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The unmanned aerial vehicle or the drone is one of the most innovative creations of yesteryear. It is seen hovering in the sky very often, be it for purposes of recreation, for the knack of flying, or even for more intense activities like aerial photography.
However, since regular drones are old news, today we are going to widen the horizon and talk about the best Android controlled drone. Yes, you read that right: Android is not just on our smartphones now, it moved on to a completely new category of devices.
Thus, you have the chance to transform your phone into a drone controller; isn’t this cool? The phones view the live transmission of the camera feed with ease. Also, the control is done via touch and you don’t have to worry about bulky controllers.
Top 5 best drones that can be controlled with Android
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter Drone
There is no doubt that DJI is a revered name in the field of drones largely because of its technological prowess. When we talk about the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter Drone, it must be said that it is primarily known for the beautiful pictures it takes with the help of the onboard camera.
The secret of this particular trait can be attributed to the mobile app which the manufacturer has created intricately for its customers.
The DJI Pilot app is fully compatible with any Android and iOS device which means you are almost always on top of everything that is going on with your quadcopter. This app allows the users to act as a true pilot and change the angles of the HD Camera with ease to suit its requirements.
Moreover, this app also allows you to change the flight settings if need be, hence doing justice to the name of the app. The best thing you will find about the app has to be the live streaming of the ongoing video on your mobile devices like tablets and Android smartphones and that too in HD.
Among other features, the Beginner mode of the drone allows first-time flyers to fly the drones in a limited space with absolute safety to help them build confidence. It is definitely a unique feature to have in your quad. If you want to get more familiar with this series app and the drones as well, we suggest that you check out our review of the Phantom 3 series,
Like this great product? Then you can buy it on Amazon.
DBPOWER FPV Wi-Fi Motion Sensing Quadcopter
The next product on the list comes from the house of DBPOWER and it does bring quite a few interesting features with it. The first feature which we will look into is the One Key Landing and Take Off feature.
This particular feature is what makes the product perfect for beginners as they don’t need to maneuver the drone for landing and taking off. It ensures that you get the drone in flight and bring it to a halt with a simple tap of a button, which is what new flyers want.
DBPOWER FPV Wi-Fi Motion sensing quadcopter is well known for the two flight modes it uses. The first mode of flight control here is the Motion Sensing control function. In this particular mode, you can simply use any of your android devices such as your phone or tablet in order to control the drone.
Here you can simply download the app and install it on your android device in order to fly the drone from mobile devices. The other method of controlling the product will be to use a transmitter, wherein you use the said transmitter to move around the drone.
In this particular flight mode, the use of your android devices is restricted as they can only be used to view the images that are being captured by the camera that is fitted onto the drone.
The beauty of the camera here is that it captures crisp and clear images and videos which are carefully stored in the android mobile devices to be viewed at the convenience of the user.
If you think that this product could be useful for you, then you can check its price on Amazon.
3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter
If you are trying to find the best android controlled drone, then you definitely need to check out the 3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter, and of you really want to get deeper into what it offers, then check out our in-depth review of it. It is said to possess arguably the best app for Android and iOS devices. Not only is the software of the app fully compatible with the various Android devices but also has a number of unique features.
Some of the unique features that we are talking about here include the ‘Safety Net’ feature as well as the Pause option that can really be useful for the users. These features offered by the app give the user the power of flying the drone from their mobile devices with the touch of a button.
Moreover, the best thing here is that this app, along with its updates, comes free of cost. It is also worth mentioning that the app is being updated regularly to be at par with the current technology. The reason which makes the drone so easy to use is the fact that it has twin computers to fly it. In addition, this drone is the first and only drone which can stream live videos to your android devices with the help of the GoPro feature.
If you think that this product could be useful for you, then you can buy it on Amazon.
Syma X5SW Quadcopter Drone
The next product on our list is the Syma X5. The first thing that is worth mentioning when you are talking about this product has to be the 2.4GHz technology. This particular feature in the drone is responsible for protecting it against any kind of external or internal signal interference.
Thanks to this feature, the user can fly up to 20 drones at one time without having an issue which can hamper the flight. It is definitely one of the reasons which make it a perfect drone that can be flown with the help of its android apps.
In order to fly the drones, all you need to do is simply download the android mobile phone app and sync it with the drone and you are set. This app is easily available for both Android phones as well as Apple iOS which make this drone all the more popular.
Moreover, you will also find the installation of the app pretty straightforward, but you can also use the remote controller which comes with the drone. The best thing about this particular drone is that it can be easily controlled by either the android app or the remote controller, which makes it a flexible choice.
Other features of the product include the built-in electronic compass, HD Camera and the much talked about the capability of the drone to initiate WIFI transmission while it is in flight. If Syma sounds like a manufacturer you would be interested buying a drone from, then you will find our article about their best models quite useful.
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Parrot Bebop Quadcopter Drone
It is not every day you get an opportunity of flying a drone with the help of your Android devices. But if you are using the Parrot Bebop Quadcopter Drone then this is going to be your primary mode of control. This product offers state of the art Free Flight 3 app which is specially designed to work on Android devices such as tablets and smartphones.
It has been observed that with the help of this particular app, the pilot can actually concentrate on flying the drone, without being distracted by other issues. A very interesting thing about this app is that you can easily access functions like a flight plan, piloting, Cloud Pilot Academy and others from the homepage of the app.
This app allows the pilot to take control of the speed and altitude of the drone from your android mobile devices. The best thing about this drone is that the videos and photos captured by the product are in sync with your android device in real time which means you can easily share your flight experience on social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. with the simple click of a button.
Moreover, you should know that the 14-megapixel camera on board gives you an 180-degree view. In addition, this drone has the ability to create its own Wi-Fi hotspot which puts you in an advantageous position against your fellow drone enthusiasts. You can get much more familiar with this model by reading our Parrot Bebop review.
If you like this product you can find and purchase it on Amazon.
Buying guide: Important features to consider
Buying a drone means checking the boxes for a number of criteria to be followed. There is no end to drones in the market and the skies and thus choosing an ideal product is indeed a difficult job. Here are some points to consider before purchasing your first drone.
- Mode of use. The first feature to consider here is how you are going to put your drone to use. For instance, if you are just looking to have some flying experiences for fun, a simple quadcopter without too many additional features will do. However, if you want the device to have a taste of aerial photography, you need to rely on the camera and choose accordingly. Some drones come with attached cameras while some others have a slot for the same.
- Flight time. Another concept to focus on here is the flight time for the drone. It is essential to make sure that the flight time actually tallies with the purpose of utilization of the drone. For instance, for intense aerial photography for longer distances, it is best to get a device with a longer flight time. On the other hand, for a flight without a camera, maybe for drone racing, you would need more agility and swift movements and can have shorter flying times.
- Availability of spare parts. For a new flyer, it is but natural for the drone to undergo a few clashes, hit a few strong obstacles and the likes. In such a situation, the availability of spare parts can actually help you make the same drone work with a few replacement parts. For instance, the propellers are the first to get affected in a collision; hence having extra propellers at cheap costs could help.
- Price. One of the most important factors influencing the choice the drone is the price. This entirely varies from one brand to another. Sometimes, a higher cost of the drone upfront can actually be a blessing in disguise. This takes care of most of the expenditures. On the other hand, if you opt for a cheaper drone, you will find yourself making extra expenditures for parts like the camera gimbal, blade protectors, and the likes.
- Controls. One of the most important features about operating a drone is being comfortable with the controls of it. Most drones come with a remote controlled operation where the sticks on the remote are well suited for the functions. This takes the new users sometime before they can get used to handling a remote to control the drone up in the sky.
Besides, there are drones that depend on smartphones like iPhones and Android devices. The main advantage here is that the phone gives you a lot more familiar feel that keeps you privy with the controls, instead of dealing with a completely new platform like the remote. This means you can use the screen of the smartphone for viewing the live feed of the camera recordings, maneuver the device from the controls on the screen and the likes.
However, you also need to make sure that the application for the particular drone should match well with the version of the operating system you are using. Also, you need to keep your phone charged at all times before a flight.
Not sure what model to buy?
There are a number of different models available in the market. We have listed out the best five models in the genre of android controlled drones. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that distinguish one drone from another. With so many options, it needs difficult to make the choice. Let us look at some of the astonishing features.
When we talk about lightweight yet strong drones, we are faced with the Parrot Bepop. This super stylish device gives very stable flights. It is best known for its excellent photographic abilities. It records videos at full HD 1080p with a wide angle that captures a wide frame for aerial photography.
The quadcopter can be entirely controlled by the smartphone on an Android platform with the Free Flight 3 application. This not only helps take care of the original controls but also features like the camera angle, return to home feature and the likes.
However, you would be disappointed if you are looking for longer flight times as it can give a maximum 10 or 12 minutes on high speed. It also tends to drift by a few feet in the air.
On the other hand, if you want long flight times, you could move your focus to the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced. The flight time now goes up for as long as 23 minutes. The 2.7 K camera comes with a fully integrated system that is ideal for people who are looking for deep aerial photography as a profession or as a hobby.
With the addition of the mobile application called DJI Pilot App, you can control the camera and flight settings right from your phone. However, it is not the ideal device if you are a first-time flyer because of the complicated software and functions.
Talking about user-friendly devices, especially for beginners, the 3DR Solo drone seems to be doing a good job in this field. The world’s first camera drone gives extremely stable flights with easy maneuverability. The camera captures an excellent view of the earth from a height. This can be viewed as a live feed on the mobile screen attached to the controller. This transmission can be carried up to ranges of half a mile.
With features like Orbit, Follow Me, Safety Net all at the touch of a screen on the app, this is rather convenient to handle. However, there is no gimbal attached and needs to be purchased separately. Also, there have been reports of the GoPro failing to work in the beginning.
Another drone that comes with a host of exciting features that make it very convenient for the users is DBPOWER motion sensing quad copter. The 2 MP camera records videos at 720p that gets bright and colorful pictures which can be directly stored on to the smartphone via the mobile application.
The Android application also allows you to share the media on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and the likes. The CX-32wifi application also forms the screen for live viewing. It is a little difficult to set the device up; but once that is done, the drone is pretty easy to control.
The last product on our list is the Syma X5 which has a built in camera that captures the best shots aerially. This is an FPV drone that gives live transmission on the Android mobile application for the users. This will be more like maneuvering a real aircraft.
However, the one big issue is that the device can stay in the air for a maximum of 7 or 8 minutes, cutting short the flight experiences of the flyers. Otherwise, it is a pretty useful drone for beginners who are learning the art of flying a copter.
Advantages and disadvantages
Let us now have a look at some of the useful features and the problems caused by these drones:
- The smartphone gives a familiar platform for controlling the drone with easier functions.
- The phone acts as a screen for live video transmission.
- All the functions can be controlled at the touch of the screen.
- The camera angle can be changed from the smartphone application.
- The smartphone needs to be charged completely before going out for a flight
- The smartphone application needs to be updated regularly in order to function properly.
Considering all the features, every drone comes with its set of pros and cons. The product you choose basically depends on the requirements of the individual users. Overall, the drones can be very effectively controlled by the smartphone application that caters to the Android platform. This gives all the controls of the quadcopter to the operator at the touch of a screen.
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