Attack of the Drones
Get your lowdown on the best drones to buy
The Flyer’s Bay X-Drone R Helicopter
Snapdeal, Rs 4499
If you don’t need a drone with a camera, you may want to check out Flyer’s Bay’s X-Drone R Helicoper. It is a fairly sophisticated drone for its price. It is gyro-stabilised, which makes it steady, and able to move across six axes (forward, backward, up, down and side to side). The battery is the standard 3.7 V 580 mAh, which should get you eight minutes of flying time once charged for an hour. This drone can be flown pretty far — up to 50 meters — and its 4GHz remote control system gives you decent range.
Flyer’s Bay X-Drone Evolution
Snapdeal, Rs 4499
This is, along with the Hubsan, the best drone with a camera in this price range. The Flyer’s Bay X-Drone has a two-megapixel camera and 1GB micro SD card. Like others in its price range, this drone can be launched simply by throwing it in the air while you start the motor. The X-Drone also offers two play modes, enabling enthusiasts to enjoy flying the copter both indoors and outdoors. However, the range on this is somewhat poor, topping out at a mere 40 meters.
RC Mini Drone UFO Quadcopter
Ebay, Rs 8200
You would be forgiven for wondering how a drone with no camera can command such a premium price. But, the cost of the UFO Quadcopter is justified by how well it flies. It has one of the longest ranges among drones at its price range; it can be operated reliably up to 100 metres away. It has a three-axes gyroscope and a 4.5-channel remote that doesn’t interfere with your other wireless toys. At 50 grams, this drone is surprisingly nimble, capable of flying backwards, sideways and moving in any direction. What particularly caught our eye about the UFO Quadcopter is its ability to perform 360 degree barrel rolls.
Parrot A R Drone 2.0
SnapDeal, Rs 31,630
The Parrot A R Drone 2.0 represents the pinnacle of what’s easily available for hobbyists. It is, however, quite expensive. You could probably consider buying one after you’ve been diligently pursuing your drone hobby for a few months. Flying this drone is a bit like playing a video game; it includes a 720p high-definition front camera, a vertical camera and an ultrasound altimeter paired with a smart phone control app that’s designed to replace a remote. These drool-worthy features are coupled with Parrot’s Free Flight 2.0 control app that is light years ahead of many of its competitors, even allowing you to record and share videos with your friends in real time. This drone provides the user with a first person view of the drone’s surroundings and a uniquely satisfying aerial photography experience because of its high-resolution camera and innovative control system.
Hubsan X4 H107C 2.4G Mini Drone
Edallhobby.com, Rs 5000
This is a great starter mini-copter that features a built-in three-megapixel camera that can also record up to 4GB of video. The H107C’s body is lightweight but sturdy, which means it can be flown outdoors in low winds. A weak battery keeps flight time down to seven or eight minutes on a full charge, but this is better than average for drones in its class. The H107C can sometimes be hard to fly, as it has a habit of flipping over, but the LED lights on the front should help you keep tabs on whether it is right-side up. These LEDs also blink when the battery is low, giving you a chance to fly it to safety before it dies. Holes on the bottom of the drone make it inevitable that moisture from wet landings will eventually short out the circuit board, but you’re assured a fair degree of entertainment before that happens. It has its shortcomings, but if you want a drone with a camera at this price, you really can’t beat the Hubsan H107C.