Best drones in 2023 (UK)

This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the UK audience.

Drones and quadcopters are increasingly popular and accessible. As the cost of designing and manufacturing a good quality drone has gone down, more people have been able to get into drone flying as a hobby — or to up their photography game.

There are different types of drone-based fun — from aerial photography to FPV racing — plus regulations you need to know about before spending any cash.

But how to get started? Here’s some key information to help you get in the air.

What is a drone?

A popular gadget of recent years — not to mention big news thanks to their role in military and security tech — drones are remote-controlled aerial vehicles. The most common type for leisure activities is the quadcopter — a small drones with four rotors.

They can be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. This is common with beginner-level models. They’re controlled and utilised in a variety of ways and flown at various distances and heights. This all depends on how advanced the drone is.

What is a drone used for?

The most common uses for drones are photography and racing. Drones can be fitted with HD cameras and are capable of recording and transmitting 4K quality footage. Depending on the drone, device, and app you’re using, they may be able to transmit this footage in real time or even post straight to social media. Drones are used by filmmakers and professional photographers, but are also great for taking fun snaps.

How do you fly a drone?

If you know your way around a games controller, it’s a breeze to learn. Drones are controlled by either a handheld controller or a smart device app.

What is FPV racing?

FPV drones are their own category of drone — generally the same as regular drones in how they’re built and fly, but with a key difference: how you control them. FPV drones (First Person View) are flown as if you’re in the cockpit, with a camera transmitting the drone’s point-of-view to your device or a set of VR-style goggles.

How far does a drone fly?

Basic drones tend to fly between a range of 80 and 500 metres. Top drones, however, will fly out several miles. It all depends on the kind of tech you want and how much you’re willing to spend.

How fast does a drone fly?

Once again, it all depends on how hi-spec and advanced your drone is — or how much it’s geared towards racing and high-speed performance. The kinds of drone we’ve included in this list will go somewhere between 29 mph and 45 mph.

Do you need to register your drone?

If your drone weighs 250 grams or more, you need to register the drone with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) for a small fee — even if it’s just a hobby and you’re only planning to fly it in your garden. Piloting an unregistered drone is against the law.

Even if your drone doesn’t weight 250 grams, visit in a new tab) for all the rules and regulations and CAA Consultations(opens in a new tab) for drone registration.

What is the best drone?

We’ve done the research and put together a list that has something for every kind of drone pilot — whether you’re a novice, an expert, a photographer, or racer, we can recommend a drone that’s perfect for you.

These are the best drones in 2023.

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