The 10 Best FPV Drones

Updated November 30, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

10 Best FPV Drones
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Are you an RC hobbyist ready to get into the virtual cockpit of your favorite racer? An aerial photographer hoping to capture that perfect angle with some snazzy multirotor? Or have you just been bitten by the unmanned flight bug, and you're itching to see live feeds from the helm of a new quadcopter? Then look no further than these FPV drones to enjoy a first-person view from above in real time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fpv drone on Amazon.

10. Syma X5

A low-priced practice model like the Syma X5 might just spare you the agony of going broke before you can master the art and science of unmanned flight. It has a 0.3MP camera for tracking your progress in real time, and it's small enough not to require FAA registration.
  • up to 7 minutes flying per charge
  • headless mode for easy operation
  • no automatic return to home function
Brand Cheerwing
Model X5SW-V3
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. UDI U818A

Durable and easy to use, the UDI U818A is a delightfully budget-friendly option for beginners trying to get into the groove of remote-controlled flying. It comes with a spare battery and power bank for more flight time between charges.
  • shoots 2mp stills and 720p video
  • custom routing mode
  • not very wind-resistant
Brand USA Toyz
Model pending
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

So long as the prospect of having a front-row seat for the accidental destruction of equipment worth well over $1,000 doesn't give you nightmares, the premium features and performance of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro could be the fulfillment of your remote piloting dreams.
  • multi-dimensional obstacle avoidance
  • advanced waypoint navigation
  • touchscreen controller not included
Brand DJI
Model CP.PT.000488
Weight 10.3 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. DYS XDR220

If racing is your thing, the DYS XDR220 is the total package to get you to the starting line in record time, including a lightweight carbon fiber airframe with integrated electronics, onboard HD CCD camera, 5.8GHz FPV goggles, 9-channel 2.4GHz controller & a carrying case.
  • beveled lens screen
  • balancing battery charger
  • minor assembly and setup required
Brand USA Toyz
Model pending
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Yuneec Typhoon H

Using intelligent obstacle avoidance to protect its payload at speeds of up to 43.5 mph, the Yuneec Typhoon H hexacopter has a 360-degree, anti-vibration, gimbal-mounted 4K camera that's a photographer's dream and also makes it easy to get your bearings in FPV mode.
  • 8 different flight modes
  • retractable landing gear
  • one of the more expensive models
Brand Yuneec
Weight 12 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. UDI U842 Predator

The UDI U842 Predator features a gravity induction mode for gestural control, a high-definition video camera and two 1,000mAh LiPo batteries that each provide up to 9 minutes of flying time per charge. While it's tough on impact, replacement parts are readily available.
  • exceptional ease of use
  • no faa registration required
  • performs 360-degree eversions
Model UDI U842 Wifi
Weight 8.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. TBS Vendetta

Pilots with a need for speed can throttle the TBS Vendetta racer up to 70-100 mph for short bursts. The modular design and quick-swap arms make solder-free customization and repairs a snap, and replacement parts are easy to come by.
  • fully configurable via osd
  • sturdy carbon-fiber airframe
  • compatible with fatshark headsets
Brand Team Blacksheep
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. MJX X400W

As easy to fly as it is easy on your wallet, the MJX X400W is small enough to avoid FAA registration requirements but also sufficiently tough enough to handle windy conditions; and its range, battery life and image quality are quite decent for an entry-level quadcopter.
  • 3d split-screen display
  • headless mode for newbies
  • 8-9 minutes flying time per charge
Model X400W
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

2. X-Star Premium by Autel Robotics

A worthy homage to the elite Phantom line, the carrot-colored X-Star Premium by Autel Robotics offers exceptional range and image quality for a mid-range price, and comes with an LCD controller, a modular gimbal mount, a 64GB SD card and its own water-resistant rigid case.
  • 12mp camera with 108-degree fov
  • intelligent flight modes
  • outstanding customer support
Brand Autel Robotics
Weight 12.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. DJI Mavic Pro

Whether you're into recreational racing or recording chase scenes for feature-length video productions, the only thing better than speeding through the air with the DJI Mavic Pro is using its 4K 12MP camera with high-precision mechanical stabilization to capture the magic.
  • flies at up to 40mph for 27 minutes
  • multiple autonomous flight modes
  • compact and foldable airframe
Brand DJI
Model CP.PT.000642
Weight 9.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

What To Know Before You Start Flying

While buying a really cool drone and taking off into the great blue yonder sounds like a great deal of fun, there are actually some rules and regulations set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration that one must be aware of before taking flight. Up until mid-2017, consumers were required to register all recreational drones weighing more than eight ounces before using them outdoors. While the registration process was easy and affordable — filling out an online form, paying a $5 fee, and attaching an identifying sticker to the drone enabled users to fly legally for three years — it was still somewhat annoying. There was nothing worse than buying a awesome new drone and then having to wait until a sticker was delivered to be able to fly it. It was practically torture.

Luckily, the federal appeals court ruled that the FAA overstepped their bounds regarding registration requirements and instructed them to revise them. To the elation of current and would-be recreation drone pilots, the new regulations are significantly more lax. The majority of drone users fall under the jurisdiction of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft.

To fly under this rule, drones and pilots must meet the following guidelines: The aircraft must be flown solely for hobby and recreational use, it must be flown in accordance with any community-based or local guidelines, and it must weigh less than 55 pounds. All model aircraft must give way to manned aircraft in every type of situation. Unmanned aircraft should be flown in a way as to not interfere with the flight path of any manned aircraft. Finally, if flying within five miles of an airport, the pilot must give prior notice to the air traffic control tower. Consumers and air traffic controllers can establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure for those who fly their drones from a permanent location within a five-mile radius of the airport.

Those looking to use their drone in the pursuit of making money, like photographers or journalists, still need to register, however. They need to pass an FAA test and obtain Part 107 certification as a commercial drone pilot.

There are a few other safety guidelines that the FAA has put forth, as well, that all operators must follow. Unmanned aircraft must fly at or below 400 feet. Pilots should be aware of any airspace restrictions in flight areas. Drones should be kept away from obstacles at all times and be kept within sight of the naked eye. They are never allowed to be flown over stadiums, sporting events, or large groups of people. They can also never be flown in the vicinity of emergency response efforts, like ambulances and fire trucks. As with any other vehicle, drones should never be piloted when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

How To Choose The Right Drone

The array of drone models available can be quite overwhelming when it comes time buy one, especially for newbies. They come in practically every size and price range imaginable, from cheap, nano-sized models to large, expensive racing models. There are also a number of different features to consider.

One of the most important aspects to take into account when buying a drone is your current skill level. Not all drones are easy to fly; in fact, some are downright difficult. Many people aren't aware, but quadcopters are actually physically impossible to fly without the benefit of a flight-stabilizing computer and sensors. Each drone has different flight characteristics depending on how the computer is setup. This means that some may be extremely agile and capable of incredible acrobatics, while others are more stable in flight and better for beginner pilots. First time pilots should always focus on those designed for new fliers.

Another thing to consider is how you plan to use the drone. Those who only plan on indoor flights can purchase a smaller model that is more agile, but perhaps less capable of dealing with heavy winds. If photography is your main concern, a large, stable model with a high definition camera and remote-controllable gimbal is a smart choice.

Durability should be a top concern for new pilots, as well. It is not a question of if you will crash your first drone, but when. Models which have rotor guards can handle crashes better. Some are also known for having a more durable frame. As a general rule, drones aren't known for having impressive flight times, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for something that needs to land practically as soon as you finish taking off. There are many models that get flight times in the double digits, though these are usually on the higher end of the price spectrum.

The final thing to be aware of is the many acronyms that you see bandied about in product terminology. If you see RTF in a drone's description, that means it is ready-to-fly. It will require little, if any, assembly or complicated flight control setup. Just charge the battery, attach the rotors, and launch. BNF models are bind-and-fly. This means it will come mostly assembled, but without a controller. You will have to use a controller you already have or buy one separately. Finally, there are ARF models, almost-ready-to-fly. These are kits that must be assembled. They may also be missing vital components, like a motor, computer, or battery. If you see a model labeled as ARF, make sure to thoroughly read the instructions and determine what additional components you will need before it is ready for flight.

FPV Drone Flying Tips

Getting the hang of first-person drone flying can be even more difficult than mastering normal operation. Here are a few tips that can help you become a pro pilot in no time.

It is always best to practice on a simulator first, before trying to tackle FPV flying with your expensive quadcopter. There are free online flight simulators that can help you get used to the the view and feeling of FPV flying, without having to worry about weather, unsafe flying environments, or damaging your expensive machinery. You should also master normal piloting, as well, before attempting a FPV flight.

Make sure your drone is perfectly trimmed to your preferred settings before you launch on your inaugural FPV flight. You don't want to fiddle around with the settings while in the air if you can avoid it. Tilting your camera upwards about 30 degrees can also be very helpful. As drones move forward, the front naturally tilts downwards, even more so at higher speeds. Tilting your camera up can help compensate for this.

It is also important to ensure your goggles are comfortable and securely placed on your head. Not only can it be annoying to have your googles slip while piloting, it can also result in distraction, causing you to crash into an obstacle.

For your first few FPV flights, it is best to fly in wide-open areas that you know well. This way you'll be aware of the majority of the obstacles you are likely to encounter. You'll be able to focus on practicing flight proficiency rather than potential obstructions. Start off by trying to fly between two landmarks, or from your starting point to a specific landmark and back again. It is best to practice at high altitudes, too. You are less likely to encounter an obstacle at higher altitudes and you have more time to recover from mishaps.

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Last updated on November 30, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with an alphabet-soup of credentials to her name, Lydia has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts, throwing herself into a broad constellation of interests. From antithetical cultural analysis to interdisciplinary combat training, she bears the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience. Reading, biking and exploring are favorite pastimes, but – with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order (not on speaking terms with a higher power) and becoming an artist (can’t even draw a respectable stick-figure) – she’d try almost anything once.

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