Best drones under $100 of 2022

Best drones under $100 of 2022

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Updated Nov 18, 2022 8: 53 PM

Drones under $100 aren’t going to perform intense industrial tasks or film big-budget movies. They can be a great way to have a lot of fun. Drones have been widely available in the last decade and have almost replaced toy planes or helicopters. Drones are a popular choice for photographers, videographers, children, and anyone else who wants to fly cool toys.

Buying the best helicopters can get quite expensive. While there are extreme cases of $300,000 drones built for extreme industrial work, most higher-end consumer drones fall around $1,000 to $2,000. It can be difficult for novice flyers and budget-conscious people to see prices over $1K. There are many great budget options available. Although they may not be as expensive as more expensive models, many of these drones are stable, simple to use, and offer great user experiences. Here are some of the best drones under $100 so you can take flight without having a budget-induced panic attack.

How we chose the best drones under $100

We started this article with a large list of drones that are above the toy category, but below the serious enthusiast. To find drones that provide safe and enjoyable experiences on a low budget, we used a combination of professional reviews, user impressions, spec comparisons, and personal experience. These aren’t professional equipment. However, they don’t offer the same level of performance as professional equipment. You’ll need to upgrade to a more robust model to get that level of performance.

Best drones under $100: Reviews & Recommendations

Now that we have cleared the jargon, here are our individual picks. Although we recommend models for specific users we should also mention that there is a lot of overlap. We think all these devices are worth looking at.

Best overall: Holy Stone HS110D FPV RC Drone with 1080p HD Camera

Why it made the cut: With a variety of features, this budget drone has a bit of everything in a perfect mid-size model with a 1080p FPV camera and lots of easy-to-use, in-app controls.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 12.6 x 12.6 x 4. 70 inches
  • Weight: 5.3 oz
  • Recording Modes: 120-degree FOV 1080p

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Easy to use remote
  • Great for beginners
  • 1080p video capabilities

Cons

  • Not wind-proof
  • Phone app asks multiple permissions; may be too intrusive for some users

The Holy Stone is worth more than its price. It has a pre-set button that allows you to flip in any direction, and a landing feature that assists novice pilots so that you don’t crash your new aircraft.

It also features a 1080p FOV 120-degree HD FPV Camera with altitude hold for great images, tons of mobile control features in the app like voice control and gravity sensor control, multiple speeds, and comes with 2 batteries for 20 minutes of flight time each. This number will be lower in real life, but it is still a great deal compared to other competitors.

Reviews love how easy the app is to use once you pair the drone to your phone via Bluetooth. The app’s small size makes it easy to use. Its feature set will start building some basic skills for pilots looking to move up to a more expensive craft later on, making it stand out among the best drones under $100.

Best for beginners: Ryze Tech Tello Drone for Beginners

Why it made the cut: This lightweight and easy-to-use drone is ideal for beginners because it’s simple, stable, lightweight, and can be controlled in-app.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 3. 86 x 3. 66 x 1. 61 inches
  • Weight: 2. 82 oz
  • Video Output Resolution: 1280 x 720 pixels

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Stable
  • Takes good 5 MP photos and videos

Cons

  • Not great for dark/nighttime use
  • Not suitable for windy conditions
  • Limited to 99 ft altitude

With intuitive controls and an easy-to-use app, this drone for beginners is super simple to use while you learn how to properly fly.

This high-capacity battery provides competitive flight times, especially for this low price. EZ Shots allows you to easily record 5 MP photos and videos and share them on social networks from your smartphone. It can also be programmed with Scratch (a MIT-developed coding system which teaches children how to program).

It weighs in at under 3 oz. This makes it a lightweight and versatile tool. It is not suitable for windy conditions and it is not recommended to be used at night or in low-light conditions. It’s a great starter drone, with minimal frills. However, it will take great photos and videos to get you started in drone flight control.

Best for kids: Tomzon A31 Drone for Kids

Why it made the cut: Get your kids in on the drone fun with this remote-controlled quadcopter that’s got several LED light-up features, presets that make frequency pairing a breeze, and 3D flips that make flying cool.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 5 x 6. 22 x 1. 65 inches
  • Weight: 12 oz
  • Flight time: 16-18 min

Pros

  • Presets and automatic pairings
  • Easy to control
  • One key controls
  • 4 LEDs on motors
  • Safety guards

Cons

  • No camera

Although this basic drone does not have a camera it is a great gift for little ones who want to explore the world of flying machines.

Propellers should be protected from outside hazards, as accidents can happen. This thing is difficult to break. The remote is small enough to be used by children. It’s stable and easy to use. There are four LED lights with seven different color effects that create cool lighting effects. These lights can also be used at night.

The “push-to-flip” feature allows for easy drone flips with little ones. The drones can last up to 18 minutes of flight with 360-degree rotation, and feature one-key landing/taking-off with 3 speed adjustments that make learning to fly super accessible for any age.

Best mini drone: SIMREX X500 mini Drone

Why it made the cut: This Wi-Fi-enabled, foldable, palm-sized FPV drone features a 720P HD Camera, Altitude Hold, up to 12 minutes of use, and live video that stays steady without needing any assistance.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 6. 39 x 4. 59 x 3. 76 inches
  • Weight: 12 oz
  • Video Output Resolution: 1280 x 720 Pixels

Pros

  • 720P HD Camera
  • Compact and foldable
  • 3D flips
  • Variety of pre-programmable options
  • App is clear and syncs well

Cons

  • Phone holder may not be suitable for all phones
  • Could have longer battery life

This mini drone is a great toy for beginners or more experienced flyers. It fits in your hand and weighs almost nothing. No matter what level of experience you have, the controls are simple to use. There are several preset control modes such as the one-button touchdown that make flying easy.

It can be used via dual sense control (mobile phone and remote controlled dual-assense controller). You can also use the Headless Mode to avoid getting lost trying to figure out where the control buttons are. The 720P high-definition FPV Wi-Fi Camera takes quality aerial photos and provides a drone’s eye view of its travels.

The foldable design makes it easy to store and transport. It’s large enough to ensure stability during flight. The battery lasts up to 12 minutes, which isn’t long but is impressive for its size.

Best video drone: CHUBORY Wi-Fi FPV 1080p HD Drone

Why it made the cut: Take incredible aerial videos with this 1080p HD video drone that’s tiny, easy to take on the go, and offers a whopping 40 minutes of flight time.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 9. 29 x 8. 31 x 2. 83 inches
  • Weight: 1. 48 pounds
  • Video Output Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels

Pros

  • Up to 40 minutes of flight time
  • Foldable
  • Protective guards
  • Dual cameras / Optical flow positioning
  • App supports Apple & Android

Cons

  • Included instructions are confusing
  • “Follow me” function is sometimes wonky

This HD FPV video drone has altitude hold and offers a lot for a budget price. It has a switchable front and bottom camera that can be used to capture live images from the top and a clear view of what’s going on down below.

You get tons of features like auto-hover and one-key takeoff and landing, one key flip and roll, and “follow me”. It’s easy to use and super simple, making it a great choice for beginners and children.

The best part? You get up to 40 minutes of flight time, which is one of the longest we’ve seen at this price point. You can also carry it in your backpack for hiking and other adventures.

Things to consider before buying the best drones under $100

We’ll give it to you straight: for under $100, you can definitely get a quality, easy-to-use drone, but don’t expect frilly features and tons of bells and whistles. Be sure to check the following key features before you buy a drone:

Video capability

Does the drone have a camera or video camera? Since there are several options under $100 that include video, you might as well look for options with that feature and practice capturing images. You won’t get high-def footage, but you might get a unique perspective that earns you lots of Instagram likes. You’ll find some models that shoot HD video, but don’t expect 4K or anything fancy like that.

RTF

RTF is for Ready to Fly. This means that the model is ready to fly and doesn’t need any additional hardware or setup. There are lots of RTF drones under $100.

Battery charge time-to-flight time ratio

Look out for drones with longer flight times and quick battery charges so you can fly frequently and quickly without waiting for hours. You can get a lot more flight time with cheaper drones, but you should also buy extra batteries if they are removable.

Stability

Look for features that will keep your drone stable. Cheap drones are usually made of lightweight plastic and may not be as stable in light winds. Look out for language such as “Altitude Hold” within the description. This means that it can hold its position in air without pilots needing to constantly fiddle with the controls.

FAQs

Q: What happens if a drone goes out of range?

If a drone goes out of range, that means it’s lost its signal. A drone will usually have a failsafe built in to make sure it doesn’t get lost. Higher-end drones will automatically “return home” if the signal is lost. Most drones on this list will land or fly off into the blue yonder when they lose signal. So make sure everything is in order.

Q: How high can a drone fly?

How high your drone flies is actually super important. The FAA allows drones to fly at a maximum height of four-hundred feet. If you fly too high, you could run into other aircraft and get into serious trouble. These rules are not applicable to licensed pilots with more advanced craft.

Q: How far can a drone fly?

How far a drone can fly definitely depends on the model and price point. For most toy and budget models, you’re usually looking at about 20-100 yards, but higher-end models can fly several miles.

Final thoughts on the best drones under $100

Budget quadcopters make quadcopter flying easier for beginners, kids, and anyone else who wants to try it. If you’re looking for fun aerial picture taking and want to learn how to use drones without having to shell out hundreds of dollars, the best drones under $100 will give you a high-quality experience at a great price point.

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