Conventional radio controlled devices are reliant upon their dedicated controllers to function appropriately. However, with the ever-evolving modern technology, you have now a smart gadget in your pockets all the time and many developers in the RC toys industry are endeavoring to the harness the powers granted by this fabulous device. Let me be a bit clear here; I am talking about the quadcopter drones that can be controlled with the help of your handheld mobile device: be it a smartphone or a tablet.
The more sophisticated drones are still dependent on a dedicated remote control device but majority of the toy drones available on the market make use of an Android or iOS powered device alongside a WiFi or a Bluetooth wireless connection. Let’s delve into more details about some of the best fun drones that can be controlled with your smartphones.
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Parrot Bebop 2
Parrot are technological giants who are always willing and planning to come up with novel ideas that can help forge an unforgettable user experience for the drone flyers. The top-quality experience can be furnished either through supreme quality hardware or state-of-the-art software and functionalities. As far as their drones are concerned, most of them are equipped with the kind of technology that lets you fly them with your smartphone. If you are a more professional dronie, you can always get your hands on a dedicated controller for your machine but for the newbies who want to get access to basic controls, an Android or iOS powered app is not too far away.
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The Bebop 2 is one of the latest drones that have been launched by the manufacturers. It is a machine that packs a power punch and is loaded with tons of high-end features in addition to a top quality integrated camera.
With the help of their free app, FreeFlight 3, you can use your smartphone as a controller as well as a monitor of your First Person View experience. To get access to advanced flying modes, you will have to make some in-app purchases but the basic features can be accessed free of any cost.
If you are looking to buy a Parrot Bebop 2 drone only, you can buy it around $265 but the whole package consisting of FPV goggles, a dedicated controller and other hop-ups can be bought for around $399.]
Hubsan X4 H501S Pro
We were fortunate enough to spend some time with the Hubsan team in the Consumer Electronics Show this year behind closed doors. They had plenty of great ideas and stuff planned for their future releases but their latest product that has been launched is the Hubsan X4 H501S Pro which is a brushless device. As is with the case of the majority of the Hubsan drones available on the market, you can fly this sleek device with the help of a smartphone app. You, of course, can purchase the dedicated controller along with the FPV viewer if you are interested.
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Their engineers are in the middle of designing a compact controller that is similar to a small sized phone dock. As a matter of fact, it really is a phone dock. You can use your smartphone to control a number of Hubsan machines including the Hubsan X4 H501S Pro or the slightly less costly the Hubsan X4 H501S Brushless.
DBPower UDI U818A
This is yet another drone that is equipped with First Person View technology is also supports VR Goggles. It can be flown both with the help of a dedicated controller as well as with the help of a smartphone. It obviously does not boast as many a features as the U842 but it certainly promises a seamless flight experience that is great for a professional aerial photography and videography stint. You can view the live video feed transmitted from your drone’s cockpit within a distance of about 100 feet from your device on your smartphone. You can also place your smartphone on the holder built into the controller for ease of use.
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You can purchase the DBPower UDI U818A under $90.00.
Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider
Is it a car or a quadcopter? No, it is not a combination of the two but Parrot have come up with this intriguing device that has large wheels and is capable of rolling along like a spider; thereby adding plenty of fun to your indoor flying experience. These are not powered wheels, but they protect your drone in case of serious crashes; letting you drive on the floor when the battery has run out of juice and carry out some crawling up the walls while there is just enough juice left in the battery.
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What’s more! This drone is also loaded with a camera and can be controlled with both a dedicated controller or a smartphone. You can purchase it under $40.
It’s Star Wars time, y’all! Everyone has his/her own definition of a drone. According to military personnel, it is an unmanned aerial vehicle that can be used for aerial surveys and monitoring; toy store owners believe it to be a compact sized multi-rotor device that can be controlled remotely; but to be honest, a drone is an unmanned machine that can be used for almost every single purpose that you could think of. You can use it under the water, in the air, on the ground; whether it is remotely controlled or autonomous; there are many types of drones out there and considering all these facts, we come to the conclusion that the Sphero BB-8 is certainly one of our favorites out there.
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You can control the BB-8 with the help of your smartphone, enjoy some soothing music and also get entertained with some prolific augmented reality tales.
Special Considerations – Phone, Remote and VR
There are only a limited number of drones out there that let you control your device using only a smartphone as the controlling device. You can always add more value to your flying experience by throwing your smartphone or tablet into the mix, though. DJI are the leaders in this regard, since most of their devices are controlled with the help of remote controllers but you can use your smartphone as your FPV video screen.
DJI Mavic Pro does exactly all this. You can view the live video streaming transmitted from the camera fitted into your machine on your smartphone. You can also control the camera from the phone and also trigger on the advanced flying modes right from your smartphone app.
Keeping these facts in mind, there are numerous drones out there than can be partially controlled with the help of smartphones.
DJI Mavic Pro
We were a bit hesitant while adding this device here in this list. As is the case with other DJI machines, this one also lets the users make use of the blend of smartphone and the controller. You can take control of your device using your smartphone only with the WiFi mode switched on. Though, you will be hampered by limited range and capabilities in this mode. With the control method eliminated, you can virtually anything with this prolific drone. The Mavic Pro is very compact in size, boasts a retractable design and lets you capture Ultra High Definition video footage at 4K resolution with a device that is equipped with autonomous features.
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The base package is up for grabs for around $999 and the Fly More Bundle can be bought for $1299.
Let’s Sum it Up!
There were some of the best drones can be controlled with the help of a smartphone or a tablet. There are number of toy drones that can be controlled only with a smartphone. We would suggest you to keep your handheld mobile device charged since it will let you carry out great things with your beloved drones.
Do let us know in the comments section which is you favorite drone to fly with your Android powered handheld mobile device.