Best drones 2024: Aim higher with the best of the best

Hand reaches out for one of the best drones
(Image credit: Getty Images and Future)

The best drones are now on offer as Amazon Prime Day is here and our top offer is the DJI Mini 3 Fly More Combo on sale right now at Amazon for $495.

Drone technology and design know few bounds, with the best drones offering something for everyone. Whether you're looking for the best sub-250 g model, the best FPV drone, the best multi-camera drone or something in between, our expertly curated guide has you covered.

If, however, you're looking for something more specific, our best camera drones, best beginner drones and best FPV drones guides could be exactly what you're looking for to help you choose your next drone. What's more, there have been some incredibly exciting releases in the last year and we have them all covered in our full reviews.

The best drones quite often feature fantastic cameras, but what we're looking at here is also the overall and unique features that are on offer, alongside size, weight and performance. All of these are important considerations when selecting the best drone for you, not to mention cost which is always a factor.

With cost in mind, Amazon Prime Day continues throughout July 16-17, and we have spotted some incredible drone deals that should save you hundreds of dollars. But we anticipate more to come with other models on Amazon US and UK.

The Quick list

Best drones we recommend in 2024

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Best drone overall

A stunning drone for visual creators

Specifications

Camera: 20MP 4/3 main camera, 70mm and 166mm telephoto cameras
Battery: 5000 mAh / up to 43 minutes flight time
Video resolution: Up to 5.1K
Frame rates: 5.1K up to 75fps / 4K up to 120fps / FHD up to 200fps
Foldable design: Yes
Weight: 33.79 oz / 958 g
Dimensions: 9.10 x 3.85 x 3.75 inches / 231.1×98×95.4 mm (folded) 13.68 x 11.44 x 4.24 / 347.5×290.8×107.7 mm (unfolded)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent image quality with three cameras
+
Up to 5.1K video capture
+
Advanced safety features

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Three cameras may not be required
-
Heavy compared to sub-250g models
Buy it if

✅ You're looking for versatility: The three cameras on offer on this drone give you the ability to shoot different perspectives and different focal lengths at the same time, which can help produce more creative content. 

✅ You want to shoot high-quality slow-mo: With this drone, you don't have to choose between quality and frame rates. You can shoot 5.1K up to 75fps, 4K up to 120fps and FHD up to 200fps.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're on a budget: With all the features on offer, this is quite an expensive drone and may be overkill for casual hobbyists. 

The bottom line

🔎 DJI Mavic 3 Pro One of the best foldable drones on the market, this allows you to get stunning videos and offers great flexibility with three cameras that can film at the same time. The only real downside is the price, but we think beginners and pros would be pleased with this purchase. ★★★★★

As we established in our hands-on DJI Mavic 3 Pro review, you won't be able to find many drones out there better than the DJI Mavic 3 Pro — the first consumer drone with three cameras — which boasts stunning image quality that both professionals and amateurs will appreciate. It's a bastion of creativity with its 24mm Four Thirds Hasselblad camera, which can capture 20MP photos and 5.1K video and has an adjustable aperture between f/2.8 and f/11. On either side, you will find a very useful 70mm medium telephoto and a 166mm telephoto to complete the set.

It features the hallmark Mavic folding design, and like the other models, we found it could provide around 30 minutes of flight time. It also comes with two different smart controller options, both featuring 5.5-inch touchscreens, so there's no need to hook up your smartphone.

The Mavic 3 Pro is very intuitive and easy to fly for a drone of this class since it comes with a number of flight and safety features such as Advanced Return to Home, AirSense ADS-B to detect aircraft, GEO 2.0 geofencing, obstacle sensing and automated flight patterns for video.

Although this is undoubtedly a pricey drone, it's been released at a similar price to older models, making the additional camera fantastic value. If your budget can stretch to it, you will not be disappointed with the incredible features offered by the Mavic 3 Pro.

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Test results
AttributesNotes
DesignThree cameras and two smart controllers
FunctionalityEasy to fly, with obstacle sensing technology
PerformanceExcellent image quality and videos up to 5.1K

Best single camera drone

DJI's prosumer powerhouse made more affordable

Specifications

Camera: 4/3 20MP sensor
Battery: 5000mAh / up to 46 minutes flight time
Video resolution: Up to 5.1K
Frame rates: 5.1K up to 50fps / DCI 4k Up to 120fps / 4K up to 120fps / FHD up to 200fps
Foldable design: Yes
Weight: 895g
Dimensions: olded 221x96.3x90.3mm / Unfolded 347.5x283x107.7mm

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent image quality
+
Up to 5.1K video
+
Less expensive than Mavic 3 / Mavic 3 Cine

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive despite reduced cost
-
Not aimed at beginners
-
Much heavier than the Mini 3 Pro 
Buy it if

✅ You want excellent image quality at a more affordable price: This drone contains the same impressive Hasselblad 20MP camera as the other DJI Mavic 3 models, but keeps the price down by doing away with the additional cameras.

✅ You want something easy to fly: With two different controller options and an Advanced Return to Home feature, you should be able to get the hang of this drone quite quickly.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're after an affordable beginner drone: While this is more affordable than the other DJI Mavic 3 drones, it's still quite pricey and there are several other cheaper options on the market for beginners.

The bottom line

🔎 DJI Mavic 3 Classic This is a great option for people who want the image quality of the DJI Mavic 3 drones without paying extra for additional cameras that they don't have need for. Although it's still not cheap, it's easy to fly and would make a good investment for keen beginners. ★★★★½

Although the DJI Mavic 3 Classic doesn't have the full complement of cameras that the Pro version has, it's still well worth considering. This cost-effective alternative is the best single-camera drone out there and ideal for those who might consider three cameras a little overkill. It is still equipped with the same exquisite 20MP 24mm Hasselblad camera found on the other drones in the series, too, so there's no compromising on picture quality. This camera can shoot in JPEG or Raw, has an adjustable aperture between f/2.8 and f/11, offers 3x digital zoom and can film 5.1K video up to 50fps.

There are two controller options with this drone, depending on your budget. You can opt for a controller with a retractable phone holder or pay a bit more to get a smart controller with a 5.5-inch touchscreen, which in our DJI Mavic 3 Classic review, we found improved the overall user experience. This drone has the typical foldable design of the Mavic range and flight time was around 30 minutes during our testing.

Even beginners will be able to get the hang of flying this drone quickly thanks to all the on-board flight assistance. The Mavic 3 Classic features Advanced Return to Home, obstacle avoidance using multiple vision sensors and the highly effective ActiveTrack 5.0 for subject tracking. The High-Speed Quick Transfer feature also makes it super easy to share your results with clients or on social media since you can transfer files to your smartphone over WiFi at a rate of 80MB/s.

If you don't need a second camera, you can make a decent saving on this drone in comparison to the other Mavic 3 drones without losing many of their other great features and functionality.

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Test results
AttributesNotes
DesignSingle Hasselblad 20MP camera and controller options
FunctionalityEasy to fly, with good safety features
PerformanceFantastic image quality with 12.8 stops of dynamic range

Best non-DJI alternative