- Skill Level
Posted on September 03, 2014
Finding the best quadcopter for yourself can be a tough! Since there is so much information out there on quadcopters we wanted to help get all of that information in one location. You want to select the best quadcopter that suits your requirements and will be able to last you through more than a couple crashes!
We wanted to review the best quadcopters that are currently on the market that are larger and would be able to carry a GoPro. While we realize there are some many solid choices, we wanted to highlight some of the best quadcopters so far for 2014 that are ready to fly out of the box. We expect at least a few more to enter the market later this year for the holiday season.
#4 Walkera QR X350 ~$600 Ready to Fly
#4 on our list is the best quadcopter from Walkera, the Walkera QR x350. You will get between 10-15 minutes of flight time with quadcopter. From the manufacturer, "There are flight modes for every type of flyer, from the cinematographer capturing a sunset with the optional GoPro mount utilizing the smooth stabilized flight mode with GPS and altitude holding or a beginner that gets a little disorientated utilizing the “One Key to Home” feature." While these are the claims, the Walkera QR X350 doesn't always maintain altitude and tends to drift, even when properly calibrated. It's an okay platform but not nearly as stable and controllable as the other best quadcopters on our list.
Getting used to the controls can take some time, when you first give it some juice it can be slow to get moving and then will suddenly launch off in the intended direction. When you start flying this quadcopter, make sure you have a wide open space with a preferably soft landing material (grass). Its SAFE technology is a good idea, it's like an invisible fence to keep the quadcopter away from the operator -considering the spinning propellers, this is a great idea. As a platform for aerial video it serves alright but not as stable as some of the better quadcopters on this list. Something that really helps with this is a brushless gimbal of which not many are made for this quadcopter.
For what you get, it is a bit overpriced yet it is still reasonable for a good quadcopter of this size. It is easy to prepare it for flight out of the box, basically just put on the propellers, attach the landing gear and charge up the battery. The user manual is pretty good so just make sure you do all the calibrations that it tells you to before taking to the skies. The landing gear also tends to be a bit bouncy so make sure you are gentile on the landings.
Overall the Walkera QR x350 is a really solid choice and the price is right for what you get and why we put it on our list of the best quacopters. The other thing this quadcopter allows you to do is fly FPV from your GoPro so you will be able to see what the GoPro does. Some people like this and some don't as sometimes there can be a lag with the video feed. Do some research and see what makes the most sense for you! Check out the review on the video below and purchase here.
#3 Blade 350 QX ~$470 Ready to Fly
This is number 3 on our best quadcopter list. When the quadcopter flies, it flies alright and enjoyable to control. The FPV setup is a breeze since all you do is connect your GoPro to the FPV transmitter and you are definitely able to get some nice footage. Solid platform for mounting your GoPro although you will definitely need a gimbal in order to stabilize the video.
This best quadcopter definitely suffers from GPS and software glitches from time to time so we don't recommend you fly it out of your sight. Some of the highlights of this quad include that it is relatively inexpensive, you can mount multiple different types of cameras to the body and there are tons of aftermarket parts available. Some of the cons are that the battery last a relatively short amount of time, the GPS lock is not always the most reliable and it takes a lot of calibration to make sure the quadcopter is in working order.
While it is a bit inferior to the Phantom in terms of battery life, it makes up with price point. You will be looking at a few hundred dollars less for this quad but will need to purchase a gimbal separately. It has some great features like a super beginner mode where the quad actually knows what direction you are standing and the controls will work relative you. See more in the review below on how that works!
This is number 2 on our best quadcopter list. 3D Robotics is a great company that is actually out of California as opposed to the rest of the companies on the list. There are endless ways to customize this quadcopter with lots of different add ons so the price can vary accordingly. This best quadcopter is a big bigger than the other ones listed but is incredibly smooth and nimble during flight. There is also a lot more technology packed into this quadcopter so there is tons more data and features you can play with.
When starting off with the IRIS you are able to connect it to a tablet in order to program flights. There are ways to set it for certain courses and also make sure that you have GPS lock working in order to control it that way if desired. The software associated with this is actually really well done and anyone will be pleasantly surprised with it. Overall the forward and back motion is very smooth when maneuvering the quadcopter although we found the side to side was very snappy and not very fluid. This best quadcopter flies pretty well and after you get used to the controls there really aren't too many bad tendencies. The GPS mode is spot on. When you want, you can really control the whole quadcopter this way and it is amazing how accurate it is. This could be really great for farmers wanting to monitor crops or in any situation where you want a predetermined route for the quadcopter to follow.
This is one of the best quadcopters out there as It is well built, has a ton of features and has room for add-ons. This quadcopter is great but not quite the best one out there. It is, however, a great alternative to the best quadcotper and the rest. It offers more in the RTF package then most out there. You get a lot for what you pay for, even if the pricing is a bit higher than the rest. This quadcopter is highly recommended for anyone who really likes to tinker and play with the software as you can modify this quadcopter till your hearts content. THIS IS NOT A BEGINNER QUADCOPTER! Get some experience with other large quadcopters before you get to using this one.
Finally, the best quadcopter, the DJI Phantom 2. The first thing you will notice when you search for these are there are a number of different options with different price points. Take a look before purchasing for the best quadcopter option to suit your needs - the vision option uses an included camera where the other versions make you use a GOPro.
There is really no needing to go into detail on this quadcopter as it really is the best quadcopter in almost all the categories. From being super reliable to having a world class company behind it, there really isn't too much bad to say about this quadcopter. If you are a beginner or an advanced flier, you will have a great time with this quad no matter what. They make it easy to get in the sky and have the technology to get you back down home if you manage to lose control.
This is the gold standard of quadcopters at the moment. With a flight time of around 20 minutes this is the best quadcopter on the market and ideal for GoPro. There are different variations of this model, as mentioned above, that you can purchase. For $1199 you can get the Phantom 2 Vision which we have a video of below. With this version you don't actually need a GoPro as it comes with a high definition FPV camera with recording capabilities. If you do not want the FPV version you can get the version that comes with a Zenmuse H3-2D Gimbal which allows you to attach your GoPro to it for super smooth camera shots. While you won't have FPV capabilities with the Gimbal, you will have an awesome platform for which to attach your GoPro. Check out the video review below! Purchase here for the Vision+. Purchase here for just the regular Phantom 2 with Gimbal.
We hope this gave you a good review of the best quadcotpers on the market today. Regardless of your choice we hope you find the best quadcopter that suits your needs. If you don't have any experience with quadcopters or are purchasing for someone who doesn't have any yet, we HIGHLY HIGLY recommend you start off with a micro quadcotper. This will allow you to understand the flight characteristics of the machine before you go out and get a big one. Check out the best micro quadcopters here. If you have any comments or recommendations on other great quadcopters, please let us know in the comments below!