Best Drones Under $200 in 2019 | Buyer’s Guide With Reviews

Drones are the talk of the town right now. Whether it is for the hobby of capturing some breath-taking photos and videos or just as a toy, drones are loved by kids and elders alike. But are all the drones that you can buy right now the same? Definitely not! There are, in fact, tons of options to choose from if you want to buy a drone with prices ranging across all budgets. So how do you know that a drone is better than another one?

Common Features of the Best Drone Under $200

Certain characteristics help you differentiate between drones. Some of these are explained below:

Range

The range of a drone refers to the maximum distance between the drone and the controller crossing which the controller will be unable to navigate the drone. The range of the drone is a crucial factor to consider while making a purchase. Drones with higher ranges tend to be costlier, but one thing you should think about is the use case. How much range do you must have on your drone? Buy the one that fits your use case rather than buying just the drone with the highest range.

Battery Span or Flight time

Another essential factor you must take into consideration while looking for the best drone for you is the battery span or the flight time of the drone. Drones with bigger batteries packed in them are not only costlier but also bulkier. While longer flight times are considered as advantages in most cases, the added bulk can make the drones uncomfortable to use in other cases. Also, drones with average flight times are good enough for casual use like learning how to fly drones or as a toy for a child.

Camera

One of the most popular uses for a drone is capturing great quality photos or videos which are not possible otherwise. Hence, the quality of the camera that the drone has is another thing you should be watchful about. Even if the drone does not have a built-in camera, if it has a camera holder that you can fit a professional-grade camera onto is a big plus.

Controller

The controller is the part that the user operates to navigate the drone. The controller can be primary joystick controllers with just sticks and buttons to control the flight of the drone or advanced controllers with displays and touch screens that give you real-time updates and more actions to choose from. Based on what you want to use the drone for, your decision will vary, and so will the price of each drone.

Best Drone Under $200 – Features, Pros & Cons

1. Holy Stone F181W WiFi FPV Drone

The Holy Stone F181W drone is one of the most popular drones in the market due to its competitive price and the variety of included features.

Key Features

  • Wide-angle camera
  • 720p recording with the included camera
  • Automatic altitude hold
  • One-key return
  • Headless mode
  • 60m range
  • 8 minutes of flight time
  • Durable and safe construction

Product Review and Description

The Holy Stone F181W drone with Wi-Fi and a 720p camera has been drawing the attention of many enthusiasts lately. With its highly competitive price and a wide array of features, the fact that it is one of the bestsellers surprises nobody.

The headless mode and one-key return are the features we like the most. Once in headless mode, the drone considers its forward direction as the forward direction with respect to the controller, instead of the direction that the nose of the drone is pointing towards. One-key return is another simple feature that makes the drone navigate itself to its launching location without manual control. Just press one key, and it will fly itself back!

The drone has an 8-minute flight time when the battery is fully charged. You can fly it from up to 60 meters away. It includes a 720p camera that helps you in taking beautiful pictures as well as record HD-ready footage. The 720p camera has a 120-degree wide field of view, and with the built-in Wi-Fi module, you can stream what the drone sees in real-time on your smart device.

The automatic altitude hold functionality uses high air pressure through the fans of the drone to make it stay at one position mid-air so that you can capture beautiful stills. The drone comes with a controller that looks like one of the Xbox game controllers but with a mobile phone holder attached to the front of it. Even though the controller itself does not have any live streaming display, you can connect your phone to the drone using their application and put it on the controller for convenience.

Pros
  • 720p good quality wide-angle camera
  • Excellent feature set
  • Decent battery life and range
  • A durable plastic body which is a must-have in any drone
  • Integrated Wi-Fi module
  • Headless mode can be an excellent option for easy and straightforward navigation
Cons
  • Many users have had a bad experience of losing control
  • 720p camera is not good enough for professional-level recording and photograph.

If you are an enthusiast drone flier looking for something well-priced, then this drone is definitely for you.

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2. UDI U818A Drones

UDI U818A is a reliable choice for beginners and enthusiast looking for a robust quadcopter drone at a reasonable price.

Key Features

  • HD Camera
  • 6-axis gyroscope
  • Return to home functionality
  • VR compatible
  • Wi-Fi module included
  • Lightweight
  • 70m range
  • 7 minutes of flight time
  • Headless mode
  • Custom flight mapping
  • 360-degree guards for safety and protection

Product Review and Description

The UDI U818A Quadcopter drone with Wi-Fi and HD camera is a drone which is VR compatible. Meaning, you can enjoy the first-person view with the Wi-Fi FPV feature. You can enjoy this functionality by connecting the drone with your Virtual Reality headset and setting it up. This quadcopter drone also has the return to the home button, which will automatically navigate the drone to its launch location without manual control. Two Lithium Polymer batteries power it, and the retail box includes a bonus power bank.

The 6-axis gyroscope provides a great deal of stability to the drone, making the experience of flying it very smooth. You can do easy 3-D 360-degree flips too! You can set custom flight maps, although this functionality is not as proper as it is seen in higher-end drones. The lightweight plastic body is durable. With 360-degree guards around the quadcopter for your safety and the drone’s protection, we found the design to be very resilient to damages due to crashes.

The drone also has headless mode and boasts a 70-meter range. It can fly for 7 minutes straight once the battery is fully charged, and it also has a micro SD card slot for storing photos and videos. The controller draws power from AA sized batteries which are not provided in the retail packaging of the drone. It comes with a photo button to snap pictures, video button to start or stop recording. The roll button can be used to make the drone do a roll at any time!

Pros
  • Durable and lightweight, easy to fly
  • Virtual Reality headset compatible
  • In-built Wi-Fi module
  • Micro SD card (TF) support
  • Elegant design
  • Multi-axis gyroscope increases stability while operating
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • 2MP HD camera is not suitable for professional-grade video capture because of lack of image stabilization gimbal
  • The camera, as well as battery limitations, make this drone a completely for beginners drone

If you are a beginner and need something that takes care of your pocket while giving you the drone that does most things well, you can go with the UDI U818A Quadcopter.

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3. HUBSAN X4 Quadcopter

The Hubsan Quadcopter packs a punch when it comes to dealing blows with the competition, and it does so at a reasonable price.

Key Features

  • Immersive first-person view flight
  • SD card support
  • Lightweight frame
  • Instant video review
  • Auto cut off safety PCB on batteries
  • 480p camera
  • 43-inches screen for live first-person view transmission
  • 100 meters of range
  • 7 minutes of flight time

Product Review and Description

Hubsan is a reputed brand when it comes to making high-quality drones and quadcopters. This drone from Hubsan, the Hubsan X4 quadcopter is no exception. It comes with a first-person view transmitter that has a 4.3-inch display on it. You can see what your flying drone sees in real-time, in an immersive FPV display. Because of this display, you can make use of instant video review and see what your drone is capturing.

The drone features an auto cut off safety PCB on the batteries to avoid accidental shorts and electrical failures. The 480p camera that cannot be controlled independently does its job, but it is not as good when compared to what the professional videographers and photographers need.

You can fly this drone while being up to 100 meters away from it, and the rated maximum flight time for this quadcopter is 7 minutes. The frame of the drone is lightweight, and you can attach and detach the protective guards. Although, we do not recommend removing it as drones crash and this particular drone does not take hits generously.

The SD card support for storing the captured photos and videos is a welcome plus, and you can also fully charge the device in 45 minutes! A USB charging cable is provided in the retail box so that you can charge the included batteries using a wall charger or by connecting it to a computer as well. The included batteries are made from Lithium Polymer and have a rating of 380mAh.

Pros
  • A long range of 100 meters allows you to fly the drone from far away
  • 7 minutes of flight time is good enough at the price point at which this drone has its price
  • 4GHz and 5.8GHz both bands are supported by the drone
  • Built-in screen on the controller provides an excellent first-person real-time view feed from the drone
  • Spare propeller is included in the retail box just in case you damage one on the drone
Cons
  • 480p camera is not good enough to capture any professional-level images and videos, and sometimes does not give satisfactory performance even in right lighting conditions
  • Recording quality is not up to mark, and sometimes video files get corrupt while storing on the memory card
  • The drone is highly sensitive even at level 1 sensitivity. Your mileage may vary though

For someone looking for a quadcopter with an FPV transmitter in the budget, this quadcopter from Hubsan ticks most of the boxes except the camera recording and video streaming quality.

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4. Traxxas 6608 LaTrax Alias

The Traxxas 6608 LaTrax Alias helicopter is a quadrotor fancy drone with many color options to choose from. Even though it does not have a built-in camera, you can buy it separately.

Key Features

  • Many color options available
  • High capacity battery
  • 4 GHz transmission radio for communication with the controller
  • Elegant and attractive design
  • Four AAA batteries are included in the retail packaging for the controller
  • Extra batteries are readily available to buy in most major retail websites

Product Review and Description

The Traxxas 6608 LaTrax Alias, even though it has a very difficult to pronounce, is nothing like challenging when it comes to flying the drone itself. It comes equipped with 650 mAh powerful lithium-polymer battery which you can buy from any major retail website if you wish to have some spare ones. The USB charger can charge the included battery quickly and will ready the drone to fly in minutes. This drone is designed to be a toy and for those who want to have their first experience of flying a drone. And for that purpose, we have to say that this drone does its job.

It is durable enough to handle some mild bumps and does not give up easily. The motors do not burn themselves; at least there aren’t many examples of such things happening for this particular model. Even though the drone does not come with a camera on it, you can fit an AIO camera and upgrade it further down the line. This makes this drone a worthy competitor in the sub $200 range, as it has a clear upgrade path. Most of the cameras that you can fit on this one, especially when you are looking for something really nice, beat the cameras that are already on the competitor drones.

The drone has a range of 50 meters which is not the biggest range by any means. The advertised flight time for this drone is six to seven minutes. The build of the drone is molded in two pieces, which you can choose colors for. It is an excellent gift for children around 14 years of age.

Pros
  • Beautiful and colorful design
  • High capacity 650mAh battery
  • Decently priced
  • Batteries for the drone controller are included in the retail packaging
  • Possibility to upgrade
Cons
  • May have motor issues

The Traxxas 6608 LaTrax Alias helicopter is an affordable drone for those starting out with drones. It is excellent for your first drone experience.

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5. Altair Aerial AA300 GPS Beginner Drone

Altair Aerial AA300 GPS Beginner Drone is a drone ideal for users of all ages and all skill levels. Its simplicity makes flying a drone a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Key Features

  • 1080p FPV Video & Photography, barometer altitude hold
  • Remote Control Camera Drone
  • Three Autonomous Return Home functions
  • Follow-Me Mode
  • Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) connectivity makes flying easier and offers stability
  • One-Touch Take-Off and Landing
  • Twelve minutes of flight
  • Suitable for users of all skill levels

Product Review and Description

Altair Aerial AA300 GPS Beginner Drone makes flying as easy as linking the drone to the controller, setting the compass and taking off. It is really simple and easy to operate making it suitable for users of all skill levels and all ages. The instructions that come along with it further aid the process.

The return-to-home feature means users don’t have to worry about losing the drone. At the touch of a button, it rises to a height and returns safely. It is also fairly durable. It’s a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) connectivity makes flying easier and offers stability. It can stream live footage from up to 100 meters away. It produces 1080p FPV Video & Photography and is capable of barometer altitude hold. This is a drone that you can grow your skills with, as you can switch to advanced modes later.

Pros
  • Simple and easy to operate, suitable for beginners and people of all ages
  • You can make it return safely to you with any of its three return-to-home features
  • One-touch takeoff and landing means no more worries about crashing close to home
  • Clear and easy-to-follow instructions
  • Impressive speed
  • Durable
Cons
  • Short flying time

Altair Aerial AA300 GPS Beginner Drone is a user-friendly drone packed with useful features, and at a price under $200, it is quite a steal.

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6. Altair 818 Hornet Beginner Drone

Altair 818 Hornet Beginner Drone is one that is suitable for kids and adults alike because of its ease of operation and adjustable controller skill settings.

Key Features

  • Easy to operate
  • 15 Min Flight Time
  • Ability to Altitude Hold, useful for photography
  • Alarm system
  • One-touch take-off and landing
  • Three controller skill settings

Product Review and Description

Altair 818 Hornet Beginner Drone is suitable for kids and adults alike. It is easy to operate and very durable. This allows you to take live video and pictures in first person view FPV with an FPV headset or your phone/tablet. It can withstand harsh weather conditions. Additionally, the drone comes with three controller skill settings so that you can adjust it according to your skill level. This makes it relatively easy to fly and suitable for people of all ages/skill levels.

The altitude hold mode helps it hover in a stable manner making photography easy and convenient. The one-touch take off and landing function makes it simple to operate. Its alarm systems alert you when it flies out of range or if it is running low on battery. This helps in avoiding the issue of lost drones. It offers a good fifteen minutes of uninterrupted flight time, which is excellent for a drone under $200. Its shape is aerodynamic which helps its performance. This drone can be excellent equipment for amateur photographers.

Pros
  • Alarm systems alert you when the battery is low or the drone is out of range
  • Altitude hold mode is useful for photography
  • Good flight time for a drone at this price
  • One-touch take off and landing makes it easy to get started and to halt when required
  • Three controller skill settings help it to adjust to the user, making it easy to fly
  • Highly durable, can withstand harsh weather conditions
Cons
  • Short battery life, not to be confused with a flight time

Altair 818 Hornet Beginner Drone is a great starter RC quadcopter for all ages and levels.

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7. Sky Viper 01601

Sky Viper 01601 is a durable starter drone with eight one-touch stunts and auto flight features.

Key Features

  • 8 One-Touch stunts
  • Auto launch, auto hover and auto land functions
  • Does not require FAA registration
  • Stream and record 720P HD Video to a device/micro SD card
  • Ability to adjust controller responsiveness
  • 4GHz Spread Spectrum Transmitter
  • 120 degree wide angle camera lens

Product Review and Description

Sky Viper 01601 is a drone that allows streaming and recording 720P HD Video to a device or micro SD card. It offers eight one touch stunts like flips and barrel rolls that you can experiment and play with. This allows you to switch between manual altitude (for a fully manual flight) and auto altitude (to allow you to maintain altitude hands-free). It is relatively lightweight and does not require FAA registration. Auto Flight technology makes it incredibly easy to operate for people of all ages and skill levels.

You can actually practice maneuvers on your phone before trying it on the drone in reality. This is possible due to the Sky Viper Flight Simulator App. Its controls are very responsive. You can fly it with ease and navigate tight corners. It is durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions. This drone is extremely user friendly and worth its price. You can use it to become proficient in flying drones. At this price, its durability is unmatched. Anyone and everyone can learn to fly this drone with ease.

Pros
  • Durable, can withstand harsh conditions
  • Allows to switch between manual and auto modes
  • One touch stunts to experiment with
  • Easy to operate
  • Allows training with flight simulator app
  • Responsive controls
  • User friendly
Cons
  • Mediocre camera quality

Sky Viper 01601 is ideal for people who have just started exploring the world of drones. It packs many features to experiment with.

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8. Force1 U28W Peregrine

The Force1 U28W Peregrine takes outdoor excursions to a whole new level with its wide angle HD Camera and VR compatibility. It has great features and is perfect for beginners and kids.

Key Features

  • First Person View + VR Headset Compatibility
  • Altitude Hold
  • 1-key Takeoff + Landing
  • Wide-angle HD Camera
  • Extra Battery:
  • Custom Route Mode

Product Review and Description

The Force1 U28W Peregrine is a great drone for beginners and has all the features of an advanced drone with a wonderful price tag. It comes with First Person View so you can view the video in real time on your smartphone. This is also compatible with VR headsets giving you a completely immersive experience.

It has really intuitive features like altitude hold that allows you to keep the drone at a particular height only. Additionally, the drone also comes with 1-key takeoff and landing making your flying much more convenient. It has a wide angle 720p HD camera that shoots crisp HD videos and photos. One of the most unique features it offers is the Custom Route Mode that allows you to trace your desired flight path on your smartphone that the drone will fly autonomously.

Pros
  • Easy to operate
  • 1-key takeoff and landing options
  • Custom Route Mode
  • 360 flips and tricks with 6 gyro axis
  • Live video
  • VR compatible
  • Headless mode
  • Altitude hold
Cons
  • Sub-par battery

The Force1 U28W Peregrine is a really good beginner drone with advanced software, that makes it a really fun experience. It is loaded with features and comes at a great price.

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9. U45W Blue Jay WiFi FPV Drone

The U45W Blue Jay WiFi FPV Drone is an excellent drone for newbies and veterans alike thanks to its innovative features and easy-to-use interface. It makes flying both a fun and learning experience.

Key Features

  • First Person View Rc Drone & Vr Headset Compatibility
  • 720p Hd Aerial Footage W/ 2mp Camera
  • Altitude Hold
  • One Touch Takeoff And Landing
  • Custom Route Mode
  • Extra Batteries

Product Review and Description

The U45W Blue Jay WiFi FPV Drone is a fantastic beginner’s drone that comes bundled with features. IT has a first person view with a live video which allows you to stream the live footage directly onto your smartphone screen. It also gives you an immersive experience thanks to its VR compatibility.

Its 2 MP 720p HD camera gives you wide HD videos and clear photographs. It has a one button takeoff and landing feature which is really useful. It also has an altitude hold that  allows you to keep the drone at a particular height only. The Custom Route Mode allows you to draw a predetermined flight route on your smartphone that the drone will fly unassisted. Its 6-axis gyro mode allows you to do 360 tricks easily. It has a headless mode as well for better flying.

Pros
  • VR compatible
  • Custom Route Mode
  • FPV and Live view
  • 6-axis gyro
  • Easy to use
  • one button takeoff and landing
  • Headless Mode
Cons
  • Below average flight time and battery

The U45W Blue Jay WiFi FPV Drone is a good beginner’s drone and has excellent features that make it easy to operate and fun to use.

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10. Force1 Drone UdiR/C

The Force1 Drone UdiR/C is a stylish beginner’s drone with a great camera and is also very stable. It can do many tricks and is easy to use.

Key Features

  • 720p HD Camera Drone
  • 1-button Stunts
  • Headless Mode
  • 6-axis Gyro
  • Bonus Battery

Product Review and Description

The Force1 Drone UdiR/C comes with a 720p HD camera that shoots HD videos at 30 fps. It is capable of doing many stunts and tricks thanks to its 6-axis gyro and one push button. It has a headless mode that allows you to fly the drone easily.

The remote control comes with an LCD screen that monitors battery power, signal strength, recording status and more. It also comes with an extra battery to give you extra flying time. It has LED lights as well and gives off an alarm when the battery is low.

Pros
  • Fly right out of the box
  • Extra battery
  • The LCD display on transmitter
  • 1 button stunts
  • LED lights
  • Headless mode
Cons
  • Cheap build

The Force1 Drone UdiR/C is a great beginner’s drone with a good camera and easy-to-use controls. It comes with extra batteries as well and is fun to use with its stunts.

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A final word!

To conclude, the perfect drone for you depends on your requirements. However, there are some good characteristics to look for in the ideal purchase. Get a starter drone with basic features if you are just getting started. It helps you to learn controls and gives you a feel of aerial photography and videography. Some drones offer more advanced features within a budget. These are better for people who are looking at experimenting within a budget. Budget drones give you the confidence to dive deeper into the field of aerial photography and videography.

Durability is an important feature to look for in drones, as drones are susceptible to many accidents. It should be able to withstand and fly in harsh weather conditions. The drone should be user-friendly and responsive to controls. It is great if it can shift between manual and automatic modes. Multiple adjustable skill settings ensure that a drone is operable by different types of users.

The drones featured above are excellent options to choose from in a budget. When making a final choice, consider what features suit your purpose most. A good drone with sufficient features will help you enjoy the whole experience of flying drones and capturing great photos and videos at the same time.

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