Best Quadrocopters Reviews 2016

Looking to buy a drone but don’t know where to begin? If you want to buy a high-end drone with programmable and customizable features, this best drone’s review is sure to help you out. We will examine some of the best drones currently available in the market, will go through the features, and even compare them each other, to help you make an informed buying decision.

Top Rated Quadrocopters

So, fasten your seat belts and let the flying begin!

DJI Mavic Pro – Best Portable Dronedji-mavic-pro

Talk about an advanced drone with portability and this Mavic Pro from DJI is unquestionably the best you can buy. DJI is a brand that is known to manufacture some of the best of drones currently available in the market and with this Mavic Pro, they have successfully eliminated one of the biggest problem with drones- portability.
Mavic Pro has an innovative foldable design and when folded, can easily fit into the palm of your hands and can also be carried in a backpack. Apart from the copter itself, its controller is foldable too and has a slot for attaching a smartphone to it. The quadcopter features a total of 5 cameras- 1 for capturing videos and images, 2 for avoiding collisions and remaining two works with GPS and GLONASS to improve the flight and landing accuracy.

The camera which records and captures pictures has a field of view of 78.8 degrees and 1/2.3″ sensor. It can record videos at up to 4K resolution at 30fps. Apart from the controller, one can also use a smartphone to fly this quadcopter for shorter distances. Moreover, there is also an optional DJI Goggles which you can buy to enjoy the first-person view of everything that the quadcopter sees.

PROS:

  • Innovative foldable design
  • Collision avoidance
  • Number of advanced features
  • Top speed of 40mph
  • Transmission range of 7km
  • GPS, GLONASS, and visual positioning system for enhanced accuracy during flights and landings

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Optional DJI goggles are big and heavy
  • Non-detachable camera


Read Full DJI Mavic Pro Review

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GoPro Karma – Best Drone for GoPpro

GoPro is a hot sports camera manufacturer, and several drones feature their cameras. It was GoPro that first came up with a compact quadcopter Karma and the above mentioned Mavic Pro from DJI was launched a few days later. Like Mavic Pro, GoPro Karma also folds and can be easily carried in the included backpack case.

gopro-karmaThe Karma controller has a game style design with smart controls and touch display to provide users with HD view of the things that this quadcopter sees during the flight. Karma is the best Drone for GoPro cameras and is compatible with GoPro Hero 5, Hero 4 and yet to be launched Hero 5 Session. Moreover, the camera in the quadcopter can also be removed and attached to the included Karma grip which you can carry in hand or mount on a surface to take pictures and videos on the go. The Karma grip features built-in camera controls, which you can use to turn on/off the camera, switch between different modes and record videos.

While GoPro positively pushed the limits with Karma to provide the audience with an innovative and portable quadcopter, DJI offered much better portability and a lot more features with their Mavic Pro.

PROS:

  • Foldable design
  • Compatible with a variety of GoPro cameras
  • Detachable cameras
  • Stabilizer included
  • Mobile app for live streaming
  • Easy to use

CONS:

  • No obstacle avoidance feature
  • Limited automation
  • No ideal for indoor flying


Read Full GoPro Karma Review

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DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter – Best Video Quality Drone

Phantom 4 from DJI is one of the best and most popular quadcopter currently available in the market. DJI manufactured Mavic Pro as an advanced version of Phantom 4 and both the quadcopters have some common features. However, Phantom 4 is a full-size quadcopter which doesn’t have the foldable design of Mavic Pro.dji-phantom-4-quadcopterThe quadcopter features sensors to avoid collisions and fly with precision, and has some exciting features, like Visual Tracking, Dual Satellite Positioning System, Advanced Aerodynamics, Active Camera Stabilization, etc. which make one of the best drones on the market. While you can use the controller to fly the quadcopter, the controller also has a slot where you can place your smartphone to view the things that DJI Phantom 4 sees during the flight in real-time.

Moreover, the quadcopter can also be used directly from the smartphone for shorter flights. It also comes with DJI Director Software with video editor which you can use to edit the captured videos.

PROS:

  • Impressive flight time and transmission range
  • User-friendly controls
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Obstacle sensing system
  • GPS and GLONASS for enhanced accuracy while flying

CONS:

  • Full-sized quadcopter
  • Image quality suffers when the drone is close to its 5km transmission range


Read Full GoPro Karma Review

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DJI Phantom 3 Quadcopter Drone – Best Quadcopter For The Money

Phantom 3 from DJI with GPS-based flight and an intelligent battery was one of the most innovative quadcopters when it was first launched. No matter if you are new to the world of drones or a veteran, Phantom 3 has something for everyone. The quadcopter features automatic flight assistant which ensures that the quadcopter will get back to your location accurately with a simple press of a button on its controller.dji-phantom-3-standard-quadcopter-droneBy attaching a smartphone on its controller, you can watch a live feed of everything that this intelligent drone sees. Moreover, you can conveniently start recording videos and pictures from your smartphone with the DJI mobile app. The camera is loaded with some innovative features, like Point of Interest, Waypoints Mode, Follow Me Mode and a lot more to provide you with a unique and entertaining drone flying experience.

While Phantom 3 has some great features, the above-mentioned options are far better regarding features and overall performance. However, if you are looking for a modern quadcopter and have a limited budget, DJI Phantom 3 is still the best quadcopter for the money.  

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Enhanced stability
  • Wide angle lens
  • Can capture in 4K resolution
  • Live video feed on smartphone
  • Automated flight modes
  • Return home button

CONS:

  • Battery life is not impressive
  • Edge distortion due to wide lens

If you are planning to buy the best quadcopter drone, the above-mentioned choices are worth consideration. However, if you are still confused with the options, let us make it easier for you by comparing these models on their size, features, camera, and a lot more.


Read Full GoPro Karma Review

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DJI Mavic Pro vs GoPro Karma

While drones are yet to get mainstream, DJI and GoPro have done an excellent job in the right direction with their new offering- Mavic Pro and Karma. Both of these quadcopters are portable, compact drones. However, while Mavic Pro has an inbuilt camera, Karma is compatible with several cameras from GoPro.

Both the drones are loaded with many different features and we’ll try to find a winner in this DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma section.

Design

Mavic Pro and Karma are portable drones. However, it is Mavic Pro that has an edge here. While both the machines have a foldable design, Mavic Pro is lighter in weight and is more compact after folding. DJI suggests that Mavic Pro can be as compact as a bottle of water after folding and can easily fit on a belt holster, backpack, or purse.

While Karma too is portable, it is not able to be as compact as a water bottle. However, it can still be accommodated in a backpack and it actually comes with a trendy Karma backpack.

If precise specs are what you are looking for, then GoPro Karma measures 117 mm x 224.3 mm x 365.2 mm and weighs 1,006gms, whereas, Mavic Pro measures 83 mm x 83 mm x 198 mm and weighs 734gms.

Features

While releasing Karma, GoPro mentioned that its drone is an end-to-end life-capture solution. While this sounds too far-fetched, it actually means that the drone is loaded with a number of features that do an excellent job of enhancing its adaptability. GoPro comes with a stabiliser which can move on 3 axes with a 90-degree range of motion for capturing smooth footage. Mavic Pro also features 3-axis stabilisation.

Maximum speed of Karma is 35mph and its maximum range is 1km. The quadcopter can fly up to an altitude of 4,500m. Mavic Pro again has an edge over Karma. Mavic has a maximum speed of 40mph and has an impressive transmission range of 7km. Even the altitude at which the drone can fly is 5,000m. If we talk about the flight time, Karma can fly for 20 minutes, whereas, Mavic Pro has a maximum flight time of 27 minutes. While the flight time of both the drones is not very impressive, you can always carry a spare battery to fly for longer durations.

Karma comes with some other safety features, like return-to-home button and no-fly-zones. However, it doesn’t come with advanced features, like obstacle detection, which can be found in Mavic Pro.

Moreover, the DJI drone also has other excellent features, like active tracking, tripod mode, etc. which cannot be found in GoPro Karma.

Cameras

It is the cameras that do the most important job of capturing impressive, aerial shots. Let us have a look at what these quadcopters have to capture videos.

DJI Mavic Pro features an inbuilt camera which can shoot videos in 4K resolution with 30fpsand 1080p with 96fps. Moreover, the camera can also click 12MP pictures in JPEG and RAW format. It features a 1/2.3 inch sensor and has minimum focusing distance of 0.5m. Needless to say, the camera specs are highly impressive and in line with the other popular DJI drone- Phantom 4.

GoPro on the other hand, doesn’t feature a built-in camera but is compatible with multiple GoPro cameras. While GoPro has designed Karma to be compatible with its latest Hero 5 Black, it is compatible with Hero 5 Session, Hero 4 Silver and Black. If you use Hero 5 Black, you’ll get almost similar specs from Karma. It will record footage in 4K resolution at 30fps and at 1080p resolution at 120fps which is higher than Mavic Pro’s 96fps. Karma can also take 12MP pictures. However, the specs would vary if you go for any other GoPro camera.

One major benefit of Karma is that the camera is detachable. Moreover, it comes with Karma Grip which you can attach to any vertical or horizontal surface for recording footage. The Grip also has built-in controls with the help of which you can operate the camera without even touching it. However, Mavic Pro allows you to take selfies by hand gesture, a feature which is not available in Karma.

When comparing Mavic vs Karma, the Mavic has an edge over GoPro Karma in almost every department. While it was Karma that was the first full-fledged foldable quadcopter, Mavic Pro has further refined the compactness and has loaded its drone with a lot more features. However, if you like GoPro cameras, Karma is definitely the best quadcopter for GoPro.

DJI Mavic Pro vs DJI Phantom 4

Phantom 4 is one of the best quadcopters that you can currently buy. But with the release of the compact Mavic Pro, which DJI suggests has almost similar and even better specs, will Phantom 4 continue to hold the crown? Let us try to find out.

Video Quality

While the Mavic Pro has a much smaller camera, it surprisingly works just like Phantom 4. While the videos from Mavic are not readily as sharp as the ones from Phantom 4, you can easily increase the sharpening in DJI Go App for Android and iOS smartphones. If you ask me, I don’t really like the sharpening provided by Phantom 4 as the images often have strange artefacts. However, no such artefacts were found with Mavic Pro.

If we talk about their performance in low-lighting conditions, Phantom 4 definitely beats Mavic Pro. Also, Mavic Pro has narrower field of view as compared to Phantom 4. So, the videos and images will appear like they have been taken from 28mm lens of a camera with full frame. While the FOV of Phantom 4 is not as good as GoPro camera, it is almost similar to 20mm lens.

Also, while Phantom 4’s camera has fixed focus, Mavic Pro doesn’t. So, you’ll be required to tap the area which you want to focus while using the Go App.

Controller

While the controller of Mavic Pro is small and in line with its foldable design, Phantom 4 controller provides a RC controller-like feel. Both controllers have basic buttons, however, Mavic Pro’s controller has a stop button to stop the quadcopter if you are unable to see where the drone is. But while you cannot mount a tablet on Mavic Pro’s controller, you can do so with Phantom 4’s controller.

Features

DJI has pointed out that both the drones have almost similar features. Obstacle avoidance, sensors at the bottom, and active tracking are some of the features that can be found in both, Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro. However, the tracking ability is improved in Mavic Pro and it can also detect the transport mode used by the subject.

Apart from being portable, Mavic Pro has some added features, like the tripod mode which reduces the maximum speed of the drone to provide pilots with enhanced precision and make it easier to fly the drone indoors. Both the machines have sport mode where top speed can be achieved. However, Mavic Pro also has an optional DJI Goggles to provide users with immersive flying experience.

Battery Life and Power

There are only some minor differences when battery life and power of Mavic Pro and phantom 4 are compared. Both the quadcopters have a flight time of about 27 minutes, however, maximum speed of Phantom 4 is 45mph, whereas, Mavic Pro maximum speed is 40mph. Also, as Phantom 4 is bulkier, it is able to withstand higher wind speeds as compared to Mavic Pro.

Phantom 4’s transmission range is 3.1 miles and this where Mavic Pro exceeds substantially with a transmission range of 4.7 miles.

Mavic Pro is definitely the best compact drone, however, if you are looking for a solid full-fledged drone, Phantom 4 can be a great choice.

DJI Phantom 3 vs DJI Phantom 4

Phantom 4 is an advanced version of Phantom 3 and has a number of features which weren’t available in Phantom 3. In this DJI Phantom 3 vs. DJI Phantom 4 section, let us have a look at some of the most important differences between the two.

Speed

Phantom 4 is much faster than Phantom 3. While Phantom 3 manages to reach a maximum speed of 35mph, the sport mode in Phantom 4 allows it to achieve 45mph. Moreover, many of the users have mentioned in their review that they were able to achieve more than 50mph with some backwind. But it is important to note that the obstacle avoidance feature of Phantom 4 is disabled during sport mode. So, it is better to try the sport mode in vast, open areas.

Range

With the new intelligent flight battery, Phantom 4 can travel up to 3 miles and has a flight time of 27 minutes. On the other hand, Phantom 3 has a range of 1 mile and flight time of 16 minutes. The antenna and radio of Phantom 4 operates at 23dBm, whereas, Phantom 3 operates at 20dBm. This provides Phantom 4 with more précised signals.

Camera

The camera and gimbal in Phantom 4 are somewhat similar to Phantom 3. For enhanced stability, the gimbal in Phantom 4 features support link that is mounted in the drone. Even the software is improved to provide faster feedback between the camera and pilot, along with auto-focus. Both Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 can record 4K videos and take 12MP pictures. However, Phantom 4 can also record at 1080p resolution with 120fps. Phantom 4 also features a new 8-element lens and even the sensor has been tweaked to provide more dynamic colors as well as saturation when compared with Phantom 3.

Features

If we talk about the features, the biggest difference is the availability of obstacle avoidance in Phantom 4. While Phantom 3 has 2 cameras, Phantom 4 has a total of 5 cameras. One camera is for recording, while others are for enhanced precision, stability, and obstacle avoidance. This feature is highly beneficial for people who are new to drone flying and don’t want their expensive quadcopter to crash and break into pieces.

Apart from this, Phantom 4 also has a new Active Track feature which allows the drone to follow the chosen object while also avoiding obstacles up to a range of 50 feet. Moreover, pilots can also select a particular location on the map and Phantom 4 will precisely travel to that point without hitting any tree or power line.

User-Friendliness

New pilots are sure to enjoy a simpler and safer flying experience with Phantom 4. Its visual positioning system has been improved to make sure that the drone is able to fly and land even on uneven surfaces with enhanced precision. Dual GPS/GLONASS collects data from 30 satellites to track precise location of the drone. Phantom 3 on the other hand, uses 20 satellites.

Even the body of Phantom 4 is more sturdy and modular for easy disassembly and repairs. Also the propellers now have an innovative quick release design which is foolproof and the drone can be assembled easily within 10 seconds as compared to 60 seconds required to assemble Phantom 3.

Phantom 4 has a number of new modes, multiple sensors, increased range and flight time and easy setup, making it an excellent choice for beginners. And the host of features loaded in this quadcopter will ensure that the drone veterans too he a lot to explore.

Now that we have provided you with detailed differences between these drones, choosing one as per your experience and requirements shouldn’t be confusing anymore. However, if you are still not able to choose the best quadcopter for the money, allow us to help you out. We have selected a couple of models which we believe are currently the best.

Best Drones on The Market

If the video quality is what you are looking for, we’d recommend you to buy DJI Phantom 4. The camera in this drone is able to capture 4K resolution videos at 30fps and 1080p videos at 120fps. Moreover, you can also use it to click 12MP pictures.

It has an f/2.8 lens with wide FOV to provide clear and crisp images. It also uses gimbal stabilisation technology with its hover function to enable you to take clean and smooth footage while flying. Apart from video quality, the drone has a number of other features that make it stand apart from the crowd.

Best Compact Drone

If it is the portability that you are looking for, DJI Mavic Pro beats GoPro Karma not just in portability but in almost all the other departments. Mavic Pro weighs only 734grms and measures 83 mm x 83 mm x 198 mm. Once folded, it can easily rest in the palm of your hands.

Moreover, with Mavic Pro, DJI has not just created the most compact full-fledged drone but has also made sure that it has a number of advanced features to provide users with the best flying experience. Obstacle avoidance, dual GPS/GLONASS positioning, flight time of 27 minutes, transmission range of 7km, DJI Go Pro app, and optional DJI goggles are some of the features that make Mavic Pro, the best compact drone.

Conclusion

We tried to compare four of the best drones on the market in this Best Drones Review. If you’d like to know more about them or want to share your experience with them, send them to us with the help of the comments section below.

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