Drones – Best Bang for Your Buck

Let’s be real; most drones are costly unless you buy a toy. However, if you get enough bells and whistles, you don’t mind paying more for premium quality.

Which drones on the market provide the best value?

Here is a collection of great bang-for-your-buck drones:

  • DI Mini 3 Pro
  • Autel Robotics EVO Lite+
  • BetaFPV Cetus Pro
  • Ryze Tello
  • DJI Air 2S
  • PowerVision PowerEgg X
  • Holy Stone HS720E

Ahead, I’ll review each drone, helping you decide which one provides the best value. Keep reading for pros and cons, specs, and more!

1. DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI Mini 3 Pro

Drone with RC-N1 Remote Controller with 2453mAh Intelligent Flight Battery (34-Min Max Flying Time).

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05/20/2023 08:39 pm GMT

Dimensions: 171 x 245 x 62 mm unfolded
Weight: Under 249 g
Max Range: 16 m/s in Sport Mode
Max Altitude: 4,000 m
Max Speed: 36 mph
Max Flying Time: 47 mins
Video Resolution: 4K

✅ Pros

  • Lightweight enough that you don’t have to register it
  • A great traveling companion
  • Exceptional 1/1.3-inch CMOS camera for videography and photography
  • D-Cinelike Color for beautiful footage you’ll adore

❌ Cons

  • Need to upgrade the battery for the longer flight time

The Mini 3 Pro is one of DJI’s most accessible drones to date, so it only makes sense to start the list with it.

Pilots love it for its weight. At under 249 grams, you can enjoy looser drone restrictions in many countries when flying the Mini 3 Pro. Additionally, you don’t have to register it!

DJI designed the Mini 3 Pro with aerodynamics in mind. It’s all in the way the drone’s body can tilt, the size of its props, and its exceptionally improved obstacle detection.

This drone is also portable, and you could stash it in a large pocket if you fold it.

Its flight time with the standard battery is average at 34 minutes. However, DJI gives you the option to upgrade the battery and fly for 47 minutes, which is much more impressive.

The 1/1.3-inch CMOS camera can shoot by day or night, producing 48 MP RAW images and 4K HDR videos. You can also take slow-mo video footage in 1080p at 120 frames per second.

The camera features D-Cinelike Color for injecting more brightness into your world with every image and video you take.

The Mini 3 Pro is equipped with enough Intelligent Flight Features to warrant its price tag, including panoramas, Hyperlapse, MasterShots, Digital Zoom, FocusTrack, and more.

2. Autel Robotics EVO Lite+

Autel Robotics Evo Lite+ Premium Bundle

1” CMOS Sensor with 6K HDR Camera, No Geo-Fencing, 3-Axis Gimbal, 3-Way Obstacle Avoidance, 40Min Flight Time, 7.4 Miles Transmission, Lite Plus More Combo.

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05/20/2023 03:14 pm GMT

Dimensions: 427 x 95 x 384 mm
Weight: 835 g
Max Range: 7.5 mi
Max Altitude: 5,000 m
Max Speed: 42.5 mph
Max Flying Time: 40 minutes
Video Resolution: 6K

✅ Pros

  • It’s orange!
  • It has an incredible average flight time
  • The video and image quality is out of this world
  • The SoundRecord feature can pick up ambient sounds and voices

❌ Cons

  • It’s very weighty

The EVO Lite+ from Autel Robotics is another exceptional bang-for-your-buck drone to add to your list.

» MORE: Autel Evo Lite+ Review

The 1-inch CMOS sensor is equipped with an intelligent moonlight algorithm, an Autel exclusive that reduces noise and maintains crisp detail when filming at night.

You can even increase the ISO and still expect a quality boost.

Of course, you often need permission to operate a drone at night, but it will be worth jumping through some extra hoops to get to use the intelligent moonlight algorithm.

The camera shoots in 20 MP image quality and 6K video quality, so you won’t be left wanting for much!

It’s easier than ever to become a cinematic master in a matter of days with the EVO Lite+. You can adjust the aperture and exposure as you shoot.

Toggle between automatic shooting modes like Rocket, Fade Away, Flick, or Orbit, or take a group photo using the SkyPortait feature.

Track whoever you wish with Dynamic Track 2.1, from vehicles to animals or people on the move.

I quite like the inclusion of Defog Mode, as it’s an uncommon feature. Defog Mode is designed to reduce fog or haze by toggling the vibrance settings so your photos and videos come out crystal clear.

The wide-angled cameras at the front of the drone expand its field of view to 150 degrees so, obstacles will be the last thing on your mind when you fly.

3. BetaFPV Cetus Pro

BetaFPV Cetus Pro FPV

Ready-to-fly kit that’s easy to control, can hold its position, is durable, and can handle crashes, not to mention something that is low cost.

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Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 5 in
Weight: 33.19 g
Max Range: ~ 90 m
Max Altitude: ~ 80 m
Max Speed: N/A
Max Flying Time: 5 mins

✅ Pros

  • Automatic features for beginners to learn FPV
  • Emergency landings and Turtle Mode for safer operations
  • Durable shell to stand up to some wear and tear

❌ Cons

  • Very short flight time of under 10 minutes

What if you’re into flying FPV drones?

Finding a good value for the money doesn’t have to be hard when you can buy the BetaFPV Cetus Pro. It’s often sold as part of a kit so you can get all the accessories you need to start flying FPV.

This quadcopter with brushless features is built for durability, maneuverability, and power. Its PA12 frame can handle drops and impacts without shattering.

What about the modes included with this drone? One of the starring features is Altitude Hold. Once you enable this mode, the Cetus Pro will hover thanks to a built-in barometer.

That’s not the only beginner-friendly feature!

This FPV drone will make an emergency landing if the battery is too low, you’ve lost control, or if the Cetus Pro collides with anything.

If the drone lands upside down, don’t panic! It’s got Turtle Mode to right itself.

Fly in Manual, Normal, and Sport Modes depending on how daring you feel.

The Cetus Pro is compatible with a variety of FPV simulators, from Liftoff to EreaDrone, so you can practice virtually before flying in the real world.

4. Ryze Tello

Ryze Tech Tello

What you get: RyzeTech Tello powered by DJI, 4x Propellers (Pair), Propeller Guards (Set), Battery, Micro USB Cable, Propeller Removal Tool.


  • Sub $100 price-point

  • Remote not included
  • Base package includes 1 battery only
  • No SD card slot

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05/20/2023 01:41 pm GMT

Dimensions: 98 x 92.5 x 41 mm
Weight: 80 g
Max Range: 100 m
Max Altitude: 30 m
Max Speed: 8 m/s
Max Flying Time: 13 mins
Video Resolution: HD 720p

✅ Pros

  • Lightweight enough that you can skip registration and fly with looser drone laws
  • Powered by DJI but ultra-affordable
  • Prop guards and collision detection for safe flights
  • EZ Shots to photograph like a pro

❌ Cons

  • Only an okay flight time
  • Its camera could be better

Is there a better definition of a bang-for-your-buck drone than the Ryze Tello?

If so, I’m hard-pressed to think of one. It’s inexpensive, lightweight enough that you don’t have to register it, beginner-friendly, and built for fun.

Oh, and on top of that, it’s powered by DJI (but without the DJI prices) and is compatible with VR headsets. As you can tell, this drone has many great features.

You can launch the drone by throwing it, and you can even bounce the Tello in your hand for a bit of fun.

This drone will flip all day, and automatically too, so you never have to worry about crashing it. It even hovers.

Included collision protection and prop guards are designed to failproof your drone. The Tello will land on its own (even if your connection is spotty) and let you know when it’s about to run out of battery.

It flies for 13 minutes at a time, which admittedly isn’t great but is fine for the price.

Its 14-core Intel processor lets it shoot in 5 MP image quality and HD video quality. Again, not the best, but for beginners, you won’t mind.

EZ Shots modes like Circle, Up & Away, and 360 help you take videos if you’re inexperienced, and electronic image stabilization retains the stability of your footage.

5. DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo

Drone with 3-Axis Gimbal Camera, 5.4K Video, 1-Inch CMOS Sensor, 4 Directions of Obstacle Sensing, 31-Min Flight Time, Max 7.5-Mile Video Transmission, MasterShots, Gray

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05/20/2023 03:29 pm GMT

Dimensions: 183 x 253 x 77 mm unfolded
Weight: 595 g
Max Range: 18.5 km
Max Altitude: 5,000 m
Max Speed: 19 m/s in Sport Mode
Max Flying Time: 31 mins
Video Resolution: 5.4K

✅ Pros

  • High-quality camera for shooting daytime and nighttime footage
  • Rich color profile
  • Four-way environmental sensing
  • O3 transmission system can transfer footage in 1080p up to 12 kilometers

❌ Cons

  • Doesn’t have the latest DJI tech
  • Average flight time

Lauded as one of DJI’s best all-in-one drones, the Air 2S has rightfully earned its place on this list.

The Air 2S supports all sorts of drone activities. Videographers and photographers can appreciate its 5.4K video quality at 30 fps and 20 MP image quality, achievable due to the 1-inch image sensor.

The camera reproduces the same depth of colors when photographing at night, retaining a high resolution and awesome dynamic range too.

If you can’t legally use your drone at night, you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out.

The Air 2S boasts a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile with support for a billion colors. You can take more immersive and colorful shots during the day.

I don’t want to talk all about this drone’s photography and videography elements, but I do want to mention its built-in HDR technology.

This smart tech will save you time in post-production as it merges images into one to create the penultimate photo.

Automatic modes?

You know the Air 2S has them in spades, from Sphere to Hyperlapse and 180-Degree to Wide-Angle.

MasterShots will launch the Air 2S. Watch as it does up to 10 amazing maneuvers to capture footage at a variety of angles.

Do you like tracking subjects with your drone?

Luckily for you, the Air 2s includes ActiveTrack, Spotlight, and Point of Interest. Considering this drone is from 2021, this isn’t the newest tech, but it does just fine.

You needn’t be a pro to fly the Air 2S. It can sense its environment in four ways, and it has DJI’s Advanced Pilot Assistance System or APAS 4.0.

There’s an APAS 5.0 in newer DJI drones, but 4.0 is still plenty sufficient.

6. PowerVision PowerEgg X

PowerVision PowerEgg X

Explorer Drone with SyncVoice Technology, 4K60FPS Camera, 6km Transmission Range, Vision Obstacle Avoidance, Landing Protection, and Precision Landing.

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05/20/2023 02:36 pm GMT

Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 4 in
Weight: 1.2 lb
Max Range: ~ 3.7 mi
Max Altitude: 4,000 m
Max Speed: 13 m/s
Max Flying Time: 30 mins
Video Resolution: 4K

✅ Pros

  • Unique features like AI facial recognition technology and SyncVoice
  • Its AI gets smarter the more you use it
  • Can switch to a handheld camera
  • Has an ergonomic, appealing shape
  • Good for tracking

❌ Cons

  • It’s quite a heavy drone
  • Its battery life is okay, nothing special

Talk about a cool drone for the money! This egg-shaped drone will dazzle by looks alone, but the aptly-named PowerEgg X has so much more to offer beyond its exterior.

For example, it includes AI-driven facial recognition technology.

Since the PowerEgg X can remember faces, it’s very easy for the drone to track people when you fly it. Its facial recognition tech only gets better as the drone learns more.

SyncVoice technology is another very cool feature you don’t see in every drone. The PowerEgg X can capture sound using wireless headphones or your phone’s mic.

The camera is crazy cool, as it has a 170-degree field of view for keeping subjects in the frame.

The Autonomous Personal AI camera responds to gestures for taking group photos/videos and selfies and for tracking people.

However, I think one of the best features of the PowerEgg X by far is how it converts into a handheld gimbal camera.

That’s right! Now you can harken back to those camcorder days and film stably without flying the drone.

Whether you’re holding it or flying it, the 4K UHD camera with its triaxial anti-shake gimbal will help you become the photography/videography guru you’ve always wished you could be.

As if all that wasn’t great enough, the PowerEgg X is waterproof, so you could launch it and land it on water. Not like it’s legal to do that in most places, but it’s nice that you can.

You’ll also fly safer, as this drone has automatic obstacle avoidance that reads threats up to 65 feet away.

On top of that, the PowerEgg X flies for 30 minutes, which is a lot considering this drone weighs more than a pound!

7. Holy Stone HS720E

Holy Stone HS720E

Drone camera for adult beginners and easy to use.


  • 4K Videos
  • 3000+ foot control range

  • Odd control issues periodically

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05/20/2023 04:49 pm GMT

Dimensions: 337 x 240 x 58 mm unfolded
Weight: 495 g
Max Range: 500 m
Max Altitude: 1,000 m
Max Speed: 44 mph
Max Flying Time: 46 mins
Video Resolution: 4K

✅ Pros

  • Basic intelligent features to make flying a drone more hands-off
  • Sony image sensor for good video quality
  • EIS for clear, stable shots
  • Low cost
  • Amazing flight time

❌ Cons

  • You must use two batteries for the drone to last in the air longer than 23 minutes
  • Adding extra batteries increases its weight
  • It has an okay photo resolution

A 4K camera for a drone that costs less than $400? It’s possible with the Holy Stone HS720E, the last bang-for-your-buck drone we’ll look at today.

The camera features a Sony sensor with image-capture technology, and it has electronic image stabilization.

When you collect some breathtaking footage, you can transmit it on the go with a 5 GHz transmission range of up to 1,640 feet!

Hover your drone for a while, track its location with GPS, and send it back to you with auto RTH.

You can also toggle through the HS720E’s intelligent, advanced flight modes, including Point of Interest, Tap Fly, and follow me. These fun tracking modes are a must in any drone.

One battery promises up to 23 minutes of flight. Equipping the HS720E with two batteries increases its max flight time to 46 minutes.

However, you will make the drone heavier by adding a second battery. That said, it might not matter to you as much considering this drone is already over the registration threshold anyway.

A bang-for-your-buck drone isn’t always the least expensive UAV on the menu. If you’re going to pay more, you want features that make the drone worth your money.

Each of the drones I reviewed today meets those criteria.

I included drones at a variety of price points, so whether you’re looking for an easy-to-fly beginner’s drone or something more for seasoned pros, you can get a good value for your money! 

Best Affordable Drones for Adults

After seeing a couple of friends do it and watching enough videos on TikTok and YouTube, you’ve decided you want to buy a drone.

However, after doing a bit of research, the prices left your jaw on the floor.

It seems that the only affordable drones on the market are toy drones for kids. You want a real drone but nothing terribly expensive, either. This way, if you damage or break the drone, you’re not out a lot of money.

Fortunately, you don’t have to buy a kids’ drone to cut your teeth at flying. We’ve scoured the internet high and low to bring you this collection of affordable, adult-appropriate drones.

Don’t be mistaken; affordable doesn’t mean cheap!

These drones won’t last forever since they have a low price point, but they’re anything but toy drones. Let’s dive in.

1. DJI Mini 2

DJI Mini 2

Ultralight and Foldable Drone Quadcopter, 3-Axis Gimbal with 4K Camera, 12MP Photo, 31 Mins Flight Time, OcuSync 2.0 10km HD Video Transmission, QuickShots Gray

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Dimensions: 138 x 81 x 58 mm
Weight: 242 grams
Max Range: 10 km
Max Altitude: 4,000 m
Max Speed: 36 mph
Max Flying Time: 31 mins
Video Resolution: 4K 24 to 30 fps
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • 4x zoom so you can take photos and videos from a safe distance
  • Portable and foldable
  • Lightweight enough that you don’t have to register it with FAA
  • Flies for up to 31 minutes in optimal conditions

❌ Cons

  • Not the newest DJI Mini drone

Lightweight, high-flying, foldable, and portable, the DJI Mini 2 is a quadcopter worth talking about.

We recognize it’s been usurped by the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro, but those DJI offerings are a bit outside of your price range.

The Mini 2 only costs about $400 these days, which is not bad for a DJI drone!

In the box, you’ll find one pair of spare control sticks, one RC cable Lightning Connector, one RC USB-C connector, and one RC micro-USB connector.

You also get a gimbal protector, Type-C cable, one pair of spare propellers, one Intelligent Flight Battery, one remote controller, and the Mini 2 itself.

The 4K camera and three-axis gimbal stabilize your footage, including 12MP images and 4K videos at 30 fps. Its wind resistance at up to 38 kph and 4,000 meters of altitude will reduce blurry, unclear footage.

One of the smartest drones on this list, the Mini 2 comes with precision hovering, automatic takeoff, and Smart Return to Home to minimize the likelihood of losing your drone due to poor signal, low battery, or hazards in the area.

The Mini 2 offers a fun array of modes for recording videos and photos you’ll gladly add to your portfolio.

Your options are Boomerang, Circle, Rocket, Helix, and Dronie. With 4x zoom, you can take stunning footage even if you’re not super close.

The DJI Fly app and its compatibility with this drone take usage to a whole new level.

You can browse and select templates for your footage to make it even more one-of-a-kind, segment and trim video footage, and send videos and photos straight to your phone at 20 MB/s with QuickTransfer.

Fly for up to 31 minutes at a clip, and when you’re done, fold up this durable drone and take it home to gear up for next time.

2. DJI Mini SE


Weighing less than 0 55lbs / 249 grams, DJI Mini SE is roughly the same weight as the smartphone.


  • 3-axis gimbal
  • 30 Minute Battery Life
  • DJI Mini 2 components and airframe

  • 1 battery included (individual batteries are very costly)

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05/20/2023 01:40 pm GMT

Dimensions: 159 x 203 x 56 mm when unfolded without propellers
Weight: 242 grams
Max Range: 2.4 mi
Max Altitude: 3,000 m
Max Speed: 46.8 kph
Max Flying Time: 30 mins
Video Resolution: 2.7K to FHD
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • A low-cost DJI drone – those are hard to come by!
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Great wind resistance for its size
  • Easy-to-use remote control

❌ Cons

  • Not all phones are compatible with the DJI Fly app

You’ll “fly as you are,” as DJI says, with the Mini SE, the first of a few affordable DJI drones on this list.

The base drone costs around $300, while the Fly More Combo is closer to $500 (so maybe skip that since you want to save money).

Videographers, rejoice. The DJI Fly app includes Creator Templates for making professional-looking footage.

The app also offers a Flight Tutorial so if this is your first DJI drone (or your first drone, period), you can easily figure it out.

Let’s discuss the weight of the Mini SE, shall we? It weighs under 249 grams. It just meets the weight threshold for not having to register it, so you can still skip that step.

The lightweight profile also makes handling this drone a breeze.

The weight of the Mini SE also means you can take advantage of relaxed drone laws, and not only when flying in the United States, but other parts of the world.

The three-axis gimbal and 2.7K camera can transmit HD video at up to 4 kilometers and shoot in 12MP image quality and 2.7K HD video quality.

DJI makes recording and editing as simple as possible so you’ll want to take your drone everywhere and use it often.

The Vision Sensor and GPS Precise Hover enable more stability.

Speaking of stability, the Mini SE can handle winds up to 38 kph at its max altitude of 4,000 meters. You don’t have to let a windy day prevent you from using your drone!

Flying for up to 30 minutes at a time, the Mini SE won’t fail when you need it most!

3. Ryze Tech Tello

Ryze Tech Tello

What you get: RyzeTech Tello powered by DJI, 4x Propellers (Pair), Propeller Guards (Set), Battery, Micro USB Cable, Propeller Removal Tool.


  • Sub $100 price-point

  • Remote not included
  • Base package includes 1 battery only
  • No SD card slot

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05/20/2023 01:41 pm GMT

Dimensions: 98 x 92.5 x 41 mm
Weight: 80 grams
Max Range: ~100 m
Max Altitude: 30 m
Max Speed: 8 m/s
Max Flying Time: 13 minutes
Video Resolution: HD729P30

✅ Pros

  • Safety features prevent unstable use and crashing due to poor connection or low/no battery
  • Easy to use and almost foolproof
  • Has many automated features and modes so you can look like a drone pro even if you aren’t

❌ Cons

  • Video and image quality could be better
  • No GPS

For just under $100, you can own a drone powered by DJI, the Ryze Tech Tello. This mini drone quadcopter is suitable for the whole family, from kids to adults!

An included video positioning system built into the drone keeps the Tello hovering exactly where you want it.

Also adding to its precision is a failsafe landing feature. Even if your drone loses its connection, the Tello will still land somewhere safely instead of crashing.

Maintaining its battery won’t be a challenge, as the Tello has a low-battery alert. You’ll know when it’s time to reel it in and call it a day.

Launching this drone also couldn’t be simpler, as you can just tap once, and whoosh, the Tello is in the sky!

Once it’s up there, collision detection prevents it from hitting just anything, even if you aren’t the most masterful at flying drones yet.

The Intel image processor included with the Tello allows you to shoot in 5MP high-resolution image quality. Electronic image stabilization ensures more of your images come out clear.

EZ Shots is another great feature for the drone photographer or videographer. You can take short clips using modes like Up & Away, 360, and Circle.

Those are just scratching the surface though, as the Tello also has modes such as Bounce, 8D Flips, and Throw & Go.

Bounce Mode allows you to bounce the Tello in your hand to launch it, 8D Flips enable the Tello to do awesome stunts, and Throw & Go is another simple launching maneuver.

The Tello can fly up to 100 high meters, transmitting footage in 720p HD quality. You can operate it using the included controller or a VR headset (you must purchase the headset separately).

Download the Tello App to get the most out of your drone. It’s available for free.

4. Holy Stone HS175D

Holy Stone HS175D

GPS Drone with 4K Camera for Adults, HS175D RC Quadcopter with Auto Return, Follow Me, Brushless Motor, Circle Fly, Waypoint Fly, Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, 46 Mins Long Flight.

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05/20/2023 01:42 pm GMT

Dimensions: 145 x 90 x 60 mm
Weight: 215 grams
Max Range: 500 m
Max Altitude: 100 m
Max Speed: 100 mph
Max Flying Time: 23 mins
Video Resolution: 4K
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • Don’t need to register it with the FAA
  • Looser drone restrictions
  • Folds up
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Easy to use with various modes, including several RTH modes

❌ Cons

  • Doesn’t have a far range

Next, we’ve got the Holy Stone HS175, a compact, lightweight drone. It’s under the 250-gram threshold, which means you don’t have to bother registering it with the FAA if you’re using it recreationally.

Not only that, but at its low weight, the HS175 is exempt from many laws about flying over and near people and buildings. That said, you must always use your drone responsibly no matter its weight!

For under $300, the 4K ultra-clear camera with a 90-degree adjustable and 110-degree wide-angle camera lens is super impressive. You’ll enjoy taking high-resolution photos again and again.

If you’re more into shooting videos with your drone, the 5GHz FPV transmission rate lets you send videos seamlessly. You can post on social media as you take your footage!

Two modular batteries come with your purchase. Those batteries support up to 23 minutes of drone flight. By upgrading the batteries, you can fly for up to 46 minutes, says Holy Stone.

The Circle Flight Application feature is compatible with your smartphone. Select a fixed point on your map, and your Holy Stone drone will take off automatically, flying in a circle to reach your selected spot.

You can use the Circle Flight Application to capture videos and photos in locations you can’t necessarily reach by foot.

The HS175D includes a follow-me mode for taking selfies and more complex photos and videos completely hands-free.

Built-in GPS positioning ensures your drone never gets lost whether you fly it automatically or manually.

If you’re brand-new to drones, the Beginner Mode will help you learn the ropes.

This drone is also surprisingly durable for its price, as it features a brushless motor that enables accurate speed control and better efficiency.

The automatic features include a failsafe return-to-home and a low-voltage RTH. The smart RTH will ensure your drone is never too far behind you when you’re out and about.

Oh, and did we mention the Holy Stone HS175D folds too? It does indeed!

5. Holy Stone HS720

Holy Stone HS720

Never lose the drone. It returns automatically whenever battery is low, signal is lost or you press one key return. Also, it is so smart to fly at your will, following you automatically, flying along a path you set, or fly around a point in circles. You may focus on your photography and creation.

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05/19/2023 11:49 pm GMT

Dimensions: 173 x 104 x 56 mm unfolded
Weight: 460 grams
Max Range: 3,277 ft
Max Altitude: N/A
Max Speed: 44.7 m/s
Max Flying Time: 26 mins
Video Resolution: HD
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • Includes a carrying bag with your purchase
  • Durable and designed to last with metal gearshaft
  • 4K camera can rotate and has an adjustable lens
  • Many modes for flying, photography, and videography

❌ Cons

  • Fairly heavy

Finally, we have the Holy Stone HS720, a GPS drone with a 4K camera that’s perfect for adults who want a cool-looking, dependable, and affordable drone (it retails for about $300).

The HS720 folds, and its metallurgical gearshaft allows it to retract or open up quickly and effortlessly. The included carrying bag is nice-looking and sure to keep your drone safe during your travels.

A 4K camera can rotate 90 degrees. The lens is also adjustable. Holy Stone designed the 4K camera for shock absorption so less than ambient conditions won’t affect the camera as much.

You can also transmit FPV footage in 5G.

The drone’s brushless motor and aviation propellers are high-end stuff, increasing this drone’s efficiency and performance.

Included Optical Flow Positioning also improves performance by allowing for stable hovering in one spot.

The follow-me mode with the HS720 is awesome for snapping hands-free photos and videos. You can also set a point of interest so the drone will fly that path or orbit for more hands-free footage.

When you’re ready to call it a day, the GPS-enabled RTH feature will bring your Holy Stone drone back to you.

In the interim, enjoy a flight time of approximately 26 minutes. Then recharge with the included Dual Balance Charger.

Holy Stone has an accompanying free app that lets you share and send your footage with just one click. You’ll be posting on social media in no time.

6. Eachine EX4

Dimensions: 177 x 196 x 70 mm when unfolded
Weight: 437 grams
Max Range: 1,200 m
Max Altitude: 500 m
Max Speed: 10 m/s
Max Flying Time: ~25 mins
Video Resolution: 720p 24 fps
GPS: Yes

✅ Pros

  • Has an impressive max range
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Many one-push modes for easy drone functions
  • Has a foldable arm

❌ Cons

  • Doesn’t have the best camera

For under $250, the Eachine EX4 is a great drone to consider.

The package includes everything you need to get started, with a 2.5-millimeter and 1.5-millimeter L-shaped wrench, a protective backpack, a phone holder, a USB charging cable, a charger, two propellers, one remote, one EX4 drone, and an 11.4-volt 2400 mAh battery.

The EX4 comes jam-packed with functions and features, including a pairing and sharing mode, gravity sensing, Wi-Fi-powered FPV, Ultrasonic Altitude Hold mode, Optical Flow, Waypoint Flights, Orbit Mode, follow me, Headless Mode, and Sideward flight.

The fuselage is built from endurance engineering plastics so this quadcopter holds up. Fly for nearly 30 minutes at a time and witness the power.

A low-power protection overcurrent feature prevents you from overcharging your drone.

The lens zoom on the camera enables you to focus accurately and fast. It’s part of the 4K HD camera with photography and videography capabilities. The three-axis brushless gimbal reduces vibrations.

You can even transmit footage in real-time and change the camera angle via the app or transmitter between -90 and zero degrees.

Let’s talk modes and more features, shall we?

Optical Flow Positioning enables the drone to keep footage smooth with optical flow technology. Altitude Hold Mode keeps the drone at the proper altitude when you yaw, pitch, and roll.

GPS Mode enables the GPS, and Point of Interest lets you select a point for the drone to fly to.

The EX4 also includes a slew of one-key modes, including One-Key Follow Mode, One-Key Return, and One-Key Landing/Takeoff.

This foldable, lightweight drone is also ultra-portable.

Affordable drones don’t have to look like they’re made for kids. The selection of drones we looked at today each costs less than $500.

Many are beginner-friendly, but even if you have some drone experience, you’ll love the hands-off, automated features that make you look like a drone pro.

Whether you trust in the legacy of DJI, you try a Holy Stone drone, or you take to the skies with a Ryze Tech drone, you can’t go wrong with one of the great drones on this list!

If you’re looking for affordable drones that are also beginner-friendly, check out the recommendations below:

» MORE: Best Affordable Drones for Beginners (2023)

How Much Does the DJI Avata Weigh?

Avata is the latest FPV drone by DJI. It’s lightweight enough to be transported in backpacks but not that light to benefit from relaxed drone laws.

How much does Avata weigh?

DJI Avata weighs at takeoff approximately 410 grams (14.46 oz). The entire DJI Avata Fly More kit–including the drone with three batteries, DJI Goggles 2, DJI FPV Remote Controller 2, and Motion Controller–weighs more than 1.6 kg (58.2 oz).

We can extend this information and calculate the weight of the gear and accessories included with Avata.

We’ll also discuss whether you can reduce Avata’s weight, so keep reading!

How much does the DJI Avata weigh? (In detail)

DJI Avata weighs about 410 grams at takeoff with the battery and propellers on. It weighs only 248 grams without the battery.

We all know that sub-250-gram drones may benefit from relaxed drone laws.

In our case, the Avata WITHOUT the battery does not fit this category because the law applies to the takeoff weight, which, as mentioned, is 410 grams.

Still, Avata is lightweight compared to many drones on the market and can be transported easily in a backpack, handbag, etc.

However, as an FPV drone, Avata has an extra element called DJI Goggles 2. This is a headset where you will see drone images instead of a mobile phone compared to a standard drone.

The DJI Goggles 2 are mandatory as you cannot fly without them, which adds more weight to the entire kit.

How much do the DJI Goggles 2 weigh?

The DJI Goggles 2 weigh 290 grams WITH the headband, which is interchangeable. 

However, we didn’t add another element to this weight: the DJI Goggles 2 battery, a separate battery connected to the headset via a cable.

The DJI Goggles 2 battery weighs about 122 grams. It is not much, but adding another battery to ensure you don’t have headset power issues adds up to the total weight.

Calculating just the DJI Goggles 2 with the battery, the headset weighs 412 grams, exactly the same weight as DJI Avata with a battery attached. 

How much does the DJI FPV Remote Controller weigh?

The DJI FPV Remote Controller 2 is necessary to control Avata. Although you can fly the drone with the DJI Motion Controller, the RC is a mandatory part of the kit to have.

The DJI FPV Remote Controller 2 weighs 346 grams.

How much does DJI Motion Controller weigh?

The DJI Motion Controller is a new addition to fly Avata and DJI FPV drones. The controller was designed with simplicity in mind, and it’s beginner-friendly.

The DJI Motion Controller weighs about 167 grams, less than half the weight of the remote controller. 

The Motion Controller is not a mandatory accessory for Avata, but many pilots prefer it.

Are the DJI Avata batteries heavy? 

Avata batteries, as with any drone batteries, are the elements that add the most considerable weight to an entire kit. 

A single DJI Avata battery weighs 162 grams, which is considered lightweight compared to many other drone batteries. 

In general, a drone pilot has more than one battery, and you may need to have one as well to benefit from the best flight time and experience of flying Avata.

Typically, a Fly More kit comes with three batteries, but having three adds about half a kilogram of weight to the system.

Don’t forget that in this case, we have one battery already attached to Avata, which weighs 410 grams with that battery.

Does adding extra weight affect Avata’s flight style?

Remember, Avata is a lightweight drone. Maybe it’s not as lightweight as the DJI Mini 3 Pro, but it’s also not as heavy as the DJI FPV drone. 

This, coupled with the drone structure and weaker motors, means we must often add extra weight to the Avata. 

Maybe we want to add landing gear or a GoPro for better recordings, for example. The idea is that the Avata was manufactured and calculated to have the best flight performance at its own factory weight of 410 grams. 

Adding extra weight to Avata will drastically impact flight performance and battery life. It even comes at a risk of crashing your drone if you decide to add a GoPro on top of the Avata.

» MORE: Can DJI Avata Carry GoPro (Explained)

Is there any way to lighten Avata’s weight?

Not really. Because it is a factory-form Cinewhoop style, Avata does not allow for interchangeable parts or support modifications in any way (as with classic FPV drones).

One of the heaviest parts contributing to DJI Avata’s weight on top of the battery is the DJI VTX module that will help your Avata transmit a live image, record, and receive input from the controller. 

However, the VTX module or any other modules cannot be changed or swapped in any way.

Are there any other elements that add weight to the DJI Avata?

To the drone itself? No, not unless you add accessories as mentioned above, such as a GoPro, landing gear, extra lights, camera safety frame, etc. 

But to the entire kit, expect to add a few hundred more grams on top of what you have because, in this case, you have to count the weight of a charger, the Avata’s battery charging hub, battery bag, and even a specific drone bag if you opt for that. 

Although we initially mentioned that the Avata weighs only 410 grams, taking the entire kit with you plus accessories may even exceed a total weight of 2 kilograms. 

Ultimately, you choose what to take with you on top of the Avata. Overall, the Avata is not heavy, even as an entire kit, compared to many other drones.

AUVSI launch green UAS scheme for America

Not enough American companies managing to comply with the Blue sUAS program perhaps? It will be interesting to see how this pans out. The AUVSI has not traditionally been a friend to the small industry, instead serving defence vendors first and foremost. My bat senses tell me this will muddy the waters further. I am guessing DJI will be taking AUVSI off the Christmas card list now.

We had an idea this was coming on Tuesday. Philip Rowse from CubePilot was not so sure about the scheme.

Green UAS builds on Blue UAS to serve the non-defence drone community and bolsters the drone manufacturing base.

Green UAS is the first product of AUVSI’s broader Trusted Cyber Program, which AUVSI launched in August 2022 with collaboration from AUVSI members and Fortress Information Security, a leading cybersecurity firm with experience in industry-led cyber standards development.

The assessment process is administered by AUVSI — the world’s largest nonprofit for drones and autonomous systems — in collaboration with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). AUVSI will work with a network of cybersecurity firms to rapidly vet drones that are seeking Green UAS certification using frameworks that address threats and cyber risks in the areas of corporate cyber hygiene, product and device security, supply chain risk management, and for drones that are not seeking to go from Green to Blue, remote operations and connectivity.

Green-compliant drones that have a DoD customer/sponsor willing to sponsor and fund a DoD Authority to Operate (ATO) will have the opportunity to transition from the Green UAS cleared list to Blue UAS cleared list. 

Best Drones Compatible with Oculus Quest 2

The Oculus Quest 2 is comfortable, lightweight, and powerful enough to provide an exhilarating virtual reality experience with many compatible drones.

What are the best drones to use with Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets?

The best drones compatible with Oculus Quest 2 include:

  1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro
  2. Mavic Air 2
  3. Autel Robotics Evo 11
  4. Ruko F11Pro
  5. EMAX Tinyhawk
  6. DJI Mavic Mini
  7. Parrot Anafi

Keep reading for an overview of all the drones above so you can select the best one to use with your Oculus Quest 2!

1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is one of the best drones compatible with the Oculus Quest 2, capable of shooting amazing quality 4k video.

In addition to the gorgeous, high-quality 4k video, the drone comes at a perfect price range compared to other VR drones.

The high-quality camera with a one-inch 20-megapixel sensor works incredibly well to provide the user with an immersive FPV VR flying experience.

Further, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is easy to repair, provides an incredible 31-minute flight time, and has an amazing 20 MP 1” lens CMOS sensor.

With superior image quality, HD video quality, excellent battery life, and multiple intelligent features such as VR piloting and obstacle avoidance, you can never go wrong with the Mavic Pro 2.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera with a 20MP 1” CMOS Sensor, the Mavic 2 camera drone lets you capture gorgeous aerial shots in stunning color detail.

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01/27/2023 01:17 am GMT

2. DJI Mavic Air 2

Another top-notch drone compatible with the Oculus Quest 2 is the DJI Mavic Air 2. The Mavic Air 2 is easy to fly and provides a wide range of opportunities to get creative with FPV and aerial videography.

To use your DJI Mavic Air 2, you need an Android device to make flying the Mavic Air 2 with Oculus Quest 2 easy.

Flip the Oculus Quest 2 before installing a Miracast receiver app and turn on the screen share to connect. While there might be a lot of latency and broken images, the connection will be fine with time.

The safety feature, such as obstacle avoidance, ensures your drone is safe as you enjoy the exhilarating, immersive FPV experience.

Additionally, the Mavic Air 2 provides an increased flight time of 34 minutes per charge, denoting that you will have plenty of time to get creative with your Oculus Quest 2 headsets.

DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo

The Mavic Air 2 camera drone takes power and portability to the next level. It combines a powerful camera with intelligent shooting modes for stunning results.

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01/26/2023 07:29 am GMT

3. Autel Robotics Evo II

In addition to being compatible with the Oculus Quest 2, the Autel Robotics Evo II boasts several other exciting features, including an outstanding 40 minutes of flight time.

Besides, every part of the Evo II goes through multiple tests before it’s assembled. Therefore, the drone is designed to provide incredible durability. In terms of flight experience, the Evo drone hardly disappoints.

Autel Robotics EVO 2 Pro

6K HDR Video Rugged Bundle, Version 2, No Geo-Fencing (2022 Newest Fly More Combo)

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01/26/2023 08:09 am GMT

4. Ruko F11Pro

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly drone compatible with the Oculus Quest 2, then the Autel Robotics Evo 11 VR Drone could be the perfect choice.

Even though it comes with a budget-friendly price tag, it features several exceptional features, including the one-touch take-off and landing, 30-minute flight time, and tap fly mode, making it easy to fly the drone.

Ruko F11 Pro

Ruko F11 Pro Drones with Camera for Adults 4K UHD Camera 30 Mins Flight Time with GPS Return Home Brushless Motor-Black(with Carrying Case)

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01/26/2023 02:39 pm GMT

5. EMAX Tinyhawk

The EMAX Tinyhawk is best suited for drone enthusiasts first getting into the work of VR drones. It allows you to practice and elevate your FPV racing from the comfort of your home.

Furthermore, you’re ready to fly once you get your EMAX Tinyhawk out of the box.

Even though this drone is small, it’s fast enough to perform effectively during drone races. It can achieve up to 56 km/h, providing an impressive racing experience.

In addition to being compatible with the Oculus Quest 2 headsets, the Tinyhawk offers excellent flight performance as it is agile and responsive to the controller.

6. DJI Mavic Mini

The DJI Mavic Mini VR drone is a reliable and intuitive quadcopter that allows the user to get creative. Besides being compatible with most VR headsets, including the Oculus Quest, it captures beautiful footage best for social media enthusiasts.

Also, its compact design makes it easy to take it anywhere and get a beautiful virtual reality flight experience that is not common in most VR drones.

With features such as 4k video at 60 FPS, 30 minutes of flight time, and a compact design, you will have memorable moments flying this drone. Again, you do not need a lot of experience to push the Mavic Mini VR drone to its limits.

The drone easily connects to your Oculus Quest 2 headsets to provide you with the most fulfilling experience when flying it.

DJI Mavic Mini Combo

Drone FlyCam Quadcopter UAV with 2.7K Camera 3-Axis Gimbal GPS 30min Flight Time, less than 0.55lbs, Gray.

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01/26/2023 11:29 pm GMT

7. Parrot Anafi

One feature that makes the Parrot Anafi VR Drone stand out from the rest is it’s highly portable. It’s ultra-foldable and can comfortably fit into a sleek zippered case so you can easily take it wherever you want.

Further, the Anafi VR drone features exceptionally quiet blades, meaning you can have an intuitive flight experience even in places that prioritize silent operations.

Additional compelling features that make the Parrot Anafi a great drone is its camera gimbal, capable of reaching 180 degrees, which makes it easy for the drone to provide a thrilling FPV flight experience.

Parrot ANAFI

With its ultra-compact and lightweight carbon frame (320 g), this quadcopter drone unfolds in less than 3 seconds, reaches a speed of 55 km/h in sport mode, and withstands bullets up to 50 km/h.

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01/26/2023 01:49 pm GMT

Buyer’s guide: The best drones compatible with Oculus Quest 2

Whenever you set out to shop for the best drones compatible with the Oculus Quest 2, consider the following important factors.

Drone range

Drone range is a major factor to consider as it tells you more about the power of your drone.

A drone with a higher range can travel further with ease. In other words, high drone ranges allow you to control your drone from a distance and still get a strong signal.

When operating your drone, you want it to be more responsive for smooth and exciting flights. The range of a drone affects how responsive it is, so you should pay close attention to it.

Moreover, the more responsive a drone is, the fewer the chances of crashing it.

Always go for drones with a range of 500m and up for the best flying experience.


In addition to the range of a drone, another important feature to consider is the quality of the camera.

The camera is your tool for seeing the surrounding and the environment. Therefore, the camera attached to your drone should be good enough to provide you with an excellent FPV experience.

Obstacle avoidance

When flying a drone using VR mode, your vision is usually limited. Knocking your drone against objects becomes easy.

Buying a drone with obstacle avoidance capabilities will significantly reduce the chances of hitting your drone against objects, saving you the agony of repairing or replacing your drone and the extra costs.

Speed and battery power

Speedy drones with extended flight times mean you have plenty of time to enjoy flying your drone without stopping and recharging.

Speed is another important factor when buying an FPV drone, as you can now use your drone for various objectives, including racing.

Durability and price

If you’re passionate about VR drones, you love to take your drone wherever you go. You need a drone that can withstand the test of time and defy rough landings and other abuses.

One way to establish the durability of a drone is to pay attention to the quality of the material used for its manufacture. The price can also hint at the quality of a drone.

Can You Fly a Drone in Edinburgh?

As Scotland’s capital, that’s reason enough to visit Edinburgh. The hilly region, which is split between Old Town with its medieval architecture and New Town with its Georgina influences, is where you’ve always dreamed of flying your drone.

Can you fly a drone in Edinburgh?

You can fly a drone in Edinburgh, but you must have permission from the council before taking off or landing. Requesting permission requires you to include information like your full name, drone model, and flight plan.

This full guide to flying a drone in Edinburgh will fill you in on everything you need to know, including how to obtain permission to fly and the drone rules in this country.

Let’s get going!

Can you fly a drone in Edinburgh?

Scotland, located in the United Kingdom, follows the drone rules and policies enacted by the Civil Aviation Authority or CAA. The CAA permits drone flights, but with key caveats in some instances.

For example, in Edinburgh, you first have to contact their council if you’ll launch or land your drone on any land owned by the council.

The council has several divisions, and depending on where you plan to fly, you’d need to contact either their public safety, parks, or roads divisions.  

Should the appropriate council grant you the permission you seek to use your drone in Edinburgh, you’re always expected to follow Scotland’s drone laws and the broader guidelines instituted by the CAA.

How to get permission to fly a drone in Edinburgh

If we break it down simply, obtaining permission to use a drone in Edinburgh is a three-step process. Of course, it’s more nuanced than it appears on the surface, so let’s take a deeper dive into the process now.

Contact the right party

As mentioned, the Edinburgh council has separate divisions or agencies, with each agency managing a different area. Additionally, some agencies require you to apply for a permit.

Let’s break down this information further.

  • If you want to fly on council-owned land: You don’t need a permit, but you will need to email [email protected] for official flight permission.
  • If you want to fly in a green space or park: You will need a Parks and Green Spaces Permit from the City of Edinburgh Council that manages the parks. You can contact [email protected] to get the process underway.
  • If you want to fly over railways and trams: You will need a Trams and Railway Permit. You can also email [email protected].
  • If you want to fly over roads: You will need a Road Occupation Permit Application. You can contact [email protected].

Compile the relevant information and apply for a permit

While the only Edinburgh permit information we could find applied to the Parks and Green Spaces Permit[1], generally, any of the application forms will ask you to provide relevant information that the Edinburgh Council needs to make its decision.

Here’s the list of documentation you must prepare:

  • Your full name
  • The make and model of your drone
  • A Risk Assessment and Method Statement, which includes which risks you may face when using your drone and how you plan to prevent or mitigate them
  • Official CAA permission (may not always be required)
  • A copy of your Public Liability Insurance
  • A copy of your CAA drone license
  • A flight plan that includes the exact dates and times you plan to use your drone as well as where (include a contingency flight area for abandoning the flight if need be)

Even with that watertight documentation, the council may request further information from you before making their decision.

One document they may ask for is the Stewarding Plan, which includes more maps and a detailed flight description.

In the Stewarding Plan, you should also add the locations of stewards across the area and which control measures you’ll utilize.

You could also need a Traffic Management Plan if you use your drone near a highway.

You might have to accompany this plan with a Traffic Notice or Traffic Order, and you might also have to pay a fee for operating close to the roads. 

Wait for approval

Here’s the worst part, hoping and praying the council accepts your request and grants you a permit.

As the paragraphs above should prove, obtaining approval is not an overnight process. You might need to have some back and forth with the council before you’re approved.

The link above that includes the Parks and Green Spaces Permit form says this about the approval process:

“It is worth bearing in mind that the permission process involves consultation with the local Councillors and community groups and takes approximately six weeks to complete (it can take longer for large events) so we advise that applications are submitted as early as possible.”

What if you fly in Edinburgh without permission?

You hadn’t realized that receiving approval from the Edinburgh Council would take so long. You already bought your flight tickets, confirmed your hotel, and essentially booked your trip, and you really had your heart set on bringing your drone.

What if you used your drone under the radar while waiting for your flight permission? What would happen?

An authority figure will tell you to cease flying your drone. We’d advise you to listen to this stern warning to avoid further consequences.

Continuing to use your drone despite the warning will require the Police Scotland to get involved. The police will either warn you again or punish you by forcing you to leave the land governed by the council.

Your vacation would be over in a hurry, and you might not be allowed back for future visits!  

Scotland drone rules to follow

Edinburgh enforces Scotland’s drone laws, so let’s take the rest of this article to fill you in on what those laws are.

You must have valid IDs

The UK requires you to pass an online theory test to obtain your Flyer ID, which is sort of like the FAA’s Part 107 exam for commercial pilots or TRUST exam for recreational pilots.

In some instances, you might also need an Operator ID, which proves you’ve registered your drone. You’ll receive an Operator ID label that you must adhere to your UAV before flying it.

Further, the city of Edinburgh notes that even with those IDs in tow, you could have to pass an online drone safety exam before you can take to the skies.

Limit your flight distance in open areas with large crowds

If a crowd of more than 1,000 people congregates in Edinburgh, you cannot fly any closer than 150 feet within that area, even if it’s an open area.

Since counting 1,000 people in a crowd can be difficult, you’re better off not getting too close to crowds at all.

If your drone has a camera, still maintain your distance from crowds

The rules in Scotland do differ if your drone comes equipped with a camera. Then you can’t fly within 500 feet of a crowd in a built-up area.

Keep your drone within your line of sight

In the UK, drone pilots must always keep a carefully trained eye on their drones, never allowing them to venture outside their line of sight.

Your line of sight includes how far you can see with glasses or contacts but prohibits visual aids like binoculars.

You must always have your registration documents handy

Police Edinburgh or other official agencies may request to see your drone registration at any time you’re flying, even if you’re doing so legally and have official permissions.

Don’t leave your registration in a lockbox at your hotel. Bring it with you when you fly every time!

Don’t fly closer than 5 kilometers to an airport

Throughout Scotland, drone pilots must keep good boundaries from all airports, not flying within a radius any closer than 5 kilometers or 3.11 miles.

This should limit interactions with manned aircraft.

Stay within an altitude of 400 feet

Scotland requires drone pilots to fly no higher than 400 feet in altitude.

Edinburgh, Scotland is a quaint, beautiful place to fly a drone. You can’t just pack up, go, and launch your drone all at once, though.

You must request a permit (or flight permission) through the council well in advance.

Flying without a permit (if you need one, that is) could get you a stern warning or even ejection from the city by police, so always go through the proper channels.

1. Culture Edinburgh (link)

Best Drone Simulators for Android (with Screenshots)

So you want to practice flying a drone, but your PC is not strong enough to handle a simulator. Well, worry not, for you can still improve your flying skills on an android device.

But not every simulator will be worth your while. So, which are the best simulators for Android?

The best simulators for android include the FPV Freerider, Quadcopter FX Simulator, RC Drone Flight Simulator, FPV SkyDive, and Multirotor SIM 2.

Please keep reading to learn more about these simulators for Android and how they work. I’ve also included some screenshots of the simulator’s gameplay.

While many Android simulators are designed like games, there are some simulators with accurate controls and physics that mimic real-life drone flight.

Below are the best ones:

The FPV Freerider is one of the best drone simulators for Android that you can use to practice FPV flying.

Their Google Play Store page states that the controls are difficult, but that is meant to challenge you to learn actual skills and muscle memory that you will need when flying a real FPV drone.

To give you an even more natural experience, this simulator is designed to work with a physical controller.

I have played using the touchscreen controls and the controller, and it’s better to use the controller. The touchscreen controls seemed jerky, and I could barely get a smooth flight.

The FPV Freerider Android simulator is a paid app, but you get a free demo version to test things out. You only get to fly in a desert scene in the demo version.

 It seems like they deliberately limited the features on the demo version to get you to purchase the paid versions, which include the FPV Freerider Full Version ($2) and the FPV Freerider Recharged ($5).

By paying, you unlock the island, meadow, playground, car park, and the Two Towers.

If you want access to more sceneries, the FPV Freerider Recharged comes with the Track template, Desert Ruins, H-Tower, Bando One, The Tall Bando, and the level editor.

What I like most about this simulator is that it allows you to calibrate the controller, adjust the rates, adjust the view, and adjust the trim levels, all of which you will need to know when flying real FPV drones.

You also get to choose whether to have self-leveling, which helps you learn to level the drone on your own.

Below are some screenshots of the scenes and what the controls look like.

Desert Ruins
Car Park

If you’re looking for a fully immersive experience, including goggles, then the Quadcopter FX Android simulator is worth checking out.

Now, you can’t connect your DJI goggles or any other FPV goggles, but this simulator is designed to work with Google VR headsets, and you can also control it using physical controllers. With these two setups, you will forget you are operating from an Android device.

Like the FPV Freerider simulator, this simulator is designed to teach you introductory FPV flight. The drone maintains its altitude after you take off by default, but you can make the flight more difficult as you progress.

Even though it’s a free simulator, you still get access to scenes like deserts, an old factory, open sea, and Paradise Island, and you’ll have two more drones to choose from.

You can also customize features such as control sensitivity, tilt angle, and an option to switch between Normal, Sports, 3D, and Acro Modes.

In the free version, you only practice basic movements by going through loops, finding the quadpad, and landing.

However, I was surprised that they even have wind settings where you can adjust the wind speed and direction and add a gust of wind. And when you crash, it tells you either why you crashed or which part of the drone was damaged.

To get access to more features such as Return to Home and more scenes, you will need the Pro Version, which costs less than $5.

Overall, it’s a fun simulator to practice with on the go.

The RC Drone Flight Simulator comes with the simplicity of a video game but with almost-realistic physics that mimics real drones.

Once you download the app, it takes you directly to the selection of a drone, and you will be flying in a few seconds.

This simulator lacks fancy features like using a VR headset, a physical controller, or customizing the controls, but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting.

You can fly different types of drones in various scenes, like an office, supermarkets, and a warehouse.

Each scene has coins that are strategically placed, testing your drone flight skills as you collect these coins. You will then use these coins to buy the other drones and scenes available on the simulator.

Once you crash, you are taken back to where you started. The drone also has a battery which you should always be mindful of as you collect the coins.

The more coins you get before the battery gets depleted, the higher your score, which helps keep the simulator interesting.

If you’re looking for a drone video game with real physics, you should try out the City Drone Flight Simulator.

This sim allows you to fly in cities, beaches, and many other scenes. It’s more of a video game because it has levels; each level comes with difficulty and a different scene, but you don’t get much room for customization.

You also get to choose from the more than five drones in the simulator, each of which has different characteristics.

At first, this simulator will feel quite sensitive and will take some getting used to. It becomes easier and more fun eventually as you progress through the levels.

Built by the same guys who gave you the Quadcopter FX Simulator and 3D Creatives, the Drone Racing FX Simulator also allows you to experience the best drone flight experience you can on an Android device.

You not only get to play freestyle on your own, but you can also use the multiplayer that allows you to compete with at least four other drone pilots.

When you’re indoors with friends and are unsure how to spend your time, this is an activity you can participate in, and you only need to pay $5 or less.

This simulator also allows you to customize the controls, build tracks, choose the mode for the screen controller, attach a physical controller, and view the gameplay through VR goggles.

Having played the ORQA’s FPV SkyDive simulator on PC, I was so glad to find they also have an Android version. They state that the game is still in development, but the version available is playable and has all the features you might be looking for in an Android drone simulator.

Like in the PC version, you can connect your controller or use the touchscreen controllers.

Regarding FPV simulators, the FPV SkyDive is one of the most realistic simulators you’ll come across.

You will crash and flip a lot until you get the hang of it. If you feel like the controls are too sensitive, you can adjust the rates in the calibration section.

Currently, only three scenes are available on the simulator. They are the Racing Track, Construction Zone, and Red Valley.

If you’ve never used a drone or a controller before, you will love the training section that teaches you the basic movements of a drone and how you can combine them to accomplish more complex moves.

This is another simulator that allows you to practice multiplayer FPV flying. Instead of other friends joining the game, you will be racing against other quadcopters within the simulator.

Everything else is designed to mimic real drone racing. The simulator lets you know when you crash, and the coins and bonuses you get when you win or as you play can help you improve or repair your drone.

There’s even a Parts Shop where you can buy frames, motors, GPS modules, batteries, gimbals, and many other accessories.

Practicing drone flight doesn’t always have to be serious business. When you’re tired of using the controls, check out a video game like the Drone Shadow Strike.

This is for those who have always wondered what flying the US Military Global Hawk drone is like.

You don’t learn how to control it, but at least you can blow stuff up with an aerial view. But don’t get carried away. Mastering drone controls is the end goal, so ensure you get back to that as soon as possible.


And there you have it. If you really want to become good at flying drones, you need to practice every chance you get, and Android drone simulators are a good way to do that.

The controls and physics have been designed to mimic real drone flight, enabling you to develop muscle memory.

I’ve also seen some that allow you to connect a physical drone controller and a VR headset, which is a nice touch to an already good experience.

Best Drone Simulators for Beginners (With Screenshots)

Are you new to drones and looking for an easy way to fly a drone? Or, you just got your drone but aren’t confident enough in your piloting skills and want to practice how to fly a drone? Then you are in the right place.


The best way to practice how to fly a drone today is by using a simulator.

Most drone simulators nowadays feature graphics, physics, and mechanisms that emulate the real-world flight experience, allowing you to develop muscle memory which will be critical when flying drones outdoors.

When some people think of simulators, they think of complex manned aircraft simulators, which can be pretty frustrating for a beginner. But there are simulators easy enough for beginners to get started.

So, which are the best drone simulators for beginners?

The best drone simulator for beginners includes the DRL simulator, Crazy Games Drone Simulator, Zephyr, DroneSimPro, and ORQA FPV SkyDive simulators.

Please keep reading to learn more about these simulators, plus screenshots that give you a sneak peek of what these SIMs look like.

Drone Racing League

This is the simulator I started with, and I believe the moment you start playing it, you’ll get hooked. But what makes it suitable for beginners?

If you have never flown a drone before or even seen one except on YouTube videos, this simulator is designed with you in mind.

It has a drone flight training section where you learn a drone’s basic controls and use these controls to fly through the various loops.

The drone looks real, and the environment you’re flying in looks natural enough, giving you the confidence you need when flying outdoors.

DRL – Completing the Balloon Challenge

Another reason I find it great to start with the DRL simulator is you can use a wide range of controllers, from gamepads to customizable drone controllers like the Taranis or the Turnigy.

I recommend using an actual drone controller rather than a gamepad on this simulator to become better at flying drones.

But don’t expect the simulator to go easy on you. After learning the basics, the tests become more difficult, and you can even choose the difficulty level. The only way to learn and stay on top of your game is to keep challenging yourself.

The various scenery selections to fly in keep the simulator interesting too. You can choose to fly in a campground, US Air Force boneyard, and Gates of New York.

DRL – Flying free style in the US Air Force Boneyard

And if you don’t have that much to spend, this Sim will be great since you can get it on your PC for $10 or less.

What’s more? The DRL simulator is made by the same people behind the Drone Racing League, and if you become pretty good at flying drones in the simulator, you get a chance to try out for the actual drone race.

And if you want to gauge yourself before the tryouts, you can participate in the multiplayer tournaments or even challenge some of the top pilots in the leaderboard.

Other features that you will find in this simulator include:

  • A map editor to edit the scenes to fly in.
  • Physics section to test new features.
  • Community to interact with other players and even buy or explore maps and drones built by other members.

Looking for the easiest way to start learning how drone flight works? Go to your favorite browser, and search for the Crazy Games Drone Simulator. Or just click the link in the above title.

After a few clicks, a drone appears on your screen, and you can start flying it with your keyboard. It’s that easy—no need to connect a controller.

There’s no need to calibrate a controller. And you will definitely not have to pay for anything.

I came across this simulator when looking for free drone simulators, and I was surprised that I had never heard about it.

Below is what it looks like:

1. Get a drone

2. Select an Environment

3. Start Flying

You get 1,000 coins when you first join the game, which you can use to buy the first drone. Then, as you fly, you collect more coins as you learn how to maneuver your drone. You can use the coins you collect to buy other drones within the simulator.

You will need the following keys to fly the drone in the simulator:

  • W – To pitch forward.
  • S – To Pitch backward
  • A – To roll left
  • D – To roll right
  • J – To yaw to the left
  • L – To yaw to the right
  • I – To ascend
  • J – to descend

The biggest downside with this simulator is you have to deal with ads that keep popping up as you fly since it’s a free simulator. But you can always skip them and pick up where you left off.

Zephyr Simulator

Zephyr is another excellent drone simulator perfect for beginners. It takes the approach of a learning tool, taking the player from beginner level to pro level within the simulator.

Institutions like the RaD lab and the Cloud Community College have utilized this simulator to teach their students about drones.

In the paid versions, there’s a platform for learners to practice their flying, and there is a platform for instructors to gauge how their students are doing.

Zephyr does its best to emulate real-life drone flight. As a result, you will find replicas of actual drone models, such as the Phantom 4, Inspire 2, Mavic Air 2, and Yuneec Typhoon, among others, within the simulator. You can also simulate weather conditions like wind.

Below is what the drone list looks like currently:

You also get to fly in a wide range of scenarios, though in the free version, you only have access to the hills, yards, and parking lot. Still, you will have enough fun flying in these scenes as you master your skills.

Parking Lot

The graphics may not be as good as in the DRL, and you may have to pay at least $15, but the mechanisms of a real drone and the free version make it an ideal option to start with.

Besides, graphics that aren’t too fancy will go easy on your PC compared to detailed graphics like the one on the DRL.


For the price of $10, the DroneSimPro is a classic drone flight simulator that you can add to your arsenal of simulators. I call it a classic because they have barely updated it since it was released, but it still works.

Once you purchase this simulator, you get one drone and three scenarios to fly in. But unlike in the Zephyr simulator, where the scenarios are limited in size, DroneSimPro’s scenarios are expansive, allowing you to explore further within one scenery.

But that is all there is to it. After flying for a while, you might quickly get bored. But I believe each simulator offers a different experience, so you can always take a break from it and try another one.

The sceneries available in this simulator include:

Open Field
Obstacle Course
House Fire

The best way to fly the drones in DroneSimPro is using gamepads, though they state that you can use drone controllers. Still, I haven’t tested that yet, so I can’t speak to how well it works.


Are you a beginner in the world of FPV? The ORQA FPV SkyDive is designed to teach you the basics. However, while it’s a beginner simulator for FPV pilots, it may be too complex for a pilot who’s never flown a drone before, even on a simulator.

So, it’s ideal to learn the basics of flying a drone from a simulator like the DRL or Zephyr, then introduce yourself to FPV with the ORQA FPV SkyDive once you get the hang of it.

It also has a training module, so don’t worry if it all seems too intimidating.

Like real-life FPV drones, the ORQA FPV sim is fast, sometimes sensitive, and the drone will crash a lot. This prepares you for what to expect. It’s also almost fully manual, where if you let go of the controllers, the drone will not hover and will mostly land.

You can also calibrate your joysticks to make them more suitable for your style of flying or switch between the various flight modes, which is vital in flying FPV.

Below is a sneak peek of what you can expect on the simulator:

Flying through the course
Flying through the construction zone
Flying through the Red Valley
Flying in the abandoned factory


Suppose you’re passionate about flying drones and are wondering how to get started. In that case, the simulators mentioned in this post are beginner-friendly, affordable, and have enough features to make you good at flying a drone.

You can even get them all and rotate them to keep yourself entertained or challenged by the various sceneries.

What SD Card Do I Need for DJI Air 2S?

If you own an Air 2S, like me, perhaps just simply flying the drone isn’t enough. You might like to capture pictures and videos.

With its 5k video capabilities and 1 inch, Sony image sensor producing excellent quality 20mp photos, both video and photos on the Air 2S are excellent, with many visual professionals using the Air 2S daily.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne (Air 2S)

To handle all of the photos and videos that can be taken with the Air 2S, there is an internal 8GB of storage (for those who might forget their SD Cards at home) and support for Micro SD Cards up to a maximum of 256 GB, according to DJI.

To ensure you can capture the best quality photos and videos on your Air 2S, you will need a Micro SD Card that is Class UHS-I with a U3 rating, with a maximum storage capacity of 256 GB.

We will go through general SD card information, recommendations, and possible issues in this article.

What do the numbers on SD cards mean?

What do the wording and numbers on the cards mean (UHS-I, U3, etc.) and how do they affect video recording performance? We’ll dig into this a little while keeping it as easy to understand as possible.

UHS-I & UHS-II Cards

Image Credit: ZSystems

UHS stands for Ultra High Speed, which is all about how the card handles recording video.

With the onset of 4k, cards needed to have higher minimum sustained writing speeds than was previously available. UHS-I cards are high-speed cards with a single-row interface of embedded pins.

Like UHS-I cards, UHS-II cards are high-speed cards. Unlike the UHS-I cards, however, the UHS-II cards have a double-row interface of embedded pins and are also faster.

What’s worth noting is that, although faster, devices (cameras) would need to have SD Card slots that read the extra row of pins.

The Air 2S can only read one row of pins, thus gaining no speed benefit from UHS-II cards. Because of this, the UHS-I route is the way to go.

U1 & U3

U1 and U3 are the UHS speed class ratings.

UHS Speed Class 1 supports 10MB/write speed as a minimum, with the UHS Speed Class 3 having a minimum of at least a 30MB/write speed.

These numbers are significant as, if you are planning to film in 4k, a U3 card is generally required. The speed class of the card is marked on the actual SD card as a bucket with a 1 or 3 contained in it.

UHS Speed Class Symbols

Even if you are not planning on filming 4k+ video, having U3 cards, with a speed advantage over U1 cards, is beneficial at times for taking pictures.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne (Air 2S)

The speed benefit for taking pictures on the Air 2S comes into play when doing 3-5 frame AEB (auto exposure bracketing) and 20 MP burst shooting, as the images in these modes write to the card quickly, eliminating the noticeable pauses in slower U1 cards.


What do these classifications and designations actually mean to those wanting to take pictures and get 4k footage with their Air 2S?

It means that you’ll want a UHS-I U3 card for your Air 2S. Without going into all of the intricate milli-this, second-that information, you’ll want to purchase the fastest, best quality card that is in your budget. As long as you get the UHS-I U3 card, you’ll be able to capture everything you need on your Air 2S.

You might be tempted to purchase a UHS-II card, but remember, the Air 2S cannot physically benefit from the extra row of pins in the card’s interface, so currently, you’d be spending extra money for an unusable speed gain.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne (Air 2S)

If you are planning on JUST taking pictures and not filming any video, you can get away with a U1 card, but the price between a U3 and U1 card is pretty negligible, so purchasing the faster card will still be the best route to go.

DJI Recommended SD Cards

Being that DJI is the manufacturer of the Air 2S, it makes sense to consider the SD cards they recommend. Why is this the case? DJI is well aware of the strengths of their hardware and knowing such, they can recommend devices that play to, instead of hampering, those strengths.

Below is a listing (with links and pictures) of DJI’s SD Card recommendations, as well as useful product information.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB V30 A2 microSDXC

The SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card is made for conditions we might find our drones in. They are reportedly Temperature proof, Waterproof, and Shockproof.

SanDisk High Endurance 64GB V30 microSDXC

Like the SanDisk Extreme Pro series, the High Endurance line is likewise Temperature proof, Waterproof, and Shockproof. The cards are designed for worry-free recording for 5,000 hours (for the 64GB version).

SanDisk Extreme 64GB V30 A2 microSDXC

Built for tough weather conditions, the Extreme series has read speeds up to 160MB and write speeds up to 60MB, perfect for 4k video recording and burst modes on the Air 2S. These features apply to the 128 & 256 GB versions as well.

SanDisk Extreme 128GB V30 A2 microSDXC

SanDisk Extreme 256GB V30 A2 microSDXC

Lexar 667x 64GB V30 A2 microSDXC

Specifically designed for action cameras and drones, this line of cards can store 12 hours of 4k video, 40 hours of 1080p video, and approximately 75,000 photos.

Lexar High-Endurance 64GB V30 microSDXC

Samsung EVO 64GB microSDXC

In addition to being waterproof, shockproof, temperature proof, and X-ray proof, the EVO Select and the Evo Plus series are also magnetic proof. Top this with read speeds up to 100MB and write speeds up to 60MB, this card will record 4k UHD videos with ease, while keeping memories safe.

Samsung EVO Plus 64GB microSDXC

Samsung EVO Plus 256GB microSDXC

Kingston 128GB V30 microSDXC

Made for action cameras and drones, the Kingston series has transfer speeds up to 170 MB and supports the A2 App Performance Class. This series of cards is water, x-ray, temperature, shock, and vibration proof.

Netac 256GB A1 microSDXC

The Netac line of cards, while being quick, is ideal for drones as they are water, temperature, X-ray, and magnetic proof.

Personal Recommendation(s)

As someone that uses the Air 2S professionally, for both photography and video projects for clients, I have quite a few SD cards on hand, at all times. As such, below are some of my recommendations for SD cards and accessories that might make life a little easier when it comes to footage and photo management.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

SD Cards

For all of the years I have been using drones and cameras, I have always used the SanDisk Extreme line of cards as my primary SD cards.

I currently still use the 128GB capacity cards, as those were the ones I started out with years ago when drones had a maximum capacity of 128GB. Because the cards work so well, previously I never saw a need to upgrade.

The Extreme line of cards is quick, durable, high quality, and budget-friendly as well. As I add more cards for the Air 2S in the future, I do plan to get the maximum 256GB capacity, to utilize the Air 2S’ maximum card capacity to the fullest.

For backups, I use a combination of Samsung Evo and SanDisk 64GB cards. All of these smaller capacity cards work well.

SD Card Holder

It is oftentimes suggested by many who take drone photos and videos to have at least a backup SD card or two on hand at all times. SD cards can get left in computers or fail. The old adage “better safe than sorry” comes into play here. With the cost of SD cards being reasonable these days, having multiple cards is a no-brainer.

To keep backup SD cards organized and not jingling around like spare change in a front pants pocket, there are quite a few types of SD card holders online. My personal favorite is the one I use below that holds 10 Micro SD cards and one SD card converter or Mini SD card. I use this same setup for all of the drones I own.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

This particular card holder I use is about the size of a credit card and fits easily and quickly into any drone case or bag I am using, as well as in a front or back pocket when I’m traveling light. A similar model to the one I use can be found on Amazon.

Reported SD Card Issues

Periodically, you just might encounter an odd error or two with an SD Card used in the Air 2S. Many, if not most of these errors/issues are either related to the physical card or the file system the card is formatted in.

Below are some of the issues one might have with an SD card.

SD Card Full

Some Air 2S users have reported this issue in various forums, although the card is actually empty. This is an error whose origin is difficult to pinpoint, but easy to fix.

To fix the SD FULL issue that may pop up on the Air 2S Remote Controller, it is advised you simply reformat the card.

  1. In the DJI Fly app, go to the Settings Menu.
Image Credit: Dan Bayne
  1. Go into the Camera Tab.
Image Credit: Dan Bayne
  1. Scroll down to the Storage Location and select Format.
Image Credit: Dan Bayne
  1. Choose the SD Card and then Format.
Image Credit: Dan Bayne

After the card has been formatted within the DJI Fly app, there should be no more SD Card Full error messages.

Jittery Video

Sometimes, even with all of the correct video settings chosen at the time of recording, we might find that our video when played back is jittery or stuttering.

This can be caused by the SD card.

If you have jittery video:

  • Ensure you are using a UHS-I U3 card, as these specifically handle 4k (you might be using a slower U1 version card)
  • Swap out your current SD card with a backup and see if the problem persists. Although newer SD cards are durable, there can be an issue with that particular card
  • Reformat the SD card with the steps listed above