There are a lot of quadcopters out there for beginners. The Smya X1 is one of the most popular. I like it because it has a 2.4GHz transmitter, is very durable, and very easy to fly. You can also make it do flips at the touch of a button to impress your friends.
But recently I just got the Blade mQX, and I must say I am quite impressed. It is actually similar in size to the Syma X1, but it boasts better performance with 4 brushed 8.5 mm motors, 5.5 inch blades, and a 4-in-1 receiver/ESCs/mixer/sensor that acts as flight control board. The built in DSM2 receiver is one thing I really like about the Blade mQX, a lot of quadcopters come with proprietary transmitters and receivers and it can be difficult without hacking the hardware to make it compatible with your existing transmitter. With the Blade mQX you are able to bind it with any DSM2 compatible radio such as Spektrum radios. So instead of having to lug around a multitude of radios, you can program in your models all into one transmitter.
Out of the box, it comes in what is called + configuration. This means that the top arm of the + sign is forward. The + configuration is a little better suited to beginners, as it will be more stable and respond a little slower to commands. As such it will be more difficult to lose control. You can easily change to X mode, and this provides for a slightly more advanced flying experience. Personally, I prefer X mode. If you switch to X mode, I would recommend changing one of the props so that you have two props of one color in the front, and two props of the other color in the back.
The battery that comes with the model is a 1S 3.7V 500 mAh LiPo battery and provides about 10 minutes of battery life. The battery does take about 45 minutes to charge, so you might want to get yourself a couple extra batteries so that you can fly for longer periods of time. They are pretty cheap, and provide for much more fun!
And don’t worry about crashing, as long as you are over grass you can pretty much crash it as much as you want. The carbon fiber spars are strong and the plastic canopy is durable. It is so light that there is not a lot of momentum built up in a crash, so there is not a lot of damage that can occur. But if you DO happen to break something, there are in depth tutorials online on how to repair your little quadcopter. It also comes with spare propellers and you can buy replacement parts online.