Best Mini Drones 2017/18
When it comes to buying a drone there are those you are willing to take a chance on and those that you aren’t. If you are buying a high end 5KHD Pro model then of course it pays to do a lot of research, but if you are looking for a mini drone that costs less than £50 then you are probably willing to take a punt on something a little more quirky.
All of the mini drones that we feature here are pretty quirky and all of them have some great features (otherwise they wouldn’t be on our top ten list). One thing to note with mini-drones is that they typically have pretty low flight times so it does pay to get extra batteries. Some of these even come with extra batteries included so our reviews are of the whole package and not just the drone itself.
This review was compiled in November 2017 and we will add amend it as we feel necessary.
10. JJRC H36 Mini Drone
The JJRC H36 is a drone that we have featured a few times on various lists at Drone Deliver and it is one that has to make this list. There are numerous things we love about the JJRC H36, not least its very small size. Measuring up at just 3.74 inches by 3.74 inches and with a height of just 1.96 inches it can definitely be classed as a mini-drone.
The JJRC H36 weighs 22.5g (that is with the battery attached) and as such it performs well at decent speeds when flying. You will enjoy around 5 minutes of flight time with this micro-drone and a quick charging time of just 30-40 minutes means you can be up in the air again in no time – even if you have just one battery.
The controller is fairly easy to use and feels like a small xBox controller – just be aware that if you have large hands you might find the controls a little cumbersome. The price of this JJRC H36 is so cheap that it makes sense to give it a go – especially if it is your first ever drone purchase.
9. GoolRC Mini UFO Drone
The GoolRC Mini Drone is a pretty standard looking nano quadcopter but it is available in 3 different colour variants with the grey and black being our favourite.
It is one of the larger mini-drones that we feature on this page but it has a very low weight of just 16.6g. Measuring up at 3.3inches by 3.3inches it is still very much in the micro class of UAV and this little beauty has all the tricks to go with its sci-fi looks. Expect to be able to pull off ticks, flips, rolls and all at a distance of around 30m.
Charging and flight times are very similar to the JJRC with flight time typically lasting around 5 minutes and charging time taking around 50 minutes. The controller features a one press return to home key, a speed switch which is handy for beginners to be able to fly at a slower speed as well as headless mode which again makes the controlling of this drone super easy.
We found this drone a little easier to control than the JJRC H36 and we enjoyed trimming controls too. Coming in at between £15 and £19 this is a very decent mini drone.
8. Eachine E10C Mini Drone
Drones don’t come much smaller than this one and the fact that it includes a 2MP HD camera that can take photos and videos is simply amazing. This takes the term mini to a whole new level as the dimensions of the E10C are less than 2.4 inches by 2.4 inches. It is a little heavier than some of its rivals (probably due to how much it packs in) but who cares about that when it stacks up in every other way.
There is sadly no display or FPV capability but the controller is one of our favourites in this range. This one is a little bigger and has the most familiar feel with it being very much so like a console controller.
The Eachine E10C is capable of indoor and outdoor flight and it has two speed modes. Low is recommended for indoors and high for outdoors. LED lights on the front and back of the drone give it a very cool look when flying in low light and make it easy to keep track of your drone in the sky – remember this is a very small drone indeed!
The controller allows you to pull of flips and rolls at the touch of a button and you will really be able to master some interesting moves very quickly to impress your pals.
If you want a mini drone with a camera then this is a top choice.
7. Cheerson CX-10A Mini Drone
This is one of the more basic mini drones in our list and in terms of the controller it is the most basic. That being said, it has some real positives with the price point being the best. You can purchase the Cheerson CX-10A from between £12.99 and £15 depending on the variant you go for. It also features three different flying speeds which makes it great for new pilots or for indoor use in tight spaces.
The main downside of this mini-drone is that the propellers are quite exposed but this can be remedied by buying the blade guard covers for just £1.59 – hardly something that will break the bank.
The Cheerson weighs in at an incredible 12g and has some of the smallest dimensions size wise of all the quadcopters we have reviewed here. At just 1.57inches by 1.57 inches it packs a lot in to a very tiny package. With a 6-axis gyroscope and all the 3D flips and tricks you could want it is one of the most fun drones on our list.
Battery life is a standard 5 minutes and is Lithium Ion with an impressive 30 minute charge time.
6. DROCON Scouter Mini Drone
The DROCON Scouter Drone is a little different to the others we have reviewed and has some nifty features that will keep you and the kids entertained for hours on end. The first thing to note is that the drone folds up (or out if you prefer) and it has one of the coolest looking controllers of all the mini-drones.
When unfolded the DROCON Scouter is still just over 2.5 x 2.5 inches and when folded it is even smaller at less than 2 x 2 inches. It is a lot heavier than the other drones featured in our top ten and weighs just shy of 300g but the manufacturer recommends use for ages 8 and up which means it should be safe for most of the family (we still recommend 14 upwards).
Flight time for the DROCON Scouter is 5-7 minutes and charging time is a little longer than some of the other mini drones at 45-60 minutes. However, we haven’t got to the best part yet…
The Drocon Scouter has two main features that set it apart from the rest. First up, it has altitude hold mode which is a very advanced function for a UAV in this price bracket.
Secondly, it spins. As in midair spinning… and this is very cool indeed and is something of a showstopper. When using the LED lights at the same time it creates a spectacular display and even Bob in the office raised an eyebrow at it.
Three speed modes complete the features that get this drone to number 6 in our top ten mini-drones and at the time of writing we were getting 50% off the RRP here. Oh, and did we mention it is an Amazon best seller with 5 star reviews!
5. Estes Proto X Nano Quadcopter
Easily the smallest quadcopter on our list, the Estes Proto X Nano Quadcopter measures up at 1.8 x 1.8 inches and weighs less than 12g! It is hard to imagine how something this small can fly so well and how you can have so much control over it with the remote controller.
It comes complete with a 6-axis gyro with has a built in auto-correct function which means it will automatically put itself upright no matter how you launch it – making take offs really easy and super fun if you get a little inventive.
This super small drone charges via a USB cord (included) and the transmitter just requires two AAA batteries (not included) to get up in the air.
Although this drone is pretty simplistic and little pricier (and harder to get hold of) than some of our other micro drones it has one major benefit – it has a flying time of around 8 to 10 minutes from a 30 minute charge! That gives significantly more flight time than all of the drones listed 10-6.
The main drawback of this LED laden mini-beast is that it is really only suitable for indoor use… which is probably a good thing as if you took it outdoors it might get eaten by a bigger bug!
4. Syma X12 Nano Quadcopter
Another relatively cheap mini drone this time from one of the more well known brands Syma. The X12 Nano Mini UAV is a 4 channel 6-axi quadcopter capable of performing some serious moves in the air. It has one of the best examples of stability control that we have seen in this top ten review and can even fly in moderately strong winds – pretty impressive for a drone of this size!
The dimensions of the Syma X12 are 2.8inches by 1.8inches and as such it is another really small drone packing a really big punch. It is a lot more fun to fly than some of the other drones reviewed here and is capable of performing impressive rolls and flips at the touch of a button.
Like some of the other minidrones it comes with 4 LED’s at the top and another at the front to help you see which way the X12 is facing.
If you want fun, a reputable name and a low price then this is the drone for you.
3. DROCON Hacker
The second Drocon drone to make our list is the Drocon Hacker and at the time of writing it has 40% off the retail price making it a real steal. Even at the full RRP of £49.99 the Hacker is worth every penny as it has some of the best features of all our drones listed here – this one just had to make top 3.
With a 720p HD camera on board, a really well built controller, headless mode and all the 3D flipping you could ever desire, the Hacker has a touch of class about it. It feels a little more solidly built than some of the others on this list and is built with durable ABS materials which apparently are much harder to break – even we didn’t manage to break it.
Three speed modes mean that the Hacker is ideal for beginners to seasoned veterans and you can take it as easy or as hard as you like.
Charging time on the Hacker is around 50 minutes and you will get 6-10 minutes of full throttle flying time from that. It weighs in at a respectable 19g and although a little bigger than some featured here, it still comes in at under 3 x 3 inches.
It is a shame that the battery is not detachable but then these mini-drones tend not to have replaceable batteries.
2. Syma X9 Air-Ground Flying Quadcopter Car
We weren’t sure whether to even include this one in the list but we feel it deserves to be featured somewhere and if you are in the market for something a little but different then this could just tickle your fancy.
Again, it is brought to us by Syma who are well known in the drone world for making quality quadcopters and this has the added advantage of also being a radio controlled car!
The Syma X9 has the coolest looks of any drone we have ever seen here at Drone Deliver and although in its own right it is not the best drone we have ever piloted you will feel like Batman when you take it up in the air only to bring it back down to drive on land.
It is important to note that the Syma X9 is hardly a mini drone but it is still pretty small at just under 7 inches length ways. You will enjoy a battery life of around 8 minutes from a 60 minute charge but you will find two batteries included with most packages and you can buy extras which is an added benefit.
Sadly, there is no camera with the X9 but hey, you can’t have everything in life – this is a car that flies!
1. Rabing Mini FPV Drone
Sometimes when we review different categories of drones we find it difficult to choose a clear winner. That simply is not the case with this set of reviews as we have a clear winner when it comes to the very best mini drone and it has to be the Rabing Mini FPV.
At under £40, this mini drone is not just small and powerful, it is a full on FPV power house and comes complete with access to its own Android and iOS app so you can use the camera with your smartphone over WiFi.
Not only that, but you can use it as a true FPV by using your phone with a VR box (not included) to create your own FPV goggles for it. Don’t worry if you don’t want to do that as you can attach your smartphone to the controller and use it that way too.
It is incredible that this much tech is packed in to a product that is just over 2.5 x 2.5 inches. It even boasts an impressive battery life of around 8-10 minutes. It is a folding drone and the dimensions are even smaller when you fold it down, which means this has to be the most portable true FPV drone on the market.
Amazon users have rated the Rabing FPV mini drone 5 stars and it gets the same from us. It is simple to use, easy to connect and has excellent FPV capabilities whilst retaining true mini drone status – what more could you ask for.
So, that wraps up our top ten mini-drone review. If you are still not convinced or you want something a little bigger but still on a budget then why not check out our top drones for less than £100.
Our top mini-drones are all high quality and quirky. They will all provide you with a little bit of UAV joy in your life. We have everything, from super budget with no camera or thrills to (Still low budget) true FPV micro-drones.
No matter what you are looking for, if it is a small UAV you should find what you are looking for here.