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December 2018 – The Best Drones Under $100 | Cheap Beginner Drones!

Are you looking for an easy way to enter the drone world? Or maybe you’re searching for the perfect gift for your kid? If so, this article will help you make up your mind what to get.

In this article I will show you some of the best quadcopters under 100 bucks that you can buy online.

Here’s a quick list of the best drones under 100 dollars:

Please keep in mind that any “top-5” type of list is very subjective, as different people value different things. That being said, I will show you the drones which I personally believe are the current best quadcopters under 100 dollars. But please be aware, although these are cheap drones, they are also a ton of fun to play with!

In addition, they will also give you a good idea what flying a drone really is and hopefully will make your transition to bigger and better drones much easier.

So let’s dive into a few more details about the best drones under 100 dollars:

Ryze Tello

Sale
Tello Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera and VR,Powered by DJI Technology and Intel Processor,Coding Education,DIY Accessories,Throw and Fly (Without Controller)
194 Reviews
Tello Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera and VR,Powered by DJI Technology and Intel Processor,Coding Education,DIY Accessories,Throw and Fly (Without Controller)
  • Little drone for kids and adults that's a blast to fly and helps users learn about drones with...
  • VR headset compatibility,fly with a breathtaking first-person view.
  • Tello has two antennas that make video transmission extra stable and a high-capacity battery that...

Last update on 2018-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Tello drone is a toy drone that comes after a very successful collaboration between Ryze, DJI and Intel. These three companies have worked together on this drone with the purpose of creating a fun, engaging and educational drone for kids, and they have certainly done a great job.

The Tello drone uses a 5MP/720p camera, capable of taking photos and videos in a relatively good quality. The video is stabilised electronically, so even though the drone does not have a gimbal, you can expect a nice and smooth shots from this drone. On the bottom of the drone you can see one of my favourite features of this drone – the VPS (vision positioning sensors). They allow the drone to hover in place and remain super stable, both when flying indoors and outdoors.

The flight time of the Tello is around 13 minutes, and the maximum flight distance you can get from it is around 100 meters.

In addition, you can use the built-in “EZ shots” – those are automated flight sequences which allow the drone to record some shots automatically without any user input.

On top of that, you have a couple of different flight modes, the most interesting out of which is the “8D Flips” – you can flip the drone in 8 different directions with a simple swipe on the screen, and the drone stays remarkably stable after each flip thanks to the built-in VPS.

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Altair Aerial AA108

Altair #AA108 Camera Drone, RC Quadcopter w/ 720p HD FPV Camera VR, Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, 3 Skill Modes, Great for Kids & Beginners, Easy Fly Indoor Drone, 2 Batteries
119 Reviews
Altair #AA108 Camera Drone, RC Quadcopter w/ 720p HD FPV Camera VR, Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, 3 Skill Modes, Great for Kids & Beginners, Easy Fly Indoor Drone, 2 Batteries
  • PREMIUM 720P CAMERA DRONE W REALTIME VIDEO: The Aerial AA108 comes with a 120 Degree Wide-Angle 720P...
  • EASY TO FLY - The Altair Quadcopter is easily piloted & has Headless Mode, Altitude Hold & 1-button...
  • STABLE FLIGHT & DURABLE CONSTRUCTION for Long Lasting Fun! The Altair also has Custom Route Modes,...

Last update on 2018-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The AA108  from Altair Aerial is an ambitious drone that aims to please the crowds with its sophisticated design, great set of features and top-notch customer service. Altair Aerial is a USA-based company that strives to fix the errors of the Chinese manufacturers of cheaper quadcopters which often offer half-translated manuals and pretty much non-existent customer support.

And this is where this drone shines – you can’t help but think Altair has put themselves into their consumers’s shoes – you get an extra battery for a total flight time of just under 20 minutes, a cardboard cutout that fits directly onto the remote controller, showing you all of its functions and features and of course gives you plenty of features to play with:

A 720p camera with FPV feed, controls that easy to use by virtually anyone due to 3 different flying modes, a one-touch takeoff/landing button, headless mode and altitude hold, custom route mapping, low battery and out of range alarms and more.

You can read my full review of the Altair Aerial AA108 here.

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UDI A818 HD+ Drone

Sale
Force1 Drone with Video Camera 720p HD Camera Headless Mode 360° Flips UDI 818A HD drones for beginners Lime Green RC Quadcopter Discovery HD upgrade, UdiR/C
2,040 Reviews
Force1 Drone with Video Camera 720p HD Camera Headless Mode 360° Flips UDI 818A HD drones for beginners Lime Green RC Quadcopter Discovery HD upgrade, UdiR/C
  • 720P HD CAMERA DRONE: Store hi-res pics/video on the free 4GB micro SD card in this drone with...
  • 1-BUTTON STUNTS: Just push once to get a 360° flip! A fun drone for beginners or pros
  • HYPER STABLE: Headless Mode and a 6-axis gyro make this a versatile drone for kids or drone for...

Last update on 2018-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Without a doubt this quadcopter drone is a good value for its price. It gives you plenty of features, it flies well and it’s a lot of fun to play with.

This drone is an improved version of its younger brother – the UDI A818 HD+ Drone. The price difference between the older and newer model is worth mentioning, but in my opinion is definitely justified. First off, it flies a lot smoother than the 818A HD. The controls are very accurate and overall the drone is a lot more responsive to your input. The camera in this unit is a lot more clear and sharp, which is a great deal for some potential customers. Another improvement is the addition of headless mode, which allows beginners to fly and learn the quadcopter a little bit easier. The drone also supports one key return home, so if you’re out and about and you lose sight of the drone or you lose control you can press that button and it will fly right back to you.

The UDI A818 HD+ Drone has 2 different speed modes: Mode1 is a bit more scaled-down and Mode2 is more aggressive – choose the appropriate one depending on your skills. You can make 360 degree flips and rolls, and they are a piece of cake!

What I really like about this drone is the low battery alarm – when the quadcopter battery reaches a certain level, the transmitter will make an audible sound warning you of the low battery and you’ll need to return the drone to you.

Here’s everything that you get in the package with the UDI A818 HD+ Drone:

  • the UDI U818A HD+ Drone
  • 2.4G Transmitter
  • 2 x 3.7V 500mAh Li-Po Batteries
  • 4GB Micro SD Card
  • USB Card Reader
  • 2-Ch Battery Charger
  • 4 x Extra Blades
  • User Manual

Overall, you get a reliable, stable, easy to operate and cheap quadcopter. For a drone under 100 dollars, that’s certainly one of the best deals out there at the moment.

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DBPOWER MJX X400W

Sale
DBPOWER WiFi FPV Version U818A Drone with 720P HD Camera Headless Mode Quadcopter with 2 Batteries Long Flying Time Drone for Beginners
1 Reviews
DBPOWER WiFi FPV Version U818A Drone with 720P HD Camera Headless Mode Quadcopter with 2 Batteries Long Flying Time Drone for Beginners
  • HIGH-DEFINITION CAMERA FOR BEAUTIFUL IMAGES: Unhappy about blurry images with other drones you...
  • REAL-TIME WIFI TRANSMISSION FOR INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE: Let the drone be your eyes. You'll get a HD...
  • NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT LOSING IT: Thanks to the headless mode, control of this drone is easy and you...

Last update on 2018-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The DBPOWER MJX X400W is a great cheap drone with camera, which many beginners will fall in love with.

I personally always recommend my friends to start with something inexpensive and easy to fly and move their way up to bigger and better drones once they feel more comfortable flying. And that’s the whole idea here – the MJX X400W is a nice, inexpensive entry-level drone, which is a ton of fun to fly.

It has a built-in 720p camera with a decent quality, 2 rates of speed, headless mode, return home functionality and a 750 mAh battery, which is capable of 8-9 mins of flight time and takes just over an hour for full charge. Purchasing an extra battery is always a good idea for a drone with less than 10 minutes of flight time – in case you’re looking for one, check this one out (it’s a pack of two).

TheMJX X400W features WiFi for connecting your phone and see what the camera is seeing in real time. All you have to do is download the smartphone app and you can even connect a VR headset to your drone (it’s not included in the package). While it’s nice to have this feature, there’s always some latency in the signal so you should be careful and keep your drone at your line of sight.

What I really like about the MJX X400W is the lights – they are blue in the front and orange in the back. You can switch them off if you prefer, but if you don’t – the drone looks really cool in the dark. You can fly it up to about 100 meters away, and even at that distance the drone is quite visible.

Another feature worth mentioning is the fact that you can easily plug in new motors in case the original ones need to be replaced. Usually that’s a big headache, but in this case it’s as easy as swapping the battery.

Here’s what you get in the package of the DBPOWER MJX X400W:

1 x Quadcopter with camera
1 x Transmitter
1 x 3.7V 750mAh battery
1 x USB charging cable
4 x Spare propeller blades
1 x User Manual

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Holy Stone HS170 Predator

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone 2.4Ghz 6-Axis Gyro 4 Channels Quadcopter Good Choice for Drone Training
4,752 Reviews
Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone 2.4Ghz 6-Axis Gyro 4 Channels Quadcopter Good Choice for Drone Training
  • HEADLESS SECURITY SYSTEM Enables players of any level to fly the drone easily
  • 2.4GHz Technology Adopted for Anti-Interference
  • More Stable and Flexible with 6-Axis Gyro Stabilization System

Last update on 2018-12-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The HS170 Predator from Holy Stone is one of the best-selling drones under 100 dollars on Amazon. Wonder why? Because it’s really awesome, and tons of fun to fly, that’s why! Well, another reason is because it’s super affordable and basically anyone can get their hands on one, but that makes it even better 😉

But seriously, this quadcopters packs a punch! It has three different speed modes, so you can start slowly and make your way up as you get more and more comfortable with the controls. It’s really a lot of fun to operate this drone, as you can make stunts such as barrel rolls and 3D flips with ease.

It even has headless mode and great LED lights, which are really bright and set it apart.

The quadcopter has a flight time of around 6-8 minutes, so make sure you get a few extra batteries, since otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy it for that much 🙂 However, when you do start flying, you’ll notice that the Predator is quite steady and wind-resistant, and you’ll be able to fly it within 35-50 meters from your location.

What I like the most about the HS170 is the fact that’s it’s incredibly sturdy – it’s probably due to the propeller guards or the materials that were used, but I’ve crashed it multiple times in trees and stone walls and it’s yet to have a severe scratch or even break a propeller. That’s amazing.

Here’s what the HS170 Predator package includes: 
1 x Quadcopter
1 x 2.4G Remote controller (AA batteries not ncluded)
1 x 3.7V 350mAh Li-Ion battery
4 x Additional rotator blades
1 x USB charging cable
1 x Screwdriver
1 x User Manual​​

Buy on Amazon

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Comments (18)

Nice list, prefer the HUBSAN X4 for beginners since is so dirt cheap for someone who just wants to try flying.

Yep, many people have actually fallen in love with the Hubsan 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

I’m looking into buying my first drone, which one of these do you think is the easiest to use?

Hey there, Finn!

As far as ease of use, I think the best drone to get is the Holy Stone HS110 or the Hubsan X4, depending on how much you’re willing to spend.

Good luck!

Not sure what’s up, I checked Amazon And both holy stone and one other and all are priced over $100 , posting is only suppose to be a few days old, was disappointed is all

Apologies for that Rick, you’re right! I’ve revisited the page and it’s now updated with drones only under 100 dollars. For more expensive ones (under $200), you can check this link.

Thanks for the heads up!

I think this list has few cool drones I know UDI 818A HD+ is the editor choice but my favorite is husbanx4. I mean its super cheap and another drone you can add this list is Cheerson CX-10.

Interesting, your article also shows the UDI at #1 and the hubsan is way back at #9? Also, I think the Cheerson CS10 belongs in another category, maybe “toy drones” or “nano drones”.

I bought the Holy Stone a few days ago. Opened the box, read the manual, put a ton of batteries in the receiver (6 AA’s, really?!?!?!). Synced up with the drone, throttled up and a prop went flying upward. After a few minutes of searching, I found it, reattached it, and tried again. The thing would never just hover it always drifted. Even resetting the gyro didn’t help. Then the prop started flying off again. I’m going to try my luck at the next higher price point–100 bucks. The Parrot Mambo seems nice…

Great drone picks for the under $100 price range. I would say my favorites are the HS170 Predator and DBPower MJX X400. The UDI U818A is another awesome and highly durable option. For first time flyers, one would do well with Hubsan due to its low price and easy to fly nature. If you ever get a chance, you should also check out the Parrot Swing or Mambo, which are two more awesome fliers to mention!

I want something cheap with some kind of simple launch and follow , i do offshore charter fishing just need it as simple as possible. With auto folliw of some kind, recommendations?

Great article. Which of these drones has a 2 MP camera with micro sd card slot to store videos with a range of 100m.

My preferences :

Camera 2 MP, preferably unmountable to reduce weight and increase flight time
Micro SD Yes on the drone to record on SD card instead of phone to get good resolution
FPV 2.4 GHZ to see on phone screen, not keen to record on phone memory since it might have lags or might get distorted
Range minimum 100 metres
Flight Time longer the better
Cost Under $100
Altitude hold Yes
batteries preferably not branded, so can buy regular battery incase of repair
Motors easily replaceable

Very Nice post! Thank you for sharing!

Great post about drones under 100, it is amazing to see that drones are getting cheaper day by day

What a great list ! I would pick DBPOWER MJX X400W. You can get awesome 360-degree views with this beginner quadcopter. What makes this drone great for the new, recreational drone pilot is its durability. You’re going to crash when you first learn to control your drone, and this drone can take that damage well. There are even spare rotors included so you can replace anything that gets bent. Sammie

You left off the Bugs 3 which I think is a great drone for around $100. Good list though =)

I found that drones with $100 or less had one thing in common, less flying time and average camera performance. This is really subjective, and I admit that the dji drone is the best except for tello. To tell you the truth, I have one. It’s really not good. I expect you to list great drones between $100-$200, and see how they’ve changed, and I guess they’re the most similar to the levetop drone I just bought.

Thanks for posting this.

I’m a first timer to drones, primarily want to get video footage (of my weekend trips) – but struggling to make any meaningful comparisons on video quality.

Is there a particular drone you would recommend for video capture for under $100?

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