Best Mini Quadcopters – Nano Drones Reviewed for Indoor Use

 

Image of 2 of the best indoor drones

Indoor drones, also referred to as mini quadcopters, are rarely the best of the best but they do usually offer a high value for money. Whether you want a mini quad to take with you on vacations, or to use indoor at your house, or simply want an inexpensive beginner drone. This list has got you covered. We have tested and reviewed all the highest rated mini quadcopters currently on the market, and hope to help you make an informed decision on which indoor quadcopter is right for you.

Firstly we will take a look at the drones themselves and after we will go in-depth on what to consider and which important factors you need to look at in order to make the right purchase. We put a lot of work into making the most comprehensive list of the best indoor mini quad copters in 2017. We invite you to read on and hopefully find all the information you seek.

 

Image of 2 mini indoor quadcopters

Reviews of the Best Indoor Mini Drones – Our Top Picks

First, let’s take a look at our absolute favorite nano quads for indoor use.

1. Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini

Image of Holy Stone HS170 predator drone

The HS170 Predator hits all the right spots for it to be one of the best mini quadcopters on the market. It is inexpensive, but still, give you a lot of value for your hard earned buck. It is easy and super fun to fly, which is why it is so amazing for beginners and indoor use. Furthermore, it has a perfect size. It is not so small as to take away the fun of it all, but still small enough to be used indoor or to be brought with you on vacations.

Definitely the first drone we would recommend to anyone looking great quad to get you started out with this hobby. Or if you simply want a fun little indoor flyer to bring with you on vacations.

PROS:
  • Very fun and easy to fly
  • Good to go right out of the box
  • Propellers guards, as well as 4 extra propellers
  • Great front and rear LED lighting for easy orientation
  • Surprisingly sturdy
  • Very high value for money
CONS:
  • Headless mode doesn’t always work correctly
  • No camera mount

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Specifications & Product details

  • Headless Security Mode
  • 2.4GHz Technology made for anti-interference
  • 6-Axis Gyro Stabilization System 
  • Wind resistant
  • 30-50 meters range
  • 5-9 minutes of flight time, depending on what features you use and don’t
  • 60-80 minutes of charging time

Our Review:

You won’t find a better, more enjoyable mini quad for this price anywhere. The controls are extremely user-friendly and have a soft learning curve due to its 6-axis gyro stabilization feature. Making it one of our favorite picks for beginners in this category. On top of this, it is also very durable and will survive most normal crashes, which is a major plus if you decide to use it indoor.

Although it is great for newcomers, it is also worth your time as a novice or avid quad flyer. It is a lot of fun to fly and you might not want to bring your more expensive drone with you everywhere. The HS170 give you the opportunity to keep enjoying your hobby even on vacations.

Conclusion:

Would we recommend the 170 Predator? Without a doubt, yes! Especially for beginners or those looking for a more travel-friendly drone to bring with them on trips or to use indoor.

Click Here To Read Full Review of The HS170 Predator

2. Blade Nano QX BNF Quadcopter

Image of Blade nano mini drone

One of the more expensive drones of its size, but still very inexpensive in the big picture. The obvious question is, do you get your money worth? Yes, and then some. The Blade Nano is likely the most fun mini quad we have ever tested and due to its SAFE technology, it is also quite easy to fly and incredibly agile. Beginners might find it a little tricky compared to the HS170 Predator, but once you get a hang of it, it is very user-friendly. It has a very admirable performance and does very well with sharp turns and flying in crowded areas.

What is really worth noting is how it largely outperform more expensive and larger drones on the market. Even though it is a great indoor flyer, it also does a fantastic job outdoor and breezes through the air better than a lot of outdoor quads.

PROS:
  • Extremely agile and fun to fly
  • Great for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Strong propeller guards and overall sturdy body
  • Integrated SAFE tech makes it very stable and somewhat easier to fly
  • High value for money
CONS:
  • Flight time quite short due to its small batteries
  • No camera mount
  • Can be a bit tricky for beginners

Blade Nano QX Specifications & Product details

  • SAFE stabilization and agility features
  • Requires a 4+ channel DSM2 or DSMX transmitter
  • Brushed motors
  • DSMX Receiver/ESCs/mixer/SAFE sensor unit(4-in-1)
  • Mini quad copter

Our Review:

If you thought vacations or trips should keep you from having fun with quads, then you are dead wrong. The Blade Nano is a LOT of fun to fly, especially for a little more seasoned flyers. It’s comparatively high speed and the great amount of agility makes it such a joy to fly. While not as great for beginners as the HS170 Predator, it is still a decent choice, if you don’t mind a steeper learning curve.

Once you get a hang of it, it has better flying performance than a lot of more expensive and larger drones. Which is really the big selling point for the Blade Nano. The size and performance make it the ideal vacation companion for avid and seasoned drone enthusiasts. While the price makes sure you won’t break your budget.

Conclusion:

I would definitely recommend the Nano to any drone enthusiast looking for a way to bring their favorite hobby with them anywhere. The size and durability make it the perfect indoor quad, while the speed and agility make sure it is challenging and fun enough even for seasoned flyers.

Click Here To Read Full Review of The Blade Nano

3. Hubsan X4 H107C Mini Quadcopter

Image of Hubsan X4 H107C Mini

If you are looking for the best value for your money, the Hubsan X4 might be just what you are looking for. It offers far too many features for the price to make sense. Most notably is the fact that is has a decent camera and cost less than 40$, which is something you very rarely see and when you do it’s often poorly done. That is not the case with the X4 however, it has a great performance in the air and manages to have a great 2MP camera integrated.

Mini quads almost never have a camera, especially not a decent one. This combined with the fact that it is one of the cheaper models on the market makes it the best possible bang for your buck. While it might not fly quite as well as the Blade Nano or HS170, it does bring a lot to the table that those 2 do not.

PROS:
  • Great fun to fly
  • Ideal for indoor flight
  • Quite durable, especially due to its sturdy prop guards
  • Comes with a good 2MP Camera that can shoot decent video and pictures.
  • Soft learning curve makes it great for beginners
  • Best value for money in its category
CONS:
  • Camera cannot be turned off remotely
  • You must turn off  the camera before shutting the drone down, or footage may be lost

Hubsan X4 H107C Specifications & Product details

  • 2MP Camera integrated into the body
  • Up to 8 minutes of flight time
  • Less than 30 minutes for fully charged batteries
  • Has a standard and expert flight mode
  • 6-axis flight control system
  • 4 channels and USB cable design
  • 4-way flip command(left, right, forward, backward) 
  • USB Charger(can be charged on your computer and other devices

Our Review:

It is a great flyer, above average even. But it is not its big selling point like with the Blade Nano. So if you look solely for a fun quad to fly around, then I would recommend the HS170 or Blade Nano, but if you want the most value for your money and want the opportunity to take good pictures and shoot video with your quad, then the Hubsan X4 H107C is the way to go.

While it is one of the least expensive on the list, it offers the most features out of them all. The camera is well integrated and it flies perfectly fine. I was understandably skeptical when I was about to test a drone with a camera for less than 40$. But needless to say, I was beyond pleasantly surprised. I still do not understand how they were able to give a quad of this price a good camera, great flying capabilities, high flight time and even better charging time. But somehow they managed to put all of this together and still give it one of the most competitive prices on the market.

Conclusion:

The Hubsan X4 is likely the best 40 or so dollars you will ever spend. It has the best value for money on the entire market and doesn’t have any real downsides. The camera is good, it flies well and the flight and charging time are simply astonishing for a quad in the price class.

Click Here To Read Full Review of The Hubsan X4 H107C

4. Syma X11 RC Quadcopter

Image of syma x11 mini UAV

Quality and durability can be hard to come by, at least when looking at cheaper models. However, the Syma X11 is the perfect training dummy for beginners who wanna learn to fly quads. It is incredibly cheap while maintaining a very sturdy and qualitative design. On top of this is also flies very well, despite the fact you won’t get any assisting features, such as headless mode.

All this put together makes it such a great option for beginners. The lack of headless mode is a blessing in disguise, as it helps you learn to fly quadcopters without any help what so ever. All the while you do not have to worry about crashing it at all, as its weight and durable design make it almost crash resistant. And even if you actually managed to somehow damage it in a crash it is so inexpensive that you almost certainly would have gotten your money worth at that time.

PROS:
  • Ideal indoor flyer due to its durability and size
  • Very high quality for money
  • Very crash resistant, even without prop guards on
  • Smooth and fun to fly once you get a hang of it
  • Long flight time
CONS:
  • Turns off with almost no warning when batteries run out.

Syma X11 RC Specifications & Product details

  • 4 Channel 2.4GHz Spread Spectrum remote
  • 6 Axis Stabilization System
  • Includes propeller guards as well as 4 extra props
  • Remote runs on 4x AA batteries, which will last for a very long time
  • Around 9 minutes of flight time and 60 minutes of charging

Our Review:

As a beginner, it is a common mistake to buy a cheap quad because you want to see if it’s the hobby for you. However, a lot of these tend to break easily, especially in the hands of a rookie. This is where the Syma X11 does such an amazing job. Not only is it very budget friendly, but it can also handle a lot of crashes and allow you to make a lot of mistakes without consequences.

It has an above average flight time(around 9 minutes) and is a lot of fun to fly. While not as agile or fast as the Blade Nano, it is easily among the most durable indoor quads on the market. Those who have tested drones for inside use before will know that it is very important that it can take a few hits. As even a seasoned flyer is likely to crash a few times. Even without the prop guards, the Syma X11 can take more than a few hits and bruises.

Conclusion:

Perhaps the best choice for complete beginners, at least if you are on a tight budget. You will not get more quality for your money anywhere else. You should get this quad if you want to learn how to fly a drone without any assisting features, and without the fear of breaking it if you fail sometimes.

Click Here To Read Full Review of The Syma X11

5. Eachine E010 Mini Ufo Quadcopter

eachine ufo mini quad

When you talk about budget mini quadcopters, additional features are rarely the first thing that comes to mind. However, the Eachine Eo10 offer a surprising amount of extra features, especially considering it is the cheapest of the list. This mini ufo drone comes with a compass mode, return to home, 360 rollovers, and even headless mode. While a headless mode is rare enough among budget copters, this array of special features is unheard of.

While it is not quite as fun to fly as the other options on this list, it is not far from it. So when you consider the fact that it comes with a lot of additional modes and that it is the cheapest of the bunch. You can easily see why the E010 is such a good buy.

PROS:
  • Very inexpensive
  • Compass mode makes it more intuitive to fly
  • Easy and fun 360 roll-over controls
  • Decent flight time
  • Return to home feature
CONS:
  • Controls can be a bit complicated at first
  • Headless mode is not that well done

Eachine E010 Specifications & Product details

  • Headless mode: Helps to stabilize the quad and makes it easier to fly at times
  • Return to home: 1 button control that will return the drone to the remote’s position and land
  • 360 roll-over control command: Custom control that makes a nice 360 mid air
  • Compass mode: Switch the quad controls to react directionally to your remote controls
  • Around 8 minutes of flight time
  • 60 minutes of charging
  • 4 extra props
  • USB charging

Our Review:

This nano quad from Eachine is not a good for beginners as the rest on this list, as it is more feature focused. However, the price does still make it a decent choice for rookies, especially if you want to get familiar with all the features that are usually found in much more expensive options.

While it does offer a lot of gimmicks that is rarely seen in a budget UAV. They are obviously not as well done as on more expensive options. Especially the headless mode is a bit poorly done, and I would even recommend not using as it is sort of a waste to get used to a partly working feature. The compass feature is a lot of fun to use and once you get used to it it’s also very intuitive to use. The only downside is that very few quadcopters use this feature, so might not be so good getting used to it.

It offers a decent flight time and the size and controls make it great for indoor flying. The controls can feel a bit complicated at first so it has a steep initial learning curve.

Conclusion:

If you are a complete beginner I would recommend any other quad on this list over the E010. However, if you are looking for a fun little nano drone to use on vacations or even at the office. Then this is perfect. The 360 rollovers and compass mode are a lot of fun to use and the size and flight time make it ideal to bring with you anywhere.

So if you are already familiar with quadcopters and look for a cheap and fun little aircraft to bring with you to places where you would never take your main drone. This is for you.

Click Here To Read Full Review of The HS170 Predator

Now that we have taken a look at our top 5 favorite nano quadcopters, it is time to look at what you need to consider before buying an indoor drone.

 

Mini quadcopter size comparison

Reasons to Choose a Mini-Quadcopter

Mini drones are not as powerful and usually not as feature filled as a regular quad, but there are still plenty of reasons to choose one of these little rascals.

Vacation & Travels

Vacations are not always the best place to bring your expensive regular sized drone with you. However, traveling does not necessarily need to keep you away from your favorite hobby. While most mini quads cannot do the same things as a high-end quadcopter, it does offer a lot of conveniences and allow you to bring your hobby with you where ever you go. Some of them even have decent camera’s, such as the HS170, in case you want some awesome footage of your travels without risking your favorite quad. It might seem a like an overkill to get an extra UAV just for vacations, but with the price usually matches the size and most of them won’t set you far back in terms of your budget.

Indoor Use

If you have ever tried flying your drone inside the house you will know that it is quite the hassle, and it is also an unnecessary risk, as you are more likely to crash it when flying indoor. This is where the size of a mini drone comes in handy, and what makes them such fantastic toys. Not only is it a lot easier to fly them inside, but the size and weight also make them incredibly durable and resistant to crashes and bruises. On top of this, they are actually also extremely fun to fly, as the size makes them a lot agiler than bigger models.

Budget & Beginner Friendly

As mentioned earlier, the size usually somewhat matches the price. Making mini drones great as both an extra aircraft to your collection or as a budget friendly way to get into the hobby. As a beginner, it is also unavoidable to accidentally crash your quad now and then. While this is quite the issue with an expensive quadcopter, it does not feel quite as bad to crash a budget drone. It is also not only the price that makes them more ”crash friendly” but the weight also makes them a lot more sturdy and durable in these situations. And a mini quad such as the Syma X11 can be crashed numerous times without any issue. Giving beginners a very forgiving starting experience.

Image of a drone inside the house

Things to consider before buying a mini drone

Now that we have gone over the upsides of mini UAV’s, it seems only right that we also mention the downsides.

Not nearly as powerful(usually)

While some mini drones do have a lot of raw power and extra features, such as the Hs170 from Holy Stone. It is more the exception than the rule. This is one of the reasons they are so inexpensive, but also why they are unlikely to satisfy a seasoned quadcopter enthusiast. You rarely see a mini drone with an array of features and a great camera, which is where the mini models usually have a lot of limitations. Mini drones should not be bought for those looking for ”the best quadcopter on the market” but rather if you just want something fun to fly and goof around with.

Not ideal for camera and video lovers

Don’t get me wrong, quads such as the HS170 does a decent job when it comes to recording and shooting videos. However, if you are a true camera nerd and want high-quality stuff then you might want to look into bigger and more pricey options. The size alone makes it hard to mount a decent camera onto the aircraft. So if you want truly high-level video and camera footage then you need to look into something like the DJI Phantom 3, or maybe even the Phantom 4 if you have some extra money to spend. While quadcopters such as those will set you back quite a lot, budget wise, it is the way to go if you care a lot about high resolution, pixels etc.

Rarely have a lot of(functional) features & gimmicks

If you want functional headless mode, waypoints, GPS etc. Then a mini quad is usually not the way to go. While some do have a surprising array of features, they are almost never as functional or well done as with regular priced aerial vehicles. A mini model such as the Hubsan X4 does sport a lot of these things, it is not comparable in either quality or efficiency to something like the DJI Phantom series. So if gimmicks are very important to you, then you will get more enjoyment out of non-budget regular sized UAVs.

picture of a hovering quadcopter indoor

How we tested them

For a review to be trustworthy, it is important to let the audience in on the methods and steps you go through to determine the overall score of a product. This is the steps we made to get the best possible top 5 mini drones put together for you guys.

Learning Curve & Simplicity: As most of these are made with beginners in mind, it is important that they are pretty straight forward and has a relatively soft learning curve. A lot of quads were eliminated simply because they required a ton of different steps to even get going.

Quality & Pricing: Just as it is with any other product, value for money matters a lot. This is especially true with somewhat budget models, where it is very easy to make a bad purchase that will break on day 1. Once again, since they are often times targeted at beginners, it is crucial that they have a decently sturdy and qualitative design, that won’t break the second you take it out of the box.

Extra Features & Quality of Said Features: Mini quadcopters are not exactly known for their huge array of features and high-level camera capabilities. However, it is still important to consider what the drone can do besides flying, and if it has some extra gimmicks, how well they actually work. A lot of fabricants make a big deal out of adding as many useless features as possible, simply to make the specifications look more impressive. So we made it our mission to test every single gimmick and go into this reviewing process with a very critical mindset. Camera and video recording is also a big deal in the drone community, and while most do not sport this due to the pricing and size, it was very important to test out if those that actually had a camera didn’t just have it as a selling point but that it was actually functional.

Fun Factor, Flight Capabilities & Flight Time: This is important, whether we are reviewing budget drones or high-level UAVs. Afterall, this is one of the main reasons that people pick this hobby up because it is incredibly fun. Therefore one of the most crucial factors is how smooth the aircraft flies and how agile and fun it is to control.

Nano QX in front of a person

Other Nano Quads We Tested

Even though we listed our top 5 picks, you might find it interesting to know which drones almost made the list.

Estes Proto X Nano

A min drone in the truest sense of the word. This nano quad is actually a really good flyer and was not far from making it onto our list. However, it is solely made for indoor flying and is more or less unable to fly outdoor unless there is absolutely no wind. While we realize that this is a list of the best nano drones and they are often times considered indoor quads, we feel it is an issue that i only functions indoor. But if you are looking for a fun little toy to fly around exclusively indoor, it might still be worth looking into.

Syma X20

Another one from Syma that almost made it onto our top 5. This pocket drone is so much to fly and is certainly one of the more agile ones and I would happily recommend it to anyone looking for a nano quadcopter. However, we do feel like it was outperformed by the Syma X11 and that is why it didn’t quite make it.

REALACC H36

We actually had a lot of fun testing out this little ufo from Realacc, as it is a fun little inexpensive quad. Personally, we experienced no issues with it, but a lot of people have reported that it simply stops working after a little time. So we would not want to recommend a product when there’s a chance it just doesn’t work. That being said, we had fun and no issues with it and it might just be cheap enough for you to roll the dice.

Cheerson CX-10

This immensely popular mini UAV was a must for us to try out, simply because it is one of the most popular toy drones. And that is exactly what it is, a toy. While it might be a great gift for your kids or nephews, it is very limited. It flies quite well and charges quickly, but it cannot fly much more than 10 feet away from the remote before it starts being unresponsive.

While we did test a lot more than the 9 we have mentioned so far. These are just our favorites, and the only ones we would really recommend. I sincerely hope this list has helped you decide on what mini quadcopter suits you the best.