If you want to get into the latest big boy toys then drones are the perfect next-level toy for you. Not only are they every big boys dream toy, they can provide photos and videos of places and perspectives you’ve never before seen. Here we take a look at the best drone under $200 and list out our favorite 10 picks with an in-depth review of our to 5 choices.
What to Take Into Consideration
When you’re considering a drone to play with there are plenty of options out there. You can build your own drone from scratch – something that takes time and some skill. Or you can buy a ready-made drone that you can take out of the box and fly today.
The biggest thing you’ll need to consider is whether or not you want to use your smartphone as the controller or use a drone that comes with its own controller. There are benefits to both options:
- Smartphones. Offer crystal clear images and video quality. They also have touch functions that only the top level drone controllers come with (much more expensive than $200). You’ll get yourself a better quality drone for the same money, than if you bought one with a screen controller.
- Dedicated Controller. These are great for those of us who don’t have smartphones or are worried about our smartphones losing battery during use. Dedicated controllers require no prior setting up and work flawlessly, unlike some of the smartphone apps…
Top 10 Drones Under $200 Chart
|1. DBPOWER UDI U842 Predator WiFi FPV Drone||HD video, gravity induction, headless mode||4.3|
|2. USA Toyz UDI 818A HD+ RC Quadcopter Drone||HD video, 6 axis GYRO stability, headless mode, return home function||4.1|
|3. Generic UDI U818A WiFi FPV RC Quadcopter Drone||VR headset compatible, HD video, headless mode, return home function, 6 axis GYRO stability||4.0|
|4. Potensic Premium JJRC H8D RTF RC Quadcopter||3 axis stability, HD video, VR headset compatible||3.9|
|5. Kolibri Discovery Delta-Recon U818A WiFi FPV Quadcopter Droner||HD video, return home function||3.8|
|6. USA Toyz U818A WiFi FPV Quadcopter Drone||VR headset compatible, flight path mode, gravity induction, HD video||3.7|
|7. Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter, 2.0 Edition||HD video||3.5|
|8. Ionic Stratus Drone Quadcopter for GoPro with 6-axis gyro system||6 axis GYRO stability, headless mode, return home function, GoPro Hero compatible, 3D roll function||3.4|
|9. LANDVO JJRC H8D FPV Headless Mode 6-Axis 2.4Ghz Gyro RTF RC||HD video, pro and beginner function levels||3.4|
|10. Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition Quadcopter||HD video||3.3|
Buying the best drone under $200 doesn’t mean you’ll be buying a low-quality machine. Drone prices have plummeted in recent years and their technology has improved dramatically. First and second generation drones were unreliable and hard to fly, but now even a toddler could fly one.
Here’re the most important features to look for in your drone:
- 6-Axis Stability. Also known as GYRO stability, this provides the most stable drone flights and practically eliminates crashes. You’ll always have full control over your aircraft whilst it’s in flight and landing the machine will be seamless.
- Return Home Function. So you’ve been out flying and suddenly realize you’re low on battery – well, the best drones have a button that you can press that will navigate them straight back to home base no matter where they are. Not only will this save you time, but sometimes it’s too hard to try and navigate back to home base
- HD Video. It goes without saying that having a HD camera and video recorder onboard is a must for drones, otherwise, they would be very difficult to fly! At a minimum look for 2-megapixel Remember that larger cameras will consume more battery power.
- Battery and Flight Times. A minimum flight time should be 5 minutes long. Some drones even have times of up to 10 minutes. At the very least, you’ll want a few spare batteries that you can use to extend your flight times.
- Headless Mode. Enables you to move the drone in any direction, not just back and forth. This is great for maximizing your exploring potential and is perfect for navigating tight spaces.
- Gravity Induction. Enables you to fly your drone in any which way you want all directed by how you hold your mobile device. This means you can finally get away from that controller and be one with the drone.
- FAA Registration. Larger drones will need to be registered before flight and restrictions are placed on their use in certain areas such as neighborhoods. Smaller drones do not need to be registered. FAA regulations will be printed on the drone packaging and should be adhered to.
- Vr Headsets. Some drones offer VR headset compatibilities and this is great if you really want to experience flying through the air and explore to your heart’s It’s so addictive that every time we came across something unexpected or crashed it really shocked us! VR headsets can be a thrilling experience to drone use.
Top 5 Best Drones Under $200 Reviews
1. DBPOWER UDI U842 Predator WiFi FPV
With an average flight time of 7-9 minutes, this drone is perfect for everyday use. It comes equipped with a spare battery (you can buy more) so you can double your flight time in just a few seconds. The battery takes about 2 hours to charge, so it’s good to have a few spares you can cycle through.
In all of our crash tests, this drone proved to be very durable and well made; we didn’t need to replace anything as nothing broke – even after some pretty fatal landings. Even if we needed to replace something, parts are readily available and cheap, on the company’s website.
Not only does this drone come ready to go, out of the box, the manufacturers have been thoughtful enough to include a memory card and USB card reader too! Truly, everything you need is in the box. Even a few spare parts, including 4 propellors.
2. USA Toyz UDI 818A HD+ RC Quadcopter
This drone is perfect for taking stable and clear photos and videos during flights. It comes with a large protective ring that keeps everything safe from crash landings and mid-flight collisions. Unfortunately, the protective ring restricts this drone from sporting acrobats but you can still do a few 360 flips.
It is very easy to fly and makes for a great learning drone if you’re just starting out with droning. With 2 speed rates, it can be slowed down for beginner pilots and sped up for more advanced users.
Strong wind is its only downfall, with the large protective ring catching much of the breeze and making for unpredictable flying.
3. Generic UDI U818A WiFi FPV RC Quadcopter
Almost the same as the above-mentioned drone, with the one exception that this drone has been specifically tailored to VR headset use. Making it one of the best drones in our list for virtual reality flights.
The manufacturers have improved the camera and video quality and stability even more for VR headset integration. There are no flutters and the video recording is the highest quality of all the drones we reviewed.
This drone glides through the air with ease and is very easy to fly. The packaging comes with two batteries and a USB charger. You can charge two batteries at once, making for even more airtime with a few spares.
4. Potensic Premium JJRC RC Quadcopter
No FAA registration is required for this little beauty. Despite its small size, this drone is very easy to navigate and takes great quality photos. The build is of high quality with great crash resistance.
The one let down we had was that the camera had no wide lens feature, which makes it a little harder to fly as you see much less in the field of view.
5. Kolibri Discovery Delta-Recon U818A
For the coolest looking drone, this is your best bet. The army color perfectly suits its strong build and ease of use. Binding the controller with the drone is super easy and took only seconds to do, unlike some of the other drones we reviewed.
The controls are crisp and super responsive, with the drone reacting immediately to any command. You can let go of the joysticks at any time and the drone will hover perfectly in midair. It’s hard to not notice how smooth and stable this drone flies making it the best drone under $200 for stable flights.