If you’re anything like me you’ll be doing a lot of research this holiday season finding the best value and quality products for those family gifts. This season, one of my kids has asked Santa for a Quadcopter. I’ve never flown a Quadcopter but I have played around with some of the cheap remoter controlled helicopters available. One of the big issues with gifts like these is weighing up the pros and cons. Do you buy a cheap Quadcopter because you know it’s probably going to get crashed and damaged or do you get something that will last longer and has plenty of spare parts available for repairs.
If you’d tried anything remote controlled that flies, you’ll know that they are not the easiest toys to control, especially the cheaper ones. Paying extra usually means the flyers have better controls and self-stabilization sensors, which also means they are easier to fly in the first place.
This short guide is really for people who have no remote controlled Quadcopter experience and list some of the questions and findings I went through in my own pursuit for the perfect beginners Quadcopter or Drone.
Searching around, you’ll find plenty of Top 10 Best Quadcopter and the best Quadcopters for this holiday season. The issue is; which ones of these lists are real evaluated products and which ones are simply people trying to sell their own products and make money.
Searching through YouTube will also reveal quite a few review videos of most of the Quadcopters available. These are nice as you actually get to see the Quadcopters flying, look at how stable they appear and how they react to outdoor and indoor environments such as wind blowing.
The first thing you need to do is decide what your budget is and what you’re going to be using your Quadcopter for.
In my case, I was looking to purchase a Quadcopter for my 10 year old kids who wanted a fun toy this Holiday season. I didn’t want to spend too much as most of these holiday toys normally get used for a couple of weeks or days in some cases and then tossed into the back of the closet. One slight difference with Quadcopters is that I’m also interested in playing around with them. I decided to set a budget of $100.
I know about how much I want to spend, so the next task was to start researching. The two areas I paid most attention to was How is easy it to fly and how easy is it to repair.
My first finding was related to the stability of a Quadcopter. You should be looking at stabilization systems that use Gyroscopes to monitor how level your Quadcopter is. Some people call this a “Smart Drone” as it has the ability to make its own corrections. This is the first check item you should look when you make your purchase. A Six Axis Gyroscope is the best option to look for.
Variable Speeds, Learner Modes and Guards
Another area to look for is adjustment of the control sensitivity. Many of the beginners Quadcopters have setting to alter the sensitivity of the controls so you can make the response of turning and tilting much finer or less sharp so you’re not diving your Quadcopter all over the place as you try to make corrections.
Many of the beginners Quadcopters also come with guards or fences that are installed to protect the rotors getting damaged from collisions with walls, ceilings and outdoor obstructions such as trees and other objects. Most of them also allow the guarding to be removed once you get your confidence up. Having these removable has another advantage as it generally increases the responsiveness and speed of your Quadcopters when they are removed and you fell you’re ready to remove your training wheels.
Availability of Spare Parts
Of course you’re going to crash your drone. Anyone who thinks they are not going to crash their Quadcopter is insane. There are so many skills you have to learn when you first fly a Quadcopter that its inevitable you’ll crash yours a few times when you first start. As you get more skilled, you’re also going to get more daring and probably experience some even bigger wipe outs.
Where is your Quadcopter going to be used
Many people look at buying the smaller indoor flying vehicles for their kids as it makes it easier for just playing around any time they feel like it. Going outdoors requires you to be with them and planning or if they are going out alone to fly their shiny new Quadcopter, the weather has to be good. I wanted the Quadcopter I purchased to work well outdoors but also be able to mess around indoors for simple practice sessions.
I’m still new to all this flying remote controlled toys so I won’t claim to be an expert. I just wanted to share my findings as I searched for the ultimate beginners drone for my kids (and me) this Christmas season.
I looked at so many Quadcopters, it almost became overwhelming. You don’t realize the selection available and how fast this technology is increasing and enhancing. Drones are going to boom over the next couple of years, and I’m not just talking about the hobbyist drones out there. Commercial applications are on the rise and we’ll see drones being used for delivery services, video production, real-estate and much more.
Researching allowed me to narrow down my selection to a few manufacturers. They included: Walkera, Blade, Hubsan, Parrot, Syma and WLToys. There may have been others, but it’s all just a blur now.
I finally got down to a list of two manufacturers. Syma and WLToys. These two Chinese manufacturers turn out drones by the thousands and have an abundance of spare parts available all over the Internet and especially on Amazon. They also produce good quality, cheap devices that are fairly robust and easy to fly. I nearly forgot to mention that I wanted to play myself and I thought it would be cool to have some sort of video recording abilities so this criteria came into play for the second drone I purchased.
Here’s what I eventually ordered. Yes, I ordered two Quadcopters as I didn’t want my kids to feel left out and it would allow us to go out together and fly our Quadcopters around with each other.
1. WL Toys V262
The WL Toys V262 Cyclone UFO 6 Axis Gyro Quadcopter is the Quadcopter I chose for my kids. It can self-level and easily adjusts itself while it’s flying. Having the Six Axis Gyro apparently makes a huge difference to the stability of the flying experience. It has protection around the four blades that can be removed once your more comfortable flying it. Looks wise the V262 is very similar to the Parrot AR drone for less than a quarter of the price. The V262 comes ready to fly out of the box with a controller, rechargeable batteries (not for the controller) and built in “Trick Mode” that I’m sure we’ll have fun messing around with. I ordered an extra battery too as the flight time is rated at 8 to 10 minutes. Having a second charged battery to take a long just seemed to make sense to me.
2. WL Toys V959
The Wltoys v959 Quadcopter was one of the highest reviewed and ranked low end Quadcopters I found. There are an abundance of written and video reviews around and the spare parts, modifications and enhancements as well as the included camera would appear to make this is an excellent purchase. Once again the flight time is quoted as 8 to 10 minutes so I went ahead and ordered extra batteries for this one as well.
Time permitting, I’ll report back with more information on both these quadcopters and hopefully a WL Toys V262 Review and a WL Toys V959 Review. Have a great holiday season everyone and be sure to go out get your kids, and yourself some cool gadgets. If you do, be sure to help us out and buy them using our Amazon Affiliate link below 🙂