Ultimate Christmas Drone Buying Guide – Part 1

0
526

Hello everyone, this is Part 1 of our Ultimate Christmas Drone Buying Guide. Today we will present three drones that are good value for money under 140$ or 100£.

We will start with the Estes Proto-Z: RRP ~20$ / 24£. This is the bigger brother of the Estes Proto-X drone. It comes assembled with a controller that features an Auto-Flip button, USB charge cable, a 110mAh LiPo battery and 4 spare props. It weighs 17g and the diagonal is 100mm motor to motor. It is one of the cheapest drones and is good for beginners who want to gain experience flying drones.

The controller features a “True Direction Mode” it is great for first time flyers and it moves the Proto-Z in the same direction as the control sticks. There are four LEDs which will help you in flight orientation and tracking your drone in the dark. Flight time is up to 5 minutes.

What we think about the Estes Proto-Z:

Pros

Good yaw rate
Extremely stable
Good flight times
True direction mode
Not very “touchy” on the controls

Cons

Only one flight mode
Flips lose a lot of elevation
Flips drain the battery fast
Not very good at night flights

Estes Proto-Z Gallery

Second Drone on the list is the Hubsan X4 RRP is ~ 39$ / 23£ (~140$ / 100£ with a camera and Live LCD transmitter). The Hubsan X4 is a very good little quadcopter. It weighs 35g including the battery, and the diagonal is 90mm motor to motor. It comes assembled with a nice fancy remote control, which reminds us a lot of the Playstation controllers. You will need 4 AAA batteries (not included) for the remote control.

 

There is a USB charging cable for the battery which will require around 45mins to be fully charged for about 8 minutes of flight time. The capacity of the battery is 240mAh at 3.7V. It also features 4 LED lights (2 blue, 2 white) which will help you in orientation of the Hubsan X4. When you first power up the Hubsan X4 it starts on beginner mode which will only allow it to tilt at max 10 degrees, this is great for beginners so you can get familiar with flying the little quadcopter. You can set it up on advanced mode when you press down the right stick which now will allow the Hubsan X4 to tilt at 30 degrees, making it faster and more agile. We would suggest you buy the prop guards if you are going to fly indoors.

If your budget allows you to spend more you can buy the Hubsan X4 FPV which is a similar size and spec but has a small camera integrated and a live LCD transmitter, to get you into FPV flying.

What we think about the Hubsan X4:

Pros

Very stable
Good flight times
2 flight modes (beginner and advanced)
Nice feeling of the remote control

Cons                        

Strange feel on the centering of the sticks on the controller after a lot of use
Flips lose a lot of elevation
Flips drain the battery fast
Not very good at night flights

Hubsan X4 Gallery

Last but not least is the Micro Drone 2.0, another mini quadcopter, RRP is ~ 61$ / 46£ and 24£ for the 720p camera and a 2GB  micro SD Card. The camera is removable (4 screws) and is powered by the same battery that powers the Micro Drone 2.0. It comes with 4 spare props but you can find spare parts for everything. The remote control is not as fancy as the previous ones but it resembles more to a remote control of a bigger quadcopter. You will need 4 AAA batteries to operate it. In the package there is 1 300mAh LiPo battery which takes around 45 minutes to charge for a 10 minute flight time. If you have the camera connected flight time is around 7 mins.

Remote control has 2 modes (normal flying and flipping mode) and they can be switched anytime while you’re flying. You will need to fiddle a bit with the trims of the remote control to get it stable. Once you get it flying it is very fast and agile and responds very well. The quality of the recording is decent but if there is wind it is a bit shaky.

What we think about the Micro Drone 2.0:

Pros

Very stable
Excellent flight times
2 flight modes (normal and flips)
Nice feeling of the remote control

Cons                        

Flips lose a lot of elevation
Camera drains the battery fast
Not very good at night flights

Micro Drone 2.0 Gallery

Any of these Drones are a great start for a beginner. We recommend any of the three as each one is unique in its own way.

Below you can find links where you can buy these mini drones.