The best indoor drones 2018: durable drones which can be flown inside

These mini marvellous flying machines are more inexpensive and tech-laden than ever, so here’s our guide to the best cheap drones you can fly within four walls

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Allowing you to test your flying skills and squeeze in a few trick shots without even having to venture outside of your front door, and we’ve put together a list of the best indoor drones for your consideration.

These drones display a range of virtues outside of being cheap and cheerful. For the most part, they’ll happily be bashed around, so accidental crash landings into the sofa won’t be met with too much indignant whirring or bits flying off. 

They tend to know their audience, and as such are easier to fly for first-time droners, with little to no learning curve. Plus, a small ticket price no longer means an absence of features, with some pretty high-tech features having filtered down to the smaller price brackets of late.

Some of our choices can also be used outside, so you can get the most bang for your buck when the sun does finally make an appearance, although lighter drones do run the risk of being taken by the wind, so exercise judgment when it comes to outdoor flying. 

Our other advice goes for all drones, but is especially useful to note as a starter: flying times, that is, the amount of time the drone’s battery will physically let you stay airborne before giving in, will seem disappointingly low at first, so we recommend buying some spare batteries to keep the fun going while the first set recharges.

The 7 best indoor drones

1. Parrot Mambo FPV

This modular drone is great for kids (and big kids)

Specifications
Best for: Fun
Battery life: 8-10 minutes
Range: 30-100m
FPV: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Intuitive controls+Modular
Reasons to avoid
-Short battery life

With its combination of simple controls, ease of flying and tough design, the Parrot Mambo FPV is a great one for kids as well as for the parents who’ll inevitably steal it for a few turns around the living room. The camera is pretty low-res at 720p, but ultimately that’s not this drone’s real selling point. That would be a face-off between its complete lack of learning curve, which makes it immensely beginner friendly, and the fact that it plays nicely with a VR headset, and other modular accessories, such as a cannon.

2. Holy Stone HS200 FPV RC Drone

Just getting started? Holy moly have we got a drone for you.

Specifications
Best for: Easy flying
Battery life: 7-9 minutes
Range: 50m
FPV: Yes, streams to phone/tablet
Reasons to buy
+Streams video direct to device+Neat high-end features
Reasons to avoid
-Occasionally has a mind of its own 

This Holy Stone RC drone is a superb example of a versatile starter drone that’s both easy to fly and suitable for use indoors and outdoors. Despite all that, reviewers recommended getting the hang of it at home first, and why not? After all, home is where the Wi-Fi is, and that’s how you can stream video directly to your phone or tablet from the onboard FPV camera. Wherever you are, the automatic takeoff and landing functionality is a great boon, the high-tech equivalent of whistling for an errant dog, while headless mode, something usually reserved for more expensive drones, keeps you from getting in a tizzy with backwards controls. All in all, a fab starter. 

3. PoKe FPV Mini UFO Quadcopter

This mini quadcopter is the MVP of FPV

Specifications
Best for: FPV
Battery life: 6 minutes
Range: 30m
FPV: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Onboard FPV camera+One-button return
Reasons to avoid
-Need separate monitor or goggles 

This mini racing drone makes our list for its FPV, or first-person view capabilities, which give you a bird’s-eye view on proceedings from the drone’s onboard camera. Unlike the Holy Stone RC drone, there are no direct streaming capabilities, so you’ll have to grab a separate monitor or some FPV goggles on which to watch, but it’s worth the investment if your main motivation is to film your flights. The one-button return is also a neat feature, meaning it’ll never go too far awry (you’d be surprised how often that can happen even indoors).

4. Air Hogs Star Wars Millennium Falcon Quadcopter

Punch it, Chewie! Turn your living room into a galactic battleground with this awesome drone

Specifications
Best for: Design
Battery life: 10 minutes
Range: 30m
FPV: No (but on-board camera)
Reasons to buy
+Authentic design and sounds+Hyperdrive stunt
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most graceful 

Okay, it might feel a bit gimmicky, but guys – you can finally fly the Millennium Falcon. Take the helm of the fastest heap of junk in the galaxy, here using four concealed rotors so as not to disturb the iconic – albeit, admittedly, not hugely aerodynamic – design of the most famous ship in cinema. With LEDs and heart-stirringly authentic sounds, and a hyperdrive stunt you can activate with the push of a button, it’s pretty much perfect for Star Wars fans. The downside? It’s a bit clunky in-flight, but what do you expect from a freighter? 

5. Inductrix FPV BNF

No time to build? This Inductrix drone does it all out of the box.

Specifications
Best for: More tech
Battery life: 3-4 minutes
Range: 40m
FPV: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Large monitor for FPV+Built-in prop guards
Reasons to avoid
- Controller and transmitter sold separately

If you don’t have the time, experience, or inclination to build your own, reviewers have found this teeny drone to be a great RTF alternative to the TinyWhoop. The Inductrix FPV BNF zips around like nobody’s business in flight, agile enough for more experienced flyers to use for daring tricks, but stable enough that it won’t intimidate starters. While it’s not the most durable out there, the built-in prop guards ensure it bounces quite happily off most surfaces and won’t cause any serious harm if you accidentally fly it into someone’s head.

6. EACHINE E010 Mini Quadcopter Drone

A strong and stable mini-ship suitable for learners

Specifications
Best for: Starter drone
Battery life: 5 minutes
Range: 30m
FPV: Yes (goggles not included)
Reasons to buy
+Two speed modes+Durable build
Reasons to avoid
-Only two LEDs 

If you’re just in the drone game for the acrobatics and aren’t too fussed about having an on-board camera, this mini quadcopter is a solid option. It’s cheering to find that its ducted fan design mimics that of the much more expensive Tiny Whoop, and while there are a few elements that let on to how much cheaper the E010 is, its durable nylon construction and comparatively long flight time (for such a small copter) are valuable assets for the price. The two speed modes and self-leveling also make it superb for first time flyers, and while it’s worth noting that on slow mode it’s likely to get taken by the wind when flown outside, when taken as an indoor drone, we really can’t hold that against it. 

7. Cheerson CX10 CX-10

A teeny tiny palm-sized drone for the most daring of indoor flights

Specifications
Best for: Smaller spaces
Battery life: 4 minutes
Range: 20m
FPV: No
Reasons to buy
+Three ability-based flight modes+Small and zippy
Reasons to avoid
-No prop guards 

This might not be what badass hobby drone flyers want to hear about a potential purchase, but the Cheerson CX10 is adorable. It’s extremely petite, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and can whip through the air with the greatest of ease, making it a thoroughly delightful starter drone. It’s surprisingly fully featured, with three different flight modes – beginner, intermediate and advanced – to choose from, and a decent 4 to 8 minutes of flying time, but absolute beginners might want to pick up some prop guards, as you don’t get any in the package.