There’s no doubt the toy of the last decade has to be a drone, whether you own one just for fun, or use it for work or other serious business.
Although they’ve been at the top of the list for many, they’re also expensive if you want one worth owning, so many people have shied away from looking at all.
Are there good drones for under $200?
It is possible to purchase a quality drone for less than $200, although you have to be realistic about its features. A good drone at this price will still tick all of the boxes like a decent battery, quality camera, and long control range, but just not as impressive as its thousand-dollar counterpart.
If you’ve always dreamed of owning a drone, but find most of the models in your price range to be lackluster, that’s all about to change.
We’ve found a selection of the top five rated drones for under $200, and a little about what makes them so impressive, turning your dreams of drone ownership into reality.
Our Recommendations for the Best Drones Under $200
It’s still possible to purchase a quality drone for under $200, and especially with our expert recommendations.
We’ve got a line up of the top rated drones in this price range, their features and capabilities, and what customers really thought of them after giving them a test flight.
Winner: Potensic T25 Drone
- Battery: 14 minutes
- Weight: 4.09lbs
- Size: 13.7 x 10.9 x 6.2 inches
When you don’t want to spend a fortune but still want a drone that can do it all, the economical but awesome Potensic T25 Drone is your dream come true. This drone features a 1080P camera to capture everything you do with 120-degree FOV and 75-degree adjustable angle, so it’s ideal for those who like to fly and shoot.
One of the best things about this drone was how it held up to damage, even if you’re doing your best to try and avoid it. Customers found that even after some minor accidents and flying it right into fence posts or trees, their drone was still up and ready for action minutes later.
However, the battery time is a little low, even though it comes with two included. You’ll get around 14 minutes of flying time with this before the fun is over, and although it’s expected to be less with these cheaper models, it’s kind of disappointing when you’re just getting into it and have to stop.
You’ll get everything you need with the Potensic T25 Drone including two modular 1000 mAh batteries, dual GPS on board, and an aluminum silver carry case. The Follow Me Mode allows it to follow without any direction and can bring it home easily in case you lose control of it.
Potensic has a huge range of drones on offer with this one being their best drones for kids and beginners. You can customize its flight path or let it fly on a whim, and it’s got a sleek all-white construction and lightweight feel of only 4.09lbs so it’s easy to control even if you’ve never flown before.
If you want the best drone for beginners and under $200, our favorite has to be the Potensic T25. This drone costs around $160 on Amazon, comes with a 12 month warranty from the date of purchase, and free returns and shipping straight to your door. This drone proves you don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun, and it’s a gif that would make any wannabe drone pilot proud.
Runner Up: Snaptain SP510 Drone
- Battery: 18 minutes
- Weight: 9.6oz
- Size: 13.8 x 12.4 x 2.4 inches
If you’re looking for the best drone for $200 but want something with a little more battery life, you’ll get additional five minutes of fun with the Snaptain SP510 Drone. With a 2.7K HD camera, 5G Wi-Fi transmission, smart GPS positioning, and 110-degree FOV with 90-degree adjustability, it has all of the features you’d expect in something much more expensive.
The best thing about this drone is the photography functions, making it a standout in this price range. For those who plan on using their drone to take videos and photos, you’ll love the crystal clear imagery and how easy it is to use the 2.7K camera included onboard. Even videos are professional and captured at 25fps which is out of this world for a drone on a budget.
On the downside though, the flying isn’t as smooth, and it appears Snaptain worried more about the camera than how it would operate. You’ll need to reconnect and recalibrate every time you use the drone, which takes some time, and if you’re hoping to just get off the ground and get flying, this isn’t the one for you.
This aside, the Snaptain is easy to fly and a great choice for beginner pilots. It features the Home Pointe system which means it returns automatically if you ask it to, and you can keep an eye on where it is with Smart GPS positioning.
There are loads of features on board, just as you’d find with a more expensive model, and although some of them need some tweaking they’re still great to explore. Snaptain has included Follow Me mode, point of interest, object tracking, and waypoints you can set, which means hours of enjoyment once the battery has charged.
To get your hands on this beginner drone, head to Amazon for the lowest price, and pay around $170 for the Snaptain SP510. This includes free shipping, free returns for 30 days, and a warranty from the manufacturer that covers it for one year. The Snaptain has a whole lot to offer for under $200, and you’ll never get bored checking out all of the features it has in store.
Alternative: Potensic D58
- Battery: 34 minutes
- Weight: 4.77 pounds
- Size: 14.09 x 11.18 x 6.77 inches
Potensic is a leader when it comes to low cost drones, and if you prefer a flying machine that’s got a lot of brag-worthy features, the D58 is more your style. This drone features two lithium-ion batteries, a 5G WiFi camera that captures 2K image quality, a 120-degree wide angle lens, and live streaming video direct to your device or remote control.
The battery life is the most impressive feature of this drone, and you’ll be able to fly stress-free in the sky for up to half an hour when it’s fully charged. Considering the cost, this is the best drone on the market if your top priority is one that’ll last longer than the rest.
However, the motor isn’t as impressive in this drone from Potensic, and compared to their other models that have the brushless variety, this is where it’s lacking. What this means for you is its flying capabilities are a little lackluster, and while it’s packed with lots of features like a good camera and battery life, you won’t get as high as you hoped or with the right speed.
The D58 from Potensic has lots of noteworthy features including GPS mode that allows you to hold altitude where you want it, hovering, one button return, low battery return, and protective control for when your drone is out of your sight. There’s one key take off that makes it ideal for kids and beginners, so even if you’ve never owned a drone before, it’s guaranteed to get airborne.
To equip yourself with a drone that has serious battery staying power, the Potensice D58 is the best on the market. This drone costs around $180 and comes with a load of features, provided you don’t mind a motor that’s a little less than others. Amazon has it listed for the lowest price as well as free shipping, free returns, and all the included extras like a silver aluminum case and accessories.
Alternative: Syma X500
- Battery: 56 minutes
- Weight: 7.2oz
- Size: 14.17 x 11.81 x 2.76 inches
When you’re shopping in the $200 range and are happy to spend a little more for cooler features, you’ll want to check out the Syma X500 Drone. The X500 is packed full of features and this quadcopter weighs only 7.2oz which means it doesn’t need to be registered with the FAA but has all of the extras you want like one key landing and take-off, headless model, and altitude mode.
You’ll get close to one hour of flying time with the Syma X500 drone, which is exceptional for something in this price range. In addition to the superb battery life, it’s also got one of the better cameras we’ve seen at this price as well. These are nice extras not usually found in cheaper drones, and if your goal is to have something that flies for longer and takes better imagery, it’s one of the best.
As a lightweight drone, it’s capable of doing more, but this can also make it harder to control at times. This isn’t recommended for beginners because of this fact, but because it’s a cheaper model it likely won’t have the power or features that experts prefer. To determine whether it’s a good fit, think honestly about your drone flying prowess and whether you’d be able to handle it.
The Syma X500 comes with a 4K ultra HD camera that allows views of 120 degrees FOV and 90 degrees up and down. The drone also features a photo and record button that can be turned on with your hand gestures, meaning your remote control or phone app isn’t always necessary.
There are loads of standard drone features to be found on this device, including GPS auto return, follow me model, and object trace. The 2.4GHz transmitter can be reached up to 10,000 feet in the air, but some customers have noted issues with the quality of this transmission at times, so stay close where you can.
If you’re happy to spend a little extra for the features of the Syma X500, head to Amazon to grab one for around $220. This drone comes with all of the accessories needed to get flying right away, as well as an impressive two year manufacturer’s warranty, and free returns and shipping from Amazon. For those who favor battery life and the bells and whistles of modern drones, paying a little more to get something like the X500 won’t be an issue at all.
Alternative: Snaptain SP650
- Battery: 20 minutes
- Weight: 4.4oz
- Size: 10.6 x 10.6 x 4.40 inches
When you’re shopping on a minimal budget and still can’t come close to spending $200, the Snaptain SP650 is a cheaper alternative that offers a lot of fun. This drone is capable of flying with multiple modes including altitude hold, headless mode, and at three different speeds, as well as performing stunts in the air that you’re able to control.
The best thing about this drone, besides the low cost, is how much cool stuff it can do for a cheaper model. You can still have a lot of fun trying out stunts and learning how to master a drone so it’s a good choice for beginners and kids, and can get you ready to move onto bigger and better things one day.
However, as a cheaper drone, it’s expected that there are some downsides. Mainly, the battery life is poor and you’ll only be able to spend around 20 minutes of flying time on a good day. This means you’ll just get started with the fun and have to return to base, then wait up to a day for it to recharge again.
The Snaptain SP650 Drone comes with a 2.7K ultra HD camera that’s impressive for its price, and you’ll get to capture every moment of the adventure with its 120-degree FOV design. Snaptain uses voice and gesture control from the operator on the ground to direct it, or you can use your smartphone remote instead, and there are lots of safety features to keep it in good condition like protection when it’s out of your control.
This is the best drone under $150 and still a lot of fun to play with, and if you head to Amazon you can get the Snaptain SP650 for the lowest price online at around $115. This includes free shipping to your door, free returns for 30 days, and a one year limited warranty from the manufacturer, so it’s got plenty of value for a low price.
Drones Under $200 FAQs
Budget-friendly drones have never been more of a reality than they are in 2021, thanks to an increase in the market and the technology and materials used to make them becoming cheaper and more accessible.
Check out these FAQs about drones to see what makes them such a unique machine.
What Does Drone Mean?
The term drone was first coined as a way to describe a male bee, as their main position was to idle in the air. Today, a drone is an electronic device that can fly without a pilot, but one that is controlled by someone on the ground.
Can I Make Money With A Drone?
There are a few ways to make money with a drone, but it usually requires some skill and a good quality drone with a camera to do it right. Pilots can be paid to have their drones flown to take aerial photos for surveys, aerial photography of events and real estate, deliver goods, and perform inspections of buildings and sites.
How To Spot A Drone At Night?
It can be hard to spot a drone at night, as they can often be confused for stars. If you look closely at an object you suspect to be a drone, you may be able to see a blinking light which is usually its anti-collision light, but it would have to be fairly close down to where you are. Otherwise, the LED lights spotted across them are giveaways that it’s a drone flying and not something else.
How High Can A Drone Fly?
Drones are capable of flying at varying altitudes, but they are limited to what the federal and state laws allow, and there may be further limitations depending on where you’re flying. In the United States, 400 feet is the maximum altitude that a domestic drone can fly, whereas, in the European Union, it’s up to 500 feet above the ground.
Flying High on a Budget
Expensive drones are now a thing of the past, thanks to the great availability and lower cost of these flying devices. That means the average consumer can now purchase a quality drone for less, and with our recommendations for the top performers, you’ll be guaranteed to get one that’s worth your money.