Drones are widely used in photography and videography, but also finding new applications in advertising, package delivery and product testing. With many models out there already, choosing the first drone can be tricky. You have to know what you want in a drone in terms of functionality and performance, and decide how much to spend.
Hundreds of affordable drones are available on the market today. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level drone or something with a little more power, you can find the best drones to suit your needs and budget. Here are our top five picks for the best affordable drones under $200!
- Best Affordable Drone Overall: Holy Stone HS510 Drone
- Best for Beginners: Potensic T25 Drone
- Best Budget Option: Holy Stone HS175D
- Best Camera Drone: Contixo F22 Camera Drone
- Best Educational: Ryze Tello
Best Affordable Drone Overall: Holy Stone HS510 Drone
- [4K Super Resolution Photos] It is able to use every single pixel giving you crystal clear photos and film. This allows the camera to provide smooth 4k video at 16 frames per second, 2.7K video at 25 frames per second. HS510 is definitely a travel essential.
- [Portable & Ultralight] This 4k drone has compact design in that the quadcopter arms and propeller blades can be folded. It is small (Folded Dimension:5.59*2.91*2.04) and weighs less than 250g/0.55lbs, you don't need to register your drone with the government. Nice Choice for Beginners!
- [Endless Fun in APP Control] With GPS Follow Me,Point of Interest,TapFly, the aircraft can shoot stable aerial shots. With carrying case, It is much more convenient to carry while travelling.
- [GPS & GLONASS] Dual satellite connectivity using both GPS and GLONASS navigation systems, which means you should never loose a signal outdoors. Along with the optical flow positioning, barometer and satellite systems, and it has terrific return-to-home point and a new more precise landing technology.
- [Brushless Motor] Brushless motor with aviation propellers for high aerodynamic efficiency, which is more quiet and longevous than brushed motor.
The Holy Stone HS510 Drone has everything you want in a drone: it’s fast, powerful, and easy to use. Plus, there are many features and accessories available for this drone, some of which are premium. The headless security system allows you to navigate and have fun in any direction. Its propeller guards make it safe enough for indoor flights. HS510 Drone also includes an HD camera that can take still shots and video footage. Depending on your storage, its camera can shoot 4K videos at 16 frames per second or 2.7K videos at 25 frames per second.
The single-axis gimbal stabilization on the camera is less efficient than a three-axis gimbal. As a result, the videos will probably be a bit shakier than you’d want. You can manually change the camera angle by up to 90 degrees. Not much can be done once the HS510 is in the air. It has a control range of 600 to 800 meters, and the battery lasts up to 16 minutes per charge.
The compact-but-stylish design of the remote controller earns the HS510 extra points. On its LCD screen, you can glean critical in-flight information such as battery status, distance and the drone’s altitude. These features, combined with its affordable price tag, make this a worthwhile purchase for anyone looking to fly drones.
|Battery||7.6V Li-Po 1500 mAh|
|Size||5.59″ x 2.91″ x 2.04″|
|Video Output Resolution||4K Ultra HD|
Check out the Holy Stone HS510 Drone Drone on Amazon
Best for Beginners: Potensic T25 Drone
- 2K, 120 FOV, 75 ADJUSTABLE WIDE ANGLE: Wider vision and fluent transmission help to capture clear photos and stable videos. WiFi connection provides fast and vivid FPV image.
- GPS ASSIST FLY: Follow Me Mode and dual GPS free your hands while GPS drone automatically follow you, simultaneously capturing all the videos & photos. Beside, Potensic T25 drone will fly as you want once Customize Flight Path function activated.
- CONVENIENT AND EASY FOR BEGINNERS: Headless Mode, Altitude Mode and One Key to Take-off / Land functions make access to kids or beginners easier.
- SAFE AUTO RETURN: Equipped with Dual GPS, the drone can hover in air for easy control. It also can automatically return home once you press RTH button, which is effective measures to prevent loss of drone.
- 2 BATTERIES: 2*Modular 1000 mAh batteries can support up to 300m control range. You can go farther and see broader. Great drones for adults.
Potensic T25 Drone is an excellent choice for beginners. Because it’s small and lightweight, you can fly it and take pictures or videos. The drone is equipped with a 1080p camera and transmitter, which makes controlling the device easy. Potensic T25 also has auto take-off and landing capabilities that make flying a breeze. Plus, this drone can fly indoors and outdoors without any issues. Although it may not do tricks or flips like some higher-end drones, it does offer a lot for the price point.
The video quality is good, and the lens has a 120-degree field of view, so you can capture a lot owing to the broad angles. You have electronic stabilization, but it only goes so far, so don’t anticipate an incredibly smooth video. However, for photos, the T25 is quite stunning, and on a still day, the video is of comparable quality.
The batteries can also be changed with ease. They not only snap into the drone with a pleasant click, but you don’t even have to take them out to charge it because the drone has an outside micro USB plug. The GPS, which gives this drone rock-solid steadiness, distinguishes it from others. T25 will remain in the same location when you let go of the controls.
The inability to fly it without the app is one of its drawbacks. That’s not necessarily negative, but you can’t extend your flight time without streaming if you wish to do so. The controller also has a cheap feel, similar to a toy drone.
|Range||up to 300m|
|Size||13.7 x 10.9 x 6.2 inches|
|Video Output Resolution||2K|
Check out the Potensic T25 Drone on Amazon.
Best Budget: Holy Stone HS175D
- 4K Ultra Clear Camera: 4K camera with 110° wide-angle and 90° adjustable provides a high resolution picture, enable to capture a perfect shot; 5GHz FPV transmission delivery a smooth and stable videos even in high-speed or strong-wind conditions
- GPS Auto Return: GPS assisted flight, it can perform automatically return home when the drone lost signal, out of range or low power, never have to worry about flying it away
- Better Flight Experience: 2 batteries give you up to 46 minutes flight experience. And functions like Altitude Hold, Optical Flow, Headless Mode, One Key Take Off/Landing and Speed Adjust make it so easy to beginners or newbies.
- Considerate Design: This drone comes with a carrying case, and the foldable fuselage design allows it easy to store and more portable for outdoor travelling, weight under 250g to save you from FAA registration.
- More Intelligent Functions: This drone can trace and follow you automatically, flying along a path you set, or fly around a point in circles, and when you pose to the camera it will take a photo or video, let you enjoy the wonderful flight experience.
For the best budget drone, we have to give it to the Holy Stone HS175D. It’s easy to fly and has a decent camera that can take good pictures. The controls are easy to use, and it is very durable
One of most popular drones on the market, Holy Stone HS175D has some great features like altitude hold and altitude limit mode. It also has an HD camera that takes great pictures and videos. The drone follows you around and photographs you wherever you go. Staying in the frame allows for more detailed photos.
This function allows for hands-free flight and selfies. You can always know where your drone is, thanks to GPS tracking. That 4K video is captured by a camera that can be remotely rotated up and down by up to 90 degrees. An optical flow lens contributes to altitude stability. This allows the drone to determine how far away the ground is.
There are three forms of return-to-home. The first enables you to call it back to you. When the battery levels are low, the second initiates a return. The third is triggered automatically if the drone loses contact with the transmitter. If your drone gets outside transmission range, it will not continue to fly indefinitely. Instead, it will return home. You can restart your flight as soon as the drone regains connectivity.
|Size||14.2″L x 11.8″W x 2.8″H|
|Features||Brushless motors, 4K video, headless and follow-me modes, VR mode|
|Video Capture Resolution||4K HD|
Check out the Holy Stone HS175D on Amazon.
Best Camera Drone: Contixo F22 Camera Drone
- ✔GPS ASSISTED FLIGHT WITH TONS OF FEATURES: With GPS location, the drone can stabilize and automatically Return to Home when its battery is low, or the signal is lost. Record Hi-Def adventures when using the follow, Me, Orbit Mode or just set the drone to fly in a circle along the path you set. Includes Selfie Mode, Gesture Control, Headless Mode, Auto Hover, First Person View, 1-Key Takeoff and Landing. Contact us for your FREE 32 GB SD Card.
- ✔BUILT-IN ADJUSTABLE WIDE-ANGLE 2K HD WiFi CAMERA AND 4K Images through our App - Be the Videographer, the Contixo F22 drone allows you to both take pictures or record live video. Edit and upload your videos clips to Social Media using your iphone or ipad. Our Free downloadable Contixo app to fly and operate your F22 RC Remote
- ✔PRE-ASSEMBLED GPS FOLDABLE DRONE WITH COMPACT DESIGN – The Contixo F22 comes ready to fly right out the box. Unlike other drones the F22 has all of its parts already attached, with the F22 being so portable you can fold out its wings and calibrate it for flight and have it in the air in a seconds notice and if you would like to put it away you can fold it right back up and be on your way.
- ✔ CUSTOM STORAGE CASE INCLUDED- The exclusive carrying case made specifically for the Contixo F22 Drone, allows you to safely store and transport your Foldable GPS Drone. Never worry about removing the propellers or taking your new hobby apart. This carrying case makes it safe and convenient to transport your unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) everywhere!
- ✔ VIDEO TRANSMISSION WITH A WIFI RANGE OF 750 FEET - If youve ever wanted to show off your previous flights that you have had with your F22 drone or show off some great pictures of the horizon or the sun setting you can do the with the F22, with its ablity to save pictures, video and share both on social media all from your smart phone, capture the best pictures and video from 750 feet away in real time.
A powerful quadcopter, the Contixo F22 Camera Drone can capture 4K video footage and lets you see the action unfold in stunning clarity. With this drone, you can capture incredible aerial shots of your loved ones or your favorite team playing at home or on the road.
The custom flight path is, without a doubt, the most valuable feature. Adding points to the map allows you to plot a path using the Contixio drone software. The maximum number of points the program supports is 16, which is more than enough for taking aerial video.
The follow mode is an additional cool function. The F22 can be programmed to follow you when you’re skating, riding a bike, or engaging in any other activity. If you enjoy documenting your outdoor moments, this is the best drone for you.
Contixo F22 can be programmed to circle a predetermined location. This mode lets you make dynamic videos and record 360-degree action. F22 has an automatic ‘return home’ option. With a single button press, the drone will automatically return to you if it is out of range. The F22 has a powerful brushless motor that allows it to fly for up to 15 minutes without recharge. This makes it great for photographers who want to capture long-range shots or video footage at high speeds. The F22 can also reach heights of up to 1,800 feet!
If you’re looking for a way to expand your horizons when it comes time for vacation planning or new home construction, look no further than this drone. The Contixo F22 Camera Drone allows you to capture all those special moments that make up your life in beautiful detail!
|Size||9.5 x 7 x 4 inches|
|Video Capture Resolution||4K HD|
|Features||GPS flight path, Auto return home, gesture control, follow mode, Up to 40 minutes of flight time|
Check out the Contixo F22 Camera Drone on Amazon.
Best Educational: Ryze Tello
- Equipped with a high-quality image processor, the Tello drone shoots incredible photos and videos. Even if you don’t know how to fly, you can record pro-level videos with EZ Shots and share them on social media from your smartphone.
- Camera features 5MP (2592x1936) photos and HD720 videos at a maximum flight time of 13 minutes.
- Tello has two antennas that make video transmission extra stable and a high-capacity battery that offers impressively long flight times.
- Thanks to all the tech that Tello’s packing, like a flight controller powered by DJI, you can perform awesome tricks with this mini drone. Flying has never been so fun and easy!
- What you get: RyzeTech Tello powered by DJI, 4x Propellers (Pair), Propeller Guards (Set), Battery, Micro USB Cable, Propeller Removal Tool
The Ryze Tello is an autonomous little quadcopter with an HD camera. One thing we like about the Tello is that it is easy to get off the ground and fly, thanks to its self-leveling and 360-degree flips. You don’t need a controller to fly this drone; your phone or tablet will do.
Because the Tello does not come with a controller, most pilots will fly it using the app. It’s compatible with dual-stick and Bluetooth controllers like those available on the PlayStation or Xbox. Fortunately, the software is well-designed and significantly easier to use than others with comparable-priced aircraft. In the advanced mode, you can do flips in all directions and manually control altitude.
The Tello’s outstanding positioning technology makes it the most user-friendly little drone on the market. Its in-built video stabilization software produces the smoothest results of any toy drone. A wide range of flight modes makes it enjoyable to operate, and its software is one of the most well-designed.
On the flip side, the drone’s video and photo resolutions are low by today’s standards. Trello also gets impacted by wind, and its video gets unstable when flying near the limit of its range. Despite these flaws, the Tello’s well-rounded overall package makes it among the best toy drones on the market.
|Battery||3.8 VDC, 1100 mAh|
|Size||1.6 × 3.9 by × 3.6 inches|
|Video Capture Resolution||HD 720p|
Check out the Ryze Tello on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Affordable Drones: Step by Step
Choosing the best drones for your needs can be a difficult task. There are many different types of drones with a range of features. If you’re not sure which drone is right for you, here’s how to pick the best affordable drone:
The camera is one of the most important aspects of a drone, and you should always consider what kind of camera you want. The most common types of cameras are HD and 4K, but some cameras shoot in 360 degrees, which can be useful if you want to capture a panoramic view.
Most top drones under $200 already have live video transmission and high-quality image cameras. You’ll be able to capture some aerial videos and photographs that you can proudly post online and share with your loved ones.
Decide what features you want in your drone, besides the camera and functionality. Some drones come equipped with GPS systems to track where they’ve been flying, while others come with digital flight control systems (or autopilot modes). Other features include night vision capabilities and more advanced navigation
How long a drone can fly is also another key factor to consider when picking the best affordable drones. For a beginner, it’s best to choose a drone with a flight time of at least 10 minutes. Consumer drones on the market today have a flight time of around 8 minutes. If you want to get more serious about your hobby, pick a drone with a longer flight time.
This is how far your drone can go from its take-off point before losing connection with its controller. These days, most drones in this price range already have outstanding control distances of between 100 and 300 meters. You don’t have to worry about losing your drone as models typically include a Return to Home Feature.
What To Know Before Buying the Best Affordable Drones
Each person’s drone needs are different, so before buying the first one that catches your eye, consider what’s important to you. For example, do you want a remote control for easier maneuverability, or do you prefer to fly it on autopilot? Do you need to fly it outdoors? Are you looking for something smaller? Are the cameras and camera angles essential to you? It’s crucial to find a drone with good battery life and a longer flight time. Many drones come with cameras which are great for photography and video making. If you plan to fly your drone often, it may be a good idea to invest in one with a 4K HD Camera.
Using Best Affordable Drones: What It’s Like
If you’re looking for a way to get closer to nature and make your vacation experiences more exciting, then a drone is the perfect tool. Drones are small, lightweight, and easy to use. They can take amazing videos and photos of different places such as mountains and beaches. Ready to take your drone experience to the next level? Much of the enjoyment in flying drones is exploring and mapping out new, uncharted territory. With affordable drones, you can feel comfortable taking risks without worrying about ending up with a pricey hole in your pocket.
Last update on 2022-10-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API