Who makes the best drones on the market today? There are a number of great drone manufacturers from around the globe, these drone companies produce quadcopters, hexacopters and more out of everything from foam, to high-grade materials like carbon fiber in professional gear.
There are many drones to choose from. It would be an exhaustive task to compile a list of all of the manufacturers out there, even more so if we listed each and every drone, so we’re going to focus on a few of our favorites. Join us for a simple list, a list of the top drone manufacturers on the market today.
Why trust Drone Rush?
I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.
Things to know
While we greatly respect many of the high-end professional and commercial drones that have price tags well beyond $10,000, we’ll mostly be sticking with manufacturers with smaller price points. On the bottom end, we know you can grab a $30 drone from even the local grocery store, but we will include very few manufacturers at that range as well.
Our goal is to always steer you toward the best drones on the market. At this time in the lifecycle of retail UAS, you’re looking at about $300+ to get something that flies well, $500+ to get something that takes great photos and $800+ for something that takes great video. This is not a written rule, just a generalization, a guideline to help curb your expectations.
Now, let’s get started with the manufacturers. This list is simple, click on any of the company links below to see their full line of drones and related gear. The list is in no particular order. Be sure to check back to see what new manufacturers we’ve added each time we update.
Finally, always keep in mind, there are rules in the sky: Know your local drone laws before you buy a drone
DJI is probably the best well known name in drones on the market today. They developed the often imitated, iconic-designed Phantom drone. They’ve also made the market-leading Mavic Pro, folding-drone style of drone, and have many professional and commercial drone applications with aircraft such as the Spreading Wings or Matrice drones. DJI has been hard at work creating strong drone offerings in many segments, and it’s paying off.
Aside from adding features well beyond what most of us will use for any given flight, DJI is constantly adding value to their products through new accessories or software features. They are also the only player in the consumer-camera-drone market that has been consistently delivering new products year after year.
We met up with Uvify at CES 2018. We’d heard of their Draco racing drone from the CES previous, it won some awards, but this time was OOri, a great mini drone. They are working on some drone AI as well, but the new OOri mini drone is what is going to put them on the map, as far as we’re concerned. Stay tuned for more on that, we’ve already pre-ordered our OOri. Check out all the Uvify drones through our CES coverage below.
Related: UVify OOri first impressions and setup
Hubsan is one of the top manufacturers of toy-class drones. They do offer higher-end solutions, but their sub-$100 offerings are some of the best machines you can fly. From the H107 to the H502 you get stable flight and responsive controls up to GPS routing and HD cameras.
With a few base frames making up the bulk of their many offerings, be sure to look through for the size you want and then the feature set that works best for your needs.
Parrot is best known for its Bebop drone, a cylindrical piece of plastic and foam that makes up an easy to fly drone. The Bebop 2 is now at thing of the past, the newer Parrot Anafi is their new platform, with the ability to point the camera straight up as well as down. Less known in their lineup are the VTOL fixed wing craft and the many small toy crafts.
With a larger selection of well thought out toy drones than you might imagine, Parrot has a drone for almost any child, and for the adults as well.
Yuneec is a, well, unique company in the market. They offer a well equipped toy-class drone, the Breeze, but the majority of their offerings are for higher-end camera drone needs. Their machines are mostly fairly large, even if they fold down for transport, and get great battery life while hauling decently large cameras into the sky. Adding Intel RealSense visioning systems to some of the drones adds serious power to their object avoidance and detection capabilities.
Autel Robotics drones
Another name with a rich history in flight, Autel Robotics puts many craft into the air, but maybe only a few consumer level crafts. Primarily, you’re looking at the Autel Robotics X-Star Premium, which, all on its own, is drone enough for us to justify a post. With a focus on different types of craft, including a handful of nifty fixed wing machines for field inspection, or just for fun.
On the higher end of things, Autel Robotics is focusing on VTOL craft, able to soar long distances at high speeds. Hit the button to learn more.
FreeFly drones guide
FreeFly is not a name you’ll see at your local electronics retailer, they build more specialized machines for high-end photography. The largest machine in their line is the Alta 8, an octocopter capable of carrying up to 20 lbs of camera gear. They build all sorts of other camera equipment, stabilization rigs of all shapes and sizes, reading through their list of actual drones is a short read, but a good one. Check out our FreeFly drones guide to learn more.
Air Hogs drones guide
If you are looking for the ultimate lineup of novelty and licensed toy drones, Air Hogs may be the stop for you. Batman, Star Wars, Star Trek and so many more franchises and unique drone ideas are at play from this foam drone maker. Check out our Air Hogs drones guide for a very brief list of the drones in their stables.
Drone manufacturer wrap up
Please check back for more of your favorite drone manufacturers. We are always actively building this list and welcome your input, just hit the comments to let us know the company you want to see next.
Who is your favorite drone manufacturer? Do you have brand loyalty when it comes to drones?
Frequently Asked Questions
Why isn’t [drone manufacturer X] on this list?
It is not our intention to omit any brands from this list, we are simply working within the constraints of time, and focusing on the brands that are making a real impact on the market. We know you can snag a dozen different toy-class drones from any store out there, but we really are hesitant to heavily promote the “white label” products, as we are hesitant to recommend any drone that fails to keep up with the average machine in a given segment. Feel free to hit us up with any requests, though, we’re happy to take a look.
So, which is the best drone manufacturer?
Based on sales volume, DJI is the clear leader in the drone market, and we believe they make top-quality machines, but the ‘best’ machine is always going to differ based on your needs. It’s easy to recommend DJI drones to most pilots, they offer great flight time, reliability, and solid cameras, but if you need a hexacopter, for example, DJI’s offerings are only in the very high-end and commercial space, you’ll want to look at Yuneec for a hobby-class hexacopter. DJI also does not compete in the racing market.
Should I buy from a manufacturer or do I get warranty when I buy on Amazon?
Each manufacturer offers different things and have different rules, but most offer at least a standard warranty no matter where you buy the drone. Manufacturers like DJI that offer an extended warranty try to sell it directly from their site, but you can still apply that to a drone you’ve recently purchased from Amazon or other. Check the details on your potential new drone before you buy.
Do different brands have different drone rules?
No. Regardless what brand you choose, they all must adhere to the rules and regulations of the country you live in. Yes, even if you purchase one of the Government Edition drones.