The drone world is very exciting, albeit a sneaky one too. So, after going through our post on the factors and features to consider before buying your first drone you may have wondered of the best budget you could possibly begin with as a beginner. Or even, you may have wondered which one among all the best drones out there you ought to give a try. Well, in this edition we ventured to explore a few critical cost related issues that you may need to consider before buying a drone. In addition, we will also suggest to you some drone options that we feel will be the very nice ones to begin with. So, let’s begin answering some of those popular questions that are likely to bother you up.
Q1. So, what is the best budget to begin with when buying drones?
The answer to this question is relative to one’s financial ability. If you can manage the top drone brands, then it could far better to begin with them rather than the cheaper alternatives (drawing from personal experience). If you are a complete newbie to the world of drones who has been checking out online advices, there is no doubt most people will recommend that you begin learning with cheap priced drones (below $50). The argument in support of this popular notion is quite simple, “…if it is very cheap and it breaks down”, they claim, “I will have nothing much to lose anyway.” This is in fact is not just a claim but it has become a “prophecy” which most of the beginners prophesy on their purchases and actually fulfill it themselves perfectly. They buy very cheap drones and their cheap drones get spoilt equally cheaply and they order other new cheap drones, and the cycle continues.
The argument is very logical and sounds benign. However, there is a regular flaw with this type of reasoning is that many people overlook the aspect of durability of cheap drones. Besides, most of them are very poor teachers as they are not stable, they lose connection regularly and they don’t even balance on air. Thus, one gets to spend a lot of “cheap money” which in the long run costs a lot of finances and a lot of time, yet gains nearly no experience in flying drones. Thus, it is very recommendable that you check the best brands if you can.
But if you can’t, I won’t like to repeat all that we had recommended in the considerations before buying a drone, but first, you may need to consider the guarantee of returning it in case it arrives when it is already broken or if the drone itself actually has a warranty. Most drones of this type basically start at about $50. There are of course some other exceptionally great drones like the little Syma X5C (currently costs about $44), the Hubsan X4 (currently rated at $34), the Proto X (priced at $30) and many others. Remember only thing you will need to consider carefully before buying a drone costing below $50 is simply the golden factors addressed before. Actually, the best beginning price should actually be at around $200 dollars with some quadcopter like the Parrot AR Drone 2. But if you can still afford the LatRax Alias at $95, boy, don’t hesitate to make an order. It’s certainly better than a kick in the pants.
Q2. What other cost should you consider beyond the buying price?
Drone accessories: besides the price tag, one other important cost to consider carefully is the cost of the drone’s accessories. For instance, if a drone costs about $55, had a separate controller that goes for $21, has a separate battery that goes for $11 and a camera as well as FPV goggles for $20, it could typically make sense if you opted to purchase a drone that has all the complete set that goes for $100. This is simply because some of these drones that are Bind-And-Fly sometimes have an issue of incompatibility with vendor cameras. Now, think about, how glad will you be to have a brand new GoPro Hero 4 camera or the brand new Flir duo camera (with night vision) yet it becomes incompatible with your drone? Of what use will it be then? In the light of this consideration, I often advice newbies to opt for Ready-To-Fly drones rather than BNF drones.
Cost of replacement parts: well, you all know that drones are not everlasting gadgets. Now, how if you paused before making a purchase of a cheap and cutely looking drone and asked yourself, “how much will those propellers cost me when I need a replacement?” If you find out that the drone’s replacement parts are easily available and are cheap, well then you can comfortably make an order.
Q3. And what are the most recommendable cheap alternatives for a beginner?
As highlighted before, the best drones for a beginner should basically be our top drones as reviewed before. But let’s say you are working on a pretty tight budget, in that case you may opt to check out the following 5:
The Syma X5C drone is the world’s top selling drone currently. Basically, it’s just a toy, nothing very special. Just that it is cheap, has a better design, has 6-axis gyro stabilization and it is able to perform awesome acrobatics. This drone currently costs about $44.
The Hubsan X4 is definitely one drone worth recommending for a newbie to flying drones. It has quite a longer control distance, has a longer flight time and somehow, it has a special stabilization feature that works much like the 6-axis gyro stabilization feature. Generally, it is much above the bar for an ordinary toy and it costs just $59 currently.
One thing that is very attractive to UDI 818A drone is its cool design. Besides, it has cool prop guards that prevent it despite several crashes. It also has an awesome camera for a drone that is priced under $50. Even so, this drone does not cope very well with wind and it somehow keep on losing its connection.
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is the ultimate beginner drone. It costs just about $300 but it is worth the huge cut. It has 2 cameras, has two coverings and can be used both indoors and outdoors. It is very agile, stable and generally easy to fly. Besides, it is controlled by a phone application and allows for FPV. It is not the best drone out there, but it is certainly a good teacher and it has great features that will make one easily enjoy his/her first flight experience.