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9 Best Brushless Drones in 2021

ULTIMATE guide on brushless quadcopters
best-brushless-drones-cheap-or-with-camera

You’re probably looking for brushless drones because you know the value of having these kinds of motors in a drone instead of standard brushed ones you can find on toy drones.

In this article we’ll have a look at why you should look for a brushless drone, what are the advantages and also recommend some of the best brushless drones for each budget and requirement (from an actual drone reviewer).

What are brushless drone motors?

Brushless motors are known as electronically commutated motors and this magnetic system means they don’t use the typical brushes found in brushed motors, making them much more durable and powerful.

All serious drones come with brushless motors, because they are superior in most ways, but also more expensive, and that’s why it’s a challenge to sometimes find a beginner drone with these types of motors.

Top 3 cheap brushless drones 

If you're in a hurry, choose one of these 3 brushless drones that I consider to be the best in their own respective category, be it a mini brushless drone or simply a beginner one. These are in the lower range of prices, so if you want something more serious, read the entire article.

Best Cheap Brushless Camera drone 

sjrc-f11-4k-pro-small

 F11 4k Pro 

  • Budgets below $300
  • Gimbal stabilization + EIS
  • Foldable
  • 25 min batt | 1.2km range
  • 4k camera | GPS
Check The Price

Best Mini Brushless Drone

dji-mini-2-table-img

DJI Mini 2

  • Budgets under $500
  • Under 250 grams
  • 4k quality cam
  • 3 Axis stabilization
  • Foldable
  • Flight modes
  • GPS
Check The Price

Best Cheap Beginner Brushless drone

mjx-bugs-3-small

MJX Bugs 3

  • Budgets under $100
  • Powerful Brushless motors
  • Can carry a Gopro
  • 16 min batt | 100m Range
  • Can do flips | No GPS
Check The Price

Brushless motor drones vs Brushed motor drones

Let’s have a more in depth look at the difference between brushed and brushless motors when it comes to drones specifically.

The main point anyone can draw from this is that the Brushed motors only have the advantage of price and size, being able to be used in cheaper and smaller drones.

Pros and cons of brushless motors

PROS
  • Last much longer

  • Durability is considerably enhanced

  • Don’t heat as fast

  • More powerful

  • They don’t require maintenance

CONS
  • They are more expensive than the brushed motors

  • They are usually larger than brushed ones

How do I choose a brushless drone?

You choose a brushless drone like any other drone, but people are usually looking for brushless camera drones these days.

Here are the most important things to look for when choosing a brushless drone:

  1. Motors are actually brushless - You'll find that cheaper drones tend to have plastic casings on top of the motors so they look bigger and very much like brushless ones. Make sure the specs mention brushless at least.
  2. Camera Resolution- Look for 4k if the drone is over $300
  3. Image Stabilization - A 3 axis gimbal is the best stabilization you can get, there's also EIS (electronic image stabilization) as a second place, but make sure the drone has at least some sort of stabilization included.
  4. Battery Life - Chose a brushless drone that can fly for at least 15 minutes, as they tend to fly for longer than their brushed counterparts.
  5. Flight range - This of course depends on the price you pay for the drone and how far you're interested to fly. Check out my Long range drones if you're a big fan of this.

Best brushless drones with cameras in 2021

best-drones-podium-arm

In this section we'll look at some of my most recommended drones, from some of the best brushless quadcopters to some cheaper and sorted by a budget

1.DJI Mini 2 - Best Brushless Mini Drone under 250g

camera-icon-spec
4k
battery-icon-spec
31 min
range-icon-spec
10 km
drone-icon-spec
3 axis gimbal
PROS
  • Outstanding battery and range
  • Under 250g
  • Foldable
  • Super Tiny
  • Great wind resistance
  • GPS and return to home
  • Amazing 4k stable footage
CONS
  • No follow me mode

One of the drones I recommend the most on this site and to my friends, the Mini 2 is definitely the best brushless mini drone under 250 grams at the time of writing this article.

It really doesn’t have much competition in terms of specs for a camera drone this small. The 31-minute battery life, 10 km range, 4k very sharp camera and even good wind resistance make it a great choice even for professional use in some cases.

It is the drone I use the most as a travel drone and definitely one of the smallest brushless drones you can get. Those motors are strong enough to handle winds really well as I’ve shown here in this video comparing the DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2 vs the Mini

The fact that the mini 2 comes with a stabilized 3 axis gimbal is also pretty impressive for the size making some of the best stabilized footage you can get for the price.

2.Mavic Air 2s - Brushless professional camera drone

camera-icon-spec
5.2k
battery-icon-spec
31 min
range-icon-spec
12 km
drone-icon-spec
1 inch sensor
PROS
  • 1 inch sensor
  • Amazing Obstacle Avoidance technology
  • 1080p live stream to phone
  • Follow me option
  • Very high quality 5k camera
  • Long range and battery life
CONS
  • None

The DJI Air 2s is one of the best professional brushless camera drones you can buy especially if you're looking for a very compact drone.

It comes at a very reasonable price for what it can do and is used both by professional photographers and videographers in commercial ways as well as hobbyists who want to take amazing footage and have a really sold drone.

One of its main features is the outstanding follow me as well as obstacle avoidance capabilities as it comes with all around sensors and a very capable software behind it.

The 1 inch sensor is quite rare to be found in drones of this size and it delivers great low light footage and photos as it can capture more light than a typical one.

3.Best Brushless drone under $300 - SJRC F11 4k PRO

camera-icon-spec
4k
battery-icon-spec
25 min
range-icon-spec
1.2km
drone-icon-spec
EIS + gimbal
PROS
  • Comes with GPS
  • Long battery life
  • Super cheap
  • Brushless motors
  • 2 axis gimbal + EIS
CONS
  • None for the price

My favorite GPS drone under $200 by far, the SJRC F11 4k PRO is an outstanding folding quadcopter that comes with a 2 axis stabilized gimbal + EIS for this price which is amazing.

While I have personally tested it, I must admit I had lower expectations since most drones in this price range don't deliver good quality camera or stabilization, however, I was pleasantly surprised that the footage was more than just usable, actually quite good.

It records in 4k and a pretty good one for that. It doesn't really compare to the likes of Mavic Air 2s, but after testing dozens of cheap drones in this price range I can assure you it's really hard to find a better one.

The main point is the 2 axis stabilized gimbal that really makes all the difference compared to unstabilized cameras you can find on amazon for even more than this. So don't get tricked, and trust me on this.

4.Best brushless drone under $200 - Simrex  X11

camera-icon-spec
1080p
battery-icon-spec
22 min
range-icon-spec
9 km
drone-icon-spec
GPS
PROS
  • Long battery life of 22min
  • 2 axis stabilized camera
  • Low price
  • Good build quality
  • GPS return to home
CONS
  • Not very durable in case of crash

Probably one of the best drones under $200 you can buy on Amazon that comes with a solid 2 axis gimbal and of course, brushless motors.

It's basically a smaller version of the popular Phantom models from DJI, but definitely quite far from a cheap toy drone. It's quite capable of shooting great stabilized footage for a very well deserved price.

It comes with a GPS module and therefore a return to home feature and even waypoint mode. So if you're budget is limited around this sum and you're looking for the best camera drone you can afford, the Simrex X11 is the best brushles drone under $200.

 

4.Bugs 3 - Best Brushless drone under $100

camera-icon-spec
GoPro
battery-icon-spec
16 min
range-icon-spec
100m
drone-icon-spec
Brushless
PROS
  • Powerful brushless motors
  • Solid build
  • Super cheap
  • Decent battery life
  • Can carry a gopro
CONS
  • Not foldable

The MJX  Bugs 3 doesn't have fancy features like GPS, follow me, or even a huge range, however, if you're looking for a brushless drone under $100 the Bugs 3 is definitely the answer.

It's quite incredible how good and solid this cheap brushless quadcopter is considering the rest of its competition on this level are pretty much toy drones, yet the Bugs 3 has a design capable of carrying today's large Gopros and actually some great footage out of it.

Here's an example of the footage you can get from this drone with some preparation:

5.Best Brushless beginer drone - Eachine Ex5

camera-icon-spec
~4k
battery-icon-spec
30 min
range-icon-spec
1km
drone-icon-spec
no gimbal
PROS
  • Under 250g
  • 30min battery life
  • foldable design
  • good range of 1km
  • stable GPS flight
CONS
  • Image quality isn't that great, but nothing more to expect for the price.

If you're looking for a beginner brushless quadcopter, the machine Ex5 is what you're looking for.

Especially if you prioritize portability, the EX5 is under 250 grams, so it requires no registration and it comes with some really solid specs for the price.

Its 30 minute flight time makes it really unbeatable in the long-range category, but keep in mind, we're not comparing it with the likes of more expensive drones like the DJI MIni 2 (although it looks like it quite a lot).

It has a dual GPS setup, making it quite a lot more stable in the air compared to others in this category, but keep in mind it doesn't have a gimbal or any image stabilization, which doesn't make it a super great camera drone, but more towards an exploration quadcopter suitable for beginners.

7.Best Micro Brushless Quadcopter - Emax Tinyhawk 2

camera-icon-spec
FPV
battery-icon-spec
6 min
range-icon-spec
100 m
drone-icon-spec
Under $200
PROS
  • 3 axis gimbal
  • 4k footage
  • Great flight modes
  • Return to home
  • Very good quality for the price
CONS
  • Controller is a bit tricky

Don't get scared by the aparently bad specs above, the Emax Tinyhawk 2 is probably the best beginner micro brushless quadcopter you can buy.

It's the best for a few reasons, but the battery life of around 6 minutes is typical for small powerful quadcopter like these. Fortunately you can change the battery quite easily. 

It is used by FPV beginners to fly around the house at first and then go outside to experience a powerful tiny quad with their favorite goggles.

Thanks to the brushless motors and  multiple speed modes it is suitable to face stronger winds as well as be gentle enough if it's necessary.

What's more, it comes in the package with a controller and a pair of FPV goggles so you don't really need anything else (maybe just some additional batteries).

The tinyhawk 2 can use both 1s as well as 2s batteries to make it fly faster or slower depending on the environment and of course it comes with acro mode so that you can go to the next level after you learn the basics of FPV.

8.Best Waterproof Brushless drone - PowerVision PowerEgg X

camera-icon-spec
4k
battery-icon-spec
30 min
range-icon-spec
6km
drone-icon-spec
waterproof
PROS
  • 3 axis gimbal
  • great 4k camera
  • Waterproof enclosure
  • Can land on water
  • Can be detatched and used as a handheld gimbal
CONS
  • Quite large when unfolded

The best waterproof drone I would recommend buying, the PowerEgg X comes from a drone company with a history in weird but very capable drones.

It's my most recommended brushless waterproof quadcopter and it has a very unique design compared to most on the market.

You can use it as a handheld gimbal by removing the legs and the 3 axis stabilized camera does a great job at taking stable footage.

Since it's more around the professional level, it comes with GPS, a follow-me mode and even bottom and forward sensors for better positioning.

It is a great drone for all sorts of uses, from above water to filming in the air as well as on the ground, if you're looking for a consistent footage overall in your videos.

Also, it can land on water with its special accessory included in the package.

9.Brushless whoop Drone - IFlight Alpha A85

camera-icon-spec
FPV
battery-icon-spec
7 min
range-icon-spec
~
drone-icon-spec
Digital FPV
PROS
  • 3 axis gimbal
  • Under 250 grams
  • Ultra compact
  • Long range and battery life
  • Very stable GPS
CONS
  • Weird battery life choices

This micro brushless whoop drone is not made for beginners, as it requires a more complex setup and also doesn't come with a transmitter.

iFlight Alpha A85 HD 85mm 2Inch 4S Whoop w/Caddx Nebula Digital HD

The Flight Alpha A85 HD is a 2 inch 4s whoop with a digital FPV transmission option and the caddx nebula camera, which makes it compatible with DJI FPV goggles and makes for some really amazing and crisp footage.

However, it is one of the most well reviewed online and comes with both the option to fly indoors as well as outdoors.

It comes with a few connection options including a Plug and Play version with a built in DJI receiver if you want to use the DJI FPV System.

The build quality is second to none, coming with a carbon fiber base underneath and a lot of attention given to details, including it being pre-tested before delivery.

Frequently asked questions

Let's see a few more details about drones with brushless motors in general and what you might want to learn about them.

What is a brushless drone?

A drone that uses brushless motors is called a brushless drone and it uses motors that lacks brushes, making it more durable as well as more powerful.

Most serious professional drones come with these types of motors, yet cheaper toy drones have brushed ones to make them cheaper and lighter.

How long do brushless drone motors last?

If you're buying a brushless motor drone you might want to know how long they last compared to brushed motors.

While brushed drone motors can last between 100 to 1,000 hours on average, a brushless drone motor can last well above 30,000 hours as there aren't any brushes to wear down. However, the bearings on them might give up at some point.

Is Mavic Mini Brushless?

You probably heard brushless motors are larger and harder to use in smaller drones. If you want to buy the DJI Mavic Mini or DJI Mini 2 you're probably curious with what type of motor it comes, since it's so small.

The Mavic Mini and DJI mini 2 come with brushless motors making it a brushless drone that has typically more power and better durability compared to brushed ones.

Does DJI use brushless MOtors?

With DJI being one of the leaders in the market you'd expect them to use some of the best components, but are they using brushless motors for all of their drones?

DJI uses brushless motors for all of their drones, including the DJI Mini series as well as the larger professional drones. The only exception is the Tello, that is actually not directly made by DJI, but in cooperation with another company called Ryze.

Why are brushless motors better for drones?

As a conclusion, let's see why brushless motors are so sought after in the drone industry and why people want their drones to have these.

Brushless motors are better for drones because they have a much longer lifespan since they don't have brushes that can wear down. Brushless motors are also more powerful for their size, so they are used in more professional drones that require reliability and power.


paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

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