The best drones of 2021

Do you want to record videos and take impressive photos and show them on social media? These are the best drones.

Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, have become an indispensable accessory for photographers, video producers, and even influencers like Paula Gonu and Dulceida, who want to achieve the most spectacular image ever taken.

Undoubtedly, these aircraft are a compliment that will make you look like the coolest in the neighborhood, but they are generally expensive products, so it is advisable to analyze all the options well and not buy the first one you find.

There is a huge offer: from cheap quadcopters to ridiculously expensive professional drones. In this article, in addition to finding a list of the top 8, you will also learn the things to consider before buying one of these devices.

On the other hand, you must bear in mind that there are rules when using drones in Spain, collected in this issue of the BOE. You should know that it is forbidden to exceed 120 m and fly in urban areas, near airports, and/or at night.

If all these restrictions do not convince you, take a look at the best GoPro or sports cameras or the best dash cams, although you should know that the latter also have certain moral limits.

Comparison: What is the best drone?

1. DJI Mini 2

The DJI Mini 2 is a fantastic drone and fully deserves the top spot on the list. Video quality is incredibly better than the Mavic Mini, and the ability to take RAW photos makes it a great aerial photography tool.

To that, we must add the motors, which allow better resistance against the wind, a significantly better handling, and a much better range, which justifies the price increase.

Even without the Active Track (which disappoints us, but not the absence of obstacle avoidance), it is a very good option.

2. DJI Mavic Air 2

The Mavic Air 2 is one of the best options for a price below € 900. And it is also one of the best drones for personal use on the market. Professionals may want to invest a little more money.

We like that you can shoot 4K video at 60fps because that means you can slow down images when editing for more cinematic results. You can also record directly in slow motion (1080p at 240 fps).

As if all this were not enough, this DJI drone knows how to avoid obstacles well (although sensors are missing on the sides) and you can control it remotely. Flight time is also longer than the previous model.

3. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Those who are not on a tight budget will want to take the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom into account when buying their next drone. It is an excellent quality device, whose star performance is being able to fly for a long period of time.

You will see that this drone from DJI is considerably better than the Mavic Pro. Not only will you be able to make it fly for longer, but you will also be able to enjoy its variety of recording modes, its obstacle detection, and much more.

It is true that if you already have a Mavic Pro, it is difficult for us to find reasons to recommend that you go to the Mavic 2 Zoom since the video quality is practically the same. However, this zoom lens is highly recommended.

Despite its power, this drone is still quite easy to transport, and you will especially notice the difference with heavier models like the Phantom. However, we repeat that its zoom lens is spectacular and will be very useful to you.

4. DJI Mavic Mini

Those who have not yet debuted in the world of drones will want to start with one like this. The DJI Mavic Mini is an easier-to-use version of the Mavic Air, hands down one of our preferred drones.

It is a drone that will not cost you anything to fly, although at this price you will have already realized that it will not have some features of the more expensive model. For example, forget about the obstacle avoidance feature.

On the other hand, for the Mavic Mini, you will have to use a simplified app that has limited functions. But do not worry, since you are lucky that this drone is capable of taking photos and videos of a more than acceptable quality.

Another advantage that we think you will like about this drone is its lightness. Its 249 g of weight will allow you to easily transport it from one place to another, making it ideal as a travel companion. Of course, take into account the legislation of each country.


5. Parrot Anafi

Considering its 180-degree tilt, a battery that can be charged via the USB Type-C port, and the ability to record 4K HDR video, the Parrot Anafi drone can be considered a good value-for-money device.

Indeed, it is much cheaper than what could be expected from a drone with this type of performance. Now, in return, you will have an unmanned aerial vehicle that is not capable of avoiding obstacles.

In addition, some self-piloted modalities can only be enjoyed upon payment. To do this, you must have the Parrot app downloaded on your smartphone. We also miss the automatic panoramic capture feature.

In general terms, then, this is a good purchase option for those who trust their skills to pilot the drone. If so, you will be able to capture spectacular moving images. For best results, you can get Parrot accessories for this model.

6. DJI Mavic Pro

Foldable drones are here to stay and they look like the future of this industry. With the Mavic Pro , the Chinese company DJI has been at the forefront of this new aircraft model, also using the best technology at its disposal.

It is true that this device is more expensive than other similar ones such as, for example, the Phantom 4, but you will see that it is worth it. The only downside is the fact that neither the gimbal nor the camera can be removed, which prevents filming from the ground.

To compensate, this drone is one of the easiest devices to transport on the list and you will quickly see the great virtues of its new controller. All this will mean that you can take the Mavic Pro with you everywhere and that you do not need a large backpack for it.

If you buy the drone alone, you can get it on the DJI or Amazon website. Now, if you prefer the same drone but capable of flying more, the price goes up € 300. If you also want the protective glasses, the whole pack will cost you something more.

7. DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

This model was not available practically all of 2019 due to a lack of stock. Luckily, it has now been reintroduced to the market and we can already enjoy the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 , one of the best DJI drones.

The great disadvantage of this device is that it is not foldable, so if you want one that is easy to transport, you should stay with another like the Mavic. Of course, despite having been launched in 2018, it still has great specifications.

For example, it has obstacle detection in five directions and can avoid them in up to four. It also has OcuSync HD for better image transmission to the controller. Its aerial 4K recordings are also of high quality.


8. Hubs an H501S X4

If what you are looking for is a drone that is easy to pilot and that also includes the option of piloting with remote vision, then the H501S X4 model from Hubsan is designed specifically for you.

In particular, it is an easily controllable device that will offer you enough confidence to fly it at great heights and even when the air is very high. It is not the fastest on the market, but the fun is guaranteed.

Now, those who want to get high-quality aerial videos should choose between some of the previous models with more advanced technical specifications. For example, it does not have a stabilization function.

This unmanned vehicle is the cheapest on the entire list, as it can be yours for just over € 200 on the Hubsan website. You can also buy it on Amazon for an even more affordable price.

 Keys to consider before buying a drone

1.    What is the difference between a drone and a quadcopter?

In most cases, drones and quadcopter are synonymous concepts, although the former is usually associated with more expensive products, while the latter is more related to more affordable devices.

However, there is a slight difference. The word drone refers to all UAVs, while quadcopters are just one class of drones, specifically those controlled by four engines.

To make it even simpler: all quadcopters are drones, but not all drones are quadcopters. There are, therefore, other types of drones with physical and technical characteristics different from quadcopters.

2. How much should you pay for drones?

The answer to this question will depend on many factors and the individual circumstances of each buyer. Think about how much you are willing to pay and analyze the benefits that you can get in return at that price.

In the market, there are very cheap drones that can even cost you just over € 10, although you must pay a minimum of € 50 if you want them to include a camera. If you need to see what you record live, you will have to pay more than € 100.

However, none of these options will offer you a high-quality video. What’s more, if you want it, you must spend at least € 300. From here, the more you play, the better cameras you will have, as well as longer flight duration and better control when piloting.

3. How long and how far do you want the drone to fly?

The cheapest drones usually fly for about five to ten minutes, after which they need to be recharged. On the other hand, batteries usually take about 30 or 60 minutes to fully charge, so it is advisable to always have a spare.

Some manufacturers claim that these cheap drones can reach more than 100 m in height, but the truth is that they can usually only fly up to 50 m. Be that as it may, never exceed 120 m, as this would go against Spanish law.

These regulations also recommend flying drones only when weather conditions facilitate it. In fact, the wind will always be an inclement force that will go against you, especially if you have a small and light aircraft.

In the case of larger aircraft, the duration of the flight is usually 20 to 25 minutes and the height that can be reached is usually measured in kilometers. Its batteries last longer – although they do not exceed 30 minutes – but also larger and heavier.

4. Will you need spare parts?

We are sorry to say it that clearly, but it is more than likely that one day you will smash your drone against the ground, a wall or a tree, so it is also more than likely that you will break some of its parts, usually the propellers.

Most drones come with replacement rotors: two that rotate clockwise and two that rotate counterclockwise. That makes your replacement options somewhat limited.

For all this, we recommend checking whether or not it is easy to buy replacement parts for the model you are about to buy. Something to consider when you do it is also the price that these have. You don’t want to spend a fortune.

5. Do you need the drone to include a camera?

Not all drones have a camera, so asking yourself this question is essential. Also keep in mind that although it does include one, it does not always also come with a live video broadcast function, which is essential if you are going to fly at high altitudes.

The cheapest camera drones usually don’t have a video resolution higher than 720p. If you really want to buy an aircraft of this type to record videos, we recommend betting on one that has a resolution of at least 1080p.

Now, you will not get good aero visual material unless your drone comes with a gimbal, which will stabilize the camera and keep it fixed when the drone flies and moves from side to side.

Some devices record video directly from a microSD card, while others do it from the remote control or even save it to your smartphone. We recommend the first option, as the video will retain its full quality.

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