Micro drones are smaller versions of the typical quadcopter. As drone technology advances, it also increases the need for drones to improve our everyday experiences. Thus, the best micro quadcopters are useful as learning tools to give you a piloting skill that will enable you to handle larger and more technical drones.
Micro drones have a simple mechanical design that makes them easier to control than regular quadcopters. They are also cheaper, which makes them attractive for newbies to learn with them.
On the other hand, they have fewer features to make them useful for everyday applications such as aerial photography, and they are mostly for playing with them. It also constricts you to flying indoors, so you may not get the experience needed for outdoor flying. However, you can get the best drone for under $200 to practice outdoor flying affordably.
As a beginner quadcopter pilot, there is no better way to learn flying than with a micro drone. They have a quick learning curve, and with a less expensive construction, you can afford to crash it a few times and graduate to flying the regular drones in no time.
What is the Best Micro Drone?
We could say that we traveled the world to find for you the Best Micro Drone and it’s partially true – we’ve been on the road since 2011 after all.
More importantly, we have done a very thorough research online and have gone through most of the available mini drones that you can buy today. We read the comments left by people who bought and used these micro drones.
We also wrote a brief micro drones Buying Guide and FAQ sections to address most questions you may have.
Without further ado, here’s the list of top 5 mini drones based on their pricing, specs and ratings by real users.
1. Altair Falcon AHP Mini Drone
|Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)|
Weight: 0.3 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Max Flight Time: 10 Minutes
Control Range: 590
SD Card Slot: 2
See it in your local store:
I begin my reviews with my favorite mini drone, the Altair Falcon AHP. The AHP stands for Autonomous Hovering and Positioning System, and it is one of the outstanding features that make this drone one of the easiest to fly in the market. It enables the drone to hover in place without calibration to give you steady flying without too much effort. The quadcopter is also fully assembled right out of the box, and it comes with a simple-to-use remote controller that requires no learning curve to figure it out. The Altair Falcon carries a 720p HD camera that allows for live streaming videos via WiFi and still photos. The remote controller has a smartphone mount for FPV flying and Custom Flight Routing. However, you will need to install their Flying See app to connect your smartphone, and users say it is a quick and easy process. Although the mini-drone has a range of 110M, it is lightweight at 4oz, and a slight wind will make it too unstable for video. However, it has high-quality and durable construction for indoor flying, and it comes with propeller guards that are easily removable once you get used to it. You will also get extra parts like propeller blades and landing gear. The batteries last 10 minutes each, which gives you a total of 20 minutes of action. The instruction booklet indicates a 1-hour charging time for each battery, but users have noted that it takes up to three hours. On the bright side, it is an excellent little quadcopter for newbie drone users and to keep the kids busy.
- Pre-assembled and ready to fly out of the box, User-friendly features make it easy to pilot,
- Excellent for entry-level drone pilots of all ages,
- Spare parts and an extra battery included,
- Durable construction that will take a beating
- 3-hour charging time per battery
2. NEHEME NH320 Mini Drone
|Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)|
Weight: 0.1 Pounds (0 kg)
Max Flight Time: 7 Minutes
SD Card Slot: 1.5
See it in your local store:
Although Neheme is not a well-known brand, they have made a fantastic effort in producing affordable quadcopters for children and entry-level drone pilots. The NH320 is a scaled-down model compared to the more popular Neheme NH525, and it is also the budget choice drone on my list. It features a protective cage around the propellers that serves two functions. It protects your children from getting injured by the rotating propellers, and it also protects the propellers from getting damaged on impact. Although this is a fantastic design feature, it also makes it harder to clean out the dust bunnies collected in the propellers. The NH320 also comes with some fun features that are attractive to kids, such as the 360-degree tumbling action that users have noted is exciting. Another feature is the 3-speed mode that allows you to change speed according to your skill level and LED lights that make it fun to fly in the dark. On the upside, the remote controller is highly responsive and makes it a nice educational drone for newbies. It allows a one-key lift-off and landing sequence and altitude hold, both of which make it easy to fly. The drone comes with three batteries that may give you up to 21 minutes with a charging time of 90 minutes each. However, the battery compartment is a little tight and makes removing and replacing the batteries a tedious process for some people.
- Easy to fly with one-key takeoff/ landing,
- Highly responsive 360-degree tumbling action,
- Child-safe construction with full propeller guards,
- 3-Speed mode for different skill levels,
- Great value for your money
- Tedious battery removal and installation process
3. EMAX Tinyhawk RTF Micro Racing Drone
|Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)|
Weight: 0.9 Pounds (0.4 kg)
Max Flight Time: 4 Minutes
See it in your local store:
The EMAX Tinyhawk RTF micro drone is the premium choice on my list. It is an excellent choice for entry-level quadcopter pilots, and it comes ready to fly out of the box. The drone comes with an FPV kit that includes FPV goggles, the remote controller, and a small carry case. Although the drone is slightly larger than some of the other drones on the list, it is considerably lightweight at 42g.
The drone features a durable polypropylene frame with impact protection guards for the propellers. It also includes an FPV camera which transmits high-quality FPV video to the goggles or an external monitor. Another thoughtful feature is the motor beeper function that helps you find the micro drone if it lands in a busy place.
Tinyhawk is a racing drone, and it has the fastest speed of all the drones on this list at 35 miles per hour. The quadcopter’s controller comes with Level, Horizon, and Full Acrobatic FPV flight modes. On the downside, its battery performance is the shortest on my list of the best micro-drones at four minutes.
- Ready to fly out of the box,
- Can achieve 35mph racing speed,
- Comes with a camera and FPV goggles,
- Sturdy and durable construction
- Short flight time of four minutes
4. Parrot Mini Drone
|Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)|
Weight: 0.7 Pounds (0.3 kg)
Max Flight Time: 5 Minutes
Control Range: 200
SD Card Slot: 0.5
See it in your local store:
The Parrot mini drone features a unique X-wing design that allows it to have dual flight modes for aerial acrobatics and high-speed racing. This design enables the mini drone to fly like a quadcopter and an airplane when flipped 90 degrees to the side. The wings are a lightweight polystyrene construction attached to a plastic skeleton.
This micro drone is ideal for more experienced users looking for a mini racing drone. Although it is not as fast as the EMAX drone reviewed here, it can achieve a decent speed of 18 miles per hour in airplane flight mode, and you can choose between three-speed modes. It is also the heaviest drone on the list weighing 295g, which means it may have steady flights in low wind conditions. The drone is highly responsive to its controller via Bluetooth. Although using your smartphone will limit the control range to 20m, you can opt to use the Flypad controller to increase your distance to 60m.
The drone features an ultrasound detector, which lets you know how high you are flying. It is unlike the Altitude Hold feature of the other drones here, which restricts the altitude. The battery performance is also short at five minutes compared to the 10 minutes flight time of the Altair Falcon drone. However, the batteries also have a reduced charging time of 30 minutes.
- Dual flight mode for aerial acrobatics,
- 3-axis gyroscope for improved flight control,
- Flypad controller increases max control range
- Short flight time
5. Potensic Upgraded A20 Mini Drone
|Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)|
Weight: 0.4 Pounds (0.2 kg)
Max Flight Time: 6 Minutes
SD Card Slot: 0.5
See it in your local store:
The A20 mini drone is another budget-friendly option in the same price range as the NH320 and H823H mini-quadcopters reviewed here. What makes the A20 slightly different is that it is made as a kid’s toy, although it is also an excellent beginner drone for adults. It also does not feature the 3D flip. The A20 remote controller is one of its most outstanding features. It is smaller than most for kids to hold and control easily. The controller features 2.4Ghz, which delivers a stable transmission speed and makes the drone highly responsive. It features a 3-Speed Mode to use in different environments, the headless mode, and altitude hold that make it easy for newbie pilots to fly. Many users have noted that the A20 delivers smooth flying. However, it also requires calibration every time you power it up, which was a nuisance. On the upside, the transmission performance of the controller makes the pairing an easy process. The landing process is equally simple, and interestingly, the drone features a soft landing material to protect it from heavy impact.
Another outstanding feature is the Emergency Stop that allows the quadcopter to land itself if you lose control. Although the drone features a headless mode that allows you to fly it in any orientation, it also comes with an LED headlight and a red tail light for the more experienced users.
- Short battery charging time of 30 minutes,
- Affordable and high-quality construction,
- Small-sized remote controller for kids hands,
- Lightweight and durable construction for indoor flying,
- Features a headlight and taillight for orientation
- It needs calibration every time you power it on,
- Difficult to remove and replace the batteries
TLDR: Quick summary of our findings as to what can be considered best micro drone below:
Overall best micro drone out there: Altair Falcon AHP Mini Drone
Premium Pick if money is not much of an issue: EMAX Tinyhawk RTF Micro Racing Drone
Budget Choice – there’s no shame in spending prudently: NEHEME NH320 Mini Drone
Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:
What You Should Know Before Buying Micro Drones
Micro drones generally have a simple design with basic entry-level features. However, that does not mean that anything goes. There are essential elements of mini quadcopters that you should look out for when buying them, which I have included below. I have also written a general drone buying guide which you may find useful too.
Although micro drones have a lightweight construction, durability is an essential element that gives you value for your money. Materials play a significant part in making a quality drone that will survive the crashes and impacts of use. Other elements to look out for are safety features such as propeller guards that help prevent damage to the blades. You should also ensure that the mini drone comes with replacement parts to help you maintain the quadcopter affordably.
Most micro drones do not come with a camera because they are functional toys. However, some of the more advanced premium-priced drones may come with cameras for casual applications. The cameras may also add size and weight to the quadcopter, and also cost more. However, you may get an ultra-lightweight drone with a camera such as the EMAX Tinyhawk RTF racing drone.
Micro drones come with small batteries that will typically give you 5 – 10 minutes of flight time with an average charging time of 30 – 60 minutes. They may also include one or two extra batteries to give you an extended flight time of up to 20 minutes. In this review, the Altair Falcon mini drone offers the best flight time of 10 minutes with a charging time of 30 minutes.
The control range is not as crucial as the other factors considering that micro drones are designed for indoor use. However, you may want to play with the quadcopter in a large space such as a hall where the control range would be important. The average control range of the micro drones in this review is between 100 – 200 feet.
The advantage of micro drones is that you can get one at an affordable price without compromising on quality and durability. If you are looking for a basic model, you can get some excellent quality mini drones for under $50. However, you will need to spend significantly more to get advanced features such as the camera.
Questions and Answers About Micro Drones
What is a micro drone?
A micro drone is a pocket-sized drone that is excellent for learning the basics of piloting a quadcopter before you graduate to the bigger and more technical quadcopters. Generally, micro drones can also be fun flying toys for kids due to their simple construction and relatively low price.
What is the difference between a micro and a mini drone?
Micro and mini drones are relatively similar in structure and size, and while they are for indoor use, you can fly them outdoors in low wind conditions. On the other hand, nano drones are significantly smaller than micro drones and are mostly used for military applications.
What is a micro RPA?
A micro RPA (remotely Piloted aircraft) is a micro drone that weighs less than 250g and is used for professional applications such as commercial photography, security surveillance, or monitoring construction projects.