2019 was a great year for drone technology and 2020 is shaping up to be game changing for drone enthusiasts and professionals alike. But while the overall drone landscape has improved with the technology, the decreasing cost of the tech means more subpar drones are popping up on the market. So how do you know which drone to buy? Well the list has been narrowed so whether you are just beginning your journey into the world of drones, or simply looking for the next drone for your fleet, this article is for you. Without further ado: the Top 5 Drones for 2020!
DJI Phantom 4
At $1,399 the DJI Phantom 4 is the most advanced drone on the market right now. That being said, just because the Phantom 4 is the most advanced doesn’t mean it’s the best for every individual consumer. Here’s a list of pros and cons for the DJI Phantom 4, to help you make the intelligent choice based on your own drone needs:
• Ease of Use – The Phantom 4 is remarkably simple to fly for even the newest of drone pilots, making it an accessible drone for starters and veterans alike.
• 4k Video Streaming – With a comprehensive mobile app, the Phantom 4 will stream 4k video through any mobile device at a distance of up to four miles.
• Setup Time – With more advanced technology comes a more complex drone. While the Phantom 4 is easy to fly once you have set it up, the actual setting up takes longer than on previous DJI models and can present a significant obstacle to a novice drone user.
• Not yet Crash Proof – While DJI has promoted the Phantom 4’s extensive hardware and software capabilities meant to render the drone “crash proof,” tests have demonstrated the model having difficulties in certain conditions despite that fact.
DJI Phantom 3 Series
While the Phantom 3 series contains a variety of DJI drone models, they all share similar technologies and range in price from $399-$799 depending on which video setup you’re looking for. It is no surprise that DJI dominates this list; their technology is considered the best. Below you’ll find a list of pros and cons for your consideration of the Phantom 3 series.
• Smooth Video Capture – Whichever Phantom 3 model you choose, you can be assured of one thing: steady and smooth video capabilities. Whether you’re a novice or an old pro, capturing steady aerial footage has never been easier than with the Phantom 3.
• Return to Home – While DJI is renowned for their product’s ease of use, the Phantom 3 takes it one step further. They’ve included a return to home function that can bring your drone back to you automatically. You’ll never have to worry about losing your drone again!
• Propeller Intrusion – Unfortunately for DJI, the propellers on their Phantom 3s intrude on the video footage, spoiling an otherwise flawless video experience.
• Charging Time – While the Phantom 3 boasts a battery lifespan comparable to that of the Phantom 4, the older model takes over an hour to fully charge; a frustrating use of any drone enthusiast’s time.
Yuneec Typhoon H
Now while this last drone isn’t made by the ubiquitous DJI, the manufacturer behind it has been making a splash in the drone industry for some time now. Yuneec’s Typhoon H is a six-rotor drone complete with retractable rotor and independent Android control. With a price of $999 the Typhoon H offers a possible alternative for many drone pilots. For those of you looking to stand out or looking for something different, this might be the drone for you.
• 360 Degree Camera – With a camera that rotates a full, uninterrupted 360 degrees, the Typhoon H provides the best option for those looking to capture awesome aerial footage.
• Six is Better than One – The Typhoon H’s unique six-rotor design allows it to provide the smoothest and safest drone-flying experience on the market today. This feature makes for easy flying whether you’re a beginner or a pro.
• Video Feed – While the Typhoon H provides some incredible features in terms of fully rotational video capturing capabilities, there have been many reports of problems with the video feed after certain distances. If you’re hoping to take your drone out past a half-mile to capture video, you might not want to choose the Typhoon H.
• Visibility – Another feature that makes distance an issue for the Typhoon H is the drone’s dim lighting. When flying the Typhoon H from a distance, the dimness of its rear lights can make it nearly impossible to spot in the sky. This can be incredibly problematic, especially for new pilots!
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DJI Inspire 1
The fourth drone on this list is certainly one of the best. The DJI Inspire 1 is by far the most professional ready-to-fly drone available on the market today, but with a price on the higher end, this model definitely isn’t for everyone. Pros and amateurs alike should consider the pros and cons before investing in the DJI Inspire 1.
• Detachable Camera – The DJI Inspire 1 boasts a completely detachable camera, in addition to full 360-degree rotational capabilities. This means that whether you’re soaring through the sky or handling the camera on the ground, you’ll be sure to snap the best photos around.
• Something for Everyone – The DJI Inspire 1 comes with a standard model, perfect for the video enthusiast. But for those looking for more professional video capabilities, DJI has provided two extra models depending on your needs. If you are interested in professional aerial footage, the DJI Inspire 1 is the drone for you.
• Price Tag – At $1,999 the DJI Inspire 1 is no toy. This model is truly only for those willing to invest a lot of time and money, or those who are already seriously involved in drones as a hobby.
• Flight Time – With a price tag as high as the Inspire 1’s, you would expect the best of the best across the board. Unfortunately the Inspire 1 falls slightly short of its high-end reputation in terms of flight time. You’ll be able to enjoy 15-18 minutes of flight time: not bad, but not great.
While you may be thinking ‘why are there only two companies on this list?’ you don’t need to worry. As mentioned earlier, the drone market has become so congested with inferior products that now is not the best time to be adventurous. The Yuneec Q500 is another remarkable drone model worthwhile of your consideration. Read on and find out if this is the drone for you.
• Good Price – At only $800 the Yuneec Q500 offers stellar value. If you are looking for a good, cost-effective drone capable of capturing thrilling 4k video, then the Q500 might be the drone for you.
• Two Batteries – Whereas some drone companies make sure to only offer extra batteries as an additional item, and often for a pretty penny, Yuneec went so far as to provide an extra battery standard with every Q500 model.
• Aesthetics – While this may just be my opinion, numerous others in the online drone community have voiced it as well, so I feel the need to share: the Yuneec Q500 just doesn’t look that good. While this comes down to personal preference, it is definitely worth considering the looks of any drone before dropping serious dollars on it.
• Limited Resources – Because the Yuneec Q500 is generally a less popular drone model, there tends to be less third party material available. That means fewer videos, tutorials, and blogs involving the Q500, and thus less material for a hobbyist to work with.
So whether you are brand new to the world of drones or simply looking to expand your horizons within this stellar, ever-evolving hobby, there is a drone out there for every user; all it takes is a little searching!