One of the smallest quadcopter drones on the market, the Estes Proto X Nano packs a big punch in a tiny package. Weighing in at just under 0.4 oz and roughly twice the size of a quarter, it can literally fit in the palm of your hand. Surprisingly though, this drones small stature does not result in a lack of precise maneuverability or flight control.
At roughly $30 dollars, the Estes Proto X Nano is currently the cheapest beginner drone available for sale, but there are some reasons for the low price point. Included in the box is the quadcopter drone with installed LiPo Battery, a 2.4 GHz controller, USB charge cable, four spare propellers, and an instruction booklet.
The Estes Proto X Nano comes ready to fly with no assembly, giving you roughly 5 to 8 minutes of flight time per charge. The nano-like size of this drone though limits your recommended flying to indoors only as even a simple breeze will cause this thing to drift heavily.
Flying this little drone is extremely easy. Even with its miniscule design, the Proto X Nano flies smoothly and hovers in place with minimal drift. The controller itself may be the only hindrance for most pilots as it is also extremely small, making it somewhat difficult to hold if you have larger hands. Still, the joysticks respond beautifully for speedy maneuvers and with a built-in trim option, The Estes Proto X Nano offers the same level of flight control features as other beginner drones twice the price.
Built with front (blue) and back (red) LED lights, the Proto X Nano offers excellent visual flight orientation. This is extremely useful due to its small size and since you will likely be flying it indoors only. The LEDs also act as indicator lights, telling you when the drone is low on battery, so you don’t crash mid-flight.
Though the Estes Proto X Nano is a top pick on our Buyers Guide for beginner drones, there are still two major limitations for this model: battery-life and quality of parts. Because of its small size, the 100 mAh LiPo battery comes pre-installed and is not recommended for manual replacement. This means you have to charge the battery in the unit, resulting in roughly a 40 minute waiting period between flights which can be a bit of a drag.
The other issue with this drone is the ease at which it can break. Built with a plastic frame and extremely small multirotors, it is important that pilots remember that this drone is just a toy. For roughly $30 a drone, one should not expect the Estes Proto X Nano to hold up against excessively aggressive flying or acrobatics because it will not. Replacement parts are available, but almost not worth the bother as you can purchase an entirely new drone for around the same cost.
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If you’re looking for an extremely affordable beginner drone that’s extremely easy to fly, then the Estes Proto X Nano is the drone for you. This drone is an excellent gift for kids and teenagers, yet can still be a ton of fun for adults interested in becoming a RC drone hobbyist. If you’re looking for more flight-time, consider going with the newer Estes Syncro X Nano, which addresses the few of the shortcomings of the Proto X, like the irremovable LiPo battery. Either drone model is a great stepping stone purchase to get your feet wet before investing in something more robust and complex.
Buy the Estes Proto X Nano on Amazon