syma, mjx, force1, hubsan, yuneec, dobby

Best Drones Under $200

Not all drones are created equal. Some are faster, while others are more stable. Some drones have advanced features and high-definition cameras, while others are more affordable. If you are looking for a drone that meets your needs, but don’t want to spend a small fortune, then you are in luck. We’ve done extensive testing and research on 100s of drones and we’ve created this list of the best drones between $100 and $200.

We’ve hand-selected 6 drones that check-in between $100 and $200. These drones are solid deals and can take pretty good pictures and video. To get professional-quality pictures and video you’ll probably have to spend a little more money. If professional-quality footage is your goal then take a look at this article.

If you have a $1000 budget then you have some really nice options in terms of what you can purchase. Pretty much everything we’ll mention in this article can take excellent pictures and video. They all have intelligent flight modes. We’ll break them down for you. For a serious aerial photography click HERE.

Dobby, Syma, mJx, breeze, force1, f100, h501s`

These are the best drones under $200. And they are all awesome in their own regard.

Drones for Any Budget

We’ve tested hundreds of drones and we can help you find the right drone for any budget. Whether you want to spend $20, 200 or even $2000 we can help. Start by choosing the price range that is best for you.

Under $50$100-200$300-400$500-1000
$51-100$200-300$400-500Best Drones

Top Sub-$200 Drones

All six of these drones are excellent buys. It is hard to go wrong with any of them. We’ve put them into three categories. We have:

  • Full-Featured Drones
  • Powerful GPS Drones
  • The DIY Options

Full-Featured Drones

Once upon a time, the ZeroTech Dobby and Yuneec Breeze were closer to $500 than $200. But now the prices of these two full-featured drones have dropped to under $200. Both of these drones are small and portable and feature 4K cameras. They are both GPS-stabilized for easy outdoor flight and both pack a handful of advanced flight modes. Both drones even feature 4K video or electronically stabilized full HD. On a drone like this, we prefer to fly with the sabilized video that is available only in 1080 resolution.

The Yuneec Breeze

half chrome picture of breeze in flight

Take a look at the Yuneec Breeze in flight.

The Yuneec Breeze is a pretty impressive small quadcopter. It has a one-axis mechanical gimbal that you can adjust with your smartphone and it also does a nice job of smoothing out the video with its electronic image stabilization (EIS) software. You can capture up to 4K footage if you choose not to utilize the EIS. It is an impressively stable GPS drone and has some solid video modes and features. You can even add a compatible Bluetooth remote for increased flexibility. Learn more about the Breeze HERE.

ZeroTech Dobby

zerotech dobby

Take a look at the Zerotech Dobby drone.

The Dobby is an ultraportable-drone with an impressive camera. It may be the original selfie drone, but it is capable of so much more. The 4K camera is very sharp; we know it is because we tested it. The Dobby has more advanced flight modes than any other drones on this list. You’ll get object tracking and orbit modes to go along with the beginner modes of the Dobby what are super easy to learn. Learn more about the ZeroTech Dobby HERE.

  • Flight Time: 9 minutes
  • Range: 100-200 meters
  • Camera: 4K unstabilized/1080p stabilized
  • PROS: Super portable, Excellent Camera, Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), Advanced Flight Modes, Excellent for Beginners
  • CONS: No Camera Adjustment in Flight, Slow, No Remote, Doesn’t work with every phone/tablet
  • Price: $199

    Order a Dobby from AmazonCheck for Dobby Deals on GearBest

Powerful GPS Drones

If you don’t like the idea of flying with your smartphone and you want more flight time and range, then we’d recommend taking a look at either the MJX Bugs 2 or the Hubsan H501S. While they don’t have electronic image stabilization or advanced flight modes like the Dobby and Breeze, they are a lot of fun to fly. They are more powerful and their remotes give you better range and feel when flying. These are great starter GPS drones for those who are not ready to test their skills on a more expensive drone from DJI.

Bugs 2 vs BC

Bugs B2W in black vs B2C in white.

The MJX Bugs 2 is a full-featured GPS drone with an HD camera. There are two versions of the Bugs 2. The B2C and the B2W. We recommend the B2W because it adds the ability to view a live view from the camera while the drone is in the air. The B2C does not have this FPV (first person view) capability. The Bugs 2 drone is fairly stable with both altitude hold and GPS. It does have a return-to-home feature but it lacks orbit capability and there is no way to program GPS waypoints. It has an impressive range of 1000 meters without FPV and an uncommonly long WiFi FPV range of about 500 meters. The Bugs 2 has one of the better flight times of the drones on this list, with an ability to stay airborne for 18-20 minutes. Learn more about the Bugs 2 HERE.

Hubsan H501S

Hubsan H501S

Take a look at the Hubsan H501S.

This quad from Hubsan is a popular drone for a handful of reasons. It features GPS and altitude hold stability as well as an HD camera. Instead of relying on WiFi for FPV, it uses a much more reliable 5.8 GHz analog signal. The remote transmitter also has a built-in screen to view your live video. The H501S features return-to-home as well as follow-me mode. There is also a PRO version that comes with a better remote and increased range. Learn more about the Hubsan H501S HERE.

  • Flight Time: 18-20 minutes
  • Range: 300m/500m(PRO version)
  • Camera: 1080p
  • PROS:  Return-to-home, follow-me, GPS, 5.8 GHz FPV, remote with built-in screen, a better camera than the Bugs 2
  • CONS: Lacks orbit, image stabilization
  • Price: $199-325
Check for Hubsan H501S Deals from GearbestOrder an H501S from Amazon

The DIY Options: Syma X8HG or Force1 F100

The Syma X8HG and the Force1 F100 are both fun and capable drones but the thing that sets them apart is their customizability. You can add your own action camera like a GoPro and even a full stabilizing gimbal (on the F100) if you want.

Syma X8HG drone

The Syma X8HG is an excellent first drone that can carry a GoPro or action camera.

The Syma X8 is the most inexpensive drone on this list and you can use that extra cash to get yourself an excellent action camera to go with it. The Syma X8 lineup of drones has been a staple in the hobby for years. These drones are extremely durable, very stable and quite adaptable. The X8HG is probably the best of the bunch as it comes with altitude hold and it has a good HD camera. This is one of the best HD cameras you’ll find on a drone that costs about $150. If you already have a GoPro or an action camera then you can add an adapter and get even better footage. Learn more about the Syma X8 HERE.

  • Flight Time: 7-10 minutes
  • Range: 100m
  • Camera: 1080p
  • PROS: Low Cost, Very Durable, Altitude Hold, Solid 1080p Camera, Easily Upgradable
  • CONS: No GPS, limited range, no FPV, brushed motors, lacks flight modes, no image stabilization
  • Price: $100-110
    Order a Syma X8HG from BanggoodOrder a Syma X8SC from Amazon

Force1 F100 Ghost

MJX Bugs 3

Take a look at the versatile Force1 F100 in black. Here it is carrying our action camera, but you can pick one up with a Force1 action camera also.

The Force1 F100 Ghost is like the Syma X8 on steroids. It has powerful brushless motors and comes with a removable HD action camera. It is a fast drone and can be flown for aerial photography. Heck, it’s fast enough that if you add an FPV camera you can race them with your friends. None of the other drones on this list can do that. This drone really is versatile and one of our all-time favorites. But the F100 doesn’t have everything, what is it missing? The F100 Ghost does not have altitude hold or GPS for added stability.

If you are looking for an alternative to the F100 you can also check out the Bugs 3. The Bugs 3 is pretty much the same drone, just funnier looking. The Bugs may be less expensive, but it typically doesn’t come with a camera, an extra battery, or US-based support. Learn more about the F100 HERE.

  • Flight Time: 18-20 minutes minutes
  • Range: 500 m
  • Camera: 1080p (action camera)
  • PROS: Powerful brushless motors, upgradable, can use camera independent of drone
  • CONS: No GPS or altitude hold, no FPV, lacks flight modes, no image stabilization
  • Price: $150-170
Get a Deal on an MJX Bugs 3 from AmazonOrder an F100 with an action camera from Amazon

Why Spend Over $100?

You can have a lot of fun with drones under $100, but there are some features that you just can’t get for less than three figures. First off, the cameras on sub-100 drones aren’t generally very good. You will be lucky to find a 720p camera and only the Ryze Tello has image stabilization. As of today, you still can’t find GPS-enabled features on drones unless you are willing to spend more than $150.

Drones under $100 also tend to be small, meaning they may be good for indoor flight but they are typically not suitable for carrying larger action cameras. The best drone under $100 is the palm-sized Ryze Tello. Yes, it is pretty nice, but it doesn’t have GPS or brushless motors. Those are two big improvements you’ll see in our recommendations below.

Ryze Tello in Flight

We tested the flight time of the Tello and found it to be 13 minutes and 25 seconds.

Spending $200 vs $500

The video below is an excellent comparison of the DJI Spark vs two of our favorite sub $200 drones the Hax and the Bugs 2. It will demonstrate the differences in paying $200 vs $500 for a drone.

Are you looking for something that can take even better pictures?

Spark vs Phantom 3

Both the DJI Spark and DJI Phantom are excellent aerial photography machines.

If you are looking a serious aerial photography machine then you may want to take a look at either the DJI Phantom or DJI Spark. You can pick up either for just under $500. Both of them have excellent HD camera and feature a gimbal to stabilize footage. While the six drones on our under-$200 list are nice, the Phantom 3 and Spark take your experience to the next level. Sometimes you can get refurbished drones for $350 or less. So go ahead and live a little.

Learn more about the Spark and Phantom

More Drones…

Best drones now

What are the best drones now?

Every month we update what we believe are the best drones on the market. Check out Best Drones Now. We have also created the one-of-a-kind Half Chrome Drone Cipher™. You answer a few questions and we’ll pair you with the best drone for you.

Best Drones Now
Drones by price

Let Half Chrome Drones help you find the right drone for you and your budget.

Do you want to search by price? Click on your menu above or we can break it down for you. Check out drones under $50, from $50-100, from $100-200, from $200-500 or over $500. Maybe you like a good Top Ten list, we’ve got you covered.

Drones by Price

Learn More…

If you want to learn more about taking great pictures or flying FPV then check out our comprehensive guides on those topics. Also take a look at our articles on how to choose the right drone for great aerial photos or for getting started flying race drones. Learn more about drones and how to get the most out of them in our Drone Academy. In the Academy we also detail some of the advanced testing we do, including our recent addition, drone thrust testing.

Drone Pictures

Drone Academy

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Half Chrome YouTube Channel


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Half Chrome • November 1, 2018

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