Which model is the Best Quadcopter to buy first?
As in many other endeavors, not only is the brand and model of importance, but also the vendor (store, online site) you decide to purchase from.
Many vendors are China or Hong Kong based and some offer very good prices and are reliable and honest. It may, however, take a couple weeks for your new quadcopter to arrive.
A local hobby shop can be a good option – Unfortunately, many areas do not have shops that specializes in quadcopters – but, if you do, this may be the first place to look. Check to see if they have a friendly and knowledgeable staff and can answer your questions and concerns.
Amazon and eBay also have nice selections – often sold through retailers who partner with them. These big sites often have buyer protection built into their terms and conditions, so you can buy with some confidence.
Some manufacturers, like Horizon Hobby and DJI, also allow the option of purchase direct from their sites. Horizon, maker of the well known Blade Products, is famous for customer service – you can actually call them and talk to an expert on the telephone – a rare thing these days!
Don’t spend too much time thinking about your first purchase of a quadcopter – you are likely to destroy or lose it quickly anyway. It’s more about a learning experience – to determine how far you wish to delve into this hobby.
At the time of this writing (Winter 2014/2015), here are some of the best first quadcopters to consider:
Introduction to finding the Best Quadcopters
Ratings, Reviews, Opinions on the best quadcopters- sometimes it seems as if there are two many to sort out! Well, if you feel this is the case, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to detail how to properly shop for a drone which will meet your needs. Here is a short introduction to the best quadcopters and drones to get you going.
The Problem with Quadcopter and Drone reviews and ratings
It’s hard to find negative tests and reviews on drones and quadcopters – for some very good reasons. The big tech sites (engadget, slashgear and others) are sent free quadcopter to test and invited to parties and demonstrations where they are wined, dined and showed a good time. Their tech reviewers often are not R/C (radio controlled) experts, so they simply fly the quadcopter a couple of times (often crashing) and then gush about great the technology is!
This is not what you and I need to hear – it’s generally a reprint of the manufacturers PR or advertising.
You can also find quadcopter and drone reviews done by hobbyists with more experience in the field. These often have their own problems – often the quadcopters are given to them also (free) and they hesitate to write negative things for that reason. Also, they are often technical hobbyists and have a difficult time testing these as if they were a “regular” customer.
How to be a Smart Consumer
First, don’t buy any of the overblown hype! Here are some do’s and don’ts that will help you shop smart.
1. Ask Amazon – Amazon reviews are actually a fair way of seeing whether a particular model may suit your needs. However, unless a quadcopter has at least a dozen reviews or more, it’s difficult to get enough range of opinion to make a decision. In general, drones and quadcopters with ratings above 3.5 stars will be decent. You can use the comments and the reviews to determine if the particular model fits your profile.