When it comes to quadcopter drones there are so many versions / manufacturers to choose from, you might be overwhelmed. Let’s shed some light over this shall we?
If you have a specific quadcopter drone in mind with a decent budget AND you feel the need to correct me for using the term “drone”, well, you might skip this article. This is intended for beginners in drone piloting and purchasing AND yes, drone is the more commonly used term for quadcopters so please leave the geek explanations out of this. 😉
Having this said, what is the difference between a GPS and Non-GPS quadcopter drone?
Basically a Non-GPS quadcopter drone can be piloted only on manual mode so there is a bit of a steeper learning curve to it (but some recommend learning how to pilot a drone this way) and you will never be able to achieve those altitude lock modes (have your drone stay in one position) as you see in videos and say “I want to have that”.
These type of quadcopter drones came in different sizes and price ranges from $30-$40 to several hundreds of dollars. A decent one however, starts from $60-$70. Yes, Non-GPS quadcopter drones can be equipped with video cameras and even FPV (First-Person View) ones.
You might immediately jump to conclusions that GPS quadcopter drones must be way more expensive, but that’s not the case. We wrote about a $79 one here.
Beside the altitude lock mode, quadcopter drones with GPS can also safely return to their original position with a push of a button or come back safely and automatically if they go out of range. This is a huge advantage over Non-GPS ones.
Some can even follow you automatically from a proffered altitude so you can have the chance now to have that awesome footage while driving your beast of a car!
OK, after reading this I find that GPS is a must! Am I right?
Not necessarily. If you just want to goof around and TRY to learn how to fly those damn drones, you might get really low with your budget and buy a cheap $40 one. You will be anyway surprised by how NOT under control is the device in your hand compared to what you’ve saw in the mall in the hands of those trying to sell you a quadcopter drone. They have experience. You don’t.
And, especially if you think about playing inside with your cool gadget, you should definitely get one without a GPS. In fact, there are special quadcopter drones for indoors. You know, those small ones with the little circles around the propellers.
I’ve made my mind. Should I go for one more “professional”?
No, I wouldn’t recommend. You will learn how to fly it and you will crash it many times by the time you’ll really learn. You will be able than to decide exactly what you want, what power should your quadcopter drone have, possibly what camera you want to have on it, what Gimbal, etc.
Save your money for later and than you should be able to decide better after having some experience.