Top 10 drones you can buy for less than $300 [2017]

Today we are reviewing the top 10 mid priced drones that can be bought for less than 300 dollars! In this price range, really cool devices can be bought! So, carefully read the list 🙂

Last update : Sunday, August 13, 2017

Quadcopters under $300 Table of Content:


quadcopters_under_300_web

If you haven’t read our top lists of TOP 10 drones below $100, or 10 drones below $200, click the links. The higher your budget, the best are the features and specifications of the quadcopters you are able to acquire. All the 10 quadcopters under $300 are amazing machines, not the average low-cost quad. Most of the drones on this list have great quality cameras, powerful motors capable of carrying a GoPro, and features you probably didn’t know drones could have. Follow us as we take on the sky with these drones booming in the current market. If your budget is over $300, you may be interested in 10 drones under $500 or maybe $1000? So, let’s see what’s the best drone under $300 :

What can you expect from drones under $300?

The key to appreciating entry level drones is to lower your expectations. They can’t be as good as $1000 ones. It’s a fact! You need to set the bars lower and do a little research on what exactly can you expect from under $300 birdies. Don’t worry, it won’t take too long. In fact, here’s a fine list of 4 key aspects that make a good under $300 drone:

When it comes to camera quality, you cannot really expect 1080p footage and hardware image stabilization on every single model. Come to think of it, a couple of drones listed below don’t even come with a camera. Still, that doesn’t make them obsolete. MJX Bugs 3, for example, doesn’t come with a camera but sports amount that fits lots of models. On the other hand, with models that do come with cameras, you’ll most likely be looking at 720p or 1080p footage and a mediocre CMOS sensor.
Battery life, however, is a completely different story. While premium models have roughly 22 to 27 minutes of airtime, these little fellas can do up to 20… in most cases. To be more precise, they can fly around for roughly 15 to 20 minutes. There are some exceptions though, but more on that in their descriptions later on.
In terms of range, you should look for at least 300 meters. There are certain models which go as far as 500 or even more, but they’re usually bordering on the price range. Anything less than 300 is a no-go for me. Even though some of you might be fine with such a distance, I personally enjoy exploring the area with my FPV goggles on.
You’d be surprised at how many drones don’t come with GPS or other essential features such as altitude hold and return to home. Still, there are a few who are well worth checking out. Even though RTH, AH and GPS might seem irrelevant to some of you, they give a much better flying experience. That’s why I warmly recommend you getting a drone that has them.

What are these drones good for?

Drones featured in the list below can serve a lot of uses, it all depends on your creativity and imagination. One thing is for sure – they make excellent flying trainers! If you’re a beginner or a first-time flyer, not only will you have fun with them no matter what, but you will also feel worry-free while doing so… Because, even if you happen to crash it, it wasn’t much of an investment. On the other hand, if you crashed a $1000 drone, you’d be on your way to Sadifornia in a matter of seconds.

But, besides worry-free flying, entry level drones are also good for plenty other things. Here’s a few interesting ones:

  • Practice
    As we already mentioned above, entry level drones are great for practice. They provide a worry-free experience and are great for your first “steps” into piloting. With them, you’ll be able to learn all the basics and prepare yourself for some high end drone.
  • Casual flying
    After you’ve mastered your first steps, you’ll be flying like a real champ and having lots of fun with your new toy. It’s true! Every single one of below listed drones are insanely fun to casually fly around. They provide responsive controls, one key flips, and possess a fair dose of flight stability.
  • Amateur aerial photography
    A big portion of drones that are listed below are somewhat good when it comes to aerial photography. Take 3DR Solo as an example. It’s stable and provides a dedicated 3-axis gimbal which works seamlessly with GoPro Hero cameras. What more do you need to make the perfect shot? Range? Check! Battery duration? Check!

Are these drones reliable?

Believe it or not, these drones are actually quite reliable. Well, for the most part. You see, first we have the fact that most of them are equipped with brushless motors. They’re much more durable than brushed ones and will, in most cases, work much longer. Second, all of these drones are well-built and can endure quite the beating. Don’t fly them full speed straight into concrete walls though – No drone would survive that…

 

Table of Best drones under 300$ :

NameImageCameraRangeTimeBest Price
10. PARROT ARPARROT-AR-DRONE-2.0720p30m10 minSee price now
9. Holy Stone HS3001080p150m13 minSee price now
8. MJX Bugs 3GoPro300m15 minSee price now
7. Parrot Bebop14MP200m10 minSee price now
6. Xiro XplorerGoPro500m22 minSee price now
5. 3DR SoloGoPro500m20 minSee price now
4. Traxxas Atontraxxas-7908-aton-300x179-300x163GoPro200m18 minSee price now
3. Hubsan H501Shubsan-h501s1080p400m17 minSee price now
2. UPair oneupair-one2K500m18 minSee price now
1. AEE AP101080p500m23 minSee price now

READ NEXT : Drones under $50

Some prices may have changed since publishing this article.

 

10. Parrot AR Drone 2.0

PARROT AR DRONE 2.0

10th position on our list of top 10 drones under $300 is reserved for one of the best mid priced drones – Parrot AR 2.0.  It might not be the best drone out there, but with a fair price and a huge amount of satisfied users, it’s more than worth checking a shot! But, what are its users so satisfied for? Well, specifications aren’t the reason, that’s for sure!

You see, Parrot AR 2.0 works via WiFi so it can only reach up to 50 meters (in ideal conditions when there is no WiFi interference going on in the area) and fly around for up to 10 minutes. But, what it does offer is extremely responsible control and a whole lot of fun, especially for children. As a bonus, it sports an OK HD (720p if we are to be more precise here) camera that has an adjustable angle as an extra form of customizability.

Generally speaking, the build quality is great and you can expect Parrot AR 2.0 to survive a fair share of beatings and crashes. Not only because of its prop guards but because of a strong casing that’s shock resistant. As I’ve already mentioned above, Parrot AR 2.0 is a model that’s mostly suitable for children. It’s great for taking your very first step into drone piloting and as such – I warmly recommend it!

Show me the best price for : Germany

 

9. Holy Stone HS300

9th spot on my list goes to one of Holy Stone’s entry level models. It might not be as popular as the Predator HS170C, but HS300 still performs (and looks) absolutely great. I, personally, am a big fan of its design. All-black body with bright sets of LEDs (the usual color combination – red and green) is my fetish, some would say. But, other than that, does Holy Stone HS300 have anything else to offer? Let’s dig deeper and we might just find out!

First of all, it needs to be said that Holy Stone HS300 has an incredibly good camera for its price. This is a FHD 120-degree wide angle camera which has its own little anti vibration mount for extra image stability. And talking about stability, it’s noteworthy to add Holy Stone HS300 is actually a very stable (read easy to fly) drone. I was struck with surprise when I first started flying it around since I did not expect an easy task.

Furthermore, even though Holy Stone HS300 does not have GPS, it actually sports the basic versions of altitude hold and one key return. Needless to say, both of these features are still handy, even though they might not be as precise and reliable as their GPS-powered counterparts. Last but not least, specifications! Holy Stone HS300 isn’t exactly the best in terms of range. You’re only getting about 150 meters. Even though I said you shouldn’t go for anything below $300 in this price range, it’s OK to make an exception for HS300 since it’s not an explorer but an amateur aerial photography platform. Battery life, on the other hand, goes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes which is not half bad. All in all, if you want something cheap that can still provide you with excellent aerial videos and photos, you won’t find better value for money than Holy Stone HS300!

Show me the best price for : Germany

 

8. MJX Bugs 3

MJX Bugs 3 is the cheapest drone on this list, at least at the time of writing this article. With that being said, obviously the best thing about it is the fact it offers great value for money. As a matter of fact, MJX Bugs 3 is cheapest drone with brushless motors currently available on the market… And trust me, brushless motors do make a difference!

Regarding other specs, I should probably mention that it has solid LiPo battery that should provide you with 15 minutes of flight time. That is definitely above average for its price range, don’t you agree. Control range of MJX Bugs 3 is somewhere around 300 meters. Not too shabby for such a cheap drone! But it comes with a small compromise though. You see, MJX Bugs 3 does not come with a camera. But, don’t think that it makes it unsuitable for aerial photography – MJX Bugs 3 sports a camera mount that allows you to mount your own device and record aerial footage as long as you want…

In terms of build quality, I’d say things are looking pretty good; significantly better than what we used to see in this price range. I hope this is way other drones in 2017 will follow. Great value for the quality… even more so if you have GoPro or any other action camera, since MJX Bugs 3 comes with gimbal that supports GoPro cameras.

Show me the best price for : Germany

 

7. Parrot Bebop

parrot bebop droneParrot Bebop was a major success. It’s not a couple of years old. Most of you probably know that it’s been replaced with an upgraded Bebop 2 version. That version, combined with Sky Controller, delivered exceptional performance against which Parrot Bebop (original) doesn’t have a chance. But, the price difference is an important factor… And so is value for money. How does Parrot Bebop 2 compare against its successor in those deparments? Let’s find out!

When it comes to camera quality, things are looking great for the old champ. It features a 14MPX sensor capable of recording full HD footage. We’re talking about a very wide field of view, 180-degrees to be more precise. While this allows an incredibly large viewing space, it also causes distortion which some people won’t like at all. Features-wise, Parrot Bebop has GPS, flight map control (similar to waypoints), return to home and cloud storage where you’ll keep all your flight data.

Specifications, on the other hand, are obviously the main upgrade which Parrot Bebop 2 received. With that said, the original version falls short with only cca 10 minutes of flight time (Bebop 2 has 25) and 200-250 meters of operating range. True, you can always kick things up a notch and go for the Sky Controller which is bound to significantly boost your range. All things considered, Parrot Bebop still seems like a viable drone for casual use. Even though its successor is making a fortune, the original Parrot Bebop strikes back with charm, solid performance and much lower price tag!

Show me the best price for : Germany

 

6. Xiro Xplorer

xiro-xplorer-v

Xiro Xplorer comes in several different versions (without camera, with camera, with GoPro gimbal). In this article, we’re referring to the version that lacks both camera and gimbal. A barebone system, if you please. When launched, XIRO gained a lot of media exposure thanks to its futuristic design. It’s still one of the best-looking drones available on the market. But, as we all know, design is not only that matters when buying a drone.

Luckily, things are looking good for this little birdie outside the design department. Partically because Xiro Xplorer comes with a 5200 mAh LiPo battery that should provide you with 22-25 minutes of flight time. When it comes to stability, you’re up for a smooth, stable flight and a fair amount of wind resistance. Don’t expect to fly it during heavy storms though… It won’t be able to handle the situation.

Thanks to its modular design, you can easily upgrade it with Xiro’s official Full HD camera. When it comes to control range, you can expect somewhere around 500 meters. Last but not least –  Only few drones left in stock so hurry up if you think XIRO Xplorer is a worthy match for you. If you ask me – it sure is!

Show me the best price for : Germany

 

5. 3DR Solo

Drone that used to cost more than $800 (in 2016) can now be bought for less than $300. It probably means that 3DR is getting ready to launch a new drone soon, so they are giving “old” one at discounted price to prepare market for a new model. If that’s not it – then perhaps they’re pivoting to a completely new area and need quick funds for research and development. So, if you ask me, now is a great time to buy this drone.

People often call it “smart drone” because of a wide array features it has at its disposal. 3DR Solo has 1GHz processor that will make sure all data is processed without lag. Furthermore, 3DR Solo also has all modern features such as follow me mode, cable camera, orbit and selfie. All features work very well.

Moving forward, thanks to GPS, 3DR Solo features auto return to home function too. In case you go out of range (500 meters), 3DR Solo will automatically return back to take off point. When it comes to flight time, you can expect somewhere between 18 and 22 minutes. 3DR Solo comes with GoPro (HERO 3+ and 4) gimbal. Interesting thing is that transmitter has HDMI out port, which means you can stream live feed from camera on pretty much any device that supports HDMI input. Cool, right?

Show me the best price for : Germany

 

4. Traxxas Aton

Traxxas is USA based company well known for their RC cars. They have many years of experience in manufacturing RC toys so it was question of time when they’ll jump in drones’ industry. Traxxas Aton is one of their first drones, and trust me, it’s worth your attention.

Believe it or not, Traxxas Aton has some of the best flight capabilities I’ve ever seen. It’s much faster and agile when compared to other high-end drones, such a Phantom 3 for an example. It has 2 main flying modes, Sport and Film. In Sport mode, it can reach 50mph of top speed, while in Film mode it’s very stable and smooth. This particular model (under $300) doesn’t come with camera included. Luckily, you can use your own action camera since this little birdie sports a 2-axis gimbal (purchased separately or with Traxxas Aton Plus bundle).

Moving forward, Traxxas Aton has strong and reliable body construction that promises a lot, it shouldn’t break after few beginners crashes. It has some interesting functions such as: dual GPS, Return to home and Air brake. 3 cell 3000mAh battery should provide you with 18 minutes of flight time. Range is software limited to 160 meters (500 feet). If you fly it out of the range, it will automatically return back to its initial takeoff location… and believe me – this will come in handy way more often than you think.

Show me the best price for : Germany

 

3. Hubsan H501s

Hubsan’s latest model offers us great price / value ratio. This is the first new drone that comes with many modern and advanced features for a price of less than $300. I know, there are several other advanced drones on this lists with similar price, but keep in mind that they used to cost much more. Their price reduced after new models came out (use DJI Phantom 2 as an example…). Enough about that though, let’s focus solely on Hubsan H501S and see what’s it all about!

First things first – Hubsan H501S comes with brushless motors, which means they should give you more than enough power for such a lightweight drone. It also means you’ll be safe from replacing them for a fair amount of time. Furthermore, this little birdie comes with an outstanding 1080p built-in camera. Both video and photo quality of it is bound to amaze you. Likewise, it also features 5.8GHz FPV and there’s even a dedicated 4.3” LCD screen on transmitter.

These are some of the function H501S comes with: GPS, headless mode, automatic return, altitude hold mode and follow me. Last but not least, let’s talk a bit about Hubsan H501S specifications. When it comes to flight time, you should expect something about 16-18 minutes, which is solid result. And finally, advertised control range is 400 meters but don’t be too optimistic – in most cases you’ll get around 350m.

Show me the best price for : Germany

 

2. UpAir One

When I first saw UPair drone, I was very excited to get it for review. I didn’t order it right away, instead I waited for first buyer reviews on amazon. When I saw positive reviews, I knew it was time to get one for myself. I can tell you, this drone is great alternative to high-end models if you’re low on budget. Come to think of it, it’s basically a copy of DJI Phantom models… But with a few aces up its sleeves.

UpAir One comes with everything you need, including a dedicated 2K camera! As a matter of fact, you can even pay extra $50 and get yourself an upgraded 4K camera that captures brilliant videos. Furthermore, this little birdie has FPV, transmitter which looks similar to DJI ones. Plus, it comes with a built-in 7” LCD screen. Live feed from camera is transmitted through 5.8GHz frequency, which should provide you decent image quality. Much better than you’d experience with WiFi based FPV.

On average, people are getting around 16 minutes of flight time, which is solid result if you ask me. Control range is somewhere around 500 meters. UpAir does have GPS which is always a big plus. Another positive thing is UpAir is fulfilled by Amazon, which means you can get it shipped by Prime service + you can easily return it if any unexpected problems occur.

Show me the best price for : Germany

 

1. AEE AP10

AEE is drone manufacturer well known for their high quality yet affordable drones. Even though they don’t enjoy the same amount of popularity as the likes of DJI and Yuneec, AEE is still a respectable name in the industry. That’s why it comes as no surprise to see their AP10 has everything you need to start with flying drones and learning basics of aerial photography and videography.

Since AEE AP10 comes with 16MP (1080p, 60FPS) camera, aerial photography shouldn’t be an issue. It is also noteworthy to add that AP10 uses WiFi protocol for FPV transmission which means you can use your smartphone as a live video feed receiver. Furthermore, it comes with a flight range of 500 meters, while FPV range should be somewhere around 100-150 meters. Features are where this little birdie shines the most. In addition to GPS, AEE AP10 also incorporates return to home and autonomous flight, both of which will come in handy more often than you think.

In terms of battery, you are looking at what seems to be a 5300 mAh LiPo battery. So, for airtime you can expect somewhere around 22-25 minutes. Last but not least, AEE is also producing and selling spare parts (propellers, batteries, camera) on Amazon, so it shouldn’t be a problem to repair those parts if you crash it. All in all, for under $300, I believe AEE AP10 is a great package and will surely provide you with plenty of fun!

Show me the best price for : Germany

Old list - 2016 version

10- WLtoys V666N

wltoys-v666

WLToys V666N

Remember WLtoys V666? Well, there is an upgraded version of it already out there available in the market. The V666N, one of the mid priced drones every beginner will want to have. Why? Well, the motors and propellers are covered by a protective frame which will absorb almost any impact. It is a smooth and gentle flier capable of FPV (First Person View) flight. Camera is 2MP and records at 30fps and live video is transmitted directly to the FPV screen on the RC controller. V666N includes features such as a barometer sensor and one-key automatic taking off and landing. Has a decent control range of 150 meters.

 

9- Syma X8G

syma-x8g-pack

Syma X8G

We’re starting our list of top 10 drones under $300 with Syma’s most recent product. It comes with its own version of a Go Pro and it only works on X8G it is not a standalone camera. 8MP camera with 1080p of resolution protected by a mount case also designed by Syma. This case will ensure your camera is safe for the most radical of flights. The advantage form this camera to a Go Pro is you can control it through the remote. Distance range is around 100 meters, which is not that good, this is due to the camera using X8G 7.4V 2000mAh battery to power itself. This one is definitely high quality, but still very affordable product. Definitely, this is one of the best quadcopters for less than $250.

Check price on Amazon

 

8- Walkera Runner 250

WALKERA-RUNNER-250

Walkera Runner 250

Runner 250 is Walkera’s racing drone, made out of carbon is extremely light and resistant, it won’t break even when hitting a tree. It uses four WK-WS-28-014 brushless motors giving him the power to fly between 35-40km/h and 12-14 minutes flight time on a range of 1KM. It is very accurate and sensitive to control. Has a built-in support for FPV camera which can be connected to Goggle 2 for real-time image transmission plus live flight data. It is not RTF (ready to fly) you have to assemble it, but there are many videos on internet explaining it and it comes with a manual, it won’t be a problem. Do you think this is the best mid priced drone?

 

5- WLtoys V303 Seeker

WLToys V303

WLToys V303

Since WLtoys is well known for their toy grade drones, I was very excited to test their first hobby grade quadcopter. Right out of the box, V303 is very, very easy to fly. Even kid could fly it. They have limited maximum range and altitude by software. It’s limited to 100 meters. I saw forum posts where people claim they modified it and it can reach up to 500 meters without problems but I wouldn’t recommend doing that if you’re beginner. 100 meters is not little, you can easily lose orientation on that distance. If you fly it out of the range, don’t worry because V303 will automatically come back. You’ll know when that happens because it will hold its position in air for 2-3 seconds, turn on red LED light and then fly back to you. Speaking of the air time, I’ve been getting around 16-18 minutes. Which is very good result for a drone in this price range. Another good thing is V303 comes with built in FPV module so you’ll be able to receive live camera feed from separately bought GoPro camera. Yes, V303 supports GoPro camera. Build quality is close to high-end drones, everything holds its place and drone looks very solid. Definitely worth the money.

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2 comments

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1

Which drone in this list has obstacle avoidence
Thanks

2

Is this that the one called 10 is the best or a countdown to number 1 best drone under ÂŁ300??

Top 10 drones you can buy for less than $300 …

by Vito Dronelli time to read: 19 min
8