The Ten Best Drones Under 200 for Aerial Adventures
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 200 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 100 to 200 dollars. If you are interested in a different price range, checkout one of the following articles:
Best Drones Under 200 Comparison
Best Drones Under 200 Reviews
1. MJX Bugs 3 Review
- GoPro camera ready
- Good flight time
- Good stability
- Fixed gimbal
- Limited advanced features
- Not for beginners
The MJX Bugs 3 is the first drone produced by the Mei Jia Xin Toys (MJX) company that has brushless motors. All the previous models released by MJX were in the toy drone category. However, with the release of the Bugs 3 model, MJX has conveyed to the drone community that it is now prepared to produce more high-performance drones with advanced capabilities.
This drone can function as a ready to fly FPV racer, or as a entry level aerial photography drone.
This drone does not have an altitude hold mode. It has the standard low and high operating modes. There is a bright white LED installed in the nose, along with four colored LEDS at the front and back of the drone. These help to determine the drone’s orientation.
This drone features powerful brushless motors which give you the correct robustness to attach a GoPro or other sports camera. However, this drone is not strong enough of lifting a 3-axis gimbal system. The camera gimbal is fixed so the videos can have a bit of jitter. But this drone is still great for aerial photos and inspection work.
This drone does lack some advanced features such as headless mode, and one button return to home. However, what this drone does have it does well. In this case, the drone design simplicity has resulted in a more reliable product. The manual flying required for this drone does not make it a good fit for beginners.
2. Altair AA108 Review
- Sleek design
- One button takeoff/landing
- Stable flight
- No camera gimbal
- Low resolution camera
- Proprietary battery
The Altair AA108 is touted as a toy-grade drone that is suited for children of all ages and young adults. This drone is beginner friendly, has stable flight, and intuitive controls. Not only does it fly well, it also has a polished, sleek design.
This drone has altitude hold, as well as a return to home function. Until the last few years, these features could only be found on more expensive GPS equipped drones.
On one battery charge, you can get up to 10 minutes of flying time. However, this is with the camera turned off. While recording video, you can expect the flight time to drop to 8 minutes.
The onboard camera has a wide 120 degree field of view, and records videos in HD 720p quality. The camera is fixed to the body without a gimbal, so there is no image stabilization. You can use the camera in FPV mode by mounting your smartphone to the controller. Using the FlyingSee app (available for Android and iOS devices), you are able to setup a wifi FPV system. Using FPV, the flight range drops to about 25m.
This drone features one button take off and landing, headless mode, and altitude hold. The drone also has three flight skill levels, which make this drone suited for pilots of all experience levels. The Altair AA108 delivers excellent flying performance at an affordable price.
3. Potensic F181DH Review
- Altitude hold
- Good camera
- FPV live feed
- No return to home
- Slight FPV lag
- No camera gimbal
This is a very sleek and well-designed drone. The striking prime colors and aesthetic cut lines give this drone a very appealing look. Also, you will be surprised with how many features are included give its low price.
This drone features altitude hold which uses an air pressure sensor to hold the drone at a fixed altitude. This allows you to obtain high quality videos and photos. The one key takeoff and landing function makes the drone easier to fly for any level of pilot, and better to control.
The controller has a built-in LCD screen which allows you to view the FPV feed from the drone. This saves you the trouble of having to attach your smartphone to the controller, and setup the wifi connection to the drone.
The flight dynamics is very stable thanks to this drone’s gyroscopic flight stabilization system. The F181DH has six gyros to ensure smoothness of flight. This information is used by the flight computer to produce a highly responsive drone response.,
In the box, you get a 4 GB SD card, and an extra battery. You can expect to get about 12 minutes of flight time from one battery charge. Be sure to give the motors a rest between flights so you do not overheat and burn them out.
The F181DH is a very fun FPV drone that comes with everything that you need to start flying right away and recording quality videos right away.
4. DBPower UDI U842 Review
- FPV capability
- Durable design
- Attractive look
- Affected by wind
- Mediocre prop guards
- FPV lag and stutter
This drone has many exciting and innovative features which has allowed it to be featured in this best drones under 200 list. The gravity induction mode is a very cool feature that allows you to use your smartphone to control the drone. Tilt your phone forward, or backwards and the drone will do likewise. Turning your phone left or right will make the drone move in that direction.
The FPV mode on this drone is made possible by attaching your smartphone to the controller. Simply install the appropriate smartphone app, and you can see what the camera sees, and receive important information such as batter levels. There is a low voltage alarm.
The headless mode feature is great for beginners. You can turn this feature off once you have gained some more flying experience. This drone does do flips at a push of a button.
The drone also has a one key return to home feature. When activated, the drone flies in a straight line directly back to you. Be sure there isn’t a large tree between you and the drone.
The drone comes with an extra battery, which is a great bonus. You can expect to get about 8 minutes of flying time per battery charge. However, when the first battery runs out, you should wait at least 10 minutes before inserting the second battery and get back to flying. This will give the motors and circuits to cool down.
This drone many features that is sure to satisfy drone pilots of all experience levels.
5. Force1 F100 Review
- Responsive controls
- Very quiet motors
- Ready to fly
- No FPV feed
- Limited advanced features
- Controller pairing annoying
If you are a GoPro enthusiast, and is looking to get your camera in the air, then the F100 is one the cheapest way to do so. The powerful brushless motors make this drone very versatile allowing it to carry a GoPro or other action camera to capture aerial footage. This drone is cheaper than a GoPro Karma. This drone does not include a camera.
To get even more performance from this drone, you can remove the camera and the landing legs for some extra power and speed.
The F100 does come with an extra battery to increase your flying time fun. Be sure to give the motors a 10 minute rest between flights so you don’t burn them out. This drone comes with a 7.4V 1800 mAh 2S batter. If you want more power, you can add a 3S battery.
The camera mount does not include a 3-axis stabilized gimbal, so you will not produce perfectly smooth videos. However, the drone is strong enough to support the mounting of a camera and gimbal system.
The very quiet motors make this drone suitable for filming weddings and sporting events. This drone does not come with an FPV feed, but you can buy a small camera/transmitter kit and install it yourself.
This drone is not intended for amateur flyers, which is why it does not have a headless mode. However, this is very high performing drone and will allow you to capture some amazing aerial photos and videos.
6. Holy Stone HS300 Review
- High definition camera
- Very quiet operation
- Responsive controls
- Long battery charge
- Slightly bulky
- Weak propellers
The Holy Stone HS300 comes with some solid specifications, a good camera, and build quality. This combination of features makes this drone a good choice for first time flyers. It is also a great package for those interested in aerial photography due to its 1080p camera.
This drone is on the heavier side, so It is no surprise that the included battery is a 7.4V S2 2000 mAh LiPo. You can expect a flight time of 15 minutes without the camera active, and 10 minutes when you are streaming video. Also, the more aggressively you fly, the more you will reduce the flight time.
The range of this drone is 150m of responsive lag-free operation. This is sufficient for most people who are starting out with aerial photography.
The included 1080p 5 megapixal camera allows you to capture stunning aerial footage. This drone has a basic vibration dampening mount that helps to remove image motion jitter. This allows for very smooth and professional looking videos. Included is a 4GB micro SD card which is the storage for your recordings. You do need to attach your smartphone to the controller to watch the FPV video feed from the drone.
Sadly, this drone does not have GPS functionality, but this is asking for too much given its price point. It does have one touch return to home, and altitude hold.
The Holy Stone HS300 is a ready to fly video drone that will deliver excellent images and videos.
7. Potensic F183DH Review
- FPV live stream
- Altitude hold mode
- Extra battery
- No headless mode
- No camera gimbal
- Basic controller
The Protensic F183DH is not one of the most well-known drones available, but it is favored due to the number of accessories that come with it. It is a great flying drone that can handle windy conditions, and is highly durable. This is an awesome drone that deserves to be on my best drones under 200 list.
This drone has FPV functionality and comes with an LCD screen that fits into the controller. This saves you from having to attach your smartphone, and configure the wifi connection to the drone.
The onboard camera is a 2 megapixel 720p sensor which is slightly on the low end of performance, but the FPV mode is supported by a 5.8 GHz transmission which will prevent most video lag. There is no camera gimbal, so there is very little in the way of motion stabilization. Video is recorded onboard the drone using a 4GB data card, while the live FPV stream is transmitted to your controller.
This drone does not come with a headless mode, so it is not very beginner friendly. If you have not flown a drone before, you may want to practice on a cheaper model before moving up to the F183DH.
The altitude hold mode allows you to hover the drone in place, and obtain more stable video and images. The one key takeoff and landing makes it easy to get the drone into the air.
Overall, the Protensic F183DH is an excellent drone that flies very well. The balance of flight performance and available features is why this is featured on my best drones under 200 list.
8. Force1 U49C Review
- HD Camera
- Stable and durable
- Extra battery included
- Low flight time
- Range can be better
- Thrust can be improved
The U49C is an great drone for a beginner quadcopter pilot. It has a good flight time of 15 minutes, and has a 720p HD camera included. It also has great features like altitude hold, one button takeoff, as well as a headless mode. Essentially this model is an upgraded version of the popular UDI U818A quadcopter.
The flight time is rather impressive. Most quadcopter in this price bracket only manage to reach a 10 minute flight time. This drone kit comes with an extra battery, and some extra motors as well. So this gives you a full 30 minutes of flight time. Be sure to give the quadcopter a 10 minute rest between flights. This is to reduce wear on the motors. On the off chance, you do burn out a motor, you can simply use one of the included spares to make repairs and get back into the air.
The included 720p HD camera is better than most other drones in this price bracket. The camera certainly can’t compete with other high-end drones, but it does take decent videos and images. Be sure to keep the drone stable and fly slowly to get the best videos. This drone does not have FPV capability.
This drone features a design that resembles the 818A. The fixed propeller guards do a good job of protecting the blades from the eventual impacts with trees and walls. The downside is that the prop guards catch the wind making this drone not robust to flying in windy environments.
Overall the U49C is a stable and durable drone that you will have a lot of fun flying.
9. Hubsan X4 502S Review
- GPS navigation
- Follow me mode
- FPV drone feed
- Brushed motors
- Low resolution camera
- No prop guards
The Hubsan X4 is one of the cheapest drones that you can buy that has GPS navigation capability. Before taking off, you will have to wait a minute or two for the drone to acquire a GPS signal and initialize its navigation system.
The affordability of this drone is driven by the fact that it uses brushed motors and a 720p camera. This drone features a follow me mode, return to home, and anti-signal loss protection. The minimalist, modern design of this drone makes it very pleasing to the eye. It is very light, but has a durable build quality.
This drone comes equipped with a 720p camera mounted in its nose. The resultant videos are mostly jitter free. The FPV feed is smooth with a barely noticeable amount of lag. If you fly close to the maximum range, you can see this effect.
The controller has a 4.3” LCD screen that has a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. It’s not fantastic, but it does the job. It displays the FPV feed from the drone in a clear manner, and has other useful flight information such as battery levels, GPS position, altitude and the heading.
This drone also has altitude hold which allows you to focus more on the video capture instead of flying. The follow me mode is a great feature for taking a video of you while you are doing something sporty.
You won’t be disappointed by this drones affordable follow me functionality, along with its decent camera quality.
10. Eachine Racer 250 Review
- Fun to fly
- Secure battery compartment
- Tiltable FPV camera
- Complicated setup process
- No radio or receiver
- Limited to 3S battery
The Eachine Racer 250 is a quality entry level racing drone. FPV quadcopter racing has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and it is no surprise that the cost of a high performance drone has declined.
Don’t judge this drone by its packaging or its looks. It’s designed to fly very fast, which it does very well. This drone is a plug and fly model. You need to attach your own receiver and configure your radio before it is ready to fly.
This drone comes with everything needed to fly except for a radio and receiver. This drone includes a video transmitter with an on-screen display, and a cloverleaf antenna. Once you have configured the drone, you are ready to take it for its first flight. You will also want to have a set of FPV goggles handy to get the full FPV flying experience.
This drone is a great step towards making FPV racing affordable. However, the complex configuration can put off someone not used to handling drone components.
You can expect to get about 14 minutes of flying time, but expect to take an hour to charge the battery. A few extra batteries are a must for a racing drone such as this. You can fly this drone out to a distance of 1.8 km before losing control signal.
If you are looking for a fast flying drone to get a taste of FPV drone racing, then the Eachine Racer 250 is a good choice for you.
Best Drones Under 200 Summary
The ten best drones under 200 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.