best drones under 200

There are a lot of good drones on the market today, figuring out what you want and need of a flying machine is a smart place to start, as is finding your ideal budget. We’re here to help – complimenting our other priced drone lists, let’s explore the best drones under 200 and the best drones for beginners.

best drones under 200

5.SJRC F11 Pro (long range and battery life)

2k 25FPS

28min battery

1km

No image stabilization

The SJRC F11 Pro is the 2k version of the original, a drone with tons of battery life and great build quality.

It doesn’t have any image stabilization however, but the image quality is quite top notch.

You can change the camera angle from the transmitter, which also happens to be quite compact.

This is a GPS drone that can return to home when signal is lost and has a visual range of about 500m (and 1km controller range).

Like all the drones on this list, it comes with powerful brushless motors, that are more durable in time. 

The foldable design and the fact that it comes with a very usable carrying case, makes it quite perfect for travel.

One small downside would be that the image has some fisheye effect to it, but that’s also because of the wide angle of the lens.

When it comes to battery life, you’ll be getting about 25 minutes in real life.Check Price and reviews

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ADVANTAGES

  • 2k camera
  • foldable design
  • 28 min battery life
  • Can be controlled by body signals
  • GPS locator

DISADVANTAGES

  • fisheye camera
  • no gimbal

4. Funsky 913(Best GPS drone under 250g)

1080p

16 min battery

200m

no gimbal

The funksy 913 must be the best beginner drone under $200 in my opinion.

It made it on this list after I tested it myself and got mind blown by its build and image quality.

The main fact I love this drone is because it’s super silent (much more than any other drone I’ve tested).

It’s small enough to fly without a permit in most countries (including USA) and it still has TONS of power.

It comes with brushless motors and some really high quality plastic.

Unfortunately you can’t change the camera angle while you’re flying, only before flight, but even though it doesn’t come with a gimbal to stabilize it, the footage is creamy smooth.

The three bladed propellers allow it to fly quite fast, yet you can still set it up to fly slowly for taking better footage.

I found its GPS to be some of the most stable ever and the return to home is quite precise.Check Price and reviews

ADVANTAGES

  • Small size
  • Super stable GPS
  • Great camera quality
  • micro SD card slot
  • SUPER SILENT
  • fun to fly

DISADVANTAGES

  • battery life isn’t that amazing

3.JJRC X9 Heron ( Best selfie drone under $200)

1080p

15min

400m

2 axis gimbal

jjrc x9 heron controller

The first drone on this list with a capable 2 axis gimbal, the JJRC X9 heron is a drone that I reviewed recently and comes with some impressive specs.

It’s not perfect, but the 2 axis gimbal and lightweight frame make it quite a good travel companion.

It does have an optical flow camera for better stability during flight, along with GPS.

Comes with return to home option (even in low battery).

One disadvantage would be the fact that it doesn’t come with GLONASS(the russian version of GPS). This means the flight stability is a bit inferior compared to some other drones on this list.

ADVANTAGES

  • 2 axis stabilized video
  • good 1080p camera
  • small and lightweigth(259g)
  • optical flow camera

DISADVANTAGES

  • GPS is not very stable (doesn’t come with GLONASS)

best drones for beginners

2.WLtoys XK X1( best camera drone under $200)

1080p

18min

500m

2 axis gimbal

The Xk X1 from WLtoys is a drone that I tried and reviewed hands on, and was really impressed with the quality of footage I got from it.

The gimbal is one of the best I saw in the industry, while the camera is not half bad either.

If you’re looking for the best footage under $200, this might just be it.

You can control the camera to move up and down, but it’s not that smooth, as you have to press buttons instead of using a scroll wheel.

The carrying case that it comes with is absolutely great, same quality as the actual Phantom 4, that this drone resembles.

The drone does return to home very precisely and also flies quite stable.

ADVANTAGES

  • Great GPS stability
  • 2 axis gimbal (very stable)
  • Great 1080p camera
  • Camera can move up and down
  • Great carrying case

DISADVANTAGES

  • Not foldable

1.ZLRC SG906 Pro (Best Foldable drone under $200)

1080p

25min

500m

2 axis gimbal

zlrc sg 906 pro drone

The ZLRC SG906 Pro made a huge leap from the original, just because it added a better camera and a good 2 axis gimbal.

Just like the original, it comes with a great build quality, brushless motors and great battery life.

You can use this drone for exploration, as it comes with a 50x in app zoom (you do lose quality though).

It flies super stable also thanks to its optical flow sensors underneath and GPS+GLONASS system.

The standard controlling range is 1km, but 500m is what you should expect from the visual range(FPV)Check Price and reviews

ADVANTAGES

  • Great GPS stability
  • 2 axis gimbal (very stable)
  • Great 1080p camera
  • Camera can move up and down
  • great flight time

DISADVANTAGES

  • it’s advertised at 4k, but in fact 1080p camera

1.Eachine Ex4 – 3 axis stabilized drone (my favorite)

1080p

25min

1000m

3 axis gimbal

The eachine ex4 is a drone I recently reviewed on youtube, and even if it’s like 3 usd over $200, I think it’s quite worth it. It’s a super compact drone that comes with 3 axis image stabilization and a 1080p camera, a solid stable gps and a range of 1km that I tested myself. I recommend you watch the video review I did on it right here at the top.Check Price and reviews

ADVANTAGES

  • Great GPS stability
  • 3 axis gimbal (very stable)
  • Camera Isn’t fisheye
  • Comes with a great case
  • great flight time
  • 1km range

DISADVANTAGES

  • Dynamic range isn’t great

Types of Drones

Beginner Drones

At the lower end of the drone spectrum are toy drones, like the Parrot Mambo and the Hobbico Dromidia Kodo. These simple and inexpensive drones come in at about $100 and are more focused on fun than features. Their controls are straightforward and easy to learn, and they can be accessed through a smartphone app or included remote control.

The flight times of beginner drones and drones for kids are also more limited – generally less than 10 minutes, or even fewer than five for the very cheap models. Designed to perform some tricks, like midair flips, spare parts are available at fairly low prices if anything goes awry. Some small drones also come with video cameras, though the quality captured tends to be poor. But don’t count them out too soon – getting a cheap drone is a fantastic way to learn to fly before upgrading to a more expensive model. They also won’t cost a fortune to fix or replace in the event of a crash.

Camera Drones

Drones with cameras – like the DJI Mavic Mini, the Parrot Bebop 2, and the GDU Byrd – are specifically designed to capture images, and range in price from $500 to $1,500. Built to provide a steady platform for the lens, which can either be an add-on or built-in, these sophisticated flying machines are more focused on recording high-quality video and still images than performing midair tricks. Because the equipment needed makes them larger and heavier, video drones need to be registered with the FAA.

Video drones often come with gimbals, which is a system designed to pan and tilt the camera – and cushion it from the motors’ vibrations – to cancel out the drone’s motion and keep the lens steady. Gimbals can either come as an electronic system built into the camera, as seen in the Parrot Bebop 2, or as a physical system made of motors and gears, like in the Mavic Air. Either way, the gimbals allow users to direct the camera at whatever angle they like, to capture beautiful pans like those seen in nature documentaries.

Bigger drones need bigger batteries, which often translates to longer flight times. A fully charged battery typically lasts a video drone around 20 minutes, and they can usually be swapped for spares to extend the session. Like toy drones, video drones are also built to be repaired, and replacement parts are generally easily available. Parts are relatively inexpensive as well, with Mavic Air’s replacement rotor blades running about $20. The quality of video these drones capture can vary widely, from the Bebop 2’s decent but sometimes choppy HD video to the Mavic Air’s super-smooth panning shots. While the videos produced by cheaper models like the Bebop 2 will be good enough for most use cases, it’s worth investing in the more sophisticated DJI drones when quality’s the main focus.

From photographing special occasions to surveying construction sites, drones are being used for an ever-expanding range of purposes. In fact, dedicated drone film festivals have popped up in major cities like New York and Berlin to showcase the creative new ways amateur moviemakers are utilizing their flying machines. Not only that, but the more innovative drones – like the Mavic Air – have built-in autonomous flight tech to make journeys on their own. They can even use cameras to detect and avoid obstacles in the way of their flight path. These more advanced drones allow users to play with their device’s autonomy by letting them navigate a predefined course on their own via GPS. Autonomous flight does, however, come with some restrictions – these drones must be registered with the FAA and have to be kept in the pilot’s line of sight at all times. The pilot must also be able to take back control of the drone at any point.

Racing Drones

With the rise of drones came the rise of drone-based competitions – and drone racing might just be the most exciting of all. Racing drones are on the smaller side and designed specifically to offer pilots speed and agility. Users see through their drone’s lens via first-person-view headsets, navigating around a course and trying to beat other fliers. Most racing drones are adapted by hand to shed unnecessary weight or increase motor power. Cheaper models, like the Aerix Black Talon 2.0, start at about $115. Ready-to-fly drones on the higher end of the spectrum, such as the Uvify Draco, can run up to $700.

Drone Safety

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone regulations are the guiding principle behind safe unmanned aircraft flight.

Drones can be an incredibly fun and fruitful new hobby, but they must be flown responsibly. Even a small toy drone can hurt someone if hit by it, and fingers can get injured if caught in the rotor blades. To fight this, some drones have built-in shields to protect the rotors, but even these aren’t foolproof. It’s best to fly any kind of drone, big or small, with proper care and caution. Here’s five quick tips for drone safety:

  • Know the drone. Before the first flight, take the time to read through the instruction manual and get familiar with the controls.
  • Check the drone before flight, looking for any damage to the motors or rotors that could fail in the air.
  • Never fly near people or animals.
  • Fly with caution, particularly when first using a drone or taking a new one for a spin. Always be sure to land before the drone’s battery runs outs.
  • Fly with care. Drones can be noisy, annoying and even scary to those near their flight path. If someone asks to stop flying, be reasonable and courteous.

To learn more about drone safety, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is a fantastic resource on all things drone. The AMA can help connect drone enthusiasts with others in the area to share both beginner’s flying techniques, and more advanced tips and tricks. Remote-control flying clubs often meet regularly to discuss and fly drones together. But remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Make sure to update all software and firmware before any takeoff, and read the drone’s manual thoroughly before use. For FAA registration requirements and further information on drone safety, check the FAA website. Additional local jurisdiction requirements may apply, so it’s important to stay informed on the latest drone regulations for the area.

Drones & The Law

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced registration requirements for anyone flying a drone weighing over 250g recreationally. Most drones that fall under the toy category will not have to be registered, while those built for video, racing and autonomous flight likely do. Drone registration can be done via the FAA website – and separate, more stringent requirements are applied to professional drone fliers.

Once registered, the registration number must be displayed on the drone. This can be as simple as a sticker or shipping label placed under the battery, along with the owner’s name and number in case of theft or loss. The FAA also defines restrictions on where drones can be flown. They can’t be flown higher than 400 feet, in restricted airspaces, or over emergency areas, like traffic accidents or wildfires. They’re also banned from flying through national parks and cannot be flown within 5 miles of an airport without informing the air traffic controllers. Federal, state, and local regulations can vary, so check with the organizations directly if unsure.

Drone Accessories & Add-ons

Additional hardware can be added to drones that have ample lift from their propellers and motors. Lift specs can be found via the drone manufacturer’s website. In general, drones built to support external cameras are usually equipped to carry an additional half pound or more of weight above that of the drone on its own. Added weight increases stress on the motors and can affect flight time and stability.

The most popular and useful drone accessory is undoubtedly the spare battery. Drone batteries can provide between 5 and 25 minutes of power in the air per charge but can take an hour or longer to recharge. Fortunately, most drone batteries can simply be replaced with a freshly charged one when the power levels get low. To get the most airtime out of each flying session, users should invest in several spares.

The next most useful accessories for drones are spare propellers and parts. Because occasional mishaps and less-than-perfect landings are an inevitable part of flying drones, they were designed to survive crashes. The exterior components are made from sturdy materials – such as polypropylene foam and carbon fiber – that protect the more sensitive parts, like the CPUs, motors and transmitters. The parts that break the most easily, like the propellers, are the cheapest and easiest to repair or replace. New drones often have extra propellers included, and additional spares are usually available for purchase separately as well. Remember that drones need different propellers to spin clockwise and counterclockwise for stability, so it’s wise to get both kinds of spare propellers.

Depending on use cases, other drone add-ons that may be of interest include LED bands, propeller guards and extra landing gear. For photography drones in particular, various lens filters can be added to alter saturation levels, reduce glare, and more. Getting a quality bag or case specifically designed to carry a drone is an important investment as well. Drone bundles can often be found with a number of accessories. Drone cases should have a foam interior built to fit the device and its accessories and protect them from damage during transit.

Featured Products

Here are some featured Drone products.

1. Holy Stone HS700D FPV GPS Drone with 2K FHD Camera

Main Feature

GPS Assisted Flight

Camera Quality

2K FHD 90°Adjustable Camera

$699.99

$259.99BUY NOW

2. DJI Mavic Mini 

Main Feature

249g Ultralight + 30-min Max. Flight Time

Camera Quality

4 km HD Video Transmission

$499.00BUY NOW

3. Wingsland S6 (Outdoor Edition) Black Mini Pocket Drone 4K Camera

Main Feature

250g can be easily put into your pocket.

Camera Quality

4K 30P and 1080P 60P HD Video

$139.99BUY NOW

4. Hubsan H501A X4 Brushless WIFI Drone GPS and App Compatible

Main Feature

Waypoint function choice the best flight-route.

Camera Quality

Built-in 1080P HD camera

$152.00BUY NOW

Things to Consider When Buying a Drone

There is a multitude of options on the market now, with each model excelling in something else. Hence, before you go ahead and buy your drone, decide what are the most important things to consider when buying one.

Purpose

Drone to Learn Flying

When you just wanna try and see if it’s something for you, learn how to fly a drone and have some fun, it may be better to go for a cheap UAS. You can get one for as little as $30 and it will have all the functions you’ll need. It may lack in video quality, or it can get heavy, but you will be able to play with it without worrying as much about crashing. It’s a good idea to start with this and learn the ropes.

Here’s a list of best drones for under 200 dollars in 2020.

Drone for Hiking

You can capture some of the best videos of yourself and your friends, as well as the landscapes, when you go hiking with a quadcopter. The most important things to consider when you buy a drone for hiking are weight, flight time, camera resolution and camera stabilization. It’s also important to make sure it will fit into your drone backpack (yeah, that’s actually a thing now).

With this in mind, we created a list of the best drones for hiking in 2020.

Hiking Drone

Drone for Selfies

It’s no longer uncommon to see someone swapping a selfie stick for a selfie drone. From pocket drones that can take photos of you and your friends to machines that will follow your movement and react to voice commands/ hand gestures, there’s a whole genre of devices built to accommodate the need for us to capture each moment from another perspective.https://6a7216e4485e9de66bead7c4465a0d81.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

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We created a list of best selfie drones in 2020, and there’s even one that doubles as your phone cover so it’s always with you.

Drone Weight

Depending on how you want to use your drone, its weight is probably the most important factor to take into consideration. If you want to take it with you everywhere, heavy UAS will soon prove to be a burden. Lightweight, however, often lack the extra features and have shorter flight times. Hence it’s a trade off you’ll need to consider first.

Important! Many countries regulate the licensing and use of UAV based on their weight. Do consider your contry’s regulations before buying a drone. Many places around the world do not require licensing or registration to use drones under 250 grams.

Flight Time/ Batteries

How long you can fly your drone on each battery will determine how far you can go with it. When the first personal drones come out you had a minute or so to play with. Now there are drones that can fly for 30 minutes non-stop and then you can just swap a spare battery to continue.

Flight time of each battery charge is one of the most important things to check before making a purchase decision. Also, do not forget to see if the batteries can be easily replaced or even if the drone comes with spare ones.

Drone Parts
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Flight/ Control Range

How far you can fly without losing control can make a huge difference in the footage and fun you can get from your drone.

There are 3 main methods of communicating with your drone, which impact it’s control range:

  • Radio
    You’ll need a controller to send and receive the radio waves to and from your drone. Depending on the size of the antenna, the range can extend up to 5 miles.
  • Wi-Fi
    The maximum control range using Wi-Fi signals is about 650 yards (600 meters). It’s often much shorter so you’ll have to see the specs of each drone you consider. The good thing is that with some models you may not need a separate controller to fly your UAS.
  • GPS
    It’s also possible, with some models, to define a flight path that your drone will then follow using Global Positioning System (GPS).

Controller

With the things mentioned above in mind, there is a trade off between flight range and total weight of the equipment you have to carry with you. On one hand, it would be best if we could use your smartphone to fly the drone, so that you don’t have to carry an additional controller, but on the other hand the range would suffer without it.

If you just want the drone for selfies, then lack of controller would be fantastic, but if you want to go far into the sea to capture whales, then you want to be in control at all times and from afar. Consider this before you choose your quadcopter.

Drone Controller
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Camera Resolution

Most people use drones for videos, so you should check if your new drone would capture the world in low resolution, Standard Definition (SD), 720P High Definition (HD), 1080P Full HD (FHD), or 4K. Each one is at least twice better than the one before and something to consider.

It’s also very important to check if the footage is recorded to an SD card in the drone, or sent to your smartphone before getting recorded there. If it’s not built-in, whenever you lose connection, you lose that part of the recording. Whereas, with the on-board SD card you’ll have the full footage at your disposal after retrieving your drone, even if it lost the connection with the controller.

Camera Stabilization

Your drone, if it has any camera stabilization at all which you should check, will either stabilize the recording with software or mechanically.

The best for the job is a 3-axis gimbal. Thanks to which, your videos will be filmed with a steady, cinematic motion that compensates for the shakes and wind movements.

Alternatively, some models compensate for the shaky conditions with built-in software. Not as good as a gimbal but much better than nothing at all.

Drone And Smartphone
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First Person View (FPV)

Check if it’s possible to see through First Person View directly from your drone while flying. While you can control the AUV by looking at it directly, it would be better to sometimes see for yourself if everything you want to record stays within the frame.

Speed

The importance of your drone’s speed becomes crucial when you need to fly in a strong wind. It may not be able to return back to you if you’re standing upwind, and there are places where it would not be possible to retrieve your drone by walking up to it (imagine shooting at sea).

If you just want to use your drone for fun, then speed is important as it’s just more exciting to fly it faster.

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