Best Quadcopters for a Breathtaking RC Experience in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 7, 2018
The drone craze is clearly taking the world by storm, and if you want a piece of fun for yourself, we share your enthusiasm! Flying a quadcopter drone can be the most exciting thing you’ve ever tried, and we gladly picked the 5 best quadcopters to help you choose one of your own. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Age Group
Intended Use
Flight Specs
Size and weight
Control
Camera and memory
Features
Usability
Flight time
Warranty
 
PROS

This model is available in three versions: Standard, Advanced, and Professional, so you can choose the modifications and characteristics you need. The maximum height from the take-off point is 120 meters, which will allow you to capture incredible landscapes from a bird's eye view.

CONS

Upgrades are not possible for the camera. Can only be used by those 18 years of age or older.

OUR VERDICT

If you are very fond of creating videos and you are tired of ground-based photography, then it's time to move into the air. This quadcopter will allow you to record video at high definition video resolution. The camera itself is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal system, which provides excellent image stabilization.

detailed parameters
Age Group

18+

Intended Use

Professional video recording

Flight Specs

Software altitude limit: 120 m above takeoff point

Max Transmission Distance: 1000 m (FCC), 500 m (CE)

Size and weight

35 сm diagonal (propellers excluded)

1216 g

Control

5.725 - 5.825 GHz remote controller

2.4 GHz ISM with Android or iOS app

Camera and memory

2.7K (2704 x 1524)

Micro SD up to 64 GB

Features

Built-in GPS records your Phantom’s takeoff point

Height and distance limits

Large LED lights on each arm

Usability

It hovers perfectly in place, holding both position and altitude

Flight time

up to 25 min

Warranty

12 Months for Central Board and Remote Controller

6 Months for Gimbal Camera, Vision Positioning System, Motor, Battery Charger

No Warranty for Frame and Propeller

PROS

Included in the kit is a holder and visor for your smartphone, which will allow use of the square copter in sunny weather. For such a low price point, you also get built-in GPS, altitude hold, and a good range of up to 50 meters.

CONS

The quadcopter has a tendency to lose contact with the console.

OUR VERDICT

The Potensic U42W is one of the few quadrocopters available at this price which provides high quality video recording. You can manage it using the console and a connected smartphone, which will display the image from the quadrocopter in online mode. With all of this, the flight time will last up to 20 minutes, which is competitive with more expensive quadcopters.

detailed parameters
Age Group

12+

Intended Use

Video recording

Flight Specs

Max Transmission Distance: 50 m

Size and weight

36 x 35.5 x 10.7 cm

130 g

Control

2.4 GHz with Android or iOS app

Camera and memory

SD (640 x 480)

Memory dependent on smartphone

Features

3 Axis and 3 Accelerometers

Highly anti-collision elastic plastic protective frame

Usability

Ability to lock the flight altitude

Flight time

~ 15-20 min

Warranty

12 months

PROS

Remote control is very easy to use and has plenty of options for the most accurate and smooth control of your new quadrocopter. The console is equipped with a small display that will inform you about the flight process and battery charge. 

CONS

Short warranty period.

OUR VERDICT

This quadcopter is one of the best choices for those who are looking for their first quadcopter and want to get a good model with a good balance of characteristics and price. The quadcopter operates in a "Headless" mode, which means that it isn't dependent on the direction for control.

detailed parameters
Age Group

12+

Intended Use

Video recording

Flight Specs

Max Transmission Distance: up to 45 m

Size and weight

31.5 x 31.5 x 10.5 cm

Control

2.4 GHz with Android or iOS app

Camera and memory

HD (1280 x 720)

Features

Latest 6-axis flight-control systems and 3D lock

High elastic blade protector

Usability

Headless mode

Flight time

~ 7-10 min

Warranty

30 days

PROS

Despite the fact that this is a simple toy, the range of the radio remote control reaches up to one hundred meters, which exceeds the range of many more expensive quadcopters with a video camera.

CONS

Propellers are a bit fragile for indoor flight, no camera included.

OUR VERDICT

This model is an excellent choice for children of at least 14 years of age. One of the features is its ruggedness, due to a light, but quite solid body. This very affordable drone allows children to master the skills of flight, after which they can more accurately manage the more expensive models with a video camera.

detailed parameters
Age Group

14+

Intended Use

Toy

Flight Specs

Max Transmission Distance: 100 m

Size and weight

12 x 12 x 2.5 cm

36 g

Control

2.4 GHz

Camera and memory

No

Features

Latest 6-axis flight control system

Permits super stable flight

Usability

Lightweight frame with good durability

Flight time

~ 9 min

Warranty

12 months

PROS

The remote control features a button to return the quadcopter to the launch site, which will reduce the risk of its loss. At the front of the drone is a blue LED, which can illuminate the night sky in front of the quadcopter.

CONS

Weak frame, looks very much like a toy.

OUR VERDICT

This model is an ideal gift for children, which will make them spend more time outdoors. The light weight and compact dimensions of this drone are perfect for placing it in a school backpack or bicycle trunk, which allows children to easily carry it with themselves. Good for competitions of speed and range.

detailed parameters
Age Group

14+

Intended Use

Toy

Flight Specs

Max Transmission Distance: 30 m

Size and weight

8.2 x 8.2 x 2 cm

22.5 g

Control

2.4 GHz

Camera and memory

No

Features

6-axis flight control system

3D rolling special effects

Сolorful LED lights

Usability

Headless mode

Flight time

~ 5 min

Warranty

12 months

DJI Phantom 3

Great Video Stability

The first thing that many people think of when it comes to quadcopter drones is of shooting smooth, high-quality videos of the surrounding landscape from a high altitude. This is probably the primary use of many drones, and it is what the market has shown that people want in a drone. If you fit into this group of people, then you should take a look at the DJI Phantom 3.

The first thing you'll notice about this drone is its sleek, white appearance, one that resembles a Phantom. Its appearance certainly lives up to its name. Each propeller sits on top of an elongated arm, all converging into the squarish body. Underneath the body hangs the camera, attached to a gimbal system that allows the quadcopter to take breathtakingly smooth videos while in flight. This gimbal system is the same as is used in the professional video industry, so you can be assured of getting only the best image stabilization available.

Image stabilization isn't the only thing this quadcopter has to offer for video, though. The camera that is attached records in 2.7K High Definition video, which means that all of your videos will have a professional high definition look and feel to them.

Review of DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone

Professional-Grade Drone

Although the image stabilization and high definition video are certainly attractive features, this quadcopter has a lot more to offer as well. The controller for the quadcopter features the traditional 4-axis controls, allowing you to maneuver your quadcopter with precision and grace. The controller also features a mount for a smartphone, which can link to the drone's Wi-Fi video downlink for a live video feed.

The drone itself flies quite well, especially for a drone at this price point. Flight is generally smooth, even in strong winds, and it handles quite well with a flight time of up to 25 minutes on a single charge. Although the drone's video camera can't be upgraded, it is already a high-quality camera, so there should be little need to do so in the future.

Those who are looking for a professional-grade drone have tons of options to sort through to find what they need. There are literally hundreds of drones on the market, and sorting through them can be quite a chore. However, after checking out the DJI Phantom 3, we are confident that those who require a drone for smooth, high-quality professional video recording won't find any faults here.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Potensic U42W

Altitude Lock Feature

Professional-grade drones can be quite pricey, especially for those of us without deep pockets. Often costing hundreds of pounds or more, drones with professional video capabilities are often priced well out of the reach of ordinary people. However, the Potensik U42W ensures that those with a more limited budget don't have to miss out on all of the fun.

This very affordable quadcopter comes packed with tons of features. Featuring an SD video camera, those of us who want to record great looking videos without having to pay an exorbitant price can find a lot to love here. Although the camera is not HD quality, it records at a high quality 640 by 480 resolution, which is high enough to still look good on most high definition displays. At this price, you will be hard pressed to find any other drone with the same video capabilities.

Of course, like many other drones, video recording isn't the only feature on offer here. This model features built-in "Altitude-Hold" technology, which means that it's quite easy to lock the drone at a certain height, which helps to provide stable video recording.

Review of Potensic U42W Drone with Camera

Professional Features At An Affordable Price

The video and altitude locking abilities are far from the only things on offer with this quadcopter. Featuring a solid yet lightweight black body with the propellers mounted on extended arms, this drone actually can take a beating, something which is often lacking in almost all other drones at this price. Although the body is lightweight, it can still hold itself well during mild winds.

For ease of use, this quadcopter also features one key take off and landing, which means you can both lift off and land the drone with just the press of a button on the controller. This removes a lot of the complexity that comes with operating a drone, as you can focus on the fundamentals of flight without worries. The controller also features a mount for a smartphone with a sun visor, which means that operating the drone is quite simple, even in sunny weather.

All of these features plus more add up to a very impressive package for those who don't want to or can't spend hundreds of pounds on a drone. Anyone looking to start off with high quality video recording on a drone for a budget price should take a serious look at this model.

Potensic U42W Drone with Camera in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

SYMA X5SC

Great Balance Of Features

People who are new to the wonderful world of drones often don't know where to start looking when it comes to finding the perfect quadcopter. With the wide range of different models with different capabilities, it can be hard to find the exact drone to fit your needs, or to find one that works well with the right combination of features. Anyone who has experienced this conundrum would be well-advised to take a look at the SYMA X5SC quadcopter.

This quadcopter doesn't necessarily stand out from the rest of the pack based on one or two exciting features. Instead, it's wide appeal comes down to the well-balanced set of features and abilities. At first glance, it looks like many other quadcopters on the market, with the futuristic-looking body with propellers mounted on extended arms. However, further inspection of this model shows that it really packs in the right balance of features and performance, all at a very affordable price.

Included in this model are many of the standard features that those who wish to record video will often look for, including a high definition video camera that records at 720p along with easy controls. However, the feature list extends well beyond these two basic areas.

Review of SYMA X5SC Remote Control Quadcopter

6-axis Headless Control

One of the unique features of this model is its ability to work in a true 6-axis "headless" mode, which means that the flight of the drone isn't dependent on which direction the "head" is facing. This allows for the ultimate abilities in control and smooth flight, allowing maneuvers and tricks that are often only found on more expensive drones.

Along with the high maneuverability of this model comes a highly functional and unique controller, which provides precision control of the quadcopter. The controller includes a status panel that shows some basic information about the drone, including the flight process and the amount of charge remaining on the battery. For a total flight time of only around 7 minutes, having this information at your disposal is extremely useful. You no longer have to worry about how much flight time is remaining.

For those who are on a budget, this drone provides nearly the complete package. Despite the short warranty of only 30 days, this quadcopter provides probably the best balance of features and performance that you can possibly find at this price.

SYMA X5SC Remote Control Quadcopter in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Hubsan X4 H107L

A Great Beginner Drone

When most people think of drones, they often think of high end flying machines with tons of capabilities. Drones that can take smooth high quality videos while roaming the sky are the ones that tend to capture everyone's imagination. Some may even think of very high end drones used for professional purposes, such as for agriculture or even military use. However, those who are new to flying drones have to start somewhere, and that somewhere would be a very inexpensive model made specifically to help newcomers master the skills of flight.

The Hubsan X4 H107L is a perfect quadcopter for newcomers. Although it is advertised more as a toy, this very capable drone allows young learners to learn the art of flight, while giving them plenty of capabilities to do more than just simple flight. Featuring a full 6-axis control with headless mode, those new to drones have plenty to use to experiment and help themselves master the art of flight. Even the build quality of this small drone gives it enough ruggedness to withstand many of the inevitable bumps and crashes that young learners may experience.

Review of Hubsan X4 H107L RC Quadcopter

Solid Construction, Excellent Controls

This tough little quadcopter is made of a lightweight plastic body, shaped like most other drones of a similar nature. However, the plastic body is quite rugged, and can certainly withstand a beating. The small size of the drone makes it perfect for flying indoors, although those who choose to do this would be well advised to get the optional protective frame so that the propellers don't get damaged.

Although it excels at limited indoor flight, it has some impressive features for outdoor flight as well. The drone's battery capabilities allow it to fly for up to 9 minutes fully charged, and the range of the controller extends up to 100 meters, which is well beyond what many much more expensive models can handle. Although the basic model does not include a built-in camera, the flight capabilities of the drone help make up for the fact by providing very easy controls, along with the ability to perform tricks such as flips.

With all of the capabilities listed here, this model is a perfect choice for young learners who are interested in having their own drone, and want to master their flying skills. Anyone who fits these criteria would be very happy with this quadcopter.

Hubsan X4 H107L RC Quadcopter in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Unipro Tek JJRC H36

Fun In A Small Package

Many drones that people see either online or in shops tend to be rather large machines, with many of them being the size of a small dog, or even bigger. This can make them a bit unwieldy, especially for children. Transporting them from one place to another, or even using it for indoor flight is at best impractical, and in many cases simply impossible.

Small toy drones have been taking the market by storm lately, with the JJRC H36 MINI Drone leading the pack. By being small, this places it firmly in the market as a toy, and its looks definitely give that impression as well. Being small enough to hold easily in the palms of both hands, this quadcopter actually contains a surprisingly large amount of fun in a small package.

The small dimensions of this drone make it perfect for indoor flight, which is also helped by the protective frame around the propellers, which easily protect them from bumping into walls and other objects they may encounter. Despite its small size and toyish looks, this small quadcopter is actually full of amazing capabilities that will impress almost anyone.

Review of Unipro Tek JJRC H36 MINI RC Quadcopter

Perform Tricks and Impress Your Friends

This small quadcopter has some pretty amazing capabilities. The remote control, which looks like a standard video game controller, is quite simple to use and gives the user easy control over the drone, allowing it to perform many amazing tricks. The 2.4 GHz signal used by the controller helps ensure that the drone maintains constant connectivity to the controller. The range of the controller is about 30 meters, which is impressive for such a small drone. The only drawback to this is that the small size may make it easier to lose should the drone wander beyond the controller range, although this is mitigated by the four blinking blue LEDs that light up while in flight, which makes it easier to track during darkness.

Another very unique aspect of this drone is the ability to return it to the exact take off spot with just the touch of a button. Those who are unsure of how to control a smooth landing don't have to worry about causing an accident, as just pressing a button will return it right back to it's point of origin.

With all of these capabilities packed into such a small quadcopter, coupled with its very low price, parents who want to give their children lots of fun with the flying of drones should give this model serious consideration.

Unipro Tek JJRC H36 MINI RC Quadcopter in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Quadcopter?

In this day and age, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are rapidly gaining in popularity. Not surprisingly, the world has been completely taken by storm by the drone craze just a few years after the introduction of the first drone. So, what is a quadcopter exactly and what differentiates it from conventional helicopters? A quadcopter is a remote-controlled helicopter that employs 4 pitched propellers to fly. Unlike conventional helicopters, quads are small in size and have considerably smaller blades which are advantageous as they are easier to control and maneuver. With cameras attached, quadcopters offer limitless fun and excitement, allowing you to take high-res photos and videos right from the sky. Does it come as a surprise that some big commercial systems now use drones for delivery purposes? With one of the drones we've selected for you, you will no doubt have fun like you've never experienced before, and see the world from perspectives you couldn't have captured any other way.

What Features to Compare

Intended Use

Given the variety of models presented on the market, the first thing you need to decide for yourself is for exactly what purpose you want to buy a quadcopter. Drones may come in many different sizes and have a great score of different features that you may or may not need. If you want to buy a drone for your child, you will probably not want to go for the most expensive model. On the other hand. If you're already a proficient user with a high skill level, a cheap model will not let you progress your skills. It is important to consider the size of the drone. The bigger and sturdier it will be, the better it will handle wind resistance. You will also need a bigger drone if you wish to fit it with a camera (unless the drone already has one).

Camera and Features

Apart from flying, quads can perform a range of functions that may vary depending on the grade and intended use. With respect to quadcopters with cameras, it's important to learn the camera specs. Using a high-definition camera, you have the opportunity to capture  vibrant views from a high altitude. Accessory functions like GPS or gyroscope considerably ease the use of the drone. Some customers fly their drones in competitions and if you pick one for that, make sure that your drone of choice is maneuverable and capable of performing tricks and flips to boost your odds of winning. Keep in mind, however, that regardless of which model you choose, you may still want to investigate the specs thoroughly, as there are so many of them that it's hard to cover them all.

Design and Flight Performance

Design and flight performance are additional features that should be taken into consideration. Check the durability of the model along with what additional accessories the drone has to reduce the chance of damage. Find out the flight time to know how long the drone will fly with a single charge, and what control options are available (a remote controller, smartphone, etc.). Check out the range and distance to which a quad can fly before losing contact with you. Knowing all of these specifications, you will get a full picture of the mobility, durability, and practicality of the drone that you're buying.

Did you know?

  • Quadcopters derive their name from the four rotor blades used to provide lift into the air.
  • The characteristics of a quadcopter give it more stability in flight than a single-rotor helicopter.
  • The first quadcopter was actually developed in 1907 by the French aviation pioneer Louis Breguet. His invention was reported to have flown several times at an altitude of only a few feet in the air.
  • Most rotor wing aircraft being designed in recent times are quadcopters, which include drones used for military, agriculture, and law enforcement purposes. Quadcopters have a lot more flexibility in their size and maneuverability over fixed-wing drones.
  • The most popular use of drones in the world at this time is for photography and video recording.
  • Many large Internet businesses, including Amazon, are in the process of designing and implementing delivery service by quadcopters. Amazon in particular has already invested millions of pounds into research and development for their drone delivery service.
  • Super Bowl LI, the championship game for American football, featured a display of 300 choreographed drones with bright LED emitters dancing in the sky during the halftime show. The drones were pre-programmed to flight in certain routes, working together to create images in the sky during Lady Gaga's performance. A similar display of pre-programmed drones was used at Disney World for their Starbright Holidays Drone Show.
  • For professional uses, drones actually go by many different names. The common name for military drones is UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), whereas other groups call them Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). Most ordinary people just call them drones.
  • Many farmers are now using drones to survey their crops, which allows them to do so quickly and easily, and often at much less expensive than by older means.
  • Quadcopters have been known to save lives, such as in Africa where they've been used to deliver medical supplies and food to remote areas.
  • Domino's Pizza successfully completed a test delivery of a pizza using a quadcopter.
  • The global drone market is expeceted to exceed $120 billion US by 2020.
  • One area that drones are becoming widely popular in is in wedding photography. It is not an uncommon site to see professional photographers using drones to create the perfect wedding photos.
  • The film business has invested millions of pounds into using drones for filming, and the results can already be seen in many of the latest films from Hollywood.
  • "Nano Drones" are small quadcopters that are able to fit in someone's pocket, and are already proving to be a welcome addition to the drone market.
  • Despite some claims to the contrary, there are currently no operational drones that are the size of a mosquito.
  • Once you get your first quadcopter, you will be hooked for life. Ask any other person who owns a drone.
  • Quadcopters make the perfect Christmas gift! Almost all people would be delighted to receive a quadcopter for Christmas.

FAQ:

Q: Do I have to register my copter with the Federal Aviation Association of the United States?
A: Previously, drone fliers had to legally register their products if they weighed more than 0.55 lbs and less than 55 lbs. But, according to the recent decision of the federal court in Washington D.C., you no longer need to register your model with the FAA, unless you’re going to fly it commercially.

Q: Why does my quad fly away?
A: There are quite a few of reasons for a flyaway. Maybe your quad is in the wrong flight mode? If it is, the lever on your controller may not be responding. Check your controller, is it working? Is it switched on? If your controller was switched off, your quad could have gone into a "fail-safe mode" to fly back to you (if you've got a GPS signal before flying away). Switch the control mode (from GPS to manual and back again) to get your drone out of fail-safe mode.

The controller batteries might be dead. If so, you need to wait for your drone to fly back to you.

There is some interference with your radio. If you switch your controller off (or otherwise activate a fail-safe mode), your drone should enter a failsafe mode and fly back to you. If you use a GoPro camera with WiFi on, it might interfere with the signal transmission from the controller, as they employ the same 2.4 GHz frequency. Switch WiFi off, this can help prevent interference and regain control.

Q: Can I fly my copter in the rain?
A: If you don’t have a waterproof model, you can't. Land your copter immediately, a wet machine is not going to work. If it’s raining hard, don’t even try flying your copter back, fly it as low as possible to a place where it can land safely without hurting anyone.

Q: How can I maintain my copter?
A: Like all helicopters, quads require regular maintenance. Clean off debris and dust after each flight, ensuring that no twigs have been left in crevices or tight places. To do this, you will need to use either a special brush or a pipe cleaner. A canned air can also help force dust particles out of tough-to-reach spots such as around the motor, etc. If you haven’t got any special cleaning brushes, you could try wiping it with a standard microfiber cloth. Also, make sure to find out whether or not the motor of your copter requires greasing. If it does, you will need to go buy a special lubricant and use it before every flight.

Sources:

1. Rick Broida Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick Your First Drone, Time. December 22, 2014.

2. Loz Blain Drone School 1: Choosing a beginner quadcopter, New Atlas. December 12, 2015.

3. How to choose the right motor for your multicopter drone, Dronetrest. October 12, 2015.

4. How To Choose Your First Quadcopter, Diy Drones. October 15, 2014.

5. How to Buy a Drone (Beginner’s Guide), Uav Coach.

6. Quadcopter, Wikipedia, July 9, 2017.

7. David Nield A Beginner’s Guide To Buying a Drone, Field Guide - Gizmodo. August 18, 2016.

8. Liza Brown Drones Buying Guide: Thing You Need to Know Before Buying a Drone, Wondershare Filmora. May 22, 2017.

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Publish Date: 2017-10-30 16:36:16