Best Remote Control Helicopter Reviews: 5 Copters to Try This Year

In these best remote control helicopter reviews, you can find five products that remain relatively beginner-friendly while still satisfying most of the hardcore RC flight toy enthusiasts.  They range from the $140 variety to ones falling well under $30, and some even come equipped with an onboard camera.  What they all have in common is fairly good handling and performance when compared to their competitors, as well as a good value-for-price score.

Holy Stone RC Drone with HD Camera

Fitted with an HD camera, this remote-controlled copter can take photos with a 1280x720p resolution and record videos at 30FPS. There are 2 batteries packed into the box to allow you to switch out the drained batteries for fresh ones when on excursions.  It has 6-axis Gyro stabilization built into it, a 2.4G remote transmitter, and 4 protection frames for the blades.

Pros

  • Cheap for its specs
  • Durable
  • Comes with 2 batteries in the bundle

Cons

  • Inconsistent battery quality control

Conclusion:

This is a fantastic copter for a mere $90 considering it comes with two batteries that can give you up to eight minutes each and a 2-megapixel camera with an SD card.  It doesn’t look half bad either and the small LED light at the head helps you figure out which way is front once it starts putting some distance between you two.

There are a few quirks to deal with: like the vast majority of RC copters, it’s very weak to wind interference, and some have also reported one of their paired batteries seeming to take longer than the other to charge.  But for less than $100, this remains one of the best camera copters you can get right now.

Hubsan X4 Quadcopter with FPV Camera

This lightweight quadcopter has a 6-axis flight control system and adjustable gyro sensitivity.  A 0.3 megapixel camera on the copter transmits a live video feed to the controller, which has a 640×480 LCD screen.  The battery can charge in as little as 30 minutes and delivers around seven minutes of flight time.

Pros

  • Live video feed can be very useful for quick scouting flights
  • Good control range (up to 100m)
  • Small size (about 4in across) makes it capable of indoor flight

Cons

  • LCD screen takes up a lot of the juice on the transmitter’s (not the drone’s) battery
  • Not really possible to steer using the LCD screen as your visual guide

Conclusion:

This is a great little copter for the price.  Not only do you get a sturdy RC quadcopter for your $142, but you also get probably the best quadcopter controller on the market at this price range.  The transmitter on this Hubsan has a relatively large LCD screen that takes a live video feed from the copter’s camera.  The mere practical applications give it serious value—you can use the copter to check out your roof, for instance, or the state of your gutters.  Just keep in mind that you won’t be using the feed as your steering guide any time soon; it doesn’t give you too wide of an angle of vision, so you’ll likely crash the copter if you try piloting it that way.

Estes 4606 Proto X Nano RC Quadcopter

This is a mini-quadcopter with Gyro stabilization and LED lights on the body.  It is designed for indoor use and measures about 2 inches across.  It charges using a USB cable charger for its integrated rechargeable battery.

Pros

  • Decent flight time for such a small battery (up to six minutes per charge)
  • LED lights on the body flash when your batteries are low
  • Uses a 2.4GHz transmitter for remote control despite being an indoor toy

Cons

  • Control sticks are a bit stiff to start with
  • Battery is neither removable/swappable nor replaceable

Conclusion:

If you’re in the market for an RC copter that you can practically store in your pocket, this is a great product to consider.  It’s small, zippy, and beautifully responsive, even if the controller itself does feel a bit on the stiff side out of the box.  The quadcopter itself is all butter, though; smooth and easy to move along and fortunately equipped with 2.4GHz radio control technology so you don’t technically need line of sight with it at all times.  It’s a great buy at only $30, although one does wish the battery could be removed so spare ones could be bought and kept charged for longer flight sessions.

Syma S108G

This 3.5-channel RC helicopter comes with Gyro technology for more stable flight.  It can run as long as eight minutes on a charge and can be controlled at a distance of up to 10m.  It is for indoor usage and comes with a spare tail blade.

Pros

  • Cool, military helicopter appearance
  • Quite robust
  • Decent battery time for its size (a charge lasts about 10 minutes)

Cons

  • Doesn’t hold up well to any sort of wind interference

Conclusion:

If what you want is a full-on mini-helicopter, this is the one to check out.  It looks like a lot of the old military copters (complete with missiles, even if they are non-functional) and actually flies rather like them, too.  It’s pretty stable, thanks to the Gyro technology, although learning how to land it properly may take you a while.

It’s also prone to spiral out of control when any sort of wind comes near it, so you may have to turn off the air conditioning or fans when you use it.  Still, it’s surprisingly sturdy, and is pretty cheap at $23.  At that price, you can crash it quite a bit and still not cry over it if it does crack somewhere.

Syma X11

This Syma model operates on a 4-channel frequency and uses 6-axis stabilization.  A prop guard is included in the package, as are a pair of spare props.  The battery gives up to seven minutes of flight time on a full charge.

Pros

  • Cheap (only $22)
  • Easy to maneuver, especially for flips
  • Very sturdy

Cons

  • Needs an alarm system for when the battery gets low

Conclusion:

This quadcopter is surprisingly durable despite its low price tag.  It also flies quite well, probably because of its small size. It will beat most of the bigger quadcopters where stability is concerned.  It’s too bad the battery doesn’t give more flight time—you might get only 5 minutes out of it if you do a lot of 360s and the like—but again, it’s hard to really be annoyed by it considering the price.

Summary

Best buy here is a toss-up between the Hubsan X4 and the Holy Stone.  Both are great, camera-equipped models and perform beautifully enough that you know you’re getting more than your money’s worth from them.  Of course, they won’t really fit the bill if you’re on a super-thin budget and aren’t buying for someone who absolutely needs a camera on his copter.

If that’s the case, the Syma X11 is probably the best option here.  It’s dirt-cheap, reasonably tough, and smooth-flying.

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