Drones are very popular today that there are several types to choose from and several products vying for your attention. By the end of 2017, there were more than 1.1 million drones that were sold in the United States alone. That number is expected to reach 2 million in 2019.
Drone racing is coming on its own as well. In fact, the 2016 World Drone Racing Championships was held in Hawaii. Others compete in informal races with their friends. You might find it interesting enough to try, so here are the best drones you can get for racing.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Before You Buy: What You Need To Know About Racing Drones
- 2 The Best Racing Drones You Can Buy in 2019
- 3 Final Recommendations on the Best Racing Drones You Can Buy in 2019
Before You Buy: What You Need To Know About Racing Drones
If you are looking to buy a racing drone, here are what you need to know to help you with your decision.
1. A racing drone is not the same as an aerial photography drone
Racing drones are typically smaller than ordinary drones. They are lighter, as well. The small size and lightness help the drone be more agile when you fly it. It also uses lightweight but durable materials.
A racing drone is more focused on maneuverability and speed. It is most usually made with carbon fiber and other light materials. Most of these do not offer autonomous flight features.
On the other hand, aerial photography drones are more focused on stability. If you are in the market for one, you will want a drone that has excellent image quality and flight aid features. These drones are typically heavier. They also have more smart features and flight modes than racing drones.
2. Ready-to-fly vs. racing drone kits
There are two types of racing drones that you can get. The first type is ready-to-fly, which comes assembled right out of the box. The package also has everything you need including batteries. These drones are perfect for beginners. The problem is that RTF drones are often not customizable, so if you want to upgrade by adding a module, you can’t.
Meanwhile, racing kits require more work on your part as you will need to assemble these drones. These drones can be a little challenging to put together. As such, they might not be ideal for beginners and younger users. However, there is a sense of accomplishment if you manage to build out your own drone.
The Best Racing Drones You Can Buy in 2019
If you are looking for the best racing drones, then you are in luck: there are a lot of options for you. Here are the best ones you can consider:
1. BLADE Mach 25 Racer
The BLADE Mach 25 FPV Racer is a racing quadcopter that has forward pushing motors that can help give you an edge when racing. It comes with a 5.8 GHz transmitter that has an included first-person view ready screen, allowing you to easily see what the drone is seeing if you add a camera. You can also rely on the illumination on the body to help you know the orientation of the drone.
This racing drone has a range of sensors to help you fly safely. You can also adjust the flight mode to suit your skill level. For instance, beginners will be able to operate this drone with ease because of the restricted flight movements, while more advanced users should take advantage of the full manual mode to be more agile.
The BLADE Mach 25 FPV Racer has a 2,300-kilovolt motor and uses a 1,350-mAh lithium polymer battery. It measures 14.3 by 10.1 by 4.4 inches and weighs only 2.3 pounds. It has a carbon fiber frame and aluminum parts, ensuring its light weight and durability. The BLADE Mach 25 FPV Racer comes fully assembled, and you can buy it for anywhere from $325 to $400 from retailers such as B&H Photo and Video.
The BLADE Mach 25 FPV Racer gets a perfect 5.0 stars from buyers on eBay. With reviewers saying that it is swift and comes with everything you need to fly it. It is also effortless and fun to control in midair. Others recommend this brand for those who are trying to learn racing with drones.
It gets a lower rating on Amazon where it has an average of 3.4 stars out of 5.0. A good 67 percent gave it a 4.0-star rating or higher, saying that it is fun to fly the BLADE drone. The critical reviews were not related to the drone itself. For instance, one reviewer complained about how the box was not sealed when it first arrived, another complained about the seller, not including a charger with the shipment.
2. MANZOKU Mini Racing Drone
The MANZOKU Mini Racing Drone has powerful motors that help the high-speed quadcopter accelerate quickly. You can get speeds of up to 55 kilometers per hour. It has a 720-pixel wide angle camera that allows you to record videos and take high-resolution images.
You can do some great tricks with the MANZOKU Mini Racing Drone such as flips and rolls. You can also use the one key return to call your drone back to where you are. On top of that, the drone is very easy to control.
The MANZOKU Mini Racing Drone has a rating of 4.1 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon. People love the drone for clear shots from the camera. It is also not noisy. They also like the LED light that helps them fly the drone at night. Others, however, warn that the drone has some problems with the setup such as connecting to the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Another complained that the drone does not have level hold, meaning you will need to maintain the throttle by yourself.
Nevertheless, this is an excellent drone for its price, which ranges from $30 to $50.
3. DROCON Bugs 3
The DROCON Bugs 3 is a quadcopter drone with a brushless motor that does not overheat. It has a flying time of up to 20 minutes. This drone is great for anyone, from beginners to more advanced users.
It comes with a long-range controller that can guarantee complete control even at 1,000 feet. You will get alerted when the battery runs low or if it is getting too far away from you. What’s more, this drone can navigate wind bursts because of its nylon fiber material and the fact that it weighs 1.4 kilograms.
Even so, the DROCON Bugs 3 can flip and roll with just one button press. The DROCON Bugs 3 comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as unlimited technical support. It costs anywhere from $70 to $90.
This drone gets an average of 4.5 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon, with close to 500 reviewers leaving their opinions. An overwhelming 81 percent like the DROCON Bugs 3 so much they give it a perfect five-star rating. Most people attest to how fun and amazing the DROCON Bugs 3 is, stating that this is their favorite drone out of the many that they had tested. Others say that it is a powerful drone that sounds nice.
However, some complaints reveal that the drone’s remote control sometimes fails, causing you to lose the aircraft. Others warn potential buyers that this drone might be a bit challenging to fly if you are a beginner. Others complain that the instruction manual is not that helpful.
4. Redcat Racing Carbon 210 Race Drone
The Redcat Racing Carbon 210 Race Drone is a ready-to-fly racing drone that includes a high definition camera that transmits first-person view videos. This product measures 7.4 by 7.2 by 3.7 inches and weighs 7.5 pounds.
It has a 1,500 mAh lithium polymer battery for flying times of up to 10 minutes. This drone comes with a carbon fiber frame that makes it able to withstand the roughest drops. What’s more, this drone is pretty much customizable, so you can add everything you want. The Redcat Racing Carbon 210 Race Drone gets an average of 4.1 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon.
An overwhelming 83 percent of reviewers give it a 4.0-star rating or higher. People love it for its simple controls, making it a good choice for beginners. This drone has three flight modes that allow you to choose the level of stabilization that you can use for your flight. Others like the build quality and the materials used for this drone.
However, the Redcat Racing Carbon 210 Race Drone is not perfect. Some people warn interested users that the software malfunctions a lot, while others complain that the controller sometimes fail.
The Redcat Racing Carbon 210 Race Drone is one of the more expensive drones on this list, going for around $200 to $300.
5. Hubsan X4 Storm Professional Version
The Hubsan X4 Storm Professional Version is a racing drone that has a 720-pixel high definition built in. It comes with a controller that works on the 5.8 GHz frequency when transmitting images, allowing you to react quickly if you need to. It can also roll.
The Hubsan X4 Storm Professional Version costs you around $100 to $150, but it comes with an LCD video monitor and goggles to help you see things. It measures 6.2 by 6.2 by 2.4 inches and weighs only 0.3 pounds. It also comes with a 710 mAh battery that gives your drone up to six minutes of flight time.
On Amazon, the Hubsan X4 Storm Professional Version gets an average rating of 4.0 stars out of 5.0. Verified buyers like this product for the low price, which allows you to try out racing drones first before buying something more expensive. Others recommend this for beginners, adding that this product is very durable.
You might not like the Hubsan X4 Storm Professional Version for its lengthy charging time, you need to charge the battery for more than two hours, but it only provides flight times of six minutes.
6. SWAGTRON SwagDrone 210-UP Ready to Fly Racing Drone Kit
The SWAGTRON SwagDrone 210-UP Ready to Fly Racing Drone Kit has everything you need to fly a drone right out of the box. This kit costs anywhere from $350 to $400 and comes with a 5.8 GHz transmitter and first-person view goggles. It has an onboard camera that delivers a 120-degree field of view and night vision. The camera also gives you images and videos with an effective pixel count of 976 by 494.
You can pair the SWAGTRON SwagDrone 210-UP Ready to Fly Racing Drone Kit with your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to record your flight and review it later on. You can also use your smart devices to watch the drone’s feed in real time. Further, you will love the emergency failsafe features on this drone, which can help keep it safe when it goes out of range and in other situations.
The SWAGTRON SwagDrone 210-UP Ready to Fly Racing Drone Kit measures 7.2 by 7.2 by 4.0 inches and weighs 4.3 pounds. It gets an average rating of 4.2 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon.
Verified buyers like how responsive this drone is and how easy it was to fly. The negative reviews for this drone were not related to the device itself, but because of other things such as a dead battery or defective goggles.
7. Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone RC Quadcopter
One of the things that you will love about the Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone RC Quadcopter is that it goes from 0 to 50 kilometers per hour in just a few seconds thanks to its powerful motors. It also comes with a modular battery that allows you to double your flying time. It can also do tricks from being able to do continuous rolls and flips.
You can also use the headless mode if you are a beginner or if you find it difficult to figure out the orientation of the drone. This mini-drone has a six-axis gyroscope for added stability.
On top of these, the Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone RC Quadcopter also has five different speed modes. This drone measures 5.7 by 4.3 by 1.8 inches and can fly for up to seven minutes. It weighs 0.2 pounds. It also has an operating range of up to 70 meters.
On Amazon, the Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone RC Quadcopter gets an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.0 from close to 600 reviewers. Around 92 percent of all reviewers give it a rating of 4.0-stars or higher.
People love this drone for the flight modes it offers, giving you a lot of chances to learn how to fly a drone first before getting into racing. Switching from one setting to another only requires that you slide the wheel switch. Others had a lot of fun with this drone, while there are those who mention how durable the drone is.
However, there are those who complain that the Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone RC Quadcopter has a shorter range than other drones in the same price range. Others say that the transmitter sometimes jams and that the battery module seems poorly designed. Some reviewers warn interested buyers that this drone can sometimes decide to fly away on its own.
Nevertheless, it’s an excellent drone for its cost. Prices for the Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone RC Quadcopter range from $40 to $50.
Final Recommendations on the Best Racing Drones You Can Buy in 2019
When it comes to racing drones, every recommendation on this list will prove to be a good choice. You should first look at the Hubsan X4 Storm Professional Version or the DROCON Bugs 3.
There are budget options, and these lower-priced racing drones perform rather well, but they do have to sacrifice by offering shorter flight times at less than 10 minutes. If you are trying to save money but still want a good drone, check out the MANZOKU Mini Racing Drone or the SWAGTRON SwagDrone kit. Or better yet, just get the Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone RC Quadcopter.
Which of these seven will you buy? Tell us about it in the comments!
Alvin has been reviewing different types of technology from QR codes to the latest smartphones and robot vacuums for over a decade. Outside of technology, he writes about a wide variety of topics, including buses, travel, bankruptcy, healthcare, and cannabis. He was once so addicted to online shopping that he was on a first-name basis with delivery guys and courier services — and he shares his passion with all of you!