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 6 best drones between $100 and $200.
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 you certainly can’t find a drone with 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.
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. If pro-quality footage is your goal then take a look at this article.
Spending $200 vs $500
Also, 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.
Top 6 sub-$200 Drones
All six of these drones are excellent buys. It is hard to go wrong with any of them. The Syma and Force1 don’t have GPS but are super versatile. The Hax is an excellent bang-for-your-buck GPS quad and the Bugs 2 and Hubsan offer a little more for a few extra bucks. The Bebop has the best video quality of the bunch. Learn more and pick the right one for you.
#6 Syma X8HG
The first drone on our list is also the least expensive. 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.
Soon Syma will be releasing the X8PRO which will be a GPS-enabled version of the X8. That will give it a few other features including better stability and return to home.
- 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
Learn more about the Syma X8HG Order a Syma X8HG
#5 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.
- 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
|Learn more about the F100||Order an F100|
#4 MJX Bugs 2W
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 since 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 or about 500 m. 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.
- Flight Time: 18-20 minutes
- Range: 1000m / 500m FPV
- Camera: 1080p
- PROS: Brushless motors, return to home, GPS, 5g WiFi FPV
- CONS: Lacks image stabilization, orbit, follow me
- Price: $170-200
Learn more about a Bugs 2 Order a Bugs 2
#3 JJRC JJPRO X3 Hax
This GPS-enabled drone is very similar to the MJX Bugs 2 in terms of specs. It is a little smaller and lighter. It also might be the least expensive GPS drone on the market right now. It also has an HD camera, and the camera is easily removable (potentially upgradeable). It also features a return to home function, but no other advanced flight modes. The Hax does have a beginner mode that limits both the altitude and distance it can travel. Trust us, beginner mode is a great feature for any drone to have, and we love that the Hax has it. It also comes with a much-improved hobby grade remote transmitter that will display things like altitude, speed, distance, GPS satellites, flight modes and more. This quad may not have the most features, but it probably the best value of the six drones mentioned in this article.
- Flight Time: 15-17 minutes
- Range: 500m/200mFPV
- Camera: 1080p
- PROS: Return to home, headless mode, GPS
- CONS: 2.4G WiFi FPV, lacks orbit and follow me, no image stabilization
- Price: $130-150
|Learn more about the Hax||Order a Hax|
#2 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 signal. The remote transmitter also has a built-in screen to view your live video. The H501S features return to home as well as a follow me mode. There is also a PRO version that comes with a better remote and increased range. Other than the Bebop, this drone has the most complete feature set of any of the drones on this list.
- Flight Time: 18-20 minutes
- Range: 300m/500m(PRO version)
- Camera: 1080p
- PROS: Return to home, follow me, GPS, 5.8 GHz FPV, monitor with built-in screen
- CONS: Lacks orbit, image stabilization
- Price: $180-250
|Learn more about the H501||Order an H501|
#1 Parrot Bebop
The original Bebop is the most advanced drone on this list. It has the best camera and even has electronic image stabilization that will take all of the tilt and shake out of your aerial footage. The Parrot has one major drawback, a physical controller is not included in the base price. If you get the base package then you will need to control the Bebop with your smartphone via an app.
You can add a SkyController for an extra cost. The Skycontroller greatly increases the range and the ability to control the Bebop. If you don’t mind flying with your smartphone remote then we’d recommend picking up a refurbished Bebop. It is a heck of a deal for a drone that originally cost $500. However, if you don’t like refurbished units we would recommend you look into the Bebop 2 as a better alternative. You can buy a package that includes the remote and even goggles.
- Flight Time: 11 minutes
- Range: 250m
- Camera: 1080p (14 MP and electronic image stabilization)
- PROS: Excellent camera, image stabilization, return to home, follow me, 5g/2.4 WiFi FPV
- CONS: Lacks dedicated remote transmitter, shorter flight time
|Learn more about the Bebop||Order a Bebop|
Are you looking for something that can take even better pictures?
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 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|
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.
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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.
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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.
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