What is the best drone 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.
These drones are great for beginners and an excellent place to start, however, they can’t be relied on to capture high-end photography. In order to do that you’ll have to look to the DJI Mavic Mini. It is the least expensive photography drones I’d recommend. It starts at $399, but takes spectacular pictures and video.
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.
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 $150 or more.
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. In fact, the Tello is so good I’d probably recommend it before I’d recommend any of the drones on this list. Bang for your buck the Tello is the best drone out there. Because the base price of the drone is only $99 you can pick up some extra batteries or even a remote control.
Bugs 5W/ JJPRO Epik
The MJX Bugs 5W and JJPRO Epik ($130-199) are both solid brushless GPS drones. They are full-featured GPS drones with 1080p cameras. You will get return home, follow me, orbit as well as waypoint modes. The camera is adjustable from the remote, so you can line up your pictures and video from your FPV feed. The differences between the Bugs 5W and Epik are only cosmetic so you’ll want to choose the one with the best price.
- Flight Time: 18 minutes
- Range: 300 meters
- Camera: 1080p
- PROS: Multiple flight modes, adjustable 1080p camera
- CONS: no video stabilization
- Price: $130-180
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MJX Bugs 2SE
The MJX Bugs 2SE($130-150) is a full-featured GPS drone with an HD camera. There are a few versions.We recommend the newest version the Bugs 2SE. The Bugs 2 drone is fairly stable with both altitude hold and GPS. It does have a return-to-home feature and the new SE version adds orbit capability waypoints and follow me. 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.
- Flight Time: 18-20 minutes
- Range: 1000m / 500m FPV
- Camera: 1080p
- PROS: Brushless motors, return-to-home, GPS, 5G/AC WiFi FPV, low cost
- CONS: Lacks image stabilization, fixed camera
- Price: $120-180
Order a Bugs 2 from Amazon Check for a Deal on a Bugs 2 from Banggood
This quad from Hubsan ($140-190) 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 Gearbest||Order 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.
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 Banggood Order a Syma X8SC from Amazon
Force1 F100 Ghost
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: $100-150
|Get a Deal on an MJX Bugs 3 from Amazon||Order an F100 with an action camera from Amazon|
The Emax TinyHawk is a fantastic tiny brushless FPV quadcopter. It is a lightweight 75 mm quad with a nearly indestructible frame. If you are looking to get into FPV flying or want a small quad that you can fly indoors or out then you should take a look at the TinyHawk. It is an absolute blast to fly. If you already have a remote and goggles you can pick up a TinyHawk for $99. However, the ready to fly package that includes a remote and goggles with the drone is only $165. It is by far the best starter package for flying FPV. There is now an upgraded and faster Tinyhawk S if you want more power. Or if you are into solid HD video check out the Eachine Cinecam. Learn more about the TinyHawk here.
|Order a TinyHawk from Banggood|
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 stabilized video that is available only in 1080 resolution.
I would say that the Breeze and the Dobby are the best two drones on this list hands down, however, they are becoming difficult to find. Neither one is being produced any longer. Sad, but true.
The Yuneec Breeze
The Yuneec Breeze($150-199) 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.
- Flight Time: 11 minutes
- Range: 100m
- Camera: 4K unstabilized/1080p stabilized
- PROS: Stabilized video, Brushless motors, return to home, GPS, 4K camera, Orbit/Journey/Follow Me Modes
- CONS: Bluetooth Controller is not included in some packages, limited range, limited flight time, could be more compact
- Price: $150-200
Order the Breeze from Amazon Check for Breeze Deals from Walmart Order the Breeze from B & H Photo
Are you looking for something that can take even better pictures?
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 videos. They all have intelligent flight modes. We’ll break them down for you. For serious aerial photography click HERE.
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