Today we’ll talk about 10 best 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.
What can you expect from an average drone in this price range?
You’re thinking of buying drone under $100 and you’re looking for the average specifications? Better yet, you’re looking for the average expectations from such affordable models. Well, for starts, it’s important to understand that you can’t get a professional-grade model for as low as $100. Drone makers have to make some money so the components inside drones under $100 reflect on the price tag.
But, for the sake of calibrating your expectations, here’s what you can expect from drones under $100 in terms of basic characteristics:
Table: Best Drones under $100
|Image||Name||Camera||Range||Flight Time||Best Price|
|10. Sanrock X105W||720p||100m||13min||See best offer|
|9. MJX Bugs 3||NO||300m||13min||See best offer|
|8. Drocon x708w||480p||80m||8min||See best offer|
|7. Snaptain S5C||720p||80m||7min||See best offer|
|6. Akaso A31||1080p||100m||8min||See best offer|
|5. Simrex x900||1080p||100m||13min||See best offer|
|4. UDI U818 HD||720p||100m||8min||See best offer|
|3. JJRC H68||720p||100m||16min||See best offer|
|2. HStone F181||720p||100m||8min||See best offer|
|1. Potensic T25||720p||300m||10min||See best offer|
10. Sanrock X105W
Let’s start our quest of finding the best drones under $100 with a model that comfortably sits way below our maximum price. Meet Sanrock X105W, a bulky drone with a dedicated camera that costs slightly over $60. It packs great value for money and, if you don’t want to spend big, seems like the ideal solution on the cheap!
Camera and Features
Despite the fact Sanrock is a completely unknown drone brand, they managed to cram in a proper 720p camera in their X105W model. Not only is the camera itself great for the price tag but it also features WiFi FPV, allowing you to get that extra bit of immersion while flying around your backyard. Best of all, it has a primitive anti-vibration system that makes it miles ahead of similarly priced drones and their shaky of cameras.
With a stellar array of features such as altitude hold, one key takeoff, one key landing, 3D flips, and headless mode, this thing is a breeze to fly and suits children of all ages. It’s not exactly DJI caliber, but it gets by just fine and, thanks to its size, is able to hold off its flight route even during windy days.
To be honest, the range of this little bugger isn’t the greatest. Most of the time, you’ll be getting around 100 meters, which is not spectacular even at this price point. However, Sanrock X105W justified such a short-range with an exceptional battery. This thing comes with a hefty 1500mAh LiPo that can endure around 13 to 15 minutes in the air, depending on your flying speed and whether or not you’re using the FPV feature.
9. MJX Bugs 3
MJX might not be the most popular brand anymore, but it sure did a great job with one of their first-ever models – the Bugs 3. Their biggest breakthrough – a drone that brought them incredible popularity back in the days… money too! With that said, it’s not surprising to see it still being a popular choice among people who already own GoPro cameras.
Camera and Features
So yeah, as you could’ve concluded on your own, MJX Bugs 3 does not come with a camera. However, it can still be used for aerial photography. How? Well, it comes with a camera mount. Yep, this thing rocks an action camera mount. It’s an old school! So, let’s take a closer look at it and see whether or not its specifications aged well!
Last but not least, let’s talk about the specs of this flying bugger. Spoiler alert – they’re pretty good! In other words, if you’re looking for a drone that can fly around for quite a while and you’re on a tight budget, then MJX Bugs 3 might just be the ideal solution for you! With its cca 300 meters of operating range and 10 to 15 minutes of flight time, MJX Bugs 3 isn’t ashamed of anyone! In fact, I doubt you’ll find a cheaper drone that sports such good specs and has a dedicated action camera mount you can hook your GoPro to!
8. DROCON X708W
Let’s make one thing clear right off the bat – DROCON X708W is among the best-looking drones under $50! It sports a sleek design coupled with fancy decals and red eyes up front, making it look like a proper menace. And it really is one – DROCON X708W is fast, agile, and provides a ton of entertainment for the entire family.
Camera and Features
Best of all, X708W features an integrated 480p camera that supports the first-person view over WiFi. The range is not the greatest (30 to 40 meters at best), but it’s present, and that’s what matters. FPV, even though its WiFi, will give you that feeling of being inside the cockpit of an aircraft, and that’s an experience unlike any other. As for the features, DROCON X708W comes with headless mode, one key return, and 3D flips with just one press of a button.
DROCON X708W comes with just one 550mAh battery, though, and it can last for approximately 7-8 minutes, depending on your style of flying. If you’re pushing it too hard on the throttle all the time, don’t be surprised if it runs out at the five-minute mark. This thing packs a decent range too. You can expect around 80 meters in unobstructed areas, which is pretty good when compared to similarly priced competitors.
7. Snaptain S5C
I feel like Snaptain S5C is in every list we make around here. And why not – it’s affordable, packs an extra battery, and features solid performance all across the board. Snaptain S5C looks cool too. It’s a toy drone, no doubt about it, but it offers much more than similarly priced competitors. So, without further ado, let’s see what exactly makes Snaptain S5C a viable option for under $100 drone purchase!
Camera and Features
Snaptain S5C comes with a dedicated controller. It’s not the best looking or the most comfortable one I’ve ever seen, but it does the job alright. If you don’t like it, you can always control the bugger with gestures only. It’s a bit trickier, but once you get a hang of it, you won’t be able to go back to the conventional controlling method. Plus, gesture controlling your drone significantly ups the coolness factor!
As for additional features, Snaptain S5C sports VR headset support (VR headset not included), headless mode, altitude hold, gravity sensor (for controlling), and even voice control. It also sports a solid 720p camera with WiFi FPV, another excellent feature at such an affordable price tag.
Snaptain S5C runs on brushed motors and packs around 6 to 7 minutes of flight time. Additionally, FPV range extends to around 40 to 50 meters, which is decent WiFi coverage. Lastly, operating (control) range goes much further than that, almost double. We’re talking 80ish meters without cut-outs and no noticeable input lag.
6. AKASO A31
Priced just above Snaptain S5C, AKASO A31 brings forth a lot of increased functionality. For starters, it sports a better camera, is much larger, and can provide fun flying experience for both kids and adults. And it does all of that for roughly $70, even less if you manage to get it on sale. What makes it so special? Well, let’s see…
Camera and Features
For roughly $70, you’re getting a 1080p camera, WiFi FPV, and several handy features that you’re bound to use every now and then. We’re talking 3D flips, headless mode, speed variations, and one key return. The latter is obviously the most important one, and it’s pretty accurate considering the fact AKASO A31 does not feature onboard GPS.
AKASO A31 comes with a miniature 3.7V 750mAh LiPo battery that gives it around 8 minutes of flight time. And that’s if you push it like crazy and do all sorts of tricks with it while enjoying the benefits of WiFI FPV. Plus, they’re pretty cheap so I would advise you getting a few extra ones to extend your flight sessions. Just make sure you wait a few minutes between each flight so you don’t burn those tiny brushed motors. As for the range, you’re looking at around 100 meters for the controller and 50ish for FPV. Needless to say, both numbers fare pretty well against the competition.
5. Simrex X900
Next up, we have Simrex X900, an interesting drone with plenty of aces up its sleeves. It’s close to our set price tag ($100) so keep that in mind. However, for what it’s worth, it’s worth every penny. In fact, I’m sure you’ll think so to once I walk you through its key characteristics. So, let’s not waste any more time and jump straight to business!
Camera and Features
This foldable fella is a genuinely decent aerial photography drone for beginners. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t get professional quality aerial footage from it, but its 1080p camera is not to be taken for granted. Plus, with features such as optical flow positioning, altitude hold, and one key takeoff and landing, shooting images and videos with X900 is much easier than on most of its direct competitors.
Simrex X900 doesn’t fail to deliver in the specs department either. With around 13 minutes of flight time and cca 100 meters of operating range (half of that for FPV), Simrex X900 fares pretty well against similarly priced competitors. In other words, if you’re looking for a proper foldable drone under $100, this one will not let you down!
4. UDI U818 HD+
And finally, meet the UDI U818 HD+ drone. The best drone under $100 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 the 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 a 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 a ton of fun for everyone playing with it.
3. JJRC H68
Giant camera and even bigger propellers are the first things you’ll notice about JJRC H68. The brand JJRC has been around for quite a while, and surprising enough, it aged pretty well, just like its older affordable drones under $100. The price tag of their H68 has been dropped significantly, though, so buying it right now for roughly $90 is a proper steal and here’s why:
Camera and Features
For starters, JJRC H68 has a gigantic camera. As stated above, it’s the first thing that you’ll notice once you lay your eyes on this little bugger. The second thing is, obviously, the uncanny resemblance to DJI Phantom lineup. The camera is not that good, though, as it’s capable of shooting mere 720p footage. It’s good for the price, don’t get me wrong, but don’t set the bar too high otherwise you might end up disappointed.
It’s good for capturing family gatherings from a new perspective or recording your adventures in nature. Any kind of professional work is a no-go, for sure. Features reveal that too, with only the most basic ones present. I’m referring to the likes of headless mode, altitude hold, and FPV.
Here comes the best part about JJRC H68 – the specifications. Believe it or not, this sucker can fly for up 18 minutes, courtesy of its massive 1800mAh battery. Best of all, you get two batteries inside the bundle, meaning you’ll be getting upwards of 35 minutes of flying straight out of the box. Lastly, the range isn’t half bad either, maxing out at around 100 meters. FPV range, however, has plenty of room for improvement as it often starts cutting out at just 50ish meters.
2. Holy Stone F181
Holy Stone’s F181 is currently one of the bestselling entry-level drones 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 Flip. 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 well with other similarly priced 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.
1. Potensic T25
If you’re looking for the very best drone for around $100, then Potensic T25 is the one you’re looking for. Yes, it goes for slightly more than $100, but bear with me here as it’s well worth the extra couple of bucks. It has an excellent set of features and specifications that will leave you speechless. The price/performance ratio of this little bugger is absolutely amazing, which is why it’s found its place at the top spot on our list of the top drones under $100!
Camera and Features – Best drone under $100
Potensic T25 features a solid 1080p camera that will allow you to shoot crisp aerial footage no matter where you go. FPV is supported too, just like VR headsets, which are purchasable separately. Most importantly, though, Potensic T25 comes with an integrated GPS module and it’s important for two reasons.
First, it makes the drone much more stable, even in windy conditions, which is something non-GPS drones can’t execute properly. Second, it paves the way for additional smart features like follow me, altitude hold, and auto return to home. But there are other, more affordable drones that support these features, you might think. And yes, that’s true, but they don’t have GPS which means they aren’t nearly as accurate as Potensic T25!
Specs-wise, you’re looking at a very potent drone here. Not only does Potensic T25 offer an excellent set of features but it also boasts with ridiculous specs for the price point. Its control range stretches all the way to 300 meters, with pretty good coverage at massive heights, great for panoramic shots with its 1080p camera. Additionally, it packs a hefty 1000mAh battery capable of providing roughly 8 minutes of the flight time. Pretty solid for a drone that costs just slightly above the $100 mark.
FAQ: Best Drones Under $100
Who are these “under $100 drones” ideal for?
The obvious answer might be to beginners, but is that really so? Well, it’s true to the 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 a 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 the 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…
How important camera quality is in this price range?
Realistically speaking, camera quality in this price range isn’t that important. It’s all, more or less, the same cr*p. The variations are small, non-existent in some cases. They’re all pretty shaky in terms of footage, and much better when it comes to shooting still images.
It all comes down to your expectations. The best way to approach camera quality on drones under $100 is to look up sample footage on YouTube. Once again, they’re all (more or less) shaky with the only difference being in the color reproduction and sharpness of the given sensor.
If you want proper camera quality on your next drone, I’m afraid you’ll have to splash a bit more money than $100. Perhaps our best drones under $200 might be of service.
Can I use a GoPro camera with any of these “under $100 drones”?
Even though the drone market is not featuring a ton of drones that sport GoPro mounts, there is one on this list that can actually carry one. The name is MJX Bugs 3, and it is sitting comfortably in the ninth position. In fact, it’s one of just a few drones left on the market that do support camera mounts for GoPro action cameras.
When and why did not have camera mounts become a trend in the industry, you might ask. Well, it all comes down to peoples’ preferences when buying their first drone. Typically, they want drones with a camera, be it very low-quality ones, and FPV support. And they want it for two reasons:
- First, they want to take aerial footage no matter how bad the quality is.
- Second, they want to taste that sweet FPV feature, greatly upping the immersion and creating a unique flying experience.
Long story short – if you own a GoPro camera and you just want a solid aerial platform to bring it to a new perspective, then MJX Bugs 3 is the obvious way to go.
Are there any foldable drones in this price range?
SHORT ANSWER – yes, there are!
Long answer – foldable drones are all the craze nowadays. Ever since DJI Mavic Pro came out, all affordable drone makers tried to copy its unique foldable design to cater towards even the neediest of customers. Fast forward two years and that trend have grown even larger. DJI released several new drones, each more successful than its predecessors (Mavic Air, Mavic 2 Pro, and Mavic Mini), and all of them feature foldable designs…
But why are foldable drones so popular?
Well, there’s only one reason behind their popularity – portability. Foldable drones offer an extra layer of portability when folded. They easily fit in all sorts of purses and backpacks, making them the ideal travel companion. And you know what they say about cameras – the best camera is the one you have on you all the time… and that’s exactly where foldable drones excel at.
What to expect from the best drones under $100?
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…
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 inexpensive drones, so today we will talk about the 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.
Should these drones be registered with the FAA?
The majority of these drones don’t have to be registered with the FAA. Why? Well, the answer is quite simple – because they weigh less than 0.55 pounds which is the legal limit for FAA registration. So, if you’re thinking of buying a drone and you don’t want to go through the hassle of FAA registration, make sure your birdie weighs below the FAA registration limit and you’ll be al good.