6 Best RC Helicopters: Beginners, Outdoor, Budget, Deluxe

Best RC Helicopters

Flying RC helicopters is a fun hobby that thousands of people of all ages enjoy. Best of all, the best RC helicopters are relatively affordable, and some can be flown both indoors and outdoors. If you’ve always wanted to try flying an RC helicopter, this list will help you get started. 

In it, we review the six best RC helicopters, with some ideas for kids who are interested in trying it out, but also some more deluxe helicopters for those more experienced in the hobby who are seeking to upgrade. And any one of these choices will be fun for the whole family

Flying RC helicopters is as easy or as complex as you choose. Get your start with any one of the best RC helicopters in our ranking.

Our Top Picks

Take a spin through the RC choppers we reviewed. 

Syma-3.5-Channel-RC-HelicopterBest Overall: Syma 3.5 Channel RC Helicopter.
Lightweight and easy to control, the Syma 3.5 is just as good as much larger and more expensive models.
Alpha-Group-SkyRover-LiberatorOutdoor Pick: Alpha Group SkyRover Liberator.
Built to last, the Alpha Group SkyRover is tough enough to fly in the great outdoors.
Cheerwing-Phantom-MiniMini Pick: Cheerwing S107/S107G Phantom Mini.
The Cheerwing Phantom Mini is a durable and fun mini RC helicopter for indoor use.
Syma-S107G-3-Channel-RC-HelicopterBudget Pick: Syma S107G 3-Channel RC Helicopter.
Easy to fly and crash resistant, the Syma S107G is as fun and durable as more expensive models.
JJRC-3.5CH-RC-HelicopterDeluxe Pick: JJRC 3.5CH RC Helicopter.
Pick the JJRC 3.5CH RC helicopter for the full RC experience.
Little-Tikes-YoudriveBeginners Pick: Little Tikes Youdrive.
The Little Tikes Youdrive is a great introduction to RC helicopters for children.
 

A Closer Look: Best RC Helicopters

Get under the hood with a complete report on each RC helicopter in our ranking.

1. Syma 3.5 Channel RC Helicopter

The best RC helicopters overall.

Syma 3.5 Channel RC Helicopter

Brand: Syma | Features: One Key Take Off/Landing | Build: Whole Alloy Body and Anti-Collision | Connection: Full 3.5 Channels/2 Selectable Frequencies | Price: 💰💰💰💰

Small and lightweight, the best RC helicopter in our ranking is the Syma S107H-E. Complete with one key take off and landing, this Syma RC helicopter is stable and easy to fly, charging up within about an hour for eight minutes of flying time. Other features worth mentioning on this well-reviewed RC chopper include emergency stop and ascend/descend, left/right fine tuning, and altitude hold. 

Overall, this is an awesome little helicopter, and it comes packaged with everything you need to get started. Also notable: the blades aren’t fixed. This is helpful should a collision occur, we learned, causing less damage to the helicopter and whatever it ran into. Otherwise, it’s a sharp-looking helicopter — suitable for kids, but also more experienced flyers, with two colors to choose from.

  • Fun for all ages
  • Takes wall collisions like a champ
  • Insert batteries, skim manual, ready to fly
  • Flight time could be longer, some say
  • Isolated incidence of burned-out remote

2. Alpha Group SkyRover Liberator

The best outdoor RC helicopters.

Alpha Group SkyRover Liberator

Brand: Sky Rover | Features: Extra Parts and Propellers | Build: Gyro-Balanced Engine | Connection: 6-Way Full Function Control | Price: 💰💰💰

Most RC helicopters are meant to be flown indoors, but some are tough enough to fly outside as well. One such RC helicopter is the Alpha Group SkyRover Liberator. This indoor/outdoor RC helicopter is durably built, with one-touch take off and landing and a motion-sensing controller. We also like the super-cool styling and LED light.

Outdoors, the Liberator hovers well at about 3-feet off the ground using the auto takeoff and landing feature and without ever even touching the throttle. And when it’s in auto-pilot mode, the chopper senses obstacles, automatically adjusting itself to avoid a collision. 

But we learned the `copter survived getting stuck in trees, and at 10 minutes, the battery life is better than advertised.

  • Fun to fly at night
  • Good for kids and adults
  • Additional blades provided
  • Flimsy “feet”
  • Could fly straighter
  • Practice indoors first

3. Cheerwing S107/S107G Phantom Mini

The best mini RC helicopters.

Cheerwing S107/S107G Phantom Mini

Brand: Cheerwing | Features: 180 Motor | Connection: 2 Selectable Frequencies | Price: 💰💰

For the best mini RC helicopter experience, we recommend the Cheerwing S107/S107G Phantom. This mini RC helicopter is powerful for its size, offering a 3-channel remote control and an upgraded gyro. Also recently upgraded is the frame for added durability, and auto-stability and precision speed. 

With flashing lights, the Phantom is particularly fun to fly at night with the lights off, and there are three color options to choose from.

Those who’ve tried this mini RC helicopter say that it hovers well, and if you add some weight to the nose it flies even faster. Landings are also precise with this tough little flyer, according to reports. 

With an infrared controller, this is an indoor-only helicopter, it’s important to note, but otherwise, this mini RC chopper flies well, survives crashes, and is easy to trim before take-off.

  • Affordable
  • Take great pictures and video
  • Unlike other minis, this one works well
  • Takes some practice
  • Charge plug durability concerns
  • Colors occasionally mislabeled on the box

4. Syma S107G 3-Channel RC Helicopter

The best budget RC helicopter.

Syma S107G 3-Channel RC Helicopter

Brand: Syma | Features: High-Precision Propeller | Build: Tri-Band Technology | Connection: 32-Level High Precision Speed Controller | Price: 💰💰

To get yourself an RC helicopter at the best price possible, we like the Syma S107G. This affordably priced and well-reviewed chopper has a built-in gyroscope keeping it stable, with a high-precision propeller. With flight-times anywhere from 6–8 minutes, the S107G also has an infrared controller, designed specifically for indoor flying.

What’s more, this option has more movement options than much more expensive models, which we liked to hear, and it is easy to fly. It’s crash resistant, we learned, even for beginners, and the aluminum and other metals it’s made from help keep it stable. But the charging port should be near the rear of the helicopter instead of the front, some say.

  • A great “first heli”
  • Fun for kids and adults
  • Slick looking, multiple colors
  • Steep learning curve
  • Bad charger reported
  • Fixable gyroscope issues

5. JJRC 3.5CH RC Helicopter

The best deluxe RC helicopters.

JJRC 3.5CH RC Helicopter

Brand: JJRC | Features: Emergency Stop | Connection: One-Key Take Off and Landing | Price: 💰💰💰

If you’ve been flying an RC helicopter for a while, why not pick one with all the bells-n- whistles? In our ranking, the best deluxe RC helicopter is the JJRC 3.5CH. Yes, that extra .5 channel does help the copter fly better. And it’s also made from new alloy materials helping it to resist crashing. Sold with two batteries, JJRC also offers a longer than average flight time at up to 12 minutes once fully charged.

Otherwise, the controls are easy to use, and the thing is easy to fly, we learned. With automatic takeoff and landing and altitude hold, most were up and flying in no time. It is an outdoor-only helicopter, but it hovers at a standstill., according to reports.

Other benefits include less of a learning curve than other comparable options and the controller isn’t too sensitive to input like others can sometimes be.

  • Well finished and durable
  • Takeoff and landings work consistently
  • Hit ceiling and floor hard without breaking
  • Charges too slowly
  • Won’t hover in launch mode, some say
  • Though rechargeable, battery longevity issue

6. Little Tikes Youdrive

The best RC helicopters for beginners/kids.

Little Tikes Youdrive

Brand: Little Tikes | Features: Built-in auto start and shut-off | Build: Working LED headlights | Connection: Suspended in Midair | Price: 💰💰💰💰

And finally, the Little Tikes Youdrive is the best for children just getting into RC helicopters. With auto-hover technology, this little guy is easy for young ones to fly. There’s motion steering controls, working LED lights and sturdy propellers in case they crash. 

Otherwise, kids and parents like the built-in auto start and shut off technology, and the remote is easy for kids to use. Other user feedback confirmed that the Youdrive remote is easy for kids to operate, keeping an entire family entertained for hours, we learned. It’s very easy to maneuver and not too loud, which is nice for parents to hear.

  • Great for small hands
  • Didn’t break after a crash
  • Cage around the copter helps with collisions
  • Don’t fly around the kitties!
  • Definitely just a toy RC for kids
  • 3 and up? More like 5 and up, some say

Our Process

For this guide on the best RC helicopters our team spent 5 hours researching the most popular options from all over the market. We then read through user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each RC chopper. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 6 RC helicopters on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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