If you are thinking about buying the best quad copter, then what kind would you buy? For a beginning flyer of one of these remote controlled aircraft, then you would most likely look to buy one that is ready to fly and operate. If you have previous experience, then you would look to buy one that includes a number of specialized navigational features and the capability to carry an on-board camera.
Complicated or simple? Expensive or affordable?
Finding the best remote control quadcopter to buy can be a long and difficult process, so we’ve put together this resource – a one-stop-shop, all-inclusive guide of the best quadcopters to help you find the right one that will fit your needs and skill level. We will walk you through the various features and capabilities through our ultimate guide.
Ultimate Quadcopter Guide
|Hubsan X4 H107C||Mini|
|Hubsan X4 H107D||Mini|
|DJI Phantom FC40||Hobby|
|DJI Phantom 2||Hobby|
|Blade Nano QX RTF||Mini|
|DJI Phantom 2 Vision||Hobby|
|Walkera QR X350||Hobby|
|Parrot AR.Drone 2.0||Hobby|
|Blade 350 QX RTF||Hobby|
|Blade 180 QX HD||Hobby|
|DJI Phantom 2 Vision+||Hobby|
|Walkera QR X800||Professional|
|$$$$||Be the First to Review|
Included in the matrix are 5 columns:
- Picture – (click to view more details or to purchase)
- Brand / Model
- Type – mini, hobby, professional
- Price – approximate prices on Amazon.com. The prices can change from time to time based on seller, special sales, availability, etc. But in general terms, the pricing range is: $ = under $100, $$ = $100 to $500, $$$ = $500 to $1,000, $$$$ = $1,000+
- Rating – this is the combined user rating on Amazon.com. A rating that is provided by someone who has used the product can be extremely informative and helpful in making a buying decision.
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The quadcopter reviews included in this table are actually only a small sampling of all the highest rated quadcopters available. So many brands and models exist that we could not have included all of them. However, many of the top quadcopters are included in our extended table at every price range and from a wide variety of quality manufacturers.
Since you are reading this article, we know that you are someone who researches an item before making a purchase. You really don’t want to buy just any rc quadcopter, you want a reliable copter that is durable, will match your experience level and be the best remote control quadcopterquadcopter for the money. Because there is a wide range of brands and capabilities to choose from you could become frustrated quickly just trying to find which rc quadcopter that is right for you.
There are several companies that make the top quadcopters for sale. Some of the manufacturers include: DJI Innovations, Walkera, Parrot A.R. Drone, E-Flite and Turbo Ace. Walkera makes multi-rotors that fall in all three of these categories. A DJI Innovation rc quadcopter will fit in the hobby category class. Turbo Ace builds professional level quadrocopters.
Top 5 Quadcopters 2014
Provided below are rc quadcopter reviews of the top quadcopters. Our reviews consider performance, durability, affordability, and ease of flight for the best selling quadcopters on the market.
DJI Innovations is really the global leader in manufacturing high performance, reliable, and easy to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The best selling quadcopters come from DJI. The DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ from DJI Innovations is one of the top quadcopters purchased. This rc quadcopter comes with a GPS system, extended wi-fi capability, and a fully stabilized 14 megapixel camera that includes a F/2.8 lens capable of shooting video at 1080p/30.
In 2013, DJI launched the Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter which had its own built-in camera for capturing aerial photographs. However, sine the camera was affected by turn movements of the quadcopter, you would have to wait for the quadcopter to stabilize before you could capture good quality shots.
In early 2014, DJI introduced the Phantom 2 Vision+ which still comes with the on-board camera, but also comes with a built-in 3-axis gimbal for better stabilization. The 3-axis gimbal provides excellent smoothness for aerial photographs. With an incredible 14 megapixel camera, you capture some amazing aerial images.
The DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ comes out of the box ready-to-fly, meaning that a radio controller or transmitter is included, is pre-bound to the aircraft and requires only minimal assembly. In addition, you can record video in 1080p Full HD at 30 fps or 720p at 60 fps for creating slow motion effects.
The quadcopter uses on a GPS-based navigation system to maintain its location, stability in flight and to provide other features. In GPS attitude mode, the autopilot system keeps the quad copter stable and upright while moving and it holds it in a fixed horizontal and vertical position whenever the controls are released. The GPS attitude mode is perfect for shooting video because the aircraft will maintain a stable position.
The remote control features two joysticks that have two 3-position switches and a power-switch. Attached to the remote control is a phone bracket and a Wi-Fi range extender that creates a local wi-fi network. You can place your smartphone in the phone bracket and pair your phone with the wi-fi network.
After you download DJI’s phone app, you will be able to see exactly what the on-board camera sees for better piloting. Using the App, you can also control the video recording, take still images, tilt the camera (up to 90 degrees), adjust camera settings, and see important flight data, like distance, altitude, speed, and battery level.
Rise above the heights that previously marked the limits of airborne cameras and enjoy a whole new horizon of endless possibilities. The DJI Innovations Vision+ enables you to capture the world around you through digital media and share your images as never before. The Vision+ features an integrated mobile phone FPV system that displays telemetry data and flight parameters in real time, with a Wi-Fi connection of up to 700 meters.
The real-time live view on your mobile device enables you to shoot pictures and video from an entirely new perspective, advancing the world of photography to the next level. An added bonus is that you can share your videos and photos with all of your social media networks directly from your mobile device—while the unit remains airborne!
The DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ is one of the best selling quadcopters on the market. Whenever you see an enthusiast flying a quadcopter, there is a good chance that he/she will be flying Phantom 2 Vision+.
The Walkera QR X350 is one of the top quadcopters that we recommend. Because there are flight modes for every type of flyer, almost anyone can start flying this quadcopter right out of the box. For a beginner pilot, this rc quadcopter comes with a GPS Auto Pilot Function that will return the quad copter to its starting point using its operating GPS system.
Best of all the QR X350 comes with a “One Key to Go Home” switch that will cause this quad copter to automatically land in the home position by radio switch.
This top quadcopter has a GPS altitude hold system that will allow the unit to hover upright in a stabilized and steady hold mode. With a simple flip of a switch or with a loss of signal, the Walker QR X350 will return itself back to its starting position. In addition, there is an onboard low-voltage warning system to alert you when the battery is about run out of power.
The QR X350 also comes with a camera mount that is compatible with the GoPro Hero3 camera (which is not included) for the ultimate FPV experience. The QR X350 comes with everything you need to get in the air from the 3 cell 2200mh Li-Po battery and balance charger. This quadcopter also comes with a Devo7 transmitter that is a high end fully programmable transmitter.
The Walkera QR X350 flies easily and climbs quickly. It is easy to mount a camera on this quad copter. The lightweight design is easy to disassemble and its flexible propellers make it less susceptible to breakage. Replacement blades are included in the package if a mishap does occur. The GoHome feature works well provided you have calibrated the radio control system properly.
An LED light system tells you when the Walkera QR X350 has been properly calibrated and how many satellites are available to help it fly. When you compare the Walkera QR X350 with similar RTF GoPro capable quad copters, you will quickly realize that this quad copter is the best quad copter for the money on the market today.
The Phantom 1 is DJI’s first generation model and is one of the best selling quadcopters on Amazon. In any survey done to determine the top quadcopter, the Phantom Aerial UAV Drone will rank very high. This quadcopter is the first Phantom series. This rc quadcopter is intended to be an entry-level aircraft with somewhat less features and a lower price tag than other quadcopters in the Phantom line. The Phantom Aerial UAV Drone is a lot of fun and extremely easy to fly.
Despite its relatively modest abilities, it still has some impressive features. In fact, it’s still occasionally found doing serious photography and surveillance work for film crews or security providers.
The Phantom is the smallest and lightest-weight of any vehicle produced by DJI. As might be guessed, the quadcopter possesses four rotors mounted on fixed arms, giving it a total area of 13.7 inches by 13.7 inches. The landing skids are also non-retractable and provide the craft with a height of 7.5 inches. All of this weighs in at just under one kilogram. The body of the quadcopter includes a mount for a GoPro or similar camera.
It also has LED lights on the underside of each rotor arm. The purpose here is to allow the operator to spot the vehicle at night and to gather immediate information on its flight conditions. The LED lights can switch from red to amber to green and blink, providing information on direction, loss of radio signal, and other events.
The computer controls have been calibrated at the factory and the operator only has to work the remote’s joystick to tell the craft where to go. The rechargeable lithium polymer batteries of the Phantom provide up to 15 minutes of flight time and give it a maximum forward speed of 22.4 miles per hour and a vertical ascent of 13.4 miles per hour.
The remote’s signal has a range of about 3280 feet. With the Naza-M autopilot system, if the vehicle goes beyond the signal range, the autopilot kicks in and uses GPS to fly the craft back to its initial take-off spot. This same mechanism can also maneuver the vehicle to a safe landing if the batteries run too low and the operator fails to heed an LED warning signal from the craft.
Because it’s also meant to provide a stable platform for entry-level aerial photography, the Phantom has a simple-to-use mount for attaching a camera. It’s also light-weight, which makes it easy for an aerial photography enthusiast to transport it to any location for a quick launch and some spectacular images.
We have performed many rc quadcopter reviews here at BestQuadcopterPro and the DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter for GoPro is definitely the top quadcopter for beginning enthusiasts.
Whether you’re a radio control hobbyist or are simply looking for an entertaining activity to enjoy outdoors, the Hubsan X4 series of rc quadcopters can provide you with hours of flying fun. The Hubsan X4 is the smallest quadcopter in the ready-to-fly line of rc quadcopters and is small enough to fit in your hand.
This micro quadcopter comes almost ready to fly right out of the box. Hubsan has produced a series of the X4 quadcopter models that include H107, H107L, H107C and the newest model is the H107D. The original H107 is not readily available to buy anymore.
With easy to use controls and a lightweight design frame, both adults and children can enjoy flying this quality quadcopter through their neighborhood. With a wide variety of quadcopters to choose from Hubsan, the X4 is one of the best mini quadcopter to buy for beginners with its affordable price point.
Due to its lightweight design, enhanced flight control and other features, the Hubsan X4 is an industry favorite. Its agility and stability support its capability to perform aerial olympics while minimizing damage from occurring in potential crashes. The Hubsan X4 is pre-programmed in the expert mode to perform flips while flying. You can fly this rc quadcopter in places like your yard, neighborhood, or even at the local park.
The Hubsan X4 H107L is an excellent micro quadcopter that is a great unit to buy for a beginner pilot. The H107L comes with upgraded LED lights on the arms of the quadcopter. The lights are different on the front and back. It has a 6 axis flight control system with adjustable gyro sensitivity and has 4-ways flip capacity (forward, backward, right, and left)
The Hubsan X4 H107C comes with all of the same features as the H107L model but the H107C comes with a built-in camera. With a 2.0 megapixel camera, you can capture excellent aerial photos that you may not be able to capture otherwise. The H107C has several camera options to select from.
The H107C is designed with four strong motors that support high performance take-offs and vertical climbs while the on-board 6-axis gyro gives it superior stability. This rc quadcopter comes with two flight modes that allow beginners to learn how to fly and then there is an advanced mode for high performance. The body of the X4 H107 models feature LED lights on the frame to aid in night flying and add a unique look to the quadcopter.
The dual-stick transmitter comes with tuning features that offer the convenience of 2.4GHz technology. Each time the transmitter and X4 H107 quadcopter are powered on, the transmitter automatically binds to the quadcopter. Switching between the normal or beginner mode and the expert mode is achieved by pressing the right control stick.
A bright LED light provides information on the fly, indicating binding status and mode of operation. Trim adjustments are quick and easy thanks to the LCD screen and digital trim adjustment buttons.
The Hubsan X4 H107D comes with all of the same features as the H107L and H107C models. In addition to these features, the H107D mini quadcopter comes with FPV (first person view) capabilities. With the built in video camera on the quadcopter, the H107D can feed real time images directly to the transmitter. The images are displayed on conveniently sized 3.4 inch LCD screen.
Power Edition Elite Edition
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Quadcopter occupies a niche in between a toy quadcopter and the similar but more professional and expensive quadcopter of model enthusiasts. Possibly due to its light foam body and plastic rotors, people may consider this quadcopter as being a toy, but it is definitely not. This top quadcopter can capture aerial images of hard-to-reach areas.
The Parrot AR. Drone appeals to professionals and amateurs as well for purposes ranging from examining hard-to-reach areas to amateur filmmaking and photography; and it’s certainly safe for indoor and outdoor use as well.
In addition to the base model, there are several upgrades at various price points which include such features as extra extended life batteries and GPS support.
What is a Quad Copter?
A rc quadcopter is a multi-rotor aircraft that is equivalent to a hybrid rc helicopter. The biggest difference is that a quad copter has 4 rotors and 4 motors instead of 2 rotors like the rc helicopter. The rc helicopter has a single main rotor on top and it is also has a tail rotor on the back of the helicopter. The 4 rotors and motors give the top quadcopters more stability, agility and better wind resistance than a traditional helicopter.
It seems that the best selling quadcopters have become so popular now that they have overtaken the rc helicopter market for recreational hobby enthusiasts. A standard rc helicopter is complicated to learn how to fly because of the design and operation of the rotors. A regular helicopter can be difficult to land also. Pilot skill level for operating a rc quadcopter is not as high since it is much easier to fly than a helicopter.
Traditional rc helicopters are small and are not designed to carry a payload like a camera. However, mid-size to larger size quadcopters are well suited for carrying a lightweight camera for taking great aerial shots. The best quad copter has either a built-in camera or a lightweight camera like a GoPro Hero3 that is mounted on the bottom of the aircraft to capture aerial footage. With the right accessories installed, a quadrocopter pilot can view live images from the copter to assist in flying the aircraft.
The aerodynamics of the top quadcopters are quite different from the rc helicopter. The main structural components of a quadrocopter include the frame, the 4 rotors and the 4 motors. Motors 1 and 3 turn in a counter-clockwise direction and motors 2 and 4 turn in a clockwise motion.
This alternating motion provides stability to this multi-rotor aircraft. The speed of the individual rotors can be increased and/or decreased in order to create pitch and roll needed to move the quadrocopter in lateral directions. The speed of the motors provides power to govern the altitude of the quadrocopter.
What are the Classes of Quadcopters
Quadcopters can be put into three general categories based on their size:
• Toy (mini)
• Hobby (mid-sized)
• Professional (large)
A toy or mini quadcopter has a wingspan of approximately 6 to 12 inches. In addition, the propellers are typically 5 inches or less in length. The best mini quadcopter is well suited for beginners who are learning how to fly a multi-rotor copter. This type of aircraft is light and more resistant to damage from a crash. Another bonus is that replacement parts are not expensive to replace after a fatal crash of a mini multi-rotor copter.
A hobby quad copter has a wingspan in the range of 12 to 24 inches. The propellers are typically between 6 and 12 inches in length. The top quadcopters are generally large enough to be able to carry a small camera on board such as the GoPro HERO3+. Even though the GoPro camera is lightweight, the camera mounts and gimbals will add payload weight to the aircraft. This additional payload will affect the aircraft’s flight time, video quality and general operating performance.
A professional quad copter has a wingspan in the range of 25 to 30 inches and the propellers are typically 12 inches or more in length. This larger quadrocopter is well suited for carrying a small camera and still maintaining excellent operational performance.
How Do You Control a RC Quadcopter?
An rc quadcopter is controlled by a transmitter that operates via a radio signal. The radio transmitter will have several switches on it and one or two joysticks. Operation of the joysticks and switches will transmit instructions to the receiver located on the quadcopter.
The quadcopter has an onboard flight controller that receives the incoming instructions, processes the instructions and sends out signals to the quadcopter’s motors to move per the instructions. Onboard rc quadcopters, there are 3-axis gyros and accelerometers that provide continuously updated flight status to the onboard flight controller.
The flight controller computer monitors inflight data from the gyros and accelerometers along with radio transmitter signals from the pilot and then sends signals to the electronic speed controls (or ESCs) attached to each the four motors. The electronic speed controls take the inputs received from the onboard flight controller to deliver the power required to control the speed of the motors. Each electronic speed control has a processor that manages this task by turning the power to the motor on and off.
Transmitter and Receivers
We all like to fly our quad copter for far distances; however, a consistent, strong signal is needed for an rc quadcopter to operate at longer distances. So it is very important that you have a reliable transmitter. There are lots of transmitters on the market to pick from but be sure that you are buying one that will do the job.
It may not be as important decision if you are flying a $50 mini quadcopter that is lightweight and easy to replace if something goes wrong. A transmitter for a small mini quadcopter will typically have a range of approximately 50 feet. If you fly your quadcopter beyond this range and the transmitter loses contact, you may never see this little quadcopter.
However, it is a more serious matter when are trying to control a $1,500 quadcopter. Although hobby grade 2.4GHz transmitters are typically designed for 300 to 500 yards, sometimes the actual distance can be much shorter depending on the quality of the transmitter.
There are really no established guidelines for manufacturers to abide by in their claims. It is sort of like television manufacturers that provide lots specifications that can and is confusing to the average consumer.
Even if you have a transmitter that is highly reliable, connection issues can arise. Because of this we recommend only buying transmitters that have a Return to Home feature when the signal is lost between the quadcopter and its transmitter.
Top Quadcopter Motors and Manuevering
Motors 1 and 3 turn in a counter-clockwise direction and motors 2 and 4 turn in a clockwise motion. When the speed of the motor increases or descreases, the quadcopter will move in a certain direction.
The pitch of the aircraft is the tilting forward or backward and the roll of the quadcopter is when the aircraft banks right or left and is responsible for moving the rc quadcopter in lateral directions.
The synchronized speed of the 4 motors on the quad copter provides throttle for climbing or descending to control the quad copter’s altitude. In order to turn right or left, the quadcopter will use the torque differential between the clockwise and counter clockwise propellers.
When increasing the speed on motors 2 and 4 which turn clockwise and simultaneously decreasing the speed on motors 1 and 3 which turn counter-clockwise, the quadcopter gather more torque towards the counter-clockwise direction and will start turning the direction of the rc quadcopter toward the left.
Now It’s Time to Make a Choice
Whether you want to buy a top quadcopter in the mini quadcopter market or you want to purchase the best selling quadcopter in the hobby class, our rc quadcopter reviews will help you select the best quad copter for your situation. We have reviewed and identified the best quadcopter for the money in each category. Let’s face it, it’s time to make that purchase and either start enjoying a new hobby or take your piloting skills to the next level.
So spend the time needed to study our rc quadcopter reviews by reviewing the comparison guide and all of information provided for you on this website to find the top quadcopter to fit your skill level and needs. Once you make your selection, we have links to the best prices on the internet.
As you know, new quad copters are being made by manufacturers all the time. Because of this reason, the comparison guide above will be updated as new rc quadcopters are placed on the market for sale. If you think that we left out a top quadcopter that should be included in the comparison chart, just let us know.