There is a drone suitable to anyone and any budget. That is why today we are analyzing and comparing the Top 10 Best drones under $100 currently available in the market in 2018. We all want to spend our money wisely, getting the best value for our investment by making sure we purchase a durable, efficient and fun product. Let’s do it!
Also Read: Top 10 Best Drones Under $200.
Let’s answer some Frequently Asked Questions:
What should I expect from an under $100 drone?
In order to get the best bang for your buck, it’s important to be aware of the average specifications and features of the products under such price and category.
Note: Smaller drones will have a flight time more towards the lower side of this spectrum, mainly due to the power of the battery. Although large drones can also have low flight time due to a high payload.
Note: Auto-Return feature doesn’t always mean the drone returns to automatically to the pilot, most of the time the feature present in products under $100 is just flying backwards. However, this “flying backwards” when used together with Headless Mode can activate a true Auto-Return-like result.
Now for our Top 10 Best Drones Under $100 list:
10- MJX X400W
One of “Amazon’s Choice” tag awarded drones. With over 1,700 customer reviews, MJX X400W is one of the most popular WiFi FPV quadcopters currently in the market.
MJX X400W is aimed at both beginners and experts. It has a stable hover and is capable of flying in weak-wind conditions only. X400W weighs 112g and is fairly vulnerable to winds exceeding
5mph. Features 2 speed modes, the fastest yaw-speed enables the quad to be more maneuverable and a bit acrobatic. It can be flown both indoor and outdoor.
X400W comes with a standard C4005 FPV camera. Good enough to take decent quality aerial photos and videos, but nothing too fancy. However, it does enable Live Video transmission via WiFi directly to the pilot’s smartphone device through a free to download app.
MJX X400W packs a nice set of features, very fun for recreational use. On top of the Live Video there is Headless Mode, One-Key Return, 3D Flip&Roll, LED lights, Out of Range Alarm and also low Battery Alarm. Mostly focus on useful features to enhance the beginner’s experience.
Note: Compatible with 3D VR Headset (not included).
One of the best characteristics of this drone, besides the ease of use, is without a doubt its specs such as flight time and control range. Flight time is around 8 to 9 minutes (powered by a 3.7V 750 mAh Li-po battery); takes about 120 minutes to fully charge (USB). The control distance goes as far as 100 meters.
9- HolyStone HS170G
One of the newly released quadcopters in early 2018, it’s a fun little drone (13.21 x 13.21 x 4.06cm) meant for beginners. It’s one of the cheapest currently in the market and definitely easier to control than the Syma models.
As already mentioned HS170G is aimed at beginners. Great for the indoor and outdoor flight it has a very stable hover thanks to its 6-Axis Gyro System (present in practically any toy quad). It’s responsive and can be fairly steady without much user input (thus its ease of use). It is able to fly in 3 different speeds (high to low).
It’s important to highlight the 2.4Ghz remote controller. It is one of the best and more comfortable among under $100 drones. Its ergonomic style enhances the flight experience and is a nice detail.
HS170G packs standard features, mainly because the manufacturer prioritized low price and ease of use over a wide set of features. However, it does come with all the useful features such as Headless Mode, Altitude Mode, One-Key Takeoff and Landing, Emergency Stop, LED light, 3D flips (aerial stunts).
HolyStone HS170G has slightly below average specifications, but we must point out its priced below $50. This being said, HS170G has a maximum control range around 70 meters (perhaps can hit 80m but we wouldn’t advise this to beginners). Flight time is a good 7 to 8 minutes when powered by a 350mAh (included) or 380mAh battery.
8- HolyStone HS160
A pocket drone equipped with Live Video transmission. Great for kids and beginners, HS160 is capable of folding and fitting any pocket or backpack. Extremely easy to carry, the remote controller even comes with a holder for the pilot to place his phone.
Suitable for both indoor and outdoor flight, HS160 is a great drone to carry around with you anywhere. Can be easily flown by kids and beginners due to the its steady hovering (doesn’t require much pilot input to hover in same place without falling to one side). It comes with 4 different speeds (high to low); for beginners, intermediates and experts.
The built-in camera is a standard VGA camera (despite manufacturer advertising HD) and it has a 720p resolution. Besides taking photos and recording video, the camera can also transmit Live Video directly to the pilot’s smartphone device via WiFi through a free to download app (Android and iOs).
First of all, we must highlight the foldable design, which makes HS160 extremely portable by fitting it in a pocket or backpack. When folded the drone is 14 x 67 x 3 cm (unfolded is 18 x 18 x 3cm). It features App Control, Altitude Hold, Gravity Sensor Mode (follow smartphone’s movement), 3D VR set compatibility, One-Key Takeoff and Landing, and LED light.
Flight time is its best spec, each fully charged battery (3.7V 500mAh Lipo) allows up to 9 minutes of fun flight. The maximum control distance ranges between 50 to 70 meters, while the WiFi Video transmission range is only 30 meters.
7- Eachine E58
The best looking pocket drone in the market. Its design is based on DJI Mavic Pro, one could even say a copy of the famous DJI quad. Eachine E58 packs a 2MP camera and can transmit Live Video via WiFi.
Eachine E58 is a nicely stable quad that fights the wind efficiently. It’s beginner-friendly but not the easiest to fly currently in the market. At higher speeds it’s fairly acrobatic; reasonably maneuverable.
The built-in camera is surprisingly better quality than we expected and the Live Video transmission has no lag, which is an amazing detail in our opinion. This no lag FPV transmission is due to the fact Eachine E58 records directly to the microSD card, thus preventing any lag issues (you cannot record the video directly to your smartphone while flying). The camera is 2MP with 720p resolution and wide angle.
Besides the already mentioned foldable design, E58 also features Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, Gravity Sensor, Automatic Takeoff and Landing, 3D flips and Out of Range safety (if you go out of range it starts to descend).
E58 has some interesting specs, for example, the maximum flight time of 9 minutes (battery only takes around 1 hour to fully charge). Maximum control range is 100 meters, although FPV range is only about 30 meters.
6- GoolRC T47
A product that combines portability with entertainment. GoolRC T47 packs 2 awesome particularities, the foldable design (fitting in a bag or backpack) and a G-Sensor Control (e.g. Nintendo Wii Remote).
You can pilot T47 via smartphone or G-Sensor Control. When using the smartphone, the quad is simple and straightforward to control. However, if you want to pilot with the G-Sensor Control (included), it does have a bit of a learning curve, we don’t advise that mode for beginners and kids.
The camera is standard VGA quality with 720p resolution. It’s capable of recording videos and taking photos. It also transmits Live Video directly to the pilot’s smartphone via WiFi through a free to download app (available for Android and iOS). Live Video is decent quality but can occasionally have some latency.
GoolRC T47 comes with a standard set of features including Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, Gravity Sense Control (remote included in the package), Live Video, Beauty Mode (in-app feature to enhance photos and video), and 3D flip. Nothing fancy, but the G-Sensor Control and Foldable Design sure are the highlight of this quadcopter.
Specs are right on the average for a drone within this price range. Flight time is 7 minutes per battery (package includes a bonus battery, which is a neat extra). Control distance is 80 meters, with the Live Image transmission topping at 30 meters.
5- Drocon X708W
An “Amazon’s Choice” tag awarded drone aimed at beginners and the entire family! Great to fly outdoors. Current drone is one of the best drones under $100. Can be flown indoor but the outdoor experience is much better.
Almost the perfect drone for beginners. Has a very steady hover and is easily maneuverable, thanks to the 6 Axis Gyro system. It has 2 speed modes (high and low). At low speed, X708W is the ideal drone to practice before moving on to a higher-end drone.
The image quality of X708W’s built-in camera is actually surprisingly good, both recorded video and Live Video displayed on the smartphone’s device; 720p resolution. This Live Video is done via WiFi directly to pilot’s device. Live Image is lag-free, unlike most FPV drones under $100 that have image latency.
Drocon X708W is particularly aimed at ease of use and not being feature-rich. However, the quad does pack common features such as: Headless Mode, Return to Home, Live Video, 360º aerial stunt (3D flip), LED lights and of course the Live Video. A function we would like to highlight is the compatibility with 3D VR sets (not included).
X708W specs are actually very good and may be please most pilots that prioritize a focus on specifications. Maximum flight time is around 10 minutes per battery, while maximum range is 100 meters.
4- Visuo XS809W (aka GordVE)
Visou goes by many names on Amazon, including GordVE, Aurelio, Leaningtech and ZWN. Due to the product’s popularity, many brands resell it under a different name. Why? Because for a very low price you can get a foldable drone with a built-in 2MP camera with a 120º wide angle; Live Video has a long transmission.
As expected from a widely popular quadcopter, XS809W performs very well, both indoor and outdoor. At lower speed it’s very easy to maneuver and hovers steadily. In high speed it becomes fairly maneuverable and one could even say a bit acrobatic. The drone can be controlled via 2.4Ghz remote controller (included), or via smartphone through an app.
One of the most fun characteristics of XS809W is the built-in 2MP 720p 20fps resolution camera. Unlike most cameras under $100, this one doesn’t have a narrow angle, instead featuring a 120º FOV (Field of View) lens. Live Video is transmitted in good quality directly to the pilot’s smartphone screen via WiFi.
Visuo XS809W presents a highly popular feature nowadays, the foldable design. Thanks to this compact function, XS809W is very easy to transport, and therefore ideal for outdoor sporting events. Besides this, it also features: Headless Mode, One-Key Return, Altitude Hold, 3D VR compatibility, Gravity Sensor Control, 3D flip, LED lights.
XS809W has a maximum flight of 7 to 9 minutes, which is pretty good considering its price. Maximum control distance is 80 meters but in proper flight conditions with a good condition it can reach 100 meters. FPV transmission is surprisingly good, working as far as 80 meters.
3- Holy Stone HS150
For all the amateur drone racing enthusiasts getting started, we are happy to tell you there’s a highly affordable and highly fun alternative in the market. Of course it’s a simple toy racer, but it’s great for practicing faster flying.
HS150 is a toy racer drone for beginners. However, keep in mind it’s for beginners at drone racing, and not beginners at flying a drone for the first time. This being said, HS150 Bolt Bee is surprisingly fast, able to hit 50km/h (31 miles per hour). Highly maneuverable, it’s a great indoor racer but can also be flown outdoor if there’s minimum wind. It features 5 different speed modes (high to low).
Since it’s a racer drone, built for speed and agility, it of course isn’t focused around features. However, it does come with Headless Mode and 3D Flip. Features a complete ready to fly out of the box package with 2 batteries, 3.7V 600Mah Li-Po (1 bonus).
Besides the already mentioned 50km/h speed, HS150 has decent specifications, for example 7 minutes’ flight time per battery (comes with 2) and a control distance of around 70 meters; thus better for indoor racing.
2- Hubsan H107D X4
It’s one of the most popular drones under $100, it has been a top rated bestseller ever since its release. Most likely you have already heard of it before. Luckily, this amazing drone is still available in the market and its price has followed the market; amazing value for the money, comes with a complete FPV package.
There’s a reason why Hubsan H107D remains to this day one of the most sold drones in the market. It performs way above average and it’s one of everyone’s favorite to buy when first flying a quadcopter. Steady hover, responsive control, overall an amazing experience.
The fun wouldn’t be complete without a camera and Hubsan X4 does comes with a built-in 0.3MP 480p resolution camera with surprisingly good quality. Capable of recording video and taking photos, the camera can also transmit Live Video directly to the 4.3” LCD screen built-in into the remote controller itself (see image). No need to use your smartphone as a FPV monitor. The remote controller comes with its own!
Hubsan X4 H107D does not include any features besides 3D flips and Live Video.
H107D specifications are exactly on average, even still to this day. It has a maximum flight time of 9 to 10 minutes and a maximum control range of 100 meters (same for the 5.8Ghz Video Image transmission).
1- JJRC H26
An incredible product manufactured by JJRC, H26 is without a doubt the Best Drone to buy Under $100 currently in the market. It’s the best bang for your buck. Why? Well, let’s find out!
Top quality performance. This large and heavy quadcopter is ideal for practicing without worrying about losing control due to high yaw speed. JJRC H26 has a very steady hover and is easy to control. Due to its size and payload, it’s not acrobatic, which is ideal for first-time pilots.
The camera is JJRC’s toy action camera, which is surprisingly good quality and performs above average when compared to most toy cameras. It’s 2MP and 1080p resolution, able to record video and take nice aerial photos. Definitely a great addition to an already great quad.
JJRC H26 packs a standard set of features, including: Headless Mode, One-Key Return, cool looking LED lights, and a strong landing gear which will help a lot on your first flights; prevents drone from hitting the floor too hard when landing (which is always a problem for a beginner).
First of all, let me say that if you prioritize control distance, you will be astonished with H26. This amazing drone has the capability of flying as far as 300 meters! Yes, you read that correctly, 300 meters! Way above the average range of any other drone on this list. The flight time however, is already on average, only 7 minutes, mainly due to the drone’s large size and payload.
But waaait, because we love our readers we have….
2 BONUS DRONE on our Top 10 best drones under $100 list!
We would also like to highlight Hubsan X4 H107C, an amazingly cheap drone (under $30) which is ideal for beginners to fly indoor. It comes with a built-in camera (yes, for less than $30!).
It is one of the most sold drones on Amazon, and one of our personal favorites. It’s a neat looking mini quadcopter capable of taking photos and recording video. Camera is 0.3MP and is able to get some good aerial footage. We wanted to mention this drone due to its high popularity, built-in camera, complete package and of course, crazy low price!
Note: It comes with a propeller guard, to prevent the drone from crashing when hitting objects. This guard is great for kids, but is also detachable if you want to reduce payload.
Second Bonus is… UDI Force1 818A!
It is one of the most popular drones for kids and beginners. Extremely easy to use and allows for Live Video transmission. U818A is one of the top rated beginner drones by RC aircraft enthusiasts. It has a 1MP camera, 10 minutes’ flight time and 100 meters’ max range! It’s perfect for kids and beginner thanks to its protective frame (as you can see in the image below).
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