The Best Nano Drones

Miniaturization has simply always been the name of the game in technology. We’ve seen computers go from the size of a warehouse to the size of a manilla envelope. We’ve watched cell phones go from the size of an entire forearm to handheld devices. And we’ve even seen video game consoles like the original brick-sized Gameboy become completely pocket-sized.

It seems drones are next in line for the shrinking treatment. If you want a good drone to soar through the skies and capture some incredible footage, but you don’t want the burden of carrying around a machine the size of a small dog, then a nano drone is exactly what you’re looking for. These miniature drones will fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, and they won’t take up any of your packing space. We’re going to help you find the best nano drone so you can get a YouTube-worthy highlight real of aerial footage.

Carry on reading to see our full list of the best nano drones, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.

Table Of Contents

What Should You Look For in a Nano Drone?

Drones are still relatively new, so you might not be an expert or even familiar with the technology just yet. Of course, that makes knowing what to look for when you buy your mini drone a bit more difficult. But, as always, we’re here to help. We’re going to clearly lay out our criteria for the best mini drones so that you don’t need to do a bunch of research before buying your new drone.

Of course, we’ll also make sure to point out some of the expected differences between nano drones and full-sized drones (besides their size, of course). After reading just a few short paragraphs, you’ll be able to separate the good drones from the bad drones, and you’ll feel ready to pick out the drone that’s best for your tastes and your needs.

Criteria #1: Accessibility – Nano drones are mostly geared towards beginners, and as such, we’re looking for drones that are easy to use. This mainly means having an intuitive and responsive control scheme, but it also means having some nice extra features and options to make sure everything goes smoothly. We want you to have the best experience possible while you get used to your first nano drone and maybe consider upgrading to a full-sized drone.

Criteria #2: Durability – Even if you’re a master pilot right out of the gate, your drone is going to take a hit every now and then. It’s just inevitable. That’s why we need to make sure that all of the drones on our list can stand up to a beating or two. And the absolute best mini drones on our list will be able to take a full-speed collision from a bird and keep on flying along as if nothing happened. Of course, with less weight behind them, nano drones won’t be able to take as much abuse. So no matter what, you’re going to want to be careful.

Criteria #3: Size – Obviously, we want our nano drones to be small. How small is up to you, and, of course, if they’re classified as nano then they’re going to be at least decently miniature. But we’ll make sure to give the full measurements of every nano drone on our list so that you can decide if each mini drone is really mini enough for you. Some will fit in your backpack, while others will fit in your pocket.

Criteria #4: Battery Life – Unfortunately, nano drones just naturally have a worse battery life than their bigger counterparts, but we can minimize the damage. The truth is that even the best nano drones will have a battery that offers a measly 5- to 10-minute flight time, compared to larger drones which can have a flight time of almost half an hour. But we will look for drones that charge quickly enough that you’re not stuck on the ground for too long in between flights.

Criteria #5: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well. Luckily, as they’re geared towards beginners, nano drones will pretty much by definition be much cheaper than full-sized drones, so you shouldn’t find yourself agonizing over the dollars and cents too much. Plus, the price range for nano drones is pretty narrow, so you’ll really mostly be able to just pick your drone based on quality instead of price.

Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Nano Drones

We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best nano drones” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We’ll also make sure to include a wide variety of products on our list so that everyone can find exactly what they’re looking for.

And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best nano drones on the market. 

#1: Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone (Best Value – All-Purpose)

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Our list starts off with the Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone, and I promise that Holy Stone is a name you’ll learn to get used to if you keep looking into nano drones. With a frame that measures 5.3 x 5.3 x 1.6 inches, our number one nano drone is actually a bit bigger than the rest of the competition, but that’s still plenty small, and it offers the smoothest experience out there.

The Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone boasts a 6-axis gyro stabilization system that will guarantee this drone can recover and keep flying after any flip, loop, or turn, and it’s wind-resistant, so it won’t get battered around if the weather is less than ideal.

But the big seller of the Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone is its headless control mode, which keeps things calibrated in the same direction no matter where the drone is facing. Forward is always forward, and back is always back. This means that you’ll never get disoriented while you’re piloting this mini drone, and that makes it great for beginners.

The Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone comes with a very competitive price tag, and it’s earned the number one spot on multiple lists of the best nano drones. With over 8,000 reviews on Amazon, you can’t rest easy knowing that the layperson loves this drone just as much as the paid critic.

Everyone agrees that the headless mode makes this a great product for beginners. The biggest problem by far with this drone is that its battery offers a short 5- to 10-minute flight time, but it will also charge in less than an hour, so you’ll be out for another flying session pretty soon.

With its competitive price and its accessible design and features, the Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone is the best value out there, and it’s our best mini drone on the market.


#2: DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone (Best Overall Nano Drone)

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The Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone may be the best value nano drone on the market, and its headless mode definitely makes it a crowd favorite, but there are other choices out there. If you don’t care about value and you want the best product, full stop, then you may be more interested in the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone.

It may cost a bit more than our number one best mini drone (don’t worry, it’s still very cheap) but it also has some amazing features that will make your head spin. If you like to go for the gold and you have no problem spending the extra couple of bucks, here are some features that will make the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone worth your hard-earned cash.

Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Automatic Flip Function

If you want to be able to show off a bit for the crowd before you actually become a pro drone pilot, then the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone is perfect for you. This premium nano drone comes with an automatic flip function that will cause your drone to do a flip in the air without any demanding piloting on your end. You’ll have a full highlight reel of flips and tricks in no time, and nobody has to know how easy it was. It’ll be our little secret.

Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Automatic Takeoff and Landing

Keeping in the theme of automation, the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone makes landing as easy as possible with its automatic takeoff and landing feature. Landing can be a bit overwhelming for new drone pilots, So the folks over at DoDoelph decided to take care of that for you. With just one press of a button, your drone will take off, and if you press the button again, the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone will automatically go right back to where ever it took off from and land automatically. You’ll never have to worry about a bumpy landing with the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone.

On top of the automatic landing and flipping features, the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone has automatic stabilization that will keep it at a steady altitude even if you let go of the controls. As you can see, DoDoelph really made automation a big feature of their high-quality mini drone.

As we mentioned before, our second-ranked nano drone is a little bit more expensive than our top pick, but it’s honestly not a big enough difference to be the deal-breaker for most customers. With “only” 1,400 and change reviews on Amazon, the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone isn’t quite as popular as the Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone, but you can still rest easy knowing you’re getting a tried and tested product. Customers praised this drone for having a great price and being excellent for beginners, so it could be an amazing gift or a nice little present to yourself.

This nano drone has a frame of 4.13 x 4.13 x 0.98 inches, and just like our number one nano drone, it has a short 5-minute flight time, but also charges in less than an hour. The biggest difference, other than the price, between the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone and the Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone is that the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone is lacking the headless mode. So if you want that intuitive control scheme, go with the Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone. But if you want that fully automated experience, then the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone is the best mini drone for you.


#3: Potensic A20 Mini Drone (Best for Beginners)

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In an article full of mini drones geared towards beginners, the Potensic A20 Mini Drone is the most beginner-friendly mini drone of them all. This nano drone has just about every feature you can think of to make sure that you feel right at home the first time you pick up the controller to this flying machine.

To start things off, the Potensic A20 Mini Drone comes with the same headless mode that the Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone boasts, so you’ll never lose track of which direction is which. If you buy this nano drone, you’ll also get an altitude hold function powered by the 2.4G axis that will keep things study so you only have to worry about four directions instead of six. The Potensic A20 Mini Drone also features one-touch landing to help you touch down smoothly and three different speeds so you don’t have to worry too much about keeping things under control.

With a frame of 3.1 x 1.25 x 3.5 inches and a weight of just 6.7 ounces, the Potensic A20 Mini Drone is one of the smallest and lightest mini drones on the market, so if you’re taking the “mini” part seriously, this is the drone for you. It also features a low battery alarm so you’ll never be caught off guard. In terms of price, the Potensic A20 Mini Drone falls in between our first two mini drones, and it definitely won’t put a big dent in your budget.

With over 5,000 glowing reviews, the verdict is clear. If you want the number one mini drone for beginners, then you want the Potensic A20 Mini Drone


#4: Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone (Best for Pictures and Video)

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Unfortunately, most nano drones don’t come with cameras equipped. This means that, while it may be fun to watch your drone soar through the air, you’re not going to get any footage to show your friends – unless, of course, you have the Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone. The other mini drones on our list may serve as good ways to practice if you eventually want to upgrade to a full-sized drone with a camera, but the Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone is one of the only mini drones on the market that has its own camera.

This premium Holy Stone mini drone features a 1080p wifi camera that streams the video straight to your smartphone, so you can explore the skies like never before. Even better, the controller has a stand specifically for your phone, so you’ll be able to conveniently watch your live feed without running out of hands. You can even draw a line on your smartphone and the drone will follow that route. And the gesture detecting feature will give you the best aerial selfies imaginable. Simply raise your hand and make a peace sign, and the Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone will begin snapping pictures. Plus, with a weight of just 4 ounces and change, the Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone isn’t cheating with the word “mini,” which makes it even more impressive that this drone comes equipped with a high-quality camera.

But the Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable DroneHoly Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone isn’t just a flying camera. It features all of the beginner-friendly traits we’ve gotten used to like altitude hold, headless mode, and one-key landing, so it’s still perfect as your first drone, mini or otherwise.

The one possible reason to not buy this drone is that it’s by far the most expensive product on this list. Of course, we promised you a list of the best mini drones, and we couldn’t very well leave out one of the only mini drones with a camera. If you’re willing to pay a little bit more and you really have your heart set on that amazing aerial footage, then the Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone is just about the only mini drone out there for you.


#5: Holy Stone HS190 Foldable Mini Nano RC Drone (Most Portable Option)

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Out of all of the nano drones on our list, none are quite as nano as the Holy Stone HS190 Foldable Mini Nano RC Drone. Besides your standard altitude hold function, one-key landing and take-off, and headless mode, this has to be just about the only micro drone on the market that fits inside its own controller. That’s right. As the “foldable” part of the Holy Stone HS190 Foldable Mini Nano RC Drone’s name suggests, this micro drone folds up to an absolutely tiny size. It can then fit inside the controller, which has a compartment conveniently located right in its center that’s perfectly designed to hold this folding nano drone.

Unfolded, this nano quadcopter measures 3.7 x 3.7 x 1.2 inches, which would already be plenty small. But when it’s folded up, its frame changes to a microscopic 2.1 x 2.1 x 1.2 inches. Combine that with the amazing compartment in the controller, and you’ll be able to carry in your pocket everything you need to fly this drone. You or your child can easily bring this drone along wherever you’re headed with absolutely zero baggage.

To put it simply, there are nano drones, and then there’s the Holy Stone HS190 Foldable Mini Nano RC Drone, which is the best micro drone for anyone who appreciates portability. This ultra-portable drone falls into a medium price range compared to the other drones on our list, which is to say it’s very cheap, and it has a slew of positive reviews. Plus it has the Holy Stone name, that we’ve come to trust so much, attached to it. Save yourself the trouble of bringing an extra bag with the Holy Stone HS190 Foldable Mini Nano RC Drone.


#6: Cheerson CX-10 Nano Quadcopter (Best for Flying at Night)

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For a lot of people, there’s no better way to relax after a long day than to fly their drone around a little after hours. Of course, if it’s dark out, then visibility becomes a bit of an issue. Thankfully, the wonderful people at Cheerson found a very simple solution to that with the Cheerson CX-10 Nano Quadcopter – lights. That’s right, the Cheerson CX-10 Nano Quadcopter comes with lights attached to it, so you can fly it even at the darkest hours, and you’ll be able to see it just fine. And as a nice bonus, the Cheerson CX-10 Nano Quadcopter is one of the lightest nano drones out there weighing just 3.4 ounces.

On top of its glowing lights and its small frame, this nighttime nano drone has a 6-axis design for peak flight stability. It has a 4- to 8-minute flight time which is just a little bit shorter than the flight time of our other nano drones, and it has a battery low alarm that will keep you on your toes.

The biggest problem with this drone is that it doesn’t have any propeller guards, so you should definitely be a little more cautious with it, as it may not be able to take a run-in with a tree the same way our other nano drones can. It’s also lacking formal wind resistance, but reviewers said that it handled the wind just fine, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that unless you live in a particularly windy area.

The Cheerson CX-10 Nano Quadcopter is one of the cheaper drones out there, so if you’re trying to cut back, then this is a great choice, even if you don’t particularly plan on using it at night. Of course, if you’re looking for a relaxing nighttime drone flight, then this is the best option out there. So wind down after a long day and enjoy the nighttime breeze with the cheap and small Cheerson CX-10 Nano Quadcopter.


How Do I Use a Nano Drone?

Honestly, there’s not a whole lot I can tell you here other than practice, practice, practice. All of the drones on our list are accessible for beginners, and the controls will be pretty intuitive. Just think of a remote control car, but instead, it’s in the air.

I will say that, if you really want to be able to get footage of your drone’s flights but you weren’t in love with the HS160 Pro Foldable Drone, there are cameras out there that can be manually attached to your drone. Of course, especially if you’re still new to quadcopters, that may be a more daunting undertaking than you’re willing to tackle. Plus, you’ll have to add the price of the camera onto the price of your nano drone itself, and at that point, it’ll probably just be cheaper to buy the Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone. But other than that, there’s nothing left but to go outside and start piloting!

Verdict: Your Best Nano Drones

We’re reaching the end of our list, and you’re hopefully starting to get a good idea of which of our products is best for you. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, not to worry. We don’t want to rush, and we know how important it is to make sure you’re getting the nano drone that’s perfect for you. That’s why we’re going to recap all of our nano drones and focus on their standout features. This way, you’ll be able to see the highlights and really know what each product has to offer for you.  

If you want the best value for your money, pick the Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone.

The Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone is basically the industry-standard drone from the industry-leading drone manufacturer. This micro drone has 6-axis gyro functioning to keep it stable mid-flight, headless mode so that it’ll always be easy to control, and just about every other feature you could think of. And on top of everything, it comes at a rock-solid affordable price that’s thought to beat.

The only real drawback is the 10-minute flight time, but that’s honestly just the reality of nano drones. For anything longer, you’d have to go to a full-sized drone. Besides, it charges quickly enough that you won’t be stuck on the ground for too long. If you want the best deal, then the Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone is the perfect drone for you.

If you want automatic flips and tricks, pick the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone.

It’s always fun to be the center of attention and to show off a little. Of course, taking the time to learn all of the tricks needed to show off is a little less fun. But with the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone, that’s all taken care of for you. The DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone is one of the only nano drones on the market that can flip automatically with the touch of a button, and it even lands automatically too. Just push the button and this drone will automatically fly back to the spot from which it took off.

Automation is the name of the game with the DoDoeleph Syma X20 Nano Drone. This is the best micro drone for anyone who doesn’t have time to become an expert but still wants to spice things up a bit.

If you want a drone with a camera, pick the Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone.

By nature, nano drones almost never come with cameras. This would add weight and make the more expensive. But the Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone decided to buck that trend, and it still managed to be plenty small. While it’s expensive, this is basically the only micro drone on the market that comes with a 1080p wifi camera that streams footage straight to your phone. It also recognizes your poses and automatically takes selfies, so you can get a brand-new profile picture at some previously unimaginable angles thanks to this flying camera. The only way to get amazing high-altitude pictures from a mini drone is with the Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone.

That brings us to the end of our list of the best nano drones. If you’re still a little unsure of which drone is best for you and none of the above-highlighted products really grabbed you, then you may be more interested in the beginner-friendly Potensic A20 Mini Drone or the extremely portable Holy Stone HS160 Pro Foldable Drone. Of course, there’s always the Cheerson CX-10 Nano Quadcopter that’s perfect for all of your midnight drone flying needs.

A final word of advice – it may be a good idea to write down the trait that’s most important to you before you start thinking more about which drone you want. This will help you narrow things down and save some time by skipping the products that don’t really have what you’re looking for.

That’s all for now. Enjoy the new drone and have fun learning how to fly it!

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