Looking to find the best drone on a tight budget?
Budget drones have come along way in the past 5 years, and for the first time, you can buy a 4K camera drone with decent flight time for under $100!
So without further preamble, let's jump right into our review of the 10 Best Drones Under $100 currently available online.
Top 3 Budget Drones for 2023
For those of you in a hurry, here are our top 3 drones for less than 100 dollars.
- The Tello has a 5MP Camera that can shoot videos in 720p and at 30fps.
- The Flight Time is 13 minutes and the Flight Range goes up to 100 meters.
- Even though the Tello's specs are lacking, it's made by DJI, the best drone manufacturer in the business, ensuring quality and customer support you won't get from the other brands in this review.
Our #2 Rated
- Contixio F16 comes jam-packed with beginner-friendly features
- Flight time is around 13 minutes and the flight range is up to 60 meters
- Although the video quality is underwhelming, the picture quality is amazing for the price
Our #3 Rated
- Tomzon D28 is one of the few drones in this price range that are capable of shooting video in 1080p
- Flight time is around 12 minutes and the flight range is up to 60 meters
- Besides a decent camera, the D28 also comes with a whale slew of useful features such as tap fly, optical flow positioning, and many more.
What should I expect from a drone under $100?
In order to get the best bang for your buck, it’s important to be aware of the average specifications and features of the products under such price and category.
Average Flight Time
Batteries and drone’s firmware have become much more efficient in the last couple of years. Therefore, you should expect an average flight time of 10 to 15 minutes. Some brands prioritize flight time while others focus on other specs. However, keep in mind that drones with better cameras will have shorter flight times.
Average Control Range
It is one of the most commonly highly prioritized specifications by drone enthusiasts. Of course one wants to have a long range when investing this amount of money in a drone. Fortunately, the control distance is increasing. Nowadays, an average control range for a product within this budget is around 100 m.
Of course, you must know that performance from any drone on this list is not going to be as great as a drone under 300$ for example. Accurate controls should be expected, but windy days must be avoided if you expect steady hover even without any pilot’s input. We have only picked the quads that have top-of-the-line performance when compared to other same-price products.
As technology advances, more features are added to drones as companies compete with each other for sales. Therefore, all $100 drones in this review already come with a wide variety of features. Expect a decent amount of drones to feature Follow Me, Live Video, and the ability to do tricks. Our most important feature is obstacle avoidance since you don’t want to crash your 100 dollar drone!
Average Camera Quality
Most of these drones come with HD 1080p cameras. They are able to produce good quality image footage, although live video streaming might have some latency. They are definitely able to record amazing footage for home use, though.
Ready for liftoff? Here's our list of Top 10 Drones Under $100:
Top 11 Best Camera Drones Under $100
Lets get to it then, here's our the best drones under $100, tested and reviewed:
1. DJI Tello – The Best Drone for $100!
What if I told you that the DJI is currently offering a drone, the Tello, which is a feature-rich, compact, and extremely capable sub-100 dollar drone. That's right; a DJI endorsed drone for under $100?! We thought they would stick to drones in the 1000 dollar price range.
One of the first things that stood out about the Tello drone is that they've made it simple to fly. Feel safe with the Tello; even if you've never flown a drone before, we're certain that you'll pick it up quickly. For experienced and more confident pilots, there are enough bells and whistles that'll keep you entertained.
It is a quadcopter that looks remarkably similar to the outstanding and extremely popular DJI Spark. The similarities don't end there - but more on that later. Let's get to know more about its features.
We've come to expect a flight period of 5 to 7 minutes. Fortunately, you can find a whole lot more, and you'll enjoy a flight time of 13 minutes with the Tello. That compares with drones such as the DJI Spark and others in the $500 price range.
Further specifications are:
- Range: 100 meters
- Battery: 3.8V 1100 mAh
- Size: 9.80 x 9.25 x 4.10 cm (3.86 x 3.64 x 1.61 inches)
- Weight: 80 grams, including battery
The camera is also good for a drone in this budget. The Tello includes a 5MP camera with an 82.6-degree field of view and shoots 720p video at 30 frames per second.
The Tello also has digital image stabilization (EIS) for significantly less blur and enhanced footage on the go. The Intel processor ensures excellent footage.
The Tello drone has EZ Shots to make the camera much more accurate. That makes shooting easier and more enjoyable. The drone streams to a tablet/smartphone or a VR headset.
The list of features is extensive, here goes:
- Pressure Sensor Altitude Hold
- One-Touch Take-Off and Landing
- Twist and Go - Throw It, It Goes
- DJI Tello Tricks - 8D Flips
- Bounce Mode - The Tello bounces up and down from your hand (or any other surface) at heights between 1.6 ft and 3.9 ft.
- Vision positioning system
I think we haven't forgotten any! It's that overwhelming. Truly a feature-rich quadcopter, no other cheap drone under $100 can compare to this.
2. Contixo F16 - Best Cheap Drone With An HD Camera
There are quite a few cheap quadcopter drones with cameras on the market. However, very few come with features that are on par with many mid-range and high-end models.
If you're searching for a cheap drone that comes with all the bells and whistles of a higher-end model, then you might be interested in Contixio F16 FPV.
With the F16, you'll be able to take those action shots you always wanted without burning a hole in your wallet. On top of that, it's pretty simple to fly. It features one-key take-off and landing, and it is also capable of flying in Headless mode, which makes piloting it a piece of cake.
The Contixo F16 quadcopter drone with camera is capable of 13 minutes of flight time. It also comes with a spare battery - so, make that 13 minutes times two. That's on par with the DJI Trello.
The control range of only 50 meters is not too exciting, but when you factor in the price, it's a reasonable tradeoff.
If you want to enjoy flying it in FPV mode, you'll have to download the companion app. The app is a bit unstable, so I recommend you keep the drone well in the range of the controller to avoid losing the connection.
Contixio F16 comes with a 1080p full HD camera that's capable of filming in only 15 FPS. That means filming exciting videos with this drone under 100 dollars is nearly impossible. On top of that, the camera has only a 90-degree vertical tilt. Thankfully, the drone features a 6 axis gyro so you can maneuver it for a better shot.
Although the quality of the video is quite underwhelming, the snaps it takes are excellent. That makes it an excellent drone for beginners. Why?
Well, before making breathtaking videos, you first have to learn how to pilot a drone and position it for the best shot - and this drone enables that for you.
Like I mentioned in the intro, this camera drone comes with quite a bit of features:
- Headless Mode
- Altitude Hold
- One-key takeoff and Landing and Emergency Stop
- Three speed modes
- One-key return
- Follow me mode
On top of all that, this drone is also foldable - and capable of doing flips.
3. Tomzon D28 - Best Camera Drone Under 100 Dollars
If you're looking for a Sci-Fi-looking drone that flies pretty well, you might want to take a look at the Tomzon D28. For a drone under 100 dollars, it comes with quite a few features that make it easy and fun to fly.
The coolest thing about this little drone is that it's equipped with a 1080p camera. That's something you rarely see at this price range; not all cheap drones come with a 1080p HD camera.
On top of that, the drone comes with a nifty carrying bag.
When it comes to specs, the D28 is on par with most drones under 100 dollars. The max flight time is around 12 minutes per battery. The drone comes with two batteries, meaning you can easily double the flight time.
The batteries are proprietary, though, which isn't ideal because you'll have to contact the manufacturer to get spares.
The max range on this little drone is around 60 meters. Although this is a bit underwhelming, when you factor in that you get a decent camera and a slew of cool features for under 100 dollars, the tradeoff is quite reasonable.
The first-person view (FPV) mode is pretty decent if you keep the drone well in transmission range. But once you get to the edge, you will notice connection dropoffs.
Like we mentioned in the intro, this drone comes equipped with a 1080p camera that can both take stills and film HD video. The image quality is quite decent for a drone in this price range. Just make sure you do all the filming/shooting in bright weather because there's no advanced image processing.
The camera can be adjusted vertically by 90-degrees. Unfortunately, you can't do that while mid-flight. Instead, you will have to do it manually before you launch it.
Attach your phone to the controller, download the companion app, and you can use the first- person view (FPV). Unfortunately, the flight experience in FPV mode is a bit underwhelming because you can't adjust the camera tilt on the fly.
What makes this drone worth the money are the feature it comes with. One of the coolest features is the Tap Fly feature which allows you to plan the drone's flight by drawing a route on the built-in map on the companion app.
One feature your kids will love is the 3D flip feature. With the press of a controller's button, the drone will start flipping.
The D28 also comes with optical flow positioning. Thanks to this feature, the drone can easily lock in position and keep a stable flight, which is excellent for beginner drone pilots and makes taking photos and videos a breeze.
4. Sanrock U52 - Best Toy Drone For Beginners
Sanrock U52 is one of the best drones under 100 dollars on the market. It's jam-packed with all kinds of features that make it fun and easy to fly for both kids and adults.
Although it seems like a decent camera quadcopter by most standards, it does come with a flip side. For instance, if you're looking for an aerial camera, this might not be an ideal drone for you because it has a resolution of 720P HD.
But even when you factor in the subpar camera, this is definitely one of the best cheap drones you can currently find on the market.
When it comes to flight time, the U52 can stay in the air for around 13 minutes. That is on par with almost all drones under 100 dollars. Thankfully, this quadcopter drone comes with two modular batteries; you can double the flight time to almost half an hour.
As for the control range, with remote control, you'll be able to fly this drone in a 100-meter radius. If you decide to fly the drone in FPV mode, the range drops significantly - to only 30 meters.
With a camera that can capture video and photos in only 720p HD quality, you shouldn't expect studio-quality footage - or anything close. However, the camera on this quadcopter still takes decent photos and videos in the daytime. The images are automatically saved to your phone's storage so you don't have to buy a Micro SD card just for the quadcopter drone.
As it's expected for most drones under 100, there are no 6-axis camera controls. You can only adjust it vertically. Thankfully, you can do that mid-flight.
Sanrock U52 is perfect for beginners because it comes with quite a few features that make it easy to fly. It features one-key take-off and landing, Altitude Hold mode, and Headless mode.
Other flight modes include Draw Route, one key return, and 360-degree flips and rolls, which are bound to produce hours of fun for your kids.
Although the U52 doesn't have the best camera among cheap drones, the Headless mode alone makes it worth every penny.
5. TeeGGi VISUO XS816
TeeGGi goes by many names, including GordVE, Aurelio, Leaningtech, and ZWN. Due to the drone's popularity, many brands resell this quadcopter under a different name. Why?
Well, because for a fairly low price, you can get a foldable drone equipped with 4k + 0.3MP dual cameras.
As expected from a widely popular quadcopter, the XS816 performs very well, both indoor and outdoor. At lower speed, it's very easy to maneuver and hovers steadily.
At high speed, it becomes fairly maneuverable, and one could even say a bit acrobatic. The drone can be controlled via a 2.4Ghz remote controller (included), or via smartphone through an app.
The XS816 has a maximum flight of 20 minutes, which is pretty good considering its price. The maximum control distance is 50 meters, but in optimal flight conditions, it can reach more.
One of the most fun characteristics of XS816 is the built-in 4k + 0.3MP dual cameras. 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 XS816 presents a highly popular feature nowadays - the foldable design. Thanks to this compact function, XS816 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
6. Holy Stone HS110D
If you're looking for a drone that'll entertain your kids or help you learn how to pilot a drone, the Holy Stone HS110D is an excellent choice for you.
The Holy Stone company is among the most popular and well-known drone manufacturers and has earned a reputation for selling high-quality quadcopter drones. The product that helped them to break out into the market was the HS110D.
This drone comes equipped with a 1080P HD Camera and quite a few fun flight modes that make it an excellent quadcopter drone for novice pilots.
The HS110D is capable of flight time of around 10 minutes per battery, and it comes with two so that takes you to a solid 20 minutes of flight time!
The control range is a very solid 100 meters, so it's a great choice for both indoor and outdoor flying.
As we mentioned before, the HS110D is equipped with a 1080p camera that can take stills and film HD video. The image quality is very solid for a budget drone.
And it has FPV real time transmission in beautiful HD.
This drone comes with a slew of useful features.
Before we get into those features, we have to commend Holy Stone for building a drone that's incredibly stable even when it's windy outside. The 6-axis gyro really put in the work.
Another cool thing about this drone is how fast it is. It features 3 speed modes, with the fastest one allowing for quite a few acrobatics.
Besides amazing speed, this 6-axis gyro quadcopter also features Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, Gesture Control, Trajectory Flight, Gravity Control, one key take-off/landing, and it can flip with a press of a button.
7. Neheme NH525
I’m surprised that Neheme doesn’t get more recognition. Sure, they mainly cater to beginners and low-end users - but the quality you get for the money is beyond decent.
Their NH525 has all the options you need in a beginner-friendly drone.
The NH525 has both a decent range and flight time. You can fly it up to 100 meters (330 feet), and the connection is solid.
You have to keep your expectations low in this price range. So, I love seeing two batteries come with the package.
The batteries last about 10-12 minutes per charge, which is impressive. They’re also modular, meaning you can charge them while they’re still in the drone. In other words, you get about 20 minutes of air time per charge.
Now, this is where the NH525 starts lacking. But we’re not looking at top-of-the-line models, are we?
The 720 HD camera is decent, but that’s all I can say about it. You’ll have to do all your shooting and recording during the day; the sensors aren’t that good in low-light conditions. Plus, the drone doesn’t feature advanced image processing.
It has a 45-degree adjustment angle, which isn’t crazy, but it’s an added convenience. Oh, and the live video feed does its job rather well.
As far as features go, the NH525 isn’t shy at all. It offers everything you could expect within the price range.
It can do 360-degree flips and has a headless mode - along with a few speed settings. That is what the kids will love the most.
Additionally, the one-key take-off/land button makes it pretty accessible for beginners.
Lastly, I need to mention the altitude hold option, trajectory flights, and gesture shooting. Like the Tomzon D25 and Sanrock U52, you can draw a path for the drone to follow.
8. Lozenge HJ68 - Best Cheap Wide-Angle Camera Drone
When researching cheap wide-angle drones, I didn’t expect to find this gem. Lozenge’s HJ68 caught me by surprise in a few ways - and we’ll get into the details shortly.
I’ll say that this drone isn’t perfect by any means. But it gives outstanding results for the money.
The HJ68 comes with two 2000mAh lithium-ion batteries. Lozenge claims that you get 15 to 20 minutes of flight per battery, but my advice is:
Expect them to last about 20-30% less - which is still nice but slightly lower.
The range is amazing, as it can go well over 100 meters (330 feet). But where things really get impressive is the camera.
Two things caught me off guard when I found the HJ68:
Not only does it have dual cameras - but they can both record in 4K, too!
One camera’s mounted at the front of the drone - and the other is located at the bottom. You can use the FPV mode by connecting it with the companion app, but that’s where the problems generally arise.
The app is buggy - not always, but getting it to work is almost purely luck-based.
For example, flying the drone while near another WiFi signal may interfere and disconnect you from the app. You also have to place the drone completely flat before you attempt anything - or it won’t fly straight.
This camera drone comes packed with a bunch of handy features:
One-key take-off and landing
Speed mode adjustment
And yes, as nearly all beginner drones, it can do a 360-degree flip. You can also draw paths for the drone to follow and record.
Finally, the drone is foldable and compact and weighs just under 250 grams, meaning you won’t have to register it.
If you're looking for a drone that's both affordable and comes with beginner friendly-features, DEERC has you covered.
DEERC is actually a Holy Stone label, which they use to sell and market beginner and toy drones. This drone is aimed at novices who want to learn how to fly and record footage with a drone.
The battery life on this drone is surprisingly good. On one battery, you can expect around 15 minutes of flight time. It also comes with a spare, which can prolong your enjoyment for another 12 to 15 minutes.
The control range of only 100 meters could be better - but there are always some trade-offs. The FPV mode is relatively stable but short. And with FPV on, the transmission range gets cut in half to only 50 meters.
DEERC comes with a 1080p HD camera capable of filming video at 30 fps. The quality of the footage won't be the best; don't expect to make professional videos with it. To make things even worse, there's no image stabilization.
The picture quality is another story, though. The photos are incredibly vibrant - especially when it's sunny outside.
DEERC drone features a foldable design, but that's not what makes it special. It features voice-activated commands. Thanks to the built-in g-sensor, you can control the drone's flight by giving it commands.
Other features include:
- Headless mod
- Gesture control
- 3 Speed modes
- Tap fly
- One key landing/takeoff
10. Syma X20 - The Tiniest Drone On The Market
Syma X20 Mini is one of the latest drones this company has launched. And although it's incredibly tiny, it can do quite a lot.
With Headless mode and lots of features that make it easy to use, Syma is an excellent choice if you want to pilot a drone in the comfort of your home.
Unlike other drones on this list, Syma x20 is exclusively an indoor drone.
Because this is such a tiny drone, it has an impressive flight time of up to 25 minutes. Unfortunately, it doesn't include an extra battery, so you'll have to take 50-minute breaks to recharge the battery.
The control range is up to 20 meters; pretty impressive for an indoor drone. Unless you fly it in a warehouse, you won't have trouble losing the signal.
Because this drone is so small and light, it doesn't come with a camera.
Syma X20 is quite feature-rich for its size. Besides your standard flip maneuvers, this drone also features Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, and even one-key take-off and landing.
On top of all this, the drone also has six-speed modes, which is excellent for beginners. You get to gradually up the speed setting as you become more comfortable piloting the X20.
But wait, because we love our readers, we have…
One Bonus For A Tight Budget!
We'd also like to highlight Hubsan X4 H107C - an amazingly cheap drone (under $30) that is ideal for beginners to fly indoors. Hubsan x4 comes with a built-in camera, too. Yes, for less than $30!
Hubsan x4 is one of the most sold drones on Amazon, and one of our personal favorites. Hubsan is a neat-looking mini quadcopter capable of taking photos and recording video. The camera is 0.3MP and is able to get some good aerial footage. We wanted to mention Hubsan due to its high popularity, built-in camera, complete package - and, of course, crazy low price!
Note: Hubsan x4 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.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are drones under this budget ideal for learning?
Yes. In fact, when flying a drone for the first time it's best to pick a low-cost product that is lightweight, safe, has a steady hover and is aimed at beginners. Most drones on this list are very lightweight, therefore you won't cause any damage when you hit or crash (trust me, it happens to every beginner, even experts). Throughout the article we will specify which drones are better suited for beginners and which ones are not.
Can I fly indoors and outdoor?
It depends. There are drones that can be flown both indoor and outdoor, while others are specific to one type of flying only. The DJI Tello comes with propeller protectors, and is suitable for flying indoors. We recommend you only fly drones fit with these protectors indoor.
Are these drones safe for children?
Most drones within the under $100 category are great for children because they are lightweight and don't have much power. A great drone for a kid must have a protective frame around the propellers and the motor, a steady hover, responsive control, and a plastic frame. We will point out the ones which are best for kids.
Do I have to register my drone with FAA?
If you live in the US, FAA registration is required to any unmanned aircraft for recreational and commercial use if it weighs more than 0.55lbs (250 grams).
Is it hard to learn to fly a drone?
Is Flying a Drone Hard? Flying a drone takes practice, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Some drones are simpler to use than others, so until you're a confident drone pilot, it's a good idea to practice on a basic model with simple controls in a wide open environment.
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Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API This article contains affiliate links which for which the owner of the site may receive a commision.