Are you looking for a decent Drone on a limited budget? There is a good news for you, with the advancement in drone manufacturing technology drone are getting cheaper day-by-day. Today, drone market is filled with a cheap 20 dollars drone to most expensive 2000-3000 dollars drones. Of course, you cannot expect these cheaper models to perform like high-end ones. Still, they are quite good when it comes to price to performance ratio.
Today, In this article we discuss the best beginners drones for under $100. On this page, we are only featuring the drones priced between 50-100 dollars. If you are looking for even more affordable drones, check out our “Best drones under $50 list”.
Quick Comparison:10 best beginners drone under $100
Before we start, here is a quick comparison between these 10 best beginners drones:-
|UDI U818A HD+||Yes/2MP||500mAh|
|Holy Stone F181C||Yes/2MP||750mAh|
|SGOTA RC Drone||Yes/2MP||650mAh|
*Please click on Check button to see the current pricing in new tab.
Best drones for under $100 list:-
1)UDI U818A HD+
Control range: 100 meters
Flight time: 6-9 minutes
Charging time: 80 Minutes
Camera: 2MP 720p HD camera
Flight features: One-key return, Headless mode, 3D flips, 2 flight speeds
UDI is a company that has mastered the art of manufacturing drones. Their drones have been around for years, out of which their most famous series is U series. Here we will talk about the UDI U818A HD+ drone that is an upgrade to its bestselling UDI U818A drone in terms of camera.
U818A HD+ comes with a 2MP camera that is capable of taking 1280×720 HD resolution images. I was quite surprised by the image quality because it is rare to find such excellent camera performance in this price range. Drones also come with a 6-axis gyroscope which gives stability to the drone while flying which eventually results in better quality stabilized video quality.
Other than camera two major improvements to this drone is Headless mode and one key return feature. The headless mode allows the user to easily control the drone irrespective of its orientation (More on that at the end). One key return allows the drone to return to its controller with just a push of a button. Although it is not very accurate, still it does work to some extent.
Let’s talk about the things which I don’t like in this. I know it’s very subjective, what I like doesn’t necessarily means you would also like or vice versa still I think the design of this quad is boring. Prop guards go all round entire frame covering the main body of the drone. Although this design provides a good protection to the blades from the crash but still does not look like a futuristic design.
Another problem is it is quite susceptible to wind, anything more than a gentle breeze can cause the drone to lose control. Out of two-speed mode (low & high) use high mode when it’s windy.
This comes with a 500mAh battery that takes up to 80min to charge. On a single charge, you can easily get a flight time of around 6-9 min depending on the flying condition. The manufacturer has also included one extra battery and 2200mAh power bank in the package free of cost. So that you can enjoy longer flight time.
Overall, a reliable, durable and easy to fly device for anyone looking for his first camera drone.
- Stable flight performance
- Good camera
- Extra battery
- Powerbank (2200mAh)
- Boring design
- Susceptible to wind
2) Hubsan X4
Control range: 100 meters
Charging time: 30-45 Minutes
Camera: 0.3MP VGA camera (640×480 resolution)
Flight features: FPV
Next, one on this list is from Hubsan, and this company is one of few that is known for revolutionizing drone manufacturing. This may sound like an exaggeration, but they are recognized in the drone industry for creating some of the finest quadcopters. Hubsan X4 is one such finest drone with FPV functionality. FPV stands for “First person view” which mean the camera on the drone transmits the video feed in real time to the transmitter. This allows the user to fly the quadcopter while looking at the transmitter screen.
To capture the video, quad takes help from its inbuilt 0.3-megapixel VGA camera in 480P resolution. Although, footage displayed on the transmitter at 640×480 resolution it get’s recorded on SD card in 640×240 resolution. It means you’ll have to convert the video to 640×480 resolution before using it on your PC or uploading to YouTube, Facebook.
Charging it’s 380mAh battery takes around 30minutes. On a full charge, you can expect a flight time of around 7 minutes, which in our opinion is quite good considering the size of the drone.
In terms of flight performance, this drone is very easy to fly and highly maneuverable. We think that the credit goes to how lightweight (40g) this quad is. Response to the transmitter/controller is very fast. In expert mode, we found that even the small twitch of the controller sticks result in movement of drone. Although it does not come with many shiny features but the company has included an easy flip mode to impress the user. The flip mode can easily be activated by pressing left control stick.
In addition to good flight performance, Hubsan X4 doesn’t disappoint us in terms of its design. Two LED lights on the front give it a cool monstrous look. LED lights also act as a low battery indicator. It flashes for around 20 seconds before the motor will cut out and the drone will land or crash.
In our opinion, priced around $80 Hubsan X4 is one of the best affordable drones to experience the FPV video flying, albeit with a few flaws that I believe is manageable considering the fact drones with proper FPV feature cost more than 10 times than it.
- Live video feed
- Highly maneuverable
- Futuristic Design
- Poor video quality
- Supports older video format
- MicroSD card not included
3) MJX X400W FPV
Control range: 100 meters
Flight time: 8-10 Minutes
Charging time: 120 Minutes
Camera: 0.3MP 480P video
Flight features: FPV, Headless mode, Return home, 3D flips, 2 adjustable flying speeds
The next up on our best drone under $100 list is X400W by MJX. Although it’s a new company comparing to other big players in drone industry such as UDI, Holy Stone or Hubsan still the performance is no sort of excellent. That is the reason why within a year after launching it is the best seller on Amazon. Like Hubsan X4 this X400W also support FPV functionality meaning you can watch the view from above as the quadcopter flies.
However there is one difference though, Hubsan X4 had an embedded screen on the controller that is used to view the live feed whereas X400W has no such feature. X400W needs a smartphone to broadcast the live feed.
To use the smartphone you need to first install the app from the app store (available on both Apple and Android store) then connect it to drone’s WiFi. Once properly connected you can use the app to activate the camera. The camera on this is 0.3mp shooter that is capable of taking 480P resolution images. Images/videos get directly saved on a smartphone.
In addition to FPV, MJX X400W offers plenty of interesting features to smoothen your flying experience such as Headless mode, Return home, 3D flips, 2 flying speeds mode. It is also compatible with VR (virtual reality) headset, meaning you can get the real first person view experience while flying the drone.
The drone comes with a 3.7V 750mAh battery that takes around two hours to fully charge. You can expect around 9 minutes of flight time on a single charge. If you are learning to fly, 9 minutes won’t be enough. Thus, buy at least 3 extra batteries to stretch your flight time. Don’t worry they are not very expensive, you can get a pack of 3 for less than $10 on Amazon. With so many good features, this X400W definitely deserves to be on the a must buy list for any beginner drone enthusiast.
- VR headset compatible
- Can maintain a fairly stable, hovering flight
- Bigger battery
- Need to remove the screw to change the batteries.
4) Holy Stone F181C
Flight time: 8-9 Minutes
Charging time: 80 Minutes
Camera: 2MP 720P (1280×720 resolution)
Flight features: One key return, Headless mode, Altitude hold
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone but there is no “best drone list” that would be complete without the inclusion of a drone from Holy stone. F181C is one such drone from the manufacturer we are featuring on this list. First, let’s talk about what we get in the box.
Holy stone is known for its customer centric approach and for that, they do not even hesitate to give many freebies to their customer. Even with F181C, they do not disappoint us they have included two 750mAh batteries which take around 80minutes to charge, two charging cable for simultaneously charging both batteries, a 2GB micro SD card to record the videos/images and four extra propellers and propeller guard in the package all at the cost of 95 dollars.
The controller has a little screen attached to it. No, it’s not for live video feed (because it is not an FPV) rather it is there to display all the necessary details important for the drone to fly. It displays information such as battery level, led light status, range, flight modes, recording status and signal quality.
F181C comes with a 2MPX camera that is capable of recording the videos at 1280×720 HD resolution. Although the camera performance is somewhat good but the absence of image stabilization results in a video to be bit shaky. Still considering the price point we think it has the best camera in this price segment.
There are four flight modes on the drone (25%,50%,75%,100%) where higher mode allow the drone to withstand windy conditions. In addition to different flight modes, F181C has fun features like altitude hold, headless mode and return to home feature to further ease your flying experience. All in all we very much like the drone and we recommend this to the beginners looking for their first camera drone under 100 dollars only.
- 2 Batteries in package
- 2 charging cable
- Decent camera with HD recording
- Highlu durable
- No image stabilization
5) Eachine E58
Control range: 80-100 meters
Charging time: 60-70 minutes
FPV Range: about 30m
Camera: 2MP wide-angle camera 720P (1280×720 resolution)
Flight features: Foldable, FPV, Altitude hold, Headless mode, Trajectory flight, One key takeoff/landing.
Next, one on the list is Eachine E58. A small pocket-friendly Mavic drone that resembles the design of DJI Mavic but costs one-fourth of it. Why do I call it pocket-friendly Mavic? There is two reason for that, First is you can fold its propellers to get it easily fit into your pocket. Second, they are not very exensive and you can buy them without burning a hole in your pocket (considering the price of original Mavic which cost more than $500). Isn’t it pocket-friendly?
Apart from design, E58 also comes with some of the same features that made Mavic a favorite drone among professionals. Obviously, you cannot expect it to perform it like DJI Mavic but still, in my opinion, it gives a decent performance.
Among features, let’s first talk about the camera. Camera on this quad is 2mp that is capable of taking HD resolution images. It also comes with a wide angle lens which captures good wide view from above. Like any FPV in this range, video on this E58 also gets saved on a connected smartphone but the good thing is you can insert a microSD card into the drone to capture the footage onboard also. In our opinion, “On-board” recording has better image quality than capturing from the live video feed.
This drone also features a 500mAH modular battery which eliminates the need for ugly connector wire. You just need to slide the battery into the battery compartment to power the drone. You can expect around 7 to 9 minutes of flight time with it.
E58 has three flying modes (30%, 60%, and 100%). In addition to that, it also features altitude hold, one key take-off/landing mode and trajectory flight mode where you can draw a path for the drone to follow. Although the feature is not as refined as GPS navigation available on another drone but still it is a good additional feature to impress your friends.
- Mavic like a cool design
- Many flight modes
- Movable HD camera
- Stable flight performance
- Low FPV range
6) Syma X8C
Control range: up to 100 meters
Charging time: 200 minutes
Flight features: Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC)
Next on the list is Syma X8C which is basically a super-sized brother of Syma X5C whom we featured in our best drones for under 50 dollars list. They both have an excellent flight performance and are very responsive to the controller. The only difference is X8C is larger in size and has a headless mode. Weighing about 612g this is the heaviest drone featuring on this list. To withstand all this weight, X8C uses a brushed motor and has big propellers. There is both advantage and disadvantages of its weight.
Let’s talk about the disadvantage first, as per FAA guideline flying a drone weighing more than 250g requires registration. You can read more in detail here. I contacted the manufacturer to ask about the same to which they replied: “X8C comes in toy drone category that is the reason why you do not need register or get any license for it”. Friend’s even though they denied but I think you should register this drone with US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (don’t worry registration process is very simple and cheap) to be on the safe side.
Now let’s discuss benefits of its bigger size and weight. Larger size and weight of the X8C makes it more resilient to wind flurry and provides additional stability while flying. We all know that the more your drone is stable/balanced, the better it will be for aerial photography.
Talking about the camera. Syma X8C comes with same 2mp shooter found in X5C that capable of taking just ok images in good lighting conditions. Thanks to powerful coreless motors, X8C generate enough thrust to allow the possibility of mounting GoPro camera. However, the extra weight of GoPro is surely gonna shorten the lifespan of motors significantly. So be prepared to change the motors after every 7-8th flight if you intend to use this drone with GoPro (don’t worry motors are very cheap, a pair costs just $10 on Amazon).
In terms of flight performance, it is easy to fly and easy to control. It does not come with any advanced features like the other drones in this list it just has a headless mode. It gets power from its 7.4v 2000mAh battery that takes around 2 hours to get fully charged. You can expect a 12 min of in airtime on a full charge. You can also increase the flight time by removing the camera and prop guards.
- Detachable camera
- GoPro Compatible
- Highly stable in wind
- Powerful coreless motors
- Poor 2mp camera
- Slow charger
7) Tarantula X6
Control range: up to 100 meters
Charging time: 110 minutes
Camera: No camera
Flight features: up/down, left/right, forward/backward, sideward fight, turn left/right and one button 360-degree flips
Tarantula X6 also known as JJRC H16 is one of the most affordable, agile, durable and responsive drone in the market that can also carry a GoPro alike action camera. Although, there is a 5mp camera version of this drone that you can purchase for extra $35. But I would not recommend that, Why? Because even though it has a 5mp camera but the quality is really poor and paying extra $35 for that cheap quality camera is basically a wastage of money. In fact, you can save that money to buy a great action camera. My favorite is, Xiaomi YI Action 16mp Camera capable of taking full HD videos at 60fps priced at just 65 dollars. In case you are interested here is an affiliate link from Amazon.
In addition to great flight performance, I like the most about this drone is its design. The manufacturer has tried to replicate the body of commonly found spider “Tarantula” in the drone and believe me they somewhat succeeded in that. This drone does look like a spider waiting to attack its prey!!! Especially during the night, out of total 7 LED, two in front cockpit gives a spooky feeling of an eye staring at you. On the scale of 0 to 10 this drone definitely scores a perfect 10 in terms of design.
In terms of flight performance, it is easy to fly and highly maneuverable despite its large body frame. Even in the highest speed setting drone was easy to control, responsive to the controller and was perfectly stable thanks to inbuilt 6-axis gyro stabilization.
The 7.2v 1200mAh LiPo battery power up the drone up to 9 minutes. While reading on some forum and in some Facebook groups we found that users have also claimed to achieve up to 15min of in airtime with this. They achieved this feat by installing the bigger 2200mAh battery.
One thing I did not like about this drone is the absence of Power on/off switch. After every playing session user needs to remove the battery cover and plug/unplug the battery to disconnect the power supply.
All in all, I believe you agree with me when I say that it’s among the best cheap drones currently available on the market.
- Cool Design
- Excellent flight performance
- Very stable
- No power On/Off switch
8) Syma X5UW
Control range: up to 100 meters
Flight time: 7-10 minutes
Charging time: 60 minutes
Camera: 1MP (HD Camera)
Flight features: Altitude hold, Headless mode, 3D flips, Waypoint navigation, 2 flight speeds (High and Low), Accelerometer control
Syma X5UW can be an excellent FPV option for those looking for an affordable drone with some advanced features. Let’s first talk about the design and build quality. Syma X5W comes in an impressive red color that makes spotting the drone in low light easy. Power on/off button is situated on the top of the body that is easily accessible. LED lights are just below the motor and landing legs are shorter and wider which gives the drone extra support and balance in case of accidental landing. Overall, it has a unique and advanced design and I was quite impressed with it.
The camera on this is 1mega pixel shooter capable of taking HD resolution in 1280x720pixel resolution. Camera has a better dynamic range and sharpness. You can read full camera review here from an expert.
Unlike other FPV where footage get saved on connected smartphones only and while saving lag/ latency also gets recorded on a smartphone, On Syma X5W there is also an onboard memory card slot (4GB micro SD card included in package) to records the video/audio footage along with the connected smartphone.
In terms of fight performance, we found X5UW to be smooth and stable. Like any other toy drones in this price range, this also comes with various flight modes such as altitude hold mode, headless mode, One-touch 3D flip and 2-speed mode (High & Low).
In addition to that, it also has waypoint navigation mode and accelerometer control mode. With waypoint navigation, the user can draw a path for drone on a smartphone to follow (first you need to download Syma Go app on a smartphone). Although due to the absence of GPS this feature is not very accurate and you need to always keep an eye on your drone but still it’s a fun feature to have in your drone.
In accelerometer control mode, you can use your smartphone as a controller. In this mode, any movement of smartphone (tilting) in any direction will cause the drone to fly in that direction.
Syma X5UW features a modular 500mAh battery that is a lot easier to use. You just need to slide the battery into the battery compartment to power the drone. Charging takes around 60minutes and you can expect around 7 to 10 minutes of flight time.
- Additional battery
- Modular battery
- Multiple flight mode
- Cool design and build quality
- Slow video frame rate (15fps) on FPV
9) Blade Nano QX
Control range: 50 meters
Charging time: 25 minutes
Flight features: SAFE™ technology
Next on our “best beginners drone under 100” list is Blade Nano QX. Blade Nano QX is an extremely well built quadcopter designed for first time drone buyer’s to help them refine their flying skill, before moving on to bigger quadcopters. Its tiny size and insignificant weight (only 38g) make it highly agile, extremely maneuverable and highly responsive.
The design of the quad is simple, the frame is made of a single piece of light plastic that is tough and can withstand any serious crash. Beyond the propellers, there is a small set of plastic that acts as a prop guard.
In addition to eye-pleasing design, it also features a SAFE technology that helps in overall stability and agility of this drone. SAFE stands for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope, which is the patent of Blade itself. What it does is, it allows the quad to hover and twirl in the same position with minimal effort. For a beginner, it is a great feature to have in a drone. It allows the user to get much better control over the drone and also gives time to learn its behavior and response.
In terms of flight time, you can expect around 7 minutes of on-air time from its 150mAh battery which is excellent considering the size of the battery. You can also buy a few spare batteries to give you longer flight time. In addition to that, charging those little batteries just take over 20 minutes to charge which is outright awesome!!!
- Fast & Agile
- Easy to control
- SAFE technology
- Good for Indoor flying
- Sensitive to wind
10) SGOTA RC Drone
Flight time: 8-12 minutes
Charging time: 60-90 minutes
FPV range: 50m
Flight features: Track flight/Altitude Hold/FPV/360-degree Rolling Over/Headless Mode/One Key Automatic Return/High, low speed switch.
Last on the list is SGOTA RC Drone. Priced around just 70 dollars it is another perfect drone to get started on FPV. You just need to connect the drone to your smartphone with Wi-Fi to experience the real-time flight experience on your phone. In addition to that, Drone is also compatible with VR headset. Just put your phone into the VR box or wear VR glasses to experience whole new perspective.
Inbuilt 6-axis gyroscope flight control allows the drone to be more stable whereas 2.4GHz controller frequency results in anti-interference which allows multiple users to play at the same time without interfering or blocking others drone signal.
The camera on this is 2MP shooter capable of taking 720p HD resolution images. In terms of flight features, manufacturers have provided all the basic features in this drone to help you learn the flying skill faster. Features like headless mode, altitude hold mode, and one key return mode are present here.
Along with its robust features, this has a very sleek design. The main body resembles an alphabet “H” like the design. It also has a 4 set of LED lights that distinguish its front from the back.
Overall in my opinion, it is definitely a good drone, you should definitely consider it if you are starting out on FPV.
- Various flight features.
- Cool design
- Not many!!!
This concludes our “10 Best Beginners Drones for under 100” list. We have tried to include all different types of drones in this list. From FPV drones to camera drones, from drones with different flight modes to drones that can even carry a GoPro, each of them is present here. Now it is up to you to think which one of these drones most excite you. Choose according to your need. Overall, we just tried to give an honest review of each one of them and sincerely hope that it helped you with your buying decision.
Did we miss something? Or, Do you own a drone that deserves to feature on this list? Do let us know in the comment section below? We would love to hear that!!! 🙂