It's Cyber Monday, a last few hours in which you can grab the remaining good Black Friday deals out there. Some companies have already snatched them away, or they have been sold out, but luckily in the world of great drones for the holidays – and Christmas giving – the big names are keeping their discounts going until the end of today.
Three of those deals represent one of the best choices for kids this season, the Holy Stone HS280. This drone won't produce amazing slick video or photos because the camera is attached to the body, but it does still have a camera. And it also has a good-quality folding airframe which feels a bit more grown-up than the price suggests. The controller, on the other hand, feels nicely robust and – so long as you use it where it isn't too windy – it should serve you well.
Holy Stone HS280 |
was $99.99 | now $59.99
Save 40% at Amazon With a built-in camera and bundled with two batteries and a rugged-feeling controller, this is a great toy drone. The design aesthetic is sumptuous, and kids can pick it up as easy as a game.
If you've got a bit more cash available, and want to give the kids something which they can achieve quality video with, then the Potensic Atom drones have really impressed me this year. They offer two versions – a cheaper one (called Atom SE) with a camera fixed to the body that vibrates and turns with it, and a more expensive alternative with a gimbal (a mechanism that stabilizes the camera for smooth video). Both are great, but the later might be perfect for budding creatives:
Potensic Atom SE |
was $249.99 | now $199.99
Save $50 at Amazon This drone is under 249g, so there is no need to register, but it boasts 4K video capture, GPS and electronic image stabilization. The battery gives 31-minutes flight and it has up to 4km / 2.5 miles range with a live view on your phone screen and a real controller with phone grip.
Potensic Atom Fly More Combo |
was $449.99 | now $369.99
Save $80 at Amazon This drone comes with high-end features including 4K video capture, GPS and a three-axis gimbal for stable footage. This Fly More Combo adds a carry case and a parallel charger that can charge three batteries at once, meaning your drone need never be out of the sky for long.
Finally I think it's worth mentioning a couple of drones from the market leader in this round up – their entry-level drone simply because (which it is priced to be a 'main present') it is the most reasonably priced. The other is the Avata FPV which is a different kind of drone flying – a sensible, older kid wears goggles like VR glasses and effectively stands in the cockpit of the drone. This is often a social activity (usually a friend keeps an eye on the sky for safety, and they take turns to fly).
DJI Mini 2 SE|
was £339 | now $299
Save $40 at Amazon The Mini 2 SE comes with a robust controller and boasts a good quality 2.7K camera with gimbal for stable video, plus cool automated flights that create amazing shareable video.
DJI Avata Explorer Combo |
was $1,278 | now $889
Save $389 at Amazon This is a stellar deal on DJI's best-selling FPV drone - this bundle comes with the Integra goggles and the RC Motion 2 wireless joystick.
Although it's not got a camera, it is worth mentioning that the indoor drone experience can be had for not much more than a couple of premium beers. Look for bundles like this with three batteries as drones like this last for a very few miniutes and you and the kids will be fighting over those precious seconds of play!
Holy Stone Mini |
was $49.99 | now $25.89
Save 48% at Amazon This is a bare-bones experience, a tiny indoor toy, but thanks to the whoop-like frame design (it's an industry term!) the blades are protected from any nasty mishaps. Battery swapping, however, does need a little caution.
Sadly another drone I usually like to recommend is getting a bit hard to find; the Ryze Tello. This isn't a new drone, but it was made in partnership between market leader DJI (who generally reserve their tech for more expensive drones) and chip-maker Intel (which brought positive educational aspiration). If you see it out there, it's a good drone, but I've only seen it for full price this year. There are others to check on our guide to the best drones for kids or best drones for beginners.
DJI Tello Ryze | $99
Buy at Amazon This is the perfect drone for kids or total beginners that want to see what flying and using a drone is like with very little cash down to get involved. With tech from the world leader in drones and simple safety features in the frame this is a good quality way to take off and explore the skies safely.