Best drones to buy in 2019 – top picks from brands including DJI, Parrot and Xiro
While drones were once saved for skilled cinematographers, the gadgets have slowly but surely become more mainstream.
The flying gadgets capture stunning footage from unique angles, and can transform the way you record your activities.
But with hundreds of different brands and models now available to buy, it can be difficult to know which is the best for you.
To help, we've put together a list of the 10 best drones to buy in 2019, including big name brands like DJI, Parrot and Xiro.
1. DJI Mavic Air
The DJI Mavic Air is an ultra portable drone that can be folded down to the size of a smartphone, making it perfect for using on the move.
As well as taking horizontal, vertical and 180 degree footage, the drone also stitches together 25 photos to create stunning 32MP sphere panoramas.
Videos can be shot at either 4K 30 fps, or in slow-mo mode at 120 fps, helping to capture dynamic scenes in stunning quality.
As well as a Micro SD slot, the drone has 8 GB of internal storage, letting you save photos and videos directly to the device – which is perfect, should you forget your memory card.
If you don’t fancy flying the drone yourself, you can also put it in ActiveTrack mode, in which it will sense up to 16 subjects, and the drone will track them on its own.
Price: £769, Apple – buy here now
2. Parrot Bebop 2
Like the DJI Mavic Air, the Parrot Bebop 2 is a compact and lightweight option.
The drone weighs just 500g, and can autonomously fly and film for 25 minutes.
It has a wide-angle 14 megapixel lens and films in full HD, resulting in stunning images even in low-light.
Despite being small, the Parrot Bebop is built for speed, and can reach top speeds of 37.28 miles/hour horizontally, and 13.05 miles/hour vertically.
Users can control the drone through an app, which is accessible on smartphones or tablets.
Price: £351.42, Amazon – buy here now
3. Syma X5SC
One of the best drones available for people on a strict budget is the Syma X5SC, which retails at just under £40.
The drone is equipped with 6-axis flight control systems and 3D lock, enhancing the operation force with longer flight time.
One of the most fun features is 360 rolling, which allows the drone to loop the loop while still filming.
Colourful flashing lights on the base of the drone also make it easy to spot in the sky.
The only downside to the budget drone is the flying time of just six to eight minutes, which could prove problematic for long shoots.
Price: £36.90, Amazon – buy here now
4. DJI Spark
Spark is a mini drone that features all of DJI’s signature technologies in a palm-sized device.
One of the best features is FaceAware, in which the drone lifts off from your hand by recognising your face.
Users can also control how the drone moves using either hand movements or through an accompanying smartphone app, removing the need for a controller.
Like DJI’s Mavic Air, the Spark also has ActiveTrack mode, in which it will sense up to 16 subjects, and the drone will track them on its own.
Price: £499, Amazon – buy here now
5. Xiro Explorer V
This drone has an innovative modular design that can be assembled in seconds, and means the drone is easy to pack away and move around.
It has a flying time of 25 minutes, and can reach speeds of eight metres/second and heights of 120 metres.
The HD camera has excellent image quality for both photos and videos, or users have the option to seamlessly attach their own GoPro, for a different style of shot.
Price: £453.80, Ebay – buy here now
6. ZeroTech Dobby
As Harry Potter fans might have guessed from its name, the ZeroTech Dobby is a pocket-sized drone.
The compact device weighs just 199g and can be folded down to fit in your pocket, but still has many of the same features as larger drones.
An app is used to control the drone, helping you to easily launch, fly and land the device. Footage captured can then be reviewed on the app and shared through social media.
In terms of camera, Dobby can capture 4K 1080P videos, and 1300P images.
This drone would be perfect for people looking for a compact option to use on the go.
Price: £155, Amazon – buy here now
7. Parrot Mambo
Parrot describes its Mambo drone as ‘my first FPV drone’, which is perfect for people keen to enter the world of drone racing.
The tiny drone can fit in the palm of your hand, and has a first-person view (FPV) camera on board.
Users can wear the accompanying Parrot Cockpitglasses 2 headset and view the FPV footage in real time, plunging you into the world of drone racing.
The drone has three flight modes – easy mode, which keeps your drone in the air even if you let go of the controls, drift mode, which turns the horizontal stabilization off and lets you to make tight turns, and finally Racing mode, in which you have complete control of the drone without any stabilization assistance.
Price: £145.27, Amazon – buy here now
Best Tech Products
8. Holy Stone HS110G GPS FPV Drone
The Holy Stone has some amazing features with a pretty desirable price tag too at under £136.
It's battery life isn't the longest we've seen at 13 minutes, but is still a fair amount of time to capture what you need to.
The Holy Stone has a high performance camera that shoots in Full HD 1080p it also has a 110 degree wide angle lens to make sure you capture all of the scenery and not just parts of it.
Smart GPS on this gadget allow it to return back to the point of which it has taken off, whenever it loses power or control.
Price: £135.99, Amazon – buy here now
9. Parrot Anafi
The Anafi is a tiny portable "flying camera" that comes in a case alongside an Xbox-style controller that connects to your smartphone to fly the drone.
Parrot says it is aiming for a product that can be used by both newbies and professionals without any faffing around.
That means it's incredibly easy to set up and fly while the more intricate settings (such as ISO levels for the camera) are easily accessible in the app should you choose to go looking for them.
The Anafi is a brilliantly compact package. It weighs only 320g, making it 100g lighter than its chief rival, the DJI Mavic Air and the four quadcopter arms fold out with a satisfying click. A single press of the button on the battery pack and the drone will power on an align its camera ready for flight.
Flight time is an impressive 25 minutes on each charge. You can read our full review of the Parrot Anafi here.
Price: £628, Argos – buy here now
10. RYZE Tello Drone
If you're looking for something a little more at beginner's level – the RUZE Tello drone is a great suggestion with an even better asking price.
Admittedly, as it is described as a 'starting drone' it doesn't have some of the fancy features of the bigger name models. However, if you're just using it for decent quality photos from angles you usually wouldn't be able to capture them, there's nothing not to love about this.
The compact size is ideal for carrying around with you on days out, although it doesn't fold like some of the others – it's still a fairly transportable size.
The camera resolution is decent at 720p, the footage shot is nice and stable as this drone is a breeze to fly. For under £100 it's really not bad at all.
Price: £94, Argos – buy here now