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Best mini drones in 2024 (the ONLY guide you’ll need)

Updated in 2024 by Paul Posea
best-mini-drones

You’ve probably seen them buzzing around the sky: mini drones that can fit in the palm of your hand. They look like a lot of fun, but how do you choose the right one for you?

That's what this article is all about — matching your budgetary and flying needs with the perfect compact model.

And don’t worry, I’m not just going to randomly list out a series of small drones with no added guidance.

Instead, I’ll be sharing my top personal picks (categorized for easier viewing), all based on extensive research and experience. By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll be ready to pick your perfect mini drone and start flying.

What are mini-drones? Types of mini quadcopters

It’s a bit difficult to objectively categorize them, but I’ve researched all the possible sizes and uses and ended up with 2 final categories I think mini-drones should be split in:

Nano Drones

The smallest type in existence, I even made a separate article on my favorite Nano drones. These are somewhere around 3 inches in size and can get even under 1.7 inches. Mainly used as indoor drones and toys.

Micro Drones

Slightly bigger than the nano drones, micro drones can be also flown outside (mainly) and come with more advanced cameras and some of them even GPS and flight modes.

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Pros and Cons of Mini Drones 

Mini drones are a big hit for their size and ease of use. They're great for indoor flying and perfect for beginners or kids. Let's look at what makes them stand out and what might be holding them back.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Fly indoors easily: Ideal for indoor fun and safe for beginners.
  • Super portable: Easy to carry around due to their small size.
  • Usually no registration needed: Most are light enough to skip registration.
  • Beginner-friendly: Simple to control and less intimidating.
  • Safer: Their small, light build reduces injury risks.
  • More affordable: Generally cheaper than their larger counterparts.

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Shorter flight times: They don't last as long in the air.
  • Camera quality is lower: Cameras aren't as sharp as they are on bigger drones.
  • Less feature-rich: They come with fewer bells and whistles.

Mini drones are a great mix of fun, affordability, and simplicity, ideal for newbies or indoor use. Just remember, they have shorter flight times and simpler cameras. They're a fantastic way to start exploring the drone world.

What to look for in a mini drone

Cost - This is one of the main advantages of buying a mini drone and paying less means you won’t have that much of a risk when flying it as well as being more suitable for beginners who are more probable to  crash.

Battery life - Battery life is a touchy subject for this category of quadcopters, but I tried to select some of the longest flying mini drones I could find

Camera Quality - If you’re looking for your mini drone to have a camera, it better be a good one. Recently we’ve even seen capable 4k cameras in tiny drones like the DJI Mini 2 so size barely seems like a compromise lately.

Durability - For people focusing more on buying a mini drone for beginners, this is an obvious one, as you don’t want it to break apart hitting a wall, and preferably even have some prop guards of some sort.

Wind resistance - If the drone is too tiny, it may not be strong enough to face the wind, so use it only indoors. But if not, make sure it is a brushless motor drone so it’s stronger in the wind.

Comparison Table of Best Mini Drones

Drone ModelCategoryCamera QualityBattery LifeSpecial Features
DJI Mini 4Best Mini Drone with a 4k Camera4K34 minGPS, bottom facing sensors, 3-axis stabilized gimbal, foldable, under 250g
Holy Stone HS710Best Mini Drone with GPS4K46 minGPS, foldable, under 250g, comes with 2 batteries
Potensic A20Best Mini Drone for BeginnersNo cam6 minDurable, works indoors and outdoors, altitude hold, easy to fly, changeable batteries
Emax Tinyhawk 2Mini FPV Racing DroneFPV6 minFPV package with goggles, brushless motors, supports 1s and 2s batteries, indoor and outdoor
DJI TelloBest Mini Selfie Drone720p12 minImage stabilization, optical flow sensors, multiple flight modes, extra Bluetooth controller option
Eachine e520sCheap Mini Drone with Camera4K (1080p quality)16 minGPS, foldable, 250m range, smart flight modes
Hand Operated DroneMini Drone for KidsNo cam10 minHand operated, safe cage design
drones-ranked-by-specs.png

Best Mini Drones in 2024


In this section we’ll have a look at my top mini drones this year as well as the individual uses of each for each of them and pluses and minuses of each.

1.Best Mini Drone with a 4k Camera (DJI Mini 4 Pro)

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

34 min

range-icon-spec

18 km

drone-icon-spec

Under 250g

DJI Mini 4 Pro

DJI Mini 4 Pro, it's a tiny drone that's surprisingly powerful. It weighs less than 250g, which is super light, but don't let that fool you. It's packed with features that make it a solid choice for both newbies and drone pros.

The camera on this thing is pretty impressive. It's got a 1/1.3 inch sensor, and you can shoot in 12 or 48MP RAW, which is great for getting those detailed shots. It also does 4K100 FPS video, so your footage is going to look smooth and professional. Even in low light, this drone does well, giving you clean images without a lot of noise.

What's cool about the Mini 4 Pro is its versatility in shooting modes. You can switch to a vertical shooting mode just with a button press. This is awesome for anyone into social media or if you just want to try out different shot angles. It's not just stuck in the typical landscape mode.

When it comes to drone wind resistance, the Mini 4 Pro holds its own. It's rated with a wind resistance of 10m/s (22.3mph), which means it stays stable even in breezy conditions. This is particularly impressive for a drone of its size and weight.

The stabilized gimbal on the Mini 4 Pro deserves a special mention. It does an excellent job of keeping your footage smooth and steady, which is crucial for high-quality aerial shots.

In summary, the DJI Mini 4 Pro is a fantastic option for those looking for a high-performing, yet affordable drone. Its camera capabilities, wind resistance, and stabilized gimbal make it a top contender in the world of compact drones. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pilot, the Mini 4 Pro is worth considering.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Lightweight and portable.
  • 34 minutes flight time
  • 18 km maximum range
  • 4K60 video in various formats.
  • Advanced obstacle avoidance.
  • Multiple control options.

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • No AirSense transponder.
  • Extended battery increases weight.

2.Best mini drone with GPS (Holy Stone HS710)

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

46 min

range-icon-spec

600m

drone-icon-spec

Under 250g

Holy Stone HS710

Let's talk about the Holy Stone HS710, a drone that's catching attention for being a budget-friendly option with some neat features. It's like the underdog in the drone world, especially when you compare it to the big names like DJI.

First off, the HS710 is a foldable drone, which is super handy for carrying around. It's lightweight, under 250g, so you won't have to worry about FAA registration if you're just flying for fun.

The drone comes with a 4K camera and GPS positioning, which is pretty impressive for its price range. It even has advanced flight modes like Follow Me and Waypoint Flight, which you usually find in more expensive drones.

With two batteries included, you get around 46 minutes of total flying time, which is great for longer sessions. Its range reaches up to 600 meters, giving you plenty of space to explore and capture from afar.

Now, the build quality does feel a bit on the cheaper side, kind of toy-like, but that's expected given its price. It's made of plastic, but hey, it's durable. The drone is pretty easy to set up and the app design is clean, which is great for beginners.

But, it's not all smooth flying. The HS710 can be a bit unpredictable in the air and doesn't have a gimbal for stabilization, so your videos might not be super smooth. The GPS signal can be weak at times, and the camera quality isn't the best, resulting in less-than-stellar photos and videos. Also, the remote feels a bit cheap.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Affordable
  • Foldable and lightweight
  • Easy to set up
  • Advanced flight modes

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • No gimbal stabilization
  • Lower camera quality

3.Best Mini Drone for Beginners (Potensic A20)

camera-icon-spec

No cam

battery-icon-spec

6 min

range-icon-spec

60m

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Durable

Potensic A20

The Potensic A20 Mini Drone is a compact, budget-friendly option ideal for beginner-level pilots. It stands out for its ease of use and its propeller guards ensure safety and minimize damage during flights. 

The drone is praised for its durability, responsive controls, and features like one-key takeoff/landing and headless mode for easy operation. However, it's primarily designed for indoor use due to its light weight and limited outdoor performance in windy conditions. 

With a flight time of around 5 to 6 minutes per battery, it offers a decent duration for short flying sessions. The A20 provides a great way to learn drone piloting skills in a safe and controlled environment.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Durable
  • Cheap
  • Works indoors and outdoors
  • Altitude hold
  • Easy to fly
  • Changeable batteries

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Nothing bad to say for this price.

4.Mini FPV racing Drone (Emax Tinihawk 2)

camera-icon-spec

FPV

battery-icon-spec

6 min

range-icon-spec

100 m

drone-icon-spec

with Goggles

emax tinyhawk 2 lights

Although this may not look like a complete beginner drone (because it actually has some solid racing specs), it is in fact a beginner's mini FPV drone and a great one at that!

It’s basically a complete FPV package with FPV Goggles, a brushless whoop drone with an awesome camera and specs for an incredibly good price.

It supports both 1s and 2s batteries, depending on how fast you want to fly and comes with inverted motors and a cage all around it for proper protection when you fly it indoors.

Thanks to the powerful brushless motors, this thing can definitely do an outstanding job even when flying outdoors in stronger wind.

The drone itself weighs 32g without a battery, so it’s well under the drone weight limits for registration.
Again, this is probably the best 1s indoor racer you can get for the price in that package, and it works with advanced software like Betaflight as well as working with any FPV goggles or change of transmitter.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Safe protective gear
  • Full package
  • Very good price
  • Brushless motors
  • Acro mode included
  • Betaflight ready
  • Indoor and outdoor

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Battery may seem low, but it's normal for the category.

5. Best Mini Selfie Drone (DJI Tello)

camera-icon-spec

720p

battery-icon-spec

12 min

range-icon-spec

100 m

drone-icon-spec

Image Stabilized

dji tello with prop guards for beginners

The DJI Tello drone emerges as an exceptional entry-level UAV, praised for its affordability, ease of use, and educational value. Weighing just 80 grams, it boasts a flight time of up to 13 minutes and captures 5MP photos and 720p HD video, making it a standout choice for beginners and young enthusiasts. 

Its integration with Scratch for programming introduces users to basic coding, enhancing its appeal as an educational tool. Despite its small size, the Tello impresses with stable indoor flight capabilities, though it struggles in windy conditions outdoors. 

Its lack of a controller is noted, but its compatibility with smartphone control and third-party controllers adds flexibility. The Tello's lightweight design exempts it from FAA registration, further lowering the entry barrier for drone enthusiasts.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Optical flow sensors for stable flight
  • Electronic Image Stabilization
  • Extra Bluetooth controller option
  • Multiple flight modes
  • Long battery life for the size

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Need to buy an aftermarket controller (if you're not happy with the phone controls)

6.Cheap mini drone with Camera (Eachine e520s)

camera-icon-spec

~4k

battery-icon-spec

16 min

range-icon-spec

250 m

drone-icon-spec

Img GPS

mini drone eachine gps

Yet another amazing camera drone for the money, this time even cheaper than the one before, DJI Tello.

If your budget is around $100 and you’re looking for a drone that has good range, GPS, and a solid camera, you can’t get better than this.

The Eachine e520s is a foldable camera drone, so it does make it into the most portable category too, and it comes with a 16 minute flight time, GPS return to home, and even 4k capabilities, although the footage itself is more like 1080p quality.

The motors this time are brushed, the less powerful kind, so you’d have to compromise a bit for paying this price, but it still comes with some outstanding specs otherwise.

We’re taking follow me, return to home and altitude hold.

Check Eachine Price

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Comes with GPS
  • 16 min battery life
  • 250m range
  • Smart flight modes
  • Super cheap price
  • Adjustable camera angle

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Brushed Motors
  • Camera not stabilized

7.Mini Drone for Kids (Hand operated drone)

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

31min

range-icon-spec

10 m

drone-icon-spec

GPS

mini hand sensor drone for kids

If you want your kid to discover a cool hobby and share it with their friends, but he/she’s too young to fly a drone by themselves, then try this.

The hand operated drone (for which you can find a couple of models on Amazon), is one of the easiest ways to play indoors with a mini drone.

All you have to do is put your hand opposite to the direction you want it to go and it will detect it thanks to its sensors and actually fly that way.

This is more fun than you might think, especially if you find a great working one.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Fun to play with others
  • Very safe thanks to the cage
  • Cheap, so you can buy more, for even more fun

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Not learning how to actually fly a drone.

Mini Drone Maintenance and Care Guide

Keeping your mini drone in top condition is crucial for a long-lasting and enjoyable flying experience. 

Here's a quick guide to help you maintain and care for your drone effectively:

Battery Management: After flying, let the battery cool before recharging. Prolong its life by avoiding complete discharge and overcharging.

Regular Inspections: Check for wear and tear, especially on propellers and motors. Replace parts showing signs of damage to maintain performance.

Firmware Updates: Regularly update your drone's firmware for improved functionality and new features.

Clean with Care: Use a soft brush or compressed air to remove debris from hard-to-reach areas. Avoid using water or damp clothes.

Calibration: Calibrate the drone's sensors and compass regularly, especially if you notice any flight irregularities.

Storage Tips: Store in a cool, dry place. Remove the battery if storing for an extended period.

Avoid Extreme Conditions: Don't fly in extreme weather. High winds, rain, or extreme temperatures can damage your drone.

By following these simple yet effective maintenance tips, you can enjoy a seamless and long-lasting flying experience with your mini drone.

Conclusion 

Wrapping this up, I've got to say, every drone in this guide is worth your money. Take the DJI Mini 4, for example, with its top-notch 4K camera and solid battery life – it's a real gem. And if you're just starting out, the Potensic A20 is a breeze to handle. For those into FPV racing, the Emax Tinyhawk 2 won't disappoint.

This guide isn't just a list; it's a well-thought-out selection catering to different needs, whether you're chasing professional-grade footage or the thrill of drone racing. 

It's all about getting the best value for your money, focusing on key aspects like camera quality, battery life, and user-friendliness. So, if you're diving into the world of mini drones, you're in good hands with these choices.

faq what should you look for in a drone

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know will be answered in this section.

Are small drones legal?

Yes, small drones are legal, but some countries require registration for drones over a certain weight.

What are small drones used for?

Small drones are used for photography, videography, recreation, education, and sometimes for racing.

Can a mini drone be used indoors?

Yes, mini drones can be used indoors, especially those designed for indoor use.

How much does a mini drone cost?

Mini drone prices vary, ranging from under $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on features and quality.

How high can mini drones fly?

The maximum height varies by drone, but many are limited to around 100-400 feet by regulations or their own capabilities.

How far can a mini drone fly?

The range varies, but many consumer mini drones can fly from 100 meters to a few kilometers.

Can mini drones be customized or upgraded with additional features?

Some mini drones allow customization or upgrades, like adding cameras or replacing parts, but this varies by model.

How do weather conditions affect the operation of mini drones?

Weather conditions like wind, rain, and extreme temperatures can affect flight stability, range, and safety of mini drones.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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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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