When we talk about toy-class drones, none represent the label better than a nano drone. These mini flying quadcopters are often smaller than the palm of your hand, and elicit laughter as they buzz around your living room. These are easy gifts to give to others, fun toys to learn from and an inexpensive way to safely get into the hobby.

Hubsan H111 with Drone Rush logo

As you might imagine, there are quite a few of these tiny drones out there, ready to drive your house pet insane. Join us as we explore some of the better options, some of the best nano drones available today.

Jonathan Feist, Drone PilotJonathan Feist

Why trust Drone Rush?

I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.

Do I want a nano drone?

The best part about nano drones is that none exceed the 0.55 lb weight limit imposed by the FAA. You will not have to register these things. The downside, they are so small that you are almost stuck to flying indoors. The ones we’ve tested are fairly crazy little things, they’ll be all over the place as is, you don’t need wind causing extra difficulty.

For the most part, you are looking at inexpensive toys, very few offer flight assistance features, you’ll have to develop some skills to be proficient with these nano drones. They are usually fairly under-powered as well — they’ll zip around fast enough, but you’re not likely to take off with a camera, for example, and they are likely not strong enough to fight a little wind.

Know before you fly: These drones may not need to be registered with the FAA before flight, but you still need to follow the rules of the sky.

1. Hubsan H111

Hubsan H111

Hubsan H111 nano drone in hand

Drone Rush RecommendsThe Hubsan H111 is our favorite nano drone. It easily fits in the palm of our hand, is safe, resilient and reliable. We were bouncing this thing off the walls in our office for a while before we really got the hang of it. Like most Nano drones, it only has about 5 minutes of flight time, so practice sessions were few and far between sometimes. If you are looking for a simple and fun tiny drone to get started with, the H111 is a solid option.

Pros

  • Simple aircraft
  • Resilient to bumps
  • Stable flight

Cons

  • No camera
  • 5 minute flight time

Hubsan H111

(8.2)
  • 5 - Minutes
  • No camera
  • 7 - MPH

2. Syma X12

Syma X12

Syma X12 nano drone mini quadcopter

The Syma X12 steps up the safety with tiny little propeller guards. While the pressure fit propellers will spin free before causing any appreciable harm to skin or property, the guard means you can lightly bump a wall with fewer crashes.

Pros

  • Propeller guards
  • Lots of trim control

Cons

  • 5 minute flight time
  • No camera

Syma X12

(6.1)
  • 5 - Minutes
  • No camera
  • Slow

3. Cheerson CX-10

Cheerson CX-10

Cheerson CX-10 nano drone mini quadcopter

The Cheerson CX-10 offers similar flight features and flight time as the other nano drones on this list. It offers a few minutes of flight time, minimal assist modes, and a whole lot of safe flying fun inside the house.

Pros

  • Good selection of colors

Cons

  • No camera
  • Minimal flight time

Cheerson CX-10

(6.1)
  • 5 - Minutes
  • No camera
  • Slow

4. Eachine E010

Eachine E010

Eachine E010 nano drone mini quadcopter

The Eachine E010 has robust propeller guards, offers a flip function, and it looks like a little race car. These safety and functionality come at the price of battery life, but they make the drone safe and fun to fly.

Pros

  • Propeller guards
  • Flips

Cons

  • Battery life
  • No camera

Eachine E010

(6.1)
  • 5 - Minutes
  • No camera
  • 11 - MPH

August 2016

Release Date

Nano drones are fun little toys

That’s all we’ll look at today folks. We know there are many, many nano drones on the market, just hit your local electronics store, or grocery store for that matter, and you’re likely to find a flying toy able to fit in the palm of a child’s hand.

Due to the basic abilities of these little fliers, you are best to look for quality parts more than a known brand. Many of these small drones are cheap drones. Motors burning out and poor connectivity are one thing, but poorly constructed cables and connectors pose fire hazards, please monitor your purchase and consider purchasing a LiPo bag for safety. I use this Apex RC Products Lipo bag for $12 on Amazon.

In the end, these are hugely fun little machines. They are very safe for most children to fly, respecting the posted age limits, of course. The real thing here, most of the toys in this segment are made to be disposable – very hard to repair, possibly no parts to be found and made of simple materials. We hope our recommendations serve you well, and please fly safe in the house.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I fly nano drones outside?

Of course you can, just be aware of local flight laws, and of the wind. In most countries, if your drone weighs 0.55 lbs, 250 grams, or more, it must be registered before flight, and there are strict rules to follow in the air. Most nano drones weigh less than this, they will not require registration, but are still subject to the flight laws. None of the nano drones on our list are able to fly 400 feet in the air, so they won’t be breaking that law at least. Otherwise, these are tiny, low powered machines that will struggle greatly in the wind, we recommend only flying on a very calm day.

Can I use a nano drone as a spy drone?

Yes, maybe. The fact of the matter is that the quad-copter design is a noisy one. The tiniest of drones make a lot of noise as the motors spin up and the propellers move a ton of air to attain flight. If your operation depends on stealth, I do not recommend a quadcopter at all. Further, these tiny drones usually do not have a camera. If you grab a nano drone with camera, and are operating where noise is of no concern, you’re in business.

Are nano drones any good?

As always, the value of a drone depends on your intended use. For us, we love our $20 Hubsan H111, we fly it indoors all the time. Thing is, these flights are just for fun, and to hone our skills with the sticks. The battery only lasts a few minutes and the machine is not overly resilient to crashes, so our use is pretty much limited to being a fun distraction once in a while. To us, that’s a good drone, but if you need anything more out of your machine, consider something a little more substantial.

Will nano drones need Remote ID?

Please keep in mind that most of these nano drones are made to fly indoors, and the FAA has no jurisdiction inside of buildings. If you do plan to fly outdoors, and purely for fun, you probably won’t need Remote ID. That changes if you will be compensated for your flight, which is a Part 107 operation, requiring licensing. be sure to check the Remote ID rules for more details.