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If this will be your first time ordering from Banggood, you should know a few things.

Ready-to-fly (RTF) racing drones are the fastest way to experience FPV. They require no assembly and minimal setup. Let’s be clear: RTF racing drones are not a way of getting out of learning to build and repair. An RTF quad is perfect … until you crash it. Eventually, it’ll break and you’ll need to either buy a whole new quad or fix it.

There are two main reasons to buy an RTF kit. An RTF quad lets you get into the air immediately. It can be incredibly frustrating for a beginner who is addicted to FPV to wait through a first build experience. You can be enjoying an RTF quad at the same time as you’re working on your first self-built quad. Second, an RTF quad lets you experience what a well-built and well-tuned copter flies like. Let’s face it: your very first build isn’t going to be the best it possibly can be. Once you fly a good quality RTF, you have some idea of what to shoot for.

Okay. There’s one more reason to buy an RTF. A few of them are legitimately great quads. As good as anything you’d build for yourself! Maybe we’re finally at a point where we don’t have to make excuses for buying an RTF. You think?

100% READY TO FLY

The quads in this category are 100% ready to fly. This means that they come with a transmitter and they are totally pre-configured. All you have to do is plug in the battery, turn on the transmitter, and go.

All of the quads in this section are “micro-sized”, meaning they have props of about 2″ or smaller. I have looked for good RTF kits for larger quads and, long story short, I can’t find any that I feel great about recommending. If you want a bigger quad, you’ll have to build it yourself. The main benefit of the kits in this section are that you can get in the air and experience FPV for the minimum amount of money and hassle possible.

BEST QUAD, MEDIOCRE CONTROLLER
EMAX TINYHAWK II RTF

Purchase at Banggood
Purchase at RaceDayQuads
Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at Emax USA

The Tinyhawk is a fantastic micro-sized quad. It flies great. And it’s durable as hell. Most people who own it have never even changed a prop. You can crash it and crash it and it will just keep flying. The Tinyhawk comes set up for beginners, with auto level mode active, and slow rates that make it as easy as possible to control. But the Tinyhawk is so much more than a starter-quad. Once you gain confidence, you can set it to acro mode and up the rates, and holy cow, it flies amazing! You won’t outgrow this quad. You’ll grow into its capabilities.

The goggles that come in the RTF bundle are bright and clear. Their resolution isn’t the highest and they’re uncomfortable if you wear them for a long time, but they’re more than acceptable for a beginner just learning. When you eventually outgrow the goggles, you’ll still keep them around for spectators to enjoy the experience of FPV. The controller is the weakest part of this kit. The gimbals are “toy-grade” at best. When you first start, you won’t notice the gimbals holding you back. When you get good enough to notice, you’ll be ready to upgrade to a keeper radio.

BEST CONTROLLER; SO-SO QUAD
BETAFPV WHOOP RACING ADVANCED KIT 2

Purchase at BetaFPV
Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at RaceDayQuads
Purchase at Amazon

What stands out most about the BetaFPV Whoop Racing Advanced Kit is the controller. The LiteRadio 2 packs incredible quality into such an affordable kit. It’s got actual RC-radio gimbals, not cheap toy-joystick potentiometers like most others in this range. It can connect to your computer via USB and be used to fly a simulator. It can even be managed in OpenTX Companion, the same software used to configure much more expensive radios.

The goggles in the BetaFPV kit include a diversity receiver and DVR. They’re not terribly comfortable for long periods of wear, but they get the job done.

The weak spot of this bundle is the quad itself. The quad is 75mm in size, so it’s larger and heaver (but also more stable) than the typical 65mm sized “Whoop”. BetaFPV’s electronics are not to the same standard of durability and reliablity as the Emax Tinyhawk. Some people avoid BetaFPV because they don’t want to risk a suddenly-dead quad after a crash.

The truth is that there is no perfect beginner RTF bundle. They all excel in one area and are weak in another. The quality of the LiteRadio in the BetaFPV kit is high enough that, for some people, it will make up for the middling quality of the quadcopter itself. Others will choose a kit with a high-quality quadcopter and plan to upgrade the controller later.

PLUG-N-PLAY / BIND-N-FLY

The quads below are fully assembled, but they’re not Ready To Fly. You’ll need to do some basic configuration to make them work with your transmitter.

These quads don’t come with goggles or a transmitter, so they’re perfect if you have specific preferences or if this isn’t your first quad and you already own some gear. You get more for your money, since you’re only buying the quad and not any accessories. On the flip-side, if you are buying one of these as your first quad, you need to pick up a few other things from this list before you’ll be able to fly.

Plug-N-Play quads come without a receiver. You install your own receiver in the quad. This means you can use a PnP quad with nearly any modern transmitter, regardless of whether it’s FrSky, FlySky, Spektrum, RadioLink, Futaba… you name it.

Bind-N-Fly quads come with a receiver pre-installed. No soldering is required–just bind the receiver to your transmitter. The quad will also typically come pre-configured for the type of receiver that is installed, so there is a bit less setup to do. The limitation of Bind-N-Fly quads is that they may not come with the type of receiver you need. For example, a quad might be available only with FrSky receiver; if that’s not what you own, you wouldn’t want to buy that (or at least you’d need to replace the receiver after buying it).

As much as I love to build quads, I have to admit that this is one of my favorite sections of the site. Pre-built quads have gotten SO GOOD lately. It’s really fun to be able to showcase them.

GREAT QUALITY, BUDGET PRICE
NEWBEEDRONE HUMMINGBIRD PRO

Purchase at NewBeeDrone

NewBeeDrone makes some of the best quality Whoop-class quads around. But people sometimes avoid them because of their price. That’s why I’m so excited about the Hummingbird Pro. It’s a 65mm-sized (Whoop-class) quadcopter from NewBeeDrone, and it costs about $80. That’s the same price as the Mobula 6, but with infinitely better durability, reliability, and customer support.

It’s difficult to pin down who the Hummingbird Pro is for. It doesn’t have adjustable camera uptilt, for example, so there’s a limit to how fast you can go without modifying the canopy. But the 18,000 kv motors are super fast and powerful. Beginners might even prefer a throttle scale to make it more controllable.

The bottom line is that the Hummingbird Pro offers a Whoop-class quad with NewBeeDrone quality and support for the same price as quads that make you compromise much more. One catch: if you live outside the United States, shipping may be too expensive to make it worthwhile, since NewBeeDrone only ships from San Diego, USA.

SAFE LIKE A MICRO
FUN LIKE A FULL-SIZE
HAPPYMODEL MOBULA 6

Purchase at RaceDayQuads
Purchase at Banggood
Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at Amazon

The Mobula 6 proves that tiny quadcopters can be OMG-exciting, in addition to “cute” and “fun”. Although it uses 1S batteries, it’ll beat more powerful 2S quads on most race courses due to its lighter weight. When flown outdoors, it has enough power to pull of some freestyle tricks, although it struggles if there’s too much wind. Its prop guards mean it can safely be flown indoors and around people or pets. When flown indoors, inexperienced pilots may want to use a throttle scale to reduce its power a little bit, to make it more controllable. The Mobula 6 is the closest thing I’ve seen to a “does it all” 65mm quad.

The Mobula 6 can be purchased with 19,000 kv motors (“standard version”) or 25,000 kv motors (“race version”). For most pilots, I think the 19,000 kv are going to give the best experience. Flight times will be longer and there is still plenty of power. For experienced freestyle pilots, racers, and those who want to fly in larger environments, the 25,000 kv motors give ridiculous power, but with reduced flight time. The 25,000 kv version can be tamed with a throttle curve if desired.

YOUR FIRST RACING WHOOP
NEWBEEDRONE HUMMINGBIRD V1 (PMB EDITION)

Purchase at NewBeeDrone

I really expected to hate this quad. For one thing, it runs a firmware called Silverware which was specifically designed for micro quads. I LIKE BETAFLIGHT. And it has brushed motors. WHAT YEAR IS IT? 2018?

I was completely wrong. Silverware is awesome. It turns out that when you design a FC firmware specifically to do one thing (race micro quads) it does it really well. It comes completely pre-configured. You don’t need to plug it into your computer to set it up–in fact, you couldn’t configure it on your computer if you wanted to.

What really makes this quad stand out is that it’s been tuned by Patrick Clarke of Project Mockingbird, in partnership with the test pilots of the NewBeeDrone racing team. THIS QUAD FLIES BETTER THAN ALMOST ANY MICRO RACER I’VE EVER FLOWN.

So that leaves just one complaint: the brushed motors. NewBeeDrone says this quad is aimed at beginners, so they want to keep the price as low as possible. When you consider how great this quad flies, and the fact that it’s only about $50, I guess I can forgive them.

If your goal is to get started with Whoop-class racing, the Hummingbird V1 PMB Edition is hands-down the best bang for buck you can find.

TOP TIER FREESTYLE BASHER
IFLIGHT CIDORA SL5

Purchase at Banggood – 4S version
Purchase at Banggood – 6S version

iFlight started out making some of the best motors on the market and selling them for mid-tier prices. The Cidora extends that philosophy to RTF quads. Xing 2306 motors. Succex F7 dual-gyro flight controller. 50-amp BLheli32 ESC. 1000 mW vTX. You can even order it with your choice of receiver pre-installed, including Crossfire! The Cidora is one of the best value RTF quads in its category!

If you’re looking for a lightweight racing quad, this isn’t it. The Cidora is built for freestyle, with 3D printed bumpers front and rear, and at the ends of each arm. It comes with ultra-bright LEDs on the arms to help you see it at night or to help you find it if it goes down in the dusk. You can change the color in Betaflight too!

The biggest weakness of the Cidora is the props that come with it. They’re really low-pitch and not well suited to the motors. I’d recommend a 5×4.3″ prop at minimum, and a 5×4.5″ or 5×4.8″ might be even better.

BUDGET-PRICED FREESTYLE BASHER
IFLIGHT CIDORA SL5-E

Purchase at RaceDayQuads
Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at Banggood

I originally bought the SL5-E as the cheapest basher-quad I could find, for a shootout vs. the $900 Mr. Steele Apex RTF. I got way more than I expected out of it. It flies pretty well out of the box, and with my custom PID tune, it flies even better.

The SL5-E costs about $100 less than the SL5. It’s got slightly down-graded parts compared to the SL5, but when it comes to value, it punches way above its weight. In fact, I’ve sometimes wondered with the SL5-E being as good as it is, whether the SL5 even makes sense. There’s no question that the SL5 has upgraded components compared to the SL5-E. The question is, will you ever notice?

TOP OF THE LINE 3”
DIATONE GT R349

Purchase at Banggood – TX200 VTX / TBS VTX
Purchase at RaceDayQuads – Either VTX

The GT R349 is one of the best 3” quadcopters you can buy. It’s got it all: speed, agility, durability. The electronics are incredibly refined, but still capable. With Diatone’s Mamba flight controller, you won’t compromise features just because this is a tiny quad. It’s even available with a TBS Unify vTX, capable of up to 800 mW of output power!

Compared to the 3” version of the Babyhawk (listed above), the Diatone wins in almost every category. The Diatone supports SmartAudio; the Babyhawk doesn’t. The Diatone has 1408 motors; the Babyhawk has smaller 1106 motors. The one place where the Babyhawk pulls ahead is that it’s cheaper, and the plastic canopy on the Babyhawk is slightly more durable. No question, though: I’d take the Diatone any day.

If you need a light-weight, small quadcopter that gets as close to the speed and agility of a 5” as possible, the Diatone GT R349 is the one you’ll buy.

FEELS LIKE BEING A PROFESSIONAL
FIVE33 TINY TRAINER

Purchase at FPVCrate 

The Tiny Trainer was created by Evan Turner (HeadsUpFPV) to help him practice for the Drone Racing League television show. DRL flies the Racer 4, which runs 7″ props and weighs about 1 kg. That’s too much quad to fit in the practice course in Evan’s back yard.

Although the Tiny Trainer uses 3″ props, it’s designed to have thrust-to-weight ratio and flight characteristics similar to the Racer 4. Since it’s so smaller, you can fly it nearly anywhere without disturbing the neighbors or needing a giant arena for a race track.

The Tiny Trainer is fast, challenging to fly, durable, and builds real racing skills that translate to larger quads. The fact that it looks like a miniature version of the same quads you see racing on NBC doesn’t hurt.

CINEWHOOP / HD MICROS

What if you could have all the versatility of a micro-sized quadcopter without giving up high-definition recording? Camera systems like the Runcam Split, Caddx Turtle, and others have made it possible. A “CineWhoop” typically has 2″ to 4″ props, but with prop guards or ducts (like a Tiny Whoop), and is designed for smooth tracking and following shots. What about people who want to do traditional freestyle with a 3” sized micro? For them, we’re using the term, “HD Micro”.

BEST 3” HD FREESTYLE
DIATONE GT R349 HD MK2

Purchase at Banggood – TX200 VTX / TBS VTX

The GT R349 is one of the best 3” quadcopters you can buy. It’s got it all: speed, agility, durability. The electronics are incredibly refined, but still capable. With Diatone’s Mamba flight controller, you won’t compromise features just because this is a tiny quad. It’s even available with a TBS Unify vTX, capable of up to 800 mW of output power!

Compared to the 3” version of the Babyhawk (listed above), the Diatone wins in almost every category. The Diatone supports SmartAudio; the Babyhawk doesn’t. The Diatone has 1408 motors; the Babyhawk has smaller 1106 motors. The one place where the Babyhawk pulls ahead is that it’s cheaper, and the plastic canopy on the Babyhawk is slightly more durable. No question, though: I’d take the Diatone any day.

If you need a light-weight, small quadcopter that gets as close to the speed and agility of a 5” as possible, the Diatone GT R349 is the one you’ll buy.

The BetaFPV HX115 is the best micro FPV racing drone with HD video. And I picked specifically those words because they rank well for search. But I actually mean the sentiment behind them. This quadcopter flies great, both for freestyle and racing. It’s durable. It has good receiver and video range. And it records HD video that’s…. not actually terrible.

I couldn’t tell you why this quadcopter feels so great to fly. Is it the motors? The frame? The overall design? Whatever it is, BetaFPV really nailed this one. Everybody I have handed it to has enjoyed flying it. You never really feel like you’re fighting against it, like you can with some micros. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it flies, “as good as a 5,” because that’s just not possible. But I would say it flies just about as good as a 3″ can.

BOUTIQUE BUILDS

These builds aren’t churned out by the hundreds in a factory somewhere. They’re hand-built just for you, by a professional pilot and builder, exactly like they would build one for themselves. Boutique builds can sometimes be customized to match your exact requirements. And they’ll usually be test-flown and tuned before delivery. If you’ve ever wondered exactly what a pro’s setup feels like to fly, this is the closest thing you can get to finding out.

LE DRIB SKYELINER
ROTOR RIOT

Purchase at Rotor Riot

Rotor Riot now offers pre-built versions of the exact quads flown by some of your favorite pilots. The Skyeliner is Le Drib’s.

The build starts with Drib’s signature frame. It’s designed first for extreme durability, as befits Drib’s bando-slaying origins. It’s not too heavy though, and it flies as smoothly as anything on the market. Drib’s signature 2650kv motors give superior punch and top-end power. I rank the T-Motor F45 ESC as one of the most durable ESCs you can buy today, which you’ll appreciate if you crash your quad as much as Drew does. The Rush Tank vTX gives reliable output power at a manageable price. The Predator Mini v4 has a natural-looking image (unlike some other CMOS cameras) while still giving improved dynamic range compared to older CCD style cameras.

This build is available either as a DIY kit or a bind-n-fly. Make sure that “built and tuned” is set to “yes” before you order if you want the bind-n-fly.

BANGGOD CATALYST MACHINEWORKS

Purchase at Catalyst Machineworks

The BangGod might be the highest-performing and most durable of the pre-built quads on this page. Everything about it is premium, but the T-Motor F80 motors really stand out. These are absolute beasts. (Confusingly, Catalyst pairs them with a wimpy 5043 prop--they can easily handle more.)

The main weakness of this build is its weight. The DJI Air Unit adds weight; the motors add weight; the BangGod frame isn't particularly light; and it's designed to fly with a porky 1300 mAh 6S battery. Make no mistake, this quad will rip, but especially if you add a GoPro to it, you will feel the weight in corners and your batteries will hate you at the end of every flight.

Think of the BangGod more like a 600 horsepower Cadillac than a light-weight sportscar and you'll get the idea.