Maybe you’ve noticed it yourself: drones are starting to be more mainstream. Compared to previous times when only big-time production companies and military forces had access to drones, now we find them flying around everywhere. And they’re being operated by ordinary people like vloggers or amateur hobbyists! Thanks to all the technological advancements that have happened these past several years, it’s so much easier to have access to these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). And anyone can see why they’ve become so popular with the masses as they are useful for capturing aerial footage, not to mention that they’re easy and convenient to operate.
In the market, you can find lots of options for drones. However, finding the right drone isn’t always as simple as you’d think. If you’re actually looking for the best UAV that you can get and money isn’t an object for you, you’d want to have something that can record top-notch 4K video, has a long-lasting battery, is lightweight and portable enough to carry around everywhere, and is user-friendly and easy to operate even for beginners.
If you’re on the lookout for the best drone that you can get your hands on this 2020, we’ve a short but sweet buying guide to make the process easier for you:
2020 Drones You Need to Check Out
1. DJI Mavic Air
If portability is one of your top needs, then the DJI Mavic Air is the one for you. It boasts a foldable feature that you will certainly appreciate, especially if you’re the type who constantly travels around with your drone. Despite its small size, this drone isn’t something you should underestimate as it comes packed with features you wouldn’t expect to find in a drone its size. It boasts a three-axis gimbal, a 4K video recording capability, and an advanced obstacle avoidance system. It comes in a foldable form that enables you to easily slip into the pocket of your jacket or the compartment of your bag. It has a battery life of about 21 minutes, which is usual for drones of its size. So if a great flying experience is what you have in mind, you’d be better off bringing multiple batteries on any drone-flying excursion.
- 4K video capability
- Obstacle avoidance features
- HDR stills
- Internal storage of up to 8GB
- The gimbal controls are slightly shaky.
- The range is still limited.
- Needs multiple batteries
2. DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Widely considered as the king of drones, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is closely similar to the DJI Mavic Air in the features it provides its users. It is known for delivering the sharpest, highest-definition photos and videos that you can expect from a consumer-level drone. It boasts a gimbal-stabilized Hasselblad camera, which ensures that you can always get images that are more detailed, brighter, and more superior compared to some lower-priced brands. It also comes with a hyperlapse feature, so you can also expect stunning aerial videos.
- Foldable design
- One-inch 4K camera sensor
- Hyperlapse feature
- Gimbal-stabilized Hasselblad camera
- More expensive than other brands
- Unable to shoot 4K at 60fps
- You may be able to find other lesser-priced alternatives.
3. DJI Mavic Mini
Don’t let its small size fool you. Considered as DJI’s lightest and smallest drone, it is also its most affordable one. But it comes packed with features that you wouldn’t have expected from a drone of its particular size and weight. One thing that makes it impressive is that this drone has adapted to specific drone law changes in the United Kingdom and the United States while still providing its users with durability, portability, and high video quality. Present laws in many UK and US regions now require that drones weighing over 250 grams must be registered with the respective local aviation authorities. Weighing just 249 grams, this drone falls just below the required weight limit, thereby allowing its owner to not have to register it. At present, it is the only drone in the market that has a monopoly in the below-250-gram category. While it doesn’t have 4K recording capacity, it still provides good video quality in a light, portable body.
- Collapsible design for portability
- Stable video capturing
- No 4K video recording capacity
- Not capable of object tracking
4. DJI Phantom 4
This drone boasts both sturdiness and a wide range of features, qualities that don’t necessarily come together when it comes to many drones in the market. Like many of DJI’s drones on the market, the DJI Phantom 4 offers remote control access that users can link up to a comprehensive and user-friendly smartphone app. Compared to previous DJI drones, specifically the DJI Phantom 3, it has a more sturdy structure and features an updated object-avoidance technology. The drone also supports 4K video recording capacity, and the top-notch gimbal design allows its users to record steady footage even if it is in motion or swerving from one direction to another. It has one glaring disadvantage, however: its poor battery life. The drone can last only up to 20 minutes on a single charge, so you would either need to limit how hard you’re using it or bring multiple batteries with you. Overall, if function and durability is what you’re after, the DJI Phantom 4 can be just the drone for you.
- Stable 4K video recording capability
` • Comes with fisheye lens
- Links to a convenient smartphone app
- Can’t be upgraded that easily
5. Parrot Bebop 2
This drone is for those users who are looking for something that falls within the mid-range category. That is, if you’re looking for a UAV that’s not too expensive and too heavy, the Parrot Bebop 2 is exactly the one for you. Weighing 500 grams, this drone is not too light or heavy, and it comes at a price that won’t break the bank while also providing its users with features they will certainly appreciate. For instance, the built-in stabilization software has done away with the usual need for a gimbal. It also has an intelligently-built chassis that, through rubber dampeners that help to reduce in-flight vibration, ensures steady video recording. Lastly, it has a fisheye lens, which further helps to capture amazingly detailed images. However, this drone comes with a few disadvantages of its own: it’s priced higher than other drones on the market, and its battery life is not something to be proud of, so bringing along a spare battery may be a need.
- Steady and shake-free video recording capability
- Comes with a fisheye lens as well as an efficient controller and headset
- You are required to upgrade to access certain features.
Safety Measures for Your UAV
When you stop to consider everything that drones are able to do, it becomes obvious that not only are they necessary in many different fields but that they are also important investments. Therefore, there is a need to protect them and ensure that they don’t get lost or stolen. For instance, when you’re out in the country with your drone and you’re recording the landscape, a simple gust of wind can take your drone out of your line of sight. Anything can happen to them—they can either get lost for good or become irreparably damaged. This is why certain measures are important to prevent their possible loss when you’re using them. Aside from being careful with how you use them, another safety measure you can take is to invest in a GPS tracker for your drone. A tracking device like Tracki has several features that are useful in protecting your drone.
1. Real-time GPS tracking capability
Even when your tracker is in motion or has changed directions and even when it is out of your line of sight, you can still monitor its whereabouts with the help of a tracking device. A tracker like Tracki provides you with accurate location updates about your drone in real time, thanks to its hybrid tracking capabilities that consist of GPS, GSM, Bluetooth, and WiFi.
2. Discreet audio monitoring feature
This is a feature that you won’t find in many other trackers on the market. It allows you to listen in to the immediate environment of the device, which can come in handy when you’ve lost sight of your drone. Certain sounds can clue you as to where it could possibly be or if somebody else has possession of them.
3. Convenient access to a comprehensive database
Tracki provides a comprehensive database to its users, which they can access through a convenient app. It also keeps records of history for up to five years, which can also be accessed on the app.
4. Efficient tracking for low costs
When it comes to tracking abilities, Tracki is known as one of the best, but they also have one of the lowest monthly subscription fees on the market. Maintaining and keeping a drone doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Indeed, you will find that investing in a GPS tracker is one of the best decisions you can ever make for your drone.