The Best Beginner Drone You Can Buy (And 4 Alternatives)

These days, it’s nearly impossible to run around your local track or trek through a park without seeing a drone hovering suspiciously overhead, filming the landscape — and possibly your face — in glorious 4K resolution.

Drones are fun. But if you’ve been holding off on getting into the hobby because you think they’re hard to fly, we’ve got some encouraging news: Some drones are so easy to pilot, you’ll feel like a pro on your first flight. To help you along, we’ve assembled this list of the best drones for beginners so you can earn your wings in short order and skip right to the fun.

Our pick

Creazy JXD 509W Quadcopter
Why should you buy this: The JXD 509W’s combination of cheap price and advanced features make it a tremendous value.

Who’s it for: Those who want high-end drone features on the cheap

How much will it cost: $90

Why we picked the Creazy JXD 509W:

It’s natural to be skeptical of manufacturer claims when it’s a company you don’t know much about — especially when the product looks like a knockoff (ahem, Yuneec Q500) — but JXD sure surprises when it comes to the 509W. This is a drone with a feature set that could cost you two to three times as much from better-known brands.

Don’t let the low price fool you, the 509W, like JXD’s other drones, performs solidly. While you’re not going to win cinematography awards with a modest 0.3 megapixel camera, you’ll still get solid shots of aerial vistas. Add in flight monitoring directly from your smartphone in real time, and the ability to hold a designated altitude and automatically land, and you’ve got a winning combo under $100.