With many of us at home and looking for things to do with the kids, now might be the perfect time to consider buying a drone. It’s something most people can fly in their backyard, and there is much that kids can learn from it, such as aerodynamics, cognitive reasoning, and eye-hand coordination. Here’s my pick for the best family drone under $500.
There was a day when a good drone easily cost $1,000 or more. That is not the case anymore. The newest, more affordable drone from DJI is the Mavic Mini at $400. It folds up into a compact pouch that you can easily take to your local park. Unfold the arms and it’s ready to fly.
What I love about the Mavic Mini is that it’s simple to use. The DJI Fly app walks you through the entire process. There are a few different modes that make it easier or more difficult to control based on your, or your child’s, skill level. The drone does most of the hard work if you don’t want to spend too much time figuring out how to be a drone master. The best part is that if you take your hands off the drone at any time it will simply hover in place. If you’re careful, it really is hard to crash this thing.
The Mavic Mini also takes 12-megapixel pictures, and video is 1080p—technically it can record video up to 2.7K. If these numbers are gobbledygook to you, just know that it’s not the best quality, but it’s good enough for most of us and the results look amazing. The battery will last up to 30 minutes per flight and DJI claims you can fly the drone more than two miles away with the included remote. It’ll even land itself back where it started with the push of a button.
I found the Mavic Mini easy to setup, easy to fly, and durable enough for most families.