The Eachine E56 features an accelerometer-powered remote, an HD camera and even a carrying case, all for $30.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Regular readers know of my fondness for the Goolsky TB-802, a simple indoor drone with a gesture remote. (Still a killer deal at just $18, FYI.) If you like the idea of that kind of controller but want something a little more substantial (read: outdoor-friendly), I've got just the thing.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, EachineDirect (via Amazon) has the Eachine E56 folding drone is just $29.99 with promo code BKGBU5C6. It currently sells for $50 and has never dipped below $40.
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There's a bit of a learning curve here, yes, which I think explains some of the more negative reviews. I flew the E56 around my yard a few times and had a lot of fun with it. The remote's four function buttons aren't labeled, which is annoying, but I like the three speed options, altitude-hold feature and sturdy carrying case.
As with most small
, don't expect more than 6 to 7 minutes of flight time. If you're so inclined, buy a couple spare batteries (here's two for $11). Also, don't expect high-quality video: In my tests, it was jerky or flatout didn't work. But you can capture some decent aerial photos, which is more than I can say for the cameraless, indoor-only Goolsky. (Both functions require the companion app, and you can use that app to fly the drone as well, if you decide you don't like remote.)
This is a nice option for kids and novice fliers. Both should definitely take this outside, though, as the drone has no blade-guards for safer indoor flight.