9 nice drones that you can control with your smartphone

9 min read

This post was originally published on our sister site DroneRush.com

Traditional RC toys depend on specific controllers to operate, but modern technology has put an extremely capable smart device in your pocket and many manufacturers want to use it for their new toys. I am vague, I refer to quadcopter-style drones that you can control with your smartphone or tablet.

Higher-end drones still rely on a special remote control for effective flight control, but many toy-class units only fly with an app and a WiFi or Bluetooth connection. Let's take a look at some of the best on the market today.

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro

DJI Mavic 2 Pro in New York during the DJI Mavic 2 launch event together with the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom "width =" 1024 "height =" 576

Launched in August 2018, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro are the same drone, as far as the connectivity with your smartphone goes. They have different cameras and offer different modes for different recording styles, but they are, differently, two of the best drones that DJI has released. Via the DJI GO 4 application, or other apps such as AirMap and Litchi, you can launch a very capable, fast but smooth drone.

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is $ 1249 and the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is $ 1449 ($ 1849 in Fly More package bundle.)

Skydio R1

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By taking things to a whole new level of avoiding obstacles, the Skydio R1 is a powerful machine with the Nvidia Jetson computer on board to help navigate. This 4K flying machine almost flies by itself, just use your mobile device to tell it to take off and follow you, and continue on the road. It's pretty impressive. Stay informed for more coverage of this powerful drone. With a significant recent price drop, you still have to save $ 1,999 for the Skydio R1.

Related reading: Skydio R1 update of InterDrone 2018

DJI Mavic Air

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I'm sure you've heard that DJI has announced the new Mavic Air, a compact, folding drone that combines the best of the Mavic Pro and Spark. Well, that applies to flying the quadcopter through hand gestures and using the mobile application. We will soon report a lot more on this new drone, because now if you like DJI products, are looking for a portable option and wondering which one is the best, the Mavic Air is probably the answer.

More information about the Mavic Air:

The Mavic Air is only $ 697, grab the Fly More combo for $ 894. Normally $ 799 and $ 999.

DJI Mavic Pro

Also featured in our list of Best drones, Best camera drones, Best professional drones and DJI Drones guide

DJI Mavic Pro flying mountain featured ch "width =" 1024 "height =" 576

DJI Mavic Pro review "width =" 200 "height =" 300We were reluctant to add this here, as with other DJI drones that can be controlled via a smartphone, the Mavic Pro greatly benefits from using the controller and smartphone in combination. In fact, there is a WiFi mode that allows you to take control with just your phone. Range is limited, options are not all exploited, but you can. Take the check method out of the comparison and I can do nothing more than grumble about how great a drone you get here; the compact, foldable design is unparalleled today, especially when it comes to a 4K video recording beam with excellent autonomous functions.

More information about the Mavic Pro

View the DJI Mavic Pro for $ 875 as the basic package, $ 1,129 in Amazon's Fly More bundle today. (Look for sales from $ 800 and $ 1000 Normal price $ 999 and $ 1299.)

DJI Spark

Also featured in our list of Best drone and Best selfie drones

DJI Spark review "width =" 200 "height =" 300Forget your smartphone, control this drone with your bare hands! That's right, the new DJI Spark is designed for maximum ease of use, where a controller can be cumbersome to transport and a smartphone can be used, but perhaps you want to save the battery, you can use hand gestures to control the battery. quadcopter. From start to finish you can let this drone fly, catch a few light-hearted selfies and land it directly in your hand.

If you own a larger smartphone, you will find that it is larger than this drone, it is so small. I mean, the hull is small, there are still propeller arms and the folding propellers to handle, but hey, it's still one of the more portable flying machines.

Related reading:

Grab the DJI Spark for $ 310 for the drone only, a Fly More bundle will cost $ 509. (Normal price $ 499 and $ 699.)

Yuneec Mantis Q

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The compact, collapsible drone market exploded for consumer-class machines, and we are happy that Yuneec has produced an offer. The Yuneec Mantis Q is one of the smaller offers, with one of the longest flight times. As far as driving this drone with your phone goes, it might be the best in the neighborhood. Yuneec has built-in voice control in this drone! Talk in your phone, it translates your words and then sends the control to the drone.

Related: Mantis Q review

You can get the Yuneec Mantis Q today for $ 439 at Amazon.

Hubsan X4 H501S Pro

Also featured in our Hubsan drones on CES video

Hubsan Drones Guide "width =" 200 "height =" 300We have spent a while with CES behind closed doors at CES, they have some interesting and fun things in the pipeline, but next to the market the new Pro version will be the brushless H501S. Despite the use of their advanced controller with FPV video screen, you can only use this drone with the app, as with many other Hubsan drones.

They have a special small controller in the factory that looks little more than a telephone station, which to be honest is actually what it is. Put your phone to use on a number of Hubsan drones, including the X4 H501S Pro. or the less expensive X4 H501S Brushless for $ 178 on Amazon today.

Parrot MiniDrone rolling spider

Also featured in our best drones guide for drones for children and Parrot

It's a car, no, it's a quadcopter? Parrot does not offer both on one device, but the MiniDrone Rolling Spider has large wheels that can spin and add a new level of fun and safety to flying inside. These are not powered wheels, but they protect the drone from crashing, let you skate across the floor if there is not enough battery life to take off, and have fun crawling & # 39; of walls if there is electricity.

Equipped with a small camera, this small drone is controlled by a smartphone or tablet and can be yours for $ 25 on Amazon.

Sphero BB-8

Not on another list, but it's Star Wars!

What is a drone? The army builds them up as highly capable unmanned aerial vehicles for reconnaissance and more. The toy store says it is a flying, multi-rotor, remote-controlled toy, but if we want to be reasonably precise about it, we look at an unmanned vehicle of just about any kind. Under water, in the air or on the ground, autonomous or remotely controlled, there are many types of drones, and within these guidelines Speeds BB-8 must be one of our favorites.

Control BB-8 with your smartphone, roll over the ground and enjoy fun sound effects, augmented reality stories and more. View our first thoughts about this toy. I would like to add that Edgar, who wrote the post, got hold of this droid at CES 2016. We are serious fans around here.

View Sphero BB-8 today for $ 60 on Amazon.

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Special considerations – telephone and remote control, plus VR

Although there are few drones that accept your smartphone as the only input method, remember that you can improve or enhance most flying experiences by adding your phone or tablet to the mix. DJI is a primary player in this setup, most of their drones are made for remote control, but then use your phone as an FPV video screen.

Our favorite DJI Mavic Pro is one of the most important examples of this, your connected telephone shows what the camera of the drone sees. You can also operate the camera from the phone and start the most advanced flight modes from the app on your mobile device.

In this regard, there are many, many drones that you can control, at least partially, with your smartphone.

When it comes to VR possibilities with your smartphone and your drone, go to our partner site VRSource for David Imel for the best VR drones.

While you watch VR and fly by phone, you can also view the DJI Goggles. This new headset can connect to your DJI Mavic Pro, the new DJI Spark and has an HDMI input, so that it can serve as a display for more than just your drone.


That lists some of the best drones that you can fly with your smartphone or tablet. There are many, but mostly toy class units that you can fully control via a mobile device, but keep your phone charged, it is a valuable tool for most drones, even if you cannot operate them directly.

Reading: The best drones for children

What is your favorite drone to fly with just your Android phone or tablet?

What's next?
We have the best drones here, or view our master Drone Rush drones list!

Drone Pilot Training | Drone starters guide Drone manufacturers

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Written by

Don Bradman

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