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Best kids drones 2020: perform stunts and take aerial selfies with the top kids drones

TechRadar logo TechRadar 1/3/2020 Chris Barnes
a person throwing a frisbee: Best kids drones © Provided by TechRadar Best kids drones

The best kids drones are easy to fly, with simple controls that can be picked up in seconds, and are often much, much cheaper than pro-level drones and more beginner-focused cheap drones. They make thrilling Christmas gifts and birthday presents, and, depending on the model you choose, some can be safely flown indoors and outdoors, while others are best flown outside exclusively.

If you’re a parent or guardian reading this, we suspect your little ones have seen your pricey camera drone in action and are desperate to fly it themselves. Quite rightly so, you're probably nervous about handing over the controls to a minor, but luckily the best kids drones offer plenty of great features.

These types of smaller quadcopters, including toy drones, are some of the cheapest on the market. As such, they usually focus on just a few key features – as opposed to the bells and whistles of top-end models such as the DJI Mavic Air – but this makes them ideal for little flyers.

In this guide we’ll walk you through what the best kids drones offer in terms of features, performance and safety, so that you can make the right choice for the little one you are buying for.

Best kids drones: our expert pick

  • When first learning to pilot a drone, your kid’s needs will be basic. That said, there are a few essentials that can really help novice pilots: built-in stabilisation is great for steadier flights and greater flying confidence, and single button take-off and landing takes care of two tricky manoeuvres. Many drones at this level also feature Altitude Hold mode, which keeps the drone in the air even if you release the controls.
  • You’ll find the best balance of features and performance with the Altair AA108. The drone delivers plenty of features to help beginners develop, including three flight skill levels and the aforementioned Altitude Hold mode. The 720p wide angle camera up front means kids can start developing their aerial photography skills, too.

How to choose the best kids drone

Not all drones for kids are created equal, so it’s wise to consider a few key points before buying one. For starters, will your child be flying their drone outdoors as well as at home? If so, you’ll need something a little bigger, more powerful and more stable so playtime doesn’t end prematurely due to a gust of wind.

Other great features to consider investing in are Altitude Hold mode, designed to keep the drone airborne without controller input, auto landing and take-off functions and gyroscopic stabilisation.

Some of the best drones for kids are designed for more than just flying. Take a look at the stunt-tastic JoyGeek Mini Drone, for example, or the laser-equipped Holy Stone HS177 battle drone — a great bit of added entertainment to keep the kids occupied. 

The more you spend, the more additional features you’ll unlock, such as an on-board camera, the ability to beam a first-person camera view to your smartphone, and crash-proof construction.

There are hundreds of kids drones to to choose from, but the brands we’ve selected in this guide, such as Hubsan, UDI and Holy Stone, have a solid reputation in terms of performance, reliability and build quality.

The best kids drones to buy now

Best kids drones 2019: Altair AA108 © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best kids drones 2019: Altair AA108

1. Altair AA108 Kids Drone

The best kids drone that’s fun-size yet rocking grown-up smarts

FPV: Yes | Battery: 10 minutes | Age range: 14+

Easy to fly
Great 720p camera
Resembles more ‘grown up’ drones

If your child has been looking at your full-sized drone with rapacious eyes, but you’re apprehensive about letting them loose on such a powerful machine, the AA108 packs top-end styling but with enough features to ensure it’s a safe and fun drone for learning the piloting basics. No wonder it’s our top pick for the best drone for kids.

One touch take-off and landing takes the stress out of getting airborne, and Headless and Altitude Hold modes mean the drone won’t drop out of the sky or unwittingly fly out of range; Fixed propeller guards are on hand to protect people and surroundings.

The AA108 is a drone to progress with, too: the FlyingSee companion app introduces new pilots to custom flight paths - send the drone automatically along a specific route traced on your smartphone screen - and the 120 degree wide angle 720p camera is a great starting point for developing aerial photography skills.

a close up of a logo: (Image credit: Oaxis) © Provided by TechRadar (Image credit: Oaxis)

2. Oaxis myFirst Drone

The best kids drone for younger children

FPV: No | Battery: 7 mins | Age range: 4+

Safe to use
Easy to use
Great for outdoors play

The Oaxis myFirst Drone is the ideal starter drone for younger children, as it's simple to use and safe to fly – the little propellers are housed inside a cage design, so they're enclosed while the drone is in flight. 

This affordable kids drone, available in blue and in pink, uses Air Hover tech and self-flying modes to ease your child into flying a drone. There's an altitude sensor, which enables the drone to hover at a maximum height of three meters for your peace of mind. 

To use it, just switch it on and throw it upwards and the drone will take it from there. Flight time is seven minutes per battery charge (charging time is 40 minutes), with Air Bounce tech bringing the drone down very slowly and safely.

(Image credit: Press) © Provided by TechRadar (Image credit: Press)

3. Potensic Mini Drone for Kids

The best kids drone for indoor use and in the garden

FPV: No | Battery: 7 minutes | Age range: 14+

Ultra-small and easy to transport
Protected blades
Easy to control

This ultra-small drone is ideal for use in the home. Small enough to traverse bits of furniture and fly through the rooms of your house with ease. The Potensic Mini Drone for Kids features a special battery slot to avoid kids from getting near. It also features full blade guards to help prevent fingers from getting injured if they get too close.

When it comes to flight, there's a heading hold mode that ensures the controls always stay the same and a handy one-button take-off and landing option. This is a great drone for having fun around the home for both the kids and the entire family. 

Best kids drones 2019: Hubsan Nano Q4 SE Quadcopter © Provided by TechRadar Best kids drones 2019: Hubsan Nano Q4 SE Quadcopter

4. Hubsan Nano Q4 SE Quadcopter

The best kids drone in a small package

FPV: No | Battery: 3 minutes | Age range: 14+

Effortlessly portable
Built-in stabilization system
Fast charging time

If space is an issue and your little one is only going to be flying indoors, look no further than Hubsan’s tiny, lightweight Q4 SE Nano drone. The quadcopter is stowed within the controller itself, making it one neat package. 

A 6-axis stabilization system keeps the pocket-sized flyer stable in the air and flip and roll maneuvers can be performed easily by pushing down on the controller’s throttle stick.

Flight time may be limited to just three minutes, but the Nano Q4 SE charges in just 30 minutes so you’ll be ready to return to the skies quickly.

a close up of a motorcycle: (Image credit: Press) © Provided by TechRadar (Image credit: Press)

5. Holy Stone DEERC170 Predator Mini RC Quadcopter

This kids drone is ace little ones wanting to improve their flight skills

FPV: No | Battery: 6-8 mins | Age range: 14+

Easy to fly
Advanced stabilisation
45-60 minute charge times

One of the biggest issues for kids, when they start to fly drones, is control. Essentially understanding how the controls flip depending on whether the drone is going away from them or coming back. 

The Holy Stone DEERC170 Predator has some smart technology that fixes the drones controls to the controller rather than the head of the drone. This headless mode means that left on the controller will always be left on the drone no matter which direction it's pointing. 

A great drone for new flyers, with 6-axis stabilisation aiding stable flight, and fun modes such as flip and roll.

a pair of sunglasses on a table: (Image credit: Press) © Provided by TechRadar (Image credit: Press)

6. Parrot Airborne Night Drone Maclane

The best kids drone for keeping budding pilots entertained in the evenings

FPV: No | Battery: 9 minutes | Age range: 14+

Night flight features
One button tricks
Freefall mode

Looking for something different then the Parrot Airborne Night Drone Maclane is certainly a break from standard kids drones. Designed for night flying this compact drone comes equipped with lights and ultrasound that make it easy to see and fly after dark.

Parrot Airborne Night Drone is packed with fun features including flip and roll. There's even a spectacular freefall feature that cuts the engines and lets you to restart and recover mid-flight. 

It also comes with a built-in camera so your kids can capture selfie's or replay your flying acrobatics.

(Image credit: Press) © Provided by TechRadar (Image credit: Press)

7. ProFlight Orbit Folding Camera Drone

An ingenious design makes this THE kids drone ideal for travel fun

FPV: Yes | Battery: 12 | Age range: 14+

Folds down and easy to carry
Long flight times
Shoots 360º footage

Drones, even small ones, can be difficult to transport, but not the ProFlight Orbit. The foldable arms see the drone pack up to the same size and shape as a standard sports bottle making it easy to pack away and transport without the worry of a propeller or arm becoming damaged.

This drone is all about fun and with features such as the autonomous hands-free follow me mode and programmable flight paths there's plenty to keep the kids entertained. At this price, it's surprising to see GPS technology, which enables the advanced flight modes.

A built-in camera will allow your kids to capture stunning 1080p video footage of your summer adventures.

The combination of the orbit flight modes and the high-resolution camera will enable your kids to shoot striking 360º footage that you can share with family and friends. 

(Image credit: Press) © Provided by TechRadar (Image credit: Press)

8. Syma X5C Drone

This nifty kids drone has a cool go-slow mode

FPV: Yes | Battery: 7 Minutes | Age range: 14+

Slow mode for starting out
Built-in camera with FPV ability
Good stabilisation

It takes time to master the controls of a drone, and while many drones are designed to be kid-friendly, the Syma X5C takes things one step further with a handy slow mode.

Once switched, the powerful built-in 6-axis stabilisation holds the drone steady in the air enabling anyone to take control of the flight without fear that this drone will speed off into the distance.

As well as the simple to use flight modes, there's also a built-in camera that enables you to get a POV perspective from the drone itself.

a close up of a bicycle: Best kids drones 2019: UDI RC U27 © Provided by TechRadar Best kids drones 2019: UDI RC U27

9. UDI RC U27

An ideal kids starter drone with plenty of tricks up its sleeve

FPV: No | Battery: 7 minutes | Age range: 7+

Master 180 flips
3 speed controls for beginner, intermediate and advanced flyers

With its three modes, beginners can learn well within their means. Mode 1 provides maximum stability while they learn the ropes. They can advance to Mode 2 for medium speed and Mode 3 for all its tricks, bells and whistles.

Headless Mode, which is actually a help, not a hindrance, means no adjustment to the aircraft is required before flying, making it even easier for beginners to grasp the basics. Add the fact that it’s got cool flashy lights and you have yourself a massive hit. 

Best kids drones 2019: JoyGeek Mini Drone © Provided by TechRadar Best kids drones 2019: JoyGeek Mini Drone

10. JoyGeek Mini Drone

The best kids drone that’s crash-proof and capable of nifty stunts

FPV: No | Battery: 5 minutes | Age range: 12+

Easy to fly
Performs cool stunts
Fly indoors or out

The Joygeek Mini Drone is one of the smallest and toughest UAVs on this list, making it supremely portable and unlikely to falter in the event of a crash.

To make life easier on newbie pilots, only a single button push is required to bring the drone in to land, and a built-in positioning system keeps things stable in the air, improving control. The drone also boasts high and low speed modes so you can start off slow as you learn to master basic controls.

Once you’ve earned your pilot’s wings, there are four fun 3D flip stunts to explore and cool LED lights for when you’re confident enough to try a night flight.

a close up of a device on a table: Best kids drones 2019: Air Hogs Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens Remote Control Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad © Provided by TechRadar Best kids drones 2019: Air Hogs Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens Remote Control Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad

11. Air Hogs Star Wars: RC Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad

Learn how to fly your very own Star Wars legend

FPV: No | Battery: 7-10 minutes | Age range: 8+

Replica of the Millennium Falcon
Yes, it comes with all the lights and sounds

Your child will literally be the coolest kid on the block when this thing comes out to play. You can fly it up to 200 feet away and it can do an awesome stunt trick with a simple press of a button.

The best bits are going to be the LED lights and sounds effects and it’s made from high density foam which means it’ll probably handle a few crash landings. With the only complaint being the short battery life (and that’s pretty much a given with drones anyway), we’re very certain that the Millenium Falcon will be a massive hit. 

Best kids drones 2019: Holy Stone HS177 battle drone © Provided by TechRadar Best kids drones 2019: Holy Stone HS177 battle drone

12. Holy Stone HS177 battle drone

Master drone control and aerial battles with this nippy kids drone

FPV: No | Battery: 9 minutes | Age range: 12+

Compact size
Three speed modes
Battle with other drones

Holy Stone make great drones for beginner pilots, and the HS177 is no exception. It boasts three speed modes to engage as your piloting skills develop and Attitude Hold means the drone will stay in the air if you take your hands off the controls. 

Once you’ve mastered solo flight, team up with another HS177 owner and you can engage in aerial combat; shoot your opponent with the drone’s infrared laser four times and they will plummet from the sky (don’t worry folks, in reality they land slowly and safely).

This drone has a range of between 30 and 50 metres from the controller, so you have plenty of room to practice maneuvers, flight paths and explore the drone’s 360 degree stunt capabilities.


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