Best Drones in 2022: Reviews and Buying Advice

You can buy a camera for a flying smartphone effectively for the same price as a high-end smartphone.

Although these drones aren’t professional devices, they’re aimed at enthusiastic consumers, but they have a built-in camera that’s almost as good as a phone when it comes to photo and video quality.

But, of course, you can use a drone to capture images and videos from a perspective that you can’t get with a smartphone. And their gimbal ensures that the video is smooth and stable.

These drones are very easy to fly and many have sensors that help prevent them from colliding with objects. In addition, some people can fly by autopilot while tracking people (or objects) and at the same time avoid obstacles.

The features you get-and the quality of the camera-depends heavily on your budget. Here, we have carefully selected drones that are not toys. These are serious gadgets that cost at least a few hundred pounds or a few dollars. As you can imagine, you tend to get what you pay for, so the higher the price, the better the quality and more features the drone will have.

However, budget is not the only consideration. You may be looking for a lightweight drone that doesn’t need to be registered. In the United States, for example, an aircraft with a takeoff weight of less than 250g can fly without training or registration fees. In the UK, you still need to register such drones, but you have more freedom about where you can fly them and how close they can be to people and buildings. For more information, read about the latest regulations before buying and flying a drone in the UK.

Remember that local laws regarding actually flying drones apply to all models here, regardless of whether you need to register your drone. You can’t fly the drone wherever you like. So read the rules as well as where you are allowed to fly. If in doubt, consult the landowner or local government.

Scroll down to the reviews to find more detailed buying advice.

Best Drones, Rankings and Reviews in 2022

1. DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI Mini 3 Pro

Strong Points

  • There is an obstacle sensor

  • Excellent low light video quality

  • You can track the subject


  • Relatively expensive

  • No side sensor

DJI’s latest drones weigh less than 250g, so you don’t need to register in some countries. However, compared to previous models of the minirange, professionals can detect and avoid obstacles.

For example, you can track a subject, which is one of the major drawbacks of the Mini2.

DJI has also significantly improved the quality of the camera, and the Mini 3 Pro provides amazingly good footage even in the dark. This is the traditional weakness of small drones with small camera sensors.

You can also shoot up to 4K30 in 4K60 video or HDR and record it in D-Cinelike for color correction when you edit the video later. You can also rotate the camera 90 ° if you need to record in portraits.

The Mini 3 Pro is much more expensive than the Mini 2 (and 2S), even when purchased without a controller, but if you need the additional features it offers and you want the best quality from a sub 250g drone, this is one is. buy.

Read the full review of DJI MIni3 Pro

2. DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S

Strong Points

  • 1 inch sensor

  • Video HDR and log profile


  • Apps limited to 1080p output

  • More expensive than Air2

If you don’t mind registering, the Air2S is the perfect drone to buy. If you already own the Mavic Air 2, it’s not worth the upgrade, but if you don’t, there are several reasons to buy the Air 2S instead of the cheaper Air 2, such as the camera’s larger 1-inch sensor and additional sensors. I have. To avoid obstacles.

However, some features are clearly not consumer oriented. Only professionals can take full advantage of the 10-bit capabilities of Air 2S. If you only shoot with standard 8-bit video, you may not see a big difference in the quality of Air2 at 4K resolution. 2S and Mavic Air 2.

It offers better quality (and Air 2) in dark places, but this is not the time most people fly. Simply put, Air2S is a natural choice if you care about the last drop in video quality and know what you’re doing. If you don’t have a first idea of ​​how to work with Log videos and want to stick to the editors of QuickShots and DJI’s Fly app, it’s better to save money and use the Mavic Air 2.

Read the full review of DJI Air2S

3. DJI Mini 2

DJI Mini 2

Strong Points

  • Great video quality

  • Registration is not required in some countries


  • No obstacle avoidance

  • There is no ActiveTrack

The Mini 2 is a great drone and is well worth this list. The video quality is significantly improved over the original Mavic Mini, which means that the ability to take RAW photos (and the auto-exposure bracket feature) is also a great tool for aerial photography.

You can easily justify a price increase by adding an upgraded motor that allows for better wind resistance, a significantly better controller, and a significantly better range (and performance when there is a lot of interference).

Even without an active truck (which is the biggest disappointment, not the lack of obstacle avoidance), it’s a great buy for those on a budget.

Read the full review of DJI Mini 2

4. DJI Mavic Air 2

DJI Mavic Air 2

Strong Points

  • Shoot 4K video at 60fps

  • Good obstacle avoidance


  • No LOG video profile

  • Apps limited to 1080p output

The Mavic Air 2 is still one of the best options under £ 800 / $ 800. And it’s still one of the best consumer drones. It’s still widely available, but it may not be that long as it has been replaced by 2S.

Shooting 4K60 allows you to slow down the footage in the video editor for a more cinematic look. You can also shoot slow motion footage at 1080p and 240fps.

With the addition of upgraded obstacle avoidance, remote control and flight time compared to the original Mavic Air, there is no contest. Air2 is excellent in every respect. It’s not perfect because it doesn’t have obstacle sensors on the sides, but if you accept and avoid that limitation, you’ll be very happy.

The Air 2S is better, but more expensive, and only those who understand 10-bit video will benefit from the upgraded camera.

Read the full review of DJI Mavic Air 2

5. DJI Mini SE



  • Basic video quality

  • No obstacle avoidance

Suggested retail price:

$ 349 ($ 449 for Fly More Combo)

DJI quietly released the Mini SE last year, and it’s the company’s cheapest drone.

This is a kind of cross of the original Mini and Mini2.

It’s easiest to think of the Mini 2 as having cut-down specs that match the original Mini, including maximum video resolution (2.7K), transmission distance (2km), and flight time (30 minutes).

It’s only £ 269 / $ 299, so it’s a great bargain if you don’t need to shoot 4K video or RAW photos.

It’s a capable drone that’s easy to fly for your first flight, but you can’t avoid obstacles like DJI’s more expensive drones.

The good news is that it takes good videos and photos, and it’s light enough to fly without registration in many countries (sadly not the UK).

Read the full review of DJI Mavic Mini

6. Parrot Anafi

Parrot Anafi

Strong Points

  • The camera can be tilted upwards

  • Shoot 4K HDR video


  • No obstacle avoidance

  • Some features behind paywalls

With a gimbal that can be tilted 90 degrees up and down, a battery that charges via USB-C, and the ability to record 4K HDR video, Anafi is a great alternative to some of DJI’s drones. On sale at a discounted price.

The problem is that there is no obstacle avoidance and some of the autopilot modes are locked behind the in-app purchase. This grate when you spend so much on a capable drone.

Read the full review of Parrot Anafi

7. DJI Phantom 4 Pro v2.0

DJI Phantom 4 Pro v2.0

Strong Points

  • The camera has a mechanical shutter

  • Shoot 4K60 video


  • It’s big, but it doesn’t fold

  • Not as portable as other drones

Reintroduced after a lack of components, the Phantom 4 Pro v2.0 is still one of DJI’s most capable drones. The main drawback is that it does not fold. Therefore, unlike the Mavic, it is almost non-portable.

Originally released in 2018, v2.0 is still holding up in terms of specs. It records 4K video at up to 60fps, but the main attraction is the mechanical shutter. Indeed, this really only benefits if you want to use a drone for mapping (Photogrammetry), but DJI’s other consumer drones do not have mechanical shutters.

In addition to OcuSync 2.0HD for sending images to the remote control, it has 5-way obstacle detection and 4-way avoidance functions.

If you’re looking for the specific features offered here and don’t need portability instead, Phantom is a good choice.

Drone buying guide

Some people just want to fly for fun, but most want the drone to take aerial photos and videos. And if you want to make them something good, you’ll have to spend the money on your midrange smartphone. I’ve never seen a cheaper drone deliver stable, high-quality video.

It includes higher prices, better cameras and more features (such as obstacle avoidance) because you tend to get what you pay for with a drone.

Flight time and range

Best drone 2020

Flight times vary greatly and have nothing to do with price. The Mavic Mini is DJI’s cheapest drone, but it will fly for up to 30 minutes when charged.

Don’t pay too much attention to the range. It sounds great to be able to fly a few kilometers away, but most local laws (including the UK) require you to keep your drone in sight at all times. Useful for long-range claims is that these drones deal much better with radio interference, unlike short-range models, which may lose connectivity to the controller or have choppy video feeds. It means that you need to.

Very small and light drones can be blown by the wind, so they need to be equipped with GPS. This allows the drone to automatically hover in place. Also look for wind speeds that the drone can withstand. The slower the speed, the calmer you have to wait before flying.


Rarely with most of the following drones, the possibility of a crash is clear. Almost every drone comes with a full set of spare propellers, but two rotate counterclockwise and the other pair rotates clockwise, so there are only two spares for each pair of spindles. There is none.

Check first if spare parts for a particular drone are readily available and their prices.


Not all drones come with a camera. You don’t need a camera because you need to keep the drone in your line of sight while you fly it.

At the cheapest end of the price scale, you should choose at least 1080p (1920 x 1080). Keep in mind that, as always, you can’t just trust the spec. Read our review to find out how good each drone’s camera is. Bitrates are also important for video details. DJI Mini2’s 4K video is impressive because it can record at up to 100Mbps. The old Mavic Mini was limited to 40Mbps.

Also, only if you buy a drone with a gimbal, you will get smooth and stable images. This is a stable mount for the camera that keeps the camera stable when the drone tilts or moves around.

Some drones record video directly to a microSD card, while others record it from a remote control or wirelessly to a smartphone. Direct recording is usually more reliable and of higher quality because you don’t have to send the video before you record it.

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