Top 10 drones you can buy for less than $100 [2017]

Today we are talking about top 10 inexpensive drones that can be bought for less than $100! Of course, you cannot expect these models to perform like high end ones. But, despite that, they are still uniquely good in their own right. If fun is what you’re looking for and you don’t want to spend a ton of money, these next 10 drones are definitely good enough to satisfy you.

Drones Under $100 – Table of Contents

10. Syma X5C-1
9. Syma X8C
8. Blade Nano
7. Syma X5UW
6. JXD 509G
5. Holy Stone F181
4. Tarantula X6
3. UDI U845
2. Hubsan X4
1. UDI U818 HD+

Who are these drones ideal for?

The obvious answer might be to beginners, but is that really so? Well, it’s true to an extent that these cheap models are great for people who are trying to get into drone hobby. I remember my first steps – I destroyed my Traxxas Aton in just a week while learning the controls. My ego was too big to put it in beginner’s mode… So the combination of my negligence and Aton’s speed (yes, Traxxas Aton is incredibly fast) resulted in me having to buy another drone after just a week.

The second answer would be for children! There’s no need to purchase a $1k drone for your kids to play with. It’s practically throwing money in garbage. They don’t know how to use them correctly and they will most likely break them pretty fast. It’s like buying a bulldozer for a man who only operated a forklift in his entire life…

What to expect from these cheap drones?

When you are buying such a cheap drone (while we’re at it, it’s not just when you’re buying cheap drones but virtually all cheap gadgets out there) the key is in having realistic expectations. If they are set too high you will end up really disappointed and that will greatly ruin your drone flying experience. On the other hand, if you don’t expect it to be any good, it might even surprise you and provide you with a ton of fun. Who knows, perhaps you’ll want to buy a spare one as well…

Last update : Saturday, April 1, 2017

Table of Best cheap drones under 100$ :

NameImageCameraRangeTimeBest Price
10. SYMA X5C12MP60m8 minSee price now
9. SYMA X8C2MP200m12 minSee price now
8. BLADE NANONo100m7 minSee price now
7. Syma X5UWsyma-x5uw2MP100m8 minSee price now
6. JXD 5091MP80m7 minSee price now
5. HOLY STONE F1812MP100m8 minSee price now
4. Tarantula X6tarantula-x6No100m10 minSee price now
3. UDI U8452MP100m8 minSee price now
2. Hubsan X4hubsanx42MP100m8 minSee price now
1. UDI U818 HD+2MP100m8 minSee price now

Some prices may have changed since publishing this article. We are giving our best to regularly update our list of cheap drones with camera.

The drone industry is developing remarkably fast; new low cost drones are coming to the market with new features and at lower prices. Nowadays it is easy to find and purchase an inexpensive drones, so today we will talk about best budget drones that can be bought for less than $100.

From toys to professional quads, soon everyone will own a quadcopter as the world embraces this new useful and fun technology. To help you decide what’s the best inexpensive drone for your needs and budget, we bring you a list of the top 10 drones under $100 you can acquire online.

NOTE: if you don’t find what you’re looking for on this page, I suggest you reading our top 10 drones for less than $200 list?. Follow us as we take on the sky! It’s time to find out what’s the best drone under $100 you can buy:

10. Syma X5C1

Syma X5C1 is the upgraded version of the X5C, one of Syma’s greatest successes, often called best budget drone. Ready-to-fly out of the box, a highly recommend cheap quadcopter and one of the most bought ones on the market. Its 7x20mm four motors give him enough power to transport small lightweight objects when the camera is removed.

The camera is 2MP and as mentioned it is easily mountable, not using it increases the quadcopter flight time from 5 to 6 minutes. This is due to the X5C1 using battery power from its 3.7V 500mAh available to both maintain the quad and the camera. As you can tell, the battery is not that powerful but considering the drone’s price tag, it doesn’t bottleneck. Syma X5C1 is perfect for indoor and outdoor flight. This is great pick for all of you looking for an affordable but still quality drone.

Come to think of it, Syma X5C1 is probably the cheapest drone with a camera. Since it comes with prop guard in the box, you can fly it indoors too. When you learn how to fly it, I suggest removing prop guard, camera and landing gear. Drone will lose some weight that way and flight time will increase while motility will be much better. Many people will agree Syma X5C1 is one of the best cheap drones with camera.

Read next: What’s the best drone to buy for less than $300?

 

9. Syma X8C

Syma is a drone brand known to us all, their previous successful products have gained them a high credibility in the industry. Even though they mostly concentrate on low-end part of the market, the folk over at Syma still enjoy quite a bit of respect from the competition. One of their most recent products is the X8C, a large quad aesthetically resembling the DJI Phantom.

It is a somewhat heavy quadcopter, 601g with the battery and camera installed. To withstand all this weight, X8C has big propellers and uses a large 2S 2000mAh battery to power its brushed motors. All this power gives him a 12 minute flight duration and a flight distance of up to 200 meters. As expected of a quadcopter this size it is ultra stable, wind resistant and has durable shell. Packed with a 2MP low-performance camera, it flies better without it, a mobius or 808 camera is better instead.

To conclude, Syma X8C is definitely a drone worth checking out. If not for its specifications and generally decent performance, then surely for the bragging rights since people will mostly think you’re flying a Phantom. It won’t hurt anyone if you keep the fact that it’s actually a cheap knockoff solely to yourself.

 

8. Blade Nano

Blade’s Nano drone is the perfect example of what an entry level miniature drone needs to look like. With an incredibly sleek design that sports a bi-color, white/yellow scheme, there is no doubt this little fella is very easy on the eyes. But, the design is not everything Blade nano has to offer. If we want to find out what exactly are its main virtues, we will have to take a closer look at it!

One of its key features is SAFE technology, patented by blade. It stands for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope and helps with overall stability and agility of this little drone, ensuring it is safe to fly in both outdoor and indoor scenarios. When it comes to flight time, Blade Nano stands solid with roughly 7 minutes. While that might seem bad to some of you, keep in mind that we are talking about a miniature drone. On the bright side, the charge time is less than half an hour which is outright awesome!

Unfortunately, the biggest downside of Blade Nano is the fact that it’s not a RTF model. Instead, it’s BNF which stands for Bind and Fly. This essentially means you will have to provide your own controller/transmitter and bind it to the Nano. But, for those of you who already own a BNF transmitter, I’m sure Nano will seem like a solid option. It’s insanely fun, that’s for sure… especially when paired up with FPV goggles that will give you a massive boost to immersion.

 

7. Syma X5UW

syma x5uw

Syma X5UW is one of the better looking quadcopters in this price range. This is one of the newest drones on this list, Syma has announced it only few weeks ago. Because of that, it comes with some “advanced” features such a altitude hold, mobile app control and FPV. It is not one of the most stable quadcopters, but once you get the hang of it, on maximum yaw rate it becomes very fast. Its motors are a bit noisy on high-rates but it’s not that big of an issue in the long run.

The frame is very durable and it should survive most of your crashes. Battery that comes with this newest Syma drone is “Phantom like”, just take a look at photos and you’ll see what I’m talking about. From what I know, that’s one of the most advanced batteries on cheap drones. Battery capacity is 3.7V 500mAh and it should provide you with 6-10 minutes of flight time. Syma X5UW has a control distance of 80 meters, which is average and similar to other drones in this price range. Although it comes advertised as both indoor and outdoor flyer, for beginners’ indoor flights are not advised until you are able to fully control it. We don’t suggest indoor flights because this is not a small drone, trust me, I’m saying from my own experience.

Syma says this is the best low-cost drone, do you agree with that? After you catch flying basics I suggest removing prop guards and camera. Weight will decrease and you’ll get more flight time and better motility. If you want, you can remove landing gear too. Drone will look weird without that all but it’s worth it in some cases. Try it yourself!

 

6. JXD 509W

6th place on our list of top 10 drones under $100 is reserved for JXD 509W. The 509W is a WiFi version of extremely popular 509G drone.  It is made of ABS plastic and the propellers are flexible for 90º, ensuring it won’t bend or break easily when hitting and crashing. I do not have to explain how important this is, especially to beginners. They aren’t used to operating flying vehicles so there is going to me more than a bunch of crashes in their first couple of test flights.

Luckily, JXD 509W has the capability to endure it. Moving forward, it is also noteworthy to add that it has a professional look to it and packs great features as well as competitive specifications. All that for such a small price tag! Featuring Altitude Holder, One-Key Home Return, Headless Mode, Automatic Landing, there is no other quadcopter within this price range with so many useful features. FPV is decent quality as well and it is nicely paired up with good controlling range.

509W drone covers all you need for amazing and fun flights at the lowest cost possible. Do you agree this is the best drone under $100? Share your thinking with us using the comment form below.

 

5. Holy Stone F181

Holy Stone’s F181 is currently the bestselling entry level drone on Amazon. It has close to 2,000 reviews, most of them incredibly positive ones. As a matter of fact, the overall review rating is 4.5 stars which just proves how excellent this little fella is. But, what can you expect from it? Well, why don’t we check that out real fast!

Starting off with features, you will be happy to know it sports One Key Return to Home, headless mode, altitude hold and One Key Flips. Even though it technically isn’t a feature, the extra batter you will get inside the package is still a noteworthy addition. Moving forward to the specifications, F181 by Holy Stone ranks pretty good with other similarly price competitors. Depending on interference and weather conditions, it can go as far as 100 meters (but realistically, you’re looking at 80 max in day-to-day usage). Battery-wise, roughly 8 minutes of flight time is more than decent.

Lastly, it’s important to say a thing or two about its built-in camera. It incorporates a 2MPX sensor that can effectively shoot in HD resolution. Still, the sensor isn’t light-friendly which means there isn’t enough light coming into your frames. While that might not be an issue during the day, you can forget about night shots.

 

4. Tarantula X6

Tarantula X16 is a neat quadcopter with a different design to what we are used to see. It comes without camera, but you can buy one separately. It has also enough power to lift up some random action camera such a GoPro. Tarantula X6 was one of the best selling drones in 2015.

There are many reasons why’s that so. First of all, you can easily fix it by yourself (in most of cases). For an example, motors can be replaced easier than on any other drone. Now you’re probably wondering why would anyone want to replace its motors. Well, that’s because RC motors can burn out sometimes. When it happens, you can easily order new motor from Amazon for few dollars and replace it by yourself. There are many tutorials on youtube so you should be fine with that. The 7.4V 1200mAh LiPo battery powers up to 10-12 minutes of flight time.

Besides that, Tarantula X6 has a control range between 80 to 100 meters. Very solid and quality drone in my opinion. It’s no surprise this drone has many “followers”, there are tens of groups on Facebook related to this best budget drone where owners exchange their experiences and opinions.

 

3. UDI U845

As you could see for yourself, the upper portion of this list was heavily dominated by Syma drones. While down here, in the top 3 spots are 2 UDI ones with excellent characteristic. The worse of the two is U845 which is a rather unique looking drone. The first thing that will come to your mind once you take a look at it is – It’s a UFO! That’s because it sports a centerpiece around which you’ll find a total of 6 propellers (yes, this is a hexacopter and not a quad) surrounded by durable frame.

This UFO sports a HD 2MPX camera with FPV support. That’s always a huge plus, especially to people looking to take their drone piloting fun to the next level. In terms of battery life, you are looking at roughly 8 minutes, after which you’ll have to take a 2-hour pause for the battery to recharge.

When it comes to features, UDI U845 incorporates headless mode, FPV and 360 flips with one key press. The bright spot of this one is surely the LCD controller that works like a charm. Unfortunately, it is not rechargeable – works with 4 AAA batteries. Still, you can purchase rechargeable AAA batteries along with a charger which will significantly reduce your expenses in the long run.

 

2. Hubsan X4

hubsan x4Hubsan X4 is one of the cheapest and best performance small quadcopters you can acquire at the moment. Many people will say this is the best inexpensive drone, would you agree? Well, one thing is for sure – if it’s not the best one, it is definitely among them! Let’s check it out and see what is it all about!

Not only does Hubsan X4 have an amazing 100 meter range distance (better than any other low-cost quadcopter this size) but it also comes with a 2MP mountable camera, which again is unusual for affordable micro quadcopters. Consequently, it has a flight time of 6-8 minutes, on the other hand only takes about 30 minutes to recharge its 3.7V 380mAh battery. The battery is built-in and like the camera not removable. Perfect for indoor flights or to take on the park when is not windy. LED lights and painted propellers makes it easy to determine drones position when in air. Camera & FPV quality is better than you’d probably expected for a drone of this price.

Hubsan X4 is well known for its 4.3-inch screen on transmitter. It works very nice, FPV range is somewhere around 50-100 meters which is more than enough for most beginners out there. All in all, I believe you agree with me when I say that it’s among the best cheap drones currently available on the market.

 

1. UDI U818 HD+   –> Best cheap drone?

And finally, we have reached the very best drone on this list. Some of you already saw it coming – meet UDI U818 HD+. This under $100 drone has everything it needs to be at the very top of the food chain. It is easy to handle, reliable and extremely durable with its prop guards that go all around the entire frame making sure it’s durable and crash-resistant. With all that on mind, let’s take a closer look at UDI U818 HD+ to see if all this hype is justified!

Let’s start off with the features! This little fella sports headless mode and one key 360 flips that will surely amaze everyone watching. Unfortunately, as far as features go, in addition to those two mentioned above, UDI U818 HD+ incorporates only Low Battery Alarm and LED lights. But the lack of features is compensated with more than solid HD camera. More about it down below.

UDI U818 HD+ camera records in HD at 30 frames per second. Needless to say, it is by far the best camera option in this price range. Still, there’s no stabilization which might cause that annoying jelly effect from time to time. All in all, UDI U818 HD+ is an awesome entry-level model, capable of delivering ton of fun for everyone playing with it.

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13 comments

by Newest
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1

The bugs 3 HAS to be on this list.....very near to the top...I can't believe it isn't.

2

I purchased the Sharper Image Rechargeable DX-3 Video Drone - 2.4 GHz for my Grandson before checking out this website. I don't it listed on your top 10 and wondering if I should return it and find something different. Any thoughts on this model?

3

I CAN TELL YOU I AGREE ON YOUR OPINION COCERNING THE JDX 509G. BEFORE I GOT MY HANDICAP, I HAVE BEEN HOBIING IN RC TOYS FOR 20 YEARS SINCE 1997 I AM OUT OF THIS HOBY SFTER A STROKE. NOWADAYS I CAN ONLY USE MY RIGHTHAND. BUT DOSCOVERED THAT DUE TO ALTUTUDE HOLD I CAN FLY A DRONE WITH ONE HAND, BRINGING IT TO THE DESIRED ALTITUDE AND THAN MANOUVRING AROUD AND TAKING VIDEO'S AND STILLS. I HAVE ORDERED MY THIRD DRONE NOW WITH AN 12 MP CAMERA SINCE FOTOGRAFY IS MY SECOND HOBBY. I CAN SAY AFTER 50 STARTS THAT THE JXD 509 G BROUGHT BACK THE FUN FOR ME

4

Ever heard the term "using caps is internet etiquette for shouting"

5

really?! syma GO?! stupid dji copiers, espescially with the new battery

6

The JXD 509's are "ol' school"; you should be including the newer 510 series

7

Should have the bugs 3 on this list too

8

yes i agree , the tarantula was my first drone, got it over a year ago and it looks rough now but it still flies,after a couple gear and motor changes, but its one of the best beginner drones ...if not the best...without camera its now below$70 bucks...awesome

9
Quadcopter Fan

Where is the Tarantula X6? It's a quadcopter almost as fast as a brushless racer.

The JXD has an issue, the altitude hold makes him hard to descend and is extremely slow.

10

i second that,the x6 is a beast and it if mounted with a decent camera and mount, with an antennae hack and this thing is a poor mans Phantom. You cant beat it with a few mods and with those it puts you in a place where no 60buck quad can go, let alone even equal!

11

The Yizhan Tarantula has better range 300 m than these with a lot of features and powerful motors that are easy to replace with no soldering! Way beyond the power of either Syma on this list

12

i never got a drone and i never saw one i see then on youtube i think its cool so that why i want one

13
WILLIAM GRFFITH

Bought the Tarantula X6 after doing quite a bit of research and it was definitely the best bang for the buck with loads of positive reviews and comments. Read where you should burn in the motors for a few minutes before going under full power.
So I fired her up on my kitchen floor. Seemed fine until I started to get a little lift. Slid slowly across the floor and bumped a door. From that point on one motor wouldn't operate and I tried every recommendation I could find and still couldn't get it too spin. This thing is worthless if it's that fragile that the slightest bump takes it out of service. Very, very bad out of box experience and I may be soured on quads for good. Pretty expensive lesson.

Top 10 drones you can buy for less than $100 …

by Vito Dronelli time to read: 14 min
24