No please, do drone on....
November 23, 2018 7:16 PM   Subscribe

My wife wants to get her dad a drone for Christmas but all the ones she's looked at require a smart phone and app to fly. That's not really ideal since my in-laws don't have smart devices. Anybody have suggestions and/or experience for drones (with cameras) that can be flown without a smart phone (ideally with display included on the control pad) in the under $200 range? (CDN not USD though I'm told this is a "soft" limit so a bit more is probably okay if it's good quality.)

Presumably the $200 limit implies this but just to be clear: this is really just a toy. We want a good quality toy but we're not looking for the absolute top of the line, cutting edge technology here.

For reference, this is one of the ones that she was looking at. The company told her that it's possible but "not recommended" to fly it with the control pad alone.
posted by Mister_Sleight_of_Hand to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What are your wife's expectations re: image quality, recording capability, etc? I'm hoping it's fairly low, because there's very little around at that price-point that's any good.

I have an old Hubsan H107D, which was what you describe (but had crappy brushed motors and an analog video transmitter with very poor range). Looks like the current (vastly upgraded) thing is this, which busts you price ceiling at $199 USD. I can't speak to the quality, though, but Hubsan is a known manufacturer at least.
posted by Alterscape at 7:34 PM on November 23, 2018

Response by poster: Yeah we're looking for "hey look a tree....probably" quality.
posted by Mister_Sleight_of_Hand at 7:42 PM on November 23, 2018

Would they use an old smart phone as a mini tablet around the house if you gave them one to use with a drone? Buying a used smart phone as part of the gift would open up a lot of options.
posted by Candleman at 8:09 PM on November 23, 2018 [2 favorites] has a black friday deal on everything. I have gotten drones from them. Some come with their own LCD screen, such as the SKY Hawkeye 1315s
posted by Sophont at 8:53 PM on November 23, 2018

This is an opportunity to introduce smart phones. I carry mine outdoors because I fell last year and it scared me. I read books on it. GPS. They may not feel ready for the technology, but you can get a working, older, unlocked model to control a drone, then build from there. It's a major safety device, plus it can control a drone.
posted by theora55 at 7:58 AM on November 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

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