Finding the best drones under $200 can be tricky since this price point allows most budget drone manufacturers to flood the market with affordable but unreliable products. Nevertheless, you can consider the flight time, control range, performance, features and camera when finding the right fit for your needs. Alternatively, you can check out our reviewed recommendations or learn more about how to choose between these fun gadgets.
What Is a Drone?
Drones are unpiloted air crafts or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). These machines are highly versatile as they are used in transportation, military and security operations, research expeditions, search and rescue missions, video and photo shooting, agriculture and personal hobbies. Since drones lack a pilot, they can be operated remotely or use advanced sensor systems for near-full autonomy.
There are numerous types of these UAVs, with each type developed to serve specific purposes. Although multi-rotor drones lack the speed and altitude-climbing capabilities of fixed-wing and single rotor helicopters, they are ideal for hobbyists and people interested in aerial photography. These crafts are the focus of this article.
5 Best Drones Under $200
1. Potensic T25 RC FPV Drone
- 2K, 120 FOV, 75 ADJUSTABLE WIDE ANGLE}- Wider Vision & fluent transmission helps to capture clearly photos and more stable videos. WiFi camera provide you faster but clearer image transmission.
- GPS ASSIST FLY: Follow Me Mode & Dual GPS free your hands, while GPS drone automatically follow you, simultaneously capturing all the videos & photos. Beside, Potensic T25 drone will fly as you want once Customize Flight Path function activated.
- ALUMINUM SLIVER CASE: Headless Mode, Altitude Mode and One Key to Take-off / Land function make easier access to kids or beginners. Convenient and Easy, you could bring it outdoor conveniently.
- 2 LONG FLIGHT BATTERIES: 2*Modular battery 1000 mAh and up to 300m control range enable you to go farther and see broader without worried. Great drones for adults.
- SAFER AUTO RETURN: Equipped with Dual GPS drone will stand still in the wind and automatic return home, also one key remote control back to home (RTH) when it is with low power or weak signal or lost.
You do not need the skill level of experienced drone pilots to use the Potensic T25 GPS Drone, as it is designed for kids above the age of 14 and adult beginners. The smart flight features include the Headless Mode that gives you simple controls to fly it regardless of its orientation. Additionally, the Follow Me link to your phone via an app, the ability to create a custom flight route and a return home button in case you lose sight of it make the UAV a desirable option.
Moreover, it has an intelligent low-battery indicator that uses LED lights and returns the drone to its original take-off position when the charge reaches a certain level. If it does not make it back, you can easily track it.
The Potensic T25 has a 1080p camera that can tilt through 75 degrees and has a 120-degree field of view. Thus, you can view a much wider area and find better angles for your photos and videos. Furthermore, although the camera attachment lacks a 3-axis gimbal, its electronic image stabilization compensates brilliantly to produce high-quality media that you can even live stream.
2. Ryze Tech Tello- Mini Drone Quadcopter UAV
- Equipped with a high-quality image processor, the Tello drone shoots incredible photos and videos. Even if you don’t know how to fly, you can record pro-level videos with EZ Shots and share them on social media from your smartphone.
- Camera features 5MP (2592x1936) photos and HD720 videos at a maximum flight time of 13 minutes.
- Tello has two antennas that make video transmission extra stable and a high-capacity battery that offers impressively long flight times.
- Thanks to all the tech that Tello’s packing, like a flight controller powered by DJI, you can perform awesome tricks with this mini drone. Flying has never been so fun and easy.
- What you get: RyzeTech Tello powered by DJI, 4x Propellers (Pair), Propeller Guards (Set), Battery, Micro USB Cable, Propeller Removal Tool
The Ryze Tech Tello Minni Quadcopter UAV is a cheap drone with impressive qualities, including a LEGO-style programming feature for telling it to perform consecutive movements. This product is excellent for children as it can help teach them to code through the Scratch language, although they may need guidance.
The 720p camera can take 5 MP photos and videos at 30 fps. Although the typical drone under $200 comes with a 2K camera, the electronic stabilized model on the Ryze Tech Tello can help you take impressive shots. Plus, this model's battery life offers a 13-minute flight when full.
3. Potensic D58 FPV Drone with 2K Camera
- 【36MIN 2 Batteries Ideal Travelling Drone with Case 】: Come with a customized sliver case for holding your drone and accessories. Double batteries provide up to 36 min flight. Long fun time for outdoor travelling.
- 【5G WiFi 2K Camera】: Featured with 5G WiFi camera, this D58 captures 2K images and smooth live video without delay. 120° Wide angle and 90° lens diversified your shooting styles.
- 【GPS Assisted Safe and Stable Flight】: GPS Mode and altitude hold function make D58 hovers stably in the air. One-button return, out of range and low battery alarm, and out of control protection, all these help to ensure a safe flying.
- 【Suit for Both Beginners and Experts】: One-key taking off and landing for kids and beginners, 3 speed mode for pilots of different operational proficiency. Birthday or holiday gift for kids and friends.
- 【Follow Me & Orbit Mode】: D58 can follow your steps everywhere under the Follow Me mode. Orbit mode helps take a panoramic picture around you at the center. If you have any question, please feel free to contact us.
The Potensic D58 FPV Drone comes with a dedicated remote controller, an aluminum carrying case, an additional battery and a camera that does a professional job for a drone under $200. In addition, the product is adept at capturing impressive shots, thanks to the 120-degree wide-angle sensor, a 90-degree camera tilt and vibration dampeners. Thus, you can get 1080p quality when using the Orbit and Follow Me modes and take top-notch panoramic pictures around you.
Using a 5G WiFi for the first person view guarantees a 300 m flight range complemented by excellent transmission quality that ensures the remote controller remains responsive. In addition, each battery can offer an average flight time of about 16-17 minutes, and this selfie drone comes with an extra one out of the box. Finally, the remote control has an adjustable telescopic holder for your smartphone that secures your device regardless of its size.
4. Potensic D60 GPS Drone with Camera
- [POWERFUL BRUSHLESS MOTORS] - Compare to other drones, this D60 GPS drone adopts the advanced Brushless motors to ensure stable flight at high speed and long-distance with low consumption. It may not suitable for kids under 14 but ideal drones for adults.
- [DUAL GPS NEVER LOST] - Integrates the latest technology with dual GPS to keep accurate positioning detail of your drone. The Return-to-Home function enables this camera drone automatically return when battery low/ signal weak/ out of range. No worry about the lost.
- [1080P CAMERA] - Built-in advanced one-Axis mechanical gimbal and 1080P high-quality camera to capture the smooth, cinematic HD video you've expected. Note: 1080P content requires a 16/32 GB SD card(Card not included).
- [MULTIFUNCTION DRONE] - Combine the function of one key takeoff/landing,altitude hold, follow me, fly-by-trajectory, GPS auto-return-home, fast speed with up to 20min playtime... meet all your requirements for a high-end camera drone.
For the best camera drones, look no further than the Potensic D60 GPS Drone. The drone flies using four brushless motors to keep stable at high speeds while going for long distances because of the lower power consumption. Additionally, it relies on 4.25 G and 5G WiFi for ensuring prompt and convenient transmissions over its impressive 400 m range.
This great drone under $200 excels at taking aerial photos and video footage thanks to its anti-shake technology on the 1080p camera. Users can enjoy a 110-degree field of view and a 90-degree tilting lens. Moreover, it will automatically come back home when it gets out of range, the signal weakens or the battery is low.
5. Altair #AA108 Camera Drone
- PREMIUM 720P CAMERA DRONE W REALTIME VIDEO: The Aerial AA108 comes with a 120 Degree Wide-Angle 720P HD camera that takes amazing photos and videos in birds eye view right from your phone. SD Card Not Included! We Recommend a Class 10 SD Card, Max Size 32 GB.
- EASY TO FLY - The Altair Quadcopter is easily piloted & has Headless Mode, Altitude Hold & 1-button takeoff & landing. This is a Great drone with camera for kids, beginners and pro pilots, easy to fly indoors as well.
- STABLE FLIGHT & DURABLE CONSTRUCTION for Long Lasting Fun! The Altair also has Custom Route Modes, Use your smartphone to draw a custom flight line on your mobile screen and the drone will fly according to your flight line.
- LONG RANGE & FLIGHT TIME - 100 Meters / Up to 10 Minutes, 720p Real Time FPV (First Person View) Great Drone For Beginners. Also Includes Advanced Remote Control Technology, NO SMARTPHONE REQUIRED, Out of range alarm, emergency landing function, and low battery alarm will keep the pilot and your Altair drone safe.
- Great Drone Gift for beginners, kids & all skill levels - 3 Flight Skill Levels: 1 – (Great Drone For Kids & Beginners), 2 – Mid Level, 3 – Advanced, Comes with Bonus Battery for extra flight time. USA based Small Business in Nebraska - We Ship International Select "Seller-Fulfilled Shipping At Checkout"
If you want to buy cheaper drones but do not want to compromise on quality, the Altair #AA108 Camera Drone is a popular alternative with impressive features for its price point. For starters, the camera offers 720p quality and a 120-degree wide-angle lens for amazing shots. In addition, the live video feed is impressive, but it has a short 50 m range.
These budget drones are excellent for kids since they offer intelligent and automated flight modes. The Headless Mode and Altitude Hold make it easy to fly the craft while taking shots. Plus, this toy class drone has three flight skill levels that cater to everyone from amateurs to expert hobbyists.
How Can You Choose the Best Drone Under $200?
a). Range and Battery Life
The scope of a drone under $200 is about 100m-400m, but the control range extends further than the FPV range. So you can still guide your craft after losing your feed which gives you plenty of freedom to capture more stunning shots. However, the gadget's field of operation depends on the features you are using on it. Plus, you need to consider the presence of obstructions that can limit your control range.
Determining the battery life of a good quality drone can be tricky since many manufacturers make incredible claims they cannot support. So instead, read through customer reviews of the cheap drones since these can provide a more accurate look at the flight time in different operating scenarios.
Most drones in this price point have intelligent battery life features such as warnings when running low and an automatic return-home function. Still, some manufacturers also include an extra battery with the purchase of their inexpensive drone. Moreover, the smart aspects can include protection from overcharging and discharging.
b). What Are the FAA Regulations on Flying Drones?
Any outdoor drone, for commercial or recreational use, with a weight of 0.55 to 55 pounds must be registered with the FAA; otherwise, the owner will have to pay a considerable fine. Luckily, the process takes a few minutes, and it begins with visiting their official website to find the drone registration page. Once there, you need to provide all the necessary details, pay the fee, then print out the number.
Afterward, you need to attach the printout to your drone. Remember to mark your calendar as the registration lasts three years before it expires and must be renewed. However, a toy drone, or one that weighs less than 250 grams, does not fall under this category.
Furthermore, you can check the government-sponsored app B4UFLY that provides visual illustrations of where all the drones are allowed to fly. Some states and local governments have rules and regulations that are more specific. Hence, you should make a point of reviewing these documents to pilot your craft within the law.
c). Additional Intelligent Flight Features
FPV drones and other similar models have various features that make them easier to control when in flight. If you are not experienced in piloting these UAVs, it is best to look out for these specifications.
First, the Headless Mode lets you fly the craft even if you do not know its orientation. Second, the Follow Me mode keeps the drone tethered to your phone via GPS tracking. Third, orbit modes help the UAV to rotate about an axis of interest when recording video footage.
Fourth, the drone should give you an option to chart a custom flying path by drawing the route on your smartphone. Finally, it would be best to look out for additional flight modes like the gesture and tap control, where you can use a wearable or a phone screen to direct the craft.
d). Image Stabilization
Since drones are light, it is incredibly difficult to hold the mounted camera firmly while taking photos or videos in flight. In addition, the vibration of the rotors and motor, along with the wind, can frustrate your photography efforts. Still, you can find interesting drones at this price point that have found reliable solutions to the issue.
Image Stabilization Technologies
- Altitude hold keeps the drone's height stable without the user's manual input.
- Digital stabilization relies on installed programs to negate the craft's movement by shifting the image from one frame to another.
- Mechanical stabilization uses a gimbal with brushless motors, gyroscopes and accelerometers that tweak the camera's position to remove effects of erratic movement.
e). Camera Quality
The best drones under $200 still come with impressive camera specifications. However, depending on your intended use, you should consider the following factors.
Top-notch video recording requires a 1080p or 2K camera for crisp and clear images. In terms of photography, a high resolution, or more pixels, is essential to ensure superb image quality.
A higher frame rate is vital for professional-grade video editing in post-processing. The best drone should give you at least 30 fps which ensures the videos are smooth. More frames are required for exciting, seamless and clear slow-motion shots.
A larger field of view allows you to take sweeping photographs and videos. Typically, a camera drone with a 120-degree wide-angle lens will work well for the dramatic panoramic shots of the landscape.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Best Drones Under $200
1. What is the best drone for around $200?
The Potensic T25 Drone has a futuristic design and impressive specs that make it the best craft at this price point. With advanced flight assisting features and a superb camera, you can fly it at night without losing it because of the LED lights underneath each rotor. Plus, it comes with extra propellers, landing gear, a battery and a charger to sweeten the deal.
2. Are camera drones under $200 worth buying?
Generally, more affordable drones translate to lower-quality cameras. However, this price range has numerous options that offer 1080p resolution and image stabilization technologies that make them suitable for a wide range of photography uses. So, you can find a reliable UAV without it costing you an arm and a leg.