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Best Drones for Kids in 2019 – Tested for Camera, Range, Battery

We have come a long way from those fragile helicopters of our childhood and some of the best drones for kids have taken their place. What’s more, the love for drones with a camera can be seen even among adults that are spending hundreds of bucks on Altair, Parrot or DJI drone models.

Nonetheless, a lot has been written about pro drones already so we are limiting ourselves to child-friendly models that you’d buy for the restless soul. While it is true that the technical specifications of most kid drones are outshined by the high-end models, their price tag is also reflective of that.

Some of The Best Drones for Kids Are As Good As Pro Drones!

From the quality of camera installed on the quadcopter drone (usually ranging from a 4K camera to an HD one), to battery timing, and from charge times to the range of flying. Everything has an impact on how much the product will cost. Additionally, buying the same product from a well-known developer would cost more simply because of the brand name and reliability.

Best Overall

Best Overall

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone

2.7K HD, for 25 Minutes, at 3300 Feet!

Although a newer DJI drone has replaced the DJI Phantom 3, this beast remains out favorite. Not only does it pack a punch in terms of range, control, and recording quality, it also does it at a lower price than the successors.

Don’t get us wrong, the DJI drone is in no way a budget pick. On the contrary, you are getting premium treatment with automatic flying, return home feature and an impressive 2.7K HD quality.

Best Budget Choice

Best Budget Choice

Holy Stone F181 RC

Best Drone Under 100

While we have mostly discussed quadcopter drones that cost at least a couple of hundred dollars, the Holy Stone F181C is an exception. Not only does it surprise with its valuable feature set but also the quality of visuals it can capture.

There is a fair degree of GPS assistance available for novices, including semi-automation. And you get impressive functionalities like 360 degrees four-way flipping and recording at a commendable 720p.

Altair Outlaw Drone with Camera

Best Drones for Kids altair outlaw camera GPS

Altair drones have a considerable fan following among different types of users. However, since we are only discussing drones for kids, the Altair Outlaw is a quadcopter we wouldn’t want to skip. It is not as expensive as the more serious products, but it also not a fluke and offers serious quality.

In size, it feels like a mini-drone with camera when physically compared to the pro drones. But in terms of specifications, the Outlaw is surely a force to reckon with. In a small package, it manages to pack a 1000 meter range where you won’t have to worry about the battery for at least 20 minutes as you shoot 1080p HD visuals.

Following in line with the more advanced products out there, the Altair drone also packs a return home button in case you get things out of your hand. But on that point let us tell you this product doesn’t come with any protective frames so it is better if under-teens aren’t using it.

Nonetheless, Altair has tried to provide as much assistance as possible by offering a semi-automatic GPS system. This will allow the drone to hover automatically (even against the wind) after you have flown it to a certain point manually.

General Specifications:

  • Age: 14+ yrs
  • Controller: Remote
  • Camera: 1080p HD
  • Flight Time: 18 minutes
  • Charge Time: 80 minutes
  • Range: 1000+ meters
  • Weight: 2.95 lbs.
  • Size: 16.9″ x 11.6″ x 5.4″

Pros

  • Good GPS assistance
  • 1080p HD drone with camera
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • No propeller protection

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone

Best Drones for Kids DJI phantom 3 standard

Among all the drones with cameras we tested, everything coming out the way from DJI was nothing short of impressive. If you aren’t comfortable spending $800 on a drone for kids, you can drop the DJI Mavic Air. And instead opt for a slightly older, but tested quadcopter, the DJI Phantom 3.

With its 3-axis camera, DJI boasts 2.7K video and quality pictures using its 12MP. This is less than the 14MP of Bebop 2 above, but DJI and Parrot have been competing in a number of ways for a while now. That being said, you will be able to fly the Phantom 3 for as far as 3300 feet without any trouble and while that is much less than what Mavic Air offers, it is more than enough for a kid’s use.

Everyone loves some automation, and who wouldn’t love it if your drone can follow you on its own as you explore a new turn in the hills? With the integrated GPS assistant you will be able to do this as well as put it on a preset path for you to freely capture the environment.

Last but not least, it comes with a remote that lets you dock the smartphone on top of it for live views and control at the same time. Best of both worlds! The only point here is whether you are willing to spend more on the drone than you normally would. Because in return for the premium treatment, the drone’s price is also high.

General Specifications:

  • Age: 14+ yrs
  • Controller: Remote
  • Camera: 2.7K HD
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Charge Time: 90 minutes
  • Range: 3,300 feet
  • Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Size: 15″ x 14″ x 8″

Pros

  • Great range and flight times
  • Comes with an astonishing 2.7K HD
  • GPS assistant is top grade

Cons

  • Expensive for a kids drone
  • Heavier than most of the tested models

Parrot Bebop 2 Quadcopter Drone

Best Drones for Kids in 2019 parrot bebop 2 2

Unlike many of the competitive products, the Parrot Bebop 2 relies on a phone controlled mechanism. But there are a number of other things too that make it one of the best quadcopter drone for kids. For instance, it has a good flight time of 25 minutes which is more than what the Mavic Air offers. Although it will take one and a half hour to charge which is longer.

Additionally, the Parrot drone also matches the insane range of 1000 ft offered by the DJI drone below. Among kid drones, anything over 300 feet is considered good, so this means you are getting a premium range on this one. With the 1080p camera handy, such a freedom of movement can let you capture scenes like never before. Pictures were even better thanks to its 14MP fish eye wide lens.

Talking of, you will not have to wait for later to see the views too. The companion app allows live streaming to the phone too. It is also the Parrot app that will let you adjust the camera individually instead of the entire drone.

Drones with cameras these days have become a lot more sophisticated than before. Therefore, the prices charged by the giants at least are much higher than the rest. Although Bebop 2 costs less than half of the DJI Mavic Air, it will still set you back by over $300.

General Specifications:

  • Age: 14+ yrs
  • Controller: Phone
  • Camera: HD 1080p
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Charge Time: 90 minutes
  • Range: 1000 ft.
  • Weight: 1 lbs.
  • Size: 15″ x 13″ x 3″

Pros

  • Independent HD camera handling
  • Great flight times
  • Build quality is good

Cons

  • Not a budget drone

Holy Stone F181 RC

Best Drones for Kids Holy Stone F181C RC

It is always good to have a quadcopter drone that takes better care of its wings. And the Holy Stone F181C RC does that with protection frames on all corners. But that is not why it is here among choices that are otherwise much more expensive. We expected a subpar quality looking at the cheap price tag before we had the Holy Stone tested.

As it turns out, the 300+ feet range was not bad after all. Moreover, in that range it lets you fly for a bearable 10 minutes. All that sounds pretty basic but you will be shooting at least 720p HD videos and images.

While we cannot go ahead and compare it with the Phantom 3 or the Mavic Air, this quadcopter manages to beat even the best drones within its price range.

To sweeten the pot, you get a couple of nifty features like a One Key Return & Headless Security System. These allow you to call back the quadcopter with one touch and to re-align it when it is steering off course, respectively. Other than that, there also is a button that makes the drone hold its altitude automatically, allowing you to rest your thumb.

But since it is a high budget focused product, you won’t get a first-person view of the live recording. Although we were already sold by this point, the manufacturers made sure by giving it an ergonomic design that makes it wind resistant and lets it flip 360 degrees.

General Specifications:

  • Age: 14+ yrs
  • Controller: Remote
  • Camera: 720p HD
  • Flight Time: 9 minutes
  • Charge Time: 80 minutes
  • Range: 320 feet
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs.
  • Size: 12″ x 12″ x 3″

Pros

  • Best drone under 100
  • 720p HD camera
  • 360 degree, four way flip
  • Surprising value adding features

Cons

  • Not a high end build
  • No first person view

DJI Drone Mavic Air

DJI drone mavic air best drones

While the technical specifications on this DJI drone are much higher than what you’d get in standard kid drones, we decided to include it nonetheless. For those of you who are willing to pay the extra cash for the Mavic, you’ll get a high end drone that competes with more serious products.

Moreover, its eight rotary blades allow the machine to be flown and controlled with a peace of mind you won’t get in case of cheaper models. If you have been there you’d know how getting a little overexcited can result in your drone going to far to follow your manual return home commands.

This is not the case with the DJI drone. We are talking about professional grade flying range of 10 kilometers while the flight time is also a substantial 20+ minutes. In most of the other products we tested, the charge time required for such a flight duration would be well over an hour. But its Intelligent Flight Battery gets fully juiced up in below 60 minutes too!

It also allows for better storage since the Mavic has foldable wings making it highly portable. Similarly, at below one pound, the weight isn’t too much to wear down the flight quality. Consequently, all the high-end treatment, coupled with a great UHD 4K camera and aluminum finishes, make this one of the best drones money can buy for your teens.

But money, it will ask for a lot! DJI Mavic Air is the most expensive drone with camera that we tested for you guys.

General Specifications:

  • Age: 16+ yrs
  • Controller: Remote
  • Camera: UHD 4K
  • Flight Time: 21 minutes
  • Charge Time: 60 minutes
  • Range: 4KM
  • Weight: 0.95 lbs.
  • Size: 6.5″ x 1.57″ x 3.24″

Pros

  • UHD 4K drone camera
  • Insane range, good time
  • Very portable with folding wings

Cons

  • Not for the beginners
  • Most expensive of the lot

Buyer's Guide

    One of the first metrics you should check in your camera drone is how long it will take to get it fully charged. The second metric being how long that charging will last. In the list of the best drones for kids, you will find charge times ranging between 50 minutes to 90 minutes. While the flight times would hover around 20 minutes for the good ones and 10 for the average performers.

    Naturally, it matters how bulky your drone is not only because it has an impact on battery performance but also on ease of flying in different areas. Moreover, you can expect the width and length to vary between 10 and 20 inches while the average height is something around 3 to 5 inches. Additionally, there are some kids drones that come with foldable wings for more portability like the DJI Drone Mavic Air.

    Some of the drones you will come across are controlled by being connected with your smartphone where a companion app will allow you to monitor the camera as well as the flight. On the other hand, some quadcopter models have a dedicated remote controller that might or might not come with a display for the camera. Just like it is the case with battery performance, more money gets you better goods.

    Equally important as charging and flight times, the range at which the air drone can fly should never be ignored. And for good reason too, after all, it is the range and the camera performance that will decide the quality of your end product. If you spend a little more for a 4K camera you’d have the best picture quality, but if you also get one with a range of more than a couple of hundred feet, you get better angles.

    Do I need to worry about any air drone laws?
    With increasing popularity, as many as 30 US states have put air drone laws in place which affects even the kid drones. You need to get a $5 registration with the FAA if the drone weights between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds. Additionally, there are a number of public places where drones are banned. So make sure you don’t get a hefty fine because you showed off in the wrong place.

    Also, numerous aspects of drone flying are now regulated by local laws in your state. Follow the restrictions and also, follow the ethical rules of privacy too! You might be able to find your state at the National Council of State Legislatures guidelines.

    What value adding features should I look for in the drone for my teenage kids?
    For starters, there are some drones that come with a choice between manual flying and an assisted auto mode. This allows the amateurs to keep better control. Similarly, the GPS system is always a plus. High-end drones for kids often come with one that will let you keep track and recover it. Moreover, some of the best drones for kids also come with a Return Home feature. This allows you to bring back the drone with just one button.

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