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PC Mag Reveals Top 10 Drones of 2016

PC Mag just published its Top 10 drones of 2016…and the list is revealing.

For starters, DJI drones make up six of the ten spots. The Phantom 3 Standard is still present with an overall rating of 4 out of 5. The Phantom 4 tops off the list with a perfect score of 5. The Inspire 1 and Phantom 3 Professional are close behind with 4.5 each. The Phantom 3 4K and Advanced come in fifth and sixth with a rating of 4 each.

What of the other four spots?

Here is where things get interesting. The Xiro Xplorer G comes in seventh place with a 4. Xero (pronounced “zero”) is a relatively new entry to the field, being based out of Shenzhen in China.  PC Mag seemed reasonably impressed: “The Xiro Xplorer G is a compelling drone for GoPro owners. It’s compact, inexpensive, and able to transmit video to a smartphone up to the edges of its operating range. Battery life isn’t spectacular, but it is pretty good when compared with similar quadcopters.”

The 3DR Solo comes in eighth with a 3.5. The Solo debuted last year. Despite solid reviews, the Solo and 3DR have struggled to find a large audience. PC Mag noted a weak GPS system and short battery life as being the biggest hindrances. The Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma (a “solid” drone, to use PC Mag’s own words) and Parrot Bebop (“it’s easy to fly”) round out the last two, each rated at 3.5.

The list’s most interesting omission is that of Yuneec’s drones, though author Jim Fisher mentions the Typhoon Series in the accompanying article. Yuneec has struggled to release its latest hexacopter, the Typhoon H, in the face of litigation and frequent delays.

Overall, the list of Top 10 drones isn’t a surprise. DJI has dominated the consumer and prosumer aerial drone market for at least two years. The steady roll out of firmware updates, as well as new hardware and price cuts, have undercut competitors such as 3DR and Yuneec. Drone World just recently announced major price cuts for its Phantom 4 and Inspire 1 Pro drones and bundles.

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