Best Mini Drones in 2021

What to look for and what to avoid

best-mini-drones

Mini Drones are all the rage these days, but how do you know which one you need to pick for your budget and use case?

This is what this article is all about!

I’m not going to list a random series of small drones and say nice things about them and let you pick randomly.

No,no...

 In this article you’re going to learn everything you need to know about these types of quadcopters and get to select only one perfect mini drone, as I’ve selected the perfect quadcopter for each category (after a ton of research and hands on reviews).

Table of Contents

ADVANTAGES

  • can be flown inside
  • more portable
  • no need to register (usually)
  • great for kids and beginners
  • less dangerous
  • cheaper

DISADVANTAGES

  • shorter battery life
  • not as good camera
  • less features overall
  •  

What are mini drones? Types of mini quadcopters

It’s a bit difficult to objectively categorize them into categories, 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

Micro Drones

  • Slightly Bigger than the nano drones, they can be also flown outside (mainly) and come with more advanced cameras and some of them even GPS and flight modes.
nano-vs-micro-drones-graphic-size-comparison

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 wind, so use it only for indoors. But if not, make sure it is a brushless motor drone so it’s stronger in the wind.

My top 10 Best Mini Drones(the real deal)

best-nano-drones

In this section we’re taking a look at 12 of my best mini drones, each being the top of their own category and suited to a specific use, not just randomly selected. They are all mini drones for sale currently and are from different brands, as I’m not affiliated to any one in particular.

Mini 2Holy StonePotensicTInyhawkDJI Tello
battery-test31 min16 min6 min6 min12 min
wifi-test10 km300 m60 m100 m100 m
camera-icon.png4k~4knoFPV720p
drone-slim-iconPROGPSstarterracingselfie
$$$$$$$$$$
drone-price-dollar-icon.png Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

1.Best Mini Drone with a 4k camera(DJI MINI 2)

camera-icon-specs-180

4k

drone-battery-specs-180 icon

31 min

range

10 km

drone

GPS

While there is no specific order to this list, if anyone ever wants me to give a quick answer on what the best mini drone is, it would be the DJI Mini 2.

Choosing a drone is always a question of price, and that’s why the Mini 2 isn’t always the perfect choice. However, if you’re looking for a stable camera drone that’s small (and even under 250g) AND you have the cash to pay then don’t even look further.

The DJI Mini 2 is my main drone and in my opinion the top mini drone. I consider it to be professional level actually in many cases as it takes stunning 4k footage ( impossible to distinguish from the likes of Mavic Air2( as I’ve shown here) and it simply has stunning specs.

It can stay for 31 minutes in the air, which is bonkers, can fly for 10km and it also comes with super stable GPS and bottom facing sensors.

What’s more, it has some of the best wind resistance a drone like this could potentially face and an awesome 3 axis stabilized gimbal.

Seriously, the gap between the DJI Mini 2 and any other drone in its size and weight range is actually huge.

However, keep reading the list to see why I think the other choices are absolutely great too, for their price ranges.

ADVANTAGES

  • Outstanding battery and range
  • Under 250g
  • Foldable
  • Super Tiny
  • Great wind resistance
  • GPS and return to home
  • Amazing 4k stable footage

DISADVANTAGES

  • Doesn't come with follow me option

2.Best mini drone with GPS (Holy Stone Hs510)

camera-icon-specs-180

4k

drone-battery-specs-180 icon

16 min

range

300m

drone

GPS

The Holy Stone HS510 is a small drone with HD camera(it’s 4k in fact) and frankly I want to put it high in my recommendations mainly because it’s such an awesome drone overall for the price! It also comes with a very capable camera, solid GPS and it’s under 250g.
What more could you want?

I’ll tell you what more… a 300m rangefollow me function (although not the great kind) and a 16 minute battery life (which is really great for the price and size) and 2 batteries in the package for it.
It’s a mini foldable drone that gets really compact and thanks to the brushless motors it can also withstand a wider range of wind speed.
The controller comes with telemetry(means you can see the distance, height, battery without being connected to the phone).

Overall it’s a great Mini camera drone in a great package with solid GPS.

ADVANTAGES

  • Camera angle can be adjusted
  • Under 250g
  • Foldable
  • Comes with 2 batteries and a complete package
  • GPS and return to home
  • Great range and battery life

DISADVANTAGES

  • No stabilized camera

3.Best Mini Drone for Beginners (Potensic A20)

camera-icon-specs-180

No cam

drone-battery-specs-180 icon

6 min

range

60m

drone

Durable

The Potensic A20 made it to the top spot in my list with beginner drones for a few good reasons. It may be considered a nano drone almost, but it still has the size and strength to be flown outside in certain conditions.

It’s a great beginner mini drone because it is durable, comes with prop guards, and most importantly comes with 3 included batteries. Most drones at this price or this size usually come with a battery that can’t be even removed and you’d have to charge it after every flight.

The controller is good quality too and the brand Potensic is quite well known and provides good support compared to Chinese companies.

The drone doesn’t come with a camera, but it’s just that, a cheap beginner drone that does it perfectly and can be found on amazon easily in most countries.

ADVANTAGES

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

DISADVANTAGES

  • Nothing bad to say for this price.

4.Mini FPV racing Drone (Emax Tinikawk 2)

camera-icon-specs-180

FPV

drone-battery-specs-180 icon

6 min

range

100 m

drone

with Goggles

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

 

It’s basically a complete FPV package with FPV Goggles, a brushles 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.

ADVANTAGES

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

DISADVANTAGES

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

5. Best Mini Selfie Drone (DJI Tello)

camera-icon-specs-180

720p

drone-battery-specs-180 icon

12 min

range

100 m

drone

Img Stabilized

The DJI Tello is pretty difficult to beat for under $100 when it comes to a solid beginner camera drone. It’s perfect as a selfie drone mainly because it’s the only one out there with optical image stabilization and it can take some AMAZING photos as you can see in my youtube review of it.

The Tello also comes with bottom-facing sensors which allow it to hover very steady, perfect for taking a selfie while managing the positions of your friends (without worrying about what the drone will do).

While the drone only comes controlled with a phone app, you can buy an after-market Bluetooth controller and use that to fly it. And some people have shown online that with a wifi range extender you can go beyond 100m and even double or triple that range, which makes this a stunning drone indeed.

ADVANTAGES

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

DISADVANTAGES

  • 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-specs-180

~4k

drone-battery-specs-180 icon

16 min

range

250m

drone

GPS

Yet another amazing camera drone for the money, this time even cheaper than the one before, holystone h510, but with very similar specs.

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.

It’s also a foldable camera drone so it does make it into the most portable category too.

It comes with a 16 minute flight time, GPS return to home, and even 4k footage, 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.

ADVANTAGES

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

DISADVANTAGES

  • Brushed Motors
  • Camera not stabilized

8.Best tiny travel drone (DJI Mini 2)

camera-icon-specs-180

4k

drone-battery-specs-180 icon

31 min

range

10km

drone

GPS

The best mini travel drone is none other than the DJI Mini 2 yet again. There’s really no competition here, as if you want to capture some amazing shots of the places you go to, you need a pretty capable camera drone.

The mini 2 fits the small profile, low weight and super stable footage you need for this job, so if you have the money to invest in a tiny compact travel drone, this is the way to go.

As mentioned above, this quadcopter is competing with $1000 drones and you can’t even tell the difference. You can take 4k photos and 100mbps 4k footage that would impress anyone.

ADVANTAGES

  • Under 250 g (legal in most countries)
  • Foldable design
  • Very portable
  • Long range and battery life

DISADVANTAGES

  • None

9.Mini drone for kids ( Hand operated drone)

camera-icon-specs-180

None

drone-battery-specs-180 icon

10 min

range

30 m

drone

sensors

If you want your kid to discover a cool hobby and share it with their friends, yet he/she is too young to let them fly 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.

ADVANTAGES

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

DISADVANTAGES

No learning how to actually fly a drone.

FAQ (Frequently asked questions)

faq-what-should-you-look-for-in-a-drone.png

In this final section, we're taking a look at some specific questions that people ask me, which might also be useful to you.

Are small drones legal?

In the US as in most other countries you are free to fly any drone under 250 grams without need for registration, which makes most of the drones on this list legal to fly. However, before buying a mini drone, even though it might seem small, ensure it is actually within this weight range.

If you’re flying any drone indoors, it’s perfectly safe to do so.

What are small drones used for?

Mini drones are used for a variety of reasons from learning how to fly indoors to outdoors photography and taking 4k video with the likes of the DJI Mini 2.

Can a mini drone be used indoors?

Yes, a mini drone can be used indoors as well as outdoors, but make sure it is small enough and it has protective gear so if you hit the walls there isn’t going to be any damage.

How much does a mini drone cost?

If you’re wondering How much you should pay for a mini drone, know that it greatly varies between less than $20 to upwards of $500 or more for professional mini camera drones.

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.

Get my Free "Before flight" drone checklist

reviews
ONLINE FAA PART 107
Test Prep Course

Get $50 OFF Bellow

part-107-course-benefits