10 Best Drones under $200 – Beginner’s Guide

A Drone is a superb way to capture aerial photos and videos. Also, drone-flying is one of the fastest-growing hobbies in 2021.
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Drones are popular for capturing superb aerial photos and videos. As well, flying them is one of the fastest growing hobby in 2021.

I believe that the $200 is a big amount! So, let we make sure that you don’t waste any single dollar on a low-quality and Chinese-special drones.

Anyhow, Choosing the perfect drone is a daunting task because most of the drones have identical features and functionalities.

To make your life easy, I have decided to round-up a list of best drones under $200.

List of Best Drones

  1. Holy Stone HS100Best Overall
  2. Potensic T25
  3. Altair 818 Hornet BeginnerBest for Beginner’s
  4. Eachine EX4Editor’s Choice
  5. Holy Stone HS700D
  6. Holy Stone HS270
  7. Holy Stone HS165
  8. SNAPTAIN SP500
  9. Eachine E520S

But before we jump-in and start discussing,

If you are not familiar with fundamentals of drone flying then continue reading the following section or Click Here to jump to the list of best drones.

Things to know before buying a Drone

  1. FAA Regulations
  2. Flying Time
  3. Flying Range
  4. Image Stabilization
  5. Camera Quality
  6. FPV (First-Person-View)
  7. RTH (Return-to-Home)
  8. Extra Features (Gesture Control, Follow-me, One-key handling, etc.)

Let’s discuss them briefly,

#1 – FAA Regulations

The FAA stands for Federal Aviation Administrations. It is responsible for the regulation and implementation of aviation aspects.

You can’t fly your drone anywhere without the permission from US Government. Yes! You heard it right!

In case of drones weighing more than 55 pounds (250 gm), registration with FAA is compulsory. Few areas are drone-restricted. This B4UFLY app by FAA will help you identify those areas.

For detailed information about FAA Regulations, check this website.

#2 – Flying Time – is the key

How long your drone is going to stay in the air is described by Flying Time.

At this price range, your drone will have flying time between 10 to 20 minutes.

It depends on the battery capacity of the drone. Generally, people purchase an extra battery to double the flying time.

#3 – Flying Range

This defines how far your drone can fly from you. Further it goes, the more fun you will experience!

Drone flying range at this price is going to be between 400 to 1000 meters.

Note that a drone transmitter and receiver communication is based on radio waves. So, sometimes due to the interference, drones will fail to travel the distance specified by the manufacturer.

Ex. This can happen in case of a drone flying near a cell phone tower.

#4 – Image Stabilization

This feature is particularly useful for people planning to capture aerial photos and videos.

Excellent stabilization is must to capture sharp and clear images. Because your drone should hover with superb stabilization regardless of the motion and tilt of the drone. This feature will avoid shakiness and jello effect in photos.

Image stabilization can be achieved through,

  1. Gimbal
  2. Altitude Hold
  3. Digital Stabilization

The Gimbal offers maximum image stabilization.

If you are a pilot and not a photographer then you may need not emphasize on this feature. But for a drone photographer, it is must!

#5 – Camera Quality

The drone at this price range will have a camera of 1080p, 2.7k, or 4k resolution.

Along with the resolution look for the frame rate, FOV (Field of View), shutter speed, and aperture.

If you plan to mount an external camera to the drone, consider the additional weight because it will directly affect the flying time.

#6 – FPV – First Person View

I remember, at first sight, we were not a big fan of this technology because we were busy in capturing excellent images and videos.

But after experiencing FPV once, we have become a huge fan of it.

With this FPV feature and a set of VR Goggles, you can view the real-time footage captured by the drone camera and start feeling like sitting in the aeroplane’s cockpit and flying like a superhero.

Yup! It exactly feels as it sounds.

#7 – RTH – Return-to-Home

This feature allows your drone to return to the starting position when it senses low battery or signal loss.

Sadly, we have lost two of our drones after exceeding the maximum flying range.

Often times beginners are lost in enjoying the drone flying and fail to notice if the battery is running out of charge and they have exceeded the maximum flying range. In such a case, if there wouldn’t be a RTH function, then your drone might get away from you forever.

Almost every drone on this list have RTH feature.

#8 – Additional Features

Even at the price of $200, a drone is packed with the variety of features. It depends upon the brand.

  • Intelligent Geofence: With this function, you can define the area within which your drone should fly to avoid too high or too far travelling of the drone.
  • Follow Me: It allows drone to follow you by tracking a smartphone or remote controller kept in your hands.
  • Waypoint Mode: It will let you point a location on your smartphone where the drone will travel by himself.
  • One-key Take-off and Landing: This feature would prevent you from destroying your drone due to your beginner-level landing.

Okay! So that was all about the drone basics.

Now let we jump-in to the details without any further ado,

1. Holy Stone HS100

Holy Stone HS100 - Best Drone under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

Discussion about budget-friendly drones is incomplete without mentioning Holy Stone.

The Holy Stone HS100 is our top pick on this list, because this beginner-friendly drone packs highly competitive features compared to the rivals at the same price.

It equips GPS to ensure stable flight performance and a impressive 2K (2048×1152 pixel) Camera with 120° wide-angle lens.

To experience the thrilling live video (FPV) transmission download and install the official Holy Stone Drone App.

Specifications

  1. Flying Time: 18 Minutes
  2. Flying Range: 600 meters
  3. FPV Transmission Range: 350 meters
  4. Image Stabilization: Altitude Hold
  5. RTH: Yes
  6. Battery: 7.4V, 3500mAh

Additionally, it offers brushed motors, one-key take-off/landing, follow me mode, a few LED lights underneath rotor arms, etc.

Holy Stone HS100 has robust construction and decent performance.

Benefits

  • Easy to learn
  • FPV compatible
  • Good flying time
  • RTH (Return-to-Home)
  • 2K Camera
  • GPS

Drawbacks

  • Long charging time
  • Brushed motors

2. Potensic T25

Potensic T25 - Best Drone under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

The Potensic T25 is very identical to DJI Phantom 4 Pro in terms of design and look.

This compact drone is made from high-quality plastic. It is perfect for beginners.

This drone captures excellent quality images and videos with a 1080p camera featuring a 120° wide-angle lens. The 3 Speed Mode allow you to operate this drone as a beginner, intermediate, and advanced pilot.

Specifications

  1. Flying Time: 10 Minutes
  2. Flying Range: 300 meters
  3. FPV Transmission Range: 100-150 meters
  4. Image Stabilization: 9-Axis Gyroscope
  5. RTH: Yes
  6. Battery: 3.7V, 1000mAh

The 9-Axis Gyroscope is the selling point of this drone. It helps stabilizing the drone to capture excellent images.

The Waypoint mode allows you to draw a custom path in the mobile app that drone will follow flawlessly. Additional feature includes the dual battery, low battery indicator, headless mode, follow me function, FPV, etc.

Benefits

  • Easy to learn
  • FPV compatible
  • Comes with extra battery
  • Brushless motors
  • RTH (Return-to-Home)
  • 1080p camera
  • GPS

Drawbacks

  • Long charging time
  • Low flying time

3. Altair 818 Hornet Beginner

Altair 818 Hornet Beginner - Best Drone under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

This cute looking drone from Altair is designed for beginners and kids.

The Altair 818 Hornet Beginner equips sturdy frame to survive hard landings and collisions. Whether it is indoor or outdoor flying, the Altair 818 is ready!

It comes with 3 Control Settings. Once you get the hang of flying on the lower settings, just increase the skill level and unlock more maneuverability and speed!

Specifications

  1. Flying Time: 15 Minutes
  2. Flying Range: 150 meters
  3. FPV Transmission Range: 60 meters
  4. Image Stabilization: Altitude Hold
  5. RTH: No
  6. Battery: 7.4V

A newbie should not fly this drone so high with super-sonic speed because it doesn’t have a RTH feature.

It comes with a decent camera of 720p resolution with a 120° wide-angle lens. One can enjoy live video transmission (FPV) through their smartphone or VR Goggles.

Benefits

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Easy to learn
  • Brushless motors
  • Good flying time
  • FPV compatible
  • 720p camera

Drawbacks

  • Long charging time
  • Lack of RTH (Return-to-Home)

4. Eachine EX4

Eachine EX4 - Best Drone under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

The Eachine Ex4 equips 3-Axis Gimbal for image stabilization which makes it standout on this list.

This medium sized drone packs excellent features at this price range. It offers 25 minutes of flying time! The drone is relatively faster because of the brushless motors.

The 4K HD Camera boasts the resolution of 4096×3072 pixels.

Specifications

  1. Flying Time: 25 Minutes
  2. Flying Range: 1000 meters
  3. FPV Transmission Range: 1000 meters
  4. Image Stabilization: 3-Axis Gimbal
  5. RTH: Yes
  6. Battery: 11.1V, 2400mAh

It packs bunch of additional features, including One Key Return, Waypoint Mode, Follow Me, Gesture Control Mode, 3 Smart Flight Modes, and more.

We recommend this drone especially to photographers because of the features like high-quality camera, 3-axis Gimbal, highly stable hovering, and longer flying range.

Benefits

  • Compact design
  • Excellent flying time
  • 3-Axis Gimbal
  • Brushless Motors
  • FPV Compatible
  • RTH (Return-to-Home)
  • 4K camera
  • GPS

Drawbacks

  • Long charging time

5. Holy Stone HS700D

Holy Stone HS700D - Best Drone under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

The Holy Stone HS700D comes with a 1-Axis Gimbal for image stabilization. It is a value for money deal!

This drone packs high-quality 1500KV brushless motors for making it a high-speed machine.

The Holy Stone HS700D is popular because of it’s impressive 2K HD Camera and exceptional level of FPV experience.

Specifications

  1. Flying Time: 22 Minutes
  2. Flying Range: 1000 meters
  3. FPV Transmission Range: 500-800 meters
  4. Image Stabilization: 1-Axis Gimbal
  5. RTH: Yes
  6. Battery: 2800 mAh

Other feature includes One Key Return, Waypoint Mode, Follow Me, Intelligent Geofence, Headless Mode, and more.

This is also one of our highly recommended drone for photography.

Benefits

  • Compact
  • Excellent flying time
  • 1-Axis Gimbal
  • FPV Compatible
  • Brushless motors
  • RTH (Return-to-Home)
  • 2K camera
  • GPS

Drawbacks

  • Long charging time

6. Holy Stone HS270

Holy Stone HS270 - Best Drone under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

The Holy Stone HS270 is our favorite foldable drone on this list. It is compact, light-weight, and perfectly portable. If you are always on the move, then this drone is for you.

This drone equips 2.7K (3840×2160 resolution) camera with 120° wide-angle lens.

The Holy Stone HS270 drone has an impressive FPV Transmission range of 400 meters, which is above average for a foldable drone at this price range.

Specifications

  1. Flying Time: 18 Minutes
  2. Flying Range: 600 meters
  3. FPV Transmission Range: 400 meters
  4. Image Stabilization: Altitude Hold
  5. RTH: Yes
  6. Battery: 7.4V, 350mAh

This drone’s additional features include Waypoint mode, Orbit Mode, Follow me, voice-recording feature, etc.

Benefits

  • Light-weight and compact
  • FPV compatible
  • Good flying time
  • RTH (Return-to-Home)
  • 2.7K camera
  • GPS

Drawbacks

  • Long charging time
  • Brushed motors

7. Holy Stone HS165

Holy Stone HS165 - Best Drone under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

This drone packs a big punch at the price of $119 only!

The Holy Stone HS165 is a compact and foldable drone best fit for people on the go. It offers the flying time of 15 minutes. To increase the flying time, the Holy Stone is selling this drone with an extra battery at $129. Check it here!

It has a camera of 2K HD resolution with 90° wide-angle lens. It capture high-quality images without blurry and jello effect.

Specifications

  1. Flying Time: 15 Minutes
  2. Flying Range: 300-400 meters
  3. FPV Transmission Range: 180-250 meters
  4. Image Stabilization: Altitude Hold
  5. RTH: Yes
  6. Battery: 7.4V, 880mAh

This drone is packed with additional features like Follow Me mode, Waypoint Mode, Circle Fly, 2-Speed Mode, One Key take-off and landing function, etc.

Benefits

  • Light-weight and compact
  • FPV compatible
  • RTH (Return-to-Home)
  • Comes with extra battery
  • Good flying time
  • 2K camera
  • Dual GPS

Drawbacks

  • Long charging time
  • Brushed motors
  • Can be a bit unresponsive

8. SNAPTAIN SP500

Snaptain SP500 - Best Drone under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

The Snaptain SP500 is very identical to Holy Stone HS165 (discussed above), but it is a bit costlier.

The high cost is because of the remarkable camera quality. You will be able to capture cool and sharp images and videos with this drone.

The Snaptain features a 1080p camera with a 110° wide-angle lens and an electronics-based altitude hold image stabilization.

Specifications

  1. Flying Time: 15 Minutes
  2. Flying Range: 300 meters
  3. FPV Transmission Range: 220 meters
  4. Image Stabilization: Altitude Hold
  5. RTH: Yes
  6. Battery: 7.4V, 1000mAh

Additional features include Follow Me mode, Waypoint Mode, Gesture Control Mode, Circle Fly, 2-Speed Mode, One Key take-off and landing function, etc.

Benefits

  • Compact design
  • FPV compatible
  • Good flying time
  • Comes with extra battery
  • RTH (Return-to-Home)
  • 1080p Camera
  • GPS

Drawbacks

  • Long charging time
  • Brushed motors

9. Eachine E520S

Eachine E520S - Best Drone under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

The Eachine E520S has a 4K resolution camera with 120° wide-angle lens. It comes with a GPS and 6-Axis gyroscope for adding stability while hovering.

This drone has a flying time of 16 minutes, which is average in this $200 category. But, I will suggest you to have an extra battery to extend the flying time. The Eachine is selling this drone with an extra battery as well. Check it here!

Specifications

  1. Flying Time: 16 Minutes
  2. Flying Range: 300 meters
  3. FPV Transmission Range: 250 meters
  4. Image Stabilization: 6-Axis Gyroscope
  5. RTH: Yes
  6. Battery: 7.4V, 1200mAh

Other additional features include One Key Return, Waypoint Mode, Follow Me, Headless Mode, Orbit Mode, etc.

Overall this drone is perfect for the people on the move for photography.

Benefits

  • Compact design
  • FPV compatible
  • RTH (Return-to-Home)
  • Good flying time
  • Comes with an extra battery
  • 4K camera
  • GPS

Drawbacks

  • Long charging time

Conclusion

For aerial photography, we suggest you to go with Holy Stone HS700D or Eachine Ex4. They both pack a big punch.

There are few very affordable drones like Holy Stone HS165 offering excellent performance.

If you are buying a drone for your kids then look no further and go for the cute little flying-machine, Altair 818 Hornet.

Finally, if you feel like we are missing any fantastic drone under $200, don’t forget to comment below. We will look forward to adding them to this list.

Pia Jacobson
Pia is a tech enthusiast and software developer. She is a DIY geek who loves 3D Printing and Drones. Passionate about travelling the world and designing and 3D printing her stuff. Recently started sharing her experience and knowledge about Drones and 3D Printers at ULTRAdvice. Lives in Austin.