user’s manual. It contains basic instructions on what should you do upon opening the package. Check if the details part in the manual is the same as the contents of the package. It is also indicated in the manual on how to assemble the quadcopter or if it is ready to fly.

User Manual

It also has instructions on basic troubleshooting and model specifications.

Controls

After reading the manual and confirming the contents, you don’t just start piloting. You need to, at least, know some basic terminologies and controls.

Stated here are the basics of the basics, a technical definition of controls to be used (assuming the left stick controls the yaw and throttle; right stick controls roll and pitch):

  • Roll – push the right stick of the controller to the left or to the right. It moves the quadcopter to the left or to the right as a whole.
  • Pitch – push the right stick of the controller forward or backward. It moves the quadcopter forward or backward as a whole.
  • Yaw – push the left stick of the controller to the left or to the right. It rotates the quadcopter to the left or to the right, changing the direction where the quadcopter faces.
  • Throttle – push the left stick of the controller forward or backward. It is responsible for lifting and landing of the quadcopter.

Batteries

Your quad will not work without a battery, and the same applies to your controller. Normally, the quadcopter itself has a built-in battery that you’ll just have to charge. However, only some provide batteries for the controller.

Drone Batteries

If you happen to buy one with a battery, be sure to check if it is rechargeable or not. Most of the time the batteries will not have power the first time you open it, both in the quad and the controller. It is efficient if you have a separate rechargeable battery at home so that you can enjoy flying it full-time.

Special Features

Know the special features available in your quad. Some have a built-in camera or also come with prop guards. If yours happen to have one of those features, be sure to always have the prop guards on. This will not only protect your blades but will also help you gain peace of mind.

Drone Propeller Protection

There are also different systems incorporated in each quad. Such systems can help you with the basic learning of the controls. Remember to check those and read the manual how to activate the quad’s special features.

Tips and Tricks

Now that you are ready for your first flight, here are some points to remember when flying:

  • For first time flyers, try to fly the quadcopter with its rear facing you. Continue until you get the hang of controlling it. Using this technique, you will not get lost easily of the orientation of the quad.
  • Do not push the throttle too hard. Lift it slowly and smoothly, and lift it at least 1 meter from the ground.
  • Do not attempt to do tricks from the first time.
  • Set the mode to auto mode. This will provide more stability and easier control.

Not Sure What Model To Buy?

Deciding on your first quad can be really hard. However, this is just one step away from choosing what really matters to you. Remember that this first quad is just your practice drone. It is meant to teach you how to control the drone for a greater flight. You do not need expensive and complicated ones. A quad with a cool design that can fly smoothly is more than enough. When you really have what it takes to be a quad pilot, this first one is where you can say your thanks.

Begginer Drone

Different properties should be considered in buying a quadcopter; that includes your budget, personal preference, how and why you will use it, your environment and many others. Upon reading the reviews above, your interest in owning one might be increasing, so here are some of the pros and cons of having a quad:

PROS:

  • Provide and awesome and fun time not only for you but for your family
  • Available with cheap models
  • You can use to take aerial shots and videos
  • More stability compared to helicopter and other drones
 CONS:

  • Short flight time and long charging time
  • Hard to fly at first
  • With many models, it is hard to decide what will be your first
  • Expensive replacement for broken parts

And now, you are ready so, go get your first quad and start flying! If you have more questions, just leave us a comment.

About the author
Jack Brown
Jack Brown

Jack is the Chief Pilot at MyDroneLab.com bringing experience, expertise and knowledge in this quite new industry. He is a graduate of the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Besides having all the necessary technical knowledge when it comes to drones, Jack and his team love to spend the time outside by the ocean, working on new features and teaching others how to pilot these amazing and exciting new robots.

  • John Miller

    By my opinion, Hubsan Q4 Nano is the best quadcopter for beginners as it is so light, small and easy for handling. Even if you crash it somewhere, Q4 Nano is so small that the hit will be as light as it can be. Other bigger drones can crush in massive disasters.

  • Justin Banks

    If the camera is the main thing for you, don’t buy the Syma X5C Explorers 2 with HD Camera. The video is not as good as you’d expect, considering it is advertised as being HD. But if you want a light stylish drone with an easy controlling system – then this is your choice.

  • Thanks for sharing your opinion with us Justin.

  • Mike Darrell

    The Hubsan X4 it’s not perfect, but I really enjoy flying it. The body likes to come apart at the seams but is easy to re-align the body seams. The video is not the greatest, but it’s good enough for what it is. So far seems pretty durable.

    • Jack Brown

      Well, it is a little drone meant for those who want to go down the FPV racing path, and for that price, it everything you need to get started 🙂

  • Harper Williams

    JJRC H16 flies like a pro. Its power and agility is notable. And its speedy. Control, however, takes some getting used to. Durability is average. It’s made of hard plastic, which will probably crack easily in a bad crash. But the rotors are sturdy.

  • Harper Williams

    JJRC H16 flies like a pro. Its power and agility is notable. And its speedy. Control, however, takes some getting used to. Durability is average. It’s made of hard plastic, which will probably crack easily in a bad crash. But the rotors are sturdy.

  • Jack Brown

    Oh, this one is known as the “On-Budget Man’s Phantom” 🙂 as it is powerful enough to carry a gimbal and a GoPro camera. But as far as the durability goes, I have to agree that the plastic used is rather cheap and that it can’t survive stronger hits. But, plenty of power and plenty of hours of fun with this one and the price is a bargain! Thanks for the comment, Harper!

  • Jack Brown

    Oh, this one is known as the “On-Budget Man’s Phantom” 🙂 as it is powerful enough to carry a gimbal and a GoPro camera. But as far as the durability goes, I have to agree that the plastic used is rather cheap and that it can’t survive stronger hits. But, plenty of power and plenty of hours of fun with this one and the price is a bargain! Thanks for the comment, Harper!