BEST DRONES UNDER $200 ULTIMATE GUIDE

By Scott Thompson

Table of Contents

Years ago I purchased my first drone . It was the DJI Mavic Pro. 

In total with some accessories it cost over $1000 for the kit. 

At the time it was one of the most advanced consumer drones on the market. 

Shortly after my first flight ….. 

I crashed it …..(but i leave that story for a another blog post)

Back then there were not many options for beginner drone pilots. 

Lucky for us,

with technological advances comes drops in prices. 

Nowadays you can get a really great beginner drone with many bells and whistles for under $200. This is a great way to learn more and hone your drone skills before you invest more money in higher priced equipment.

In this article I will go over the best drones on the market for under $200. For each product  I will explain what comes with the drone, the features and benefits you will receive , and why we feel it is the best value for the price.

The best drones under $200 :

  • Holy Stone HS100
  • Potensic T25
  • Hubsan H501
  • Contixo F18 2K
  • Holy Stone HS165
  • DJ Tello
  • Altair 818 Hornet

In today’s market it’s important to understand what $200 can get you , as well as what it wont get you.

FEATURES WE CAN EXPECT FOR UNDER $200. 

  • Intelligent flight modes (waypoint modes, Point of interest , follow modes)
  • 10-20 minute flight time
  • Return to home (safety feature)
  • Real Time flight View via Phone Transmission
  • 1080P resolution
  • One touch take-off

FEATURES WE CAN NOT EXPECT FOR $200

  • Top quality 4k
  • Advanced Cameras with gimbal control
  • Obstacle avoidance ( advanced safety feature ) 
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Professional Camera 

HOLY STONE HS100 

  • GETTING TO KNOW THE HS100

Holy Stone is growing in popularity. The company has built its reputation on making low cost drones with alot of premium features. Overall the HS100 is a great deal for the price. It offers many advanced flight modes and safety features that other brands charge more for.

  • WHAT DRONE COMES WITH

1 X Holy Stone HS100 Quadcopter

1 X Transmitter

1 X Battery

8 X propellers

2 X Landing Gear

6 X Propeller Guard

1 X USB Charging Cable

2 X Screwdriver

8 X Caps for propeller tops

1 X Manual

1 X 8 gb TF memory card

1 X Card reader

DIMENSIONS

19.75 X 19.75  X 6.75

Weight 4 lbs

http://holystone.com/File/down/id/8.html

  • FEATURES AND BENEFITS

BUILD AND DESIGN : The build quality of the HS100 is very good. It is made with high quality plastic materials and is constructed nicely. It doesn’t feel overly cheap in construction. 

I don’t believe any pieces are metal.

Design wise it has similarities to the phantom 4 by DJI. It is based on the same 4 propellor quadcopter design with large landing gears . This design is nice because the larger landing gears make it easier to land or even grab with your hand while it’s flying.

Enclosed in the box is all you need to get the drone flying. Out of the box it will record direct to your phone using the app + comes with a 8gb card for external recording. 

FLIGHT FEATURES

HS100 can be connected to mobile devices via WIFI . This sends a real time video to your screen to help navigate your UAV . You can fly the drone while watching the POV from the drones camera in realtime.

Decent Flight range :  500 meters max altitude 120 meters. 

Flight time : 15-18 minutes on one battery charge

Hold altitude : You can sit at a particular altitude. This is helpful if you want to take a photo and hover in place.  Perfect for your “drone selfie” shots

Flight Modes : 

The HS100 offers some cool flight modes to have fun with. It has follow mode, waypoint mode and headless mode.

Headless Mode changes the control orientation so it isn’t backwards like most aviation tools . Waypoint mode gives you the ability to click multiple points on your smartphone via GPS MAP to control a flight path of your drone. ( another feature usually seen in higher priced models)

Follow me mode gives you the ability to follow a point of interest.

SAFETY FEATURES

The HS100 is packed with great safety features. It offers 4 LED lights for easy visibility. GPS Auto Return Home in case you lose transmission or control. It also comes with propellor guards.

CAMERA FEATURES

1080P Camera

Range of Camera View : 120 Degree POV Camera Wide Angle giving you 120 degrees of viewable area.

Camera gimbal (1 axis)

Many drones under $200 point won’t give you control over the camera. The HS100 gets you 

90 degrees of  adjustment to camera control from the 1 axis gimbal . The 1 axis gives you control of the camera over and down .

  • WHY WE FEEL THIS DRONE MADE THE CUT

The HS100 is packed with a lot of great features. It’s got a great quality build in two color options. It shoots high quality 1080 HD video and flight is smooth. Another unique highlight is the 1 axis gimbal control of the camera. 

See Our full detailed guide on the HS100 here

POTENSIC T25 

  • GETTING TO KNOW THE POTENSIC T25

The T25 has been one of the top selling Drones on the web in the under $200 category for years now. It’s a great drone packed with value. WIth over 1000 4 star reviews on amazon this is a guaranteed winner for the money. 

  • WHAT DRONE COMES WITH

1 x Potensic T25 Drone with 1080P HD camera

1 x Transmitter

1 x 3.7V 1000mAh Battery

1 x User Manual

1 x USB Battery Charger

1 x Screwdriver

2 x Extra Landing Gears

4 x Extra Propeller Blades

4 x Extra Protection Guards

Micro USB for charging

T25 User Manual

The size is very compact measuring 10.6 X 10.6 X 4.7 inches and weighs 4 lbs .

  • FEATURES AND BENEFITS

BUILD AND DESIGN : The first thing most people rave about is the high build quality and material of the product. Design wise it seems to follow the design elements of the DJI Phantom Series.  For color choices white is your option.

FLIGHT FEATURES 

Advanced 9-axis gyro : Potensic T25 GPS drone adopts advanced 9-axis gyro, which is more wind-resistant and steady during flight, making the pictures and videos you recorded clear and fluent. 

Dual Positioning system: Advanced GPS and GLONASS Helps drone navigate and find its way back home in case of loss of communication with controller. 

Flight Distance : Up to 980 max distance foot range RANGE 390 feet maximum height .

Intelligent Flight Modes : Altitude hold function , Waypoint function, Follow me function, Headless Mode.

SAFETY FEATURES

The T25 offers a few great safety features. WIth the drones dual GPS system It can return to home upon loss of transmission or by pressing the return home button .

It also comes with propellor guards and 4 LED lights.

CAMERA FEATURES

1080P WIFI Camera, Wide field of view. This camera offers great quality.

  • WHY WE FEEL THIS DRONE MADE THE CUT

The T25 has high reviews for a reason. On paper it has all the bells and whistles that you could wish to have on a drone at this price. But what we love the most is the ease of use.  It flies very smooth and takes good video and pics

READ FULL ARTICLE ON POTENSIC T25

HUBSAN H501A 

  • GETTING TO KNOW THE H501A

The H501A is a well rounded drone . It is compact and sleek , and has many popular features. This makes it one of the best drones under $200

  • WHAT DRONE COMES WITH

Package Includes:

1 X H501A Brushless RC quadcopter

1 X 7.4V 2700mAh Li-Po Battery

1 X HT005 WIRELESS Relay (helps increase flight range)

4 X Propeller ‘A’

4 X Propeller ‘B’

1 X USB Cable

1 X AC Adapter

1 X Balance Charger

1 X Prop Wrench (for propellers)

1 X Camera Filter

1 X Instruction Manual

1 X Mini ND Filter for Lens ( helps see in high sunlight)

Enclosed in the box is all you need to get the drone flying. 

The size is very compact measuring 8.6 X 8.6 X 2.75 inches and weighs .90 lbs

https://www.hubsanus.com/media/support/H501A-Manual.pdf

  • FEATURES AND BENEFITS

BUILD AND DESIGN : Sleek and futuristic. This black and gold tone gives this drone a great look. It has been constructed nicely and is made from quality material. One clever design element is the landing gears are also the led lights.

CAMERA FEATURES

As far as visuals with the H501A you will get a 1080P camera giving you 2 megapixel images. 

One nice feature with this drone is the ability to record in different frame rates. For a cinematic effect you can shoot in 24 frames per second. For slow motion you can shoot at 60 frames per second and slow down the footage in post production. 

The Camera can also be adjusted in flight which is a premium feature as most lower priced drones have a fixed position.

SAFETY FEATURES

A few safety features you get with this drone are 4 LED lights built into the landing gears, GPS auto return home mode and failsafe mode.

FLIGHT FEATURES 

This drone gets you 20 minutes of flight time with a max distance of .18 miles. It comes with intelligent flight modes like return to home , orbiting 360 mode , follow me mode and waypoint programming.

It also has brushless motors that are higher quality than non brushless.

  • WHY WE FEEL THIS DRONE MADE THE CUT

The Hubsan H501A is a great drone under $200 . It gets you many advanced flight modes, good safety features, and camera specs.

Unique elements to this drone is it shoots in variable frame rates and comes with an ND filter to get  better shots in daylight.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

CONTIXO F18 

  • GETTING TO KNOW THE CONTIXO F18 : The F18 is another great drone with many premium features.
  • WHAT DRONE COMES WITH

1 x Contixo F18 Drone

1 x Charger

1 x Drone Battery

8 x Propeller Blades

1 x Propeller Changing Tool

1 x Remote Control

1 x Screwdriver

1 x Mobile Phone Clip

1 x Instruction Manual

1 x Quick Start Installation Guide

1 x Coverage Card

Download as PDF

  • FEATURES AND BENEFITS

BUILD AND DESIGN: The Contixo comes in an all black design. It is mostly made from high quality plastics . It has brushless motors.

FLIGHT FEATURES 

Distance: TRANSMISSION IS 2000 feet. 20 minute flight time

Intelligent flight modes : GPS , Easy take off and landing, Altitude hold , Auto hover . The brushless motors help flight remain smooth and controlled.

SAFETY FEATURES : Low Voltage return to home mode.

CAMERA FEATURES

1080 P Camera

  • WHY WE FEEL THIS DRONE MADE THE CUT

This drone is well rounded all around . We feel it is a great drone to learn on. It gives you many advanced flight features , shoots in HD , and even comes with a water resistant drone backpack .Check current prices below

HOLY STONE HS165 

  • GETTING TO KNOW THE HS165

Holy Stone is well known for making great value drones. Most of their products have rave reviews on amazon. This drone is small and compact , it can be folded up and put into a backpack.

  • WHAT DRONE COMES WITH

1 X HS165 drone

1 x remote controller

1 X notebook

2 X  battery

1 X battery charger

1 X  transmitter charger

1 X  screwdriver

4 X extra propellers,

1 X user manual.

http://holystone.com/File/down/id/8.html

  • FEATURES AND BENEFITS

BUILD AND DESIGN : This drone can be purchased in one colorway , black. It is made with high quality plastics and ergonomically has a nice compact design. It also folds up which is nice.

FLIGHT FEATURES

Intelligent Flight Modes : One Key Return , Auto Return , GPS Navigation. Flight time is 15 minutes per battery ( comes with 2)

Flight Range:  400 meters from remote , and 120 meters above ground.

SAFETY FEATURES : 

Return to home, LED LIGHTS.

Camera Specs : 90 Degree FOV Wide Angle , 1080P Camera

  • WHY WE FEEL THIS DRONE MADE THE CUT

DJI TELLO 

  • GETTING TO KNOW THE DJI TELLO

DJI is leading the way as far as consumer drones are concerned. They are at the forefront of the industry using state of the art technology.  The Tello was created to be super small and portable.

  • WHAT DRONE COMES WITH

1 X DJI TELLO AIRCRAFT

4 X PROPELLORS

1 X PROPELLOR GUARDS

1 X BATTERY

1 X MICRO USB

1 X PROPELLOR REMOVAL TOOL

98 X 92.5 X 41 MM SIZE

https://dl-cdn.ryzerobotics.com/downloads/Tello/20180404/Tello_User_Manual_V1.2_EN.pdf

  • FEATURES AND BENEFITS

BUILD AND DESIGN: The main difference between this drone and others on this ultimate guide is the size. There is a lot of cool features packed into this tiny quadcopter.

FLIGHT FEATURES 

Distance of the tello : Max flight Height 30 m Max distance 100m. Increbibly smooth hover and flight capabilities. 

SAFETY FEATURES

One Feature that sets this drone apart is that it has a collision detection system. DJI has created software for alot of their drones that avoid obstacles. Although this is not as advanced as some higher priced drones, It can help avoid collisions to a degree.

CAMERA FEATURES

  • WHY WE FEEL THIS DRONE MADE THE CUT

This drone is a great value for the price. I would say DJI is the best drone brand on this list. 

It is the lowest priced drone on this guide. The TELLO is really geared toward someone who is looking for a smaller drone. It doesn’t fly as far in distance as the other drones on this list. Great for selfies and capturing indoor footage.

ALTAIR 818 HORNET

  • GETTING TO KNOW THE 818 HORNET

The 818 Hornet is a great beginner drone for under $200. Out of the box it comes with 2 batteries giving you 30 minutes of flight time ( 15 minutes per battery ) . This a safe drone that is easy to set up and enjoy. Many reviews online agree that its a great drone for beginner pilots to learn on.

  • WHAT DRONE COMES WITH

1 X ALTAIR 818 PLUS DRONE

1 X CONTROLLER

1 X USB CHARGER

4 X PROPELLOR BLADES

1 X USER MANUAL

2 X 7.4V DRONE BATTERY

Part 1 of the User Manual 

Part 2 of the User Manual

  • FEATURES AND BENEFITS:  

BUILD AND DESIGN: The build of the Hornet is made out of plastic. 

You can tell it has been designed with safety as a main focal point. 

The circular propeller protectors are locked in place to protect you from the blades. It is black and yellow in color. A good choice of color for visibility.

FLIGHT FEATURES 

The hornet gives you a few intelligent flight features to use. It gives you altitude hold and one touch take off and landing. It offers smooth flight and hovers in a controlled manner.

All is controlled by the radio transmitter or mobile app.

Total flight time is 15 minutes per battery. Drone comes with 2 batteries which is a plus. This gets you 30 minutes of flight time

SAFETY FEATURES

Some safety features include auto emergency landing and built in propeller guards.

CAMERA FEATURES

The hornet offers a 120 degree wide angle camera at 720p resolution. This drone does not come with a memory card so if you would like to record onto external memory you will have to buy separately.

  • WHY WE FEEL THIS DRONE MADE THE CUT

Of all the drones we have reviewed in this Ultimate guide, the hornet is the best for beginners and children older than 8. It has some great safety features & comes with 2 batteries . Its is ready to fly and enjoy right out of the box.

CONCLUSION

If you are a drone enthusiast looking for a great value quadcopter, you can’t go wrong with any on this list. Each one of these drones packs a high amount of value for under $200. 

Below is a list of quicklinks to check prices.

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