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Does anyone have any experience with these? I have been told that it's a good idea to get a cheaper ~$50 one to practice my piloting. I expect that I will probably be terrible and crash it often. Is it as fun as I imagine it will be?

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I have invested many months and many moneys into flying drones. It is a very good idea to practice with a small one. And it's very fun to fly. I started with the Hubsan X4.

However, I would recommend for you, the Blade Nano QX RTF. It is a bit more money, but it is far more stable, which is great for beginners. It's also lighter than the Hubsans, and have blade guards. Its very hard to break.(My friends throw things at it to knock it out of the sky while I fly it, it's been hit by shoes and other heavy things without breaking). And if you do break it, your local hobby shop will have parts for it, so you can get back up and flying the same day.

Be sure to find the RTF(ready to fly) and not the BNF(bind and fly). You can then use the transmitter that came with the quadcopter for many of blade's other mini or micro models.

The only other recommendation I have for you is to see if you can find any RC clubs or groups around where you live. There are different "transmitter modes," which correspond to what each of the sticks do. In the USA, we fly primarily Mode 2. In the UK, it's mostly Mode 1. In Australia, it was primarily Mode 1, but Mode 2 is becoming popular there too. I would ask a local flying club which mode they use, and go with that.

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There are many forum posts on this topic already. This one came up recently and can answer some of your questions (https://forums.hak5.org/index.php?/topic/34450-best-all-around-drone-under-350/?hl=drone). Like eovnu I started with a Hubsan X4 which I liked a lot. It taught me how to fly properly and was able to take a beating. It was also pretty cheap in price. Then I moved up to a DJI FlameWheel F450 that I built myself. It's a lot of fun and the skills I learned from flying the Hubsan transferred easily. Plus the FlameWheel is a lot easier to fly because of the NAZA-M V2 flight controller I have on it.

Start small and learn how to fly. Your quad is going to take some beatings but the more crashes it takes now the fewer your more expensive quad will take in the future (hopefully).

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