Top 10 drones you can buy for less than $300 [2020]

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 🙂

If you haven’t read our top lists of drones under $100, or drones under $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.

Table: Best drones under $300:

ImageNameCameraRangeTimeBest Price
altair-aa108_table10. Altair AA108720p100m10minSee best offer
9. UDI U818720p150m13minSee best offer
Holy-Stone-HS120D-table8. HStone HS120D1080p300m16minSee best offer
Potensic-D80_table7. MJX Bugs 2w2K800m18minSee best offer
potensic-d85_table6. Potensic D85No1.2km20minSee best offer
contixo-f20_table5. Contixo F201080p800m18minSee best offer
holy-stone-hs700_table4. HStone HS700D2K700m20minSee best offer
potensic-d88-table3. Potensic D882K1.5km18minSee best offer
2. HStone HS7202K800m25minSee best offer
ruko-f11_table1. Ruko F114K1.2km25minSee best offer
Drones reviewed in this article

Drones under $300 – Table of Contents

10. Altair AA108
9. UDI U818
8. Holy Stone HS120D
7. MJX Bugs 2w

6. Potensic D85
5. Contixo F20
4. Holy Stone HS700D

3. Potensic D88
2. Holy Stone HS720
1. Ruko F11

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:

 

Altair AA108 Novi

10. Altair AA108

Altair AA108 is a toy-grade drone, there is no doubt about it… but despite that, it is still worthy of this list thanks to great build quality and top of the line toy-grade performance. As long as you don’t expect premium features from it (and no sane person would, considering the dirt-cheap price tag), I’m sure Altair AA108 will surprise you with its charm.

It is made by a rather new brand but seems to be doing itself justice with sales. In fact, it is one of the most popular toy-grade drones ever since its release. What’s all this hype about? Well, let’s see…

Camera and Features

When it comes to the features’ side of the deal, this little birdie has a lot to brag about. For instance, it sports Altitude Hold, Custom Flight Routes as well as 3 flying modes (beginner, intermediate and expert), all of which contribute to an overall amazing flying experience.

But, more important than its features – Altair AA108 bears a miniature imaging sensor. Yes, this little fella sports a tiny camera. And it’s not one of those petty VGA ones – you are looking at a microsensor capable of recording in 720p. With that being said, both images and videos look pretty good so it’s safe to say Altair AA108 brings good value for money in terms of camera and features.

Specifications

Specifications of this birdie are pretty straightforward. There aren’t that many oscillations when compared to other similarly priced models. More precisely, airtime goes around the 10-minute mark which is a standard. However, you will be happy to know that Altair AA108 comes with an extra battery meaning you get access to up to 20 minutes of flying per session. And during that time your drone will allow you to reach 100 meters away from the provided controller. It’s not a lot, I know… but go ahead and find a cheaper model with a longer operating range… That’s right, you can’t!

 

 

udi-u818plus-drone-for-kids_web

9. UDI U818Plus

It’s not a secret that UDI’s toy-grade drones are subjects to plenty of rebranding and incremental modifications. This is true for their U818 model which has received a lot of positive feedback from customers all over the world. But, we will be focusing on U818Plus edition which brings forth several awesome improvements that make this little birdie stand out from other low-end drones. What exactly is so special about it? Well, there’s only one way to find out and that’s by reading the next couple of paragraphs!

Camera and Features

Let’s face it – for roughly $150 you cannot really expect that much of a drone. Still, the boundaries are being heavily pushed during the last few years and we are seeing massive price cuts in the industry. This has led to more firepower for cheaper models and that’s exactly what UDI U818Plus has to offer. Take its camera for example – we are talking about a solid 2MPX sensor that can record in HD. A couple of years back, you couldn’t even get such a camera for $150 not to mention a freaking drone on top of it.

Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of cheap low-end drones equipped with Altitude Hold and other similar smart flight features. But how is this possible when they don’t possess GPS? Well, these quasi-smart features (at least that’s how I love to call them) aren’t using GPS but other, less expensive sensors. They do their job with no issues but the precision is, needless to say, lacking. The same can be said about UDI U818Plus – it’s not a smart drone but still provides a portion of the smart-drone feature set.

Specifications

Specifications-wise, there is no doubt UDI did a great job with U818Plus. Starting off with flight duration, this thing can fly around for approximately 12 minutes which is not to be taken for granted at this price point. Furthermore, operating range perhaps isn’t as long as, f.e. MJX Bugs 2W, but it’s still admirable. It clocks in at roughly 150 meters which should satisfy the majority of its potential buyers.

 

 

Holy Stone HS120D with Transmitter

8. Holy Stone HS120D

HS120D is the next bugger we’re going to talk about. Created by Holy Stone, this drone aims to make the perfect impression in the entry-level to mid-tier price range. It will set you back for around $230, but you can get it at a slightly cheaper price point with a bit of luck. Overall, we’re looking at a stable GPS drone here sporting an aggressive price tag and causing quite the commotion on the mid-range drone market.

Camera and Features

The resolution on this bad boy is not the greatest. We’re talking about a mere 1080p sensor that looks more like upscaled 720p. However, it’s still among the best camera drones on this list! How is that possible? Well, there’s one thing that HS120D does extraordinarily well – vibration dampening.

Even though it doesn’t feature a motorized gimbal system, it does feature a rubbery platform for vibration dampening, a simple system that works wonders for its footage. It’s smooth, clean, and looks miles ahead of similarly priced models. Talking about smoothness, you’ll love the smooth-flying features like object trace, gesture control, auto return to home, and custom paths. They are all GPS-based so their accuracy is impeccable.

Specifications

Specs-wise, Holy Stone HS120D is quite the champ, featuring solid numbers across the board. Roughly 300 meters of operating range and close to 18 minutes of flight time ought to do the trick for most people. If you’re not satisfied, just remember that we’re still talking about a drone that goes for $200. When you put everything into perspective and compare it with similarly priced models, Holy Stone HS120D is a proper steal!

 

 

Potensic-D80_with_transmitter

7. MJX Bugs 2W

Finally, we have reached the best drone under $300 currently available on the market. It is none other than the spiritual success of late Bugs 3 – Bugs 2W! It sports a much smaller form factor and actually comes with a built-in camera which is a massive sales pitch for people looking to get into aerial photography.

Furthermore, it needs to be said that we are talking about a smart drone (more on that later) with a whole bunch of additional functionalities you’d come to expect from higher-end models. So, why don’t we start from that and see what’s MJX Bugs 2W all about!

Camera and Features

As far as the camera is concerned, I already gave you the assumption that it’s a good one. Well, more precisely, we are talking about what seems to be a 5MPX sensor capable of recording in Full HD. It is a lot better than those standard 2MPX sensors which are overflowing the entry-level market. Image quality is good but you might experience a bit of jello in windy weather.

Features-wise, MJX Bugs 2W is actually a smart drone due to its integrated GPS module. This brings forth several handy features including Return To Home and Altitude Hold. Needless to say, the latter will prove to be of great help for recording smooth and cinematic aerial footage. Lastly, the controller seems good too. It fits nicely in hands and provides intuitive yet responsive controls.

Specifications

Believe it or not, MJX Bugs 2W is an absolute beast in terms of specifications. With up to 1000 meters of operating range (that’s what’s written on the spec sheet although I only went slightly over 500m) and approximately 18 minutes of flight time, there aren’t that many similarly priced models with such awesome specifications. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe there is a single one. So, with that in mind, there is no doubt in the sheer quality of MJX Bugs 2W. It is a worthy successor to Bugs 3 and with everything it has to offer, it is just a matter of time before it reaches the top of the entry-level food chain.

 

 

potensic-d85_with_transmitter

6. Potensic D85

Potensic D85 is a drone with sick specifications. In other words, if you’re in it for lengthier flight sessions and long-range chasing, then there’s no need to look any further. Potensic D85 has you covered with exceptional coverage and two batteries that’ll extend your flight sessions to the point where you’ll be sick and tired of flying. Jokes aside, let’s take a closer look at this bugger and see the reasons why it’s listed as one of the best drones under $300!

Camera and Features

It’s safe to say Potensic D85 doesn’t fail to deliver in the features department. There’s a lot of stuff going on there, including the extremely necessary GPS module which makes this drone a breeze to fly. I’m serious here – even first-time drone pilots can wrap their heads around this little bugger.

Truth be told, Potensic D85 isn’t such a small drone. It’s sporting relatively massive brushless motors, but they’re the typical sort that can easily be replaced with generic ones available on Amazon. They aren’t likely to burn out, though, but it’s still nice knowing they aren’t the proprietary kind found on other drone models. Additionally, Potensic D85 also sports stuff like one key takeoff/landing, auto return, altitude hold, follow me, and orbit mode; you know, the usual bunch of GPS-powered features available on most mid-tier drones these days.

Specifications

The best thing about Potensic D85 package is the fact it comes with two batteries, allowing up to 40 minutes of flying from the first go. Yep, that’s roughly 20 minutes of flight time per battery, an admirable number considering the price tag. What’s also admirable is the operating range, stretching from 1.2 to 1.5 kilometers, much more than the average range of its direct competitors. There’s FPV too, but it’s able to reach only half of that – roughly 600 to 700 meters.

 

 

contixo-f20_with_transmitter

5. Contixo F20

When talking about cheap models, let’s say drones under $200, Contixo F20 definitely poses as a top-notch competitor. It’s a well-rounded package, featuring everything you may need from a mid-tier drone. So, if excellence is what you’re looking for, and I really doubt you’re in it for the looks, then keep on reading because Contixo F20 ought to surprise you!

Camera and Features

Even though Contixo F20’s camera can rotate vertically, the anti-vibration mechanism is basically non-existent, which results in shaky and jello-packed footage. Still images, however, are absolutely gorgeous. Since we’re talking about stills, there’s none of that nasty jello and the FHD resolution does wonders when it comes to sharpness. Color accuracy is good too, and you’ll overall appreciate the motorized mount, allowing you to capture aerial footage from a different perspective than what you’d be able to do with other similarly priced models.

The first question most of you are wondering right about now – Does Contixo F20 feature GPS? Yes, yes it does! Not only GPS but all of the typical GPS-powered specials like follow me, waypoints, altitude hold, Tap Fly, one key takeoff/landing, and several additional ones.

Specifications

Contixo F20 doesn’t fail to deliver in terms of the specifications. In fact, thanks to an optimized battery, you’ll be getting around 17-18 minutes of flight time. Range-wise, you can expect up to 800 meters which aren’t too bad considering direct competitors. Oh, I almost forgot – Contixo F20 comes with a carrying case too…

 

 

holy-stone-hs700-with-transmitter

4. Holy Stone HS700D

HS700D is the second Holy Stone drone on this list. It’s another superb creation by the renowned Holy Stone brand, featuring an excellent all-around package with plenty of power underneath the hood. It’s on the cheap end too, and we all know every penny counts in this price range! So, without further ado, let’s dive right on in and see what’s HS700D all about!

Camera and Features

Let’s start off with the obvious marketing trick here. Holy Stone addresses HS700D’s camera as 2K. However, we’re talking about a mere 1080p sensor with a few extra pixels on the sides. It’s still good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s nowhere near the crispiness of 2.7K (often called 2K in short).

Brushless motors are here, ensuring a stable, beginner-friendly fight at each and every occasion. Even in windy conditions, mind you, courtesy of the onboard GPS that paves the way for another set of awesome features. We’re talking selfie modes (several of them, to be more precise), auto return to home, altitude hold, and more.

Specifications

With its 2800mAh rechargeable LiPo battery, HS720 can endure up to 20 minutes per charge, a decent amount to say the least. Furthermore, it’s no pushover in the range department either, maxing at around 700 meters. FPV range is great too, with cut-outs starting at around 500 meters.

 

 

potensic-d88-with-transmitter

3.  Potensic D88

Potensic D88 brings forth impressive specs and splendid aerial photography capabilities. Not to mention the fact it comes with two batteries that will greatly extend the overall flight time. They do take a while to charge up to 100%, but that’s a price you have to pay, considering the charging. Talking about the pricing, Potensic D88 won’t make too big of a dent in your wallet but will make a huge dent in your free time thanks to its fun flight experience and a superb camera.

Camera and Features

Potensic D88’s camera is pretty good, as long as you don’t expect crystal-clear and vibration-free aerial footage. We’re talking about the industry-standard 2K sensor (once again, it’s simply a slightly wider FHD resolution) that does a fairly good job overall. If you’re looking for an entry-level aerial photography platform, Potensic D88 won’t disappoint you. If not with the camera but because of the overall simple controls and GPS that make it easy to control by even the biggest drone piloting noobs.

Unfortunately, the FPV range is the biggest downside of Potensic D88. You’ll be getting around 200 to 300 meters, which isn’t exactly the longest-reaching FPV transmission distance. On the bright side, the rest of the specs sheet is surprisingly good!

Specifications

Yep, the operating range goes well beyond the 1-kilometer mark. Up to 1.5 kilometers is what you’ll be getting in clear and unobstructed areas like lakes, plains, and similar. The marketed 16 to 20 minutes of flight time are painting the ideal picture. Realistically, your Potensic D88 will be able to endure around 17-18 minutes. Not half bad considering the price tag, don’t you agree?

 

 

Holy Stone HS720 with Transmitter

2. Holy Stone HS720

Here we have yet another Holy Stone model here. The third one on our list of the best quadcopters under $300. It’s the last one, I promise. Don’t think we’re partnered up with Holy Stone or anything like that – they just make darn good drones, and HS720 is no exception.

Camera and Features

We’re talking about a miniature, foldable drone here, featuring a solid 2K camera (basically a slightly wider FHD), and a whole bunch of GPS-powered features, including the most popular ones like an auto return to home, follow me, and optical flow positioning. Additionally, HS720 features two bright lights for night flights (heck, it rhymes!!!), potent brushless motors and a downward-facing sensor. Overall, it’s very stable in-flight, which is pretty surprising considering its small form factor.

As for the camera, it’s solid at best. There’s a bunch of jello effect and I can’t really recommend it for aerial footage. Aerial photography is another thing, and if you can time your shots to perfection, your results will be pretty good. Overall, a solid camera for the money, but I expected slightly better vibration dampening.

Specifications

800 meters is what you’ll be getting from this foldable little bugger. That’s pretty decent coming from such a portable drone. When combined with approximately 25 minutes of flight duration (yep, you’ve read that right), you get a solid all-around performer that won’t affect your budget too much. And while it doesn’t come with an additional battery, it does feature a mini carrying case that protects everything from exterior dangers.

 

 

ruko-f11_with-transmitter

1.  Ruko F11 – The best drone under $300?

And finally, let’s talk about the number one drone on this list, the one, and only Ruko F11. Coming in at roughly $350, Ruko F11 doesn’t really fit our drones under $300 category, but since it’s frequently on sale for $300, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity of including it here. It really is worth every penny, I promise!

Camera and Features

Let’s start off with the brilliant camera this drone comes with. It’s integrated but features a mighty 4K sensor that produces crisp footage quality. As is the case with most other drones in this price range, Ruko 11’s camera also doesn’t do a very good job with vibration elimination. In other words, the camera does amazingly well for still images, but the footage does possess a fair bit of shakiness. On the bright side, you can easily get rid of it in the post, and still, have plenty of real estates to work with because of the high resolution and wide-angle lens.

The most important thing in terms of the feature set is the onboard GPS, making Ruko F11 the perfect drone for beginners. It’s easy to fly, doesn’t take too much space and is foldable, meaning you can carry it with you everywhere you go. Other features include long-range FPV transmission (around 400 meters), and a bunch of camera-based autonomous specials like follow me and tap fly.

Specifications

The specs are pretty good too. With around 25ish minutes of flight time, Ruko F11 does itself justice. Better yet, it comes with two batteries, meaning you’ll be getting close to an hour of flight time straight out of the box. The operating range is excellent too, stretching out to around 1 kilometer, although some users are claiming they went close to the 1.2k mark. Overall, if you’re looking for a quadcopter under $300 and you’re a beginner, Ruko F11 is a perfect choice. It’s right there at the edge of our price point, has an excellent 4K camera, great specs, and most importantly – GPS!

 

 

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 that 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 California in a matter of seconds.

But, besides worry-free flying, entry-level drones are also good for plenty of other things. Here are 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 drones.

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 is 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 that 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…

 

Old list- Late 2018

9. Zerotech Dobby

Drones have burst onto the mainstream market through features on major social media channels which led to an explosion of their popularity. That’s exactly how Zerotech Dobby went with its marketing campaign – a lot of popular YouTubers and Vloggers have opted for reviews and sparked the interest of a much wider audience.

But, is all this Zerotech Dobby hype valid or is it just a mere hype train that’s going to swing us by? Well, I guess we have to take a closer look at it and see what does it bring to the table!

Camera and Features

First off, let’s talk about the hardware this little fella possesses… and trust me, this is some serious firepower. The base of Zerotech Dobby’s functionalities is a Qualcomm Snapdragon SOC with 2GB RAM and 2.3GHz Quad-Core Processor. In terms of features, Zerotech Dobby incorporates dual navigation (GPS and GLONASS) as well as several supporting autonomous flight features. The queen jewel here is definitely its sophisticated facial recognition software which will do you a world of good once you get used to it. Furthermore, Zerotech Dobby uses Adreno 330 as its graphics processor and sports a miniature 13MPX camera.

Talking about the camera, you should know that it possesses Electronic Image Stabilization and can record in crystal clear 4K resolution. However, you cannot combine EIS with 4K – it works with resolutions up to FHD. Still, EIS FHD footage looks absolutely brilliant. Plus, considering the fact the majority of PC users worldwide are still using FHD monitors, I consider 4K to be an overkill for casuals.

Specifications

Last but not least – specifications. Even though this little birdie isn’t exactly the best drone as far as specifications are concerned, it is still standing on par with similarly priced and sized models. With that said, you can expect roughly 9 to 10 minutes of flight time. And finally, the operating range goes up to 100 meters which is, obviously, more than enough for taking selfies… and let’s face it – Zerotech Dobby is primarily targeted at selfie lovers who don’t need more range…

 

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 the 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 a 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. The 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 a way other drones in 2019 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 a gimbal that supports GoPro cameras.

 

6. Force1 F100

If you love drones that come with camera mounts for mounting your favorite action cameras, then this one is a no brainer. As the title suggests, I am talking about F100 by Force1, a relatively new drone that has gotten a lot of praise. Partially due to a sturdy build and partially because of its brushless motors.

So, what I am basically trying to tell you here is that Force1 F100 makes for a great entry-level aerial photography platform for people who already own an action camera. If you are one of them, what are you waiting for?

Camera and Features

First off, Force1 F100 is one of those “cameraless drones”. It’s true – this little fella doesn’t come with a camera meaning you either have to provide your own or keep using it without one. End of story. If you decide to provide your own, you will be happy to know it comes with a dedicated mount for GoPro’s and other action camera brands. So yeah, even though it doesn’t come with a camera, mounting one is as easy as it gets!

On the other hand, features are actually the biggest downside of this one. Well not exactly features but the obvious lack of them. As far as they are concerned, Force1 F100 only has access to 2 different speed modes, one key flips and tricks and that’s pretty much it. However, when it comes to the specifications… well, that’s where this little birdie shines the most!

Specifications

Where should we start off with this section? Well, perhaps I can do F100 some justice by stating that it sports powerful brushless motors. For those of you unfamiliar with drone world nomenclature – brushless motors deliver better power efficiency and last much longer than brushed ones. On top of that, Force1 F100 can go around 250 meters away from its controller. Flight time is no pushover either – you can expect somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes of flight time, depending on whether or not you’re using an action camera with it. So, with all this laid out, I’m sure you’ll all agree with me when I say that this little birdie is an absolute champ and well worth the price it goes for.

 

5. 3DR Solo

The 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 a 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 of features it has at its disposal. 3DR Solo has a 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 the features work very well.

Moving forward, thanks to GPS, 3DR Solo features the auto return to home function too. In case you go out of range (500 meters), 3DR Solo will automatically return back to the 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 the transmitter has HDMI out port, which means you can stream a live feed from the camera on pretty much any device that supports HDMI input. Cool, right?

 

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 a 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 a 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 a 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. The 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 a handy way more often than you think.

 

3. Hubsan H501s

Hubsan’s latest model offers us a 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 these lists with similar prices, 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 the transmitter.

These are some of the functions 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 a solid result. And finally, the advertised control range is 400 meters but don’t be too optimistic – in most cases you’ll get around 350m.

 

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 a 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 an 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 the 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 a solid result if you ask me. The 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.

Old list - Early 2017

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 for the 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 most suitable for children. It’s great for taking your very first step into drone piloting and as such – I warmly recommend it!

 

9. Holy Stone HS300

The 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 an 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!

 

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 departments? 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 that 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!

 

6. Xiro Xplorer

xiro-xplorer-v

Xiro Xplorer comes in several different versions (without a 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, the design is not only that matters when buying a drone.

Luckily, things are looking good for this little birdie outside the design department. Particularly 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 controlling range, you can expect somewhere around 500 meters. Last but not least –  Only a 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!

 

1. AEE AP10

AEE is a drone manufacturer well known for its high quality yet affordable drones, and some of the best drone under $300. 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 the 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 the 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 the 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!

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 that will absorb almost any impact. It is a smooth and gentle flier capable of FPV (First Person View) flight. The 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. It 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. The 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 a 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 of flight time on a range of 1KM. It is very accurate and sensitive to control. Has 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 the 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 its 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 a kid could fly it. They have a 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 a 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 the red LED light and then fly back to you. Speaking of the air time, I’ve been getting around 16-18 minutes. Which is a very good result for a drone in this price range? Another good thing is V303 comes with a built-in FPV module so you’ll be able to receive live camera feed from separately bought GoPro camera. Yes, V303 supports the GoPro camera. Build quality is close to high-end drones, everything holds its place and drone looks very solid. Definitely worth the money.

UAVs Under $300 Review
  • Flight time
  • Flight range
  • Camera
  • Design
4.5

Summary

Now you know what are the top 10 best drones you can buy under $300, every single one of them will ensure you hours of fun. They are above the average drone and pack some of the most recent technology in the industry. Choose the one who best fits your demands! From racing to recording videos the sky is no longer the limit!

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3 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??

3

Owned a mjx bugs 2w for nearly 6 month already and every time its in the air, it never failed to impress me. Distance can easily
reached beyond 700m and rth back witH no problem every time. Climb to max height of 495m and hovers rock solid above there and rth back swiftly with great accuracy to home point every time. With its powerfull 1800kv brushless motor and dual gps system, you will have no confident issue with this drone onced it is up there.