A beginner-friendly drone gift is best for someone who has not manned an unmanned aerial vehicle (or RAV as they are known) before.
On one hand, they are not as intimidating as an advanced drone that comes packed with too many and often complex features that are not beginner friendly. But on the other hand, they can seem to lack the features that make flying a drone fun in the first place.
So it is important to choose one that has a good balance of features.
There is plenty to choose from with a laundry list of features and varying price ranges. So which one is the best for a beginner?
Fortunately, for your beginner version drone gift, you only need to look at the most important features.
The most important features are the ones that would allow the user to experience the fun of flying a drone, such as- safety features, ease of handling, a decent camera, fly time etc. I discuss all these features in detail later in the post.
I would not recommend a drone without a camera as a drone gift. No matter how cheap they are, they cannot compare to the fun of flying a drone that can take aerial pictures and videos.
Based on the features, product reviews and the price vs quality factor the Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone is the best beginner-friendly in the below $100 price range. It is easy to control and comes ready to fly straight out of the box, no major assembly required.
Below are the most important reasons why Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter is best for beginners-
Safety – Sturdy And ‘One Key Return Home’ Feature
As beginners try to learn to fly drone chances are that the drone will go through a few beatings. It does take time and practice to get used to flying a drone. A few hard landings, in the beginning, are neither unexpected nor unusual. But if the drone is not sturdy enough, it will probably not survive multiple falls.
The Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter has a durable body that makes it perfect for a beginner. The body of this quadcopter is supported on two removable springy landing skids that help absorb shocks during rough landings.
In addition to the sturdy body and springy landing skids, the drone also comes with prop guards that cover the blades of the drone to avoid the risk of injury/ damage to surroundings. These are essential for beginner flyers because there are chances that in the first few tries the drone can bump into things and people.
It also has one of the essential features that makes it truly the best drone gift for a beginner – the one key return home feature.
This feature is the most important one because it can significantly reduce the chances of losing a drone in case the beginner cannot maneuver the drone. Losing a drone mid-flight is probably one of the biggest concerns for beginners, people do lose drones because of lost transmission or wind taking it away.
With this feature, the drone returns to the home position at a click of a button.
The range of the communication between the quadcopter and it’s transmitter is approximately 100 meters, and the WiFi signal range is approximately 30-50 meters. This is a decent range for a beginner quadcopter.
In case the quadcopter will land by itself if it flies out of the transmitter range and happens to lose transmission.
This quadcopter is equipped with a detachable HD camera. The resolution of the camera is 1280*720. 2MP. It is not a GoPro quality but it is expected quality for a beginner drone of this price range.
The user can take pictures and videos during flight. This quadcopter can also transmit a live feed!
The estimated wifi /live video range of F181W is about 50 meters.
Easy To Control- Altitude Hold & Hover
You can hover the drone easily by taking the fingers off the controller. The hover feature on the drone helps the user take better pictures by positioning drone mid-air and taking a stable picture.
The altitude hold functionality makes this drone extremely user-friendly for a beginner, by stabilizing the drone in the air. They can easily adjust the altitude by using the controller as the drone flies. can also fly this inside home. It makes the drone easier to handle during flight.
This is one of those features makes this drone perfect as a drone gift for a beginner. This feature is not much appreciated by advanced users but for beginners, it’s definitely the feature to love.
During the flight, the drone is so far away from the user that it is difficult to realize what’s the front side or the back side of the drone is. Even if the drone has LED lights, it is difficult to see the lights and determine the front/ back side. This makes it a little tricky to fly the drone.
The headless mode is made to counter this exact issue. With the headless mode, the users can align the drone to their own orientation, so that the user’s front is the front side of the drone. Once in headless mode, if the user directs the drone to move forward using the controller, the drone will move forward irrespective of the fact that the drone’s front could be facing left/ right/ back at that moment.
Varying Speed Modes For Beginners and Advanced Users
This quadcopter comes with 4-speed modes- 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% . These speed settings make this drone gift manageable and enjoyable for a beginner or even an advanced user. The 25% speed setting is recommended for starters.
This is the slowest speed that the drone will fly and it helps keep the drone under control for the beginner flyer.
Control Via Phone or Remote Controller
You can either connect to it with your phone by downloading an app and syncing it with the drone or you can use the remote controller that comes with the drone. You can even connect it to an Ipad. The drone can easily sync to iPhone (IOS 9 and above) or Android smartphones.
The quadcopter comes with a phone holder so you don’t have to hold the phone separately as you fly the drone around.
All the video footage and pictures are stored on the SD card. When using a phone to record, the footage and pictures will be saved on both the smartphone and the SD Card.
Built-in Wifi (Real-time Video Transmission)
You don’t need to burn through your data to see the live feed while the drone is in flight. This drone has its own wifi!
Night Time Flying
The drone has lights on it that can easily be turned on and off using the transmitter. The lights are great for flying the drone at night.
This drone gift is the one that is so much fun for everyone. It not only flies very stable but it can also pull off 360° 4-Ways Flips with just one key push. The 3D rolls is entertaining and with this drone gift, your beginner can perform these tricks easily without any issues.
The Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter has a flight time of 7- 9 minutes on each battery. It comes with two batteries. This is on par with most beginner drones in this price range.
The flight time also depends on speed setting, camera use, flips etc. The more features a user uses the sooner the battery will run out.
FAA Registration Not Required/ Required
This drone is perfect as a drone gift for a beginner from somewhat of a legal side of flying drones.
FAA dictates that any drone weighing more than .55 pounds should be registered with FAA unless you are only flying the drone inside your home.
This Drone weight is under the required limit from FAA. Therefore, the recipient does not need to register this drone with FAA.
The drone comes with the following extra parts-
1 x F181W Chaser Quad Copter
1 x 2.4Ghz Remote Transmitter
2 x 3.7 V 750mAh LiPo Battery
1 x 720p 120 Wide-Angle Wifi Camera
4 x Rotating Blade
4 x Protection Frames
2 x Landing Skids
1 x Phone Holder
4 x Screws for Blades
1 x SD Card Reader
2 x USB charging cables
4 x Small Gears for Motors
12 x Screws for drone
1 x User Manual
4 x Screws for Landing Gears
4 x Screws for Propeller Guards
1 x Screwdriver
1 x 4G TF Card
There are several types of drones in the market and you can easily find one below $60, but the cheaper drones usually don’t have a camera and are mere toys in terms of functionality.
The purpose of a beginner drone gift is to get the recipient comfortable with a drone, they are more of an introduction to this newer technology. The user can later decide to move on to more advanced higher priced drones if they really enjoy flying a drone.
For a beginner, the Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter is a perfect gift if you are looking for something that is less than $100 but packs all the necessary features.
I hope this article helped you decide on a beginner friendly drone gift for your loved one.