Cheap Drones For Beginners Table of Contents
- FAQ’s For Cheap Drones
- #1 Cheap Beginner (10 Minute Flight – $129)
- #1 Inexpensive Beginner Drone (15 Minutes – $170)
- #1 Affordable Long Range Blackhawk Drone (300 Meters $119)
- Cheap Camera Drones
- Cheap FPV Drones
- Best Cheap Mini – Micro Drones
We get a lot of comments here at Dronethusiast of people who are looking for drones for beginners. Before you upgrade to a professional level drone that captures amazing footage and performs professional maneuvers, it can be a good idea to practice with one of these cheap beginner drones that did not cost you nearly as much.
Now that we’re into the first few months of the year, many consumers are searching for the cheap drones, and the offerings as of late are much more plentiful then they were just a year or two ago. Various manufacturers are giving it a go to get a corner (or any share) on this type of market, and many scores of excited owners are carrying home a brand new cheap beginner quadcopter.
The race for companies to build and manufacture affordable drones is nothing new: Since the release of even the Dji Phantom 2, there have been companies that have made it their priority to have drones on the shelves at under the $100 and $40 price point. Consumers have been thrilled to learn how to hover, dip, and land, and the last two years even brought about tiny micro drones that were under $25, even though there was no camera included.
Take a look at our reviews for the Best Drones of 2018.
*Quick reference guide to the top Beginner Cheap Drones
- Camera:720P Realtime FPV
- Range:100 Meters
- Time:10 Minutes
- Camera:720p HD camera
- Range:150 Meters
- Time:15 Minutes
- Camera:Compatible with GoPro
- Range:300 Meters
- Camera: 720P HD Real time Video Camera
- Range: 50 – 100 Meters
- Time: 7 Minutes
- Camera: M7 1000TVL camera
- Range: 50 Meters
- Time: 5-6 Minutes
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a best budget drone: on many models, you may not be getting that sturdy of a craft, but could still be having your hands on one that will be just fine if you begin your flight path inside. What makes a purchase a best beginner drone may just be that you like the look: most have flight times of around 7 minutes, and are just a super cool way of learning how to fly, and exploring which types of craft work best for them.
Even though some people would lament over and over that “You get what you pay for”, some of the cheap drones with camera on the market are excellent ways to immerse yourself in the hobby of piloting, and having a less expensive drone on hand is a good way to just get out and fly, and not worry about the possibility of damaging an expensive investment.
If you have children or nieces and nephews that seem interested in electronics and engineering, this is one of the coolest things you could ever present as a gift. When you do learn to use 8a cheap drone with a camera, your skill set could grow as you graduate into more advanced drones, and you could pursue careers such as pipeline surveying and delivery.
Best Cheap Drones & Drones for Beginners
Anyone on the hunt for a best beginner drone will enjoy an item that is ready to fly, and provides a solid opportunity to check out what it’s like to get a drone in the air, land it, and see what type of models they prefer.
Being on the lookout for the cheapest drone possible is not necessarily the worst thing you can do as a drone enthusiast: as long as you keep your expectations just a bit low, you may come out alright and have something to fly around that you’ll enjoy. The key is to go slow when you first get one out of the box, and not to let it be a speed race; if you are testing cheap drones over and over to see how they will handle crashes, you may not get your wish of having a long-lasting possession!
#1 Best Budget Camera Drone – Altair Aerial AA108 Drone
They even have an Altair Video Tutorials page that helps you get started. Email Altair Inc at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Altair Aerial AA108 is a new drone on the market that covers all the bases and comes in at a great sub $129.00 price tag. This drone is very easy to fly due to the Altitude Hold and Headless mode functions, which are great for beginners and kids. If you’re looking for a cheap drone that is an easy way to get started as a drone pilot, this is the drone for you.
The AA108 is made with high durability manufacturing, meaning it’s not going to break easily if you have an accident. It’s also very stable in the air and you can switch between three flight modes, 1 for beginners, 2 intermediate and 3 for advanced flyers. For the $129.00 price you’re also getting great value because of the long 10 minute flight time and 100 meter range. It really is a very solid drone for all ages.
The Altair company is based in Lincoln, NE. We actually did a full review of this drone and you can read about it here. The founder Matt Cookson and I spoke on the phone and he explained his plan to offer excellent customer service as one of the primary perks for the Altair drone. It seems like they’re doing a good job because when I called their customer service number he was the one who actually answered the phone, not some rep over in China!
Alltogether the Altaier Aerial AA108 is the best affordable drone you can buy at this price point. It checks all the boxes as far as tech specs and flight time goes, and with an added bonus of having an American based headquarters and customer service.
Altair 818 Hornet Drone
This is another fantastic choice for a drone that won’t break the bank but which nonetheless comes with a wide array of features. The A818 Plus is an updated version of the U818a that’s especially good for beginners, and sold by Altair Aerial, a company that provides top tier customer service. This version of the drone has a new shape that balances the weight evenly, allowing for an incredibly stable hover (further improved by the new inclusion of a hovering mode feature.) It also has longer landing gear and thicker prop guards, which means that it’s very durable. This is something that’s incredibly important for beginners and often overlooked – you’re all but guaranteed to crash the aircraft a few times when you’re learning how to fly it, so it’s important to choose a drone that can take a hit or two.
But one of the best features of the A818 Plus is the extra-long battery life – up to 15 minutes off a single battery. Sure – that may not sound too impressive to fans of the DJI line, but for less than $200 it’s practically unheard of. It’s a really great feature and shows why the A818 Plus deserves such a high spot on this list.
Additionally this drone is made by Altair Aerial, a company that provides fantastic customer service, you can read more about them at their website.
Check out some video from the camera on the Altair 818 Hornet
Altair Aerial Blackhawk
For only $119 you’re getting an amazing drone at an amazing price! Get super fast and free shipping when you order the Blackhawk from AltairAerial.com, or you can also see Best Price at Amazon. The Blackhawk is a more advanced level quad with 15-17 Minutes of Flight time and 300-500 Meter Range!
If you’ve been looking for a cheap drone that knocks it out of the park when it comes to durability and speed, you really need to check out the Altair Aerial Blackhawk. We’re big fans of other offerings from Altair Aerial and the Blackhawk is their most advanced quadcopter yet. This drone is super fast, has a flight time of up to 15 minutes, and it can go a long way for a drone in this price range (300 Meters).
Customers looking to move up from the Altair Aerial AA108 and 818 Hornet will love this heavy duty drone for its stability and speed. The Blackhawk doesn’t utilize altitude hold which unlocks the potential for extreme control! The ability to go vertical and descend super fast will give you that racing feel while you’re flying! While a camera does not come with the Blackhawk, it is equipped to handle a GoPro or similar camera when you’re ready to capture the action.
Force1 UFO 3000 LED Quadcopter
Losing a drone from flying in low visibility and not being able to find it later on is no longer a problem, in this case. The blue and green vibrant LED lights on this drone can be seen from incredible distances, but that’s not all that it has to offer.
It was designed with beginner drones in mind through offering precision piloting, multiple flight modes, added stability, and all other aspects aside from the visibility factor.
The Hubsan X4 H107L 4 channel 2.4ghz RC Quadcopter
This is a fun palm-sized affordable drone that you can have a blast with indoors or out. The batteries are included, and this is one choice out there that is strong in the best beginner drone category, and a very popular pick.
This drone comes with a USB connector to charge it, and it is ready to fly out of the box with everything needed except the batteries for the controller. This one is known to be fast and agile, and picking up extra batteries right away is a great idea to get a bit more flight time out of it. Generally in the “Toy quad” category, this is actually pretty stable for the price, and fun to fly all-around.
Check this video of the Hubsan X4
The Holy Stone HS170 Predator Rc Affordable Drone
This is a sleek and powerful option for affordable drones: many customers are calling it their favorite for the price. This one actually has quite a bit of speed, and is a blast to fly around at the drop of a hat.
It’s controller is a pretty standard Xbox-style format, and the HS170 Predator can fly for around 8 minutes on one charge. You can fly more than one of these at once because of the built in anti-interference system, and there are 6 aa batteries required. One word of caution is that there are more than 1 reviews stating that it just stopped working suddenly: when this happens with any electronics product, it is hard to say if it will happen in large numbers or not. Here are some stats on the HS170 that will allow you to decide whether or not you want to purchase.
The Yizhan Golden X4 4CH 2.4G 6 Axis Radio Control Affordable Quadcopter
This is another entry in the cheap quadcopter category. This model has throw-in-the-air startup capabilities, and a pretty cool searching light for flying in the dark. When it arrives it’s ready to fly after a full charge and getting the batteries ready, and the flight time is around 7 minutes after an hour-long charge.
Of the 3 flight modes offered, the highest is pretty challenging for the lower-priced drone category, and while it looks pretty large in the photos, still is situated in the much smaller side of the cheap drone group. The Hubsan X4 is quite possibly one of the most popular beginner drones on the market, and this is one of the models that is compared quite closely to it.
Here are some of the technical specs on the Golden X4, which is priced incredibly low on Amazon, and is a great starter drone to get anyone accustomed to the fun of flying.
Cheap Photo Drones
As consumers look for options for the best camera drone under $100, 2018 looks to be a pretty good year. Some manufacturers have taken cues from DJI as to how users may want the controller to look, and some have went off on their own tangents a bit as far as sleek, game-controller looking designs.
Cheap quadcopters with cameras are a great way to get used to traversing over different types of land, and using the features that allow you to see what higher-grade models offer.
Holy Stone F181C With HD Camera
You don’t always have to invest in an expensive drone if you’re looking for a cheap drone with camera. This one is actually one of many that give the professional drones a run for their money. The HD camera is already a wonder in itself, never mind all of the great features and specs that come with it.
Right off the bat, you get One Key 360-Degree 4-Way Flips, Continuous Roll, Altitude Hold, One Key Return to Home, One Key Engine Start, One Key Landing and even the Headless Security System for features. All of the included features make it easy for someone who’s entirely new to the world to drones to get the hang of the more complicated features at their own pace.
The Altitude Hold feature is actually an upgraded version from the same model, yet it’s an inexpensive cheap drone with an HD camera, that will make you feel like you’re investing in a super high-quality drone without paying a fortune.
Unfortunately, it does not have FPV and cannot be connected with your smartphone or other smart device, but it’s still an awesome cheap drone with an HD camera!
The UDI U818A HD+Quadcopter
This is a great choice for the cheap drone with camera category: It has features such as a return home function, HD camera, and the standard 6-axis gyro stability that helps many cheap drones fly with ease.
At this time, this is NOT a drone that requires FAA registration, and there are also 2 lipo batteries included as a bonus. The charging time is around 90-120 minutes, and the flight duration is 7-9 minutes.
Known as a very light quadcopter, this one may start to drift with winds that are even in the 7 MPH range. Begin the video recorder before you take off to make things more simple, and enjoy flying one of the best and cheapest drone options out there.
First Time User Test UDI U818A
The X5C RC Drone with HD Camera
This is a great way of taking pictures outside from above in 720p video, and enjoying the high-resolution pictures you can glean of landscapes, real estate, seasons changing, and any other sites that strike your interest.
This is a good contender for a best budget drone because it definitely does not have to be registered with the FAA, and it even has a microphone too. You definitely will want to start in beginner flight mode, as this will allow you a bit of leeway to get used to its movement.
It does not have a “return to home” function, but for the price, has a decent camera, and high ranking reviews from many users. The transmitter will warn you of low battery, and the weight of this inexpensive drone is around 3.8 ounces. Here are some of the key features that will allow you to make the best purchasing decision:
The DBPOWER MJX X400W FPV Drone With WiFi Camera
This is a fun drone in the cheap drones category that is in the higher end of the low-priced element. What’s pretty cool about this one is that it is where you begin to be introduced to the awesome things you can do with a partner app, and see what the inexpensive drone sees on the mobile device of your choice.
With a 3D Split Screen Display, you can use the VR headset to see the world in a completely modern way, and this just adds to the excitement you get from this device. This best budget drone does not need to be registered with the FAA, and its weight is under 1.6 lbs. It has been said to be able to take a beating during many reviews, and has a pretty awesome white underwater-stealth looking appearance.
The H6 Quadcopter RC Helicopter
This is a very cool drone under $100 that is equipped with an HD camera, and does a great job of being wind resistant for a drone in this price point. We always like to see drones in the inexpensive category be able to hand launch in the air, and this is one that is deemed definitely pretty easy to fly.
This is a pretty compact-sized drone, sitting at 5.25” by 5.25”. There are crash guards installed, and it records to SD card, so the video is not really able to be viewed during flight. This may prevent many pilots from wanting it, but it is still known for it’s sturdy handling, and is a good model to learn the basics of flight with.
The U28W FPV Best Budget Drone with altitude hold and HD camera
This is an example of a ready to fly drone that you can purchase in the lower priced category that is a great one to use with a tablet or smartphone. Absolutely one of the best beginner drones out there that still has many of the latest features that you see on higher-end models.
Having an altitude hold function is one of the things about this one that makes it very easy to fly: beginners can use this to their advantage, and not have to fret about the drone continuously dipping up and down. It also has features such as one-touch takeoff and landing, and you can even program a custom route to have it follow. These features alone are usually found on models that are much higher-end, and this is why we have no choice but to heartily recommend this one.
Not only are you getting a 2.0MP HD camera, but you’re also getting the full 720p FPV experience along with it. It comes with a bountiful amount of features and a wide variety of specs that we think you’ll find are all incredibly impressive.
This cheap drone with HD camera features FPV, Altitude Hold, One Key to Reset, One Key Return to Home, Ascend and Descend, Left and Right Side-Fly, 360-Degree Roll and Emergency Stop. The overall high-quality construction and design is one that is dressed to impress and go the extra mile.
It’s a little unclear as to whether or not the 1100mAh LiPo is actually included or not, one section says that it is while another says it’s not, but picking up one, even if it’s an extra if it’s actually included, is never a bad idea!
Cheap FPV Drones
The race has been on for the past year to find the ultimate FPV drone under $100: many pilots know how awesome and feature-filled drones such as the Dji Phantom 4 are, but they are in a completely different price range. For these types of drones, the craft is driven or piloted remotely from a first-person perspective, and video is fed to a video monitor, tablet, or goggles.
When consumer drones first began popular about 3 years ago, there were next to no options in this category. Cheap FPV drones were not necessarily the rage, because many brands were just beginning to release drones in the under 100$ category that had just 8 minute flight time, but no camera. Here are a few that we recommend, that will get you into the swing of gleaning video, but not break the bank.
The Hubsan X4 Quadcopter with FPV Camera Toy best Budget Drone
This is a drone at a very reasonable price that does a great job of offering FPV technology. It is lightweight, and offers the standard 7 minute flight time with around 45 min. charging time. We like how the transmitter has a built-in 4.3” screen, and that alone for this price almost softens the blow of the drone only having a 480p camera.
Make sure you install the rotor shield, as this will help you greatly when it comes to crashes. Some users claim that the way the drone handles and sturdiness for its size are great for the price, but the video is not even worth glancing at. Still, its a solid product from a well-trusted brand that allows you the ability to do some great maneuvers, and not spend a fortune.
Syma Toys X5C-1
This is an upgraded version of the original X5C-1, which has a sleek, sophisticated look that’s made better by the awesome HD camera. This cheap drone with HD camera has the right specs, the perfect amount of features, and a look that will have anyone who sees it asking questions and looking to learn more about it.
Because it’s an upgraded version, it has new, enhanced Anti-Collision and Anti-Fall Performance features. It also able to perform aerial rolls and automatic stabilization due to the enhanced, upgraded gyro stabilization system.
The upgraded version is an enhanced masterpiece that you can’t go wrong with investing in.
U818A Wifi FPV Quadcopter Drone
This is an FPV drone with a bit of a different look: The quadcopters have circular guards above them, and it does give the budget drone an entirely unique appearance. It has features such as headless mode, and you can capture 720p video with the built-in camera.
You can mount your smart device on top of the controller, and this drone is also VR headset compatible. The 4 GB of micro SD storage is a definite bonus, and this drone’s weight will make it a bit more stable in wind. If you are ok with the look, (which probably can grow on any pilot), this is a pretty good example of what’s available in the inexpensive drones category for FPV.
The Focus FPV Drone with 720p Camera
This drone gets a few extra points for one thing in our book: it has a very unique controller design. Instead of having the typical flattened-out bottom end, it is rounded further out than usual, and there is still the ability to watch 5.8 Ghz FPV right on the controller’s screen.
The drone itself has a pretty interesting shape: the frame has four jutted-out supporters for the props that make it kind of resemble a spider or watercraft. It comes with an extra battery, and functions such as return home allow you to retrieve the drone without fear of loss. The camera even has a fish eye lens, and this is a pretty sturdy craft.
The U818A Wifi FPV Drone with Altitude Hold, HD live Camera, Remote Control, and VR Headset
This has a few upper-end features that make it differ just slightly from the U818A defined earlier in this article. The drone is pretty much the same model, but this package includes a power bank along with the extra battery, which is quintessential for charging on the go.
You still get features such as altitude hold, custom route mode, and a bonus VR headset included. If you were a fan of the slightly different design and appearance of the U818A, you can simply just consider this package an upgrade. You still are capturing 720 p aerial photos, and there are great features such as one button take off, one button landing, and custom route mode.
The Force 1 U45 Blue Jay WiFi FPV Quadcopter Drone
This is a neat and fun to use number that is cloaked in black, with a cool looking black and blue transmitter that mounts a smartphone on top for viewing. This drone has a lot of the same functions as the one we just reviewed, but the look is honestly quite a bit more modern.
You still get to enjoy features such as 360 flips and tricks, 6-axis gyro for stability, wind resistance, and easy maneuverability. This drone also comes with a 4 GB ScanDisk Micro SD Card, and the camera is manually adjustable for the ability to capture the best picture possible. The controller design and overall packaging of this number make it one of the best we’ve seen in this price category, and we applaud the modern design.
Best Cheap Smaller Drones
A cheap mini drone can be a super fun way to get kids interested in engineering, have fun indoors during the winter months, and learn the controls before you take charge of a much bigger drone. Finding a cheap micro drone on the market will take you a bit of research, and reading reviews beyond this one can help you analyze if there are some that just don’t cut it in terms of how well they are built.
The fun you can have with a cheap quadcopter is endless: some of our other features have spotlighted how you can play numerous pranks, scare and surprise those around you, and sneak up on unsuspecting family members on the couch. One of the most fun things about them is that you get a peek at a smaller version of drones that rule the skies can do, and you get to learn your maneuvers to build up your skills before purchasing a larger one.
Eachine X6 2.4G 4CH 6 Axis RC Hexacopter
This hexacopter has a 2MP camera with a micro SD slot, and is known for having a bit longer of a flight time than others in the good cheap drones category, at about 11 minutes in the air. It’s a little bit bigger than many common nanoquads on the market, and the look is not one that has an exposed-board feel: the arms light up to give it a unique flair.
The prop guards serve their purpose very well: we took this little guy up to about 30 feet in the air where we encountered a tree limb, and it fell down to the ground but still was able to fly again right away. The controller may seem a bit small to some, but it has a snugness to it that some of the rectangular models do not, and will seem a bit like a bit smaller of a Super Nintendo remote version.
The transmitter uses the same battery as the quad, so some pilots appreciate the fact that you get both, others like just buying disposable batteries for the controller and using the rechargeables for this cheap good drone. Because of the extended flight time and cool shape, many pilots out there will be making this purchase this summer.
FQ FQ777-124 Pocket Drone
This drone is absolutely of the tiniest type you can imagine, and it is literally one of the cheapest drone options on the market. Having the one-touch return is awesome for such a little machine, because even if you are trying to navigate indoors, there’s a lot that can happen in even the most open of quarters.
Since the designers knew that all ages and skill levels may be using this drone, the rotor protector is a big plus, and helps bystanders not get stung suddenly by it as well. There are pretty cool LED lights on this tiny drone, and the fact that it has landing skids bodes well for it because its just the kind of small starter drone that WILL be abused heavily sooner or later.
One thing that’s great about this drone is that it’s really only double the price of what some retailers would sell for just a high-quality USB charging device. It’s really all about pure fun in a small package, and is perfect for those in cold climates that want something to fly around a gym or basement.
The Hover-Way 6-axis 2.4 Ghz Aerial Micro Drone
This is one of the smallest that exists on the market, and will be a bundle of fun for you and the entire family. You get about a 6 minute flight time with a 35 minute recharging time, and there is sync-lock technology that allows you to fly more than one of these little numbers at a time in the same room.
You do receive replacement blades with the kit, which you may put to use immediately, since it can take just a bit to get used to the way that these handle. This would be a fun one for an experienced pilot to use that just wanted to blow some steam off indoors, or a great first purchase for someone who wants to really get into drones full-force during the future.
With WiFi FPV, a 2MP HD camera, and a price that’s more than a bargain, you can’t go wrong investing in this cheap drone with an HD camera. Though the price isn’t a large one, the HD camera has impressive specs.
It features One Key Return to Home, 3D Flips & Rolls, Hover, WiFi FPV and Headless Mode. Compared to the others on our list, the amount of features it has a little short, but fear not – it comes with impressive specs that make it an awesome little drone.
This hidden gem is one that shouldn’t be ignored if you’re looking for a simple, cheap drone with HD camera. This little pocket drone is a lot more powerful than you’d think.
Sky Viper m500
Nano drones are great for indoor and outdoor flight, especially if they come with an onboard HD camera and have a great price to go with it. Though there are a few nano drones that don’t fare that well in outdoor environments, especially if it’s a windy day, this one is still able to hold it down and fly perfectly.
It features One Touch Stunts, One Touch Flips, Auto Flight, Auto Hover and Auto Land. It has a total size of less than 2”, minus the blades, and weighs less than 9 ounces – no FAA registration required!
Interestingly enough, it was nominated for Toy of the Year during 2016, which proves how much of a quality cheap drone with camera it is.
The Hubsan H111 Q4 Nano Drone Quadcopter
This is a very small bundle of fun. This is a blue and white smaller model that we rank high for it’s toughness in design: for the size, it may be about the most durable on the market. There is also a built-in gyroscope for stability, and the flight time is right at 5 minutes.
It is 4-channel, very beginner-friendly quad with a stealth appearance, that is most likely the sturdiest micro quad on the market. The crash guard will help make sure that you won’t have any misfortune, and extra propellers and motor are pretty easy to find in case you need replacements.
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FAQ’s For Cheap Beginner Drones
What are drones?
A drone is technically a flying vehicle, that is not manned by any type of pilot. Their use has grown exponentially over the last few years, and many have enjoyed the hobby they have discovered.
What are quadcopters?
The quadcopter is a type of good cheap drone that has four rotors. You can hear them spinning on most models, and they make up a majority of the drones for beginners available now on the market.
Can you find these cheap?
You can absolutely find good cheap drones and quadcopters for low prices. The most exciting thing as of late is that the budget drones that have higher-quality cameras have sunk
a bit in price, making gathering of overhead property more inexpensive in the long run.
What Kinds of Cheap Drones are on the market?
Anyone who is on the hunt for the best budget drone they can find will be glad to see that there are numerous options. Micro budget drones are for the most part most fun when used around the house, and you need to be careful with them as they can completely blow away. In the more inexpensive category, you can find copters that have a 720p camera,which gives you some good practice hours for image gathering from above.
What is the Cheapest Drone?
You may be able to find a few that get a bit lower than this, but the JJRC 2.4ghz RC Quadcopter pictured here is just $9.95. It is a very tiny quad that gives you about 5 minutes of flight time, and has a control distance of about 30m.
Typically Where are Cheap Drones Manufactured?
The majority of the cheap quadcopter options you locate on websites such as Ebay and Amazon are manufactured in Taiwan, and China. Hubsan, which is one of the manufacturers who have a pretty broad range of drones for beginners, are made in China.
What are the Return Policies on Cheap Drones?
Return policies on the cheapest drone options out there tend to seem strict, but you simply need to abide by protocol, and act quickly. One good plan is to purchase buying protection plans directly from the manufacturer, since many of the retailers such as Wal-mart and Best Buy only provide options such as a 15-day return window, even if the equipment is damaged.
Do the Manufacturers Stand By their Products if they Break?
Some portals such as Tmart.com will allow you to return products for up to 180 days: what the manufacturer is going to check for most commonly is if the damage was caused in any way by the user. Generally speaking, if you order a product from Amazon.com, they will take returns within 30 days, and will ship a replacement item if you receive one that is damaged or defective. Sometimes it’s just the transmitter or batteries, and sometimes it may be the drone itself.