Best Drones of 2018 for Bloggers

1

Drones started as expensive toys for hobbyist photographers. Now, they have become the mainstream equipment even by professional photographers because they can capture a different perspective on things – the bird’s eye view. You can easily find drones everywhere. With their popularity, there are even laws put in place where drones are not allowed for safety purposes. Still, there are many amazing locations where drones can be flown. So, if you are looking to get your hands on the best drone of 2018, here’s a quick review of some of the best ones that we have tried.


1. DJI Mavic Air Drone

DJI Mavic Air Drone Best Drones 2018

The DJI Mavic Air Drone is one of the most compact and portable quadcopters from the famed drone brand, DJI. It is the first drone with arms that can be folded into its body to make it super convenient to carry. We really enjoyed this feature since we took the drone in most of our trips. This made it easy for us to bring it along since it did not take up a lot of space. DJI started the trend for folding quadcopters and after the DJI Mavic Air Drone came out on the market, copycats started surfacing.

If you have tried the Mavic Pro, the DJI Mavic Air Drone is almost the same but only smaller. We liked the contour of the DJI Mavic Air Drone. It has curves that made it appear like it is flying in midair even if it has not taken off yet from the ground.

The DJI Mavic Air Drone carries a 4K camera that is built-in the front part of the quadcopter. It has a 3-axis gimbal to guarantee a stable flight. This also allowed us to record footages in the most stable manner in midair. The quadcopter is packed with sensors, which made up for easy navigation especially during flight. The sensors are located above the main camera (two forward-facing sensors), on the underside (one sensor), and at the back (one sensor).

At the bottom of the DJI Mavic Air Drone, it houses a removable battery. It has four lights that show how much battery power is still left.

The DJI Mavic Air Drone has a controller that looks similar to the controller of the DJI Spark. It has two arms that protrude out of the control where a smartphone can be installed. Using a cable, we were able to connect our phone to the controller and access the drone. We liked this better compared to the DJI Spark where we had to pair the phone and the controller, and then the phone and the drone. That is a bit more tedious. Aside from the cable connection, the two drones have pretty much similar controllers.

The Gesture Control feature is a nice touch for the DJI Mavic Air Drone. Whenever we did not want to use the controller, we were still able to control the drone via our movements. The gestures worked fairly well but they are not flawless. Sometimes, it took longer and repeated movements before the quadcopter recognized our gestures. The Gesture Mode limited the range of the DJI Mavic Air Drone to only 20 feet when we tried it because it needed to be close to us and have a view of our palm.

With a stunning 4K camera on the DJI Mavic Air Drone, the photo and video quality are superb. The camera did an amazing job even when we tested it in various lighting conditions. Although there was some on noise on certain photos, we expected that since we captured them in extremely low-light.

The DJI Mavic Air Drone has an HDR Mode, which we enjoyed. It took a series of three photos with different exposures and combined them in one image. We checked the individual photos and we liked them even separately. This also allowed us to edit the photos manually.

The DJI Mavic Air Drone has a flight time of about 20 minutes. Since it has a removable battery, it was easy to swap batteries so we can continue filming with it.

The DJI Mavic Air Drone is probably one of the best compact consumer drones could it be the best drone in 2018. It offers a lot of great features and it is the leader in compact drones that other brands just tend to follow. However, if you want to get your hands on one, be ready to make an investment in it because it is pretty expensive.

 

8.7Expert Score
Mavic Air Drone by DJI

Probably the best compact consumer drone in the market today

Design
9
Features
9
Performance
9
Quality
9
Price/Value
8
Battery Life
8
PROS
  • Easy to fly and steer
  • Excellent quality on images and videos
  • Stable flight
  • Folds for easy transport
CONS
  • Expensive

2. Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone

The Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone is not like any other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). When most brands manufacture quadcopters or hexacopters, Parrot took the less traveled route for this drone. Moreover, unlike most of its offering, where Parrot products are designed for commercial users, the Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone was built for newbies, drone enthusiasts, and budding filmmakers.

When we first got our hands on the Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone, we were instantly amazed by it. This drone has a wingspan of 45 inches and a depth of 22 inches. It weighs about 1.6 lbs. The drone was constructed using Expanded Polypropylene (EPP), which is why it relatively lightweight for easy transport. It has carbon tubes to reinforce the drone and make it more durable. The Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone sports only one propeller that is located in the rear area. Its massive wingspan allowed at to maneuver the drone with great ease. Even those who were not very experienced in flying drones found it simple to fly the Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone.

The Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone carries a 14-megapixel shooter, which is the same camera used on the Bebop 2. Still, it took better images and videos, probably due to the software improvements implemented on the Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone.

This drone draws power from an electronic box called CHUCK (Control Hub and Universal Computer Kit). Its battery juice is supplied by a 2,700 mAh power source. It has a port for direct connection to a computer but it allows file transfers only and not the charging of the drone. Its battery has a separate charger with a plug that needs to be recharged directly from a power outlet. That feels somewhat ancient for a modern drone, takes it down the list in the hunt for the best drone in 2018.

The Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone has a built-in 32 GB storage but it lacks a slot for an external memory card. Therefore, when we needed to capture more content, we had to immediately transfer the content saved in its memory and free up space. We found that quite tedious and an external slot on the next product iteration is truly a welcome one.

What we liked with the Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone is its virtually complete built-in sensory technology. The drone has an altimeter, ultrasound, speed, and camera sensors. Once we got used to these sensory features, we were able to shoot better images and clips.

It was good to know that the Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone comes bundled with a CockpitGlasses headset and a SkyController 2. The new controller is now smaller, which made up for easier transport. We also noticed that the controller lasted longer even when turned on often compared to the previous one. The controller has its own charger.

The Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone is not picky about devices that can work with its headset. This works with any smartphone that has a screen size between 4.7 and 5.5 inches on both Android and iOS. We just downloaded its app, the FreeFlight Pro so we can easily manage and set up the drone. Moreover, we used the headset to display content in 360 degrees.

We felt that the DISCO’s headset was really cool. It felt awesome to see what the drone sees in real time while in flight. Although the resolution was not the best since it was fed on a smartphone, it was still pretty decent. We were able to easily switch to the See-Through mode so we can better see the real world through the drone’s eyes.

The Parrot DISCO Fixed Wing Drone is a great drone that feels durable and flies really well. Although it is not perfect and has a few drawbacks, it was still a great drone with the amazing quality of content that it captures.

7.8Expert Score
DISCO Fixed Wing Drone by Parrot

The best drone for new filmmakers

Design
9
Features
8
Performance
7
Quality
7
Price/Value
8
Battery Life
8
PROS
  • Easy to fly and steer
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to transport
  • Takes good quality images and clips
CONS
  • Memory not expandable
  • Battery does not charge via USB
  • Short battery life

3. OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone

OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone Best Drones 2018

The OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone is an entry-level drone for those who are new to drone photography and videography and still on the hunt for the best drone of 2018. Still, we were amazed by this quadcopter when we tested it out. The OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone comes with a tiltable camera that allowed us to easily adjust its view. As its name suggests, we were able to use this drone to take selfies. Its 2-megapixel wide-angle camera can capture high-quality photos and 720p videos.

While in flight, we were able to watch what the drone captures through a smartphone that we connected to it. The drone transmitted images and footages via Wi-Fi connection. Hence, the content was transmitted seamlessly and smoothly. It is important to take note that the OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone does not come with its own smartphone. We used a separate smartphone and linked it to the quadcopter to get a first-person view (FPV).

The OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone has a high and low-speed mode. So, we were able to fly it slowly to best capture certain footages and we were also able to let fly fast to add a different effect to the clips that we recorded. We were able to conveniently steer the quadcopter, allowing it to move forward and backward, up and down, and left and right. We were amused by its 3D flip hovering function that was fun to do with while the drone was flying. This also added an amazing effect on our videos.

The OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone was easy to fly. Even the inexperienced members of our team had an amazing time letting it fly off the ground and land back on it. The OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone has a built-in advanced barometer that maintained its flying altitude as stable as possible. Furthermore, the barometer allowed the quadcopter to return to the location that we assigned it to land on. It has a Headless Mode that allowed a one-key return. Therefore, even if the one manning the drone was a newbie, they did not have a hard time letting it take off and land.

The OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone has a 900 mAh battery. It promises a flight time of 10 minutes. It delivered on its promises but we wanted it to stay in flight longer so we can capture more photos and record more videos.

For flight control, image-taking, and video-recording, the OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone is bundled with a 2.4G 4-CH controller. Its controller looks like PlayStation or Xbox controller so using it was pretty intuitive. It allowed us to easily control the quadcopter while it is in mid-air. The controlled made the drone easy to maneuver and maintain a stable flight.

One thing we really liked about the OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone is that it is super portable. The quadcopter folded easily, which made it very easy to carry and transport anywhere. This allowed us to bring the OKPOW 2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone wherever we go even on own-of-town trips. Despite it being an entry-level drone, it still arrived with a topnotch design that any drone enthusiast would love.

7.5Expert Score
2MP 120-Degree Wide Angle Selfie Drone by OKPOW

Inexpensive quadcopter for newbies and basic drone enthusiasts

Design
8
Features
8
Performance
7
Quality
7
Price/Value
8
Battery Life
7
PROS
  • Easy to fly and steer
  • Lightweight
  • Foldable
  • Easy to transport
  • Takes good quality images and clips
CONS
  • Short battery life
  • Low resolution camera

4. UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera

UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera Best Drones 2018

When we first saw the UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera, it was not difficult to see its resemblance to the DJI Phantom. It is a quadcopter that is clad in white and has a camera sticking on its bottom. On both sides of the camera, the UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera have handles that allow the user to easily let it fly and catch it later. On a quick look, it was easy to mistake this quadcopter as the DJI Phantom.

We wanted to know if it fares at par with the famous DJI drone one of the best drones of 2018. Unlike other devices that copy a popular brand, the UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera is more than that. After a hours using it, we can say that it is a great drone to have. The quadcopter felt durable when we held its handles. It was pretty stable during flight and it was easy to catch it when it landed. We just made sure not to touch its rotating blades to avoid cutting ourselves.

The UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera has two options for its camera. Although the choices are very much similar in terms of looks, they greatly differ on the resolution that they offer. The cheaper camera has a 2.7K resolution and the more premium option has a 4K resolution. We tried the 2.7K camera and we were already pretty satisfied with it. We think that we would enjoy it more if we had the chance to test out the 4K camera, but for now, we were good with the inexpensive option.

The 2.7K camera was still reliable. It captured solid images that are as vivid as we would want them to be. We think the 4K camera will produce more detailed shots. We would take it for a spin someday.

The UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera has built-in gimbal that allowed it to capture images and videos with utter stability even during flight. Even newbies can produce high-quality content with this quadcopter. We did not notice any shaking or blurriness even if the images and photos we took were mostly done mid-air. It gave us amazing videos from the top perspective.

The thing we found lacking on the UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera is its battery capacity. This quadcopter draws power from its 540 mAh battery. This can provide 18 to 20 minutes of flight time. With a short battery life, the flight range was very limited. We were not able to let it fly very far because it already triggered the low battery notification and we had to get it down. We would have wanted to fly it longer and farther to maximize its amazing resolution and stability.

Some of the amazing features of the UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera making the best drone of 2018 list include one-key return home, fail-safe auto-return, built-in GPS system, and smart orientation control. All of these made flying and retrieving the quadcopter easy.

As a DJI copy, UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera is a very capable quadcopter. It gave us good resolution and stable flight that we really enjoyed.

7.7Expert Score
Drone with 2.7K HD Camera by UPair One

Extremely capable quadcopter with a DJI Phantom look

Design
9
Features
8
Performance
7
Quality
7
Price/Value
8
Battery Life
7
PROS
  • Easy to fly and steer
  • Takes good quality images and clips
  • Stable flight
CONS
  • A little big and heavy
  • Difficult to carry and transport
  • Short battery life

5. Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera

Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera Best Drones 2018

The Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera is a new competitor in the low-cost to mid-range budget drone segment. Established Chinese drone manufacturer Holy Stone is the company behind this quadcopter. We tried it out, flew it, captured images and videos with it, and here’s what we thought about it.

The Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera is a large drone compared to similarly priced the best drone of 2018. Since the drone is big, it was a challenge to carry and transport it. In some way, it has a resemblance to the DJI Phantom with rotors on four corners on the side. It comes with blade guards for protection but these can be removed if you consider yourself an expert drone pilot The camera sticks out underneath the drone.

The Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera off the ground. With its one-key button, we simply pushed this to let the drone fly. We also used this to tell it to land. We were happy that its transmitter is very responsive. This is very helpful for newbie drone pilots but this can be a bit difficult to adjust to for expert users.

We liked that the Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera offered stable FPV. However, the range could have been improved. Unfortunately, the FPV gets cut off above 150m. We would have wanted to push it more. Meanwhile, the transmitter has a range of 500m. We wished that the FPV could have had that range. For newbie users, there is no need to worry about losing the drone. Its GPS kicks in when it goes out of range, allowing it to return back home safely.

Photo and video quality of the Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera is a hit and a miss. Sometimes, the output images and videos are superb. In other times, there seems to be a camera wobble that causes a jello effect on the photos and videos. This ruined some of the nice shots we took and it was slightly disappointing. Its content quality could be better. The electronically adjustable 90-degree tilt on the Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera was nifty tough, though.

The Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera has a 2500 mAh battery. It has a flight time of about 10 to 12 minutes based on our tests. This seemed short compared to other drones of similar battery capacity. Other drones we have tried with 2500 mAh battery could fly for about 20 minutes. That 8-minute difference is a lot of good content missed. Fortunately, its battery is removable so we had the option to switch to a fresh one.

A smart feature on the Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera that we would like to take note is the Follow Me Mode. This mode automatically lets the drone to follow the transmitted on its own. This is a great feature especially when we took the drone when running or riding a bike.

7.5Expert Score
HS100 FPV RC Drone with Camera by Holy Stone

Quadcopter that follows you around via Follow Me Mode

Design
8
Features
8
Performance
7
Quality
7
Price/Value
8
Battery Life
7
PROS
  • Easy to fly and steer
  • Stable flight
  • Smart features like Follow Me Mode
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Short battery life
  • Photo and video quality is a hit and a miss

6. Hubsan H501S Quadcopter

Hubsan H501S Quadcopter Best Drones 2018

We heard that the Hubsan H501S Quadcopter is feature-packed quadcopter. So, we took some time to check out this drone and find out if it is worth all the fuss.

The Hubsan H501S Quadcopter is dubbed as the ideal “selfie quadcopter”. Its Follow Me Mode is what makes it a great selfie quadcopter. When this mode is turned on, it follows the controller that we hold in our hand, which made it seem like it was following us. It has a built-in GPS that made it accurate in following us everywhere.

Another nifty feature on the Hubsan H501S Quadcopter is the Barometer Altitude Hold. When we used this, the drone locked on a specific height and keep it that way without us telling it. The Headless Mode made the quadcopter fly at an exact orientation that we told it to regardless of what direction its front is facing.

The Hubsan H501S Quadcopter has an OSD live data feature, which sent real-time FPV from the drone to the display that is built-into the controller. Aside from the video feed, the OSD live data contained information such as position, speed, altitude, remaining battery power, and more.

The Hubsan H501S Quadcopter is easy to operate for both new and expert drone pilots. Its One-Key Return Landing feature allowed the drone to go back and land where it originally took off.

Something worth noting about the Hubsan H501S Quadcopter is that it has a brushless motor. This means its motor is much more durable than regular motors used by other drones. Moreover, this made the drone quiet and efficient to operate. Hence, it produced virtually quiet videos every time.

The Hubsan H501S Quadcopter has a 1080p HD camera that is built in its body. It captured great content and it streamed live feed almost seamlessly to the controller. There was no noticeable disturbance in the feed when we tried it. It may have lags sometimes but that is because we allowed it to fly as far as it could. However, although it has a 1080p HD camera, the quality sometimes deteriorates, especially in a low-light environment. The image and video quality could be better especially since we expected a lot from a 1080p HD camera.

The Hubsan H501S Quadcopter has a 2700 mAh battery. It promises a flight time of 20 minutes. We were able to fly it pretty much that long, reaching a range of 300m. Its flight time is reasonable enough and it is better than most drones whose average flight time is about 15 minutes only.

8Expert Score
H501S Quadcopter by Hubsan

Feature-packed quadcopter

Design
8
Features
9
Performance
7
Quality
8
Price/Value
8
Battery Life
8
PROS
  • Easy to fly and steer
  • Stable flight
  • Packed with features like Follow Me Mode
  • Brushless motor
  • 1080p HD camera
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Photo and video quality is a hit and a miss

7. Sky Viper SR10001 Streaming Drone

The Sky Viper SR10001 Streaming Drone is an entry-level video-streaming quadcopter. Since it is an entry-level drone, we did not expect a lot from it. From the looks of it, we can already say that it appeared to not be as durable as DJI or Parrot drones. Its blades appeared to be made of plastic and are thinner than those used in more premium drones. However, when we flew it, we did not break any blade even if we crashed the drone several times. Moreover, although it looks flimsy, that was okay because of its amazingly cheap price point.

We tested the Sky Viper SR10001 Streaming Drone to see if it is a capable practice drone for newbies. Since flying a drone takes a lot of practice to gain that level of confidence and expertise, it is smart to start with a cheap drone. We really liked that the Sky Viper SR10001 Streaming Drone was easy to fly. We were impressed by how intuitive its controller was. Even newbies can easily become skillful in flying this quadcopter.

The Sky Viper SR10001 Streaming Drone has three flight modes. These are Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. The beginner and intermediate modes can be used to fly the drone indoors. Meanwhile, the advanced mode allowed us to fly it outdoors. The Sky Viper SR10001 Streaming Drone offered up to a 200m range. This was a wide range for an entry-level drone. It can take 360-degree photos and videos. Although users will start practicing with this drone indoors, knowing its capability will definitely make you want to fly it outdoors.

When using the Sky Viper SR10001 Streaming Drone outdoors, we had to take off the blade guards. This allowed the drone to fly higher and faster. Users who are becoming proficient in flying this drone would definitely want to try this mode. Furthermore, the Sky Viper SR10001 Streaming Drone has a Stunt Button for Advanced Mode. We were able to do a few stunts with just one push of a button.

For its price, we can say that it has a pretty decent camera. It has a 720p camera that captured and streamed good quality video on our smartphone through the Sky Viper app. There is also an option not to stream the video but record it instead. It was fun to watch the live video though so we did that oftentimes. The camera has a 130-degree adjustable viewing angle, which provided us with sufficient real estate to capture what we wanted.

The only thing we were dissatisfied with the Sky Viper SR10001 Streaming Drone is that its Sky Viper app was not very intuitive when we tested it. It was tedious to set-up and use. We had to take a lot of time reading the instructions on its website to make the drone work with the app.

Overall, the Sky Viper SR10001 Streaming Drone is still a good drone to start learning how to pilot a quadcopter. It is not quite the best drone of 2018, however an excellent choice for a beginner.

7.5Expert Score
SR10001 Streaming Drone by Sky Viper

Capable practice quadcopter for new drone pilots

Design
8
Features
7
Performance
7
Quality
8
Price/Value
8
Battery Life
7
PROS
  • Easy to fly and steer
  • Stable flight
  • Packed with features like Follow Me Mode
  • Brushless motor
  • 1080p HD camera
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Photo and video quality is a hit and a miss

8. HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone

HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone Best Drones 2018

The HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone is one the cheapest drones in the market. Although some drone owners are into high-powered quadcopters that fly high and capture content in high-definition, those who are just starting on this hobby can benefit on cheap drone options that they can fly indoors or in their yard like the HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone. This drone has a playful appearance. If you like bumblebees, the HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone looks like one.

After giving the HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone, we can say that it is a pretty good investment for newbie drone users. It provided us an amazing experience for a drone without having to spend too much.

The HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone is small and lightweight as what we expected from a toy drone. It only weighs about 50g and has dimensions of 12 x 12 x 6.5cm. Therefore, carrying the drone around is extremely easy.

HASAKEE claims that this drone is powered by the Yellow Bee technology. We had no idea what that is before we gave this drone a try. All we thought when we first saw it that it looked like a bee and so we thought it made sense that it came with that technology.

However, we learned that the Yellow Bee technology is composed of a 2.4GHz remote control frequency and a 6-axis gyro stabilizer. The remote control frequency is common among quadcopters made for beginners. The 6-axis gyro stabilizer is a bump up on beginner drones that usually have 3-axis gyro systems only. The HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone added 3 accelerometers, which made it easy to steer the drone when in flight. This also allowed us to avoid crashing and to turn on sharp curves with ease. The stabilizer also made it easy to reposition the drone when in flight.

The HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone has an integrated camera that stream FPV video to the remote. We were able to take unobstructed shots of the landscape with this drone. We were also able to take selfies from the top.

However, like most cheap drones, the HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone has its own shortcomings. For instance, this quadcopter has a very short battery life. Its flight time is only about 6 to 7 minutes on a single charge. Furthermore, it takes longer to charge it compared to drones in its league. It takes about an hour to fully recharge it.

As a toy drone, the HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone has a range of only 50m. This is very limited especially when we wanted to get a better bird’s eye view of the surroundings. Expert drone pilots will find this range insufficient but newbies may find it enough.

Overall, the HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone is an appealing drone for newbies. It is not the best drone of 2018 but it has great features that a new drone user will enjoy.

7.5Expert Score
H1 FPV RC Drone by HASAKEE

Capable practice quadcopter for new drone pilots

Design
8
Features
7
Performance
7
Quality
8
Price/Value
8
Battery Life
7
PROS
  • Easy to fly and steer
  • Stable flight
  • Packed with features like Follow Me Mode
  • Brushless motor
  • 1080p HD camera
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Photo and video quality is a hit and a miss

Are you more of a Photographer? Looking for the best DLSR camera on the market for 2018?

 

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