As you already might know, drones are not nearly as expensive as they were a couple of years ago when they first hit the mainstream market. Back then, they had enormous price tags and not a lot of people were able to afford them. Only those with huge salaries or proper drone enthusiasts were entitled to one.
Luckily, those days are well past us as drones nowadays come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and of course – prices. In this list, we are going to focus on the dirt-cheap drones under $50 that will not make a huge dent in your wallet. They are budget-friendly and often called “toy drones” which, in my honest opinion, puts them in a bad spotlight.
10. DEERC HS177
DEERC HS177 is a miniature little bugger that comes in various colors. It’s insanely cheap but the build quality isn’t something to write home about, so we warmly advise you to get some spare parts right off the bat. Stuff like extra propellers and additional brushed motors, they all go for pretty cheap too so your budget won’t take too much of a hit. Heck, you should get one or two extra ones too, since we’re talking about “battle drones” that benefit from having extra models in the mix.
Yep, they feature miniature infrared blasters and use them in a unique way. It’s basically a drone battle game where each drone has to make four hits to crash (more like land) the opponent. It’s great fun for kids and well worth every penny.
When it comes to performance, DEERC H177 makes it clear that it’s a toy drone, primarily meant for children ages five and up. It sports a dedicated controller, has prop guards and miniature propellers that can barely hurt a fly. Still, it doesn’t mean they’re slow. Thanks to their lightweight design and small form factor, DEERC HS177s are pretty swift and will take your little ones a few flight sessions to master them.
9. HOLY STONE HS210
If you’re looking for drones under $50 that are small and safe for kids to use, then Holy Stone HS210 is the perfect one! It’s small, miniature in fact. It can easily fit in the palm of your hand even with its bulky propeller guards. It features a miniature, 4-bladed propellers that provide that extra bit of oomph to make HS210 a highly entertaining drone.
Don’t let its small size fool you – this thing is packed with features. Auto hovering, although not the most accurate one, does the trick, just like 3D flips and headless mode. Even though there’s no camera onboard, HS210 is still worth every penny… even more so when you realize the total flight time you’re getting with this thing.
Yep, believe it or not, you’re getting around 20 minutes of flight time from Holy Stone HS210. No, it doesn’t feature some sort of alien-tech battery that can provide such an enormous flight time in such a small size factor. Instead, HS210’s flight time secret lies in its packaging. You’re getting not one, not two, but three batteries in total, each of which holds around 6-7 minutes of flight time. The range goes up to around 40 to 50 meters, which is more than enough to lose track of this little bugger.
8. FORCE1 SCOOT XL
Force1 ScootXL is the perfect drone for people want a 100% safe experience or their kids. This little bugger comes completely enclosed in a shock proof capsule that prevents this little bugger from harming anything or anyone. If safety is your primary concern, then there’s no need to look further than Force1 Scoot XL.
That shock proof capsule is only the first of two unique things about this little fella. The second one is its controlling scheme. Nope – it doesn’t come with a dedicated controller nor a smartphone app. It does come with a 1-button remote, but that’s in no way a controller. Instead, it’s gesture-controlled, meaning it offers a completely hands-free experience. It does take a bit of time getting used to this controlling scheme, but kids will be charmed by Scoot XL’s innovation. They’ll love it, that’s for sure!
Best of all, Force1 claims they offer a full refund for people who are not satisfied with their product. In other words, if you’d like to purchase a cheap drone for under $50 meant for your little ones, but you’re not 100% sure they’ll like it, Force1 Scoot XL is a no-brainer!
7. SNAPTAIN H823H
Snaptain H823H is similar to the aforementioned Holy Stone HS210. They’re both miniature drones featuring great propeller protection and solid overall performance. However, H823H takes things one step further with a more robust prop guard situation. Not only are the sides enclosed but the top side too. This means your little ones won’t be able to poke their finger through the hole and potentially hurt themselves.
But that’s not where Snaptain H823H’s virtues end, though. With three batteries, this thing can fly for around 20 minutes, averaging 6-7 minutes per battery. If that’s still not enough for your taste, you can always get more batteries. They’re cheap too. Getting a pack of five won’t make you broke, for sure!
As for the features, this thing packs a ton of ‘em. They’re all pretty basic, though. You know how they say – quantity over quality, or something like that. 360-degree flips, three different speeds, one key takeoff/landing, headless mode, altitude hold, and return to home. To be honest, the latter two aren’t exactly the most accurate, but they’re still present, and that on its own is enough at this price point.
6. SIMREX X300C
Here we have another miniature drone. Simrex X300C is the name and it features a tiny FPV camera, two-bladed propellers, and a whole lot of fun. At the very first glance, you’ll notice Simrex X300C looks a lot like one of DJI’s most popular models – Mavic Air. However, X300C is much smaller and doesn’t feature anything DJI’s flagship model does. The only similarity is the design. Of course, for roughly $40, you can’t really expect it to compete with Mavic Air, can you?
Still, Simrex X300C does a fairly good job when compared to other similarly priced drones. Headless mode and altitude hold are its main features, allowing beginners to take control of it without too many issues. Even though it only features low-powered brushed motors and two-bladed props, Simrex X300C is still capable of delivering high-speed acrobatics.
Furthermore, it’s foldable, comes with a dedicated controller, and can fly for about 8 minutes. If that’s not enough for you, you can always purchase additional batteries. They’re pretty affordable, a 2-pack goes for around $10 to $15 and will give you upwards of 20 minutes of flight time (with the included one). The range isn’t the greatest, though. Cut-outs begin at around 40ish meters, so beware, otherwise, your X300C could fly away…
5. HOLY STONE HS170
Finally, we have reached the ultimate drone that can be purchased for under $50! It is none other than the spectacular model made by Holy Stone. It goes by the name HS170 although many call it Predator due to its sleek design and sharp edges. But, in addition to its appearance, Holy Stone HS170 has a plethora of additional traits that are ranking it among the best-selling drones in this price range.
FEATURES AND CAMERA
The first reason is definitely that mini controller which is included in the package. It might not look like much at first, but it is actually capable of delivering responsive controls. Other than that, this controller is also in charge of turning the headless mode on and off and keeping the drone at bay for the entire flight duration. Not bad for such a miniature little devil, right? However, keep in mind that it does not come with a camera, which is an immediate turnoff for some people.
Talking about size, even though Holy Stone HS170 is a tiny drone, it still has enough propulsion for outdoor flight sessions. Don’t put it up against too much wind though as that will result in getting it off course. In terms of flight time, Holy Stone HS170 can stay in the air for roughly 6 to 8 minutes which is the average number at this price point. However, with its powerful motors, great design, and durable prop guards, it is bound to make a good impression on you.
4. SYMA X5SW-V3
Syma has been around the drone market ever since its beginnings. It’s a well-established brand in the industry, known for its wide array of affordable models that break the price/performance ratio in their favor. They’re known for pushing the boundaries of what low-powered, entry-level drones can do, and they are not afraid to showcase it.
The same goes for their X5SW model. The third version, commonly referred to as X5SW-V3, brings forth several basic features such as 3D lock, scheduled flight, and headless mode. Hell, there’s even a miniature 480p camera module. Yeah, the listing claims it’s HD but it’s not. Still, for roughly $40, it’s more than suitable for beginners and children.
Best of all, there’s even a tiny WiFi module that paves the way to FPV. Yep, Syma X5SW-V3 sports the ever-so-popular FPV, although the range isn’t going to get you far. We’re talking roughly 40 to 50 meters, just like the control range of its dedicated controller. As for the flight time, you can expect its 500mAh battery to provide around 5 to 6 minutes. All in all, if you’re looking for a cheap drone under $50 from a well-known brand, X5SW-V3 by Syma is the way to go!
3. MJX X708
MJX is well known for pushing the boundaries with their drones. Take their Bugs 2W as the perfect example. A drone costing roughly $200 with GPS, altitude hold, FPV, extremely long-range, return to home and even failsafe. Thanks to such great performance and affordable price tag, it’s no wonder Bugs 2W is among the most popular mid-tier drones right now. MJX X708 sports somewhat of a similar design although it’s slightly smaller. It costs just a fraction of the price but is still capable of providing an excellent flying experience.
FEATURES AND CAMERA
First of all, we need to get a couple of things clear – this is in no way a copy of Bugs 2. It is an entry-level brushed quadcopter without GPS and all those GPS-powered features I listed above. However, it still packs exceptional range (more on that below) as well as the standard array of entry-level features such as 360 rolls, 2-speed modes, and headless mode. Additionally, MJX X708 also incorporates one key return. It’s not GPS powered but still works more often than not.
As far as the camera is concerned, you should know that there are 2 versions available and the difference is roughly $10 – $15. Both come with a camera but the more expensive version also supports WiFi FPV. It’s kind of the same deal like with Bugs 2C and 2W.
Now here is where things get really interesting. MJX X708 has an impressive range for an entry-level quadcopter. Think of it as a more aggressive Syma X5C with up to 80 meters of range in a clear and unobstructed area. Crazy, huh? Well, its battery is great too, providing anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes per charge. It does take around an hour or so to fully charge it, but that’s just slightly over the average. All in all, if you’re looking for a cheap and reliable drone with an impressive operating range, look no further – MJX X708 is the one for you!
2. PREDATOR U842
If you are into drones that look cool and can perform pretty well both indoor and outdoor, then Predator U842 by DBPOWER is a no-brainer. This little bugger comes with a dedicated controller, two batteries and a solid camera that shoots 720p aerial footage. There’s a phone holder on the controller, letting you guys know this thing sports FPV.
As far as features go, DBPOWER is a bit underwhelming with headless mode and out of range/low battery alarm. There’s nothing more, no altitude hold, or any of that sort of stuff. On the bright side, Predator U842 is pretty fast. Yes, it does feature brushed motors, but they pack quite a bit of punch. It’s easy to control too, great for beginners and children, courtesy of the provided propeller guards.
As for the flight duration, you can expect around 6 to 7 minutes of flight time per battery, which means upwards of 12 minutes in total. Range-wise, Predator U842 can reach approximately 50 meters, just enough to justify its price tag that goes around the $40 mark.
1. SNAPTAIN S5C
Yes, this little bugger is a bit over our budget for the day, but it’s definitely worth the extra money. Snaptain S5C has plenty of stuff to talk about, such as the onboard 720p camera featuring FPV. The range is not the greatest, being around 50 to 80 meters, but it’s still suitable for slightly above $50. The same can be said about the camera which is rather shaky. However, all similarly priced drones feature roughly the same or even worse cameras, so having a shaky 720p sensor can’t really be considered as a downside here.
Features-wise, Snaptain S5C does amazingly well. We’re looking at a drone that sports altitude hold, gravity sensor, and the ever-so-popular one key takeoff and landing. As an extra bonus, the folks over at Snaptain also threw in VR headset support if you want to splash a bit more money and treat yourself with an immersive experience.
If you do end up going that road, you’ll be amazed at what this little bugger can do. The immersion will last for roughly 8 to 10 minutes per battery. You get two batteries in the package, but you can buy more for pretty cheap if you want to extend your flight sessions.
DRONE FLYING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS :
1. DON’T GO TOO FAST
2. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
1. DON’T GO TOO FAST
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM SUCH CHEAP DRONES?
GREAT FIRST STEPS
The first one is rather obvious and goes without much question. These cheap mini flyers serve well as beginner-friendly learning platforms and that’s an outright fact.
They are intuitive, responsive and well capable of guiding you through your first steps in the world of drones.
Plus, that’s not the only thing these bad boys are capable of…
Even though they are relatively small and don’t possess powerful brushless motors, these birdies are still capable of providing you with a stellar all-around performance. Don’t expect too much though as their prices are a good reflection of their power.
Comparing these baddies to premium models won’t do them much justice, but that’s only because they are meant for 2 completely different types of users.
Another thing these birdies are great at is delivering worry-free flying to their users.
That’s not only because they are cheap to replace (if they break) but they also possess weak motors and cannot do a lot of harm to people or objects.
However, you should still supervise your children if they are learning to fly drones for the first time!
ARE THESE DRONES CHILDREN-FRIENDLY?
Yes! Each and every single one of the drones listed below can be considered as a children-friendly model. However, children younger than 7 are probably not the most suitable age group. On the bright side, children older than 7 are most4 likely to have a blast learning to fly these birdies.
This is partially so due to the sheer simplicity of these models. They don’t possess any advanced features which are a must-have with premium ones. Nope! They just have a controlling board that has 4 motors attached to it with the addition of LED lights in some cases. Cameras are present as well, but they’re usually scarce (or produce terrible image quality) in this price tier.
Basically, it all comes down to a simple conclusion – with an incredibly simple interface and responsive controls, these birdies are highly suitable for children. So, with that said, if you are looking to get your little ones a toy that will keep them away from their video games and smartphones, drones are your best bet!
And there you have it guys! You had the chance to take a closer look at some of the best budget drones that are currently available on the market. As you could see for yourself, these cheap drones are not always as bad as people claim them to be. As is the case with pretty much all tech gadgetry, if you take enough time to do proper research, you will find more than plenty of jewels among the dirt.
In the end, I would like to thank you for reading through this list and sincerely hope that it helped you with your decision. Until next time – HAPPY PILOTING!