Best Drones for Indoor Flying
Drones have already cemented themselves into the hearts and minds of both children and adults the world over. However, these days there are drones for virtually every situation. While most of the categories are designed for outdoor use, some people may prefer flying a drone in the comfort of their own home. That is why we have put together a list of the 7 best indoor drones.
JJRC H36 Mini Indoor Drone
Our first drone for review comes from JJRC which is a brand owned by the GearBest online store. However, you can still purchase this drone from Amazon or other online retailers. One thing to remember about this drone is that it is definitely more for the budget-minded consumer. As such, you should come into it with appropriate expectations.
This is a mini quadcopter that might be one of the best indoor drones on our list for a very specific reason: volume. This is by far one of the quietest drones we reviewed and will not produce the loud high-pitched whine that is commonly associated with other drones--though it is not absolutely silent.
One thing to keep in mind is that this mini quadcopter packs a surprising amount of power for its small profile. This can make controlling the drone a bit challenging if you are not an experienced flyer. While not the fastest mini quadcopter we reviewed, the JJRC is still fairly quick. Moreover, the 4 direction aerial tricks are easy enough to pull off with the press of a single button.
Check out the JRRC H36 in action below:
EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter (Small Indoor Drone)
Though a relatively new face in the drone market, EACHINE has been making electronics since 2014. Of course, at that time the brand focused on audio equipment and accessories, but this simply provided the company a solid background in signal transmission which is absolutely vital for any kind of drone worth buying. These days, EACHINE makes primarily drones, though they do also produce a few other types of RC flyers as well.
One of the things that should immediately jump out at you when using this drone is its speed. While it is a mini indoor drone and cannot hope to compete with professional, dedicated racing drones, the EACHINE E010 is easily one of the quickest mini quadcopters that we saw. However, that speed definitely comes at a bit of a cost.
This drone is likely not ideal for inexperienced flyers, or if you are an inexperienced flyer, make sure to practice with it plenty before trying to put it through its paces. This is because the EACHINE can be somewhat difficult to control if you do not have experience with miniature drones. When you combine this with its somewhat fragile construction, crashes can take a serious toll on this drone.
Check out the Eachine in action below!
Holy Stone F180W Indoor Drone with Camera
The Holy Stone F180W is the first product on our list that comes from a brand with a sterling reputation that also specializes exclusively in the manufacturing of drones. This company makes drones at all levels and this specialization allows Holy Stone to produce a quality product with the specific consumer of drone flyers in mind. This is important because less expensive drones are often made to be more of a toy than a product for experienced users.
This is also the first indoor drone on our list that features a built-in camera. Because indoor drones are often made much smaller than other types of drones, they are rarely able to fly with any speed or precision with a mounted camera like a GoPro. As such, many drone manufacturers have started including a camera with their mini drones built into the product. The Holy Stone F180W sports a 720p HD resolution camera that shoots in a 120-degree wide-angle frame. This allows you to use the F180W for FPV flying and can even be used with a VR headset that supports the app.
The app itself is fairly impressive for a drone at this price point, though it is the standard app that most Holy Stone drones use. The app will allow you to control the drone from your smartphone, though the RC controller does get better range. Still, you can customize the controls when using your smartphone and even record streaming footage directly your smartphone.
Check out the Holy Stone F180W up close and personal below:
FQ777 RC Quadcopter Drone with 2.0MP Camera
Kidcia is a bit of a unique brand on our list in that they sell their products exclusively through Amazon. Another interesting quality about the Kidcia brand is that they do not specialize in drones and actually sell more toys for younger children. On occasion, this can mean that the company is not truly positioned to be a leader in the market, but Kidcia bucks this trend by producing a solid indoor drone at a reasonable price.
When compared to many of the other drones on our list, the Kidcia can be seen as a bit of Goldilocks product. It may not blow you away with too terribly many features that are exclusive or more commonly found on high-end drones, but neither will it disappoint you with the lack of durability or substandard flying capabilities that are often a consequence when purchasing a more budget-minded drone.
One thing that will stick out a bit with the Kidcia is its camera. While not every drone we reviewed comes with a camera, most of the ones that do shoot in a 120-degree wide angle frame at 720p HD resolution. Unfortunately, the Kidcia only provides a 2.0 MP camera. For the purposes of FPV flight, this is not too much of an issue, though the image may blur when turning at high speeds. However, this camera is almost unusable for the purpose of recording footage as it will be blurry throughout.
That said, for a beginner, this is a solid drone whose mid-level price make for a nice value. It features an altitude hold function to make controlling and orienting the drone easier as well as a headless mode in case the drone flies outside of your sight. When you need the drone to come back, the one key return home feature takes all the effort and guesswork out of retrieval.
MJX Bugs 3 B3 Mini (Best Indoor Drone with Camera)
When it comes to pretty much any and all RC controlled products, MJX is one of the most well-known and well-respected brands on the market. Long before drones were even a twinkle in enthusiast’s eye, MJX provided some of the best RC land, water, and air vehicles. With three and a half decades of experience under their belt, MJX has shifted almost exclusively to the burgeoning drone market and remains a power player in that field.
In regards to the B3 Mini, MJX has taken the technology for one of their most popular drones, the Bugs 3, and miniaturized it in a much smaller profile that is ideal for indoor settings. Of course, its smaller size does mean that you will not be able to use this drone just like the Bugs 3. For instance, the B3 Mini is not suitable for mounting a GoPro, though it does come with a slot to install a plug-and-play FPV camera.
Still, when it comes to the B3 Mini, easily the best features are those that are carried over from the Bugs 3. While this drone has not been officially released and some of its features are not yet detailed, one thing we do know is that it will feature the MJX brushless motor system. This is important for a few reasons. First, brushless motors are far more durable than brushed motors--which becomes a bigger deal the smaller the drone gets. Second, brushless motors also require far less cooldown time between flights.
In terms of the features that have not yet been confirmed but are probable considering the Bugs 3 mini drone construction, it is quite likely that the B3 Mini will be made from the nylon fiber material that allows the Bugs 3 to remain both incredibly durable as well as light.
Moreover, you would expect the B3 Mini to also come with the independent ESC found in many MJX drones--including the Bugs 3. If true, this would likely be the best indoor drone with a camera available.
Check out this drone in action below!
Holy Stone F181W Wifi FPV (Best Indoor FPV Drone)
Unlike many of the other makers of indoor drones on our list, Holy Stone is a full-market drone manufacturer. Rather than specializing in consumer grade drone, Holy Stone offers a full suite of drones suitable for any occasion. They make drones ideal for beginners but also provide drones that can compete in tournament regulated racing competitions. This versatility is on full display with the F181W which provides one of the more reliable options we saw.
That said, one thing to keep in mind is that this drone bridges the gap between the Holy Stone beginner and FPV lineup. This means that while it does fly better than most of the other drones on our list, it also comes with a few limitations that are designed to ensure that its maneuverability and control are kept within carefully prescribed parameters. Ultimately what this means is that more experienced flyers may be a bit frustrated with the Holy Stone’s consistent rate of yaw regardless the flying mode selected.
Of course, that too is a bit by design since we already mentioned that this drone skirts the line between beginner and FPV markets. Like many drones in this niche, the Holy Stone comes with a 120-degree wide-angle frame camera that shoots and records in 720p HD resolution. However, what sets this drone apart from its competitors is the inclusion of a 4GB TF memory card. This feature prevents the WiFi lag incurred when recording video from other drones we saw that stream directly to your smartphone.
In terms of one-button controls, the Holy Stone does not include all of the functions that you would normally expect from a beginner or indoor drone. Specifically, this drone will not automatically take off with the press of a button, though it does at least automatically hover which makes taking off easier for beginners. Likewise, this drone does not have a one-button landing function outside of the return home function, but you will still likely want to land it yourself as that feature can be finicky at times.
Check some video on the Holy Stone F181W
Altair #AA108 Camera Drone
Altair Aerial may not be the most well-known manufacturer of drones, but they are quickly making a name for themselves in the consumer grade market. Headquartered out of Lincoln, Nebraska by two friends with a lifelong passion for drones, the Altair brand may not make drones for racing or professional ventures, but they do make some of the best consumer grade drones at incredibly reasonable prices. That said, this is still the most expensive indoor drone we reviewed.
When it comes to all of the drones that we reviewed, this is by far one of the best in terms of flying maneuverability and control. While this is a review on indoor drones, it is always nice when an indoor drone is capable to be used outdoors as well. While the Altair may not handle windy conditions quite as well as the MJX Bugs 3 Mini, it is not too terribly far off from it either. Sustained winds of 5 to 10 mph should not be much of a problem for experienced pilots.
In terms of one-button commands, the Altair makes taking off and landing a fairly simple process. The one-button take off and landing function means even inexperienced flyers can get the Altair into the air without any trouble. One odd omission from the Altair is a return button. Unlike most of the other consumer grade drones we saw, the Altair will require you to physically fly the drone back rather than return to a homing signal.
When looking at the camera and FPV features, you get pretty much what you expect from a high-end consumer-grade indoor drone. The camera shoots in a 120-degree wide-angle frame at 720p HD resolution. The FPV function requires syncing the drone with an app in your smartphone, though this feature seems to be far more reliable than with some of the other drones that use this process. Still, it is important to remember that the FPV range is significantly shorter than the drone’s actual flight range.
Best Indoor Drones: Conclusion
When it comes to choosing the best indoor drone, it is important to know what you intend to use it for. In this instance, you get what you pay for, but you are often paying for ease and additional features as the price climbs. In the hands of an experienced flyer, every drone we reviewed is more than capable of providing plenty of entertainment and the ability to build drone flying skills.