When it comes to buying a drone, the first thing you need to consider is budget. While the highest quality drones cost thousands of dollars, you can still get a decent model on a more modest budget. So, how do you go about finding the best drones under $200?
What to expect in a drone under $200
One of the main things drone buyers look to is the camera quality. Most drones in the $100 to $200 price range offer HD camera capabilities, but things like camera stability can vary greatly. There’s also a lot of variety when it comes to video transmission range, as some drones can film footage from much further away from the controller than others.
Another important thing is how easy the drone is to fly. Lots of people buying drones under $200 are beginners, so you want to look for drones with intelligent flying features that make it easy to get to grips with. You may also want a drone you can control via a mobile app to make things even easier.
Then there are the fundamentals. Things like battery life, safety features, size, durability, flight speed, wind resistance – the list goes on. Many people like to go for mini drones as you can fly them without needing the license that many areas require for larger drones.
The best drones under $200
We know that going through the countless drones out there are comparing all these specs is a pain – which is why we’ve done it for you!
Whether you’re looking for the best camera under $200 or a top racing drone, we’re sure you’ll find a suitable model from our carefully selected list.
Ryze Tech Tello – Best Drone Under $200 for Coding Education
- Price: $99 — Available on Amazon here
Ryze collaborated with drone kings DJI to make this fantastic low-cost drone. All DJI models are way above the $200 range, but with the Tech Tello you can enjoy DJI quality for much less.
It has an HD camera that captures 5MP photos and HD720 videos, with an advanced Intel-14 core processor which produces incredibly clear footage. We also really like the EZ shots function, which makes it easy to capture professional-grade images and video and instantly share them on social media.
The Tech Tello also has some nice smart flight features that make it perfect for beginners. For example, you can simply lift it into the air from your hand for take-off, and you can even use hand gestures to control the camera. You can also easily perform tricks like 8D flips using the Tello app.
One of the more unique aspects of the Tech Tello is that it’s the perfect drone under $200 if you’re interested in programming. This is because it’s compatible with Tello Edu, a programming app that supports Scratch.
Through the Tello Edu app, you can control the drone simply by dragging coding blocks. This makes it an ideal drone for programming students.
Perhaps the only downside to the Tello is a relatively short 13 minutes flight time, although it’s understandable given the drone’s low price.
Altair AA108 – Best Drone Under $200 for Kids
- Price: $129 — Available on Amazon here
If you’re looking for the best drones under $200 for kids, then the Altair AA108 is definitely worth considering.
This drone is specifically designed for young fliers that are looking for a higher quality model than the cheap toy drones you can get for under $100. It has several features which make it suitable for children and new fliers.
For example, the smart flight features make it super easy to fly. With the headless mode, you can fly the drone without having to worry which side is front-facing, while the altitude hold mode sees the drone hover steadily in the air. There’s also one-key take-off and landing to make things as simple as possible.
We also have a ranking of the best drones for kids.
You can also use the Altair app to draw custom flight paths that the drone will then follow. Alternatively, you can control it using the included remote controller. We also like that this drone has three different levels. Level 1 is best for kids and beginners, while the higher levels offer increased speed for more experienced users.
The Altair AA108 has a 120-degree wide-angle camera that captures photos and videos in 720P HD quality.
You can use this drone for 10 minutes at a time and it has a range of 100m. It has some nice safety features, including an out-of-range alarm, low battery alarm, and emergency landing function to help you avoid crashes.
Emax Tinyhawk 2 – Best Beginner Racing Drone Under $200
- Price: $152 — Available on Amazon here
Not everyone searching for the best drones for under $200 is primarily interested in aerial photography and videography. Many are actually looking for racing drones that can be used in competitive races.
If you fall into this category, we recommend checking out the Emax Tinyhawk 2. This is a really impressive little racing drone that’s very popular among amateur racers.
It boasts a Runcam Nano 2 camera which has a great dynamic range and sharp optics. Thanks to the adjustable amount, you can easily customize the camera angle to capture images and video from different perspectives.
The transmission system offers various options for video transmission, including 25mw, 100mw, and 250mw. The first is ideal for capturing footage indoors, while the latter two are better suited to outdoor recording with improved range and object penetration.
With 16000kv motors, the Emax Tinyhawk 2 offers plenty of power and speed despite its small size. The frame is well designed for optimal aerodynamics and durability, so it’s well suited to maneuvring tight angles during races and is crash-resistant.
The fact that this drone has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon from over 300 reviews backs up what we’re saying – this is by far one of the top-rated racing drones under $200.
Altair 818 Hornet – Beginner-Friendly Drone Under $200
- Price: $159 — Available on Amazon here
Altair is a popular manufacturer of low price drones and the 818 Hornet is a great example of why.
This is a high-quality camera drone that has 720p photography capabilities. The 120-degree wide-angle HD camera allows you to take professional-looking photos and videos from a bird’s eye view.
You can control the drone and camera using a smartphone or tablet via the Altair app. The drone has a flight range of 150m, and you can control the camera from up to 60m away. It’s a very stable drone with good balance even in windy conditions, so you can capture steady footage.
There are also some fantastic features that make this drone a pleasure to use. These include one-touch takeoff and landing, headless mode, and altitude hold. Thanks to these features, it’s easy to fly the 818 Hornet even if you’re a complete beginner.
We also have a ranking of the best drones for beginners.
In fact, this drone has three skill levels, so you can choose the level based on your experience. The higher levels offer more speed and maneuverability.
The Altair 818 Hornet is also a great choice if you’re looking for a drone with a long flying time, as you can use it for 30 minutes at a time. This is thanks to the fact it uses two batteries that offer 15 minutes of flight time each. That’s a really good length of time for a drone in this price range.
Overall, we think this is one of the top camera drones under $200 for budding photographers.
JJRC X5 Epik – GPS Functionality & 40 Minutes Flight Time
- Price: $169 — Available on Amazon here
With a high-quality camera, intelligent flying capabilities, and long battery life, the JJRC X5 Epik is a drone that certainly offers value for money.
It has a 2K FHD, 90-degree adjustable camera which you can adjust via the remote controller. The camera is capable of 5G WiFi high-speed image transmission for recording stunning videos from up to 300m away, which is really impressive for a drone under $200.
The Epik is a good choice if you’re looking for a drone with GPS positioning. This provides you with accurate positioning details of your drone when flying long-range, and it also enables automatic return, low power return, and no signal return.
We also like this drone’s intelligent flight features, such as the follow me mode. This uses GPS positioning to make sure the drone follows you as you move and points the camera at you. It also has a point of interest mode, where the drone circles around the subject. It also has functions like one key take/off landing and altitude hold for simple flying.
This is a powerful drone, with upgraded 2204 1500KV brushless motors. These offer plenty of force and stability while in the air, but also ensure that the drone flies quietly. The powerful motors mean the drone performs well even in cold weather.
The X5 Epik offers 40 minutes of flight time, which is a lot longer than even in many more expensive drones.
- Price: $189 — Available on Amazon here
With a 4.5 star rating from over 100 reviews, the Contixo F30 is one of the best drones under $200 with a camera and GPS.
When you take a look at this drone’s specs, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. For starters, it has a 120-degree wide-angle 4K UHD camera which produces crystal clear photos, and 4K video at 3840 x 2160p.
You can enjoy a whole range of intelligent flying features if you download the Contixo app. These include GPS follow me, altitude hold, and point of interest modes, and you can also design custom flight routes. These allow you to capture cinematic footage from a range of angles and perspectives.
It has a range of 762m, and thanks to the intelligent return to home function, you never have to worry about losing the drone if it runs low on battery or if you accidentally fly out of range. There are two different speed grades which you can choose based on your experience level.
The Contixo F30 has a compact design with foldable arms, so it’s easy to transport and comes with a protective carrying case. It weighs less than 250g, so you can fly it without FAA registration. You can fly it for 32 minutes at a time.
Hubsan H122D X4 Storm FPV Racing Drone – Best Racing Drone Under $200
- Price: $199 — Available on Amazon here
While we picked the Emax Tinyhawk 2 as the best beginner racing drone under $200, we think the Hubsan H122D X4 is perfect if you’re a slightly more experienced drone racer. Capable of reaching speeds up to 5.6m/s and descent speeds of 2m/s, this drone has plenty of speed.
It’s also a small, compact, and lightweight racing drone which 3.7-inch x 3.7-inch dimensions. This makes it very easy to carry around, but the impressively manufactured carbon fiber frame means the drone is still durable despite its small size.
One of our favorite things about this drone is that there are different modes for beginners and more experienced fliers. With the expert mode, you can fly the drone faster and with higher sensitivity, so you can slowly build up as you practice and develop your racing skills.
We also have a ranking of the best racing drones.
For photos and videos, the H122D X4 has a 720P camera that can capture clear footage. It has a 45-degree adjustable lens as well as real-time FPV video capabilities and 5.8G real-time transmission. Another particularly cool feature is that it comes with a pair of FPV goggles that let you see the world through your drone.
As well as racing, you can perform tricks like flips and rolls with this drone with just one key. You can fly it for around six minutes at a time.
Syma X500 – Overall Best Drone with HD Camera Under $200
- Price: $199 — Available on Amazon here
The Syma X500 is our pick for the best camera drone under $200.
It has a really impressive 4K UHD camera with a 120-degree wide-angle lens and 90-degree vertical gimbal movement. This allows you to capture high-resolution shots with greater dynamic range and from a variety of different perspectives.
Like most of the best drones under $200, the Syma X500 has one-key take-off and landing, headless mode, and altitude hold mode for easy flying. It also has GPS functionality, meaning you can set the drone to follow you as it flies and have it automatically return to home if the signal is weak or your battery is low.
With the Syma app, you can draw your own routes by plotting points which the drone will then follow. You can also control the drone with hand gestures.
As this mini drone weighs just 250g – not much more than a standard smartphone – you don’t have to worry about registering with the FAA before you fly it. Another nice feature of this drone is the rechargeable controller, meaning you don’t need to worry about replacing batteries.
This drone has two batteries which offer 28 minutes of flying time each, meaning in total you can use the Syma X500 for 56 minutes at a time! This is a seriously impressive flying time for a drone in this price range and makes it the best long-range drone under $200.