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Buying a drone can seem a bit daunting with all the options available. Depending on your needs, you may be able to get away with a cheaper drone with loads of valuable features. If you’re on a budget and are looking to pick up your next aerial device, look no further.
We’ve got reviews of seven drones for under $200 that might be the perfect fit for you. Don’t forget to check out our buyer’s guide to learn about their features and why they’re important!
|Best Overall||DRONEYE F3||
|Best Value||DEERC D20||
|Premium Choice||Holy Stone HS175D||
|Holy Stone HS440||
|Weight:||239 grams (8.4 ounces)|
|Flight time:||30 to 60 minutes|
The DRONEYE F3 drone has so many things going for it, making it a great choice at this price point. As it’s considerably below the $200 budget limit, it’s surprising that it has such a sleek form factor and weight that it won’t force you to register it on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website. Despite the low weight, it has amazing battery life. The weaknesses of the F3 aren’t the biggest issues, but they impact its usability. For some reason, DRONEYE didn’t put any back legs on the drone for a stable landing. This was probably a decision to keep the drone light, but in this case, we highly recommend a landing pad for flat surfaces only. There is an auto-circle feature which is excellent for this price point, but it can be a bit unstable at times. Still, we think this is the best overall drone for under $200.
|Weight:||69 grams (2.4 ounces)|
|Flight time:||10-20 minutes|
With DEERC’s D20 drone, you will not be disappointed in its practicality for such a low price. The D20 is the best drone for the money for this year, and its portability might be what makes it stand out. At less than 100 grams, you’re getting a drone that is easy to store away and bring anywhere. The 720p camera is a good compromise to help save on battery life and keep the price down. There aren’t any bells and whistles like obstacle avoidance or a return to home button, but DEERC offers a secondary battery for 20-minute flights. It’s a great budget option!
|Weight:||214 grams (7.5 ounces)|
|Flight time:||23-46 minutes|
If you’re willing to spend closer to the $200 mark, the Holy Stone HS175D is probably the best drone for filmmakers or serious video hobbyists. The Ultra-HD sensor will make your videos look much clearer and more enjoyable to watch, but that’s not the craziest thing about this drone. If you add an additional battery, you can stay in flight for up to 46 minutes. However, we weren’t able to see how much a single battery weighs, as it could pass the 250-gram limit. Regardless, there are many other reasons to love this product. It comes standard with a GPS return to home feature, subject following, and circling settings for cinematic, hands-free shots.
|Weight:||164 grams (5.8 ounces)|
|Flight time:||12-30 minutes|
DEERC’s D10 drone is a step up from the D20 model we covered previously but has a higher price. With this drone, you’ll have the full-HD recording, and you can even draw your own flight path in the app, so you can plan your shots the way you like. Also, you can use hand gestures to record or take photos. The D10 is a bit heavier than its sibling but isn’t overweight by any means. However, there is something to be said about the battery life. It only provides 12-15 minutes of flight time.
|Weight:||166 grams (5.8 ounces)|
|Flight time:||20-40 minutes|
When you compare the Holy Stone HS440 to our last review, the D10, you might look at the resolution and price point and think this isn’t worth the extra money. Yet, that isn’t the reason we listed this below it. The HS440 has superior battery life: up to 40 minutes with two batteries installed. On the other hand, we think that this drone has one big issue; it doesn’t have any landing legs. This means it will land awkwardly on its stomach and can get dirt or scratches on the bottom. Luckily, using a landing pad should help with this issue.
|Weight:||785 grams (27.7 ounces)|
|Flight time:||18 minutes|
The Holy Stone HS100 is the only “tabletop” drone that we reviewed. This design choice has a few benefits and issues, but overall, we think this drone is an excellent choice if you consider the benefits. The drone doesn’t have the typical legs below each wing. Instead, two bars hold it upright, making it sturdy and reliable for landing. This can also help prevent dust or debris on the camera since it’s placed higher off the ground than others. However, it adds a lot of extra dead space, so you’ll need a large foam bag to store it properly. The weight is also compromised, and you’ll have to register it with the FAA.
|Weight:||190 grams (6.7 ounces)|
|Flight time:||5-6 minutes|
The last choice for a drone under $200 on our list might seem like the worst option, but that’s far from the truth. For people who want a fun toy to play with, the Potensic A20 is the perfect fit. Although it doesn’t have a camera, it’s a good way to get beginners to learn the basics of a drone and get their feet wet. It’s under 250 grams, so there is no worry there, and it’s extremely small and compact. However, using it outside can be tricky if the weather doesn’t cooperate because it’s not stable in windy conditions.
Below are some of the key features you should look for in a new drone.
Some drones run out of power pretty quickly. Many times, manufacturers will throw in additional batteries in your purchase (or sell them separately), so you can fly for longer. We consider anything at or above 20 minutes to be great battery life. However, companies also make it possible to add a secondary battery that can extend a single flight for double the time. This is perfect for people who want to stay in the air for as long as possible.
The sensors on many drones (which can be seen on the front, back, sides, and bottom) are there to aid you in a sticky situation. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced drone pilot, this is vital if you want to prevent your device from crashing into trees, cars, mountains, or the ground.
According to the FAA, any drone over 250 grams must be registered in their domain, and not doing so could get you into trouble. Luckily many options we’ve mentioned are below this threshold, sometimes by a very small margin. It’s always nice to have a lightweight model that you can carry around, but it may have a harder time in windy conditions.
This is one of the best features of a drone. The ability to retrieve a drone back to its original takeoff location is vital, especially if you are flying when it’s dark out (you should not fly at night) and cannot see the drone in your line of sight (LOS).
Drones don’t have to break the bank. That’s why we created reviews of our top picks under $200, so you can experience all the joys of flying in the sky. The best overall option is the DRONEYE F3, which has a really strong battery life. If you want to spend very little money, the DEERC D20 is a perfect companion for budget-friendly users. If you want a premium model for under $200, Holy Stone has an excellent 4k video on their HS175D. Happy flying!
Featured Image Credit: Dose Media, Unsplash
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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