Start Your Drone Pilot Career Using Best Drone Under $200

A drone that TEACHES you how to fly, drone that FLIES after hitting a wall. The drone recommended by customers and experts. It exists
best drone under 200

A good drone under $200 will be perfect for a beginner or a wonderful gift for a teenager. Many of them don’t need FAA registration, so you can just buy it and fly immediately.

Holy Stone 120D

🏆#1 in “Stable Flight
🏆#1 in “Easy Control

Holy Stone 120D

Altair 818 hornet


Altair 818 hornet

🏆#1 in “High-quality photo/video
🏆#1 in “Item sturdiness

Holy Stone HS110G
Holy Stone HS110G

🏆#1 in “Pocket selfie quadcopter

Altair 818 hornet
Altair AA300

🏆#1 in “GPS drone

Holy Stone HS110G
Potensic D58

🏆#1 in “Flight time

In the case of buying a budget drone, the main task is to find a reliable, not disposable model. That is why before testing the drones we asked customers about their experience, checked tech data and consulted with independent experts.

As a result, you can read and use:

  • A shortlist of the best drones under $200;
  • From customers to buyers guide on important selection criteria;
  • Professional advice “How to choose the most suitable drone” [based on your needs].

Quick Specs — Comparative table

Holy Stone 120D
Holy Stone 120DBest in “Stable Flight
Best in “Easy Control
FLIGHT TIME
2x15
Minutes
CAMERA
1152p 2K UHD
120° FOV
SPEED
30
MPH
RANGE
300
Meters
Altair 818 hornet
Altair 818 hornetBest in “High-quality photo/video
Best in “Item sturdiness
FLIGHT TIME
15
Minutes
CAMERA
720p HD
120° wide-angle
SPEED
22
MPH
RANGE
150
Meters
Holy Stone HS110G
Holy Stone HS110GBest in “Pocket selfie quadcopter
FLIGHT TIME
13
Minutes
CAMERA
1080p FHD
110° Wide View
SPEED
14
MPH
RANGE
300
Meters
Altair AA300
Altair AA300Best in “GPS drone
FLIGHT TIME
15
Minutes
CAMERA
1080p FHD
120° wide-angle
SPEED
28
MPH
RANGE
150
Meters
Potensic D58
Potensic D58Best in “Flight time
FLIGHT TIME
2x18
Minutes
CAMERA
1152p 2K UHD
120° FOV
SPEED
31
MPH
RANGE
150
Meters

How we did the review

To select the best drone models under $200, we did 5-step research.

Valuehunta research methodology
Valuehunta research methodology

  • Initially, we studied the offer on the market, compiled a comparative technical map for 47 models based on official engineering documentation.
  • After that, we conducted interviews with 168 users who told us about their experiences with budget drones.
  • Based on the obtained data, we have compiled a ranked list of features that are important for the drone user.
  • Then we selected 12 models that received high marks in terms of technical indicators and positive feedback from customers.
  • After 3 days of practical tests and flights, we identified the TOP 5 drones under $200.

Detailed review and comparison

Holy Stone 120D

Holy Stone 120D

Winner in TWO top-categories:
🥇 “Stable Flight”
🥇 “Easy Control”

Holy Stone 120D

This drone has an extensive range of piloting options, making it one of the best budget models. Aside from the widespread one-touch takeoff and landing options, it also has options that are common on more expensive models.

Virtual reality mode allows you to instantly see what the camera is filming. The signal is transmitted without delay over a distance of up to 300 meters.

The TapFly function allows you to plan a route before the start, along which the drone will fly. This can be useful for flying over a forest, water, or other hard-to-reach places.

TapFly function
TapFly function

Holy Stone 120D weighs less than 250 grams, so you don’t need an FAA license for it in the US.

If you wish, you can install the free drone app on your phone and connect from your phone to the drone via WI-FI during the flight. So you can see what is being filmed on the camera, and you can also immediately save a photo or video to your phone.

Things to consider:

During the tests, we found one weird mode of the model. When landing (not in automatic mode), to turn off the props, you need to press the emergency stop button.

Reviews:

🔰 Great little drone

“I’m 71 years old and always wanted to own a helicopter, but wasn’t smart enough with money, so I finally settled for a drone, which is a lot of fun. 

I’m on my third one now and have a 4th still in the box. I crashed the first one into the top of a 110 foot tree. I flew the second one out of range over some trees and it never came back.

I take responsibility for losing both and the causes were that I fully didn’t understand the operation and the limitations of this drone. But the customer service is great and the company sent me a replacement, even though both losses were probably my fault. 

These are great little drones, but please understand the operation thoroughly before you fly. 

Every time you take them out you should calibrate the compass and gyro according to instructions. 

  • Make sure you have a good GPS signal before flying. 
  • Make sure you phone is charged. 
  • Although they are fairly wind resistant, don’t fly when windy. 
  • Set the range and altitude and return altitude. The return altitude must be lower than the flight altitude but high enough to clear all obstacles on a direct flight to its last take off point.
  • Be very careful with “headless” mode, especially in a breeze. I don’t use it, as it has scared me too many times.
  • Don’t fly it out of sight. If for any reason your phone reverts to a red message and text in mandarin, try to land it or get it to come home. “

– Mark, NH

Altair 818 hornet

Altair 818 hornet

Winner in 3rd, 4th and 5th TOP-categories:
🥇 “High-quality photo/video”
🥇 “Item sturdiness”
🥇 “Flight time”

Altair 818 hornet

It is just 2 grams less than needed for FAA registration, so you can buy and use it without additional actions. 

You can fly in light winds and get good image quality. 

Although the Altair 818 hornet has no stabilization axes, but it is encased in a rubber sheath that dampens vibrations.

Also, this model has a set of options that are very useful for beginners.

One-Touch Takeoff and Landing lets you jump straight to flying without taking off and landing training. As you know, it is these two points that most often lead to crashes for beginners, so your drone with this option will be undamaged in the first days of flights.

In addition, after takeoff, you can use the Altitude Hold option and the drone will hover at the desired height.

Another useful option for beginners is Heading Hold. The drone will fly in the direction you point it with the joystick, not where its head is facing. This way, you no longer need to constantly think about where the drone’s head is pointing and how to point it where you want it.

Things to consider:
This model is not equipped with a GPS function and does not have Return Home mode.

Holy Stone HS110G

Holy Stone HS110G

Winner in the category:
🥇 “Pocket selfie quadcopter”

Holy Stone HS110G

This drone is perfect for users who plan to professionally engage in aerial photography in the future. This model stands out among the budget counterparts for its high quality of shooting and duration of work. These characteristics are more important for professional pilots.

Holy Stone HS110G is equipped with a 1080p HD camera, which immediately makes it one of the most attractive budget models. Also, the camera is equipped with the 90 ° tilt function. This will help you control the perspective while shooting. A Wide-angle 110 ° field of view allows you to capture more in a frame.

The Holy Stone HS110G comes with a 1500 mAh battery that will run for about 13 minutes, which is a good figure for a budget model. You can also buy additional batteries and save up to 10%

Things to consider:
There is no stabilization option in this model, so we recommend that you refrain from shooting in low light or while strong winds.

Reviews:

🔰 A great drone for beginners

“Great drone for the price. We had an older version of the Holystone drone without GPS and other features come with this drone. 

  • The new model has great performance, holding really well on windy conditions. 
  • Operation is super smooth, great flying time and the additional battery is a plus. 
  • Auto GPS return is handy if you have trouble landing the drone. 
  • The travel case is very handy to protect the drone for traveling as well as for storing. 
  • Video and photo quality of the camera is very good. 

This is a great drone for beginners and intermediate users.”

– Christopher, AL

Altair AA300

Altair AA300

Winner in the category:
🥇 “GPS drone”

Altair AA300

Customers noted that Altair has more professional customer support.

This is very important since beginners always have a lot of questions about the use of the product.

High-quality technical support allows you not only to quickly understand the instructions, learn how to launch and operate the drone, but it will also save you from mistakes, making it less likely that the drone will fly away in an unknown direction or crash on a tree or road.

The battery is inserted into the drone to connect. This allows you to quickly replace it.

The AA300 GPS Drone allows drone pilots of all skill levels to master the art of flying while enjoying the security of GPS Satellite Stability keeping the drone balanced and where you want it during flight.

Things to consider:
That model is non-foldable, so it is recommended to have a case for storage and travel.

Potensic D58

Potensic D58

Winner in the category:
🥇 “Flight time”

Potensic D58

To increase the flight time of the drone, it is not enough to equip it with a more powerful battery. It is also important that the entire structure has a higher wind resistance and is better balanced.

Therefore, thanks to the effective design solution Potensic D58 still belongs to the category of budget drones but allows you to fly longer, which means you will get videos and photos of a different level.

The camera in Potensic D58 is attached separately to the bottom of the drone and has one stabilization axis, and the camera can also be rotated 90 °.

Adjustable 0 to 90-degree angle
Adjustable 0 to 90-degree angle

This drone is very easy to fly, making it suitable for teenagers and other novice pilots.

💡

It has 3-speed modes from slow to fast that allow you to change settings according to your pilot skills.

It is also equipped with orbit mode. The drone can hover at one point, so you can, for example, shoot small time-lapses.

Orbit mode
Orbit model

It also has an equally useful waypoint mode function. You create waypoints which the drone will remember, and then fly to or between those waypoints.

Things to consider:
This drone is not for you if you want to fly fast. It is designed for beginners. It has reduced power from brushless motors but greater stability.

Reviews:

🔰 Excellent drone for the money

“Easy to fly and many features normally only available on more expensive units. 1080P Camera does a great job on photos and videos (added a few that were taken from about 150 ft above ground). Only downside I have found so far is flying time could be longer. Getting about 15-18 minutes on a full charge but this is as described in the literature.”

– Jake, CT

🔰 Recommend it to first-time flyers

“The absolutely first drone I have ever owned and I absolutely love it it’s easy to fly once you get the hang of it an it is tough all-around great product I would definitely recommend it to first time flyers”

– Bob, ID

How to choose the best drone under 200 [based on your needs]? 

Based on the fact that a drone is a flying camera, it is logical that it should give you high-quality photos or videos quickly and easily.

But since we are talking about budget drones for children and beginners, the criteria for choosing the most suitable model in this situation will be slightly different than for professional drone pilots.

  • Stable Flight
  • Easy Control
  • High-quality photo/video
  • Item Sturdiness
  • Professional Customer Support

You shouldn’t have high demands on drones for beginners. The more expensive models cost more because they use professional cameras and batteries. Accordingly, the flight time of such models will be longer, and the quality of shooting will be better.

Of course, we need to find a drone that is very easy to fly.

Instructions should be simple and straightforward, and drone controls should be intuitive. 

The advantage of the model will be the presence of built-in start and landing programs since it is these two actions that usually cause the most difficulties for beginners. 

In addition, during the flight, the drone must be well stabilized so that the quality of the photo or video remains at a sufficiently good level.

Probably the drone will still crash into a tree or some kind of building. Therefore, it is important to choose a model with a sturdy shock-resistant case.

Active and responsive support service will also be a great bonus for a beginner. Choose manufacturers who can advise you on any operation and maintenance issues.

How to make your drone experience better

Finding your SD card is down or full when you’ve prepared for the perfect shot can be frustrating enough. To avoid such situations, it is worth carrying a variety of Micro SD cards compatible with the drone.

SD Cards

SanDisk Certified SD Cards allow you to store every detail of your journey and dramatically speed up the process of transferring video between devices. 

With a 32GB card, you can record up to 40 minutes of 4K video and 80 minutes with a 64GB card.

SD Cards

Sometimes takeoff locations are far from ideal and you have to think about how to protect your drone from wet ground, sand, snow, etc.

Waterproof Drone Landing Pad

This portable and foldable platform will save you the worry of damaging your gimbal or camera during takeoff and landing on difficult surfaces. 
Even in strong winds, this mat will be firmly anchored to the ground.

Waterproof Drone Landing Pad

If you have already learned how to fly a drone and have flown around all the surroundings, then it’s time to start improving your pilot skills.

Drone Racing Obstacle Course

You can train on your own or organize competitions with family or friends. Even if you only have one drone, you can take turns overcoming obstacles.

This design is very quick to assemble and has an almost unlimited number of race track variations.

Drone Racing Obstacle Course

Safety Vest

Great addon for your aerial work!

This vest looks great. 
The reflective material is of very good quality and effective. 

The piping, lettering, and reflective stripes are all highly reflective with a camera flash, flashlight, or headlights. 

Stitching skillfully done.

Safety Vest

All models from the review

Holy Stone 120D

🥇 “Stable Flight”
🥇 “Easy Control”

Holy Stone 120D

Altair 818 hornet

🥇 “High-quality photo/video”
🥇 “Item sturdiness”
🥇 “Flight time”

Altair 818 hornet

Holy Stone HS110G

🥇 “Pocket selfie quadcopter”

Holy Stone HS110G

Altair AA300

🥇 “GPS drone”

Altair AA300

Potensic D58

🥇 “Flight time”

Potensic D58

Final Thoughts

Having a more powerful battery does not guarantee maximum flight time, just as having a better camera will not necessarily give you the best quality pictures. That is why this study was carried out.

By choosing any of these drones, you no longer have a chance to buy a “disposable toy”. All selected models are verified by users and experts.

But you have the opportunity not only to choose a good budget drone, but also to find a model that will be most convenient for you.

FAQs

🔥 What are the best inexpensive drones?

  • Holy Stone 120D — best in “Stable Flight” and “Easy Control” categories;
  • Altair 818 hornet — best in “High-quality photo/video” “Item sturdiness” categories;
  • Holy Stone HS110G — best budget pocket selfie quadcopter;
  • Altair AA300 — best budget GPS drone;
  • Potensic D58 — best in “Flight time”.

✔️ What is the best drone to buy under $200?

Holy Stone 120D drone was selected as the best budget drone according to 150+ customers interviews, after tech expertise and practical tests. It received excellent marks in two of the most significant parameters — “stability and duration of flight” and “ease of control”.

🤖 What budget drone has a powerful battery?

With a Potensic D58 drone you will get a model with the top flight time among the budget drones. It has 2 detachable batteries which can prolong flight time up to 35 mins.

🟢 What criteria is important while choosing a drone under 200?

“Long Stable Flight” and “Easy Control”. One of the best budget drones for these parameters is the Holy Stone 120D model.
Since the main task of the drone is to provide you with high-quality video, therefore, this device is designed to do this as quickly and easily as possible for the user.

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3 comments
  1. I bought the Holy Stone 120D drone last summer and was pleasantly surprised. Really nice design, the compact remote control makes it easy to travel. The drone has an HD mobile camera making it very useful for taking top-down photos from above. It’s also very stable in the air while hovering, giving better video. For the price, this is one of the best models of drones in this category.

  2. I came across your article by chance, and I was interested in the Altair 818 Hornet drone. At first, I hesitated whether to buy it, but when I bought it I did not regret it. The drone is very easy to learn. The controls are intuitive. Flight time is very good. It comes with two batteries and claims a 15 minute flight time per battery. I am usually skeptical of battery life claims so I timed it. It averaged 18 minutes per battery. I highly recommend this drone.

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