The Best Drones Under $200

By Hal Simmons •  Updated: 05/30/21 •  12 min read

Drones are gaining in popularity now, and with so many to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is best for you. Well, we’re here to help. The highest-rated and top drones with a camera are sure to give you many options to choose from. All of these drones featured are for $200 or under.

Drones Under $200 Reviewed In This Guide

Holy Stone HS120D
4DRC V4 Drone
• Syma X8 Pro
Hubsan H502S Desire
DEERC Drone
UDI U818A

Best Drones Under $200 List

Holy Stone HS120D

Holy Stone HS120D GPS Drone with Camera for Adults 2K UHD FPV, Quadcotper with Auto Return Home, Follow Me, Altitude Hold, Way-points Functions, Includes 3 Batteries and Carrying Backpack

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Not too long ago, we reviewed the Holy Stone HS700D FPV drone on our blog. At $250, it doesn’t fit on our list here, but its cousin the HS120D does. Available for $100 less, this 2K UHD FPV quadcopter drone has the look and feel of a much more expensive UAV. You’ll certainly impress your friends when you show up with the HS120D.

In Headless Mode, you can set the drone’s orientation so it’s always ready to come towards you. This feature reduces the anxiety of losing your drone due to directional shifts. The GPS auto return also helps in that regard. Even if the HS120D is low on battery, loses signal, or flies out of range, with GPS auto-returning, it can make its way back to you.

Like the HS700D, the HS120D requires the press of a button to begin flying or land. To keep the drone operating in a straight line, activate Follow Me Mode. You can also create custom flight paths.

The camera included with the HS120D is a 2K Ultra HD foldable and adjustable camera, and it can capture video too!

Pros
• Holy Stone is a good name in mid-priced drones, so you can feel good about buying the HS120D.
• You get a carrying case included with your purchase which allows you to safely transport your drone to the park, your friend’s house, or anywhere you like to fly a UAV.
• The 2048 by 1152p resolution of the 2K camera is good for $160. You can also save all videos and photos to your phone for easy sharing.

Cons
• Some users have said the camera quality is more like 720p than 1080p.
• Other reviews note that the HS120D will fly away out of range, making it easy to lose.

4DRC V4 Drone

4DV4 Drone with Camera for adults,1080P HD FPV Live Video RC Quadcopter, DRONEEYE Foldable Helicopter for Beginners Kids Toys, 2 Batteries, Waypoints,Headless Mode,One Key Start, Altitude Hold

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For $50, there’s no reason not to own the 4DRC V4. Even if you smash this drone to smithereens, you wouldn’t have spent so much money that you can’t easily replace it. Plus, you’d be surprised about the range of features included with such a low-cost UAV!

The V4 can fold up so it’s even more compact and easy to travel with. Running on dual modular batteries, when those batteries are about empty, you get a low-voltage alarm warning so you know to land your drone soon. Headless Mode is included, just as in the Holy Stone HS120D. You can also start the drone with one button so drone beginners of all ages can figure out the V4.

In 3D View Mode, wear a pair of VR glasses (sold separately) and you can drink in the same views your drone “sees” when it’s in flight. No VR headset? No problem! Download the accompanying 4DRC app and your phone becomes a digital display screen that shows your drone’s flight path in realistic 3D.

An included 3D flip button makes the V4 do tricks instantly and effortlessly so you can impress your friends. The optical flow sensor makes Altitude Hold Mode handy for hovering at all sorts of heights. The two 1080p HD cameras in the V4 are wide-angled for capturing photos and videos.

Pros
• That the 4DRC V4 folds up is pretty handy!
• The control distance of the V4 is generous, between 90 and 120 meters.
• 4DRC includes four spare propellers with your purchase in case you lose a few.

Cons
• Users have reported having difficulty getting the controller and drone to sync, which makes the V4 unusable.
• Others have said this drone has a mind of its own and doesn’t always respond to commands.

Syma X8 Pro

Not Available

Okay, so the Syma X8 Pro just squeaks by at $200, but it’s still within your budget. This cool-looking drone operates on a modular battery that you should fully charge before you go. The more charge, the longer the flight time, says Syma.

Yet again, you get Headless Mode and one remote button for drone landing and takeoff. The X8 Pro’s HD camera is controllable via remote, and you can also start FPV live streaming with the camera. The barometric pressure hover function features “advanced technology” that allows the X8 Pro to hover and take photos or videos at the same time without shakiness or blurriness.

Novice Mode is great for beginners, as you can limit the drone’s radius so you don’t lose it. The X8 Pro will only fly 30 meters in that mode. Outside of Novice Mode, this UAV has a radius limit of 70 meters. Make the most of that distance with custom flight paths you can set from your phone, well, once you download the Syma app, of course.

If you’d rather not customize your flight paths, the X8 Pro can follow you or orbit in circles. This drone has GPS intelligent positioning as well for detecting when its battery is low. It also uses GPS for returning to its starting point and hovering.

Pros
• The Incontrollable State Mode sends the drone to you should the X8 Pro become disconnected, preventing you from losing the drone.
• Syma even included a mode for beginners in Novice Mode so they can get use to the handling of the X8 Pro.
• It should only take 20 seconds to sync the X8 Pro to a power source.

Cons
• Syma recommends a modular battery for longer flight times.
• You should use a Syma charging cable for charging the X8 Pro.

Hubsan H502S Desire

HUBSAN H501SS X4 Drone Without Controller (H501S-36)

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If you’d rather shop a relatively well-known drone brand for your first UAV, you can’t go wrong with Hubsan. Their H502S Desire is a quadcopter drone with an HD camera and GPS functionality.

That GPS will come in handy quite a lot, from Follow Me Mode to auto-positioning. The H502S Desire can automatically set its altitude return too. Hubsan says their Headless Mode will make you feel like a pro, especially once you switch to Expert Mode. In this mode, the response of your H502S Desire and its transmitter are more sensitive.

Start your Hubsan and land it with one button. Capture photos and videos using an HD FPV camera. Select from eight remote control channels and fly your drone up to 200 meters. Hubsan says the H502S Desire can fly for 12 consecutive minutes provided it’s not a windy day. In the wind, you get about 10 minutes of flight time on average.

Pros
• Hubsan is a leading name in low-priced to mid-priced drones.
• This RC quadcopter drone, as Hubsan calls it, has a look that you’ll certainly find appealing.
• Fly up to 200 meters in an open-space environment with no interference.

Cons
• The flight time is awfully short, even more so on a windy day.
• Users have complained they don’t always receive all the parts with their purchase.

DEERC Drone

DEERC Drone with Camera 2K HD FPV Live Video 2 Batteries and Carrying Case, RC Quadcopter Helicopter for Kids and Adults, Gravity Control, Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, Waypoints Functions

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Halve that $200 budget with the DEERC drone, an inexpensive UAV available for $90. Thanks to two modular batteries, you can fly for 24 minutes at a clip, which is not too shabby for a low-cost drone like this. When you do start to lose battery, a low-power alarm lets you know it’s time to plan your drone’s return path.

The DEERC has four different speed settings. Beginners will use the first setting initially before trying faster and faster speeds until you master them all. Headless Mode will keep your DEERC drone oriented no matter its speed or direction so you can fly with greater confidence.

This drone comes with Altitude Hold activated, but you can turn it off should you want to. The Altitude Hold setting lets you choose the height of your DEERC drone and then lock it.

When you want to fly, use Gravity Control as a sort of Follow Me Mode stand-in. You can also set the DEERC to fly by waypoints or even make it flip 360 degrees!

Its 2K 1080p HD camera provides real-time FPV video transmission. The built-in camera features adjustable angles and a field of view that’s an expansive 120 degrees. At any time, you can use your smartphone to take screenshots of your DEERC drone’s flight path.

Pros
• DEERC includes a backpack and two batteries with your purchase, sweetening the deal.
• Their drone uses voice controls in addition to the remote.
• The different speed options make this a great beginner’s drone!

Cons
• You only get 24 minutes of flight time with two modular batteries.
• Some users have said the motor doesn’t last long.

UDI U818A

UDI U818A-HD 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Headless RC Quadcopter w/ HD Camera, Extra Battery

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UDI’s U818A for $42 is the most inexpensive drone we’ve discussed. Although you can’t expect much longevity out of it at so low a price, the U818A does include a camera, which is surprising enough given its price point.

The 1MP HD camera is the lowest-quality on this list, so do keep that in mind. Its framerate is 30 frames per second and its resolution is 1280 by 720. The camera takes both videos and photos. UDI recommends a microSD memory card that’s at least four gigabytes for capturing more photos or longer videos.
Its six-axis gyro as part of a flight control system keeps the U818A stable in the air. You can schedule its flight and make it roll 360 degrees or do continuous rolling if you feel like showing off. Its Headless/IOC feature keeps the U818A going forward when you want it to.

The battery life is incredibly brief, eight to 10 minutes unless you add a second LiPo battery.

Pros
• The look of this drone will surely turn heads when you fly it at the park.
• The U818A has a six-axis flight control system, which is something we can’t say about the other drones we’ve reviewed.
• Continuous rolling is really cool!

Cons
• Like a lot of the other drones, you only get a decent flight time with more batteries.
• Users have had a hard time getting the U818A to fly straight.
Altair AA300
For $170, the Altair Aerial AA300 is right in that sweet spot of your budget. This GPS drone with beginner-friendly functions is manufactured in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The AA300 flies instantly once you press the takeoff button on the remote. Once it’s in the air, it will fly for 15 consecutive minutes. Before that time elapses, use the Return Home feature to get your AA300 on its way back to you. This feature also activates with one button push.
The camera included with the AA300 is an onboard 1080p camera for both videos and photos. You can even send your smartphone flying, connecting it to the AA300’s mount. Just make sure you don’t fly too fast and trash both the phone and your drone.
Use Follow Me mode through the Altair app or set points of interest up to 100 meters away. The AA300 does not have a Headless Mode, but it does include Altitude Hold.
Pros
• The AA300 can stream video from a distance of 100 meters!
• The included mount is a cool feature if you want to take smartphone-quality photos or videos.
• This drone is marketed towards beginners.

Cons
• The flight time is a little short.
• Users have reported antennae malfunctions.

Common Questions About Drones Under $200

Who Will Benefit From This Article

Drone with a quality camera for $200 or under are on the market today. In this video age camera performance is a big priority today. From still image quality to speed determined by frames per second, photographers and videographers will have a much different list of necessities.

Key Features of Cameras for Drones

There are key features that we look for when shopping for a camera on a drone. One is the video resolution, and the other is the field of view.

The field of view you will want to match to how you fly. Flying from a close distance, your field of view should be narrow, and if you fly from long distances, your field of view should be wide.

Another consideration is how many frames per second (fps) the camera shoots dictate how smooth your video footage will look.

We take a look at all these features to help you make the best decision for your needs.

Gimbal or Stabilizing Technology?

Gimbals help reduce the overall noise in your footage and keep the video looking smooth during flight. We like to look for gimbal technology that includes a motorized brushless gimbal and the ability to tilt the camera’s lens. Smooth flying is more enjoyable so getting a drone with a gimbal is key.

Other Features of the cameras

One of our criteria for best drones under $200 is how many megapixels and which type. We like the option of a camera with a full-frame (4k) or a super high-resolution video (2.7k).

A decent resolution for UHD (4k) will give you a better video than cell phone footage and better than 720p HD, but not quite as good as a 1080p high-definition video.

Enjoy Your New Drone Under $200

There you have it, 8 awesome drones that all cost $200 or less. Although none of these are drones you’ll use for years, they’re good starter UAVs that will help you work the kinks out of operating a drone. Once you’re steadier in your flight approach, you can upgrade to a costlier drone and not stress about breaking it. Have fun out there!

 

Hal Simmons

When I first started flying drones I was always afraid of damaging my drone. I would always be thinking what if. I questioned myself often and as a result it made me question various aspects of flying drones. In the process I learned a lot. This is why I feel I have a lot of information that will be helpful to beginners and intermediate drone enthusiasts. Of course I still have a lot to learn so join me on this journey and I am sure you will enjoy the adventure ahead of us.