We have good news for you, most of the modern drones on the market are fairly easy to use. Make no mistake, operating a drone and perfecting your piloting skills are two very different things, but the barrier to entry for a new pilot is minimal.

We hope to crown a new winner on this list every time a new machine hits the market, but for now, let’s check out some of the best easy to use drones out there.

Remember: These drones are easy to fly, making it easy to get in trouble if you do not follow the drone laws in your area!

DJI Mini 2: Best camera under $500

Drone Rush Recommends

The DJI Mini 2 is among the easiest drones to fly, and one of the most accessible 4K camera drones on the market. Better yet, it’s small and portable enough that it’s one of our first choices when we just want a drone on the go. We grab larger drones when we know that our aerial footage is needed for professional use, and less expensive drones when we’re teaching brand new pilots to fly, but for intermediate pilots and when we just want to toss a drone in our backpack for a hike, the Mini 2 is our top choice!

Should I buy the DJI Mini 2?

If you are not looking for the best possible camera in the sky, or a toy for a child, yes, the DJI Mini 2 is our top pick for easy to use drones.

Pros

 

  • Compact and easy to transport
  • Weighs less than 250 grams
  • Easy and fun to fly
  • Best camera under $500
  • Best drone under $500
Cons

 

  • Not a high-end drone
  • No display in remote
 

 


DJI Air 2S: Best camera under $1,000

The DJI Air 2S is a step up from the Mini series, but still not as large as the full-size Mavic drones. While lacking a few of the security features found on more expensive drones, the Air 2S is actually one of the best consumer-grade cameras in the sky, and one of very few that can shoot 5.4K video. The Air 2S, like the Mini 2, folds down for transport and is fairly easy to toss in a backpack. The Mini 2 may be our top pick for an easy to use drone, but the DJI Air 2S is simple our top recommendation as the best consumer drone on the market right now.

Should I buy the DJI Air 2S?

We believe the Air 2S is a superb trade of capabilities for the price. There are more affordable drones that fly just as well but pack lesser cameras, and there are certainly better flying cameras out there for higher price tags, but $1000 seems to be the sweet spot for a superb consumer-grade camera drone. That’s why the Air 2S is the drone we reach for first when we want to fly.

Pros

 

  • Best drone under $1000
  • 5.4K video capture
  • Easy and fun to fly
  • Class-leading flight range
  • Great battery life
Cons

 

  • No display in remote
 

 


Ryze Tello: Educational beginner drone

Ryze Tello Iron Man Edition

The Ryze Tello is an older drone, but has been a favorite for indoor flight, educational uses, and for young pilots. Easy to operate, with the ability to learn to code to fly, the Tello is a low-commitment drone that is superb for your first flights, but is not a loss when you step up to larger machines.

Should I buy the Ryze Tello?

For indoor flights, and educational uses, the Tello is tough to beat. We really like how fun this little drone is to fly, but we’d never take it outdoors to capture aerial images, if that’s your goal.

Pros

 

  • Easy and fun to fly
  • Educational
  • Low-cost
Cons

 

  • Not great outdoors
  • Very simple camera
  • Remote is an optional add-on
 

 


Syma X5C: Toy-class beginner drone

Syma X5C back

The Syma X5C was our first drone. We knew we needed to start with a very affordable aircraft to learn how to fly. For about $30, the X5C proved very reliable, resilient and just hard enough to fly that we learned a lot from it. It survived many crashes, but it also caused a fair few of those crashes, dropping out of the sky with signal loss, flying into trees with signal loss… notice the pattern? The X5C has very short range, and we eventually lost it because it flew out of range and just kept going, but we got more than our $30 out of it.

Should I buy the Syma X5C?

The Syma X5C, or a similar craft like the Hubsan H107 series, are the perfect first drones for any pilot. They’re a bit large for indoor flight, and do not perform well in the wind, but will not break the bank if you happen to bump it a little too hard as you learn to fly.

Pros

 

  • Affordable
  • Great beginner drone
  • Learn to fly
Cons

 

  • No camera, to speak of
  • No GPD or flight assist
 

 


DJI FPV: Hybrid camera/racing drone

The DJI FPV is a unique drone, it’s a camera-racing hybrid. DJI added a race training mode, so you can enjoy GPS-enabled stable camera drone flight, full manual racing drone flight, or the hybrid flight mode that falls back on GPS-assist flight assist features, but introduces you to some of the mechanics of racing drones.

Should I buy the DJI FPV?

The DJI FPV is one one of the most exciting drones we’ve ever flown. It’s crazy fast, has a pretty solid 4K camera, is made to connect to the DJI FPV goggles, uses the new Motion Controller with a new flight mode, and can teach you to fly racing drones. It may be intimidating to some users, but it’s actually pretty easy to get used to.

While not the best camera drone for the price, and not the best racing drone for the price, we know of no comparable machine as an overall flight package.

 

Pros

 

  • Super fast
  • Hybrid flight modes
  • GPS-enabled race drone
Cons

 

  • Feels expensive
  • Intimidating
 

 


As we say, most of the drones on the market are fairly easy to operate. Most require more effort making sure your mobile device is connected and everything has up to date software than to actually fly.

Remember to be patient. GPS, for example, is a powerful flight assist tool, but it takes a moment to connect to satellites before you can fly. Also remember to be gentle on the sticks, you’ll get the chance to go full throttle, make sure you can manage the simple stuff first.


Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a drone easy to use?

The primary tool that makes a drone easy to fly is the use of GPS and other sensors that enable a smooth and stable hover. The ability to let go of your controller and have the drone stay perfectly in place in the sky is invaluable. Racing drones and many small toy drones, for example, require you to be constantly on the sticks, you must control both the power to maintain height and the navigation stick to keep it from flying away. You can trim the machine to be fairly stable, but it’ll never be as easy as letting go of the sticks and knowing the machine isn’t going anywhere.

Additionally, it is great if your drone offers sensitivity controls for the controller. DJI’s Tripod mode is available for most of their drones, this mode slows down the speed of all actions, reducing the likelihood of accidentally speeding off into a wall.

Can I upgrade my drone to be easier?

It is likely that your drone is not equipped to receive upgrades like this. Commercial platforms have ports to allow you to plug in accessories like GPS modules, extra cameras and more, but they also allow you to dive into the code of the flight controller, to enable the accessories and configure how they operate. Most off-the-shelf units, like toy drones and DJI products, do not have, or do not vie you access to, the hardware or software to make these changes.

If you are willing to do the work, there is nothing stopping you from tearing out the existing flight controller and systems from a drone, and then wiring in your own controller and systems. The worlds of drone education, racing drones, and commercial drones all have the parts necessary to build a drone from scratch, but there’s little stopping you from using the airframe and motor setup of an existing drone. Just don’t do this for pay, it’s not legal to ‘reverse engineer’ a patented product.


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