The Ten Best Drones Under 100 for Stellar Soaring
Quadcopters are not as nearly as expensive as they were a few years ago, when they first hit the consumer market. Like all consumer products, as time goes on and the demand increases, manufacturing costs get reduced, with the savings passed onto the buyer. When quadcopters first came out, only those with deep pockets could afford them. Thankfully those days are gone.
In this review, we present the ten best drones under 100 dollars that you can buy. You will be surprised at the performance of these zippy little drones, given their low cost. These cheaper drones are great for beginners, and those who are first learning how to fly a quadcopter.
This article presents the best drones in the price range from 50 to 100 dollars. If you are interested in a different price range, checkout one of the following articles:
Best Drones Under 100 Comparison
Best Drones Under 100 Reviews
1. Holy Stone HS200 Review
- Return home function
- Four speed levels
- Altitude hold
- Short flight time
- Fixed camera view
- Long battery charge time
The Holy Stone HS200 is a perfect fit for those looking for a ready to fly, beginner friendly drone. This drone features a 2 MP camera along with advanced features such as return to home, altitude hold, and one button take offs and landings. This amazing drone does not sacrifice quality and enjoyment for a reasonable price.
The included 3.7V 650 mAh battery takes about an hour to charge, and will give you up to 9 minutes of flying time. You can extend your flying enjoyment time with the purchase of extra batteries. The controller will give you up to 120m of control range, but limited to 50m when the FPV mode is active. This still allows you to take videos at fairly moderate distances.
The 2 megapixel 720p camera allows you to stream, and record videos and images at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The controller does not come with a screen, so you will need to use your smartphone to receive the FPV video feed. You can also use your smartphone alone to directly control the HS200.
This quadcopter has four available speed modes, so it will be suitable for all levels of flying experience. This drone has amazing features for an affordable price. Along with its features, this a very sleek looking drone with red body accented by dark black propellers. This is a great drone if you are looking to get into FPV drone flying, and capturing decent aerial photos and videos.
2. Holy Stone F181 Review
- Detachable camera
- Attractive design
- Fly indoors and outdoors
- Slow yaw rate
- Short flight time
- No Wifi FPV
The Holy Stone F181 deserves to be on the list of best drones for under 100 due to its extra features that are commonly not found on an inexpensive drone. It also has several advanced features that will appeal to more experienced fliers.
You will be pleased to know that you also get an extra battery with this quadcopter. It does take about 90 minutes to charge a battery, so the extra battery is a nice touch.
The controller has an LCD screen that displays important information such as battery life, range, and trim adjustments. The acceleration power is also displayed in percentage form. The controller also has a return to home button. Press this and the drone flies back to you. This is not a feature commonly found on a drone at this price point. The 2MP camera on the F181 is of 720p resolution and can take images at a 1280 x 720 resolution.
There are four flight modes, that can be adjusted on the fly. As you increase the difficulty, the sensitivity response of the drone increases. This gives you faster response rate and higher drone agility. There is a fun flip mode that allows amazing aerial acrobatics. This drone also has an altitude hold mode.
The images taken by these drones are not exactly top notch. There will be some jitter in the videos, and the images could be better. If you are looking for a photo quality drone, you should get something better. But this will do for beginners.
3. Holy Stone X400C Review
- Great maneuverability
- Four control modes
- FPV flight mode
- Not good in winds
- Weak prop guards
- FPV has lag
The Holy Stone X400C is the perfect drone to get started with flying with FPV functionality. This drone comes with many advanced features such as headless mode, and a life wifi camera feed. Headless mode is a good feature for those starting out flying drones. There is also a realtime FPV transmission that allows the camera view to be viewed on your smartphone. The drone creates its own wifi link, so you do not need a separate communications channel.
Along with its robust flight features, this is a very slick looking drone. The main body resembles a cockpit with distinct nose and tail features. This drone also has bold LED lights which lets you distinguish the front and back while flying at night.
The return to home feature can be activated at a press of a button. If you lose sight of your drone, activating this feature will make the drone fly back to you on a straight path. Just make sure there isn’t a big tree between you and your drone when you activate this feature.
The drone does take decent quality aerial videos and photos. While these are not exceptional, the quality is good given the low price of the quadcopter. The FPV stream uses wifi which has a short range, sometimes cuts out, and has noticeable lag.
Finally, the 6 axis stabilized flight control provides for very stable and smooth flight. You won’t be disappointed all of the features available on this low-cost drone.
4. DBPower MJX X400W Review
- VR headset compatible
- Smooth stable flight
- Realtime FPV Video
- FPV lags slightly
- No camera gimbal
- Low flying time
The MJX X400W is a compact drone that has a good build quality and toughness due to its flexible plastic body. The prop guards will help to avoid any damage to the drone or your possessions. The red accents on the white body make for an elegant design.
This drone handles well when flying. The climb and turning rates are very good, and provides enough performance to satisfy even experience fliers. Even in windy conditions, the X400W shows good stability thanks to its 6 axis gyros. It will easily maintain hover with lateral winds.
The FPV stream is transmitted over Wifi, and is viewed on your smartphone using an installed app. The camera can be activated using the app to record photos and videos. The HD 720p camera has decent quality, and provides sharp images and videos. However, the main purpose of the camera is not for taking pictures, but to provide a FPV live stream. This drone is also compatible with a 3D VR headset to give you a truly immersive FPV flying experience.
The included 3.7V 750 mAh battery takes about 2 hours to charge, and will give you up to 9 minutes of flying time, depending on how aggressively you fly. If you are using the FPV function, this flight time will reduce.
The FPV function places this drone on our list of best drones for under 100. This drone is intended for someone who is looking to get into FPV flying, but does not want to spend too much.
5. Syma X5C-1 Explorers Review
- Simple to fly
- Good value
- Decent camera
- No FPV Stream
- Low flight time
- Slightly bluky
The Syma X5C-1 is a great choice for new drone pilots, and is one of the best drones under 100 dollars that you can buy. It features a highly stable flight profile, with good agility and full range of motion. This drone is of a good quality build, and is very fun to fly.
Along with its great flight performance, you will find that this drone is also quieter than most. The enclosed bottom battery bay gives the X5C-1 a sleek look, with no ugly battery wire sticking out.
The X5C-1 also comes with an extra set of propellors, a 500 mAh 3.7V battery with a USB charger, screwdriver, transmitter, micro SD card reader, a 4GB SD card, and a manual.
You can expect to get about 8 minutes of flying. However, using the prop guards, and turning the camera on will drop the flight time to about 5 minutes.
This drone comes with the typical high and low speed modes. In the lower speed setting, the drone is easier to control and is perfect for beginners who are firs learning how to fly. For more experience fliers who want to go faster, simply switch in to the high mode. You can also do flips at the push of a button.
This drone comes equipped with a 2 megapixel camera that can take 720p videos. The camera does take decent photos and videos given its low price. This drone makes a great trainer that you can crash repeatedly without worry of damaging the quadcopter.
6. UDI 818A HD Review
- Highly durable
- Extra battery
- Flips and rolls
- Lacks advanced features
- Low wind tolerance
- Fixed camera view
This drone feels a bit flimsy when you hold it, but don’t let that fool you. The body and integrated prop guards are made from thin plastic, which helps to reduce weight, and the flexibility allows the frame to absorb impacts.
The widely space propellers provides for enhanced flight stability making this drone easy to fly. This drone has a low speed mode for beginners, and a high mode for more experienced pilots.
This drone is based on a design that is a few years old, so it does not have an altitude hold function. However, it does feature a headless mode and a one-key return to pilot function. It can also perform flips at a push of a button, which is fun to watch and perform. To help with orientation with night flying, this drone has blue LEDs at the front, and red LEDs at the back.
This drone comes with an extra battery, and you can get about 9 minutes of flying time on one battery charge.
The included HD 720p camera on this drone provides images and videos at 1280 x 720 resolution. The image quality is average. There is no live video feed for FPV, so the images and video are stored on the SD card.
This drone does not have all the latest features found on more current drone designs, but provides amazing value. This drone is one of the most durable, and is well suited for beginners.
7. Syma X8C Venture Review
- Stable flight dynamics
- GoPro camera compatible
- Good build quality
- Low image quality
- Slow battery charge
- NO FPV feed
The Syma X8C has good performance for an affordable price. What makes this drone affordable is its use of brushed motors, fixed camera gimbal, and no additional advanced features. Despite the lack of features, the Syma X8C is a well-built drone.
The Syma X8C is essentially a larger version of the Syma X5C with the addition of a headless mode. Both drones have the same flight performance and responsiveness. The X8C is easy to fly, hovers well, and responds to controller commands with no lag.
The larger size and weight of the X8C makes it more robust to wind gusts. This stability makes the X8C a good choice for aerial photography. The powerful coreless motors provide enough thrust to allow the possibility of a GoPro camera. However, be aware that you are likely to shorten the motors life due to the extra load.
The headless mode is a great feature for drone beginners. This allows you to fly the drone without worrying about which way it is facing. When the drone is flown to a distance away, you may lose knowledge of its orientation. Activating headless mode will allow you to bring the drone back to you.
Even though this drone does not have a camera gimbal, or camera vibration dampening, the X8C can take reasonable quality images and videos. The camera is detachable if you are not planning to take images.
The Syma X8C is a good choice for those looking for a toy-grade quadcopter that can also work as an aerial photography platform.
8. Blade Nano QX Review
- Responsive flight
- Simple drone controls
- Light and agile
- Short control range
- No camera
- Not good in winds
The design of the Blade Nano QX is very striking. Its black body, with accents and colored propellers give it a very sporty look. The prop guards have a minimal design, but are very effective.
This drone is highly agile, but also a SAFE technology that reduces control input speeds and will automatically hover the quad. The stability mode makes use of SAFE, while agility mode turns this off and gives you a more dynamic and difficult flying experience. This makes the QX perfect for new drone pilots.
You can expect a flight time of 7 minutes per battery charge. It takes about 40 minutes to charge a battery, so having extra batteries are needed to increase your flight time. This drone is mainly designed to be flown indoors. Flying in the dark is also possible as there are LED lights on the front and back.
Due to the small size of this drone, it does not handle well in windy conditions. Its best flown indoors. However, you can fly it outside in calm conditions. There is no camera on this drone, and it does not support mounting a camera to its body.
The Blade Nano QX is one of the best drones under 100 available without a camera. Not only is it fun to fly, but it is very responsive. The SAFE flying technology also provides for smooth and stable flight.
9. Syma X5UW Review
- Stylish design
- Altitude hold
- Waypoint navigation
- Proprietary battery
- Slow FPV rate
- Low flight time
The X5UW drone features a new design as compared to previous Syma X5 models. The transmitter has also been redesigned. The candy red color gives it a more refined look. The shorter landing legs reduce the chance of the drone tipping over upon landing.
This drone also features a proprietary battery design which eliminates the need for a battery bay door, and ugly connector wires. This removes the possibility of damaging the battery wire while stuffing them into the battery bay before closing the door. Now you just need to slide in the battery, and click it into place.
The prop guards have also been redesigned. On this drone, there is a slot-in design that eliminates the need for tiny screws. The camera has a twist and lock design that hides the camera wire within the locking mechanism.
The Syma X5UW has the typical low and high modes. It also features headless mode, one button takeoff and landing, and altitude hold. This drone also has waypoint navigation, and accelerometer control.
The waypoint navigation is not as refined as GPS navigation available in more advanced drones. You use the Syma GO app to layout a path for the drone to follow. This is only a XY planar route, leaving the altitude control available to the pilot.
With the accelerometer control, you use your smartphone as the controller. Moving your phone by turning it and tilting will cause the drone to respond.
The new camera and body design justify the X5UW position on my best drones under 100 list.
10. Hubsan X4 H107D Review
- Affordable FPV drone
- Highly maneuverable
- Fun to fly
- Short flight time
- Low quality camera
- No advanced features
This quadcopter is a very beginner friendly and reasonably priced FPV drone. You get to enter the world of FPV quadcopter without having to break the bank.
This drone has a unique design that separates it from other drones. There are two LED lights at the front and the back as well as the front and rear props being different colors. This helps to keep track of the orientation of the drone when you are flying, and lets you fly the drone at night.
This is a very small drone in terms of size and mass. Its best flown in doors, but can be taken outside when the winds are very low. Though it is small, it is highly maneuverable and can be flown aggressively. It is also robust to crashing, but you may have to replace a propeller occasionally. Using the prop guards only increases its durability.
The controller comes with a small LCD viewing screen built in that to provide the FPV stream. This eliminates the need to have to mount your smartphone to the controller. The camera does not deliver HD quality videos and images, but does decent job.
The control range is very good up to 100m. It doesn’t come with a return to home mode, so be sure not to fly out too far. It does come with altitude hold, which is unique for such a small drone.
This drone is not the fastest micro drone available, but makes up for this with its good flight stability. This is a great drone for starting out in FPV flying.
Best Drones Under 100 Summary
The ten best drones under 100 presented in this review will not break your budget, and let you get into the exciting world of quadcopters. Once you have learned how to fly a quadcopter like a pro, you will be ready to move up to drones with more performance and features.