When it comes to drones few companies can hold a candle to the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial drone aircraft, DJI. And the DJI Phantom 4 is the all around standard bearer when it comes to consumer-grade unmanned aerial vehicles. From its ease of use and flight to its robust stability, few drones can compare to the DJI Phantom 4. Also sporting amazing obstacle avoidance features, 780p camera view, a high-speed sport mode, an automated flight mode, a return home mode, and near cinema quality video capturing capabilities round out a veritable laundry list of positive features that come along with the DJI Phantom 4. The only major drawback for the DJI Phantom 4 is its price. As one of the most expensive units on the market, the DJI Phantom 4 comes to the show dressed accordingly. With every feature you could want, industry-leading technology, and the backing of global giant DJI, the Phantom 4 will likely be king of the hill for some time to come.
Furnished with a sleek magnesium alloy body and with the ability to support multiple cameras and capture 5.2K video, you may wonder why the DJI Inspire 2 is not higher up on this list. At nearly 3 times the price of its Phantom 4 corporate sibling, the reasons should be quite obvious. Though the Inspire 2 has all of the features the Phantom 4 has and more, it is incredibly complicated to edit video captured with the device, requiring both a powerful computer and Adobe software and a couple of other quality of life features that make it more of a hassle to use. Probably best for professional use, the DJI Inspire 2 is nonetheless one impressive piece of kit. It’s just not the best that consumers can do in terms of a UAV capable of achieving most of their aims in the field.
Cheaper than both of the aforementioned models, the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is a great middle ground between the ultra-expensive models favored by Hollywood and the professional performance gear marketed by DJI. With a compact design, 4K video capture capabilities, object avoidance, and a 28 minute flight time, the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum should be able to do what most people need it to do – and in our opinion that’s a hallmark of a quality drone. Whether taking home videos or splicing together complex action footage for a homemade reel, the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is more than capable of doing most things a user will ask of it.
The cheapest model on this list, the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV is an extremely well made, well designed, and good all-around unmanned aerial vehicle that should be more than capable of achieving what most people need a drone to do. The Parrot Bebop 2 has around 19 minutes of flight time, 1080p video capture, and support mid-air stunts to some degree. Compatible with both iOS and Android, the software that assists the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV makes it a versatile option for those enthusiasts who like to use their smartphones along with their drones. The only real downsides to the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV is that it has a fisheye lens, distorting pictures taken with the camera, and aside from that the video quality is dodgy at best. In other words, the performance you’ll get out of the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV might be inconsistent and that definitely has an impact on its overall abilities. Still, as an affordable drone option, it is tough to beat the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV.
At $1899, this drone lodges squarely in the second or third most expensive on this list depending on your vendor so you might be asking yourself why it is in last. The price is a huge factor in this placement, but the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro also falls short of the DJI in terms of flight time and ease of use. With 19 minutes, the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro is markedly shorter lived than the DJI offerings and with unwieldy controls it also has a steeper learning curve. That said, it does have many of the features that the DJI models have such as obstacle avoidance and the capability to support two pilots but its price, and its 4K video capture capabilities, leave a lot to be fixed with the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro. Users who are longtime drone pilots might find many features to brag about with the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro, but beginners will discover it is unwieldy and difficult to use.