Remote control toys are a great way to tempt older kids and teenagers out of their bedrooms and in to the great outdoors. With it being a really popular toy and lots coming on the market, the best toy drones for kids might be hard to figure out – hopefully this buyers guide will help.
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Drones, or quadcopters as they are sometimes known, are a really exciting and trendy toy to have at the moment which is great as it not only gets them outdoors, but also will help with hand to eye co-ordination too and if you get one with a camera could start a nice little project of making videos. They are similar but not quite like rc helicopters, but you may hear them referred to as such.
This is a fast moving tech environment so the makes and models do change frequently. I’ve updated this list as of January 2020 and I try and keep on top of it. It’s worth noting that all these are kids drones with a camera – it’s almost standard nowadays!
- 1 Best quadcopter under £100 comparison chart
- 2 What to look for when buying a drone
- 3 Best toy drones for kids – our reviews
- 4 RC flying safety
Best quadcopter under £100 comparison chart
I like to keep these items under £100 but prices do change regularly although in my experience they are coming down in general – click any of the links to see the latest price.
When looking for the best cheap drone or toy quadcopter for kids, it’s important to look at the features. This table should help you decide which is best for you and scroll down for more in depth reviews on each model.
|Name||Size (cm)||Flying / charging time (mins)||Camera||Price||Our Rating||Age|
Hubsan X4 Micro Quadcopter With Camera
|11 x 9 x 4||7 /40||Yes - 0.3 MP camera||£||4.5||14+|
|Syma X5SC-1||32 x 32 x 11||8 / 120||Yes - HD 720p||£||4.4||12+|
Parrot Mambo Quadcopter Mini Drone
|13.2 x 4.1 x 13.2||9 /30||Yes||££||4.8||14+|
|33.5 x 12.7 x 33.5||15 / 180||Yes - HD camera||£££||4.7||8+|
|12.2 x 9.4 x 5.7||5-7 / 80||Yes -||££||4.5||12+|
What to look for when buying a drone
You can get drones for kids that are RTF (ready to fly) or which require being built. In this article I’m looking at the best quadcopters on the market in 2020 that are ready to fly. If your child has an interest in building though, definitely consider moving on from the RTF drones and think about building your own – would be a great educational opportunity!
Images online can be deceiving. I’ve been caught out by this – I’ve looked at something, thought it looked great and a reasonable cost and then the size was smaller than my hand! Always check the dimensions of the drone you’re looking to buy. Look out for the words ‘micro’ or ‘nano’ when describing the drone.
Don’t be tempted to go for the fancy and expensive drones that run in to the £200+ range (like the DJI Mavic which is wayyyy above that price!), not yet. I mean you can, but always be aware that what goes up doesn’t necessarily come down easily and if you’re buying for children or looking for the best starter drone, then something that won’t cause as much heartache if it does crash is much better. Start small and affordable with children’s drones and build up.
Best toy drones for kids – our reviews
Hubsan X4 Micro Quadcopter With Camera
The first drone I’m looking at is the Hubsan X4 Micro Quadcopter, which is the smallest of the drones I’m looking at. It measures just 11cm at it’s widest point so would also be a good choice to fly indoors if you have the space.
It’s a camera drone and has a front mounted camera which can record video – you’ll need a micro SDHC card for it though.
For the price and the fact it doesn’t take an age to charge, I think this is an excellent starter drone.
Syma X5SC-1 Quadcopter with HD camera
This is the biggest of the drones in the cheapest price bracket and is a great choice – definitely one of the best value toy drones.
It does take 2 hours to charge for an 8 minute flying time, which is a shame, but the features on this one are great and for the price can’t be beat really. The camera comes with a 4GB memory card, although you’ll need some batteries for the remote controller.
Again, a strong contender if you’re looking for a drone for beginners.
Parrot Mambo Fly Quadcopter Mini Drone
I really like this new drone from Parrot – one of the leading brands in toy drones. What I like most is that they have added some cool accessories such as a grabber and a shooter. Just adds that little bit more fun to the whole thing – especially once you’ve got the hang of flying.
This drone has a good ratio of flying to charge time giving a 9 minute fly for a 30 minute charge. You can pilot it using an app for your smartphone too.
Not the cheapest around but lots of spare parts and accessories are available from this brand and it’s a reputable drone.
Drocon Traveler Beginner Drone
This is a great drone if you’re looking for something a little bit bigger – the dimensions of this one are 33.5 x 33.5 x 12.7 cm so it’s a good size and definitely not mini.
Although the charge time is up to 180 mins you do get a good 15 mins of flying time with this one. You can control it and get visuals from an app for your phone too.
It’s a great beginner drone and although it’s at the top of the budget quadcopters I’m looking at it’s a really good value toy. You get a lot for your money and it’s definitely starting to get in to the hobby category rather than just a toy – a good one for teenagers I think.
Tozo Q1012 Drone RC Quadcopter
This drone is a great option and I think it’s a really smart toy that would be perfect for adult beginners or teens – it doesn’t look like a kids toy!
The downside for me with this one is that even though its small it really doesn’t have much flying time compared to how long you have to charge it for. Again this one can be synced with an app for your phone which is definitely becoming more common lately. It’s really easy to learn to fly this one.
It does come highly regarded though with many great reviews.
RC flying safety
With the increased popularity of these remote control drones and flying toys, there has been some rules put in place by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) about how they can be used, especially as some come with cameras and videos attached. As a toy and with no commercial intent you should have no issues, but the rules about where to fly these drones should definitely be adhered to.
As a general rule I’d say to only fly them in open spaces such as a park or a field and always stay away from buildings and people. Also stay away from water while you’re learning to fly – you don’t want to lose it to the fishes!
Please take some time to check out the Dronecode on the CAA website here.