Best Drones For Beginners In 2021

Drones offer a very unique perspective for shooting photographs and capturing video footage that stands out. Flying drones requires a certain set of skills you must master as a beginner. Therefore, getting a drone that can fly straight out of the box without hassles is important. It's not advisable to invest in a professional-level drone when you're only starting out, since flying them can be confusing for first-time users and, if not handled properly, they can leave you hurt or can end up trapped in a tree line.

As a beginner, the things you should look for in a cost-effective drone include overall durability, good battery life, optimum weight distribution, and onboard cameras. Based on these considerations, we've filtered down the best drones in a buying guide for beginners to consider.

DJI Mini 2

The DJI Mini 2 brings a lot of improvements from its predecessors, thus it gets the top spot in this list of drones for beginners. The palm-sized quadcopter weighs 249 grams, can shoot high-quality 4K videos at up to 30fps, has an impressive flight time of 31 minutes on a single charge, a flight range of 6 miles, and a top speed of 36 MPH.

What we like

- Compact and lightweight for easy handling

- Very good battery life for longer stints of shooting

- Ease of uploading live footage to social media

What we don't like

- Vulnerable to sudden wind gusts which can throw it off track

- Raw video recording option is missing

The easy-to-understand flight controls and the quick shot functions on this drone all go well for noob users. The 3-axis gimbal stabilization on the Mini 2 brings forth smooth video clips, and the camera can zoom up to 4x levels without any distortion. The DJI Mini 2 drone doesn't need to be registered with the CAA (UK) or FAA (US) and is available on Amazon at a cool price tag of $449.

Parrot Anafi

Parrot's Anafi is another great option for beginners. In addition to its lightweight and durable 320 grams form factor, this model has a unique feature that allows it to shoot 4K videos of objects above it – for example, while flying under a bridge. The model's still photography capabilities are impressive, as well, thanks to a 21MP sensor capable of 3x digital zoom and 10 photos per second in burst mode.

What we like

- Very easy to unpack and fly

- Gimbal mounted camera that can rotate

- Very quiet in flight and FPV system

What we don't like

- Limited video shooting frame rate

- Lacks collision avoidance sensors

The foldable drone offers 25 minutes of flight time and a top speed of 34 MPH. Other features include automated flight modes for capturing professional-grade videos, geofencing, Smart RTH, Find My Drone, and GPS positioning for unexpected wind drift safety. The Parrot Anafi drone can be bought right away for $539 on Amazon.


Beginners looking for a cross between the DJI Mavic Mini and DJI Mini 2 models should check out the next best option: the DJI Mini SE. Currently only selling in the US, Canada and Australia, this quadcopter is the go-to for beginners, offering an overall weight of 249 grams, a QuickShots feature to get started with flying, and support for shooting high-definition videos at 30fps.

What we like

- 3-axis gimbal stabilization

- Improved Scale 5 wind resistance

- Compact, foldable design for carrying in a backpack

What we don't like

- Limited regional availability

- Loss of connection and frozen video feed in some instances based on some consumer reports

The DJI Mini SE drone offers up to 30 minutes of battery life alongside a maximum flying range of 2.5 miles and a top speed of 29 MPH. This model gets some of the cool features DJI offers on the pro-level drones like Mavic, and, at $299, it gives beginners a great option that won't break the bank.

Ryze Tello

This 80g quadcopter is targeted at consumers seeking a budget-friendly drone that doesn't hit a lower price point by making a bunch of compromises. While the Ryze Tello drone doesn't offer the high-end tech found in more expensive models, it does manage to tick many feature boxes, including a flight time of around 13 minutes and a Wi-Fi range of 100 meters.

What we like

- Very affordable for first-time users

- Responsive controls for easy flying

- Easily programmable and actuated with phone or gaming controller

What we don't like

- May be imbalanced in gusty winds

- Has choppy video recording as reported by some users

Ryze Tello is designed in partnership with DJI and well-tailored for mastering the basics of drone flying. The model's 5MP onboard camera records 720p/30fps videos with digital stabilization. This drone can even fly off your palm and perform tricks like mid-air flips for some fun. Even better, Tello is very inexpensive at $99, making it one of the most appealing options for beginners.

Potensic Dreamer

The Potensic Dreamer is a sturdy drone with stellar build quality, offering a flight time of 25 minutes and a range of 800 meters. This model sports a highly responsive twin-stick controller, but can be operated with a smartphone, as well. Though the drone's camera can capture still images at 4K resolution, its video recording resolution is restricted to 2658x1512.

What we like

- Temperature endurance of 0°C to 40°C

- Good battery life and charge speed

- Intuitive controller layout and easy-to-use companion app

What we don't like

- Lacks image stabilization, potentially resulting in shaky footage

- Flight range somewhat limits how far you can explore

Dreamer is great for beginners as it undercuts high-end competitors with its $240 price on Amazon. This model is suitable for learning basic flying skills with a decent range. Plus, Dreamer has an ATTI mode to bypass the GPS in cases when the connection is lost.


Drones are not just toys for casual flying fun and they can be a great tool for vloggers and social media enthusiasts. Before buying a quadcopter, beginners should consider their local laws, as many regions have strict drone regulations. As a new pilot, you should consider how smooth a drone is mid-flight and the features it has onboard to avoid crashes and mishaps when shopping for your first model. Investing in an expensive drone is not recommended for new users; rather, you can gradually upgrade to a more professional model once you get the hang of things.