We have reached a point where new drones are easily categorized in several ways, by size, weight, capability and more. In this list, we’re going to explore some of the best mini drones – compact flying machines that may not be as budget friendly as our nano drones list.
With many small drones to choose from, we’re trying to find that sweet spot between nano and machines large enough to require FAA registration. It’s a difficult target, as you’ll see more than a few are still above that 0.55 lb mark, but not by much.
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Thank you for joining us here at Drone Rush, we are a group of passionate technologists, eager to fly every drone we can get our hands on. Our enthusiasm for drones began as a hobby, and rapidly grew to seeking out the best camera drones on the market. Learning that there are many forms and functions of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAS,) we strive to learn them all.
We invite you on this drone journey, we ask you to trust us as a source to find the best drones on the market today. We also want to help you get the most from the experience, watch for tools, tips and tricks for your drone flights.
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We respect that many of you may have landed on this mini drones list looking for nano drones. You were not wrong to do so, we just mostly keep them somewhere else. Simple enough, you are but a click away from viewing our best nano drones list.
DJI Mavic Air
Announced on January 23rd, shipping starting January 28th, 2018, the new DJI Mavic Air is the culmination of everything learned from the Mavic Pro and Spark. The new machine combines the best of both existing drones and makes it better. It folds down even smaller than the Spark, but is still larger in the air. You’re looking at 4K video recording and 12 MP stills, those videos are at 100 Mbps, which will translate to the best camera experience of the three.
The new drone is light, compact, folds down and can fly by hand gestures. Check it out at the links below:
It may come as no surprise that DJI’s little Spark quadcopter is on this list. The small drone offers up easy hand-held carrying and use, it’s small enough to squeeze in a small bag or large pocket and you can even leave your mobile device behind, the DJI Spark can be flown by hand gestures alone.
To get the most out of the DJI Spark you’ll want more than just the drone on your travels, but at least the option exists. Recharge by micro USB cable, utilize new automated flight modes and enjoy a handful of selfie camera modes and more.
- DJI Spark review
- DJI Spark unboxing and setup
- DJI Spark announced – all the details
- Hands-on first impressions
We met up with UVify at CES 2018, we went to see the Draco racing drone and ended up placing a pre-order on the new mini drone, the OOri. What starts out as a safe to fly indoors little drone with a stable hover quickly turns into a high-speed racer through the different flight modes. We’re talking about over 50mph top speeds here, not just a toy that pretends to go fast. It also uses standard connectivity for racing drones, so you can sync in with your other controllers and FPV goggles. The controller may need a module plugged in for some goggles, but the base technology is in there.
Hubsan X4 H502S Desire
The Hubsan X4 Desire, H502S, is a highly capable little machine equipped with GPS, FPV camera, an FPV display built into the remote and more. As one of the higher-end machines in the Hubsan stables, the H502S Desire is a capable flier with a reasonable price tag. We again stretch the concept of ‘mini’ in this recommendation, but it is fairly small and well worth your consideration.
Check out the Hubsan H502S X4 Desire for $96 on Amazon today. (Often found as low as $119)
Yuneec Mantis Q
Yuneec generally builds larger drones, the kind that take professional cameras into the sky, but their hobby-class machines have been solid options as well. The new Yuneec Mantis Q is a compact, folding drone, not unlike the DJI Mavic Pro in design. The Mantis Q better compares to the DJI Spark on the spec sheet, and somewhere between that and the DJI Mavic Air while flying. If that means nothing to you, suffice to say this is a reliable drone that has just the right amount of compromises to make it worth the asking price.
Check out the Yuneec mantis Q for $490 today.
Parrot has many small drones in the toy-class segment, including the Mambo. Mambo is the size of machine that carries around sticky notes or cubes of sugar. It is larger than the nano drones we’ve looked at before, but not by much. This is a fun toy with optional clamp and toy ball launcher.
Check out the Parrot Mambo from $68 on Amazon today.
Hubsan Q4 H111D
Candidate for Best nano drones list
The plain Hubsan H111 is one of our top picks in the nano drone space, but the updated Q4 H111D with FPV camera is a little larger and a whole lot more capable. Specifically, they’ve added headless mode and the camera is just a little 280p shooter, but for FPV flying on the 4.3-inch display in the remote control, that’s good enough.
Check out the Hubsan Q4 H111D FPV for $60 on Amazon today.
Hubsan makes the list again with the H107 series. As one of the best toy class drones on the market, the H107C-HD is one of the more capable in the line, including a 720p camera and more. If your budget is below $50, this may be the one for you.
Check out the Hubsan H107C-HD for $25 on Amazon today.
Walkera Rodeo 110
Racers, start your engines! There is much that is not relevant to drone racing in that statement, but that did not stop Walkera from building this mini speeding machine. The Walkera Rodeo 110 is less than half the size of most racing drones, including all the pros and cons that that entails. Basically, you’re getting all the fun with half the carry weight.
Check out the Walkera Rodeo 110 for $189 on Amazon today.
That’s all we have for today folks, thank you for joining us on this exploration of mini drones. Larger than the nano drones out there, and certainly not lacking in features, we think you can find great value in many of these flying options.
What is your favorite mini drone?