Drones are cheaper than ever before, and if you’re looking for a great drone under $200, our reviews and guide can help you. You can now find a consumer drone for under $200 dollars. While they won’t match the needs of professionals or semi-professionals, many of these are more than just simple toys. The best drone with a camera under 200 bucks can be great for aspiring photographers capturing scenery and action. You could also invest in an FPV drone under 200 bucks and try your hand at the drones best for immersive racing.
Regardless of the model you choose, these cheap models are a great way to learn the basics without the risk of ruining expensive equipment. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious when shopping for a cheap drone with a remote controller. There are a lot of duds on the market, but here we will review the 15 best drones under 200 bucks for your benefit.
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Best Drones Under 200 Dollars - Fall 2020:
- Holy Stone HS110D FPV RC Drone
- Potensic T25 GPS Drone
- Parrot Mambo Fly – Code, Pilot and Play
- SYMA X22W Mini Drone
- DJI Tello Quadcopter Drone
- Force1 U818A Discovery HD Camera Drone
- Hubsan X4 H501S GPS FPV RC Drone
- Altair 818 Hornet Beginner Drone
- Holy Stone HS120D FPV Drone
- DBPOWER X400W FPV RC Quadcopter
- Syma Z1 Foldable RC Drone
- Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone
- Syma X5UW WiFi FPV Drone
- DBPOWER FPV 720P HD WiFi Camera Drone
- Syma X8C Venture Quadcopter
1. Holy Stone HS110D FPV RC Drone
For around $130 you can get one of the best live video drones under $200 for beginners. The Holy Stone HS110D is a beginner drone that can maintain its altitude with little input from the user and offers a headless mode that orients it to the controller.
Operating a drone on the vertical axis is one of the hardest things to learn for a drone operator. However, this quadcopter with a 720p HD camera and 10 minutes of flight time essentially offers training wheels for new users. And the range of adjustable speed modes mean you can slowly ramp up the difficulty as you become more comfortable working with it, while capturing a great image and videos.
2. Potensic T25 GPS Drone
One of the drones best for beginners, Potensic's T25 offers many of the same features as the HS110D, but it has a higher ceiling for growth. The most obvious improvement is the inclusion of 1080p resolution video, but it also offers Wi-Fi live streaming with the remote controller so you can receive a faster and more accurate transmission.
If you're looking to improve your aerial photography skills, that's a huge benefit. The dual GPS ensures that it will always return home when running on a low battery (it has 15 minutes of flight time), and Follow Me Mode is a great automated mode that will trail along behind you and continuously take pictures and video, almost like a reverse GoPro camera. That will return an image and videos that capture the action along each step they take.
3. Parrot Mambo Fly – Code, Pilot and Play
The Parrot isn't just one of the best affordable drones under 200 around, it's also arguably the easiest drone to fly. Different flying modes allow beginners to tailor the controls to match your skills. A 9 minute flight time and a flight distance of about 100 meters are perks.
But the biggest asset of the Parrot drone is the range of automation options. The compatible mambo coding language is a great way to learn the fundamentals of programming, and it offers support for both simple code blocking and more complex text-based coding.
This is one of the drones under $200 that's as much a tool for learning programming as it is a toy. And a cut-off system and autopilot mode mean that you have safeguards in place if you make a mistake.
4. SYMA X22W Mini Drone
The SYMA X22W works great for adults, but it's built with the proficiency levels of kids in mind. These inexpensive drones are compact and safe enough to work both indoors and outside.
Landing and takeoff can be handled with the press of a single button, and a headless mode is included to reduce the hassle of alignment. An altitude hold mode is also included to simplify the process of taking pictures. The batteries charge in 60 minutes.
Flight routes can be mapped out on your phone with a simple trace of your finger, and this drone is also capable of performing acrobatics like flips and rolls.
5. DJI Tello Quadcopter Drone
The DJI Tello is another FPV drone that doubles as a great tool for learning coding. Getting started is as easy as tossing the DJI Tello in the air. It has a flight distance of close to 100 meters.
It will automatically stabilize itself and let you perform aerial action tricks through your phone or capture quick photos and share them on social media. But if you want to dig deeper, DJI offers a whole wealth of programming options.
The Tello supports the notably easy to learn Scratch programming language, a great choice for kids and coding amateurs. DJI has made a drone where making mistakes aren't a problem due to the wealth of safety features.
6. Force1 U818A Discovery HD Camera Drone
Outdoor drones with a camera are often limited in what they can do right out of the box. With short flight times and long recharge times, the amount of time you can spend learning their ins and outs are typically limited.
The Discovery allows you to fly for longer without any extra investment because it comes included with extra batteries and a power bank. Apart from that, it offer about what you could expect from drones for adults and kids. It provides recording at 720p resolution and an integrated headless feature. This cheap GPS drone also comes with a return to home feature when batteries are running low.
7. Hubsan X4 H501S GPS FPV RC Drone
The Hubsan X4 is one of the more serious budget drones in our review, but if you're looking for arguably the best drone under 200 with GPS, it's worth your attention. Both the flight time and the maximum distance are about the best you'll find in this price range, and it shoots first person video with a 1080p camera.
Combine this with the responsive expert mode and you're left with a drone that's more than just a toy for beginners in mind. It has protective measures in place for when the battery goes low which really allows its follow me mode to really shine.
8. Altair 818 Hornet Beginner Drone
The Altair 18 Hornet doesn't offer the best battery life in our review, but its flight time is essentially doubled due to the inclusion of an extra battery right out of the box. Designed for use both indoors and out, it's a great beginner drone that allows you to shoot a first person image and videos with a headset, phone, or tablet.
Three separate flight settings allow you to scale the difficulty to your experience level, and it can take off and land with the single press of a button. Altitude hold and headless mode settings provide an extra sense of security while learning the basics.
9. Holy Stone HS120D FPV Drone
The HS120D takes the great fundamentals of the Holy Stone HS110D and improves on them in some meaningful ways for just a modest increase in price. The biggest upgrade here comes in the form of the 1080p camera.
If you're serious about your photography, it's an update that will probably be worth your money. It also offers nearly double the flight time and consequently provides a wider conceivable distance for flight. Apart from that, the fundamentals are the same, but it's one of the best drones with a camera under 200 bucks that can grow as your skills do.
10. DBPOWER X400W FPV RC Quadcopter
As far as the best drones with cameras go, the X400 by DBPower is on the cheaper end of things. $70 gets you a Wi-Fi enabled video drone that doesn't just offer live streaming but is also compatible with virtual reality headsets.
The 6-axis gyro flight system doesn't just create a better sense of stability. It also ensures that acrobatics like rolls can be accomplished with speed and little risk.
DBPower consistently keeps their drones up to date with firmware upgrades, and both a headless mode and an altitude hold one key that tells your drone to return home are included for ease of use.
11. Syma Z1 Foldable RC Drone
The Syma Z1 is one of the most portable drones available today. It sports a durable design and gyroscope arms that fold comfortably into itself, ensuring that you can safely stow it away in a bag and take it with you wherever you go. When properly folded, it can even fit comfortably in your back pocket.
The real time Wi-Fi eliminates the need for investing in onboard memory and periodically scraping your images. Instead, they transmit instantly to your phone which serves as a remote camera for the drone. Designating courses is as simple as making waypoints on the camera screen with a tap of your finger.
12. Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone
The third Holy Stone drone on our list is also their most budget-conscious, but it employs a similarly broad range of features to its more expensive brethren. While it doesn't offer phone controls, it does come with an ergonomic game controller that has a distance meter built in.
This isn't one of the drones best at excelling in any one category, but it splits the difference nicely between the needs of a camera, stunt, or racing drone. A 720p camera is built in, and continuous rolls and flips can be performed with a single button press. An automatic hover mode is also included.
13. Syma X5UW WiFi FPV Drone
The intuitive controller on the Syma X5UW comes with a mount for your phone. That allows you to more easily navigate the drone while still having a perfect view through the first person camera. As far as the best drones that are cheap with cameras go, it's one of the more innovative control approaches.
Simple joysticks can be used to control the drone, but you can also tap on your phone's screen to assign waypoints. But what's especially cool about the X5UW is how it lets you coordinate with other pilots and share your camera footage and videos in real time.
14. DBPOWER FPV 720P HD WiFi Camera Drone
This DBPower model is similar to the X5UW in that it's designed to use a phone mounted atop the included controller, but it's a bit less sophisticated, which can be helpful for beginners. The waypoint functionality is limited, but it's still a great and unconventional choice for drone operation.
Two batteries are included to allow you more seamless flight times, and the 720p camera streams first person footage in real time. The two separate speed modes are designed to accommodate both beginners and experts, and there's an extra level of security built-in via the one button launching and return functionality.
15. Syma X8C Venture Quadcopter
The stability of the Syma X8C Venture is superb among the best drones under 200 in our review. Not only does it offer a 6-axis stabilization system, but it also employs intelligent orientation control that separates forward direction from nose direction. That makes the tricky task of navigating in vertical space far easier than it is with more conventional drones.
The inclusion of colorful flashing LED lights means that this is a treat to fly even at night, and blade protectors provides an extra layer of assurance in the unfortunate event of a crash.
Best Drones Under 200 Buyer’s Guide
A drone in this price range is especially and for beginners and isn’t going to fulfill the needs of professionals, but they’re surprisingly versatile. We’ll outline the kinds of things you can do with these drones as we continue our review below. We will also outline the parameters you should look for when shopping for the best drone for you.
Battery Life and Charging Time
Flight times for the best drones in this price range are pretty short. The most you can expect is about 20 minutes, while some drones will offer only a quarter of that.
That means you want to make the most of your time with your drone. Some models come with an extra battery that allows you to get the drone back in the sky quickly.
That’s a better advantage than it sounds. Charging a drone battery will typically take an hour or more, so having multiple backups is a useful thing, especially if you’re an aspiring photographer looking to take your drone out in the wild. You may want to consider the cost of batteries and the ease of swapping them out if you want a drone you can use for prolonged periods of time.
Flight Distance and Navigation
Distance is to some extent limited by the battery life. After all, a drone can only keep going until the battery dies.
Any of the best drones you’ll find in our review should work well within your line of sight, so that means that longer distance drones are more appropriate for navigation systems that are designed to operate out of your line of sight.
First person drones are a great choice for this. These come with HD cameras that use Wi-Fi to stream video directly to your phone. That makes long distance navigation a breeze, but they can only work this way when tethered to a Wi-Fi network.
Some of the higher-end models offer waypoint systems that allow you to control movement by just tapping a destination on the phone’s surface.
The other main long distance best drone option for navigation is a GPS drone. These offer a bit more flexibility in flight paths since they don’t need to be within range of a Wi-Fi network.
A lot of these models can be individually programmed, so you can assign pretty complicated flight paths and let them patrol on their own. The best drones under 200 are partnered with camera systems that you can use to track them on their journey. Ideally you’ll want one that will automatically come home when the battery comes low since their systems tend to be a bit more automated.
Some drones in our review offer neither Wi-Fi nor GPS. They’re best kept within your range of sight and are better suited for aerial action and racing. While some come with cameras, you’ll essentially be flying blind, so they aren’t the best option for dedicated photography.
Stability and Safety
Learning how to control vertical trajectory with a drone is one of the hardest things to learn for beginners, and one of the things most likely to cause a crash. Fortunately, most come with features designed to alleviate this. Headless mode – which aligns the angle of your drone in relation to your controller – is pretty standard on most drones. Others come with automatic shutdown functions in the case of a crash and extra protection for the sensitive rotors.
Stability is especially important if you intend to use your drone for stunts. If this is the case, you’re going to want to keep an eye out for models that promise 6-axis stability. They’re designed to keep their balance even at awkward angles, and they’re great for pulling off loops and flips. Many come with simple controls that allow you to perform acrobatics with a simple twist of a stick or press of a button.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best drone for under $300?
The best drone for under $300 is the Outlaw SE GPS drone. It has a 1080p live action video camera and altitude hold function. The pro as well as the beginner will enjoy the tech features and camera quality this product includes, along with the bright green lights underneath it, which make it one of the best drones under $300.
For more options, view our guide on the best drones under $300.
What’s the best cheap drone to buy?
When you’re looking for drones under $100 for kids, beginners, or just for fun, and you don’t want to worry about the price on your card, one of the best drones to check out is the DJI Tello Quadcopter. DJI has created a drone that has remote control compatibility and specifications that make it one of the awesome drones for kids or toy drone.
What is the best drone for beginners?
The best drone for beginners is the Hubsan H111. The instructions and info it comes with are simple to read, and the pros are that it will add to your life as a fun toy and can be flown indoors. The cons are that it doesn’t boast a wide angle HD camera or have a flight range that will enhance the flying experience.
Are Potensic drones any good?
Potensic drones are highly rated by consumers and great picks for beginners thanks to their size and aerial capabilities. The Potensic U36D drone is one of the excellent camera drones for people who want real-time videos.
Now that you have a feel for the best drones under 200 bucks, you should be equipped to get out there and make an educated purchase. These gyrocopters offer a low-risk and inexpensive way to get a handle on how these little birds fly. And if you’re interested in gyrocopters that are specially designed for use in the house, be sure to check out our guide to the best indoor drones of 2020.If you liked our article on drones under $200, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.