All I Want For Christmas Is A Drone :: 5 Best Drones This Year For Birthday Gifts For Christmas

Drones for gifts

UPDATED :  

Drones are set to be THE hottest Christmas gift this summer. We've been flight testing a bunch of them around the office and the park to bring you a hand-picked lineup of some of the best Ready To Fly (RTF) stocking fillers.


PARROT HYDROFOIL REVIEW

Parrot's latest mini drone doesn't just fly, it morphs into a boat-copter hydrofoil. True to the Parrot brand, this mini drone is all about fun. Snap the palm sizes quad copter into its sleek awesome looking plastic hydrofoil hull and it provides your power and steering.

You're not going to want to take it out to the beach as a wave will trash it unless there's no swell, but in a pool or any flat water this little transformer drone is a lot of fun. You control it with your smart phone or tablet like all Parrot drones, which means its range is only about 20m, and there's no return to home.

So if you don't fancy swimming to recover it, make sure it doesn't get out of range or run out of battery! Great fun for the family and an awesome Xmas gift for any kid, big or small.

PARROT HYDROFOIL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Wingspan 150mm (not including hydrofoil)
Flight Time 7-9 minutes
Controller Your own smart phone or tablet
Price $240

  See product listing: PARROT HYDROFOIL FOR SALE


BLADE INDUCTRIX REVIEW

With the props housed in ducting, this nano quad looks wicked. Flying experience is what matters the most, though, and the Inductrix delivers there too!

For such a small quad it handles superbly and is very stable. You can fly aggressively and it's quite forgiving.

"Actual size at 10cm edge to edge"

Fly it passively and it floats and hovers with ease. It offers a few different flight modes so you can build your skills.

Unlike a lot of nano quads it also comes with a decent comfortable size transmitter/controller. It's quiet and loads of fun. Highly recommended. Our pick for best nano!

BLADE INDUCTRIX TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Wingspan 100mm
Flight Time 6-8 minutes
Controller 2.4GHz supplied
Price $129.99

  See product listing: BLADE INDUCTRIX FOR SALE


HOBBYZONE ZUGO REVIEW

A bit bigger than the Inductrix and with a soft rubber/plastic shell and prop guards, this is a step up in size, weight and power. The body is durable and in flight feels more stable in a bit of breeze.

It can handle a bit of outdoor action and being knocked around. The Zugo features a special training mode that makes your controls operate relative to the pilot location, regardless of aircraft direction.

A nice feature to learn on before you master nose-in flying. It also has a built in camera which is a nice bonus, and the quality isn't too bad.

It doesn't let you see the video as you're flying, though, so you have to record it and watch later, but it works. Loads of fun, you won't be disappointed.

HOBBYZONE ZUGO TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Wingspan 160mm
Flight Time 5-7 minutes
Controller 2.4GHz supplied
Price $129.99

  See product listing: HOBBYZONE ZUGO FOR SALE


PHANTOM 3 REVIEW

This one is for the big boys. It has all the bells and whistles. Rock solid stabilisation outside or inside, super easy to fly even for beginners, amazing flight times and a very capable 3-axis stabilised camera that shoots photos and video at a semi-professional level.

The controller integrates with your smart phone or tablet to give you the best pilot interface you can get at the moment in any drone.

We reviewed this drone in the last issue of Drone Magazine and we can vouch for its incredible value for money and long list of features.

PHANTOM 3 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Wingspan 590mm (not including hydrofoil)
Flight Time 15-20 minutes
Controller 2.4GHz supplied
Price $1699+

  See product listing: PHANTOM 3 FOR SALE


BLACK WIDOW 260 FPV RACER REVIEW

This RTF racing drone is really great value if you want something built to be quick so you can up your flight skills. The frame has slightly upswept arms, making for faster speeds and better stability, and it comes with some pretty awesome motors with tonnes of power on tap.

It includes a pretty sweet transmitter too, with features found in more high end systems. It's all pre-configured, pre-tuned, tested and delivered in a neat case making it easy to transport.

It doesn't come with goggles or a camera, they are options you will need to add yourself if you want to fly FPV (First Person View). We did some flight testing line-of-sight and found it pretty darn quick out of the box. Swap the props for some 5" bullnoses and it's a rocket.

It's a great frame for ACRO too if you want to learn flips and rolls etc, just switch the controller to RATE mode and let loose. It even has a RATTITUDE mode pre configured, which is a cross between ATT and RATE mode, making flips a breeze. Bucket loads of fun for pilots at any level at a hard to beat price.

BLACK WIDOW 260 FPV RACER SPECIFICATIONS
Wingspan 260mm (not including hydrofoil)
Flight Time 4-7 minutes depending on flying style
Controller 2.4GHz supplied
Price $262

  See product listing: BLACK WIDOW 260 FPV RACER FOR SALE