- Xiaomi Mi 4K
This is the first drone I’ve owned where I have felt I can make quality video. Most importantly it has a 3-axis gimbal with a camera capable of shooting 4K video, with many other choices of resolution and frame speeds.
Usually it locks onto 15 to 18 GPS satellite signals which makes it extremely easy to fly, with accurate positioning. And as a bonus, it’s less than half the price of “professional” drones with similar features.
- Cheerson CX-23
I liked this drone so much I bought two. And lost two. The first I crashed into some trees in a dense forest and it disappeared; the second I managed to drop into a river.
I thought seriously about buying a third but, for me, it had one problem. The video quality was not what I was looking for. The camera is fixed, and has a maximum resolution of 1280x720px. If the drone is moving at a steady speed, whether upwards or forwards, the video is relatively stable, but any change in speed or direction produces extremely wobbly video.
However, with its GPS feature, it’s easy to fly. It’s about the size of a DJI Spark – i.e. small, and it’s cheap. I’m glad I owned one – well, two – and consider it a good training drone.
- Cheerson CX-35
For me, the CX-35 was a painful introduction to the pastime/hobby of drone flying. The nicest thing I can say is, I learned a lot.
Like the CX-23 I bought two. The first one never worked and I wasted hours trying to make it work. Eventually I agreed a refund with the supplier, which involved me keeping the drone, so I stripped it for spares.
The second one was temperamental and worked when it felt like it. It was in pieces more often than fully built. I still have drawers full of spares and could probably build another if I felt like it. But I don’t.
Without GPS it was a challenge to fly unless the air was completely motionless, the large brushed motors were constantly pulling in dust and sand, and overall it made me think seriously about giving up droning. I’m glad I didn’t.
- Eachine E-50
Any drone you have to fly using a mobile device as a controller is just a joke. It was uncontrollable. And when one day it had a mind of its own and flew off into the distance, I was relieved.
Cheap but useless.