- Top 3 Budget Drones for 2021
- What should I expect from a drone under $100?
- 1. EACHINE E520 Drone - Only 4K Drone Under $100
- 2. DJI Tello – The Best Drone for $100!
- 3. Ruko B7 4K Drone Review- Best for Kids
- 4. Eachine E58 – The Best Looking Drone under $100
- 5. Hubsan H107D X4 - Drone with its own display
- 6. Hubsan X4 HS150 – Budget Racing Drone
- 7. Visuo XS809W Drone
- 8. Drocon X708W - VR Headset Ready Drone
- 9. GoolRC T47 Drone - Under 100$ DJI Alternative
- 10- HolyStone HS160 Drone
- 11. HolyStone HS170G Drone - Top choice for kids
- Frequently Asked Questions:
- Share & Comment
This post was last updated on: February 1, 2021
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 2021
For those of you in a hurry, here is our top 3 drones for less than 100 dollars.
- The biggest feature that seperates The E520 from the competition is the 4K HD 120° Wide Angle Camera.
- Flight time is 17 minutes and Control Range is 100 meters.
- Even though the range is a bit limited, the fact that you're getting a 4K drone at this price range easily makes the E520 our top under 100 dollar drone for 2021.
- 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.
- The camera’s 120-degree wide-angle field of view allows for maximum details in the images and videos you capture.
- Equipped with upgraded 1800mAh intelligent battery provides up to 18 minutes flight time, the package comes with 2 pcs batteries, extends your flight time to 36 mins.
- A beginner drone that will serve as the perfect gift for your kid.
What should I expect from a drone under $100?
In order to get the best bang for your buck, it’s important to be aware of the average specifications and features of the products under such price and category.
Batteries and drone’s firmware have become much more efficient in the last couple of years. Therefore, you should expect an average flight time of 10 minutes. Some brands prioritize flight time while others focus on other specs. However, keep in mind that drones with better cameras will have shorter flight times.
It is one of the most commonly highly prioritized specifications by drone enthusiasts. Of course one wants to have a long range when investing this amount of money in a drone. Fortunately, the control distance is increasing. Nowadays, an average control range for a product within this budget is around 100 m.
Of course, you must know that performance from any drone on this list is not going to be as great as a drone under 300$ 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!
Ready for liftoff? Here comes our list of Top 10 Drones Under $100:
1. EACHINE E520 Drone - Only 4K Drone Under $100
Eachine’s E520 goes a lot further than its price range. This may be a sub-100 dollar drone, but it certainly goes the extra mile. E520 is the drone we handpicked for our ‘best upgrade’ category. It may seem unbelievable that you can purchase such a 4K drone for under 100 bucks, but technology advances so fast, and with that comes budget drones with specs that only under 200 dollar drones would feature a few years ago.
The number one characteristic that makes Eachine’s drone such a great buy is the ease of use. This drone will be easily operated even by the very beginners. On the other hand, if you already grasped the knacks of operating a drone, there are many features to keep you interested, as well.
This drone is compact and easily foldable, which is something that might spark your interest, too. You may not be thinking about it now, but it’s always good to know you can take your drone with you on your travels, and it won’t require an extra bag to be carried. But now, let’s talk about the specs of our best upgrade pick:
The most important specification when it comes to all drones is flight time. There is no good drone without at least a decent flight time. So, this drone goes a little above the industry standard - you can expect to get 17 minutes of flight time in calm weather conditions. The 7.4V 1200 mAh battery is charged in 2 to 2.5 hours, so you won’t have to wait too long before you can play again with this cool gadget.
Also, you can download the app to enjoy numerous features that make your experience even more worthwhile. Range control is the characteristic where you can tell it’s a sub-100 dollar drone. The range varies somewhere between 80 and 100 meters, which is far below the industry standard.
The camera is the thing that makes this drone such a great buy. With this affordable gadget, you’re able to take pictures in 4K resolution - something that some high-end drones cannot say for themselves. The videos are taken in Full HD, so you can enjoy some decent quality vids from your best upgrade drone along with the VR feature. The camera has an extra-wide angle at 120 degrees, so you can take a lot of cool snaps with it!
- Fly-by-Trajectory Mode - allowing you to draw a map you want the drone to follow
- Headless Mode
- Control via phone app
- Altitude Hold Mode
- VR Mode
- Foldable and compact
- High-quality camera
2. DJI Tello – The Best Drone for $100!
What if I told you that the DJI is currently offers a drone, the Tello, 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 stand out about the Tello drone is that they have made it simple to fly. Feel safe with the Tello, even if you have never flown a drone before, we're certain that you will pick it up quickly. For experienced and more confident pilots, there are enough bells and whistles that will 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 it's 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 m
- 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. This 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, there is no other cheap drone under $100 that can compare to this.
"Ideal For: Children"
If you’re in the market for a beginner drone that will serve as the perfect gift for your kid, the Ruko B7 should be at the top of your priorities.
For a kid-friendly drone, you’ll be amazed by the array of quality features it manages to pack on its small frame.
The quadcopter boasts a 4K camera, which is unheard of at this price level and its ultra-tough construction ensures that it will survive the mishaps of an amateur pilot. But this is just a fraction of what the B7 offers.
Overall, this is the go-to quadcopter when you want to give your child his first taste of the drone experience!
The Ruko B7 comes with a variety of high-performance features! For starters, it offers users up to 18 minutes of flight time, which is already more than you expect at this price range. However, the package comes with two batteries to double your flight time; leaving you with an unprecedented 36 minutes to make the most of your playtime.
The controller range is slightly modest at 100m, but it's more than enough for a rookie or junior flier to enjoy themselves. When using FPV to fly the drone, the range drops down to 60m. This drone comes to its own once it takes into the air, which is a credit to the multiple intelligent in-flight modes it employs.
Optical Flow Positioning allows you to hover the drone steadily and accurately whereas Gravity Sensor mode lets you fly the drone by simply waving your smartphone. When you add the Headless mode, you end up with a user-friendly device that will suit users who are still learning the ropes.
Other useful flight functions include Follow Me mode, MV mode, and Gesture Control, which make the B7 exciting enough for experienced drone users. Furthermore, the quadcopter offers three different speed modes, ranging from low to medium and finally high-speed mode.
This is to make sure that you have a comfortable time when flying the drone as your learning curve progresses gradually.
As far as the camera quality is concerned, the Ruko B7 hits way above its weight class. A 4K camera is extremely atypical for a drone under $100, even if it’s only for still images. For videos, you can record with the camera at 1080p resolution.
The camera’s 120-degree wide-angle field of view allows for maximum details in the images and videos you capture. These come out with stunning clarity and vivid color reproduction.
If you want to get fully immersed in the drone experience, the first-person view feature is something you should try out. It enables you to fly the quad using your phone and enjoy live video footage of the drone from your phone.
All you need to do is download the FPV app on your smartphone and you’ll be good to go!
- 4K camera
- 3 speed modes
- Gesture control
- Headless mode
- Gravity sensor mode
- Optical flow positioning
- Follow me mode
Editors Award - Overall, the Ruko B7 offers a performance that easily outshines more expensive drone models in the market. Although it is designed for kids and inexperienced pilots, the drone has enough exciting features to interest intermediate drone enthusiasts.
4. Eachine E58 – The Best Looking Drone under $100
The sleekest looking pocket drone on the market. Its design is based on DJI Mavic Pro, one could even say a copy of the famous DJI quad. Eachine E58 packs a 2MP camera and can transmit Live Video via WiFi.
The Eachine E58 is a very stable quadcopter that fights the wind efficiently. It’s beginner-friendly but not not the fastest drone on the market. At it's top speed it flies as fast as a brisk walking pace, but still remains easy to maneuver.
Each battery charge will last you around 10 min, but the deal we have linked to comes with 3 batteries all for less than 100$!
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.
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, The E58 also features:
- Headless Mode
- Altitude Hold
- Gravity Sensor
- Automatic Takeoff and Landing
- 3D flips
- Out of Range safety (if you go out of range it starts to descend).
5. Hubsan H107D X4 - Drone with its own display
"Ideal For: Everyone, including FPV Racers"
It’s one of the best 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 is a favorite to buy for someone as their first quadcopter. Steady hover, responsive control, at an amazing price.
We did an in-depth review on the Hubsan HD107D X4 for those who are interested in reading more about this drone.
H107D specifications are above average. 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).
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.
6. Hubsan X4 HS150 – Budget Racing Drone
"Ideal For: Intermediate, Experts and Racing Beginners"
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).
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.
A basic 2 MP camera, capable of shooting in 720 p HD resolution.
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).
7. Visuo XS809W Drone
"Ideal For: Beginners and Intermediate Pilots."
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, the XS809W 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 2.4Ghz remote controller (included), or via smartphone through an app.
The 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.
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
8. Drocon X708W - VR Headset Ready Drone
"Ideal For: Everyone"
Another popular drone aimed at beginners and the entire family! Great to fly outdoors. Current drone is one of the best drones under 100 dollars. 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 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.
The image quality of the 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 $100 that have image latency.
Drocon X708W is particularly aimed at ease of use and not being feature-rich. However, the quadcopter does pack common features such as:
- Headless Mode
- Return to Home
- Live Video, 360º aerial stunt (3D flip)
- LED lights and of course Live Video
- A feature we would like to highlight is the compatibility with 3D VR sets (not included)
9. GoolRC T47 Drone - Under 100$ DJI Alternative
"Ideal For: Beginners and Intermediate Pilots"
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.
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.
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.
"Ideal For: Intermediate and Experts"
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.
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. I would not consider this a long range drone!
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 the 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
- LED light
11. HolyStone HS170G Drone - Top choice for kids
"Ideal For: Kids and Beginners!"
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).
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.
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.
No camera on this model.
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)
But wait, because we love our readers we have….
2 BONUS DRONES on a tight budget!
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 2 MP camera, 10 minutes’ flight time and 100 meters’ max range! It’s perfect for kids and beginner thanks to its protective frame. We did an a quick review on this drone here.
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 because 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 indoor and outdoor?
It depends. There are drones which can be flown both indoor and outdoor, while others are specific to one type of flying only. Don’t worry, when discussing each we will mention if they can be flown indoor, outdoor or both.
Are these drones safe for children?
Most drones within the under $100 category are great for children because they are lightweight and don’t have much power. A great drone for a kid must have a protective frame around the propellers and the motor, a steady hover, a responsive control and a plastic frame. We will point out the ones which are best for kids.
Do I have to register my drone with FAA?
If you live in the US, FAA registration is required to any unmanned aircraft for recreational and commercial use if it weighs more than 0.55lbs (250 grams).
Don’t forget to share the top 11 best drones under 100$ with your drone enthusiast friends on Facebook and leave a comment down below! Have fun and Happy flying!
Last update on 2021-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API