Guide for Buying Drones: Advice for Getting the Right One

how to choose a drone

The first thing to know when learning what to look for when buying a drone is the different types available. Below are the categories you should watch out for:

RTF Drones

Ready-to-fly (RTF) drones are perfect for beginners because they’re super easy to start with. They come with everything you need in one package. But even though they’re called “ready-to-fly,” you might still need to do a bit of setup, like putting on the rotor blades and charging the batteries. RTF drones are the most convenient option, but they can be a bit pricier because you’re paying for the convenience of not having to do a lot of assembly work.

BNF Drones

BNF drones, short for “bind and fly,” don’t come with a controller, so you’ll need to get one separately or use the one you already have. But it’s not always straightforward. Not all controllers work with all drones, even if they use the same frequency. They need to speak the same language to connect. This means you should check if your controller will work with the drone before buying it. BNF drones are liked by experienced users who might already have a controller they like. They’re cheaper than ready-to-fly drones but require more effort to set up.

PNP Drones

PNP drones, or plug-and-play drones, sound easy to get flying, but it’s not that simple. They come with everything except a controller, batteries, and charger, so you’re buying just the drone itself with its frame and other parts. But you need a controller and batteries to actually fly it. If you already have a controller from another drone, it can be handy because you don’t have to learn new controls. Plus, using your own controller can give you a longer range for flying. PNP drones are usually cheaper than ready-to-fly ones.

ARF Drones

ARF drones, or almost ready-to-fly drones, might not be the best choice if you’re new to drones. They say “almost ready,” but you’ll find out that you still need to put them together, which can be hard if you’re not experienced. These drones are liked by people who want to customize their drones, especially for racing. But they’re better for skilled drone pilots because you don’t want to spend a lot of time building your drone just to crash it on your first flight because you’re not used to flying.

Features to Consider

Drones come with lots of different features, and these features are usually what help you decide which one to buy. If you’re getting a drone for a particular reason, you’ll want one that fits that purpose best. But don’t forget about other features! Sometimes, the feature you thought you’d use a lot isn’t that useful, while something you didn’t think much about becomes your favorite. This is especially important if you’re buying your first drone.

Some features are really important for any drone pilot to think about, while others are just nice extras for certain situations.


Drones can cost a lot, and you want them to last if you’re spending your hard-earned money. Cheaper drones are often made of plastic, which is light but not very strong. If you’re on a budget, try to find ones made of tougher ABS plastic. Fiberglass and carbon fiber drones are the most durable but also the priciest. It’s like an investment: if you plan to use your drone a ton, spending more upfront might be worth it. But aluminum drones, despite being lightweight, don’t handle crashes well, so you might want to avoid them.

Range of Device

Generally, it’s good if your drone can fly far from the controller. Cheap drones might only go about 30 meters, but pricier ones can go for miles without losing connection. If you want to use your drone for photos or videos, a long-range drone is crucial because it can reach places you can’t. But if you’re just flying for fun nearby, you might not need a long-range as much.

Flight Time

When people first made airplanes, a big problem was how much fuel they could carry. More fuel means longer flights, but it also makes the plane heavier, which can make takeoff hard. Drones don’t carry much fuel like big planes do; they run on batteries. Usually, they fly for about 20 to 30 minutes, but cheaper ones might only last 5 minutes. It’s smart to have extra batteries so you can switch them out and keep flying when one runs out.


A camera is a big reason people get drones. Some drones come with cameras already attached, while others let you add your own. The camera’s quality is key for great photos and videos. Look for features like sensor size, resolution, frames per second (FPS), and image format. A larger sensor and higher resolution mean better quality. FPS affects video smoothness, and different image formats offer varying editing options. Other features like shutter speed, zoom, and ISO range also matter depending on what you want to shoot.

Spare Part Availability

Like cars need spare parts, drones do too. Popular drones have more spare parts available. Machines wear out with use, and crashes can damage them, so spare parts are essential. Having easy access to spare parts saves money and keeps your drone flying more often. It’s smart to buy spare parts when you get your drone, like propellers, guards, batteries, motors, and controllers, so you have them when needed.


Drones can be pricey, so it’s smart to have a warranty in case something goes wrong. But not all warranties are the same, so read the details carefully before buying. Most warranties cover manufacturing defects, and longer ones are better. Check if the warranty covers you only in the country where you bought the drone or worldwide if you plan to travel with it. Look for a transferable warranty if you might sell the drone later, so the new owner can still use the warranty.

Know How to Choose a Drone with Our Expert Guide

Interested in getting a drone? Whether you’re into photography, looking for some aerial fun, or eager to explore new horizons, this guide has you covered. From choosing the right type of drone to considering essential features like material, range, flight time, camera quality, spare part availability, and warranty, we’ve got all the info you need to make an informed decision. So, if you’re ready to take your drone adventure to new heights, dive in and start exploring your options today!

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