There are two technologies which I have grown to love. My iPhone and my drones. Up until a few years ago, these were two separate gadgets. But today – getting an iPhone controlled drone is not just a possibility, it’s one of the main criteria when people are looking at what phone to buy!
Innovation in iPhone drones has lead to drones with iOS apps being a standard piece of functionality, rather than a nice to have. Drone manufactures such as DJI today base most of their drones around the capabilities of their apps. Our smartphones have taken over our world, literally we are glued to them all the time, so it’s no wonder that the next evolution in drones would be iPad / iPhone controlled drones.
But what drone for iPhone should you buy?
Let’s just have a look at why drone control by iPhone is not just a nice to have, but a must.
Drones are the latest bits of technology that anyone can find today when it comes both to the filming and video industry, as well as their usage as gadgets for entertainment purposes. These little pieces of innovation help filmmakers capture footage from perspectives that were previously much more difficult to achieve. With smartphones and iPhones being pervasive, one feature that is becoming more and more requested in the world of drones is the ability for iPhone controlled drones, or the ability for the drone to be flown solely via your smartphone or mobile device. In fact, the cheaper quadcopters we’ve included in this article are
Not only that, the if you want to get your kids hooked into tech, a drone controlled by iPhone is the way to go. In fact, the cheaper quadcopters we’ve included in this article are perfect drones for kids to get them hooked onto technology.
Using your iPhone or iPad to control your drone camera is not a new thing. There are a lot of drones for iPhone that come with this feature already, and have made it a lot easier to control the camera. Numerous functions are now achievable, introducing film makers to a new world of possibilities. That’s why today we’re going to have a look at the best iPad / iPhone controlled drone with camera (of course).
Incidentally, if you’re looking for drones with HD cameras, you might want to look at our article.
In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the best drones for use with your iPhone or iPad. We will be providing a diverse list that satisfies every user’s criteria.
We will also be listing the link to the iOS app for the specific drone so before you buy a drone controlled by iPhone you can check out all of the reviews and features of the app.
Why get an iPhone Controlled Drone?
There are a number of reasons why you would choose to opt for an iPad / iPhone controlled drone. First of all, portability. Whilst drone controllers can typically give you better control on your drone, most of them are quite bulky in nature. Using your ever present iPhone to control your drone reduces one piece of complex gadgetry you need to carry with you.
The 2nd (and more important reason) for using a drone with camera controlled by iPhone is visual. When you are filming, you’ll want to know exactly what your film is going to look like, so that you can change the view, rotate, zoom in / zoom out and in essence exercise all of your “directing” is terms of what you’ll achieve as an end result.
Before we start have a look at the the following video which is a excellent demo of the Parrot AR Drone being controlled by an iphone, if you’re looking to buy this drone, check out our full review of the iPhone controlled Parrot AR Drone.
Shortlist of the Best Drones for iPhone
|Parrot AR Drone|
|DJI Phantom 3|
|DJI Phantom 4|
|Parrot Bebop 2|
|Babrit UPlay FPV|
|3DR Solo Quadcopter|
|Holy Stone X401H Drone|
|The E Hang Ghost GPS|
|OneCase Cheerson CX-10W|
High-End iPhone Drones (>$750)
The first on our list is of iPhone controlled drone…
1. DJI Phantom 3
You’ll never find a good drone list without a DJI drone – simply put, DJI rule the drone world. They’ve also made it a point to rule phone controlled drones. One of the their latest releases, the DJI Mavic Pro has taken the world by storm – we’ve fully reviewed the DJI Mavic Pro here.
The DJI Phantom is one of the best drones that you can get anywhere in the drone market today. Even though the price tag may be a bit of a steep for many consumers that are on a budget, it gives you very good value for your money.
This is one is a one of best drone with camera controlled by iPhone – it’s native iOS app ensures it can be controlled with ease from your smartphone or mobile device. If you are looking to take your filming to a professional level, then this is one of the best drones that you can get.
The drone is uniquely light in weight, and at just 2.7 pounds, it has pretty impressive air speeds. It also comes with a unique GPS system that can operate in a number of different climates and temperatures. The 3 axis stabilization gimbal ensures that you do not get shaky footage. The drone comes with its own camera, which is a 12 MP unit.
You can easily operate this equipment with the DJI GO app that can be installed on all apple and android devices.
For sure this drone has been the go to drone for the last few months / years, so definitely an excellent choice for an iPhone controlled drone.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Drone Bundle with Extra Battery
4K UHD video recording with fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal
Lightbridge digital streaming allows live viewing of 720p video (full resolution video is simultaneously recorded on the internal micro SD card). Vision Positioning system allows stable flight indoors
This bundle includes two (2) total flight batteries, one in the drone and one in a separate box, and a rechargeable remote controller
2. DJI Phantom 4 – an expensive but great phone controlled drone
Newer, more innovative and more features than the Phantom 3. This is another potential iPhone controlled drone on your wish list. Once again, the DJI iOS app for the Phantom 4 ensures that the drone can be controlled with your apple device, and is a very reliable choice if you are willing to spend a few extra bucks.
We feature this drone even with the Phantom 3 on our list because of the additional features that it comes with, because both of these drones are excellent choices as a drone controlled by iPhone / iPad.
At 3 pounds, it is slightly heavier than the Phantom 3, but this is because it comes with a lot more features. It can reach top speeds of 45 mph, and can get as high as 400 feet. This mega drone is used by the best of the best in the film industry. The camera is the same 12MP unit as the Phantom 3, but its field of vision is increased from 90 to 94 degrees. This gives you just a little bit of freedom, which when considered in the air, is quite a lot.
You can easily control this drone from the DJI GO app, available on android and apple. If you’ve also got a GO PRO, you can buy attachments which allow to fly your drone with the GO PRO.
You can find the iOS app for the DJI Phantom 4 here.
DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter Drone with 4K Video EVERYTHING YOU NEED KIT + 3 Total DJI Batteries + 2 SanDisk 64GB Micro SDXC Cards + Strap Carry System + Card Reader 3.0
Kit Includes: 1 DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter Drone, 1 Handheld Transmitter (Radio Controller), 1 Mobile Device Holder, 1 Smart Battery Charger, 3 TOTAL BATTERIES , 2 SANDISK 64 GB EXTREME SD CARD, UNIVERSAL SD CARD READER, KOOZAM STRAP CARRY SYSTEM, KOOZAM CLEANING CLOTH
Professional-quality imaging Shoot 4K video at 30fps, full HD 1080p video at up to 120fps for crisp slow motion, and 12 megapixel photos in DNG RAW for full editing creativity. Automatic obstacle avoidance Fly with a tap Track subjects without a tracking device 4K 30fps and 1080p 120fps video 12 megapixel, Adobe DNG RAW photos Ready to fly out of the box Full manual remote camera control, long-range live feed from camera
Visual tracking Now it's a snap to fly while keeping the camera pointed steadily at a moving subject. ActiveTrack uses advanced visual tracking capabilities to fully automate tracking, so you get the perfect shot every time.
Mid-range iPhone Drone
3. 3DR IRIS / 3DR IRIS+
We feature this iPhone controlled drone because it is a very unique piece if your main aim is to buy a drone for your gopro camera without breaking the bank. This drone can be controlled by iPhone / iPad and works with all the HERO camera series. The stabilization gimbal has to be bought separately.
Although GoPro have actually created their own drone, this has been hit by a series of snags, including falling out of the sky … not a good thing! Even it’s latest iteration is still far from impressive.
One unique feature of this drone is the “follow me” mode that allows the user to ensure the drone is following via GPS. It is perfect for filming sports, running and cycling. There are also a lot of great safety features that ensures the drone flies back to the controller when it is no longer in range or if the batteries are about to die.
On a full charge, this drone can last up to 20 minutes, which is pretty standard for a drone of this quality. The iPhone controlled drone comes with a mobile app that can be easily installed on your iPhone or iPad.
See the iOS App here.
The self-stabilization feature of this drone is one that a lot of users would really like.
4. The Parrot Bebop 2 – the most popular iPhone controlled drone
Parrot, makes of popular drones such as the Parrot AR Drone (which is another iPhone controlled drone). They have been one of the first companies to create iPad / iPhone controlled drones.
The Parrot Bebop is another very good phone controlled drone on the market (from the Parrot company) that can be driven and guided with an application from your smartphone or any other mobile device. This iPhone controlled drone comes with a lot of diversity from the usual drones that you would see on the market. It drone with camera controlled by iPhone comes with a 14MP camera, which is significantly better than the Phantom 3 and 4. This crystal clear quality is for those filmers who know exactly what they want and aren’t afraid to go for it.
This drone is incredibly light, weighing just 1.1 pounds. It can also reach speeds of 18 mph, allowing you to capture all the footage you need with its flight time of 25 minutes.
You can fly this iPhone controlled drone from your mobile device by installing apps like “Free flight” that are available on the website of this drone. This drone is very durable and compact. It also makes it very easy to do rolls and flips very easily.
This is one of the best drones that you can get if you are just learning to fly and want something not so complex.
The Parrot Bebop iOS app can be found here.
Parrot Bebop 2 FPV – White
Parrot Bebop 2 uses seven sensors simultaneously to ensure maximum stability in flight
Shoot full HD 1080p videos and 14Mpx photos with the built-in wide-angle camera. Footage can be captured in RAW, JPEG and DNG format.
Unmatched 3-axis digital stabilization system ensures smooth and stable videos regardless of the drone's movements
5. Babrit UPlay FPV
One drone with camera controlled by iPhone that is gaining a lot of popularity and relevance on the market recently is the Babrit Uplay FPV drone. This drone is easily controlled from your iPhone and iPad. It comes with a lot of features that users would find very attractive.
FPV actually means First Person view and is an awesome experience for drone flying.
We feature this drone because it is capable of transmitting real time footage to your mobile device while you are controlling it. This means that you can actually see what you are filming and ensure that you get the shots that you want.
It also come with a lot of modes like the headless which allows the drone to move forward without interruption from noise. It also has an auto return that kicks in the moment you press the button. It has a 6 axis stabilization gimbal that ensures you do not get shaky footage.
It is very durable and comes at a very affordable price which ensures you don’t have to break the bank.
Here’s the iOS app for the Baprit.
6. 3DR Solo Quadcopter
3DR is one of the most reputable brands when it comes to the drone industry. While the 3DR solo drone does not come with its own camera, it is still a very good choice if you are searching for an iPad / iPhone controlled drone.
We feature this drone because it gives you freedom to film with any type of camera that you like / own. You can film with a regular 12MP camera, or even fit your GoPro into this unit. You may also have to buy the stabilization gimbal separately.
This drone is a very exciting unit that helps you to get the best possible footage without having to break the bank. This drone is much heavier than the phantom series. At 3.35 pounds, it feels like very high quality. The drone can last for up to 20 minutes in the air if the batteries are charged properly. It has a 90 degree rotation span, which allows you capture as much as you would like. It is very reliable and easy to operate.
The mobile app that is compatible with the drone is available on apple and android stores.
The 3DR Solo app can be found here.
3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter
Solo's video game-style controller will feel familiar the second you pick it up, even if you've never flown a drone. Pushbutton commands put both camera and copter at your fingertips. Take off, land or instantly pause your flight midair with a single touch. Click to start and stop recording or snap a photo, even adjust camera angle while you fly
In case you missed it in the picture...that's a high-quality HDMI port directly from the controller so you can connect Solo to practically any screen you can think of. Refer user manual below
Full-featured app for iOS and Android puts total craft control at your fingertips.
Budget Drone for iPhone / iPad (<$199)
7. Holy Stone X401H Drone
If you’re looking for a mini drone controlled by iphone Holy Stone X401 is a great choice. The bright yellow of this drone is one thing that would definitely attract you to buy this drone. However, it isn’t all about appearance for this drone. With a number of impressive features, you can be certain to get the best filming experience without much hassle (or spending a lot).
It comes with a unique altitude hold feature that allows you to maintain the height of the iPhone controlled drone at a particular level to get the best shots possible. It also flies in a very stable manner, so your footage does not turn out shaky. This mode can be used for videos and taking photos.
This drone comes with a 720P camera that allows you to take videos while controlling with your apple or android device. The app that controls this unit is very intuitive and easy to understand. This makes the flying experience a very enjoyable one.
The batteries of this drone last for under 20 minutes during flight, and is definitely one drone that would give any user very good value for money.
Let’s also take a look at the most expensive and most affordable drones currently available on amazon.
The most expensive iPhone controlled drone you can find on the market is the DJI Professional full kit. However, we will be featuring another brand this time to give a little something different.
Holy Stone X401H-V2 RC Drone with Camera Live Video Wifi FPV Quadcopter with Altitude Hold, Headless Mode Function and APP Control RTF Helicopter for Beginner and Expert, Compatible with 3D VR Headset
ALTITUDE HOLD TECHNOLOGY: The Air pressure sensor help hold the flight stabely at the same height,so you can take photography and video in much higher quality. It can release one of your hand in controlling vertical direction, just focus on forward, backward, left and right. An amazing function for beginners!
HD FPV CAMERA: First Person View 720P HD REAL TIME Video Camera (2MP, 1280×720 Pixel) enable you to take aerial videos and photos with your iPhone or Android phone device.
MOBILE CONTROL: Control the drone with a smart phone in the App to activate multiple functions such as Gravity SENSOR Mode which allows the user to control the flight by holding and moving the smart phone accordingly. Operate the camera function and flight on the App interface. TIP : For absence of signal,activate the remote control for the signal connection.For signal interruption, turn off the remote control and turn it on again.
It is very easy to set up, as you can just take it out of the box and begin to fly. It has advanced features that will allow you to fly the drone even when it is out of your line of vision, and it also comes with an auto follow mode. It is also very wind resistant, and can handle a little bit of rain.
It is one of the most expensive drones available right now, so you have to ensure you are a professional before purchasing the drone.
The Ghost Drone iOS app can be found here.
9. Dromida Ominus
Not the most popular name on the market, but the Dromida Ominus is one of the best that you can get if you want to control the unit with your iPhone or tablet. This is one drone that can allow videographers to perform flips and rolls very easily. This gives you a very unique touch to your footage that not just any drone can give you.
This unit is made from a durable type of plastic and has also been designed with several coloured LEDs that allow you to fly in the night time. Even though its flight time is significantly shorter that most of our other drones aforementioned with 12 minutes, it certainly brings a lot of other features to the table. The camera that comes with this drone can film up to 720P, and also allows the user to take individual photos. There are several skill settings that you can program the drone to ensure you have the best flying experience.
You can download the FPV Cam iOS app here.
Dromida Ominus First-Person View (FPV) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Quadcopter Ready-to-Fly (RTF) Drone with Radio System, Batteries and USB Charger (Red)
The Ominus FPV comes ready to fly out of the box. Perform flips, take video, and snap photos with the press of a button.
Four flight modes to help any pilot take flight. Choose between easy, normal, advanced and expert flight modes.
See your flight through a Wi-Fi-enabled digital camera and operate it with your own smartphone or other mobile device (not included).
And the most affordable iPhone controlled drone currently is…
10. OneCase Cheerson CX-10W
This is the cheapest drone controlled by iPhone available on Amazon right now. At less than $99, this is a very good drone you can use to practice and learn the tricks of the trade if you aren’t exactly a professional yet. It still comes with a number of great features that will ensure you get the best possible out of the drone.
You can install the mobile application that allows you to control the unit with your iPhone or iPad. The pictures recorded can be easily stored on your device via the application. It does not come with a remote controller, so you would have to control this unit from your mobile device.
It comes with a standard 6 axis gyro system, and also allows you to view real time footage of what you are recording via Wi-Fi.
oneCase Cheerson CX-10W 4CH 2.4GHz iOS / Android APP Wifi Romote Control RC FPV Real Time Video Mini Quadcopter Helicopter Drone UFO with 0.3MP HD Camera, 6 Axis Gyro – Silver
CX-10W RC quadcopter features a WiFi 0.3MP HD camera which can achieve real-time FPV by connecting a phone. The recorded pictures and videos can stored in mobile phone directly,without extra memory card. Can only be operated by phone, no remote controller
One of The World's smallest Smart Phone 2.4G 4CH 6-Axis Gyro system RC Quadcopter with HD Camera and FPV Real-Time Video Function. Download Software "CX-10wifi" in APP store or Google Play for Wifi Connection and Control. It is also able to bind to controllers of CX-10, CX-10C, CX-10D
Miniature with Colorful LED: the bright LED works beautifully for night flying while the size makes it perfect for small spaces
These are some of the best iPhone controlled drones available on the market. This means that you can now have much more freedom when it comes to filming – besides actually seeing what you are filming. We have provided a list of any iPhone controlled drone that satisfy most of the criteria that users would want from price, to durability and features.