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The Ten Best Drones Under 500 – Advanced Fliers

Introduction

Are you looking for drones under $500? If yes then there are plenty of such devices to choose from in the market today which means you don’t have to break the bank to get one. But, which one should you buy?

Although most manufacturers come to you with a pack of promises on the capability of the drones, do they always deliver? Certainly no. This is why you need to know what makes the best drones under 500.

Whether you are new to drones or an experienced user, you have come to the right place to find everything you need to know when looking for the best drones under 500. The guide looks into the most essential factors you need to have in mind to make a great selection.

So, let’s look at these factors.

Best Drones Under 500 Comparison

Name
Camera
Range
Flight Time
Rating
Price
1.
Holy Stone HS700
12 MP
400 m
20 min

4.6/5
$299.99
Read Review
2.
DJI Spark
12 MP
1 km
16 min

4.2/5
$359.00
Read Review
3.
DJI Phantom 2
None
700 m
25 min

3.9/5
$549.00
Read Review
4.
3DR Solo
None
800 m
25 min

3.8/5
from $365.00
Read Review
5.
Upair One Plus
4K
500 m
18 min

3.7/5
$295.99
Read Review
6.
Parrot Bebop 2
14 MP
300 m
25 min

3.6/5
$319.97
Read Review
7.
DYS FPV Racing Drone
CCD FPV
900 m
15 min

3.5/5
$299.99
Read Review
8.
Walkera F210
700 TVL
800 m
5 min

3.7/5
$349.00
Read Review
9.
Hover Camera Passport
4K 30fps
25 m
9 min

3.1/5
$295.00
Read Review
10.
Cheerson CX-20
None
300 m
15 min

3.3/5
$375.49
Read Review
Last Updated 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET -
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 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.

Purpose Of Buying The Drone

What do you intend to use the drone for? Today’s market is filled with various drones each designed for particular functions. Before you settle any drone, you should decide the purpose of buying the drone is it for aerial photography, flying for fun, taking selfies, or racing?

This will allow you to get the best drone in that category of activity you intend to use it for. For instance, selfie drones can take exceptional selfies but they can hardly be operated in a long range. This means that they are not suitable for professional aerial video.

Once you are certain about what to use the drone for, choosing the right type of drone becomes easier.

Camera

Considering that the main purpose f buying a drone is to use it for shooting videos and taking photos, picking one with a high-quality camera is quite crucial. You don’t want to buy a drone that has poor resolution delivering blur images or recordings.

Additionally, is the camera inbuilt or mounted? It is advisable to buy cameras with an inbuilt camera because operating them is easy since you don’t need to mount the camera each time you want to use the drone. Furthermore, such drones are often light which means that they won’t consume a lot of power flying them.

However, the higher the resolution ability of the camera, the costlier the drone. So, if you want to get high-quality videos and images then you should be ready to dig dipper in your pocket.

Controlling Range

This is another feature that you should consider when buying a quad copter. The main objective here is to find a drone with an incredible controlling range, one that you don’t need to stand behind it for it to work.

While controlling drones with excellent controlling range is comfortable, controlling drones with a limited control range of less than 30m can be stressful. If you want a done for shooting videos then you should consider one that can work on long distances.

Regardless of your intended purpose, having a drone with long range control is better than one with short controlling range. This will allow you to use the drone for various purposes instead of being limited to one use.

Availability Of Live Feed

Not all drones come with the live feed feature that allows you to see the recordings live while the drone is in airborne. So, if you need to keep updated as the drone is operating then you need to take this factor into account.

Drones designed with this feature normally transmit the pictures or videos taken through Wi-Fi to your gadget of choice be it a smartphone, tablet or computer. This means that you also need to have a good gadget to enable you to view the shooting live from where you are positioned.

The key advantage of drones with the live feed feature is that they don’t depend on your SD card in recording the footage. You won’t have to keep creating space in the SD card anytime you want to use the drone.

Battery Life

How long can the drone stay powered? This is the question you need to answer when assessing if the drone is suitable to fit your intended use. If it has a short battery life then you will have a hard time using it since you will need to stay near a power source to keep charging it.

However, one with an incredible battery life is suitable because it will ensure that you complete your task. But, drones with long battery life could be expensive. If you are on a tight budget then you should look for alternatives like buying spare batteries so that you can swap them once one if drained.

The battery’s charging time is also another factor that you should consider. How long does it take to get the battery fully charged? To avoid inconveniences, you should consider one that takes the least time to get fully charges as this will save you a considerable amount of time.

Design

The design of the drone is an important factor to consider for various reasons. First, flying is delicate and the design of the drone will determine the hassle in movement and stability once the drone is in the air.

Furthermore, the design of the drone affects its control-ability. Always pick a drone that can easily balance to avoid difficulties in controlling the drone when using it.

You should also consider its weight and dimensions because the heavier it is, the more power it will consume when flying. That greatly affects the battery life alongside the flying time.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that weight affects the battery life, heavier drones do well than lighter ones. The heavier ones withstand the wind without losing control when they are flying.

Best Drones Under 500 Reviews

1. Holy Stone HS700 Review


(4.6/5)


$299.99
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 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.
  • Intelligent Flight Control
  • Great build quality
  • Good flight time

  • No 3-axis gimbal
  • No speed flight mode
  • No collision avoidance

The Holy Stone HS700 is a great drone for both beginners, as well as for professionals. This drone is not foldable like the DJI Mavic but is portable enough to be able to take with you. The body of this quadcopter is formed from high grade plastic, with metal propeller holders. Even after a few crashes, you’ll find this drone is able to handle the impacts with only a few scratches.

This drone comes equipped with a 12 MP 1080p camera with a 120-degree wide angle lens which can be manually adjusted to 90 degrees. You can take images at 1920 x 1080 resolution, and video at 1080p at 25 frames per second. The brushless motors provide for very stable flying, which reduces image jitter. The motors also provide greater power, with less noise.

The intelligent flight modes available on this drone makes it very easy to fly, especially for beginners. The smart GPS allows for smooth and accurate flight control. You will fun with the Follow Me, Waypoint, and Point of Interest flight modes. This drone comes packed with features that make it very suited for taking aerial photos and videos. Due to its weight, this drone can withstand wind speeds up to 25 km/h upwind, and 60 km/h downwind.

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2. DJI Spark Review


(4.2/5)


$359.00
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 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.
  • Gesture control
  • Compact design
  • Smart flight modes

  • Short flight times
  • Limited range
  • Dated camera

The DJI Spark is small but packs a lot of features within. Unlike the Mavic Pro, the limbs do not fold into the body, but the propellers can be folded. The drone doesn’t have landing gear, but more like stubby feet. The build quality is incredible, but not surprising from DJI. Its main body is very dense, and most of the fuselage is molded from one solid piece of plastic.

If you don’t feel like using the controller, you can use gestures to control its movement. After the drone scans your face, it will take off from the palm of your hand. By waving in certain ways, you can make the move drone move, and command it take a selfie of you. You can also pass control to your friends. You can also fly the drone indoors.

This amazing drone has intuitive controls, a compact design, and relatively low price point. The gesture controls are cool but require a bit of practice to get the hang of it. The short flight times do necessitate having a few extra batteries. You’ll be satisfied with the captured images due to the two-axis gimbal and electronic image stabilization. This mostly eliminates vibrations caused by windy flying conditions.

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3. DJI Phantom 2 Review


(3.9/5)


$549.00
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 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.
  • Great flying time
  • Precise flight performance
  • Intelligent orientation control

  • No camera included
  • Not newbie friendly
  • No collision avoidance

If you are looking for a drone to be able to flips and tricks, you should select another drone. The DJI Phantom 2 is meant for taking some amazing aerial photos and videos. You will be surprised by its speed, since some have managed to crash the drone into walls and trees. The build quality of DJI drones is above all else. This drone is made of high-quality plastic and is highly durable. The props are elastic which makes them less likely to get damaged.

This drone does not come with a camera, but it does offer a good gimbal which provides for improved image stabilization. This gimbal can carry a GoPro or a Hero camera. The drone battery is high capacity, allowing increased flight times of up to 25 minutes. The integrated battery compartment allows you to swap the battery quickly.

The smart flight features include GPS navigation, and a return to home feature. This allows you to focus more on the footage you are taking, instead of worrying about flying. The drone is also robust to wind gusts, improving stability. This drone offers the same performance as more expensive models but has a lower price and is probably more durable.

Want to know more about the DJI Phantom 2 ?

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4. 3DR Solo Review


(3.8/5)


from $365.00
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:43 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:43 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.
  • Simple, intuitive controls
  • Autonomous flight modes
  • Durable design survives falls

  • Requires mobile device to fly
  • Long recharge times
  • No collision avoidance

Capturing aerial photos and videos is made much easier with the advancement of current drone technology. You will need to practice a bit with a drone to capture professional looking shots. The 3DR Solo drone was designed to address this deficiency. This drone comes equipped with several smart flight features that are included to make drone flying smoother, and easier.

This drone has not only one processor, but two to improve its processing ability. One CPU is in the controller, and another is on the drone. This allows distributed processing allowing the drone CPU to focus on flight stability, and not navigation.

This drone does not come with a camera but is designed to carry a GoPro camera. 3DR worked with GoPro to provide a unique integrated camera control in the flight controller that lets you change all camera settings.

The autonomous flight features make this drone easy to fly and allows the capture of amazing aerial photos. A beginner pilot will appreciate the simple controller layout and easy learning curve. The cable cam, selfie, and follow me modes are straightforward to understand. The drone handles all flight control which allows you to focus on capturing the perfect shot.

Want to know more about the 3DR Solo ?

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5. UPair One Plus Review


(3.7/5)


$295.99
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 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.
  • Takes great photos
  • Excellent range
  • Durable construction

  • Hard to remove battery
  • No collision avoidance
  • Affected by winds

The Upair One drone is a full-sized drone that comes with a 4K camera. This drone is low priced, but it comes with GPS navigation, an HD camera, and an image stabilizing gimbal. The picture quality does have some fisheye effect but can be cleared up with post-processing.

The drone does come ready-to-fly, and you won’t have to attach the camera or assemble the gimbal. This drone is a good low-cost option to purchasing a DJI Phantom. This drone does have a dual compass, eliminating the need to go through a calibration process. Also, the controller has a built-in display, so you don’t need to use a smartphone or a tablet.

The follow me mode, auto take-off, and landing, and route planning functions make this drone easy to fly, especially for beginners.

If you like the form and design of the Phantom drones, but it’s not in your budget, then this drone is for you. It does not have the same performance as the Phantom series, but this drone has many more features than other comparable drones at the same price point. This feature-rich drone is definitely worth it.

Want to know more about the Upair One Plus ?

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6. Parrot Bebop 2 Review


(3.6/5)


$319.97
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 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.
  • Great battery life
  • Stable flight performance
  • FPV accessories work well

  • Video is glitchy at distance
  • Fisheye camera effects
  • Autonomous functions cost extra

The Parrot Bebop 2 is a smartphone controlled drone with a high resolution camera allowing for video recording at 1080p resolution. The Bebop 2 has a robust design, and a larger capacity battery over its predecessor. The fuselage is almost entirely plastic, except for some deformable material surrounding the camera. Each rotor has 3 flexible blades and can be removed.

This drone is not a single solid unit, but two parts that are connected by a set of shock absorbing rubber balls. The camera housing and electronics is affixed to these balls, allowing a reduction of image vibration. The lower mass of the drone means it is affected by strong winds. The Bebop 2 is highly responsive when flying and is capable of some very fast turns.

You control this drone by using your smartphone, along with the drone app for iOS or Android. Your drone connects to your smart device via Wifi and a set of controls appear on the touchscreen. You can also activate the FPV feature to see the drone’s viewpoint. This provides for a highly immersive flying experience. This feature does cost extra but makes this drone fun to fly.

Want to know more about the Parrot Bebop 2 ?

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7. DYS FPV Racing Drone Review


(3.5/5)


$299.99
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:43 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:43 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.
  • Fast and agile
  • Complete FPV kit
  • Great looking design

  • Battery not included
  • Short range on goggles
  • Low flight time

This FPV racing drone is built to fly fast, but also built to last. The reinforced carbon fiber frame makes it able to withstand the occasional crash. The red cover gives the drone a sleek aerodynamic look and protects the camera and other components. Unlike many other racing drones, this quadcopter clean wiring and a good build quality. If you do manage to break or damage a propeller, there are extras included.

This drone serves as a racer, and an acrobatic drone. You won’t be disappointed by its performance. The powerful brushless motors give you plenty of performance. If you are looking to get into FPV racing, but do not have the time to build your own drone, then the DYS is a great choice for you. Be aware that this drone is not ready to fly, and you will need to buy a battery. Go for a 4S battery for some extra power. This drone is not a drone and should not be your first drone.

To get the full FPV experience, this drone also comes with goggles. These are fairly basic goggles, but will get the job done. You may want to consider upgrading the antenna to increase the range since the goggles do not have the same long range as the transmitter. This is a fantastic all-in-one FPV drone package.

Want to know more about the DYS FPV Racing Drone ?

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8. Walkera F210 Review


(3.7/5)


$349.00
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 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.
  • Excellent control range
  • Solid construction
  • FPV video feed

  • Low flight time
  • Not for beginners
  • Rough design

Walkera F210 features a modular design making everything plug-and-play compatible. This makes the slotted ESC’s slotted pin system to connect to the main power board. This avoids the need for unsightly wires. The racer is placed 210 mm between the motor shafts. This model features 5-inch props. The frame is made of carbon fiber and the frontal parts are made of aluminum. This prevents parts from falling apart after crashing.

F210 features three flight modes. These are advanced, intermediate and stabilize. The default stabilizes mode is great for beginners who are learning to control the drone. The intermediate mode can perform a number of impressive rolls. You can use the advanced mode after gaining enough experience. It is recommended for racing championships. Experts can switch between any of these modes.

The Walkera F210 looks compact and durable. It is agile, stable, fast and can be controlled easily. The LED lights and beeping sounds offer a seamless flying experience. It has a powerful battery which lasts long. Charging accessories are also provided. The camera captures more details even in dark and cloudy areas. There are multiple modes compatible with different lighting conditions.

You can choose from two reliable controllers. This drone is very responsive and allows you to perform different stunts. It also covers travels a long distance. F210 comes in three packages which are easy to install and use. This sleek and powerful FPV drone is worth the investment.

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9. Hover Camera Passport Review


(3.1/5)


$295.00
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 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.
  • Ultra portable design
  • Prop guards
  • Built-in flash

  • Only 30 fps video
  • Limited image stabilization
  • Short range

This drone is specifically designed for taking selfies and follow footage. It features a unique foldable design which is purpose-built to fit inside your backpack or purse. The hover drone comes with a decent camera that shoots videos in 4K, photos in 13 megapixels, and has a built-in flash. Its most striking feature is its image recognition software that allows it to sense and track you. Also, this feature allows the drone to maintain its position in space without the need for GPS. The brains of this drone include the Snapdragon processor.

The drone is designed for portability by folding in half like a book. The drone electronics are enclosed within the spine, and the propellers are enclosed in carbon fiber cages. These protect the propellers from damage due to run-ins with obstacles. Also, the cages protect the drone pilot from the spinning blades, which allows it to launch safely out of your hands or be able to safely grab the drone while its flying. The increased safety makes this drone more approachable and inviting to use, without fear of potentially harming people or property.

This is one of the few selfie drones that has a built-in flash. This makes it great for taking selfies or group photos. The robust design will allow this drone to last you a good number of years.

Want to know more about the Hover Camera Passport ?

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10. Cheerson CX-20 Review


(3.3/5)


$375.49
(as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-12-15 at 19:23 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 stable drone
  • Good flight modes
  • RTF and affordable

  • Low landing skids
  • Easy to lose orientation
  • Slightly fragile

The Cheerson CX-20 is a professional looking drone which features great build quality, design, and features. This drone has a good range, decent flight time, and simple controls that even beginners can easily master. The main body is built from ABS plastic, which gives it a good degree of durability. The landing gears on this drone make it able to withstand relatively hard touchdowns.

This drone does not come with a camera but comes with a mount that is compatible with the GoPro camera. There are high intensity LED lights that are helpful in low-light conditions, and for a night flight to guide the orientation of the drone. This drone is only available in the color white.

This drone has smooth forward, backward, and sidewards transitions. It flies well, even in windy conditions. You will find this drone easy to fly and responsive. This drone does not have a high top speed and is built more for stable, gentle flight stability instead of speed. There is a great low battery feature which protects your drone in case of low power. The return to home feature is great for beginners because it allows you to bring the quad back to you at the press of a button.

Want to know more about the Cheerson CX-20 ?

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Best Drones Under 500 Summary

4.6

Summary

Drones are gaining popularity with lots of improvements in quality and affordability. Today, it is possible to get a suitable drone that is within your budget. This means that you don’t have to overspend to get the perfect drone, just look for one that has the features that you need.

When looking for the best drones under 500, these are some of the essential factors that you need to consider to get an excellent device. If you do it right by following this guide then you will end up with an outstanding device that will hardly disappoint you.

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