5 Things You Should Know BEFORE Buying a Drone
How to Buy a Drone
A drone is an exciting purchase that can transform the way you take photos and videos. Drones have many uses: they are great for filming racing and wildlife, aerial photography, and are a fun way to capture memories. To get the most satisfaction from your drone, do your research before you make the purchase. Consider what features you need and how much you are willing to spend. Keep an eye out for good deals to help you get a quality drone at a low price.
Deciding on Important Features
Decide how much you are willing to spend.It is important to decide how much you are going to spend on a drone early in your research process. The scope of your budget will either limit or extend your search. There are plenty of cheap drones on the market but they are often harder to fly and come with fewer quality guarantees. More expensive models come with extra features that can be useful depending on what you will be using the drone for.
- Consider the extra cost, such as getting the drone fixed or replacing parts. It is generally easier and cheaper to fix drones that are from popular manufacturers.
Choose a drone with a long flight time if you want to record long videos.The flight time of a drone tells you how long it will stay in the air after a full charge. The flight time will be listed on the side of the box or in the specifications if you are looking at drones online. A longer flight time is useful if you are wanting to film long videos, cover a long distance, or like the convenience of not having to charge the drone so often.
- A longer flight time is usually correlated with a higher price. If flight time is important to you, look for a drone that has the longest flight time within your budget.
- Sometimes drones with a long flight time will have really long charging times. If you need the drone to charge quickly, check the charging time on the packet.
Opt for a ready-to-fly (RTF) drone if you want a simple set up.An RTF drone comes almost ready to go and includes all the necessary components. All you need to do is connect the propeller, bind the controller to the drone, and charge the drone’s batteries. These are simple tasks and the instructions will be clearly outlined in the drone manual.
- A basic RTF is approximately US and an advanced model can cost thousands.
Opt for a bind-to-fly (BTF) drone if you already have a controller.If you don’t have a controller this option tends to be more expensive and complicated, as you will need to connect the controller to the drone. However, if you already have a controller you like, a BTF drone is a good option.
- Despite not having a controller, BTF drones aren’t generally any cheaper than RTF drones.
Choose an almost-ready-to-fly (ARTF) drone if you want to construct the drone yourself.These drone kits don’t normally come with transmitters, receivers, or motors so you will need to buy them separately. Read the description of the drone carefully so you know what is included in the kit. This is a good option if you are an experience drone user or already have many of the drone components.
- This is not the easiest option if it is your first time buying a drone as you will need in-depth knowledge of drone components.
Consider a first-person video (FPV) drone if you plan to take photos.An FPV drone allows you to stream the drone footage onto a mobile phone. This is useful if you want to take photographs, as it will allow you to see where the drone is pointing before taking the picture. FPV is also useful if you are looking to take a video that follows an object, such as wildlife or racing cars.
- Make sure that your mobile phone has the ability to stream videos. You will most likely need a smartphone that has a recent operating system. Check the drone packet to verify what specifications the streaming requires.
- FPV drones start at about US0.
- FPV capabilities won’t affect the handling of the drone.
Opt for a maximum stability drone if this is your first drone purchase.Most drones claim to be easy to fly, but this is not always accurate. If you are a beginner drone flyer, a maximum stability drone is a good option as it will stay in the air without significant help.
- A basic maximum stability drone can be purchased for about US.
- Some drones have specialized software that helps them to automatically dodge obstacles. This is a helpful feature but will generally cost an extra few thousand dollars.
- The return-to-home (RTH) safety feature is on many of the maximum stability drones. This feature instructs the drone to automatically fly back to a set location if it leaves a certain parameter. These drones start from about US.
Opt for a brushless motor if you need the drone to be quiet.Drones can often be noisy. This is fine if you are flying the drone on your own property, but can be obnoxious if you are flying in a tranquil setting. A brushless motor is significantly quieter than its counterparts and has the added benefit of longer battery life.
- Brushless motor drones tend to be on the more expensive end of the drone price spectrum. A basic drone with a brushless motor will cost around US0 and an advanced model can cost thousands.
Making the Purchase
Visit stores to view the models you’re interested in.Photography stores, appliance stores, and electronic stores all commonly stock drones. Consider viewing the models in person, even if you want to buy them online, as this will give you the opportunity to see their size and aesthetic in person.
- Ask the store if there is a drone that you are able to test. This will help you figure out what features you like.
Read reviews online to help you choose between models.Prior to purchasing a drone, search for the models you are considering online and read feedback from other purchasers. This will help you to evaluate their usability, durability, battery life, and photo/video quality. Type the product number of the drone you are interested in into a search engine, followed by “customer reviews”.
- Reviews tend to be non-biased, meaning they can give you honest information on the performance of the drone.
- If you are interested in a particular feature of a drone, add that into your online search.
Find the best price on the model you want by searching online.Conduct an online search of the product numbers of the drones you are interested in. This will show you the different stores and sites that stock them and allow you to compare prices. Re-check online regularly as stores will have sales throughout the year.
- If your dream drone is slightly out of your budget, try utilizing the big sales, such as those on Boxing Day, Black Friday, or New Year’s Day.
- If you are shopping online, try to find a shop that will ship your drone cheaply or free of charge.
Find out how long the warranty of the drone is and what it covers.Sometimes, it can be worthwhile paying slightly extra for a comprehensive drone warranty. Ask the salesperson if this option is available and find out what it covers.
Purchase your drone once you know what model you want.Once you have done your research and looked for a good deal you are ready to make your purchase. Swipe your card in-store or press purchase on the online store.
- Keep all your receipts and warranty information in case the drone is faulty or something breaks shortly after your purchase.
Contact the store if your drone is faulty.If your drone has defects or breaks shortly after you purchased it, there is a good chance you will be able to get a refund or a replacement drone. If you purchased the drone online, email the store and explain what is wrong with the drone. You will likely need to email them a copy of your receipt and a photo of the defect.
- If you brought the drone in person, show the receipt to the store to get free repairs or a replacement product, provided that the damage occurred within the warranty period.
- If you don’t hear back from the online store, email the manufacturer of the drone. Their email address can be found by searching online for the manufacturers contact details.
- If your friend has a drone, ask if you can try it out. This is an easy way to try out a drone without committing to buying it.
- Research the drone laws in your country and state. Most regions require you to register your drone before flying it.
- Search online for any no-fly areas in your region. This is important as drones flying in the wrong area can pose a risk to planes.
Video: 10 Things To Consider Before Buying a Drone
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