How to Choose the Right Drone
Drones come in all shapes and sizes. According to research done by researchgate.net, many sectors are looking at drones as a tool for efficiency. So, it is not surprising that you as well are interested in dipping your toes into these wonderful unmanned devices.
Some drones have more advanced features, while others have user-friendly elements. Drones also come in various price ranges. What you choose should depend on your level of experience, preference on features, and the money you’re willing to spend.
If you’re looking for a quadcopter that is packed with features but won’t break the bank, take a look at our comprehensive drone buying guide and choose among our definitive list of the best drones under 200 dollars.
Why Should You Spend More Than 100 Dollars for a Quadcopter?
You can get cheap drones with cameras for less than three figures. However, there are some features that you can’t get for any less. A decent 720p shooter under 100 dollars is rare. You also can’t find a quadcopter within this price range that has GPS-enabled features.
Plus, drones under 100 dollars are generally small. They can fly well in indoor conditions but may struggle outdoors.
The best sub-100 quadcopter we could find is the Ryze Tello. It has a 5-megapixel camera that can shoot JPEG images and record 720p videos from up to ten meters vertically. Even then, it lacks critical features like GPS and brushless motors.
Our Top Picks for the Best Drones Under 200
To come up with this roundup, we tested hundreds of drones within this price range and exhaustively compared their specifications and performance. The list contains what we determined are the top contenders, but it all comes down to your inclination on features. Whether you are more concerned about camera quality, flight time, flight range, or aesthetics, this list has you covered.
Without a doubt, the Hubsan H501S belongs in our top picks for the best drones under 200 dollars. It packs an HD camera and enables you to have a first-person view of that camera from a built-in screen on the remote!
The real-time video is fed to the 4.3-inch screen via a 5.8GHz FPV analog signal. That means that you will get a more reliable transmission and an increased range over WiFi-connected drones!
A significant downside to the Hubsan H501S is its lack of gimbal or video stabilization. If you shake when piloting the drone, your video will also come out shaky.
Nonetheless, it still has valuable features like GPS, which enables the drone to lock on to satellites to help it stabilize. It also has the fail-safe return to home feature.
We recommend the Hubsan H501S if you can fly slow and steady.
JJRC X5 Drone
Drones are a ton of fun to fly, but they can become a very expensive hobby. If you want to avoid some fairly major mistakes, you’ll want to avoid jumping into the deep end too quickly. While there are certainly many great drones out there that cost four figures – or even more – you’re better off starting with something geared towards new fliers.
If you’re ready to get serious, this drone from JJRC is a great entry point. Coming in at under two-hundred dollars, it’s the kind of drone that has the feature list of the really expensive drones without being too expensive to fly as a beginner.
You’ll notice from the set-up that this drone does a lot more than those you’d pick up from a typical shop. With professional controls and a really user-friendly design, you’ll get this drone in the air in no time. With a little practice, you’ll quickly figure out why so many people love flying this drone around.
While it might not have everything you’d get out of the most expensive drones, there are few out there that are quite this much fun to fly. Whether you want a good drone to learn on or you’re just considering picking up a drone to fly around for fun, you really can’t be this one.
The Potensic D80 is equipped with all the latest hardware you can expect from the best drones under 200 dollars. It stands out among the few quadcopters in this price range that has brushless motors with a control distance of up to 600 full meters!
But if you are looking for a beginner drone, the Potensic D80 is may not be your best option. It requires at least an intermediate level of experience.
The speed and agility of this drone could be a bit of a struggle to get used to, especially for a rookie. The quad motor it carries can go up to 40 km/h!
The Potensic D80 is packed with features that make it even more enjoyable. These include Follow Me Mode, Auto Return Home, and VR Goggles Compatibility!
You can’t go wrong with this option in our top picks for the best drones under 200 dollars unless you are a beginner!
MJX Bugs 5W
The MJX Bugs 5W stands out in this list because it comes equipped with an action camera capable of full high definition video. You can even choose to attach other action cameras such as a GoPro or an SJCam onto the drone!
With four powerful brushless motors, the drone is ideal for filming outdoors since it can overcome powerful winds. It comes packed with three 1800mAH battery, which can each give you a flight time of ten to 13 minutes for a total of up to 39 minutes. It also boasts an impressive control range of 300 to 500 meters!
The performance of the MJX Bugs 5W makes it one of the best drones under 200 dollars, and an excellent buy for its meager price!
The Force1 F100 is a sleek-looking drone with powerful brushless motors. What makes it stick out in this price range is its upgradability. It can carry a GoPro, SJCam, or any other action camera of your preference. You can even add a gimbal for more stability!
You will get up to 20 minutes of flight time with the Force1 F100 with a maximum control range of 500 meters.
Want to add FPV? You can get a camera and transmitter on Amazon for less than 30 dollars and put in place of the front LED!
If you want to use a drone to pair with a versatile action camera, the Force F100 should be an excellent buy. But if you are a beginner and want something tamer, we recommend getting the MJX Bugs 2 instead.
Altair Aerial AA300
The Altair Aerial AA300 is one of the very few drones in this price range that comes with dual GPS / GLONASS module. It allows the sleek-looking quadcopter to perform useful maneuverability features like Orbit Mode and Follow Me.
The drone is made of ABS plastic that makes it extra durable and protects it against impact. It also has brushless motors that give it strong propulsion force for excellent aerial performance.
The Altair Aerial AA300 comes with a modularized battery that can give you flight times of up to 15 minutes. The powerful dual GPS / GLONASS module allows it to come packed with the latest features like Orbit Mode, Return to Home, Remote-Adjustable Camera, Follow Me Mode, Customization Waypoint Mode, Out of Range Alarm, and Low Power Alarm.
The Altair Aerial AA300 definitely belongs in our list of the best drones under 200 dollars.
Altair Aerial AA818 Plus
If you are looking for the best beginner drone under 200 dollars, the Altair Aerial AA808 Plus is our top pick. It is a relatively new drone with sleek looks and impressive build quality.
The arms and propellers have plastic guards that protect them from obstacles or crashes. They also make the drone look bulkier than it is.
The Altair Aerial AA808 Plus has an outstanding 120-degree wide-angle 720P rubber damper HD camera. The images that come out of the shooter are significantly less blurry or shaky even if you aren’t used to flying drones.
You will also have the ability to view the images from the camera in real-time using your smartphone or VR goggles. You can even control the drone via the FlyingSee App for Android and iOS devices.
The Altair Aerial AA808 Plus comes with two batteries that can give you a flight time of 15 minutes each for a total of up to 30 minutes in the air!
However, this quadcopter comes with its downsides. It lacks some valuable features that some drones in this price range have such as the Return Home function.
MJX Bugs 2SE (Special Edition)
The MJX Bugs 2SE comes equipped with a 1080P HD camera that can feed live images directly to your smartphone through a 5G WiFi connection. The quality of the shooter is excellent, but it lacks image stabilization. If you can learn to fly slow and steady, this drone is relatively easy to get the hang of.
The flight time of the MJX Bugs 2SE can reach up to 18 minutes with an impressive range of 500 meters. It comes packed with key features like Return to Home, Waypoint, and Follow Me Mode.
If you have no experience with quadcopters and want to try your hands on aerial photography, we highly recommend the MJX Bugs 2SE. It is truly worthy of being in our list of the best drones under 200 dollars.
Sky Viper V2400
The Sky Viper V2400 is one of the few quadcopters under 200 dollars that comes with an FPV headset. You will be able to view the flight first-hand thanks to the included goggles, all for less than 150 dollars!
The Sky Viper V2400 even comes with stylish flight stick clips that you can attach to your smartphone and use to control the drone. You can also download the Sky Viper app for Android and iOS to do tricks and stunts like barrel rolls and flips with your quadcopter!
It even has features you do not expect for the price like Auto Altitude, Auto Hover, and Auto Land! You will be even more impressed with the sensitivity adjustment functionality found in the middle of the controller. As you get used to flying the drone, you can modify the sensitivity and feel the difference immediately.
Overall, we think the Sky Viper V2400 is among the coolest and best drones under 200 dollars because of its unique features.
The Syma X8HG is the most inexpensive drone on this list. With the extra cash, you can get a solid action camera to go with it!
The X8 series of quadcopters has been a staple in the hobby for years. These drones are highly durable and easy to learn, which makes them suitable for beginners.
Despite being on the side of cheap drones, The X8HG is one of our picks for the best drones under 200 dollars. It comes with a decent HD camera and important features like altitude hold. You can pair it with a GoPro or other action cameras to achieve even better images!
Those were our picks for the best drones under 200 dollars available right now. You just have to decide which features you’re willing to sacrifice and you will find the quadcopter that’s right for your budget on this list.