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.
Top Under $300 Drones for 2023
Every drone on this list has something unique to offer - and we'll get to that in a moment. If you're in a rush, though, here are our picks for the top 3 drones under $300:
Holy Stone HS720E
"The Best Drone Under $300"
- This drone is equipped with a 4K UHD 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 HS720E is the clear winner of this category
Our #2 Rated
Contixo F24 Pro
"Best Value For Money"
- 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!
Our #3 Rated
"Most fun to fly"
- The Altair Dagger has a 4K UHD Camera that can be used to capture photos or film videos
- Top speed is very fast at 32 km/h, the flight range is a bit low at 300m.
- 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 Can I Expect From A Drone Under $300
Average Flight Time
Even the best drone under 300 dollars only average a flight time of 20-30 minutes, but we have to admit, certain brands are setting higher standards for the low-budget market. 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 less than 15 minutes of flight time is considered to be below average.
Note: Smaller drones under $300 will have a flight time more towards the lower side of this spectrum, mainly due to the power of the battery. Then again, large drones can also have low flight time due to a high payload.
Average Control Range
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 500 to 1000 meters. However, some brands focus on long-range and manufacture drones that are able to fly as far as 2000 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 the pilot’s input. There are exceptions (which we will mention), but it's important to know what to expect. You won't get a racing drone for the money, but they do the job well - and they'll always be ready to fly!
As technology moves forward, more features are added to drones as companies compete with each other for sales. Therefore, most under $300 drones already come with GPS, Waypoint Flight, Follow Me, Orbit Mode, Auto-Return, Headless Mode, Auto Takeoff and Landing, Low Battery Alarm, Altitude Hold, 360º Aerial Stunt, and LED lights.
Average Camera Quality
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. There are those that come with 4K UHD capabilities, which will become a standard across the board eventually. Things have progressed enough for us to say that you don't have to only rely on an attached GoPro for good A\V output!
Okay, enough with the introductions. Let's check out the best drones under $300 we've picked out for you!
1. Holy Stone HS720E - Our Top Under $300 Drone
The HS720E from Holy Stone is an upgrade of the extremely popular HS100 - a quadcopter with a built-in camera designed to film amateur videos and projects for school without spending too much money on a high-end quad.
It’s also an excellent drone for filming outdoor events - and even family holidays. This Holy Stone drone comes with a 12MP camera but also supports the famous GoPro.
Holy Stone has a great reputation - and that's echoed by the plethora of positive reviews on Amazon.
The HS720E's learning curve is very small, although it does require some practice. It's stable and responsive to the pilot’s input, which is exactly how you need a camera drone to perform to enhance filmmaking. The HS720E makes use of brushless motors, capable of withstanding a lot more mileage.
Flight time without accessories - guards, landing gear, and camera - is 26 minutes. The control range is 1600 meters, but what's most impressive is the 4K UHD 5G FPV transmission over this range.
The Holy Stone HS720E comes with a great built-in 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, HS720E is 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 the features are fairly precise and the GPS locks approximately 22 satellites in under a minute from starting up.
Calibration is easy to manage, too, with clear and easy instructions. What's more, there are 3 kinds of Return Home flight modes with the Holy Stone HS720E, namely:
- Low Battery RTH
- Signal loss RTH
- Guide RTH
Altitude Hold comes included as well, but I guess that is logical considering the presence of GPS. This drone has very similar features to the highly popular MJX Bugs 2W, which sells for less than 200 dollars. However, the HS720E outclasses it with a superior camera, flight time, and range.
2. Contixo F24 Pro - Our Value Drone
Get ready to explore the world with this easy-to-carry FPV drone. The F24 comes with a bag and practically everything you need to start your adventure right away - and with a 2000-meter (that's one mile) control range, too. Contixo F24 Pro is a great fit for travelers!
It’s important to mention Contixo F18 is a beginner-friendly GPS drone. If it’s your first time flying a drone, it’s perfectly fine to start with F20 due to the GPS-assisted hovering. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s the best fit for beginners. Although it’s a drone suitable for beginners, there is a slight learning curve to it.
On the other hand, if you already have an intermediate level of expertise, you'll love this quadcopter's performance.
Made for travelers and explorers, the Contixo F24 Pro is smooth, highly maneuverable, and great to carry around with you in the included backpack. Even more so, it’s equipped with four powerful 1806 1800KV brushless motors.
Are you ready for some top-notch specs? That's one of the (well, many) reasons why I personally love this drone.
Let's start with the fact that it offers up to 30 minutes of flight time and a control range of 1.2 km (or 0.7 miles). Yes, you read that correctly - 2 km! However, we wouldn’t advise beginners to fly this GPS drone that far, even with the smart Return Home feature.
The FPV distance only transmits as far as 500 meters, though.
Of course, a drone aimed at exploring the outdoors must come with a good camera - otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense. The camera is UHD resolution (2976*1680P), enabling great quality aerial photography. It also transmits amazing quality Live Video. You will, however, have to download and install an app ( it's available for Android and iOS, don't worry) on your smartphone.
Speaking of phones, the remote controller comes with a phone holder where you can place yours.
The Contixo F20 Pro is a feature-rich drone and comes with all the functions you might need to enhance the whole flight experience. Firstly, it has an advanced GPS positioning, which also enables accurate features such as Auto Return Home, Smart Return Home, Failsafe Return Home, and Low Voltage Return Home. Other more common flight modes include Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, and One-Key Takeoff and Landing.
3. Altair Outlaw SE - Fun to Fly Drone
The Altair Aerial Dagger is a slightly newer drone on the market - but comes from a brand with a long history of selling high-quality drones. Where this drone excels is aerial photography; it comes equipped with a 4K UHD camera. Honestly, you'll be hard-pressed to dig up a better camera on a drone with a price under $300.
Furthermore, the drone is super durable, compact - and boasts impressive quality all around. Flying the Altair is a ton of fun, and the ability to fold it up and store it after use is a nice touch. Anyone - from beginners to experts - is sure to enjoy piloting the Dagger.
It's also worth mentioning Altair Aerial and its commitment to their customers. The company is frequently cited as being extremely responsive and quick to help their customers should they need anything.
Granted, problems are a rare occurrence given the quality of their drones, but it's helpful that they also provide how-to videos - which (while raw) do help get you up and running quickly.
The Altair drone is no slouch by any means. It boasts a range of up to 300 meters and can reach a top speed of up to 32 km/h. That's some serious power that's sure to satisfy most drone enthusiasts out there.
Oh, and let's not forget about the weight; the drone comes in at under 250 grams. That means it doesn't have to be registered with the FAA to fly - which is just one less thing you need to do before flying.
We've mentioned it already, but the 4K camera on a small drone really deserves a ton of attention. The picture quality is stunning, and it's hard to beat from a drone of this price point. Best of all, it doesn't sacrifice the drone's quality. You get a solid drone with a great camera at a reasonable price.
You can also adjust the wide-angle lens tilt to 90 degrees, which offers even more opportunities to get creative with your photography.
Outside of that, you're also getting a couple of beneficial flight-related features with this drone.
The Dagger features an Optical Flow Stabilization System, which uses a camera mounted under the drone to help stabilize the drone and make it easier to fly.
It also has a Fail-Safe Return Home function that can prevent some embarrassing crashes if you go out of range or happen to lose connection.
4. Ruko F11 Pro - Lots Of Features In A Durable Package
The Ruko F11 Pro is definitely the pick of the range if you're looking for a small, durable drone that won't set you back too much. The aluminum body is light, rugged, and pretty darn good-looking if you ask us. It's one of the best drones with a price under 300 dollars.
But you'll discover that there's a lot more to it after taking a look at the impressive spec sheet. Industry-leading flight time, solid control range, and a 4K camera - the little Ruko has it all. And it's pretty fun to fly, too.
While there are a lot of drones that boast excellent build quality on the market today - and new ones keep popping up - the F11 definitely shows us that the industry is headed in the right direction. But if you're planning on purchasing a GPS drone at this price point, there's a lot of competition.
So, let's see if the Ruko can hold its own here.
The F11 is a solidly built little worker that can fly around at an impressive speed of 26.8 mph. And you can really let it fly off; the control range sits at 1.2 km. However, if you're planning on having a live video transmission, that impressive range drops to 500 meters.
Still, even if you need to leave it in the air to catch up, it will have more than enough juice leftover in the battery. The F11 drone offers an industry-leading 30 minutes of flight time!
Unfortunately, video recording is the area in which the F11 drone starts to show how the price managed to stay as low as it is. The UHD 4K camera is far from a bad shooter - but the lack of a gimble stabilizer affects the final footage. There is a 90-degree adjustable motion range, and it can handle a 128GB MicroSD card which somewhat makes up for the shaky footage.
With all that said, you will be able to get some solid video footage and great aerial photography with this drone.
Like we said in the beginning, the F11 intelligent flight modes list is packed! While it is small and lightweight, this GPS drone feels very nice to operate as the rugged frame helps deal with light wind.
The 2500mAh batteries give you an impressive playtime - and there are functions like Headless Mode, One-Key Landing/Take-Off, and Return to Home, making this little drone stand out from the pack.
5. DJI MINI SE - Our Brand Name Mini Drone
If you're looking for a small, light, almost pocketable drone that's under 300 dollars, then the DJI Mini SE might just be the perfect match for you.
Sure, some people stay away from purchasing a drone from big brands as they often don't want to give out more money just to have a good-looking logo on their tech.
But we can assure you, DJI is a serious brand that finally cracked the best drones under 300 dollars list.
The Mini SE is probably the drone that takes ease of use more seriously than all the other drones on this list. On the software side, you have the DJI Fly app with a built-in editor and a myriad of tutorials on your side, while the advanced gimbals keep the footage nice and steady no matter where you decide to shoot.
A couple of things set the Mini SE apart from the other drones in the price range. The small chassis features fewer screws and incredible windspeed resistance for the size. Two LiPO batteries keep the power coming on longer shoots, and the USB-C port helps you not carry around the outdated micro-USB cables.
The built-in camera might not shoot UHD 4K like some other drones here, but it can definitely hold its own in the class.
Speaking of the HD camera, it can shoot up to 2.7K video and 12MP stills with the addition of DJI's powerful shooting tools and aids. The best drones under 300 can go up to 4K in resolution, but the Mini SE is still very impressive.
The quick-shot modes like Circle, Helix, and Rocket cover all the cinematic pans and dolly shots you might want to take.
Another plus side here is that even though there are so many modes and features, the built-in tutorials make it all easy to use, even if you're at the beginning of your career - or if you're just having fun with shooting some footage.
The DJI crew wasn't just focused on the video capabilities; you can get some good-looking aerial photography with the Mini SE's HD camera, as well. Tough the cinematic stuff might just be too much fun to ignore!
The Mini SE packs quite a punch for how small the price tag is. The 3 Axis gimbal-stabilized camera is obviously at the top of the list. It can handle wind resistance up to 37.7 km/h; that's unheard of in such a small drone. And the simple design makes it very rugged and durable.
The controller is also straightforward and easy to use with a device holder that can handle pretty much any modern smartphone you throw at it.
6. Holy Stone HS510 Drone - The Low-Budget Camera Drone
The name Holy Stone has become synonymous with "quality at a reasonable price" in the drone market. You've probably heard about at least one Holy Stone drone before you came here.
With that in mind, the Holy Stone HS510 is the go-to model for people that want to learn how to fly a drone - and wish to accomplish that without spending too much money.
Still, the question remains:
Does Holy Stone make drones as good as everyone makes them out to be, or is it nothing but a passing hype?
While there's no denying that Holy Stone offers some advanced, feature-rich drones at affordable prices, I try my best to avoid generalizations.
Instead, let's look at it one drone at a time – like in this Holy Stone HS510 review. Here's an in-depth analysis of its specs, features, and everything else that makes it stand out in the highly competitive market.
The Holy Stone HS510 comes fitted with a 7.6V Li-Po 1500 mAh battery, which should be enough for a maximum flight time of 16 minutes on a single charge.
The battery performance isn't exactly industry-leading, but it sure blows some of the competing beginner-friendly quadcopters out of the water.
Plus, I'd say that the flight time is long enough for beginners to get the hang of piloting a drone!
Even if you end up pushing your drone to its absolute limits, you'll be glad to hear that it features not one but two rechargeable batteries.
How is that beneficial?
One, the addition of the second battery ups the drone's flight time to 32 minutes total. And two, you don't have to wait for the battery to recharge before you can continue your adventure.
It takes around 150 minutes for the battery to recharge once it runs out of juice, which can be a pretty long wait when all you want is to keep on flying. Then again, spare batteries are available – and getting the third one is always an option.
The HS510 is a camera-equipped quadcopter, featuring a 4K Ultra HD camera with a 120-degree wide field of view.
It's capable of taking crystal-clear aerial photography, and can shoot 4K videos at 16 frames per second or 2.7K videos at 25 frames per second, depending on the storage you're using.
The camera has single-axis gimbal stabilization, which isn't as effective as a three-axis gimbal.
So, the videos will likely come out a bit shakier than you'd prefer. You get to adjust the camera angle by up to 90 degrees – but only manually. Once the HS510 is in the air, there's not much you can do.
Oh, and one more thing:
The HS510 allows you to see the world from the bird's eye perspective – and in real-time, too – with low-latency 5G-enabled FPV video transmission. You'll see everything your quadcopter sees at distances of up to 200 to 300 meters.
7. Holy Stone HS710 - GPS Drone On A Budget
Our second Holy Stone pick in the range comes in at around $250, but don't let the cheaper price tag fool you; this is a capable machine and one of the best drones with a price under 300 dollars.
The only real difference between the first and second Holy Stone on the list is a couple of missing advanced features - and a somewhat inferior camera, if we're being completely honest.
But let's get it straight:
The 4K UHD shooter on the HS710 drone is more than enough for getting good, high-quality images and video.
There are still a great number of useful features here. Altitude Hold, Emergency Stop, and one-key takeoff and landing make this a fun drone to fly - and one that you won't stress over.
The batteries are impressive for the price point, as they can keep the Holy Stone in the air for about 50 minutes on average. Well, that's the claim; in the real world, you might get a bit smaller numbers. But the flight time is impressive for the price point, either way.
Even if you forget to charge your drone all the way, it will still be ready to fly.
The HS720E might be the best drone on the list - but its cousin can do the work almost just as well!
Alright, so we've mentioned the camera, the batteries - and a couple of features. But the Holy Stone spec sheet is a gift that keeps on giving!
The drone also comes with 5GHz FPV drone technology, which gives longer and smoother live transmission - especially at the price point.
The GPS and GLONASS dual-mode global positioning keep you aware of the location at all times, and they get paired up with a number of solid safe-flight features, too. The remote control range of 600 meters is quite impressive, although other drones on the list can top it.
The 4K UHD camera is more than capable - even if the sensor doesn't have the Sony logo on it. The output is solid, as you can probably imagine. But besides the 4K UHD output, the camera has a flexible, 120-degree lens with 90 degrees of adjustments.
These features come together to give you plenty of shooting and framing options when you're in the field, complete with FPV transmission technology. Plus, you'll get some great aerial photography, as well.
All in all, it's an impressive camera in the price range!
The multiple intelligent flight functions include Follow Me mode, Waypoint Flight, Tap Fly, Point of Interest. So it's pretty standard for the price range - but there are some great options, regardless.
The HS710 drone uses powerful brushless motors and pairs them up with two modular batteries to give you 50 minutes of flight time, as we already mentioned.
Even if the real-world numbers don't exactly match this claim, it still rivals the HS720E in flight time. It's no racing drone; let's get that out there - but it can still reach good speeds when you need it to.
Drones Under $300: Frequently Asked Questions
Are $300 drones ideal for learning?
Yes. Most drones on this list offer steady hover and responsive controls. Throughout the article, we will specify which drones under $300 provide a beginner-friendly drone flying experience and which ones do 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 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. Usually, smaller drones with propeller protectors installed can be flown indoors, while larger drones such as the one mentioned in this review should only be flown outdoors.
Are these drones safe for children?
No. A drone for beginners doesn't necessarily make a great drone for a kid. It must have a protective frame around the propellers and the motor, a very steady hover, responsive control, a 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 for any unmanned aircraft for recreational and commercial use if it weighs more than 0.55 lbs (250 grams).
Do these drones support GoPro and other action cameras?
Some of the best drones under $300 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 it in the “Camera” and “Features” sections.
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 a drone camera, LCD monitor, and FPV Goggles!
Are drones difficult to fly?
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.
Before you go, let's recap the best drones under 300 dollars for 2023, ranked in order.
Some may be asking why we included only one DJI drone in our list.
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Last update on 2023-12-06 / 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.