Nano drones are small, light and cheap but they are no good for beginners
Nano drones are small, cheap and often marketed as a toy but this does not mean they are good for beginners and those new to the world of drones. In fact, I would say a nano drone is the worst drone you could buy for a beginner. You may think that a small drone is easier to fly than a larger one, but this isn’t the case as the nano drones are very challenging to fly.
Because of the small size nano drones are harder to see and track than larger drones, and it can be difficult to keep an eye on them even at close quarters. Nano drones do have lights which makes it easier in low light but outdoors or in rooms where there is a lot of natural light you won’t see the LED lights on the nano drone.
Since a nano drone is so difficult to see it is almost impossible to determine the orientation and what way it is facing, and this isn’t helped with the lack of FPV. Most nano drones have a headless mode which helps in this situation but headless mode won’t teach a beginner how to fly a drone properly. Knowing how to fly a drone in normal mode (i.e. without a headless mode or with headless mode de-activated) is an important skill.
Despite their small size nano drones are fast and can easily get away from you. The speed and acceleration of the nano drone is exaggerated by its small dimensions, and this is not good for beginners. Most nano drones have two speed settings, being a beginner mode and a sport mode however the beginner mode is fast, and not really suitable for beginners, and the sport mode is ridiculously fast and requires fast reactions, skill and experience.
Nano drones are very sensitive to the controller and the slightest movement will send the nano drone out of control. Controlling a nano drone requires a gentle touch, which requires thumb control and beginners will not have this. Flying a nano drone also requires a cool head and the foresight to see problems (such as obstacles) and take appropriate action before issues occur. This foresight comes with time, practice and experience which a beginner will not have.
A nano drone is not a toy for kids (or big kids for that matter) or beginners who have never flown a drone before, and if you buy someone one of these drones as a “gadget gift” I can assure you the recipient will get frustrated and bored before they can fly it and enjoy it.
Who are nano drones for?
Whilst a nano drone may not be suitable for beginners it is a great drone for those drone fans who can control and fly a drone. I never thought I would get the use out of a nano drone but I fly mine each and every day. I take my nano drones to the office and, together with a few work colleagues who also own nano drones, have a bit of fun during my lunch break. My nano drone has a battery life of around five minutes and because it takes twenty minutes to charge I have had to invest in a fleet of five to make sure I can continuously fly during my lunch break.
My fleet of nano drones is made up of one Fly Hero nano drone and four Hubsan Q4 H111 nano drones.
The Fly Hero was my first nano drone and I paid £9.99 (reduced from £24.99) from a gadget shop whilst on a shopping trip. The low cost was the only reason I bought the Fly Hero nano drone in the first place. In fact, it was the low price that made me buy any nano drone in the first place and boy am I glad I did. I got hooked on flying the nano drone and needed to invest in more, hence the Hubsan H111s.
When I went back to the gadget store the Fly Hero promotion was over and they had returned back to their original price of £24.99, which was a bit of a bummer but at least that priced them in lien with the other nano drones out there. Rather than spend £24.99 on a Fly Hero Nano drone I bought 4 Hubsan H111 instead. I already owned some Hubsan drones so I was aware of their good build quality, their toughness and durability and their reliability. Hubsan is a name I trust, so the H111 was an obvious choice of nano drone.
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Good drones for beginners
Whilst a nano drone may not be a good drone for beginners there are several drones out there that are perfect for learner drone pilots. I cut my teeth on the Hubsan H107, and I have to say it is an excellent drone for learners.
You can check out some footage of my first outdoor flight with the Hubsan H107……..
You can also see some of the crashes I have had with my Hubsan H107. I can confirm my H107 survived and is still working as good today as the day I bought it – a true testament of how tough the Hubsan H107 is.
I was so impressed with the Hubsan H107c (without FPV) I bought a Hubsan H107d (with FPV).
If you are not sure which Hubsan H107 is the best for you take a look at this article, where all of the models are explored in detail.
Drone and aerial photography video playlist that may be of interest
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