This post was last updated on: March 1, 2020
Looking to find the best drone, without spending a fortune?
The truth is that even when spending less than 300 dollars on a drone, you could very easily get ripped-off, especially if you buy one from one of the fly-by-night low quality importers.
We all want to spend our bucks wisely, getting the best value for our money by buying a durable, efficient and easy to fly drone.
To help our readers, I have spent the last few days testing quadcopters, reading user reviews, and have compiled a list of well equipped, bang for your buck drones.
If you are in a hurry, here is the top 3 standout drones for under $300 from this review.
- Top 3 Under $300 Drones for 2020
- What should you before buying a drone?
- 1. Holy Stone HS720
- 2. Contixo F24 Pro - Our Value Pick
- 3. Altair Outlaw SE - Fun to Fly
- 4. Parrot Bebop 2 - Best FPV Drone
- 5. Holy Stone HS100G - Budget (under $250)
- 6. UPair One Plus - Cheap DJI Phantom Alternative
- 7. Hubsan Zino - Great $300-$400 Drone
- 8. Walkera Rodeo 150 - Beginner Racing Drone
- 9. MJX BW2 Bugs 5W - Stable and Smooth
- 10. Hubsan X4 H501S - Complete FPV Package
- 11. Parrot AR 2.0 Elite Edition - Budget Camera Drone
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 3 Under $300 Drones for 2020
- This drone is equipped with a 2K FHD Camera with Image Stabilization and Shock Absorption
- Flight Time is up to 20 minutes and the Flight Range is 1600 meters.
- The only issue is the price is a few dollars over $300, other than that the HS720 is the clear winner of this category.
- The Camera is 2.7K UHD resolution that can transmit live video through an app.
- The Flight Time goes up to 30 minutes and the Flight Range can go up to 1.2km (3800 ft)
- The FPV mode goes only up to 600 m (1800 ft), but the price is well under $300 and that's why we chose the Contixo F24 as our Value for Money Pick!
- The Outlaw SE has a 1080p FHD Camera that can be used to capture photos or film videos
- The included battery allows for 26 minutes of flight time, the flight range is a bit low at 600m.
- The responsiveness, agility, flight time, pricing and countless other features make up for this drone's shortcomings and are big reasons as to why we consider this drone to be a worthy contender.
What should you before buying a drone?
So you watched the video above and you still want to buy drone? Good, then we are here to help!
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. That’s why we have written a brief summary of what you should expect from such a product.
Nowadays, you should expect an average flight time of 12 to 18 minutes. Of course, some brands focus on an increased flight time as a selling factor, while others prioritize other specifications or features. However, any RC flyer on this budget with a flight time under 10 times is considered to be below average.
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.
It is one of the most commonly highly prioritized specifications by drone enthusiasts, practically everybody likes to fly far way past eyesight. Nowadays, an average control distance for a product within this price range is considered to be around 200 to 500 meters. However, some brands focus on long-range and manufacture products that can go as far as 1000 meters.
Of course, you must expect (and demand) awesome performance from any drone under the $300 price tag. Accurate controls, great capability in flying in windy days and steady hover even without pilot’s input.
As technology advances, more features are added to drones as companies compete with each other for sales. Therefore, most under $300 products already come with GPS, Waypoint Flight, Follow Me, Orbit Mode, Headless Mode, Auto-Return, Auto Takeoff and Landing, Low Battery Alarm, Altitude Hold, LED lights and 360º Aerial Stunt.
The camera quality of these drones still varies a bit. However, most already come with good quality image cameras and Live Video transmission. You will be able to get some aerial footage and photos that you can proudly share online with your friends and family. Some cameras are even good enough for school projects. On the other hand, most of these drones are powerful enough to carry a GoPro camera, which we strongly advise if you are looking for HD and 4K quality footage.
Ok, enough preamble, lets get to our top 11 drones that you can buy for 300 dollars or less.
1. Holy Stone HS720
The HS720 from Holy Stone is an upgrade of the extremely popular HS100, a quadcopter to film amateur videos and even film projects for school without spending too much money on a high-end quad.
It’s also a good drone for filming outdoor events and even family holidays. It comes with a 12MP camera but also supports the famous GoPro.
Holy Stone has a great reputation, and this is echoed by the plethora of positive reviews on Amazon.
The HS720's learning curve is very small, although it does require some practicing. It is stable and responsive to pilot’s input, exactly how you need a camera drone to perform to enhance filmmaking. The HS720 makes use of brushless motors, which can withstand a lot more milage.
Flight time without accessories (guards, landing gear and camera) is 20 minutes. Control range is 1600 meters, but whats most impressive is the 2K UHD 5G video transmission over this range.
The Holy Stone HS720 comes with a great action camera, which will please most people. It’s a 2K FHD 5G Camera. The Live Video can be transmitted to the pilot’s smartphone screen or an FPV monitor. If you want even better image quality, you will be happy to know this quad supports GoPro and other action cameras.
In terms of features, HS720 exactly like HS100, it has an onboard GPS module. It empowers smart features including follow me, circle around me, return to home and TapFly. All features are fairly precise and also the GPS locks in approximately 22 satellites in under a minute from starting up.
Calibration is rather easy to manage too with clear and easy instructions. What's more, there are 3 kinds of return to house with HS720, namely:
- Low Battery RTH
- Signal loss RTH
- Guide RTH
Altitude Hold comes included as welll, but I guess that is logical considering that the presence of GPS. This drone has very similar features to the highly popular MJX Bugs 2W, which sells for less than 200 dollars, but the HS720 outclasses it with superior camera, flight time and range.
2. Contixo F24 Pro - Our Value Pick
Explore the world with this easy to carry FPV quadcopter. Comes with a back bag and practically all you need to start your adventure right away! With a 2000-meter (1 mile) control range! Contixo F24 Pro is a great fit for travelers!
It’s important to mention Contixo F18 is a beginner-friendly drone. If it’s your first time flying a drone it’s okay to start with F20 due to the GPS assisted hovering. However, this doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for beginners. Although it’s suitable, it does have a slight learning curve.
On the other hand, if you already have an intermediate level of expertise you will this quadcopter's performance. Made for travelers and explorers, F24 Pro is smooth and maneuverable, great to carry around with you in the included backpack. It’s equipped with 4 powerful 1806 1800KV brushless motors.
Are you ready for some top-notch specs? This is one of the reasons why I personally love this drone. It has a flight time of up to 30 minutes and a control range of 1.2 km (0.7 miles). Yes, you read that correctly, 2 km! However, we wouldn’t advise beginners to fly that far, even with smart home return feature. The FPV distance however only transmits as far as 500 meters.
Of course, a drone aimed at exploring the outdoors must come with a good camera, otherwise wouldn’t make sense. The camera is UHD resolution (2976*1680P), enabling great quality aerial footage. It also transmits amazing quality Live Video. You will, however, have to download and install an app (available for Android and iOS) on your smartphone. The remote controller comes with a phone holder where you can place your phone.
The Contixo F20 Pro is a feature-rich quad and comes with all the functions you need to enhance the whole flight experience. Firstly, it has an advanced GPS assisted hovering, which also enable accurate features such as Auto Return to Home, Smart Return to Home, Failsafe Return to Home and Low Voltage Return to Home. Other more common features are Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, One-Key Takeoff, and Landing.
3. Altair Outlaw SE - Fun to Fly
The Outlaw SE by Altair Aerial has some incredible features and comes from a top-notch brand. We were so impressed with it that we did a double take on the price! And that’s why the Outlaw SE is our Editor’s Choice when it comes to drones under 300 dollars.
This is a great drone for video and photography, and it comes with some slick features for that purpose. It’s hard to beat the 1080p camera on this drone, and it delivers high quality images all around.
You also get some features that make flying the Outlaw SE incredibly easy. With the included GPS integration, you’ll have better stability in the air and with 1-touch take-off and landing you’ll never stress about landing the drone safely.
These features all combine to make the experience of piloting this drone approachable for all levels of drone lovers.
What’s more, you know you’re getting a quality drone from Altair Aerial. Their customer service is top notch, and you can easily find how-to videos to help you get this done up and running if you ever run into any problems.
To start off, the Outlaw SE has a whopping range of up to 600m. That’s some crazy range for a drone in this price range with these types of features. You’ll need some battery power to explore all that area, and the Outlaw SE delivers here too. With up to 20 minutes of battery life you can really get out and explore!
The Outlaw SE also includes GPS integration, which is really nice to have on any drone under $300. This makes it easier to fly and helps stabilize the drone when taking images and video. The GPS also allows the drone to return to a designated home position with the simple push of a button.
Speaking of the camera, the one on this drone is fantastic. Delivering 1080p HD video and pictures, the quality is great and delivers on exactly what you want from a video drone. With First Person View (FPV) features you can stream back video to your connected mobile phone at a very high quality. Couple the camera quality with the drone’s GPS features and altitude hold, and you can get some seriously gorgeous pictures and video.
Flying this drone is so easy, which really helps when it comes to taking video and photos while in the air. When you’re worried about how to control the drone, you’re spending more time maneuvering and less time capturing your high-quality moment!
Overall, we’re very impressed with both the camera, as well as how easy it is to get great shots with this drone.
We’ve only touched on a few of the great features of this drone, but there’s so many more. A few of the others this drone comes with include:
●One Button Takeoff/Landing
4. Parrot Bebop 2 - Best FPV Drone
The famous Parrot Bebop 2. One of the best looking and most fun drones in the market. An amazing value for its price, it’s a drone that stands out from all the rest. In fact, this drone is usually much more expensive, but there’s an amazing deal online that allows you to buy the drone with only a few accessories (remote control isn’t included, but you can use your phone to pilot it). Thus, earning a place in our Top 11 Best Drones Under $300.
Parrot Bebop 2 is one of the most sought drones in the market and one of the reasons is its performance. It’s a very smooth drone, ideal for beginners due to its stable hover (even without pilot’s controller input).
If you worry about losing control of the quad, go with Bebop 2, it’s extremely beginner-friendly, even during strong wind conditions. All thanks to the 3-axis digital stabilization system. No wonder it is a bestseller.
Ready to be amazed? If you prioritize flight time, I’m happy to inform you Bebop 2 is capable of flying for as long as 25 minutes per battery (on average, it depends on payload and flight conditions). Maximum control range is also amazing, although not as impressive as flight time. Bebop 2 can fly as far as 300 meters.
Looking to record amazing aerial videos and take the perfect selfies? Well, Bebop’s fish-eye lens ensures you amaze your friends and your Instagram and Facebook by allowing you to capture all the best moments with a 14MP 1080p built-in camera. It also transmits great quality Live Video to your device’s screen via WiFi; no latency! It supports VR FPV Goggles.
Parrot Bebop 2 packs some unique features, unlike any other drone on this list. I’m talking about Digital stabilization, Dual core processor with quad-core GPU, GPS, and Flight Plan (an automated flight planner that uses waypoints to map out your drone’s journey). Unfortunately, Flight Plan is an in-app purchase and doesn’t come free with the drone.Note for Beginners: At fast yaw the drone becomes really fast, able to hit 60 km/h (38 mph), we don’t recommend maximum speed to beginners
Optional Extra: There’s a controller called Parrot Skycontroller (bought separately) that enhances the drone’s range up to 3.1km! Consider buying that extra if you want extreme long range.
5. Holy Stone HS100G - Budget (under $250)
"Ideal for intermediate to expert pilots, largest drone in this review"
It is one of the bestselling drones under $250 and one of the best rated among drone enthusiasts. HS100G combines a neat set of features with awesome specifications.
A drone aimed at the outdoors, HS100G is an incredible aircraft that is both stable and very maneuverable. It’s not an indoor drone, most people use it to film sporting events and their holidays. Some even use it to film marathons.
This drone is slightly on the larger side, and will require FAA registration in the USA.
If you prioritize a good set of specs, this is the drone to have. HS100G has an amazing flight time of 15-minute per battery (7.4V 2500mAh). Maximum control range is an astonishing 500 meters! Way better specs than most common drones, definitely a must-buy if you like long-range flights.
The camera is good quality, films and takes photos in 720p resolution and has a 120º Field of View for a wider angle. The camera’s angle is adjustable, enabling you to move it 90º to acquire different angles of view.
This is especially useful for FPV flights. The drone transmits Live Video via 5G Wifi directly to the pilot’s smartphone device through a free to download the app (Android and iOS).
HS100 packs a nice seat of features that will surely please most enthusiasts and fans of the outdoors. Firstly, it comes with GPS Auto Return, for an accurate positioning and safe home return. Secondly, it features Follow Me, allowing the drone to follow you as you go (follows your smartphone).
Other features: Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, One-Key Takeoff and Landing, Low Battery Auto-Return and 3D VR compatibility.
6. UPair One Plus - Cheap DJI Phantom Alternative
"Ideal for beginner, intermediate and expert pilots"
The UPair One is commonly regarded as the cheap alternative to the DJI Phantom drone series, even the design and the camera resemble DJI’s line. UPair is a beautiful and powerful aircraft equipped with great hardware.
UPair One is the cheapest 4K drone we would recommend to our family or friends. It’s very easy to control, even if you are a beginner and this is your first time flying a drone.
It hovers steadily without pilot’s controller input, so you haven’t trouble to maneuver it. It will avoid many beginner crashes. The GPS system assists the flight, enhancing the whole experience. Truly feels like you are flying a high-end drone.
Powered by a 5400mAh battery, UPair One has an astonishing flight time of up to 19 minutes (if you had more payload, such as a heavier camera it will of course decrease the flight time).
The drone’s maximum control range is 2 km, while the Live Video image transmission goes just as far. Don’t worry about losing it, just make sure it’s locked on satellites before you test max range.
The UPair One has the specs of a $500 camera drone at the under $300 dollar price range!
The ideal drone to record some awesome aerial video and take beautiful photos of your best moments. In fact, many customers buy this drone specifically has a cheaper alternative to high-end camera drones, in order to capture outdoor sporting events, holidays, or even a family weekend at the park.
The camera is 12MP with 2.7K video. It transmits Live Video to the 7” monitor screen placed on the remote controller. Real-time video is great quality and has no latency!
The 2.7k camera is placed on a brushless gimbal that can be adjusted for different angles of view. Love videography and photography? Go with UPair One for an unexpensive aerial photography experience without sacrificing much image quality.
The UPair One comes with all the fun and useful features you will need to get the most out of your quad. First of all, it has full GPS lock (able to search and lock on 8 satellites), Position Hold, MicroSD card support (up to 32GB) and Automatic Return. Not the best set of features, but definitely has all you need.
7. Hubsan Zino - Great $300-$400 Drone
"Ideal for intermediate to expert racers"
This is the latest offering from Hubsan, and even though it's priced at just over $300, we decided that it's just too good of a drone not to include.
The build quality, features and technical specifications of the Zino 4K makes it outperform many of it's competitors in the under $500 category.
If there ever was a drone to go over your budget for, the Hubsan Zino 4K is it, let's take a quick look at just what makes it so great.
The ZIno 4K boasts a control range of a whopping 2.5km and you can stream FPV videos at a distnace of 1km. Not even the more expensive drones can offer you this.
The flight time is 23 minutes in ideal flight conditions, which might be the only thing that's average about this drone.
The Camera is possibly the strongest feature the Zino offers, if Aerial Photography is important to you then definitely consider going over budget for this drone.
It's equipped with a UHD 4K Camera that can stream FHD Videos at 50 FPS, however it's 3-axis gimbal stabilizer allows it to produce images better than most drones even in the Under $500 Category.
There is no other drone that offers this many quality features at a price this low. It has multiple different intelligent flight modes, a return to home button and many other features which you can check out in our Zino 4K in-depth reiew.
8. Walkera Rodeo 150 - Beginner Racing Drone
"Ideal for intermediate and expert pilots, as well as FPV Racing Beginners"
Ready to start racing? Rodeo 150 was designed by one of the most renowned drone brands on the market, Walkera. The Rodeo 150's aim is to provide a simple and yet powerful, beginner-friendly racing drone to rookie racers. The drone doesn’t require assembly and is ready to start competing!
If you are giving your first steps in drone racing and do not have the expertise to build your own custom-made FPV racer, then Rodeo 150 is made for you.
It's main selling point: great performance. Capable of competing with all the low-end custom-made racing drones. Rodeo is a must-have to get on the track and start practicing before you move on to more expensive and complex race quads.
The Rodeo 150 is powered by a 7.4V 850mAh 30C 2S Lipo battery that provides up to 8 minutes of flight time. If you are serious about racing you will need to buy some extra batteries switch between flights.
Of course, every respectable race quad needs a FPV camera to provide the pilot with the vision to properly compete. Rodeo 150 comes with a 600TVL camera, good enough to keep your eyes where it should be, the racing track! You can watch the real-time video on a FPV monitor or FPV Goggles.
Besides the WK-WS-17-002 brushless motors (a must in any race quad), and the ESCs, Rodeo doesn’t come with any fancy feature. It does however include the powerful DEVO-RX716 receiver to help you empower your skills. This type of drone is ideal for the fast and furious!
9. MJX BW2 Bugs 5W - Stable and Smooth
"Ideal for intermediate pilots, very stable"
A powerful quadcopter that combines an awesome set of features with awesome specifications. The MJX BW5 Bugs is a widely popular drone and one of the best bangs for your buck!
Regarded has having one of the best performances in the market, it is probably the most recommended drone for that particular reason.
Equipped with the 6 Axis Gyro system, Bugs 5W is a stable and smooth drone that will ensure many hours of fun.
This is where the Bugs 2W shines the most. Powered by a 7.4V 1,800 mAh battery, it has a flight time of around 15 to 18 minutes. The control range is is average, at 300 meters, with FPV distance measuring in at the same.
The built-in camera has a 1080p resolution and allows for good quality aerial videos and photos. It also transmits Live Video to the pilot’s smartphone via WiFi. The remote controller comes with a phone holder where you can safely put your phone while watching the real-time video.
MJX Bugs 5W doesn’t have many features, comes with the basics but nothing fancy or out of the ordinary (besides the GPS). Its features are: Headless Mode, GPS, Altitude Hold, One-Key Return and LED lights.
10. Hubsan X4 H501S - Complete FPV Package
"Ideal for anyone looking for a cheap FPV drone with goggles"
Manufactured by one of the most renowned brands in the market, Hubsan X4 H501S is the ideal quad for FPV lovers. Why? Because it performs great and comes with a complete FPV package with a built-in LCD monitor.
There’s a reason why it is one of the top choices among enthusiasts. H501S has an amazing performance and is great for practicing.
An awesome entry-level FPV quad for everyone who never flew a drone before. Hubsan H501S is equipped with four powerful brushless motors.
The drone’s specs are way above average, even for drones within the same budget. Maximum flight time is an amazing 20 minutes, powered by a 7.4V 2700mAh Li-Po Battery. Control range is 300 meters; don’t worry about losing it, Failsafe mode will enable the drone to return safely to you.
Expect a good quality image from the built-in 1080p camera. It’s capable of recording video, taking photos and transmitting Live Video to the 4.3” LCD screen built-in on the remote controller (see image). The FPV transmission is done via 5.8Ghz frequency and is lag-free this drone was on our drone under 500$ list but now we moved it into 300$ budget drone.
H501S packs a very interesting of useful and fun features, for example, GPS Positioning, Follow Me Mode, Failsafe Mode (drone returns home when it loses connection to the controller) and of course the more commonly functions of Headless Mode, Return to Home and Altitude Hold.
11. Parrot AR 2.0 Elite Edition - Budget Camera Drone
"Ideal for beginners, crash friendly!"
Most likely you have already seen or read about Parrot AR Drone 2 before. It’s not a new product and has been available in the market for quite some time. To this day remains one of the best drones under $300 (sometimes even under $200 if you are lucky and catch it on sale).
Performs amazingly well, as expected from any Parrot aircraft. It’s great for beginners thanks to its stability and protective cover foam around the propellers and motors.
The drone does not come with a remote controller. Instead, it makes use of the pilot’s smartphone or tablet device to function as a remote via WiFi connection.
Powered by a 1500mAh lipo battery, AR Drone 2.0 has a flight time of 12 minutes, which is surprisingly good considering how large and heavy the quad is. In terms of control range, it’s too short, only 50 meters.
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 camera has slightly above average image quality, and indeed can provide good quality aerial video and photos. The built-in (onboard) camera has 720p resolution and can transmit Live Video via Wifi to the pilot’s smartphone screen through a free app.
Besides the Live Video, app control and 3D Flip this drone presents no other features. So why is it on our list? Because the drone’s quality~price ratio is still way better than most common drones within this budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are best drones under 300$ ideal for learning?
Yes. Most drones on our list have a very steady hover and responsive controls. Throughout the article we will specify which drones are better suited for beginners and which ones are not. Just keep in mind that racing drones are not suitable for first-time flights, even if they are easy to control they do require some previous level of expertise. If you are a first-time rookie stick to beginner-friendly quads.
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?
No. A great drone for a kid must have a protective frame around the propellers and the motor, a very steady hover, responsive control, plastic frame and be very lightweight and simple. If you want to buy a drone for your kid we would refer you to our Top 10 Drones Under $100 list instead.
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).
Do these drones support GoPro and other action cameras?
Some of the drones on our list indeed are capable of carrying GoPro, Xiaomi and SJCam action cameras. Mainly the larger drones featuring brushless motors. When we review a drone capable of doing so, we will mention in it on the “camera” and “features” section.
Are there drones under $300 featuring a complete FPV package?
Yes! We have reviewed amazing drones that include everything you need to fly FPV right out of the box, including LCD monitor and FPV Goggles! The Parrot Bebop 2 is our recommmended FPV pick.
Before you go, let's recap the top drones under 300 dollars for 2020, ranked in order.
Some may be asking why we didn't include any DJI drones in our list.
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Last update on 2020-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API