The 5 Best Drones of 2024

Don’t buy before reading this article… We found the 5 best drones out of 26 different models
Oliver Robinson

Oliver Robinson

Oliver is TechRadar's Cameras editor, with over 15 years in the photo video industry and most of those in the world of tech journalism. Oliver has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with all things camera related.

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The development of drones has gained worldwide attention due to its wide range of applications and potential. With continuous technological advancements, the drone industry is moving towards more advanced, safer, and efficient directions. Our focus here is not on racing, industrial, or agricultural drones – our coverage is entirely centered on imaging and video. At the same time, we also pay attention to cost-effective drones. The drones we test are all ready-made models, so you can use them right out of the box.

When I advise others to buy a high-quality drone, people often ask me:

“But is it really worth it?”

If your purpose of purchasing a drone is only for aerial photography, travel photography, photography competitions, etc., then I suggest you buy a high-quality aerial drone. Low-end drones will not allow you to experience the joy of photography, and will bring you various troubles (hardware is easy to damage, poor camera quality, etc.), and even cost more money to maintain the equipment.

Continue reading our top drone picks that we have tested, as well as all the information you need to choose a model that suits your needs and budget.

We evaluate drones based on 8 criteria

Shooting quality

Battery Life

Versatility

Appearance design

Flight distance and altitude

price

safe and stable

GPS precise positioning

4 Reasons to Purchase a High-Quality Aerial Drone

When you are hiking or climbing in the wilderness, no one wants their drone to only fly for 10 minutes. Such a drone cannot perform to its full potential and is also prone to power failure and loss of control.

Generally, mid to high-end drones are equipped with 4K cameras, while better drones are equipped with 5.4K cameras. The number of pixels in a photo determines its clarity, which further affects the quality of the image. Low-pixel cameras can only capture blurry images in the air.

Even if you have never used a drone, you have to admit that they are cool. Drones can be used on social media and personal blogs to share experiences and achievements with others. Purchasing a drone can help people expand their social circle and possibly make more like-minded friends and partners.

Having a good flight distance and height determines the photographer's field of vision, like an eagle soaring in the sky, overlooking the earth. The better the flight distance and height, the more impressive works can be captured.

As someone who has tested many drones, I couldn’t help but do some calculations and found that most models from big brands actually have a price increase of 30%-50% for the sake of the brand itself.

Over the past 6 months I have discovered a new brand of drone that is not only better in almost every way, but also much cheaper!

Now, whether or not you feel the need to invest in a high-quality aerial photography drone, there are a few things you should generally pay attention to and avoid when investing in a new drone:

You Should Look For

Safety and stability are the primary considerations when choosing an aerial drone. After all, no matter how good the aerial camera is, how cool the design is, or how many aerial functions it has, if the flight is not safe and stable, everything becomes meaningless. Air stability is also an important factor in judging the quality of an aerial drone.

When choosing an aerial drone, we naturally hope to capture high-definition and delicate images and videos. For aerial drones, the camera resolution must be at least 4K or even 8K to ensure high-quality images at long distances.

The role of image transmission is to transmit real-time images from the drone's camera to the controller's smartphone or remote control screen. The effective distance and signal stability of image transmission also determine the drone's operating range, which is one of the important factors that affect our aerial experience.

Battery life is also an important factor to consider. After all, no one wants to worry about changing the battery after flying for a few minutes. However, due to the bottleneck of battery technology, the battery life of drones is usually not too long. The flight time of high-end drones is generally around 30 minutes.

You Should Avoid

To improve certain performance of aerial drones, a higher price difference is required. For example, increasing the flight distance by several hundred meters or having a better battery life may require an additional payment of one to two hundred dollars. Choose the drone with the best cost performance according to your own needs.

The maximum vertical height of a drone flight determines the effect of aerial photography. The higher the flight altitude, the better the works can be captured, just like an eagle overlooking beautiful scenery.

An excellent drone should have intelligent obstacle avoidance function, first to ensure safety, avoid causing harm to others, and secondly to increase the lifespan of the drone.

Modern high-end drones need to be equipped with GPS function to ensure the safety of the drone. GPS provides accurate positioning and intelligent return function. GPS makes it feasible to remotely control the flight.

The 5 Best Drones of 2024

We’ve tested 26 different drones over the past 6 months. These 5 models are the best, based on our expert opinions and consumer reviews

818 Votes 9.5/10

$164

A+

TOTAL RESULTAT

TOTAL GRADE

Shooting quality

0%

9.7/10

Battery Life

0%

9.4/10

Flight distance and altitude

0%

9.0/10

Appearance design

0%

9.6/10

Price

0%

9.8/10

PROS

CONS

Review

Drxon drone V168 is a cost-effective, high-quality drone. Most popular due to its excellent price-performance ratio, comprehensive features, and excellent shooting capabilities. We were surprised to be able to purchase such a quality drone at such a low price. It’s just like the purpose of this team: to build the best drone at the best price.

The Drxon drone V168 has excellent battery life. Weighing less than 249g, this means users do not need to authenticate themselves or pass an exam to use the drone. GPS positioning ensures the safety of drone flight, supports one-click return, intelligent obstacle avoidance, trajectory flight, low-battery return and other functions. It has the advantages of low noise and high burst. Beyond this, what’s exciting is that it also has an 8K HD camera.

Drxon has created a product that packs cutting-edge technology and the most practical features, and we have this New Zealand brand to thank for it.

302 Votes 9.0/10

$1080

A-

TOTAL RESULTAT

TOTAL GRADE

Shooting quality

0%

9.2/10

Battery Life

0%

9.0/10

Flight distance and altitude

0%

9.5/10

Appearance design

0%

9.1/10

Price

0%

8.4/10

PROS

CONS

Review

The Mini 4 Pro is a powerful ultra-lightweight drone in the market and is also a popular product of Mini 4 Pro. When using the standard battery, it weighs only 249g, so you do not need to register with the FAA.

It has intelligent obstacle avoidance function, automatic flight mode, and a Quad Bayer camera with 4K60 HDR video, which makes the feature set more complete. It has a stylish appearance, but the price is also high.

It may be one of the best drones under 249g, but it still has some drawbacks: some users report that the battery life is short and of poor quality. At the same time, the 4K camera may not meet the needs of high-quality photography. The image quality may not be ideal in low-light environments and needs to be used under good lighting conditions.

456 Votes 8.7/10

$1004

B+

TOTAL RESULTAT

TOTAL GRADE

Shooting quality

0%

9.5/10

Battery Life

0%

8.5/10

Flight distance and altitude

0%

8.3/10

Appearance design

0%

8.9/10

Price

0%

8.5/10

PROS

CONS

Review

The Air 2S camera is equipped with a large Type 1 (also known as 1 inch) sensor, which can capture better 20MP still photos than the Mini series drones. It supports 5.4K30 and 4K60 videos with HDR, Flat, or Standard profiles.

Powerful safety features are also here, including GPS positioning, obstacle sensors, ADS-B that warns you of nearby manned aircraft, and a 30-minute battery life.

However, there are still some reported disadvantages, such as poor battery life that some customers have complained about, and users need longer battery life. The Air 2S camera sensor is relatively small, which may affect its performance in low-light conditions, and the flight range is limited by signal strength and terrain, which may limit its use in certain environments. It is also difficult for beginners to use, and it is expensive.

512 Votes 8.4/10

$1152

B-

TOTAL RESULTAT

TOTAL GRADE

Shooting quality

0%

9.5/10

Battery Life

0%

9.2/10

Flight distance and altitude

0%

8.0/10

Appearance design

0%

7.8/10

Price

0%

7.8/10

PROS

CONS

Review

Autel Evo Lite+ is equipped with a Type 1 sensor camera, which boasts image quality that rivals that of the Air 2S. This foldable drone can fly for approximately 40 minutes on a single charge and features three-way obstacle sensors to prevent aerial accidents.

Although the flight time of Autel Evo Lite+ is already longer than some other drone products, it is still relatively short compared to some high-end products.

Autel Evo Lite+ is a powerful drone, but with its high price tag, most people would prefer to choose a DJIdrone instead. It supports a 6k high-definition camera, but the flight and control distance are relatively short, and the stability of the camera still needs improvement.

521 Votes 8.0/10

$808

B-

TOTAL RESULTAT

TOTAL GRADE

Shooting quality

0%

8.5/10

Battery Life

0%

8.0/10

Flight distance and altitude

0%

7.9/10

Appearance design

0%

8.0/10

Price

0%

7.8/10

PROS

CONS

Review

The Autel Evo Nano+ is incredibly small and can easily fit into a pocket or backpack, making it perfect for outdoor travel and exploration. With a large sensor and bright lens, our tests have shown that its camera performance is superior to that of the Mini 2, supporting the creation of 4K30p videos.

It has basic obstacle avoidance and automatic return functions. However, in bright sunlight, it can sometimes issue false proximity warnings, and its body feels less sturdy than the Lite+.

Since our first drone review, the Autel flight application has improved significantly. However, there are still issues with unstable cameras and poor shooting quality. Although it weighs less than 249g, it did not perform well in strong wind conditions. Our tests found that the noise during flight was louder than the four drones mentioned above.

Overall, the Autel Evo Nano+ is an alternative to DJIdrones.