Drones have the power to help you make more of every adventure you take. Just flying a drone is an adventure in and of itself!
Are you a beginner to the drone world? If so, getting a drone fit for a beginner is all you need to get started, so you won’t need to spend more than 200 dollars.
Basic drone models give you flight without fear of breaking a very expensive piece of equipment.
Best Drones Under 200 2017
Our review experts have looked through dozens of drones, and these 10 stand out as the best drones under 200 dollars for beginners. To make your decision easier, check out our Buyer’s Guidefor a better understanding of what drone features there are to consider.
|Brand/Model||Camera||Flight Range||Flight Time|
|Force Blue Jay||2MP||100 m||8 mins|
|Holy Stone F181||0.5MP||70 m||8 mins|
|DBPOWER MJX X400W||0.3MP||100 m||10 mins|
|DBPOWER UDI U842||720p||80 m||6-9 mins|
|UDI U818A||0.5MP||70 m||7 mins|
|MJX Bugs 3||Gopro||300-500 m||15-18 mins|
|Holy Stone HS200 FPV||2MP||100- 120 m||7-9 mins|
|Holy Stone HS300||5MP||150 m||10 mins|
|Kidcia||0.5MP||100 m||9 mins|
|DJI Spark||12MP||2 km||16 mins|
Force 1 U45W Blue Jay – Best FPV Drone
The main draw of this drone is the great FPV settings. The first-person-view syncs with either your smartphone or a VR headset, and you can watch the world from the drone cockpit after syncing. This FPV is easy to ease, and it’s intuitive for smartphone users.
The Blue Jay has a built-in HD camera. It can capture 720p photos and videos with a 2MP camera. It’s even possible to do 360° views with this camera, which is great for VR users. Photos can be saved directly to your synced phone; videos save to the memory card.
The Blue Jay is very beginner friendly because of the easy, custom controls. It’s possible to auto-hover after takeoff and land gently with just one button push. You can also draw a custom route on your smartphone, and your drone will fly the route itself.
Like many drones in this price range, the batteries leave much to be desired. While you should get 8 minutes of flight time when the drone is new, these batteries may wear out after a few uses and will need to be replaced. The Blue Jay comes with two batteries and an extra power pack.
If you want a high-quality FPV drone, this is the right choice. Even as a beginner, hooking this drone up to your phone is easy so that you can get a cockpit experience. Fly around and see everything as it happens with the Force 1 U45W Blue Jay drone.
Holy Stone F181 – Best Beginner Controls & Durability
The next drone to check out is the Holy Stone F181, usually just known as the F181. This drone with a built-in camera has a number of controls that make it easy to control, even if this is your first time flying a drone. Even if you wreck it, it should keep flying.
The controls that this drone comes with are very easy for beginners to use. You can fly the drone in four different modes – from 25% to 100% – to fit every level. Headless mode also helps beginners keep their drone under control.
The F181 is very durable; it can stand up to a number of bumps and crashes. This is ideal for the beginner and intermediate drone pilot who are still learning to do tricks and fly. The kit also comes with extra propellers.
The battery charges in about 80 minutes, and the F181 comes standard with two batteries, which is great for when you won’t want to stop flying after just 8 minutes of flight time. The transmitter has its own set of batteries which you will also need to replace as needed.
One potential drawback of this drone is the camera quality. While you can capture videos and photos, the quality isn’t sufficient for semi-professional aerial video. Still, the camera is very easy to use and great for beginners.
When looking for a drone that will stand up to you learning how to fly it, try the F181 by Holy Stone. This is a holy grail product among beginner drone users because of how easy it is to learn to fly. The controls will help teach you how to fly, and it’s a difficult drone to break.
DBPOWER MJX X400W – Great Drone For Recreational Fun
What makes this drone great for the new, recreational drone pilot is its durability. You’re going to crash when you first learn to control your drone, and this drone can take that damage well. There are even spare rotors included so you can replace anything that gets bent.
Another nice aspect of this recreational drone is that it has a good range. The drone will fly without issue at up to 100m in open areas, and you can expect up to 50 to 60m in busier areas. If you are using the FPV or flying at night, the transmission distance will be reduced.
The manual gives a great explanation of how to use this drone. Reading it will teach you how to sync the drone with the controller, how to use the controls, and how to sync the controller to your phone or headset. All of this is easy to do with the detailed instructions DBPOWER.
One negative of this recreational drone is the camera quality. Capturing visuals at only 0.3MP, you cannot expect high-quality images. Still, you can enjoy seeing what your drone sees despite it not being the best among drones with camera options.
Easy-to-control and easy-to-fly, this drone is great for those who want to try out the hobby of drone flying without spending a lot of money. For recreational purposes, this drone has everything you need.
DBPOWER UDI U842 – Best Beginner Drone
If you are a beginner or intermediate pilot looking to work on your drone control skills, the DBPOWER UDI U842 is the right drone for you. This model exceeds many other of the best drones under 200 for its flying control, intuitive design, and overall performance.
The learning curve on this drone is very short. Once you power it up and review the controls, you’ll be able to pilot it in no time. While you might crash at first, your number of crashes will reduce quickly. There are different modes for beginners and more advanced learners to fly in.
Another great feature for beginners is how rugged this drone is. You’re going to crash it from time to time, and this drone can take a beating. It is rather large but still lightweight, so it doesn’t fall apart when you have to let it drop.
The U842 has LED night lights on the nose. This helps you to enjoy flying at night and still be able to orient which direction you are flying in. Plus, the lights look cool!
One big drawback of the U842 drone is how long it takes the batteries to charge. Most drone batteries take between 70 and 100 minutes, but this battery takes 150 minutes to charge. Still, backup batteries are available, and you get around 9 minutes of flight time for each battery.
The best beginner drone is, without a doubt, the UDI U842 by DBPOWER. The controls on this drone are easy to understand and will help you learn how to work a drone. Using this model is fun and practical for users of all experience levels.
UDI U818A – Best Value Bundle Deal
UDI makes a fantastic drone known as the U818A. While the controls on this drone are worth mentioning, the best thing is all the add-ons. This model comes as a great value bundle, making it one of the best drones under 100.
The bundle comes with all the power you need: two batteries, an external power bank and a two battery charger. Plus, you get four extra drone blades, a 4GB SD card, and an SD card reader. All of these add-ons are necessary for the new drone pilot.
This model has great maneuverability thanks to the 6-axis gyro feature. The gyro provides extra stability and wind resistance while also making the drone easier to control. Headless mode also helps to make directing the drone very simple.
Another reason this is such a great value drone is because it is durable. Even if you run it into trees or expose it to elements such as snow, it will keep running. It is great for the hobbyist who wants to learn to fly without worrying about ruining their drone.
The wind can be a big issue with this model because it is so light. If the wind is stronger than 5 MPH, cross winds might carry this model out of range, and you will lose control. One great way to fix potential wind problems is to always reset the gyro before flying.
Purchasing the UDI U818A drone is a great value buy. For a small price, you get a durable drone with a lot of extra parts and batteries. Everything the hobbyist needs is included with this set.
MJX Bugs 3 – Best Flying Time
The real draw of this drone is it’s lengthy flight time. Without a camera attached, this drone can fly for 18 to 20 minutes. With a camera, it will fly for between 13 and 16 minutes. On top of that, the drone comes with a backup battery.
Another nice aspect of this drone is the long range it has. At peak performance, the drone can fly up to 500m. You can reach these distances when in open areas. The transmitter has a feature to indicate when the drone is nearly out of range so you can pull it back.
The MJX Bugs 3 has an amazing brushless motor. This prevents excess friction within the parts, helping the motor last longer. Since you may be mounting an expensive camera on this drone, the reliability from the brushless motor is very important.
On negative of this particular drone is that there is no included camera. Rather than a camera, this drone sports a camera holder. This is good and bad. You can choose what camera quality you want and attach it to the drone, such as Gopro, but that will be at your own additional expense.
If you’re looking for a drone that can fly far and for a long time, this is the right choice. Many beginner drones cannot fly for more than 8 minutes. This drone nearly doubles both flight time and range from other sub-200 models.
Holy Stone HS200 FPV – Best Budget Drone
In terms of budget, the Holy Stone HS200 FPV drone is top among the best drones under 200. This drone does not cost much, but it still has many features that every recreational drone pilot will want to try out.
Many drones at this low of a price point do not have FPV, first person view, capabilities. This drone does. All you do is sync your phone or VR goggles to the drone, and you can experience the cockpit view. This feature is very easy to use and makes piloting more fun.
The HS200 comes equipped with extra features that are great for beginner and intermediate pilots. One button take-off is possible with this drone. Simply push the button, and it will hover at 3 feet above the ground, awaiting more commands.
Durability is not an issue with the HS200. This drone can stand up to many crashes, and it even comes for a few extra props just in case. Since the drone is light, high drops do not cause heavy damage. Your fun won’t end with a broken drone.
This drone kit does not come with any extra batteries, so you will have to buy your own. Buying at least three extra batteries and a high-quality charger will be enough to make sure you can extend your drone fun.
The HS200 is a drone that can be crashed time and time again, and it will still work. The FPV makes it a very fun drone to pilot. Every beginner on a budget will have a blast with this drone.
Holy Stone HS300 – Best Camera Drone
The real draw of this drone is the impressive camera capable of creating nice aerial footage.The 5MP camera can record 1080p videos at 30fps. The camera also features a 120-degree wide angle lens for the best panoramic shots.
This drone has a decent flight time at 8 to 12 minutes, and the drone comes with a backup battery so you do not need to purchase one. Depending on local interference, this means that you can fly for between 20 and 30 minutes without needing to recharge anything.
The HS300 is larger and heavier than other drones under 200. This weight helps the drone compete with stronger winds and stand up to damage. Some of that weight is in the propeller guards and landing gear, which help the durability.
Despite its nice camera, this drone does not offer FPV (first person view). You cannot see what your drone is seeing, which can make filming hard. It is, however, possible to swap the camera out for one with WiFi capabilities to fix this issue if you need FPV.
If you are on a tight budget and want to create cool aerial shots, this is the drone for you. The impressive camera and reliable performance are all the beginner drone photographer needs to get started.
Kidcia – Best Portable Drone
The Kidcia has a nice, lightweight design with foldable arms. You can make it very compact by folding in the propeller, and then this is easy to bring along on any trip. You don’t even need the main controller; the drone can be controlled from your phone on its own.
Another cool feature you’ll only find with the Kidcia is the Gravity Sensor feature. This feature syncs the drone to move in the same way that your phone moves. Simply move your phone in the desired direction, and the drone will follow along.
The battery life on this drone is better than many others at this price point, though it still isn’t the number one option. You can fly the drone for 10 plus minutes without issue. With an extra battery or two, you’ll be able to fly to your heart’s content.
One big negative on this model is the camera quality. At only 0.5MPs, the quality of any video and photos captured will not be very good. Still, the camera can be used for FPV viewing via the app on a phone, which is a nice touch.
The Kidcia quadcopter has foldable arms, making it the most portable drone at this price point. Use it to explore the world and learn how to fly, anywhere you go.
DJI Spark – Best Premium Drone
Our reviewers know that this drone may be over your budget, but if you have the money for it, this is the drone to go for. DJI is the number one consumer drone company, and this drone is great for beginners at a reasonable price for its premier features.
The Spark has a maximum speed of 31MPH, and the 2-axis gimbal will keep the camera still enough for nice aerial shots at those speeds. The stabilization is impressive on such a small model, and you can expect smooth shots.
QuickShot is one of the best features this drone has. This feature helps you get the best aerial shots, such as circling the substance or rapidly rocketing into the air. You can also use ActiveTrack to follow your subjects with less effort.
When using your phone, this drone can fly to an impressive range of 100m. If you are using the dedicated controller, you can reach up to 1.2 km, which is a huge distance for such a small drone.
One negative of this model is that you cannot take full advantage of all of the modes and features without buying the dedicated controller. Still, controlling the drone is easy with your phone until you decide to advance to the controller.
The DJI Spark isn’t the number one drone from DJI, but it is a drone to be reckoned with. The features it squeezes into its compact size are impressive, and any pilot would have a lot to enjoy with this drone.
The best drones under 200 can offer the beginner and intermediate drone pilot a unique experience. These drones are easier to fly than cheaper or more expensive drones because of their simplified but sturdy features. Additionally, they have enough durability to let you learn how to fly, even if you crash a few times.
Still, choosing one product out of many can be difficult. So, our buyer’s guide will break down the major features seen among the best drones.
Expected Features Of Drones In This Price Range
Most drones that cost less than 200 will be equipped with the following features:
- Take HD Photos & Videos
- First Person View: You can see the drone’s point of view from a controller.
- Acrobatics: The drones can do flips and rolls. Not fast enough to race.
Camera & Camera Quality
One reason that many beginners and intermediates use drones is to capture impressive photos or videos. When choosing between drones with camera features, you should check out the camera specs.
The first thing to note is that not all drones have built-in cameras. Some only have the space for a camera, and you must add one action camera yourself. This can be an added expense in terms of both time and money.
Most beginners will want to go with a drone that has a built-in camera. Most built-in cameras have limited photo and video quality.
Always check the specs of the camera on the drones you are looking at. You will want to check the megapixel rating of the camera and also what video settings it can record in. The best drones will have a gimbal to stabilize any images or video taken while the drone is flying.
Flight time of the most expensive drones can last for more than 25 or 30 minutes, but sub-200 drones will never be able to fly for that long. You can expect average batteries in these drones to last for between 7 and 12 minutes of flight time.
Buy backup batteries and have them all fully charged. When initial flight time is up, change to the next set to play with your drone longer without needing to recharge anything.
Another important feature to consider is the range that the drone can cover. Range is how far the drone can fly from the controller.
While models at the top end of this price point many be able to fly up to 500 meters, most will top out around 100 meters. How many meters do you want to cover with your drone? Decide this, and then narrow your selections.
What Are So-Called FPV Drones?
Some drones are known as FPV Drones. This means that you have FPV, or first person view, while controlling them.
FPV drones may show you FPV on the controller, or you may be able to experience this view via an app. Either way, you get the real cockpit experience along with your drone.
If you get a non-FPV drone, you won’t have a first person view. You won’t be able to see what the drone is seeing in real time since there is no display.
Personal preference dictates whether or not you should look for an FPV drone. However, many beginner and intermediate drone pilots find FPV to be the most exciting part of flying.
All of these drones work if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck as a beginner. You don’t need more than a basic drone when you are first taking flight, and all of these drones will give you hours of fun without spending too much money.
As you become a more skilled drone pilot, you can upgrade to a more expensive device such as the DJI Spark , as this drone is suited for the experienced beginner who wants to try out more advanced features.
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