Let’s face it, not everybody wants to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a drone. Most cases have us reaching deep into our wallets before we actually reach out towards the great blue sky. Of course, as a general rule of thumb, the cheaper the device, the poorer it will perform, but that is not the case with these drones. First off, you need to know how to fly a drone. Secondly, you should choose your drone wisely. Look at our best cheap drones options below and see which one best fits your style.
Reminder: As of December 21, 2015, all drones that exceed 0.55 lbs. must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
10 Best Cheap Drones for Beginners
10. Proto X Nano Quadcopter Drone
As far as cheap drones go, it may just be that the Proto X Nano Quadcopter is the smallest drone in history. This oversized bumblebee, however, can positively pack a punch. It can go around at incredible speeds and can drive your cat crazy – if you’re into that sort of stuff.
The Proto X is designed for drone enthusiasts who have yet to step out of the closed about their hobby – or in this case, out of the house. Do not use the Proto X Nano Drone outside since it will definitely get blown away by the wind at just 7 ounces.
9. Yi Zhan X4
You didn’t think it could get any cheaper and then it did! The Yi Zhan X4 is by far the cheapest drone on this list, but its value for the money is incredible. It’s slightly larger than the Proto X Nano Quad, weighing 1.16 ounces and measuring about 14 centimeters. Still, more than enough to scare your neighbors, pets, or even your spouse.
One great advantage that the Yi Zhan X4 has over the Proto X is that it comes with a larger controller. Say what you will about the Proto, but its controller looks like it was designed for baby-hands. Also not a good idea to use the Zhan outdoors.
8. Blade Nano QX
The Blade Nano QX is another drone which would fare better to be used indoors. While it can be taken outdoors and it may show some resilience to harsh winds, it’s wise to not put it through too much strain. Its makers recommend it to be flown inside an office or a basic room. This entry on our list of cheap drones can even perform tricks and has a mode specifically designed for those of you that are more experienced with flying drones.
The Nano QX quadcopter also features the trademark SAFE system which is specifically designed so that even the ultimate beginners in the world of drones will be able to fly it.
7. UDI U818A HD+
One of the more advanced drones on this list of cheap drones, the UDI U818A HD+ features a 2-megapixel camera, a 4 GB microSD card, as well as two Lithium Polymer batteries so you can double the flight time and double the fun you’ll be having with it. While the videos that the HD+ shoots live up to its name due to the sharp image and the 1280 x 720p resolution.
6. JJRC H8C
This 19 centimeter-bug quadcopter can fly up to 80 meters away from the remote control, for up to 8 minutes and it will take another 90 meters to charge back up.
The battery is a resilient, 500mAh Lithium Polymer one with a charging flux of 7.4V. The JJRC H8C drone also comes together with a camera that can snap pictures at 2 MP resolution and capture HD video. The controller is also nice, having an LCD monitor which will show users battery conditions and signal strength.
5. Parrot Rolling Spider
If you ever wanted a drone that could also act as a wall-crawler now your wish can come true thanks to the incredible ingenuity of the engineers from Parrot. They made a drone that can fly indoors, outdoors, cling onto walls and even move across the ceiling. Need I say more? Oh – this is also one of the cheap drones that they make. Prepare to be amazed and to defy gravity with the Parrot Rolling Spider MiniDrone!
4. NightHawk DM007
It’s hard to believe that such a consistent package comes at such a low price. Let’s go over the NightHawk DM007’s specs! This baby can flip at 360 degrees and it carries a 4 GB mini SD card and flips up to150 meters away from the receiver. Moreover, it can shoot photos at 2 megapixels resolution and can film videos at 720p.
3. USA Toyz F180C
Even though they’re called USA Toyz, these little doohickeys are far from just child’s play. The fact is, even an adult can play with one and have loads of fun while doing that! The F180+ comes in at an awesome price for which you get a beauty of a drone with two 350mAh batteries, capable of intelligent flight, and weighing just 16.47 oz. If you’ve ever wanted a drone to play with, this is a good one to start with!
2. Heli-Max 1SQ V-Cam
The Heli-Max 1SQ is a beauty of a drone. Out of all the cheap drones we’ve presented, this has to be the most stylistically sound one.
But apart from that, the specs are also great. Capable of capturing stunning videos and shooting extremely sharp videos, the Heli-Max 1SQ is a true star of the drone world. And the best feature of the camera is that it has a transmitter. Most cheap quadcopters that have cameras won’t be able to send their footage to the user and you’ll just have to launch the drone and hope for the best. With this one, you have full control over what you’re capturing.
1. SYMA X5C
Here we are again – the Syma X5C. We just love this hefty quadcopter – it comes already equipped with an HD camera, as well as a 2GB microSD memory card, and it is able to capture incredible videos with amazing sharpness and stability.
The other cameras on this list will shoot videos that are less than ideal when it comes to focus. The Syma X5C eliminates this problem altogether. That’s why we’ve decided to put it on top of our list of the 10 best cheap drones for beginners.
To rebel against this movement of the ever-rising drone prices, we thought we’d give our readers a rundown of the cheapest drones that actually work well and are worth the money. Naturally, we want you to enjoy the drone before it eventually falls apart in mid-flight or spirals out of control straight into the neighbor’s giant oak. Preferably, though, none of that will happen. Which one of these cheap drones have you decided to buy? Let us know how it all works out for you and whether you like your drone in a comment below.