Mini drones are hugely popular among drone enthusiasts, both beginners and professionals. These compact, lightweight drones are easily portable and a breeze to fly, but how do you find the best mini drone for you?
After all, no two small drones are the same. Are you looking for a toy drone to perform aerobatics with, or are you looking for a high quality mini camera drone? You also need to consider the price, as this can vary widely when it comes to mini drones.
There are hundreds of small drones out there, but to make your decision easier, we’ve picked out the best mini drones on the market. We’ve carefully considered the specs of each drone and picked out the best models for different purposes, so all that’s left for you to do is read on and choose the right mini drone for you.
For general drones, check our overall best drone ranking.
Why Buy a Mini Drone?
If it’s your first time purchasing a drone, you may be wondering whether it’s best to get a small drone or a larger one. Well, there are several benefits that come with purchasing a mini drone.
One of the main advantages is that their smaller size means they’re much more portable. Some mini drones can fit in the palm of your hand and weigh around the same weight as a smartphone, so they’re much easier to carry around than large drones.
Their smaller size also means they’re categorized in the safest drone weight class. In many areas, this means you can fly smaller drones without having to abide by the restrictions that surround the use of larger drones.
Another benefit of small drones is that they’re generally cheaper than larger ones. Whether you’re looking for a toy drone or a camera drone, mini drones are a great, affordable way for beginners to get into drone flying.
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Global Drone Hand Operated Mini Drone – Best Mini UFO Drone
- Price: $24.99 — Available on Amazon here
The Global Drone Hand Operated Mini Drone is a fun, cheap drone that’s one of the best mini drones for kids.
Firstly, it’s incredibly easy to use. It has infrared motion sensors that help it detect obstacles and allow you to steer the drone by hand when in close proximity. It also comes with a remote controller that you can use to fly with.
This drone is made of high grade, eco-friendly, non-toxic ABS material, so it’s safe for kids to use. While lightweight, the material is also flexible to better withstand crashes. It also comes with propeller guards to help you fly it safely.
The drone has blue and red LED lights that help give it that fun UFO appearance, and also let you enjoy playing with your drone at night!
This mini UFO drone is very small and light, so it’s easily portable. It takes about 40 minutes to charge and can fly for up to eight minutes at a time. It also has a USB port for easy and convenient charging.
SIMREX X300C Mini Drone – Cheap Mini FPV Drone
- Price: $39.99 — Available on Amazon here
If you’re looking for a very affordable and beginner-friendly mini drone, the SIMREX X300C is certainly worth considering.
This drone is compatible with iOS and Android and can easily be controlled using your smartphone, as well as through the standard remote control transmitter.
You can easily take off and land with just one key, and even perform 360 degree flips and rolls. There are three speed modes, and it also has an altitude hold function that uses air pressure to keep the drone at the same height when you release the throttle stick.
The SIMREX X300C also has some nice smart security features that make it a suitable small drone for beginners. For example, the Headless Security Mode helps to control the drone and prevent it losing direction when eyes can’t identify the drone’s orientation.
If you ever lose control of this small FPV drone, you can simply press the Stop button to make an emergency stop to prevent damage. It’s also equipped with the latest 5-axis Gyro flight control systems to provide a safe user experience.
You can also take decent quality pictures using this mini drone thanks to the 100 degree, wide-angle, high-resolution FPV camera.
This drone has a range of 30 to 45 meters and a flight time of eight to ten minutes. It takes only an hour to get fully charged, so you’ll never have to wait too long till your next flight. Finally, it’s also easily foldable so you can easily carry it wherever you like.
Read more: the best foldable drones
Parrot Mambo FLY – Best Cheap Mini Drone with Camera
- Price: $81.38 — Available on Amazon here
Parrot is a big brand in the drone world and the Mambo Fly is one of the company’s best mini drones.
If you’re looking for a cheap, beginner-friendly mini drone, you can’t go wrong with this model. You can easily control it with your smartphone or tablet with the FreeFlight Mini app for iOS and Android. It even has an auto-pilot feature for very easy, stable flying.
While it may be small and relatively cheap, it’s still absolutely a robust and well-made small drone. It comes with four propeller shields and powerful sensors for added safety during flight.
It’s also very beginner-friendly and easy to fly, thanks to the intuitive interface and in-app features. For example, it has a unique free fall take-off system that means you can hand launch it, while the app also has a selection of presets through which you can get the drone to perform tricks and flips.
This Parrot mini drone is also a great option if you’re looking for a cheap model to experiment coding with. You can write code using partner applications and then execute it with the Mambo FLY.
And for keen drone photographers, the Parrot Mambo FLY has an integrated vertical camera that can take pictures which automatically save to your smartphone.
Finally, you can also upgrade the drone and connect various accessories, such as the FPV camera, thanks to the Smart Block system.
DJI Ryze Tech Tello – Best Small Drone for Short Videos on a Budget
- Price: $149.99 — Available on Amazon here
DJI is a leader in the world of drones, and is known for its range of high end drones. However, DJI also sell a range of more budget-friendly drones, one being the Tello Ryze.
For starters, this drone weighs just 80g, so it’s one of the lightest small drones on the market. It’s incredibly portable and can fit in the palm of your hand, but it also has a durable design to help you fly with confidence.
DJI is best known for its high quality camera drones and this model is an excellent option if you’re looking for an affordable yet quality mini camera drone. It has a 5MP camera Intel 14-Core processor for capturing high quality footage.
This DJI mini drone also has electronic image stabilization to help capture clear images, as well as the EZ shots feature which allows you to record coordinated short videos.
The Tello Ryze is also great if you want to try out some drone stunts. You can easily perform eight different flips simply by sliding your finger across from the screen, and you can also use Bounce Mode to have the drone fly up and down from your hand.
Read more: the best stunt drones
You can also use it to perform your own flight patterns that you can develop using the MIT-developed coding system Scratch.
This drone has a 13 minute flight time, which while a fair bit less than the more expensive DJI mini drones, is still impressive for a drone of this quality and price.
Holy Stone HS510 GPS Drone – Best Small Drone for GPS Navigation
- Price: $219.99 — Available on Amazon here
This mini drone is a great choice if you’re looking for a high quality mini drone that’s easy to fly but doesn’t break the bank.
The Holy Stone HS510 drone is also an excellent choice for drone photographers and videographers thanks to its 4K Super UHD camera. The camera has a shock absorption function to allow you to capture clear photos and stable videos in all conditions, as well as 5GHz wifi transmission.
A main reason making it the perfect small drone with a camera for beginners is the range of smart flying features that make it incredibly easy to control. With the likes of GPS Follow Me, Return Home, Point of Interest, and TapFly, flying this mini drone is a breeze.
It has dual satellite connectivity using both GPS and GLONASS nav systems, meaning GPS signal stays strong during outdoor flight. The drone also has optical flow positioning that comes into play in indoor settings where GPS signal is weak for precise landings.
Another really nice feature is the brushless motor with aviation propellers. The brushless motor is quieter, more aerodynamically efficient and requires less maintenance than a brushed motor.
The HS510 has a compact design and the quadcopter arms and blades can be folded so it can be easily carried. It weighs less than 250g, meaning you don’t need to register it, and comes with a carry case for easy portability.
DJI Mavic Mini – Professional Camera Mini Drone
- Price: $499.99 — Available on Amazon here
DJI is known as the best of the best when it comes to professional level camera drones, and the Mavic Mini is a brilliant example of why.
This is an exceptional mini camera drone that’s compact yet powerful. It can take 12 MP aerial images and 2.7K Quad HD video, so you can capture exceptional footage. It also has a 3 axis motorized gimbal to keep the camera stable during flight and ensure smooth imagery and video.
Weighing less than 250 grams, the Mavic Mini drone is only slightly heavier than a smartphone and can fit in the palm of your hand, so it’s exceptionally portable. The small size and low weight class it in the safest drone weight class, making it exempt from regulations in many countries.
This drone is also very easy-to-use, making it a great choice for both beginners and more experienced drone flyers. This is largely thanks to the intuitive DJI Fly app, which makes it easy to fly your drone and capture cinematic quality images with just a few simple taps.
The app is especially useful for editing your footage, as it comes with numerous Creator Templates that automatically generate videos. As with other Mavic drones, there are also a variety of QuickShot modes that allow you to take complex shots and instantly share your footage on social media.
This mini drone also comes with a remote controller that maintains HD video feeds up to 4km, allowing you to see exactly what your drone sees. The control sticks are detachable and can be stored within the controller for increased portability.
In terms of safety, this small drone comes with a 360 degree propeller guard as well as advanced sensors that enable it to hover safely and precisely.
Thanks to its incredibly light weight, the DJI Mavic Mini drone has a maximum flight time of 30 minutes, which is impressive compared to other mini camera drones on the market.
DJI Mini 2 – Overall Best Mini Drone with Camera
- Price: $599 — Available on Amazon here
The Mavic Mini is an excellent drone, but for us the DJI Mini 2 is incredible, and one of the best small drones with a camera. Frankly, mini drones don’t come better than this.
This model features one of the most powerful cameras of all small drones, allowing you to capture 12MP images and 4k/30fps video. Like the Mavic Mini, the Mini 2 has a 3 axis motorized gimbal to ensure consistently smooth footage even in challenging conditions.
The drone also has 4x zoom, allowing you to capture high quality images from afar. There are also numerous features that make this drone ideal for both beginners and more experienced drone videographers, such as the ability to automatically record videos complete with filters and soundtracks.
You can choose from three panorama views — Wide-Angle, 180 Degree and Sphere — enabling you to instantly generate professional grade panoramas from different perspectives.
This DJI small drone is also very powerful, capable of resisting 29-38 kph winds and of taking off at a max altitude of 4,000 meters. It can capture smooth, professional quality footage in challenging environments like windy coastlines and high above forests.
The DJI Mini 2 has a maximum flight time of 31 minutes, which puts it marginally ahead of the Mavic Mini and among the longest lasting small drones.
It’s also a gram lighter than the Mavic Mini at 249 grams. You can easily carry it in your hand and you’ll never find it cumbersome to travel with.
One of the biggest improvements on the Mavic Mini is that the Mini 2 offers HD video transmission for up to 10km rather than 4km. You can travel far further out, and it’s intelligent anti-interference capabilities help maintain a safe flight path.
Finally, this DJI mini drone also has various smart features that make for an intuitive, simple flying experience. These include automatic takeoff, smart return to home, and precise hovering. Overall, it’s one of the best mini drone options out there, so if you have the budget and are looking to get a smaller drone, we highly recommend it.