The Best Drone under $200 Review: The Complete Buying Guide

best drone under 200

Drones under $200 can range from a budget toy drone to an entry-level camera drone. And there are probably a few hundred out there which makes it a daunting task to choose the best one for your money.

In this post, we will explain everything you need to know about choosing the best drone under $200, no matter you want a budget flying toy or a camera drone, we will help you find the right one based on your specific needs.

If you are in a hurry, you can get a quick overview here:

Our Picks:


What you will learn in this article:

#1 Best drone under $200 Review

#2 Basic Knowledge About a drone under $200?

#3 10 Things to look for when buying a drone under $200?

#4 Conclusion


 

Best Drone under $200 Review

Potensic D80

Key Specs:

  • Camera: 2k
  • Max flight time: 20 mins
  • Weight: 3.0 pounds (1360g)
  • Control Range: 2600 Ft (800 -1000 m)
  • Max speed: 24.8mph (40kph)

The Potensic D80 packs a 2K camera, 5G WiFi transmission system, and a built-in GPS. It also has intelligent flight modes like Follow Me Mode and Point of Interest.

The Potensic D80 can fly up to 20 minutes with a max speed of 25 mph (40 kph). The control range is also the longest in our review list, it can reach up to 2600 ft (1000 m).

It comes with built-in DUAL GPS which enables the drone to fly more stable and perform more precise auto RTH (Return-to-home) when battery runs low/ signal is weak/ out of range. It’s really easy for newbies to start flying without crashing right away.

This drone is also very easy-to-use and fun to fly, it features Follow Me, Way Point, and Point of Interest Mode, all these will make the control and flying much simpler, especially for beginners.

  • Follow Me Mode: The drone can automatically follow you wherever you go.
  • WayPoint: Allows you to plan your flying route by drawing the dots on the App map.
  • Point of Interest: Enables the drone to fly around an object automatically.

Users said that it’s a great drone for new pilots to learn to fly. It’s a tough and quiet drone, everything works as advertised. It won’t be a terrible financial loss if a crash or flyaway happens.

Another thing you need to know about this drone is that you need to register your drone with the FAA before flying.

Also, people do have complaints, saying tha the charging ttime is a little bit too long. It’s recommended to to this over night.

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DBPOWER FPV 720P

Key Specs:

  • Camera: 720P
  • Max flight time: 9 mins
  • Weight: 2.35 pounds
  • Control method: Remote or Smartphone / Tablet

Highlights:

  • 720P HD Camera – Allow you to take aerial photos and footage, and enjoy real-time FPV flying.
  • Two batteries included – Double your flight time.
  • Headless Mode – You won’t get confused about which direction the drone is facing.
  • Altitude Hode – Enable the drone to keep steady in the air for safe flight.
  • Two-speed Mode – Allow you to experience both slow and high-speed flying
  • One-Key Takeoff and Landing – easy to use, especially for beginners

People bought this drone for their own or kids. They commented that it’s really easy to use, even a beginner who has no drone flying experience can control it in no time. Beginners said they can fly it with the low-speed mode, and the one-key takeoff and landing are very helpful. Headless mode also made the flight more smooth.

Users also said it’s fun to fly, you can get satisfied videos for its price.

Another thing people also liked is customer service, you can always get prompt support when you have problems.

One thing that Users and I both don’t like is the short flight time. You can only get less than a 10-minute flight time per charge. Although it offers 2 batteries, you need to get the drone back first then change the battery.

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Ryze / DJI Tello

Key Specs:

  • Camera: 720P
  • Max flight time: 13 minutes
  • Max flight distance: 100m
  • Weight: 0.18 pound
  • Control method: Remote or Smartphone / Tablet

Highlights:

  • DJI Flight Tech – The world’s leading drone manufacturer provides the flight control system to ensure high-quality flights
  • Fun to fly – 8D Flips allows the drone to perform cool stunts and Bounce Mode makes Tello fly up and down from your hand automatically.
  • Easy to fly – Auto Takeoff/Landing with a single tap, and Throw & Go allows you to start flying by tossing the drone in the air
  • Vision Positioning System – Enables Tello to hover steadily in the air
  • Allows you to easily take videos with Circle, 360, and Up & Away
  • Programmable with Scratch (an MIT-developed coding system) – allows kids and teens to learn the basics of programming while having fun.
  • Fly with a breathtaking FPV – Compatible with Smartphone VR Headset.

The Ryze Tello uses DJI’s flight control tech which ensures a high-quality flight experience. As someone who participated in the launch when I was working with DJI, I think what really makes it stand out is the fun and easy-to-fly features and its programmable function. You can use it as a starter drone to practice your flying skills, or play it with your kids, I am pretty sure kids will be attracted by the 8D flips and Bouncing. Moreover, it can also be used as a steam toy to customize the flying by using Scratch (an MIT-developed coding system).

ryze-tello

It has great durability, I’ve been a Tello user for more than 1 year, and crashed it on walls and trees more than 10 times, it still works perfectly now.

Some users said that the Tello App has issues with Android phones, and the wifi signal can easily interfere. Also, it doesn’t come with a remote controller, you can fly it with your smartphone or tablet, but accessories like extra batteries, a remote controller, and props are a little bit pricey. We think it’s the best drone with a camera under $200 for teenagers due to its high flight performance and programmable features.

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Potensic T18

Key Specs:

  • Camera: 1080P
  • Max flight time: 10 minutes
  • Max flight distance: 300m
  • Weight: 2.05 pounds
  • Control method: Remote or Smartphone / Tablet

Highlights

  • Precise and stable positioning with Built-in dual GPS – It also allows the drone to return to its home point when the battery is running low or the drone loses signal.
  • Real-time FPV (First Person View) Flying: HD video transmission allows you to get a real-time FPV Flying experience, you can also pair it with a VR headset
  • Easy and safe flying – it features Altitude hold, Headless Mode, One-Key Take-off / Landing, and Emergency Stop which are very handy for beginners to start with.
  • Bright LED Lights – Comes with 4 LED lights that make the drone more visible in the dim light, also make night flying possible. (Beginners should be careful with flying at night)
  • Follow Me Mode – It can follow you wherever you go, enables you to capture photos and videos

The Potensic T18 is the only one that packs a 1080P camera and built-in GPS on this list. It’s a good starter drone, easy to set up and fly, and more steady than those who don’t have GPS.

Users liked that it can hold its position stable even in 4 -7 mph breezes. Consider its price, the video and photo quality are good, saying that it’s great for beginners.

People do have problems with this model. If you are using an Android phone, there might be compatibility issues. Also, the flight time is a bit too short. Follow me mode does now work as advertised.

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DROCON Bugs 3

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Key Specs:

  • Camera: No camera, compatible with GoPro and other action cameras
  • Max Flight time: 20 minutes
  • Max flight distance: 300m
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Control method: Remote controller / Smartphone / Tablet

Highlights:

  • Brushless motor – No overheating issues, safe and allows you to get longer flight time.
  • The low power alarm and the weak signal alarm keep the drone always under control.
  • High Speed and great wind resistance – Enables you to enjoy the fun of flying outdoors
  • 3-D Rolls and Flip – Can perform cool 3D stunts with a press of one button
  • 30 days money-back guarantee and lifetime technical support

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DROCON Ninja

Rating: 4.3 / 5

Key Specs:

  • Camera: 720P
  • Max flight time: 10 minutes
  • Max flight distance: 100m
  • Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Control method: Remote controller / Smartphone / Tablet

Highlights

  • 720P Camera – It packs an HD camera that allows you to take 720p/30fps video, together with the 120-degree wide-angle lens, you will be able to capture stunning photos and videos.
  • Altitude Hold – It can hover stably in the air, is great for taking shake-free aerial photos, and is safer to fly, especially for the novice.
  • Foldable and Portable – The foldable design makes this small drone even more portable, you can actually put it in your pocket.
  • Easy to Use – It features headless mode, one-key take-off/landing, and altitude hold truly allows for easier operation, which makes flying this drone a breeze for any level of player.
  • 3 Speed Mode. 3-speed mode offers you more flexibility. You can choose different speeds according to your skill level or the environment.

Overall, the DROCON Ninja is a good drone for its price. If you want a budget camera drone under $150, you won’t be disappointed with this model.

Users do have complaints, they said it’s hard to find a place to get common extra accessories like batteries and blades. Also, you will have to let the motors cool down for 10 minutes between each flight.

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HOBBYTIGER H301S Ranger

Rating: 4.6 / 5

Key Specs:

  • Camera: 720P
  • Flight time: 8 – 10 minutes
  • Max flight distance: 180m
  • Weight: 5.8 ounces
  • Control method: Remote controller / Smartphone / Tablet


Highlights:

  • Built-in GPS for precise hovering.
  • Auto Return to Home (RTH) when the battery is low or the GPS signal is weak.
  • Adjustable HD Camera – 120°FOV FPV 720P HD Wi-Fi Camera allows you to take high-quality video and aerial photos.
  • Real-time FPV flying. Enables you to enjoy the Real-Time View on your smartphone.
  • Easy to fly and control – Headless Mode allows you to fly without worrying about which direction the drone’s facing. One Key Take-off / Landing makes flying a piece of cake even for beginners. Emergence Stop lets you turn off the drone for urgent situations.
  • Follow Me Mode – It can automatically follow you and capture you wherever you go.

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Holy Stone F181W

Rating: 4.4 / 5

Key Specs:

  • Camera: 720P
  • Flight time: 7 – 10 minutes
  • Max flight distance: 100m
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Control method: Remote controller / Smartphone / Tablet


Highlights:

  • FPV Real-time Transmission
  • Altitude Hold
  • One Key Takeoff & Landing
  • Multiple Speed Control
  • Headless mode
  • One key return
  • 3D Flips
  • Controllable Led Light

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Drones under $50

Syma X20 Mini Pocket Drone

Rating: 4.6 / 5

Key Specs:

  • Max Flight time: 5 Minutes
  • Control range: 20 Meters (66 ft)
  • Charging: 50 Minutes
  • Suitable for: 8 years and up

Easy to Fly. One Key Takeoff or Landing allows pilots of any level to fly the drone easily. Headless Mode makes it worry-free about being confused with the drone’s direction when it flies far away.

Two Speed Modes. It allows you to choose the gears according to your operation proficiency, very suitable for beginners and kids.

360°Stunt Flip. Fun and easy-to-use 360-degree rolling make the flight experience even more enjoyable with just a touch of a button.

Pros

  • Very precise and accurate
  • Great for fly indoor
  • One key take-off and landing
  • Easy setup and easy to fly.
  • Headless mode
  • Altitude Hold
  • 360°Stunt Flip
  • Suitable for kids

Cons

  • Only around 5 minutes flight time
  • Cannot fly in windy weather
  • 70 minutes to charge.
  • No camera

Many people commented that it’s a fun drone for the price, its small size makes it convenient for indoor use.

Customers are also impressed with this drone’s easy-to-use. Setup is quick, comes with precise and accurate control. Those who bought it for their son or daughter said it’s great for kids and really enjoy the fun it brings during flying.

Some use the drone frequently liked its capability of crash resistance, it survived most of the crashes.

People also commented that it’s good for fly indoor use but not suitable for outdoor because it can’t fly in windy weather. Users also have confronted the issue of the charging port design, saying it’s easy to break, especially after using for many times.

Tips

  • The controller takes 4 AAA batteries

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Holy Stone HS190

Rating: 4.2 out of 5

Key Specs:

  • Flight time: 5-7 Minutes
  • Control range: Up to 50 meters (165 ft)
  • Charging: 40 Minutes
  • Suitable for: 9 years and up

Foldable Design. Small and compact, foldable design makes it even more portable.

Altitude Hold Function. Allow the drone to hover stably in the air for easy control.

One Key Take off/Landing. Enables you to control the drone with ease.

Headless Mode: The orientation of the drone is in relation to the pilot.

3 Speed Modes. 3-speed modes from low to high are suitable for both beginners and experts.

3D Flip & High-Speed Rotation. The drone can stunt in 4 directions and spin at a high speed which increases fun and excitement when flying.

Pros

  • Headless mode for easy fly
  • Altitude Hold Function
  • One Key Take off/Landing
  • 3D Flip & High-Speed Rotation
  • 3 Speed Modes for any level of users
  • LED lights for better visibility
  • Durable, good maneuverability
  • Great customer service
  • Easy to fly and setup

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • No Camera
  • Not suitable for fly outdoor

This is another mini drone to the Holy Stone HS Series family. Many people commented that it’s a great little drone for fun and practice. Those who bought this for their little kids liked it because of the mini size and ease to fly, 8 years had no problem, some 5 years can even handle it pretty well after essential training.

One thing that impressed many happy customers is the durability, they crashed it on walls and floors often but it survived most of the time.

Those who fly this drone frequently commented that it’s no problem for indoor use but flying outdoors is not recommended especially for beginning pilots because it can’t even handle a light breeze.

Tips

  • Suitable for pilots aged 14 years or older (please follow the instruction manual carefully)
  • Read the manual and trim before you fly

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Holy Stone HS170 Predator

Rating: 4.2 out of 5

Key Specs:

  • Flight time: 6-8 Minutes
  • Control range: Up to 50 meters (66 ft)
  • Charging: 45 – 60 Minutes
  • Suitable for: 14 years and up

Headless Mode. No matter what direction the aircraft is in, the forward stick is always forward, and the back stick is backward.

6-Axis Gyro Stabilization. Enables the drone to flip and roll with a simple push of the button. It also enables the drone to flip and roll with a simple push of the button which makes flying so much fun.

3 Speed Modes. It allows both novices and experts to choose the right speed according to their needs.

Colorful LED lights. It makes it easy to identify the front and back which is a must when flying at night.

 

Pros

  • Headless mode for easy fly
  • 6-Axis Gyro Stabilization for 360° Flip
  • Red/Blue LED lights show the orientation
  • 3 Speed Modes for any level of users
  • Durable, good maneuverability
  • Good control range
  • Great customer service

Cons

  • No one-key return and a button for flips
  • Poor design for getting the battery out
  • No Camera
  • Not suitable for fly outdoor
  • Remote is a bit hard to figure out

Like the other drones reviewed, the Holy Stone HS170 is pretty much the same in terms of features. People commented that it’s easy to use and fun to fly.

Many people are really impressed with customer service regarding the quick responsiveness and painlessness when dealing with them.

One drawback is that many users have problems getting the battery out when it needs to be charged but they managed to figure out a solution of leaving the battery inside. People also recommended using a flap of tape to more easily pull the battery out.

Like the others in this category, flying outdoors is not recommended only until you have trained yourself well and learned everything about your drone. Besides, the controller might be a challenge for beginners and better identification is needed.

Tips

  • Suitable for pilots aged 14 years or older (please follow the instruction manual carefully)
  • Read the manual and trim before you fly

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Basic Knowledge About a Drone under 200 Dollars

A drone under $200 doesn’t have the bells and whistles like a high-end camera, intelligent flight modes, and stabilization system, so it’s practical to not expect high-quality aerial photos and videos from them.

The price can range from $20+ to $200, and their performance and features vary too.

Some drones under $200 are small, lightweight, and weigh under 250g, and you don’t need an FAA certification to fly (If you are outside the US, please check the local drone laws).

If you are new to drones and want to fly outdoors, make sure you don’t fly on windy days and practice a lot before you go ahead.

You won’t feel too upset if a drone under $200 crashes or flies away.

They are easy to assemble and set up, but you still need to pay attention to the user manual, make sure you know how to calibrate. Sometimes, find a tutorial on YouTube is a better way.


10 Things to look for when buying the best drone under $200

buying your first drone

1. What are your specific needs?

The first and most important thing you should consider is your specific needs. Just ask yourself: what’s your purpose in buying a drone?

If you just want a toy that for a kid, then safety matters than anything else.

If you want to get something to start with for your new hobby and practice your flying skills before getting a high-end one, you will need one that comes with the best flying performance.

If you just want to experience the fun of flying, then FPV and flying speed are the most important things to you.

If you want something you can take out for traveling, then you should focus on camera quality, flight time, weight, portability, and other factors.

Anyway, the first step is to figure out what you will use this drone for.

2. Is it easy to use?

Most drones are ready-to-fly which means you don’t need to have an engineering background to put together the pieces before you can fly. But you still need to figure out how to install the battery, power the drone, connect the remote controller, insert an SD card, and so on, the thing is not every camera drone under $200 comes with the same clear user manual and instructions. So we will only focus on those who are easy to set up and control so you will have a better flying experience every time you play with your drone.

3. Does it offer a longer flight time for each charge?

The longer the flight time is, the more enjoyable your flight experience will be. Just imagining, if your drone can only last a few minutes each flight, you will need to buy more extra batteries, and you will be busy changing batteries every few minutes.

Nowadays, the best camera drone under $200 can fly up to 20 minutes, most of them have a flight time of 12 – 18 minutes.

Note: if you just want a drone under $50, it’s normal to get only 5 – 8 minutes of flight time per charge.

4. What is the camera quality like?

One of the reasons why we want to buy a drone is because we can see things from above, a completely different angle. So the camera is one of the most important things we should consider. Is it capable of shooting HD crispy video? Is the camera quality important for me?

The best drones or quadcopters under $200 come with a full HD 1080p camera, you will be able to get eye-catching aerial photos and videos for sharing with friends or on social media.

5. Is it durable?

No matter you are an experienced drone pilot or just a beginner, trust me, it’s only a matter of time you will crash your drone. I personally crashed quite a few times with my Mavic Pro, Mavic Mini, and Tello. A drone that comes with good durability will save you a lot of trouble and money, you can keep flying after crashing it on the wall or falling from the sky.

6. How far can it fly?

The control range is also what you need to pay attention to. The control distance of drones under $200 varies from only a few meters to 400 m. If you want to shoot stunning aerial footage, a long control range is a must. If you just want something for fun, then it’s not that important.

7. What features does it come with?

As mentioned above, you should first figure out your specific needs for the drone, then you will know what features you are looking for. Drones under $200 may contain all or only some of the following features depending on their price:

  • Stunt and Flip
  • Headless Mode
  • Altitude Hold
  • One-Key Takeoff and Landing
  • Return-to-Home
  • Follow-me
  • FPV
  • Gesture Control
  • Tap to Fly

8. Do you need to register with FAA?

According to the FAA, if the drone weighs less than 0.55 pounds or 250 grams you do not need to register. If you are outside the US, don’t forget to check the local laws.

To learn more about drone registration, check the following video for more details:

9. What did real users say about it?

We cover more than 10 drones in this post, honestly, we didn’t put our hands on every single one of them, but we did check a lot of reviews from real users for each drone to make sure what we list here are the best for you.

10. What is customer service like?

A lot of first-time drone pilots have issues with their drones after purchasing. Response customer service will ensure your problems get solved timely.


Conclusion

We think the winner is the Potensic D80 is the best video drone under $200 because of its 2K capable camera. It’s probably the best one you can get for the money.

It can fly up to 20 minutes per charge. What makes it stand out is that you can find intelligent flight modes like POI and Follow Me on this model. These features are usually only seen on expensive drones like DJI Drones. I would say that this is the one for most people, no matter you want to start a new hobby, or just want a beginner drone for practicing or take it out for hiking, it suits you.

If you are looking for a less-than-$200 quadcopter for a teenager, the Ryze Tello is the best option. It’s not just a fun drone to fly, other than flipping, it’s also programmable, allowing you to customize the flying by using the Scratch coding system.

If you are looking for something for young kids, especially those under 8, then the Holy Stone HS190 will do the trick.

If you are on a tight budget and just want something around $50, then the Syma X20 Mini Pocket Drone is the best with reference to size, durability, ease to use, fun, and customer service.

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