The Best Indoor Drones for Honing Your Skills or Just Having Some great Fun

These drones are not for all weather conditions, but they make drone piloting a great hobby.

Drones can soon become an expensive pastime, but it can be surprisingly cheap if you just want to test the waters. Today, you can get fairly capable drones for under $100 that are great for practicing indoors before stepping up to a larger (and more expensive) quadcopter later.

Here are just some to consider whether you’re looking to get a taste of what drones are all about or just looking to have a bit of fun.

1 Blade Nano QX

Amazon | $60

If you’re looking to put on some training wheels before making an investment in a more full-featured drone, you may want to opt for something like the Blade Nano QX. For just $60, you’ll get a palm-sized quadcopter that can be safely flown indoors or taken outside for a bit more distance.  It handles enough like a larger drone to give you a good feel for things, and it’s durable (with cheap replacement parts) so you don’t have to worry about crashing it while learning how to pilot.

2 Parrot Mambo

Amazon | $95

Parrot makes a number of drones that are strictly for fun, and a number of higher-end models with some serious capabilities. The Mambo falls a bit in the middle, offering some tricks like a cannon to shoot balls up to six feet and a grabber to pick up small objects but also provides handling like a larger drone to serve as a good trainer. The Wirecutter likes it for that reason, as well as its decent battery life (about 7 minutes) and durability with the drone’s hulls attached.

3 Cheerson CX-10

Amazon | $15

If you’re just looking for something small, fun, and cheap, the Cheerson CX-10 may be for you. It’s Gizmodo’s pick for the best drone desk toy, getting high marks for its ease of use right out of the package and its sheer fun. Just $15, the CX-10 promises 4-8 minutes of use on a charge and a control distance of just over 40 yards. That’s enough to get some decent distance outside, but it’s understandably best used indoors.

4 Hubsan X4 H107L

Amazon | $30

Hubsan’s X4 is another popular choice—and one of the cheaper ones—if you’re looking for something to practice with indoors before heading outside with a more expensive drone. CNET especially liked the X4’s combination of stability and “zippy action,” which it says makes it well-suited for beginners and experienced drone users alike. It’s also powerful enough to be used outdoors if there’s not too much wind and even has four bright LEDs to help you see it at night.

5 Hover Camera Passport

Hover | $600

The phrase “indoor drone” may be largely associated with inexpensive or toy-like drones, but that’s certainly not the entire extent of things. Hover’s Camera Passport is decidedly not cheap nor a toy. It’s a $600 camera designed to autonomously follow you around on its own and capture high-quality 4K video. As Digital Trends notes in its review, however, it’s likely not the drone for you if you’re looking for something that’s fun to fly—while you can control it manually with your smartphone, it’s both slow and has a limited range.

6 Air Hogs Ultimate Millennium Falcon

Amazon | $42

More than just a novelty, Air Hogs’ Ultimate Millennium Falcon is actually a pretty decent drone in its own right and particularly well-suited for flying indoors thanks to its all-foam design and well-protected propellers. CNET was particularly impressed by how easy it is to fly though they weren’t quite as taken with the hour it takes to recharge the drone’s non-removable battery after a relatively short flight (5-8 minutes). It’s also come down considerably from its original $100 asking price, now selling for just $42, but really the selling point is that it’s the Millennium Falcon.


Henry Sapiecha

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