AVERAGE CAMERA QUALITY
AVERAGE FLIGHT TIME
AVERAGE FLIGHT DISTANCE
10. SNAPTAIN S5C
Snaptain S5C is the first drone here, a marvelous little bugger that’s way below our maximum price for the day. As you’ll see once you visit its listing on Amazon, Snaptain S5C costs as little as $60. That’s crazy cheap, if you don’t mind me noticing, but you’ll actually be surprised by the performance you’ll get from this little flyer!
CAMERA AND FEATURES
If you’re interested in camera drones, then I’m afraid you’ll have to pay a bit more than $60. That’s because Snaptain S5C features a simple 720p camera. The resolution is not that big of a problem. Shakiness, on the other hand, is and will ruin your aerial footage each and every time. That said, opting for a pricier drone, like that Potensic D80 portrayed further down the line, is a much more viable option in terms of aerial photography.
Despite its lack in the camera department, Snaptain S5C has a fairly good set of features. We’re talking about altitude hold, gravity sensor (for controlling), VR headset support, and even one key function. The latter refers to automatic takeoff and landing. All in all, a stellar array of features coming at a highly affordable price tag.
The best thing about Snaptain S5C isn’t the camera, I believe you all understand that by now. However, it’s not the features either. The best thing about this model is its specifications and packaging. The specs are as follows – 80ish meters of range and 6-7 minutes of flight time. Not bad for an entry-level camera drone. However, you can go ahead and double that flight time since you’ll be getting an extra battery in the packaging. If that doesn’t make Snaptain S5C an awesome cheap drone, then I don’t know what does.
If you are looking to start off your career as an amateur aerial photographer, then this next best drone under $200 is surely your number one choice. It goes by the name Bugs 3 and it’s created by MJX, a well-known name in the drones’ industry. However, this seems to be a brilliant entry-level aerial photography drone due to its flight characteristics and sturdiness. Plus, the hardware housed inside would not put to shame even much pricier models available. So, as I said above, for all wannabe aerial photographers, MJX Bugs 3 seems like a no brainer!
FEATURES AND CAMERA
When it comes to the camera many of you will be disappointed at first once they find out Bugs 3 doesn’t come with one. But how can it be a good entry-level aerial photography drone without a camera? Well, that’s exactly where the fun starts. You see, MJX Bugs 3 comes with a specialized camera mount that can fit all sorts of action camera brands. Some of the more expensive ones even come with electronic image stabilization onboard which will do wonders for the smoothness of your aerial footage.
Features are a big thing with this one too. First off, you need to know that it is powered by potent brushless motors that are quieter and more durable than their brushed counterparts. Second, this one also incorporates one key 3D flip function that are bound to come in handy for showing off your brand new drone to all your friends.
If you love long flying drones then this one is going to feel like a special treat. Why? Well, obviously because it has a huge operating range. We are talking up to 300 meters away from the provided controller. Pretty neat, huh? Battery duration is outstanding too – you can expect around 10 to 15 minutes (13 minutes on average). This, of course, depends on whether or not your F100 is carrying an action camera for recording purposes.
Among the best 3 drones which you can buy for under $200 is surely the Altair AA108 drone. We are talking about a brand-new drone here that just came out, but it seems as though it’s set to take the market by storm. What exactly can this aggressively priced drone do? Is it good for beginners? Does it provide good value for money? All that and more can be read in the next 2 paragraphs.
Starting off with its specifications, Altair AA108 sports a wide-angle camera (120 degrees) that is capable of recording HD aerial footage… And it does so pretty good. Despite not having hardware image stabilization, it still produces solid footage with little to no shakiness involved. Moving onto other hardware, most of you will be surprised by the power those miniature brushed motors provide.
RANGE AND FLIGHT TIME
While they might not as durable as brushless ones, they can still last a long time if you operate them properly. By that, I mean you should always disarm the drone (throttle on 0) immediately after a crash. Last but not least, Altair AA108 is powered by a 1S LiPo battery which can suffice for up to 10 minutes of flight time.
When it comes to the range, Altair AA108 can only reach up to 100 meters. On the bright side, the FPV works as much as the operating range so you won’t be greeted by a black screen on your smartphone when you’re passing that line. Furthermore, Altair AA108 is insanely stable too, allowing even first-time fliers to control it without any issues. In terms of features, there are a few surprises such as altitude hold, one-button takeoff/landing and even OOR (out of range) alarm which will come in handy more often than not.
Here we have yet another Altair drone. This one comes at a slightly higher price tag but is able to justify it with a better camera, longer flight time, and superior range. It comes down to personal preference, but I’d like to argue Altair AA108 Hornet looks better than AA108 too.
CAMERA AND FEATURES
Let’s start off with this bugger’s camera. Similar to AA108, we’re talking about a sensor that’s capable of capturing 720p HD footage. However, Altair 818 Hornet does a much better job in terms of stabilization, an issue is known to plague entry-level camera-equipped models. So, in other words, while the resolution is the same on both models, go for 818 Hornet if you want a superior image/video quality.
As for the features, both Altair drones sport pretty much the same set of features – one key takeoff/landing, altitude hold, 3-speed levels, VR support, and headless mode. The biggest downside here is the lack of GPS. I know, I know, many drones in this price range don’t have GPS, but adding the module and slightly upping the price tag would’ve made 818 Hornet hands-down the best drone under $200!
Like I already mentioned earlier, Altair 818 Hornet brings forth superior specifications than the AA108 model. More precisely, this thing packs quite the punch ensuring around 150 meters of range (FPV goes only up to 50m) and cca 13 to 15 minutes of flight time. No worries, 818 Hornet also has an extra battery in the package, meaning you can expect almost half an hour of flying per session. Yep, all that coming from a drone that costs well beneath the $200 mark.
6. POTENSIC D80
Potensic D80 offers great value for money, has a joyful design and even comes with a hard-shell carrying case for all you frequent travelers out there. It’s really an all in one package, this one, and for that reason, it definitely deserves to be a part of our list of the best drones under $200!
CAMERA AND FEATURES
First things first, Potensic D80 has an integrated 2K sensor that shoots okay footage and excellent still images. The footage would be excellent too if it wasn’t for the non-existent vibration dampening that paves the way for that nasty jello effect. It’s not as drastic as on other cheaper drones out there, but it’s still easily noticeable.
In terms of features, the biggest thing with Potensic D80 is its GPS module. Yep, we’re talking about one of the cheapest GPS-enabled drones out there, and that alone is worthy of the price tag. The onboard GPS module brings forth an amazingly stable flying experience, with no hiccups or drifting whatsoever. It’s a breeze to fly, and even possesses additional features like auto return to home, waypoints, point of interest, FPV, and follow me.
Needless to say, Potensic D80 sports brushless motors. Pretty powerful ones, too, capable of achieving up to 25mph top speed. Pretty neat, huh? That’s not all – you’re getting a long-range fella here, reaching up to 800 meters. Make that 300 meters for FPV. Last but not least, Potensic D80 comes with a 7.4V 1800mAh battery that can endure up to 20 minutes of flight time. All in all, one of the best value for money drones here, worth every penny for sure!
Here we have a rather bulky drone that’s well and truly capable of providing a beginner-friendly entrance to aerial photography. Holy Stone is the brand, and we all know them for making outstanding entry-level models. Their HS120D is no different, coming in at less than $150 but offering great value for money!
CAMERA AND FEATURES
We’re looking at a dedicated camera here, mounted on a simple vibration-dampening system that ensures excellent stabilization. And I’m not even exaggerating here – if you want smooth footage on the cheap, Holy Stone HS120D is the drone to go for! The 1080P sensor is not only smooth but also offers FPV capabilities, and that’s an outright sick combination at this price point.
Features-wise, Holy Stone HS120D doesn’t fail to deliver either. Several selfie functions, return to home and, most importantly, GPS, are all here. They bring a ton of additional value to the drone, enabling it not just to shoot smooth but fly even smoother.
We’re looking at a relatively capable drone in terms of the specs too. You can’ expect too much, though, since we’re still talking about a drone costing well beneath the $200 mark. Roughly 15 to 18 minutes of flight time and cca 300 meters of control range, Holy Stone HS120 won’t disappoint you. It’s cheap, durable, bulky (meaning you can fly it in windy conditions), creating a superb package at an affordable price.
4. POTENSIC D58
Potensic D58 is another DJI Phantom lookalike. This time around, we’re looking at a black Phantom lookalike that actually features a decent set of features coupled with a proper imaging solution. Don’t look at the base package, though! The thing we’re most impressed with is the bundle featuring an extra battery, dedicated controller, and a hard-shell carrying case that fits everything nicely.
CAMERA AND FEATURES
Let’s cover the camera first! Potensic D58 features a 1080p wide-angle 120-degree sensor with a small anti-vibration system. You can even tilt the camera by 90 degrees, allowing for awesome perspective changes in mid-flight. The vibration dampening system doesn’t do miracles, but it’s good enough for the price tag, especially considering the imaging quality of its direct competitors. There’s still a bit of shakiness here and there, especially in windy conditions, but it’s nothing some good old post-processing can’t deal with. Still images, on the other hand, look absolutely dashing!
Potensic D58 features GPS, meaning it has all the supporting perks like an auto return to home, altitude hold, and extremely responsive and stable flight. 5Ghz WiFi FPV is here too, ensuring decent range and great transmission quality.
Specs-wise, you’re looking at roughly 16 to 17 minutes of flight time, depending on numerous factors such as FPV usage, flying speed, maneuvers and whether or not you’re using GPS. Once again, it does come with an extra battery so you’re getting upwards of half an hour of flight time straight out of the box. Last but not least, you can expect around 300 meters of flight range which is sort of like the standard for most drones in this price range.
3. CONTIXO F20
Let’s make one thing clear right off the bat – Contixo F20 is a proper beast. This aggressive-looking drone packs quite a bit of features and brings forth powerful hardware underneath the hood. It’s fast, responsive, features power-efficient (and highly durable) brushless motors, and sports a brilliant camera. All in all, a great overall package coming in at exactly our price point – $200!
CAMERA AND FEATURES
Contixo F20 is a GPS-powered drone, meaning it’s stable and flies as smooth as butter. However, when it’s in GPS mode, you won’t be getting its full speed. Once it’s out of it, this drone becomes a proper speedy beast, fuming past obstacles at neck-breaking speeds.
Features-wise, it sports follow me, waypoints, altitude hold, failsafe, auto return to home and several additional flight modes for upping your selfie game. And your selfie game will be strong no matter what, courtesy of the gimbal-powered Full HD camera. The footage is smooth, and arguably the best of what you can get at this price.
Specs-wise, Contixo F20 can fly for around 15 to 18 minutes and reach as far as 500 to 600 meters. The battery duration isn’t the greatest, I know, but it’s justifiable considering all the bells and whistels Contixo F20 comes with. Overall, if the first thing you’re looking for in your nest drone under $200 is the camera, look no further than this one!
2. POTENSIC D60
The second-best among drones under $200 is Potensic D60. Even though it doesn’t excel at any given department, it offers a well-rounded experience great for people who want an enjoyable first-time session. Yes, the regular price tag is slightly above $200, but it’s on sale most of the time at exactly $200, which is a great deal in my books.
CAMERA AND FEATURES
Potensic D60 features a viable 1080p camera that produces aerial footage of decent qualities. It’s partially because of the sensor and partially because of the electric motor that allows for a 90-degree vertical tilt. It features FPV too, but that kind of goes without saying…
This little bugger features a solid number of features too. Not only does it sports GPS but a ton of additional GPS-powered stuff like follow me, altitude hold, auto return to home, fly-by-trajectory, and many more.
Have I mentioned that Potensic D60 features brushless motors? They’re pretty powerful and much more durable than their brushed counterparts, which means you won’t have to replace them nearly as often. Specs-wise, we’re looking at approximately 18ish minutes of flight time which isn’t half bad considering the number of onboard electronics. Range, however, isn’t that ideal, going up to only about 400 meters. Not too bad, but I expected a bit more from a mid-tier drone such as this one.
1. HOLY STONE HS700D
At the top spot, we have Holy Stone HS700D. First off, this is a slightly pricier drone, costing anywhere from $220 to $240. However, it’s often on sale for $200 which fits within our price range for the day. Even if you get it when it’s not on sale, I still believe it brings forth more than enough value for money, and here’s why:
CAMERA AND FEATURES
One of the best things regarding Holy Stone Hs700D is the camera module. As you can see from the image above, we’re talking about a bulky piece featuring a sophisticated vibration dampening system, similar to that on older DJI Phantom drones. The camera itself is pretty good, being marketed as 2K-capable. However, don’t let this fool you, we’re looking at a slightly wider full HD footage.
Furthermore, Holy Stone HS700D also sports brushless motors. The drone itself isn’t that bulky which just adds to the overall speed these motors can achieve. And, we’re talking about a pretty speed drone here, mind you! A feature-packed drone too, with an onboard GPS module and many useful features, with the most important ones being an auto return to home, altitude hold, and follow me.
When it comes to the flight time and range, Holy Stone HS700D does a fairly good job. It’s being marketed for cca 22 minutes but that’s a slight exaggeration. At best, you’ll be getting around 20 minutes which still isn’t half bad. Range-wise, FPV starts cutting out at around 400-500 meters while the operating range extends to around 800m. All things considered, Holy Stone HS700D really is among the best drones around the $200 mark. Once again, it’s a bit pricier than its above-featured peers, but brings forth a great flying experience well worth every penny.
FAQ: BEST DRONES UNDER $200
ARE SUCH DRONES GOOD FOR KIDS & BEGINNERS?
I guess there’s no other answer to this question then yes. Drones under $200 are great options for both children and beginners. Spare parts are easy to find online in case something goes wrong. Plus, most of them are relatively easy to fly around making first drone piloting steps rather accessible.
Imagine yourself right after receiving your $1000 drone. You’re thrilled, happy, eager to get it off in the air. Of course, you’re a manly man and you didn’t read through any of the instructions that came with it so you just charged it up and turned it on before taking off. A couple of seconds flying around your backyard have passed, and you find yourself in a sticky situation – your drone is heading into a wall at a high speed and you don’t know how to make a sharp turn… BAM – your $1000 investment crashed into the wall and left you with a big pile of tech trash.
In order to stop that from happening, I suggest you opt for a cheaper alternative for your first drone. You won’t miss out on anything drastic since you’re, don’t get insulted, a beginner. $1000 models come with a plethora of additional features that you don’t know how to use properly. Plus, cheaper drones are much more forgiving and are still capable of entertaining you and your family for solid amount of time. Want to find out what’s the best drone with camera under 200? Keep reading! 🙂
WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING A CHEAP DRONE?
RTF (short for Ready to Fly) represents a drone that comes with all necessary parts and can be operated straight out of the box. In some cases (very rarely), you might need to purchase AAA batteries for the controller. Other than that, if you see RTF next to a drone’s name it means you won’t need any DIY skills to get it flying.
On the other hand, BNF (short for Bind and Fly) drones require a bit more tampering around to set up properly. You see, if you purchase a BNF drone it means you won’t get a dedicated controller. In other words, you will have to provide your own and properly bind it to your new drone in order to get it working properly.
FPV drones (short for first-person view) let you experience a significantly more immersive drone flight through live feed. Whether you’re experiencing FPV via a dedicated display on controller, smartphone/tablet app or through FPV Goggles, you can be sure your experience is going to be drastically improved. On the other hand, non FPV drones (as their name suggests) lack FPV feature meaning you cannot enjoy the action straight from the cockpit. Keep reading to find out what’s the best FPV drone under $200.
TIP: BUY EXTRA BATTERIES!
Even though this is the most frequent advice you’ll hear when it comes to premium drones, it is well worth it for cheaper ones too. Just imagine yourself finally getting your drone and flying it around for a couple of minutes… only to find out you have to make a 2-hour pause before you can fly it again. It’s true. These cheaper drones tend to have awfully long charging times that go well beyond one or even two hours. That’s why an obvious way to go would be extra batteries. Even though they depend on model to model, most of them are relatively cheap and are a worthy investment in the long run.
With a whopping 10 models behind us, I am afraid to let you know you have reached the end of this article. As you could see, 10 of them were priced under $200, making the list filled with extremely affordable options. These 2 additional ones are still worth mentioning. They’re not crossing the $200 mark by a lot, but offer radical improvements and offer better overall experience.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for reading the best camera drone under $200 article! If you have any burning questions or would like to add something, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment down below!
Enjoy your day and happy flying!