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The Ten Best Drones Under 300 – High Tech

Introduction

If you are looking to purchase a drone and are perplexed at the options available, this guide is here to help you make your decision easier. There are various reasons as to why you would think of getting your own drone; it could be because of your interest in aerial video or photography, or because you are a UAV or an RC hobbyist.

These machines come in a host of options, from small quadcopters which can be used for learning basic multi-rotor orientation; to octocopters with various accessories such as stabilization gimbals and wireless aerial imaging monitors.

The range is quite endless and so is the pricing, the smaller ones will be easy to get and cost very little, but as the machines get more complex and are more feature-packed the price skyrockets and this is why certain drones can cost thousands of dollars.

These machines are for professional use and not something you should consider purchasing if you are starting out. Even if you happen to have a fair bit of drone piloting skills, it might not be the best idea to buy an expensive drone or quadcopter. Instead, you should take a look at the best drones under 300 (over 200), where you might be surprised by the quality and features you get for the price. In order to see what sort of drone you should pick up, this guide contains the necessary information which should help you decide if this segment is ideal for you.

Why are Drones Popular?

Drones are machines which were built for recreational use, but they can also be used for professional photography, tracking wildlife, carrying cargo, and much more. The name ‘Drone’ is synonymous with military-related terms such as UAV and UAS. The usage of drones is increasing day by day and there are new use cases found continuously, which ultimately gives rise to new jobs and thus influencing the growth of the drone industry.

The reason for their meteoric rise in popularity can be credited to the increasing usage of footage from drones in various videos across the internet. The magnificence of the views from high above make for a good crowd pleaser, and anyone who likes these aerial shots is now looking to take up flying drones as a hobby.

The drone community is all about sharing new content and if you are genuinely interested you should consider buying them. You will learn to appreciate how these wonderful machines work, once you get to handling and piloting them on your own.

There are mainly two types of drones, ones you can build yourself called a DIY drone and an RTF drone, which stands for Ready-To-Fly. The former requires you to assemble and calibrate everything and takes a significant amount of time before you can get it to fly, whereas RTF or almost RTF models can be put together in a few short minutes.

Our focus lies on RTF or almost RTF quadcopters as they are the most popular variant and the easiest to get a hold of. All quadcopters follow the same blueprint, four motors and propellers, and a gyroscope or an accelerometer to keep it balanced in space. The key component here is the gyroscope which will measure the pitch, roll, and yaw of the quadcopter. Using this information, the quadcopter can adjust each of the four motors automatically, which allows it to hover. The pilot then uses a transmitting controller to move it left and right or lose and gain altitude, or spin it 360 degrees.

Quadcopters are the best machines to learn on and is most inexpensive drone among all other options. Since we are looking at inexpensive options and perhaps the best drones under 300 (over 200), there are few factors you will need to consider when looking for a drone to buy.

Battery life: The first and most crucial things to note is that in this category of drones battery life will almost always be a compromise. A majority of these drones last only 15-20 minutes and this means that you will have to carry multiple spares for any training or filming activities you might want to do.

Lightweight: Since it is light, maneuverability and piloting is easy. It is also very easy to repair and is quite durable. The only drawback is that the less weight means it gets swayed by strong gusts of wind quite easily.

Quality of video: In this price segment you cannot expect the most smooth and perfect video quality. The drones do not come equipped with gimbals to stabilize the video, so do not expect it to look professional.

Starter kits: A lot of these drones come in almost RTF variants and are just meant for the novice flyers, ones who are learning the ropes and testing out their skills in capturing shots. If you are slightly more experienced you might want to try out the higher priced drones.

GPS: It might seem like drones in this segment would lack GPS, but it is not so. Almost all the drones in this category come with GPS systems, which is helpful in case if pilots ever lose sight of their drones.

Best Drones Under 300 Comparison

Name
Camera
Range
Flight Time
Rating
Price
1.
MXJ B2W
1080p
800 m
18 min

2.8/5
$199.99
Read Review
2.
Cheerson CX-20
No
300 m
15 min

3.2/5
$260.99
Read Review
3.
Walkera Rodeo 110
HD
150 m
6 min

3.9/5
$189.00
Read Review
4.
Contixo F17 Plus
16 MP
300 m
18 min

3.5/5
from $169.99
Read Review
5.
Wingsland S6
4 K
100 m
10 min

2.4/5
$158.48
Read Review
6.
3DR Solo
No
800 m
25 min

3.8/5
$379.99
Read Review
7.
Upair One
4 K
300 m
18 min

3.5/5
$309.00
Read Review
8.
Hubsan H501S
1080p
300 m
20 min

3.6/5
$159.99
Read Review
9.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0
720p
100 m
10 min

3.3/5
from $85.99
Read Review
10.
Parrot Bebop
14 MP
250 m
22 min

3.0/5
$147.00
Read Review
Last Updated 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET -
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Best Drones Under 300 Reviews

1. MXJ B2W Review


(2.8/5)


$199.99
(as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Easy to fly
  • LCD telemetry display
  • 720p FPV feed

  • Long charging time
  • Charging plug awkward
  • NO on/off switch

1080p

18 min Flight Time

3 hr Charge

800 m Range

This is an absolutely incredible FPV capable drone that also has full GPS navigation capability.

This drone is powered by a strong 2S 1800mAh LiPo battery that will keep your drone flying for 18 minutes on a single charge. If you start using the FPV capability, then this time will reduce. The battery does take 3 hours to charge, so an extra battery or two is highly recommended.

Considering that this drone has FPV capabilities, you need to keep two numbers in mind when specifying the flying range of this drone. With no FPV active this drone can fly out to a range of 800m. When you have FPV active, you can fly this drone out to 200m.

The MXJ Bugs 2W has a built in 1080p resolution camera that can record video at 30 fps. There is no gimbal, or hardware image stabilization. However, if you capture videos while flying slowly, you will get good results.

The GPS module makes the return to home function, as well as the altitude hold much more accurate and reliable. Other cheaper drones use a barometric sensor to maintain altitude, which is not all that accurate.

To get the full benefit of the FPV flying mode you will need to use a smartphone or tablet to view the camera video feed. The FPV video is streamed over a 5G wifi channel, so as to not interfere with the controller signal.

The advanced features of this drone, and build quality puts it way ahead of the toy-drone class. You will have hours of fun flying this speedy and reliable drone.

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2. Cheerson CX-20 Review


(3.2/5)


$260.99
(as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Ready to fly
  • Stable and agile flying
  • Intelligent orientation control

  • Camera not included
  • Fragile props
  • Low landing skids

None

15 min Flight Time

2 hr Charge

300 m Range

This Cheerson drone offering is a full sized model that is intended to compete with the likes of DJI drones. This drone offers good range, decent flying time and simple controls that even rookie pilots can master easily.

The look and design of this drone is very appealing. It has a very sleek and polished look to it. The landing gear has a wide footprint, which will avoid any tip overs up on landing.

This drone comes with a very well designed, and tough controller. Unlike other toy-grade drones, this controller does not feel cheap. It is disappointing that this drone does not come with batteries.

This drone does have GPS, but it does not have the capability of autonomous flight. Also it does not come with camera. Yes, you can mount a GoPro camera onto the drone, but that can be an additional cost if you don’t already have a camera.

The CX-20 is powered by a 11V 2500 mAh LiPo battery that will give you 15 minutes of flying time on one charge. However, if you are flying aggressively or in windy conditions, expect this flying time to come down. The battery does take about 2 hours to charge, so extra batteries are a must.

This drone is a very stable flier, with smooth lateral transitions. This drone is not a speed demon, but still flies relatively fast.

Overall, this drone is very fun to fly with numerous advanced features which makes it a good value. If you are looking for a drone that you can tweak and configure, then the CX-20 is for you.

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3. Walkera Rodeo 110 Review


(3.9/5)


$189.00
(as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Lightweight design
  • Carbon fiber frame
  • Realtime FPV

  • Not good in winds
  • No GPS
  • Short flight time

HD

6 min Flight Time

45 min Charge

150 m Range

The Walkera Rodeo 110 drone is an amazing drone that deserves to be on my best drones under 300 list. This is a compact quadcopter that can be flown indoors, but is intended to be raced. It can be used to capture pictures with its HD camera, or record streaming video from its 5.8GHz video transmission. You can fly it outdoors, but its ultra light weight design means it is not robust against strong winds.

The Rodeo 110 comes in a RTF or BNF versions. BNF means it does not come with a controller, and you use one of your existing controllers to bind with the drone before flying. RTF means the drone comes with a controller. The link for this drone is for a RTF model.

Once you have initialized the drone, you will be surprised by this drone’s aerobatic agility. It can perform roll and maneuvers at a high rate, and surprising speed. Don’t be afraid of crashes since the frame is made of a sturdy carbon fiber material. It is also corrosion, impact, and abrasion resistant.

The drone comes with a 600 TVL HD camera, which has an adjustable tilt angle. The camera is not overly impressive, but is still able to capture HD images and videos. The Rodeo 110 comes with a 850 mAh LiPo battery which can keep this drone flying for 6 minutes on one battery charge.

For a beginner FPV racing pilot, this is a great drone. It has all of the features of a larger racing drone, except for a GPS system. You will have a lot of fun flying this zippy drone.

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4. Contixo F17 Plus Review


(3.5/5)


from $169.99
(as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • 4K HD Camera
  • Extra battery
  • Hardbody carrying case

  • No GPS
  • No altitude hold
  • Not good in winds

16 MP

18 min Flight Time

2 hr Charge

300 m Range

The Contixo F17 is not a well-known drone, but if you happen to have a GoPro camera, you should acquaint yourself with this awesome drone. The powerful brushless motors on this drone give it the power needed to fly your action camera. You can use your existing GoPro camera to capture some amazing aerial photos and video. If you don’t have an action camera, this drone comes with a 4K ultra HD camera which can capture stunning aerial footage.

The F17 has MT1806 1800KV brushless motors which utilize an advanced motor technology that reduces friction between the motor parts, thereby increasing the durability of the motor. The operating efficiency of the motor places less demand on the battery resulting in a 50% extension of the battery life.

This drone is powered by a 2100 mAh LiPo battery that gives it a flight time of up to 18 minutes on a single charge. Thanks to the body design, the battery is easily removable but is safely secured while flying. With the camera and landing legs attached, the actual flight time will reduce. Running the camera will also drain the battery faster.

As an added bonus, this drone comes with a hard body aluminum carrying case that makes transporting the drone very simple. You also get an extra battery which will extend your flying time fun.
This drone is a perfect balance of price and performance, and is backed by a company that cares about its products. This drone is an all-round great deal and will not break your bank.

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5. Wingsland S6 Review


(2.4/5)


$158.48
(as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Smart flight modes
  • Intelligent flight app
  • Portable design

  • Short flight range
  • Control app awkward
  • Low flight time

4 K

10 min Flight Time

1 hr Charge

100 m Range

The Wingland S6 is a compact, folding drone that when collapsed is only slightly larger than your smartphone. But don’t let the small size fool you. This drone as a 4K camera that will let you capture amazing aerial footage. This drone is too small to have a gimbal system, but the 3 axis digital stabilization reduces any image jitter caused by flight motion.

Preparing the drone to fly takes a total of 30 seconds. All you need to do is extend the foldable arms out, and pop the blades into position.

This drone is powered by a 7.6V 1400 mAh battery that will give you about 10 minutes of flying time. If you are running the 4K camera, your flying time will be reduced to 7 mins.

This drone does not come with a controller. You use the drone app installed on your smartphone to control and fly this drone. This drone is packed with numerous intelligent functions including return to home, course lock, home lock, orbit, follow me, and auto hovering.

The S6 has numerous automation features that make capturing action aerial images and video very simple. This drone is designed to simplify capturing aerial footage. It is not intended for racing or flying.

Surprisingly, this small drone also has GPS navigation that utilizes both GPS and GLONASS satellites. This explains its highly accurate navigation and hover when flying outdoors.

The Wingsland drone shows that the engineers put a lot of effort in getting the design right. This is a great compact drone purpose built for flying outdoors.

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6. 3DR Solo Review


(3.8/5)


$379.99
(as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Smart flight modes
  • Smooth and stable images
  • Good control app

  • Short battery life
  • Spotty GPS
  • Slight drift when hovering

None

25 min Flight Time

2 hr Charge

800 m Range

The advancement of drone technology has made capturing aerial photos and videos accessible to just about anyone. However, capturing professional looking shots takes some practice. It takes years of experience to be able to fly a drone, and control its camera simultaneously. The 3DR Solo was designed to address this problem.

The 3DR Solo is equipped with several autonomous flight modes that are designed to make it easier to capture smooth, high quality videos.

This quadcopter is the only drone on the market that has two computer processors onboard. One is in the controller, and one is onboard the drone. This configuration allows the drone autopilot to focus on flying, and prevents any CPU lock ups.

This drone does not come with a camera, so its intended for the GoPro and action camera community. A GoPro integrates well with this drone. There is a custom integration design that allows you to control all camera settings from the 3DR controller.

This drone also has a lot of speed. It can hit up to 80 kph, which is great for recording high speed action shots. The autonomous modes include selfie, cable cam, orbit, and follow me. These are all designed to simply the image acquisition process.

This drone is a well-designed, and well-built product. The props are made from glass reinforced nylon, and the landing legs have some flexibility to absorb hard landings. You can expect flight times of 25 minutes without the camera active, and be able to fly out to a range of 800m.

The numerous features of those drones made it an easy choice for my best drones under 300 list.

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7. Upair One Review


(3.5/5)


$309.00
(as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • FPV display controller
  • Good flight time
  • Camera options

  • Build quality lacking
  • Limited range
  • Poor instruction manual

4 K

18 min Flight Time

1.5 hr Charge

300 m Range

The Upair One drone looks very similar to the DJI phantom quadcopters. However, calling the Upair drone a cheap knock off is an insult to its high performance and functionality.

There are two camera options available when purchasing this drone. You can opt for either a 2.7K or 4K camera. Obviously the 2.7K camera package is cheaper, but can still produce sharp looking aerial images. The 4K camera will impress you with its video quality. The drone come with a gimbal package which stabilizes the captured video, providing smooth professional looking captures.

This drone is powered by a 540 mAh LiPo battery which will give you 20 minutes of flight time. You can fly this drone out to a range of 300m, which is on the short-range side.

This quadcopter has numerous features, but does not have waypoint GPS navigation. It goes have one touch return home, which is made more accurate due to its GPS functionality. It also has intelligent orientation control, as well as a highly accurate position hold.

The controller has a very large 7 inch LCD display which is excellent for FPV flying. This avoids having to mount your smartphone to the controller and configuring the wifi to connect with the drone.

The combination of altitude and position hold supplemented by the headless mode makes this a very smooth and stable imaging platform. This allows you to focus on keeping your imaging target in frame by adjusting the camera gimbal angles.

Overall this drone has many features to offer for a reasonable price.

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8. Hubsan H501S Review


(3.6/5)


$159.99
(as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • GPS follow me mode
  • Compact design
  • Good flight time

  • No gimbal stabilization
  • Toy grade transmitter
  • Weak FPV feed

1080p

20 min Flight Time

2.5 hr Charge

300 m Range

The Hubsan H501S drone is a compact fully functional drone that is great for taking selfies. This drone does not have tall landing feet, and instead has small pins under the motors. This makes it difficult to take off or land in tall grass.

This quadcopter package comes with a GPS module built into the drone, and the controller. This allows the function of the follow me mode. Another useful feature is the barometric altitude hold that allows the drone to fly to a specific height, and maintain it autonomously. This drone also features headless mode, live streaming flight data, and one key return landing.

Along with these advanced flight features, this drone is powered by brushless motors. This provides more durability and reliability.

This drone does come with a 1080p camera that is mounted in its nose. The camera has no gimbal or other mechanical stabilization. However, the camera is more suited for FPV flying which this drone does very well. The drone transmits the live video feed to the LCD screen built into the controller. The video stream operates on a 5.8 GHz frequency, along with a 4 channel control stream running at 2.4 GHz. This means the video transmission will not interfere with the control signals.

This drone makes use of a large 7.4V 2700 mAh LiPo battery which gives you a flight time of 20 minutes. You can fly this drone out to a range of 300m.

This is a small, but powerful drone that comes loaded with many features, and high operating performance.

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9. Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Review


(3.3/5)


from $85.99
(as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Easy to fly
  • Fun camera function
  • Useful mobile app

  • Short battery life
  • Requires smartphone
  • Possible wifi interference

720p

10 min Flight Time

1.5 hr Charge

100 m Range

This drone sits squarely in the middle of toy-drones and high-performance drones. This drone does not come with a controller, so you use an Android or iOS app on your smartphone or table to control the Parrot. There are two virtual joysticks in the app that function as standard controller sticks. You also get a live FPV feed from the drone displayed on your screen. You will love this drone’s agility and its ability to perform tricks and stunts at the press of a button.

The plastic foam propeller guards may look flimsy, but they are engineered to lightweight and highly durable. The guards are designed to cushion any unfortunate impacts that you may have while flying your drone.

This drone comes with a 1000 mAh LiPo battery that will give you about 10 minutes of flying time. If you are running the camera, your flight time will be slightly reduced. You can expect to be able to fly this drone out to a range of 100m.

The included camera on this drone is of 720p resolution. It will provide decent aerial footage at an affordable price. Granted it is not of the same level of quality as a DJI drone camera, but it’s pretty close. The main function of the camera is to support the FPV functionality of this drone. The video stream is very responsive with very little latency.

This drone also has a second downward facing camera that is great for taking birds eye view shots. This drone is relatively easy to fly, user friendly, and deserves to be on my best drones under 300 list.

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10. Parrot Bebop Review


(3.0/5)


$147.00
(as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-11-17 at 03:55 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Highly portable
  • Durable design
  • Simple controls

  • Short battery life
  • Limited range
  • No controller

14 MP

22 min Flight Time

90 min Charge

250 m Range

Don’t let the small size of this drone fool you. You will be surprised with just how much performance is packed into this small form factor.

This drone is powered by a 1200mAh LiPo battery that will get you about 11 minutes of flight time. This drone comes with an extra battery which will double your flight time. However, be sure to give the drone a 10-minute rest between flights. This will give the motors a chance to cool down, and will prevent overheating.

The brains of this drone is a P7 dual core CPU, a quad core GPU, and 8 GB of internal flash memory. Its guidance system uses both GPS and GLONASS satellite signals making it more reliable.

The camera housing is made from Styrofoam, while the rest of the body is made from durable plastic. This helps to keep the weight of the drone down, giving it more flying agility. Also, the lightweight material bends and flexes, which makes it more robust to crashes.

The controls are handled by using an app installed on your smartphone, or tablet. Takeoff and landing happens at a push of a button, and steering the drone is done by tilting your phone or tablet. Turn your smart device to the right, and the drone moves to the right. Tilt your smart device back, and the drone moves back.

This drone does not have the range and precision that is found in more expensive drones. However, this drone compensates for this with simplicity, durability, and a very fun flying experience.

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Best Drones Under 300 Infographics

Best Drones Under 300 Summary

4.5

Summary

This price range is perfect for enthusiasts who want something a little more than a beginner’s model and something a little less feature packed and expensive than a professional model. The segment hits the sweet spot for novice drone pilots, ones who have learned the controls and want to master the art of flying a drone. The thrill of flying your own machine is quite unmatched and the more you learn, the more you will want to continue flying.

You will need to know a few basics, such as learning the rules and regulations. It is also imperative that you get your drone registered as soon as you purchase it and most importantly not break any laws. Another thing you need to keep in mind is that these machines are very easy to fly, but they can also crash quite as easily.

Hopefully, this guide will have helped you make your decision a bit easier to pick one of the best drones under 300.

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