The Potensic D60 had to grab the top spot here. It’s the best in terms of range, battery life and comes in at a reasonable price. The photos are crisp and it’s a great beginner’s drone for newbies
The Runner Up:
Coming in at a close second is the Holy Stone HS100G. It provides novice drone flyers with an easy setup and the ability to take some nice aerial shots in open areas but it fell short when it came to charging time.
The Best Budget Option:
Still a feature-packed drone with HD photo and video capabilities, the Contixo F20 is the ideal budget drone. The lesser range means flying close by is essential, but it would be great for younger users or as a fun holiday or birthday gift.
This article only covers drones priced between $150 to $300, for drones under $150, please check below:
What you will learn in this article:
Drones around $300 usually come equipped with a decent camera that captures photos and video that’s at least 1080p. They’re usually fitted with GPS to help maintain its position in the air and therefore have fun features like follow me or return to home.
However, what they do tend to lack is a three-axis gimbal, so your footage may not be as stable as it would be in a $1000 or more drone. The image sensor may be somewhat lacking too – compared to high-end drones. It tends to be the smaller details that you find are missing and as a beginner, they won’t affect the joy of flying a drone at all. You’ll find as you learn more about drones and their features through the first-hand experience, you may want to upgrade.
If you’re keen on getting into drone photography but don’t want to spend a small fortune, these drones could be a great option for you – the first-time drone flyer. All the drones I have listed here will be able to give you hands-on experience using a drone, which can be intimidating at first. They are also the perfect balance between a fun toy and a more technical and expensive piece of camera equipment. Finally, they’re ideal for someone who just wants a drone for the fun of it. Who can deny that flying a drone feels great and is the perfect way to get outdoors on a nice day!
I am Sally. have been using drones since 2016, I spent a lot of money on my first drone and I wasn’t even aware that there were more affordable options out there. Since then, I’ve spent countless hours of research into what separates a good drone from a lesser one, and, I have even flown some of these budget-friendly options myself so I can give you an honest opinion on what I’ve found to be the best drone under $300 today.
Choosing a drone isn’t an easy task, because what might be the best drone for you, might not necessarily be the best for someone else. Nowadays, there’s a huge influx of drones on the market; they can range in price from as little as $100 to thousands and they all have different physical and technological features that cater to different kinds of users.
With all these options, there is, of course, a wealth of information about drones out there. After speaking to experts in the field, scouring multiple sources for reviews on products and even discussing with friends, I came up with the following criteria I knew were important when considering purchasing a drone and used it to review the products I’ve featured in this article.
Do they have good quality cameras?
A drone with a price point around $300 should come with a 1080p full HD camera, which will allow for high-quality videos and crisp, clear shots. In terms of the stills, that’s usually down to the image sensor on the drone; the better the sensor the less noise (fine dots on the image) you will see when you really zoom in.
Are they easy to use?
Ease of use is essential when you’re considering buying a new drone, especially as a beginner. There’s no point in having something with 101 features if you only know how to use two.
Do they offer a good amount of flight time?
A quality drone stays in the air for a long time and whilst drones that are way over $1,000 may fly for 25-30 minutes, it costs a lot more. 10 minutes + is usually a good flight time for a budget drone.
Do they have a good range?
The range is how far the drone will fly before it loses signal and wants to come home. Some people believe that the further you can fly the drone the better, but with that, there comes an additional cost. Additionally, it’s good practice to always have a line of sight to your drone, so, that extra-long range isn’t always necessary unless you’re a pro.
What’s the customer service like?
Customer service is paramount. What if you have a question about using it? Or, need help with setup? Choosing a drone manufacturer who prides themselves on good customer service is usually a testament to the quality of the drone itself.
Obviously, these points are just a couple of surface-level suggestions. I also found this video on YouTube that expands on these criteria. You may want to check out if you want more information on what to look for in a great drone.
- Camera: 1080p Full HD
- Max Flight Time: 20 minutes
- Range: 500m (1640ft)
- Charging Time: 3 hours
The first thing I noticed about this drone was how its sleek design was similar to competitors such as the DJI Spark or Mavic Air.
It is the most expensive drone in this list, but still a good amount under $300 and for that, you’re getting a drone packed full of features.
It’s super easy to set up and the simple controller makes it easy to fly which is ideal for beginner pilots. Like the other drones it also has the return to home feature should it lose signal
The camera is 1080p full HD and takes clear, crisp photos and smooth video. The range is also the furthest I’ve seen in similar budget drones.
You do have to install the app in order to get first-person view in-flight, which, to be honest, is common in more expensive brands so I don’t personally see as an issue – but obviously if you don’t own a smartphone this could be an issue. You can still fly it however without installing the app, you will just have to use a line of sight as opposed to FPV.
The only problem I found was some intermittent connectivity issues, the video sometimes was jumpy and lagged in spots. The GPS can take a while to connect, anything up to 4 minutes, which can affect your overall flight time. However, once it’s connected there tends to be no glitches when it comes to location services.
Their tech support is highly rated amongst users and they offer speedy answers to any questions you may have.
- Camera: 1080p Full HD
- Max Flight Time: 15 minutes
- Range: 400m (1,300ft)
- Charging Time: 3 hours
The Holy Stone HS100G is, in my opinion, a feature-packed drone boasting great stability even on windy days. Having said that, it doesn’t have a three-axis gimbal that more expensive drones do, so you could find stability might not be up there with the likes of the DJI Phantom.
Nevertheless, it’s a great option for a beginner, has a good price point and looks great. Users have reported that the initial unboxing is pleasant and they feel like the company has taken time to really think about the way the drone is packaged and presented.
The follow-me mode is perfect for adventurers who want to get epic shots of themselves hiking through the wilderness or skiing in the backcountry and the return home setting is pretty reliable and accurate. The takeoff and landing is smooth and effortless and as soon as the drone detects a low battery or loss of signal it’ll head right back to its starting point
Despite being a budget drone, it’s feature-rich, produces high-quality snaps and HD video and would be an ideal gift for someone who’s just getting into drone photography.
One of its cons, however, is the short flight time, though over 10 minutes officially, users reported some shorter flying times. Additionally, the Wi-Fi signal can drop out often and the charging time was reported to take longer than the three hours advertised; our testers found it was more around the 6-hour mark for a full charge.
- Camera: 1080p Full HD
- Max Flight Time: 15 minutes
- Range: 300m (984ft)
- Charging Time: 3-6 hours
- Maximum Speed: 37mph (60kph)
With many specs similar to the Holy Stone, the reason why this drone didn’t grab the top spot was because of its slightly lesser range.
Nevertheless, it comes packed with a great bunch of features for the beginner drone flyer for a fraction of the price you would pay from the likes of DJI.
It has a full 1080p HD camera that allows you to take both video footage and stills; though users have reported that the camera quality surpasses its video capabilities – understandable considering the price.
Our users did notice, however, despite an advertised flight time of around 15 minutes, you’re more likely to only get around 8 minutes of time before it returns home.
It’s ready to fly as soon as you unwrap it and comes with a compact carrying case which could be good if you’re interested in taking your drone on holidays or adventures, and want to
They also have pretty great customer support; available 24/7 by email, a beginner can get the help they need without having to wait too long for a reply. If you want to speak to a person directly, their US-based call center takes calls from 9am-4pm PST Monday to Friday.
It also comes with a warranty protecting you against manufacturers defects for up to one year.
It handles quite well in windy conditions.
This drone is feature-packed and has an HD camera fitted to it. The speed is a little slower than it’s competitors at just 16mph but you do get a solid flight time of around 20 minutes. It’s easy to takeoff land and maneuvers the drone and the FPV is said to perform well.
The HS700 didn’t make the top three because one thing I found frustrating was the lack of a power button; removing the battery to turn it off shouldn’t really be happening on a product that costs a few hundred bucks.
This drone comes with a decent HD camera and performs well in windy conditions. With a flight time of 18 minutes and a range of 300m (980ft), it hits speeds of up to 16mph which isn’t too shabby for a sub $300 drone.
The JJRC X5 didn’t make the cut because of the need to calibrate it pre-flight every time; not great for a beginner in my eyes.
My biggest tip? Always fly your drone in a wide-open space so you’re sure not to lose track of it!
Additionally, you need to be versed in your area’s rules and regulations regarding drone flying. If you live close to an airport you won’t be able to fly your drone for safety reasons.
Though the cameras have built-in stabilization, I’d encourage you not to fly the drone in heavy wind and rain.
Finally, read the manual, look up tutorials on learning to fly your drone and most of all enjoy it!
From all the drones I reviewed today, the Potensic D60 was my favorite of them all. It had a great camera for the price and was easy to use. I like the fact it requires an app for FPV as apps can be improved and developed over time. The flight time was great considering the price and it had the ability to fly the furthest from the top three options. Their customer care and tech support also ranked well for me.
What are your thoughts? Did you feel like the D60 deserved the #1 position? Have you decided to take the plunge and purchase one of these drones? Let me know in the comments section below.