Black Friday Drones Deals 2018: Whether you’re looking to perform some fancy sky-based aerobatics, or just want to snag some pro-level aerial footage, we’ve got the ideal drone deal for you.
Black Friday Drones Deals 2018
Just a few years ago, drone flying was a hardcore hobby for dedicated obsessives with money to burn. Now, though, drones have well and truly entered the mainstream.
Your average drone is an awful lot of fun to fly, while automated systems make it relatively easy to get (and keep) these little devices airborne and safe from tree branch incidents.
The quality of drone cameras has also increased massively since the early days, with 4K footage and high-megapixel stills now on the cards. This has opened up a whole new world of amateur aerial photography and video capture.
All of which makes Black Friday 2018 a brilliant time to invest in your first flying camera. Despite recent advances in drone technology, the price of admission has actually gone down – and price tags will never be lower than in November’s sales extravaganza.
DJI currently owns the drone skies, and we think it’s worth keeping your eye on three of its drones in particular. Other than the entry-level DJI Spark, the DJI Mavic Air is the best all-round drone for beginners looking for a sub-£1000 model. It combines an incredibly compact, folding form factor with an excellent 4K camera and DJI’s class-leading obstacle avoidance tech.
If you’re looking for the pinnacle in consumer-level drones, then keep scanning this page for deals on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom, which are also likely to get Black Friday discounts. The Mavic 2 Pro features a large, one-inch sensor, which produces superb video quality, while the Mavic 2 Zoom features 2x optical zoom.
If those are a bit too pricey, there are also likely to be deals on drones that fly a little lower in terms of asking price. Look out for the Parrot Anafi, a 4K drone that’s a fine, cheaper alternative to the DJI Mavic Air. And the best bet for Christmas stockings is the Ryze Tello, a mini starter drone that may see several pounds shaved off its already sub-£100 price tag.
Drone deals live now
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are edging closer, but the countdown clock still has several days left. If you’re not going to be around when then sales start then fear not, there are already some decent savings to be had right now. Just scroll down and see for yourself.
Best Drone Deals – Amazon
Best Amazon Drone Deals
The Mavic Pro was DJI's first ever folding drone and the recipient of our Best Drone of the Year 2017 award. It has fantastic image quality, plenty of flight modes and is great fun to use.
DJI's latest and greatest folding drone is its smallest yet and includes 4K video and a raft of automated flight modes. The Fly More Combo pack includes extra accessories like batteries and propellers that make it great value and even more so with this discount.
A great saving on a standalone DJI Spark drone. This portable drone packs in a great 1080p camera and loads of automated flight modes making it a great introduction to drone flying.
Parrot has provided a genuine alternative to DJI’s brilliant mini drones here, with a clever compact design and an excellent 4K HDR camera. It's currently down to its lowest ever price on Amazon.
At this price, the Bebop 2 is a good alternative to the DJI Spark – it shoots 1080p video and 14-megapixel stills, while the battery lasts an impressive 25 minutes per charge.
Best Drone Deals – Currys
Best Currys Drone Deals
This is currently our favourite drone and it's available for a great price standalone if you don't want the Fly More combo.
This is a great-value drone that’s nimble and easy to fly, with excellent battery life and a very intuitive app.
This dinky little drone is a collaboration between DJI and Intel and is a great introduction to drone flying. It's got clever tech inside and a very respectable 13 minute flight time for a drone of its size. It can also be used to learn coding, making it as educational as it is fun to fly.
If you don't need the added benefits of the Bebop 2 'Power Edition' like a spare battery, then this deal is an excellent way to get an affordable taster of FPV drone flying via a pair of included goggles. The Bebop 2 can also record 1080p video and fly at 40mph.
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UK Drone Laws
It can be difficult to know when and where it’s safe to fly your drone. If you have any doubts, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Never fly unless you know it’s both safe and allowed. For everything you need to know about safe drone flight, be sure to read our UK Drone Laws guide.
How to choose a drone deal
Where will you fly?
It’s easy to get carried away with visions of your drone following you around like a loyal, flying robo-pet. But the rules around drone-flying in the UK (see above) are pretty strict, so it’s worth thinking about exactly where you might take your new flying camera and if your top targets are a good fit.
This includes not just the size of the flying zone but also the typical conditions – if you’re planning to shoot in really exposed areas like the coast, then it might be worth considering a hexacopter (which has six propellors) over a quadcopter (which has four props), as this can help with flying stability.
That said, some high-end quadcopters like the DJI Mavic 2 Pro are impressively stable in winds up to 15-20mph. Either way, drones with three-axis gimbals (mechanical ones rather than electronic) give you the best chance of smooth, vibration-free video in breezy climates, though this does also come at a cost.
Are you more excited by the idea of flying your drone or filming with it? If snagging spectacular aerial videos is more important to you drone racing in sport mode, then it’s best to pick a model with solid auto-flying modes and obstacle avoidance detection. Right now, DJI’s drones are the best for both of those things.
The ‘intelligent flight modes’ found in DJI’s drones, and others like the Parrot Anafi, are like your camera’s ‘auto’ mode, taking control of the flying once you’ve chosen a particular route or spot. If you want your drone to automatically follow you around, you’ll need one with ‘Follow Me’ functionality (which usually works via GPS) or DJI’s ActiveTrack (which tracks you using software).
Many of these drones also have ‘Sport’ modes, which give them higher top speeds and sharper handling. But if you only want a drone to fly around rather than film with, then it’s worth looking at a cheaper model that’s designed for racing like the Parrot Mambo. Most organised races are done in FPV (First Person View), so if that tickles your fancy then check out bundles like the Parrot Bebop 2 Power FPV, which include a headset that lets you see the view from your drone’s camera.
Boost your juice
As far as drone technology has come in the past few years, one familiar issue still holds them back – battery life.
Most ‘travel drones’, which are ones with folding designs that can easily fit into your backpack, can only stay in the air for 20-30 minutes on a single charge. And that includes taking off, landing, and potentially rescuing it from a tree.
That’s why it’s usually a good idea, if you can afford it, to buy your drone in a bundle that includes a spare battery, so you can double your flight time on a single trip. These are often called ‘Fly More’ bundles, and also include handy extras like spare propellors and cases.
If your budget doesn’t quite allow for that, though, then consider models (like the Parrot Anafi) which support direct USB charging from external batteries. This means you can give your drone it a quick boost while you’re on the road, rather than waiting to get home and plug it into the mains.
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