Top 10 Best Drones Under $300 [Summer 2018] Camera Drones

Nowadays you can already buy top quality drones for a very affordable price. That is why today we are analyzing and comparing the Top 10 Best Drones Under $300 currently available on the market in 2018. We all want to spend our bucks wisely, getting the best value for our money by buying a durable, efficient and fun product.

But before we start…

Let’s answer some Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Are drones 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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).

  1. 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.

  1. 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! Nowadays you can get the full experience for a very low price; we help you find the deals which represent the best value for your money if you haven’t read best drones under $200 you should also check that article.

What should I expect from Best Drone under $300?

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.

Average Flight TimeAverage Control RangeAverage PerformanceAverage FeaturesAverage Camera Quality
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 the 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 vary 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.

Now for our Top 10 Best Drones Under $300 list:

10- Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition

Parrot AR Quadcopter
Parrot AR Drone 2

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).

Performance

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.

Camera

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.

Features

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.

Specifications

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.

Pros

Ease of Use
Live Video
Price
Foam Protective Frame

Cons

Poor on Features
Short Control Distance

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Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts

9- Holy Stone HS100

Holy Stone HS100 Quadcopter
Holy Stone HS100 Drone

It is one of the bestselling drones under $300 and one of the best rated among drone enthusiasts. HS100 combines a neat set of features with awesome specifications.

Performance

A drone aimed at the outdoors, HS100 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.

Camera

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 move it 90º to acquire different angles of view. This is especially useful for FPV flights. The drone transmits Live Video via Wifi directly to the pilot’s smartphone device through a free to download app (Android and iOS).

Features

HS100 packs a nice seat of features that will surely please most enthusiasts and fans of the outdoor. 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.

Specifications

If you prioritize a good set of specs, this is the drone to have. HS100 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.

Pros

Ease of Use
Live Video
Good Set of Features (including GPS and Follow Me)
Amazing Specifications
Very Complete Package

Cons

Requires FAA registration in US

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Ideal For: Intermediate and Experts

8- Eachine Wizard X220

Eachine Wizard X220 Quadcopter
Eachine Wizard X220 Drone

If you are serious about racing, but you don’t have much money to invest, then Eachine Wizard X220 is the drone you need to have a chance at competing in amateur drone races without spending too much money.

Performance

Fast and serious. Expect a very fast yaw and responsive controls. Definitely not a drone for beginners or even intermediate skill expertise. Wizard X220 is equipped with a NAZE32 6DOF REV6 flight controller, not the most modern, of course, but a great entry point if you are just start racing. X220 uses 2 MN2204 KV2300 brushless motors CW and 2 CCW.

Camera

To race FPV you will of course need a camera, and nothing better to get started then a 700TVL Camera. Keep an eye on the track by displaying the real-time video on a FPV monitor or FPV Goggles.

Features

Being a racing drone it does not pack any features besides proper hardware for racing. Besides the already mentioned brushless motors it also features 4 Eachine 20A BLHELI_S ESCs that make the quad very responsive to commands.

Specifications

The control range varies depending on a wide variety of factors which we will discuss on another article. When it comes to flight time, X220 is powered by a 3S 11.1V 1500mah 25C XT60 battery that allows up to 12 minutes of flight time.

Pros

Brushless Motors
700TVL Camera

Cons

No FPV monitor or goggles

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Ideal For: Experts and Drone Racing Beginners

7- Hubsan X4 H501S

Hubsan X4 H501S Quadcopter
Hubsan X4 H501S Drone

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 greatly and comes with a complete FPV package with a built-in LCD monitor.

Performance

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.

Camera

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.

Features

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.

Specifications

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.

Pros

Ease of Use
Live Video
Good Set of Features (including GPS and Follow Me)
Amazing Specifications
Complete Package

Cons

Camera with narrow angle of view

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Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts

6- Walkera Rodeo 150

Walkera Rodeo 150 Quadcopter
Walkera Rodeo 150 Drone

Ready to start racing? Rodeo 150 was designed by one of the most renowned drone brands on the market, Walkera. Rodeo 150 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!

Performance

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. 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.

Camera

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.

Features

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.

Specifications

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.

Pros

Good Fit for Race Beginners
600TVL Camera
Brushless Motors
Price
DEVO Transmitter

Cons

No FPV monitor or Goggles

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Ideal For: Intermediate and Experts / FPV Racing Beginners

5- MJX BW2 Bugs 2W

MJX BW2 Bugs 2W Quadcopter
MJX BW2 Bugs 2W Drone

A powerful quadcopter that combines an awesome set of features with awesome specifications. It is a widely popular drone and one of the best bangs for your buck!

Performance

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 2W is a stable and smooth drone that will ensure many hours of fun.

Camera

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.

Features

MJX Bugs 2W 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.

Specifications

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 very long, an amazing 1000 meters, but only half (500m) for the WiFi FPV transmission.

Pros

Ease of Use
Live Video
1080p Camera
GPS
Amazing Specifications

Cons

FPV distance is only 500 meters.

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Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts

4- Contixo F17+

Contixo F17+ Quadcopter
Contixo F17+ Drone

F17+ is one of the best alternatives to anyone looking for an affordable 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. Comes with a 16MP camera but also supports the famous GoPro.

Performance

If you are here to find a camera drone that performs easily enough to someone who never controlled one before, F17+ will please you. The learning curve is very small, although it does require some practicing. F17+ is stable and responsive to pilot’s input, exactly how you need a camera drone to perform to enhance filmmaking. F17+ uses MT1806 1800KV brushless motors.

Camera

F17+ already comes with a great action camera, which will please most people. It’s a 16MP HD camera with 4K, 1080p 60 fps and 720p 120 fps. An awesome solution if you are looking to save money by getting a complete package with all you need to fly FPV right out of the box. The Live Video can be transmitted to the pilot’s smartphone screen or a FPV monitor (included). If you want even better image quality, you will be happy to know this quad supports GoPro and other action cameras.

Features

When it comes to features, F17+ is very poor. It supports HDMI connectivity to your TV (to watch the recorded videos), Low Battery and Out of Range Alarm, only. Features definitely isn’t the strongest characteristic of the quad. However, it’s important to take into consideration the manufacturer has opted to focus the resources in enhancing other qualities of the drone.

Specifications

Flight time without accessories (guards, landing gear and camera) is 18 minutes. However, with some payload, such as the landing gear, the flight time is considerably less, 15 minutes. With all the accessories, camera included, it goes down to 12 minutes. Unfortunately, the control range is only 150 meters, which is disappointing.

Pros

Ease of Use
Live Video
16MP Camera
Good Flight Time
Brushless Motors

Cons

Short Range
Very Few Features

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Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts

3- Contixo F18

Contixo F18 Quadcopter
Contixo F18

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 F18 is a great fit for travelers!

Performance

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 F18 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 love F18 performance. Made for travelers and explorers, F18 is smooth and maneuverable, great to carry around with you in the backpack (included). It’s equipped with 4 powerful 1806 1800KV brushless motors.

Camera

Of course a drone aimed at exploring the outdoors must come with a good camera, otherwise wouldn’t make sense. The camera is FULL HD 1080p resolution, 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.

Features

Contixo F18 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.

Specifications

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 16 minutes and a control range of 2km (1 mile). Yes, you read that correctly, 2km! 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.

Pros

Ease of Use
Live Video
Amazing Specifications
Complete Package (backpack included)
Good Set of Features (including GPS and Follow Me)

Cons

FPV distance is only 500 meters.

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Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts

2- Parrot Bebop 2

Parrot Bebop 2 Quadcopter
Parrot Bebop 2 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 10 Best Drones Under $300.

Performance

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.

Note: At fast yaw the drone becomes really fast, able to hit 60km (38mp/h), we don’t recommend maximum speed to beginners.

Camera

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.

Features

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.

Specifications

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.

Note: 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.

Pros

Ease of Use
14MP 1080p Camera w/ Fish-Eye Lens
Unique Features and Hardware
Great Specifications
Price

Cons

In-App Purchase (Flight Plan feature)

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Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts

1- UPair One

UPair One Quadcopter
UPair One Drone

The best value for your money, UPair One is regarded has 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.

Performance

UPair One is the best outdoor drone currently available in the market. It’s very easy to control, even if you are a beginner and this is your first time flying a drone. Hovers steadily without pilot’s controller input, so you haven’t trouble maneuvering it. It will avoid many beginner crashes. The GPS assists the flight, enhancing the whole experience. Truly feels like you are flying a high-end drone.

Camera

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 unexpansive aerial photography experience without sacrificing much image quality.

Features

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.

Specifications

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 1km, while the Live Video image transmission only goes as far as 600 meters. Don’t worry about losing it, just make sure it’s locked on satellites before you test max range.

Pros

Ease of Use
Live Video
12MP 2.7K Camera
Unique Features and Hardware
Great Specifications
Complete Package

Cons

No Flight Plan feature

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Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts

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Julio Ventura
Digital Marketer, Webmaster, Writer, and Tech and Drones Enthusiast. Undergraduate in Translation from Faculty of Letters in Lisbon, Portugal. Postgraduate in Digital Marketing from Lusófona University in Lisbon. On a quest for further knowledge.

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