We get asked this question all the time by first time droners. They usually come to us trying to decide between many of the common DJI birds like the Spark, Mavic, or Phantom series. Although we fly DJI products they are not what we recommend for first time pilots...
Say no to DJI drones (for now) and here's why:
High entry cost. DJI birds start around $400. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to throw $400 away from crashing my brand new drone. Some of the most advanced drones can cost in the thousands of dollars.
I'm sure your parents didn't put you on a super expensive bike when you first were learning how to ride. The same principle applies here. Start with something cheap (we'll show you what we recommend below) so you can learn the basics of flight, and not have to worry about being out a bunch of money if you crash it or lose it.
They're too easy to fly. What do we mean they're too easy to fly?! GPS lock and autonomous flight modes make flying the DJI birds a breeze, but what happens when one of those systems fail and you have to manually maneuver your drone back home?
It's crucial to understand the flight basics, how the controls work, and how to operate in full manual mode. The Syma model that we recommend below does not have GPS lock or any autonomous flight modes so being able to practice with it allows you to fully understand how drone flight works.
No worries about regulations. FAA regulations begin to take effect once you decide to fly a drone that weighs over 0.55 lbs and up to a max of 55 lbs. The Syma model that we recommend comes in under 0.55 lbs so you as a learner don't have to worry about drone registration or calling the airport tower to notify them of your plans to fly your drone.
Keeping things simple and easy at the start can help you become more interested in the drone industry which is what we want! Drones are a great tool for many different industries and we love seeing the drone industry grow. So keep that in mind when you're ready to buy your first drone.
Our recommendation for first time pilots:
This is a great drone for a cheap price. It's pretty durable and will allow you to crash it and keep on flying. The battery life isn't the greatest, but that's expected with the size of the bird and battery. If you want to fly a bit longer then grab a couple extra batteries.
We recommend this drone because it was our first one! We can tell you from experience this will help you in the long run and make you a better pilot from day one!
Safe skies and have fun!