Last Updated on November 1, 2018
The tech gift list for our kids, family and friends has included drones since 2014. It’s not surprising that since then we have become a fun group of drone hobbyists and multirotor enthusiasts, sharing drone flying outings and participating in drone racing. We have also become the drone buying advisor for our extended families and friends.
Best tech gifts for kids and adults (by drone type and budget)
Best Toy Drone for age 8 year-old
Safety is paramount for young children. Blade guards or ducts is a must for this age group. Check out drones for kids for more information on drone buying guide for kids.
- Easy to fly and designed for great indoor flights.
- 2.4 GHz controller allows you to fly with your friends.
- True Direction and Auto-Flip features allow fun flights for even beginning pilots.
- Bright LED lights assist with flight orientation, day or night.
The Estes Proto Z is a fun tech gift under $20 for an eight-year-od. It is light weight and an excellent starter drone for a young kid. Read our review of Estes Proto Z. It comes with a controller. No camera. Flight time is 7-10 minutes. Flight range about 90 feet. Recharge time is 45 minutes. The Proto Z package includes four replacement propellers. The Estes Proto Z is relatively safe to fly indoors as it is small enough to fit in your hand, and its lightweight airframe of 1.5 oz. won’t damage your furniture.
Best Toy Drone for age 10 year-old
We have heard that children about age 10 or 11 have developmental jump in skills, including motor skills improvements and interests. Getting a tech gift like a drone for a 10 year-old to learn about motor skill is an excellent idea.
Syma X11C RC Quadcopter is an affordable tech gift under $50 and a great way to get into FPV (First Person View) flying for a 10 year-old. FPV mode give the pilot the ability to fly as if he/she were inside looking out the front. The viewer screen shows the view out the front of the copter. It has a flight time of 6-8 minutes. It has LED lights. Syma X11C RC Quadcopter can do forward/backward, up/down, turn left/right, 3D stunt (yes, it can do 360 flip) and sideward flight. It has lights.
Best Toy Drone for age 12 year-old
- [6-Axis Gyro]:Built-in 6-axis gyro stabilization system makes the helicopter more...
- [Anti-Interference]:2.4 GHz technology adopted for anti-interference. Even more than...
- [360 degrees 3D eversion]: Professional cool and exquisite flight action. [Colorful...
- [With Extra 2 720mAh Batteries]: These extra batteries designed by Mysterystone,which...
SYMA X5C-1 Explorers 2.4G 4CH 6-Axis Quadcopter with HD Camera is big enough that it can be taken outside to fly. If you are looking for a tech gift under $60, this Syma is a fun quadcopter for any kids who enjoy flying outdoors. It has flight time about 8 minutes. It has blinking LED lights to help to keep flying it in sight. It does not have a camera. It has moves such as lift/right, forward/backward, up/down, 360 flip and roll, sideways fight. The SYMA X5C-1 Explorers is also small enough that it can be flown in a large room indoors.
Best beginner drone with camera under $50
- Super mini drone for beginner, perfect drone trainer
- A key 360° 4-ways flip(left, right, forward, backward), continuous roll for perfect...
- Equipped with video/photo camera(1280x720 pixel),4 kind of sensitivity modes for any...
- Comes with bonus stock battery & 12 blades for longer flight time
The Holy Stone F180C is a cool tech gift under $50 for a kid or an adult new to drone piloting. It is an excellent beginner’s drone that is cool looking – its body looks like a reptile. It is durable and it has a PlayStation-like comfortable controller. Its propeller guard is so flexible that we saw it softly bounced off our wall with no damage. It is a great beginner drone with 4 sensitivity modes for any skill level. When you are comfortable to control this quad and you are ready to remover its propeller guard, you can pop in the propeller feet (included in the package) to aid with soft landing. The package also comes with a propeller remover tool! The F180c has 6-axis gyro, 4 channels, 720p camera, 1280×720 pixel, LED, 360 flips, propeller guard, bonus battery, 8 additional blades, SD card, USB, dual-battery charger.
Best Beginner FPV drone with camera
- Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
The Syma X5SW-V3 Explorers2.2 is an affordable tech gift under $50 and it is one of the very best quadcopters to learn on. It is light weight enough so that you can practice indoors without doing a lot of damage. Read our review for Syma X5SW Explorers2. It has 4CH with 6 Axis, HD camera, Ready to fly (just attach and tighten props). The right-hand controller can be configured for left hand throttle. Controller range is about 50 meters. The First Person View (FPV) camera is HD and allows even a beginner to shoot an in-flight video. There is a holder on the ground controller to allow you to clamp on your smart phone and then watch the flight. Viewer apps available for Android OS and IOS smart phones. It has headless mode which allows the pilot to turn the direction of the quadcopter’s flight without having to turn the direction of “front” on the quadcopter. This makes it easier to fly and a beginner pilot can learn to fly much sooner. Flight time is about 7 minutes. The Syma X5SW comes with spares for the parts that a beginner is most likely to break. It has a plastic body which is designed to be shatter resistant, another good feature for a beginner.
Best RTF HD Camera drone under $100
- DISCOVERY VIDEO DRONE: Remote control drone with camera is for kids and adults and...
- 720P HD CAMERA DRONE: Capture crisp photos and videos with the 720p HD drone camera;...
- EASY DRONE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS: Quadcopter drone for beginners features Headless Mode...
- SPECS: Photo drone shines with bright LEDs that flash when the drone battery is low;...
UDI U818A HD Camera drone is a good candidate for a tech gift under $100. It is a 6 Axis Gyro ready-to-fly camera drone. This RTF drone is great for those who want to fly the drone out of the box, and do not want to spend time assembling the quadcopter. This UDI has great features such as powerful motors, durable frame, headless mode and HD+ 720P Camera. This RTF camera drone is easy to control – thanks to the 4 Channel, 2.4GHz transmitter with a LCD screen that displays full flight status. It has two joysticks that move the quadcopter in all directions. Flight time is 7-9 minutes. The UDI U818A has headless mode, LED running lights, remote control signal light and, it can do 360° flips!
Triphibian Air-Ground-Water drone
- Unique design to support air / ground / water mode.
- 100% waterproof, even upside down in the water, it can easily roll up.
- LED flash light enables you to fly in the dark at night and easy to identify the head...
- 2.4Ghz technology adopted for anti-interference. Newest 6-Axis Gyro control system...
The Goolsky Q535 Triphibian Quadcopter is the perfect drone for the adventurer in your family, a cool Dad or a cool Mom! Where can you find a tech gift that can fly in the air, glide on the water, drive on the road for about $100? This orange-colored Triphibian has a unique design that supports air/ground/water mode. It comes with a controller 2.4 GHz with anti-interference technology. It has 6-axis gyroscope stabilization, working time of 6-7 minutes, charging time of 120 minutes and control distance of about 150 meters. The Goolsky Q535 has moving functions such as forward/backward, up/down, left/right, sideward flight hovering, headless mode and one-key return. The coolest feature of this Triphibian – you can switch its mode to air/ground/water!
Best 4K Camera Drone under $400
The Ehang Ghost 2.0 with 4k camera is a perfect tech gift under $400 for someone who wants to use a drone camera to record events or projects. It is light weigh which makes it ideal for recording construction projects, landscaping progress or sporting events. The Ehang Ghost 2.0 is easy to fly using your Android or iOS devices. The entire design of piloting the drone is based on entering a flight path with a finger on the touch screen, and then having the drone execute the flight plan. This Ghost drone has a flight time of 25 minutes (on a single charge) and it has half mile of flight range. It gets 25 mph in GPS mode, 43 mph in manual mode. The quality and features of Ehang Ghost 2.0 compare well to a camera drone costing three times as much. If you want a 4K camera drone to shoot high speed action, the Ehang Ghost is best bang for the buck.
High Performance 4K Camera RTF drone
Whether you are a professional aerial photographer or a hobbyist who likes to shoot professional-grade aerial photographs, buying a high performance camera drone is a substantial investment. Read our guide on checklist for a high-performance camera drone.
- The Typhoon Q500 4K arrives factory-assembled, test-flown, ready to fly and film out...
- The 3-axis anti-vibration CGO3 gimbal camera and the optimized fixed focus lens...
- The ST10+ personal ground station is a 10-channel 2.4GHz RC transmitter that supports...
The Typhoon Q500 4K RTF Quadcopter is one of our top picks for high-performance camera drone under $800. Read our review on Typhoon Q500 4K RTF Quadcopter. The Q500 is a professional grade quadcopter with an integrated 3-axis anti-vibration CGO3 gimbal. The Typhoon Q500 comes factory-assembled, already test-flown, it is ready to fly and shoot videography out of the box. The Q500 is a tech gift more than $500 but it is one of the most complete drone bundle you can get for the money. We also like the ST10+ personal ground station – a 10-channel 2.4GHz RC transmitter that supports a 5.8GHz video downlink delivering streaming video to the built-in screen. Another great feature of the Q500 is the modularity of the SteadyGrip handheld device – it extends the perspective from the sky to the ground with CGO3 mobile app. The Q500 comes packaged in its own rugged lightweight-aluminum transport case. This is one of the best buys to capture 4K from aerial and ground for your professional projects or personal vacation shoots.
Racing drone 250mm class
Racing drones need to be responsive and agile – as they are following a course and need to change direction, speed up and slowdown quickly. The Racing drone 250 mm class is the most popular class and we believe that this is the best class for a beginner to learn about drone racing. Key selection criteria for a racing drone:
- AUW (All up weight) – Lower weight means lower momentum and tells you that it can accelerate, decelerate and change direction easier.
- Power to weight ratio – The higher the power to weight ratio, the faster and more maneuverable it will be. We recommended racing quadcopters have a power to weight ratio of at least 3:1.
- Speed – The max speed tells you what speed you can get on the straight-away.
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The Eachine Racer 250 PRO FPV is an intermediate class racing drone. For the racer on your gift list, this is a fast tech gift under $400. It has a carbon fiber frame, speed of 45 mph and flight time of 10-14 minutes. Its flight control is well designed and it is compatible with “Open Pilot” Ground control. This means that it can be a very good base for your racer. It is heavy enough that a very light breeze can be ignored. The Eachine Racer 250 PRO FPV is fast and controllable and it can be mod’d. A ground control unit with a 7 inch viewer screen is included. The Eachine Racer 250 PRO FPV is an excellent choice for an intermediate pilot.
Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is:
“The best gift is the gift of time we share with our family and friends.” Quote by The Drone Buying Advisor