I recently went on a micro drone buying binge and I wanted to share some of what I learned with you to make sure you get the right drone for you. I was impressed by three of the following machines for different reasons. They are all very inexpensive, between $15-35. There are some really terrible articles out there that "review" these drones but they don't actually own them and they were written by someone trying to get you to click affiliate links. There are no affiliate links in this article. Instead, consider using my store in the link above.
My kids had both saved up $20 and they always see me flying my little drone so they really wanted one. My 6 year old wanted this tie-dyed looking CX-10D and insisted on this one over anything else. I tried to push back saying it was more expensive at $20, etc etc but he was relentless. My younger son got the green regular CX-10, and ill discuss this below.
The CX-10D has a middle centered throttle stick, similar to a DJI Phantom. You press a button on the controller and it jumps into the air and automatically holds its altitude. This is not the drone I would get for speed practice or a practice drone for FPV. However it is an excellent drone for someone who has struggled with throttle control and just wants to fly around more and worry less about altitude. This one you just press the take off button, then you can work on maneuvering your drone around the house or practicing your flying drills. You raise the altitude by pushing the throttle stick (left stick on Mode 2) up and then letting it recenter.
Overall, I was really impressed with how well the altitude hold worked on this little drone. It seems stable and my 6 year old loves it because he does not have to constantly adjust the throttle to fly it around. Usually the throttle is one of the most difficult things to learn but this lets you skip that step to focus on flying around. You still will need to learn throttle eventually. If your goal is to fly a phantom without crashing, this might be the drone to get for indoor orientation practice.
The Eachine E010 has two flight modes, neither of which is fast. I had a hard time flying into strong wind, but it was so fun to fly inside because it was stable and had a low max forward flying speed. This has the traditional mode 2 controller with the no spring throttle stick on the left. This is much easier to fly than the Hubsan X4 or the other micro drones I have flown but you still need to have good throttle control. I really liked the ducted fan blades because it offers a degree of protection against walls, furniture, ceilings, and pets. My only complaint is that it does not have a more aggressive flight mode. There are a lot of aftermarket mods for this copter, the one that caught my eye was the upgraded flight board that will surely unlock the flight performance that I crave (but it needs a Frsky / Flysky controller that I do not currently own).
This is great as an indoor flyer, its fast enough for inside but doesn't do that well outside in a breeze because of its ultra stable flight controller software. Eachine, how about an extra flight mode for those of us who want to go super fast??
There are lots of ways to upgrade this little craft, and it is the base for the tiny whoop FPV drones. I will be spending lots of time with this machine and different variations in the coming weeks because its so fun. Stay tuned for more on this one.
I ordered one of these thinking it would be similar to the Aerix Turbo-x I bought and loved. I was sadly surprised - it was terrible. It seemed to lose connection to the remote control and fall out of the sky or even worse, glitch out and blast full throttle. Not good when you are flying around kids who like to help! This one had three flight modes available by clicking the throttle stick down, but even the most aggressive one was pretty slow and unimpressive. It was not good enough to fly outside in any kind of a breeze. I am not sure if I got a lemon or if they are all this bad but based on this one I would AVOID.
This was my first micro drone. I came across an ad claiming it went 30mph and I impulse bought it for $35. After I got it, I thought it was just a rebranded Cheerson CX-10 but the charge cord was different. It wasn't until the back left motor stopped working that I opened it up to swap the motor and I realized the insides were different as well. Here is a pic I snapped of it, Aerix drone is on the left. You can see the different (better) charge port and different circuit board. The motors seem to be exactly the same.
The real difference seems to be the flight software that has three flight modes. The third of which is actually aggressive and very fun to fly if you like your micro drones quick. This does get going pretty fast and because of its small size seems to be tough. My back left motor eventually went out after a crash but I was able to swap it out to get some additional life. I think that the $35 is too high for this, but I signed up for their email letter and got a code for $15 off, bringing it in line with the price of the other ones for the second one I ordered. My code was "turbo20" but I am not sure that will work any longer.
These little drones are fun and can improve your drone skills if you practice with them. They are also a cheap way for your kids and friends to get involved and have some fun too. If you have a micro drone you really like, please let me know because I would really like to try it out!!