When it comes to tech, bigger isn’t always better.
Among other things, there’s the concept of economies of scale. Machines and devices can become smaller and better over time, and while there may be something to be said about big, powerful drones, drones on the more compact side of the size spectrum should not be underestimated.
Nano drones are among the smallest drones out there. However, usability and performance are affected by this reduction in size. The upside with these drones is that they are relatively cheap and a lot more fun than some of their larger counterparts.
Mini drones are normally small enough to fit in your hand but should not be confused with toy drones.
Compact bodies and controls do not mean that they are technologically insignificant. They maintain the high-quality camera performance and functionality associated with larger drones.
If you’re thinking about exploring your options, here are some of the ‘littlest’ drones out in the market.
SKEYE Nano 2 Camera Drone
While many camera drones are bulky, hard to control and expensive, the SKEYE Nano 2 Camera Drone stands out. It’s a tiny, easy to use quadcopter equipped with a WiFi controlled HD camera that can be accessed through a smartphone or tablet. It retails for $59, but you may be able to pick one up for just $29.
The palm-sized SKEYE Nano 2 comes with ready-to-fly software, customizable gyro sensitivity and a 6-axis flight control system to enjoy right out of the box for beginners or even more experienced pilots.
It is capable of acrobatic flips and stunts, and thanks to built-in LED lights, you can fly it at night. The small size can help you navigate tight spaces and get unique birds-eye views that your iPhone or DSLR would probably not be able to achieve.
Rabing Mini FPV RC Drone
The Rabing is one of the freshest, most comprehensive and convenient drones to come out of the nano and mini categories.
It is, first and foremost, a foldable unit, making it pretty portable. Secondly, it has a live FPV transmission to your smartphone with a holder on the radio transmitter.
You can even ditch the controller and fly it straight from a tablet or phone. Its app also supports an incredible split VR mode feature, and flight time is decently placed between 7-10 minutes. If you’re looking for affordability and technical capabilities, consider the Rabing.
The Holy Stone HS170 Predator
This is one of the best-priced quads that you can find for outdoor flying, with outstanding aesthetics and surprising power for its size. According to reviews, this drone is well-made, crash-resistant and responsive. The downside is that the “return home” function and headless modes tend to be unstable, so don’t buy it based on those features alone. It has decent-looking rotor guards, LED lighting, and front and rear rotors with colour-coding, so orientation should not be a problem.
In addition, this quad has a removable battery that lets users fly them for extended periods of time.
HASAKEE H1 FPV RC Drone
Right off the bat, this tiny HASAKEE drone stands out due to the fact that it’s painted and designed to resemble a bee or a hornet of some sort.
It has a sturdy built-in camera for FPV flight, using your smartphone as the receiver, clipped to the transmitter. You can opt for gyro controls or use your phone as a controller, so TX isn’t the only option.
Other features include a headless mode, altitude hold and return function. It uses a 3.7V 450 mAh lipo and charges via USB (which typically takes up to about an hour). Its charm and a decent set of features make this tiny drone a good choice for users looking for something unique.
EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quad
If you’re looking for a neat little toy to race your friends with, consider the EACHINE E010 Mini UFO. Its fuselage dons a tiny mock cockpit, adding to the futuristic look and feel.
Function-wise, it’s an incredible drone for its price range, and also features a headless mode along with one key return. According to reports, you can get five minutes of flight on a 30-minute charge, which is good enough for this model.
As a bonus, the EACHINE also offers an FPV upgrade model, though it might be a little harder to find.
The Hubsan X4 H107C Micro Quadcopter
Among the initiated, the legendary Hubsan X4 needs no introduction. However, for the benefit of the new drone enthusiast, it’s a quadcopter model that’s renowned for being the best in its league (especially when it comes to improving your piloting skills).
This particular version does come with a camera. However, you’re probably going to need your own SD card.
With its sleek design, above-average power, popularity and comfortable controls, the X4 is placed at the higher end of the price range.
There are many tiny drones out there. The power, capabilities and reliability of smaller drones should not be underestimated. Some of the best drones out there probably aren’t as big as you might expect.
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