Best Drones Under $200 With a Camera

All that you need is a quick glance around to know that we are living in the future. We might not all have flying cars and robot servants, but we have hover boards and drones, so I’d say we’ve got it pretty good. The only downside to all of the cool, futuristic gadgets we have is their price tags. Drones are tons of fun and have several practical uses, but they can cost thousands of dollars, which is just impractical for the average consumer. If you don’t have thousands of extra dollars to spend on a drone, don’t worry, I’ve rounded up five of the best drones under $200.

Keep in mind that the prices on Amazon can fluctuate due to discounts. Some may exceed $200.

$200 Drone Comparison Table
DroneCameraRangeFlight TimeOur Rating (out of 5)Price & Owners' Reviews

Holy Stone HS300
1080P150 Meters8 – 10 minutes5


DBPOWER WIFI FPV Version U818A
720P50 – 80 Meters6 – 9 minutes3.5


Holy Stone F181W Wifi FPV
720P50 – 100 Meters7 – 10 minutes4


UDI U845 UFO Voyager FPV
720P100 Meters6 – 8 minutes4


Altair 818 Hornet Beginner FPV
720P150 Meters15 minutes4.5

Factors to Consider Before Buying a $200 Drone

Before you go out and buy the first drone you see for under $200, there are a few things you should consider. The first thing you want to consider is the flight time of the drone. Most drones under $200 will not have a very long flight time, but they are still good for beginners, kids, or people just looking to have fun. If you want to fly your drone for an extended period of time, I recommend buying lots of backup batteries so that you can just pop them in and keep flying instead of having to stop and recharge.

Another thing to consider is the range of the drone. When it comes to drones, you get what you pay for, so the more expensive, high-end drones are going to have a much longer range. However, there are tons of great drones under $200 that have decent ranges, which is really all you need if you are new to drones.

All of the drones on this list come with a camera, which is always a feature you want to look for in a drone. Even inexpensive, beginner drones can have great HD cameras to capture your flights. Even if you don’t choose a drone from this list, I highly recommend you choose one with a camera because of the cool aerial perspective it can give you; you’re able to see your surroundings in a whole new way.

Before you buy a drone you should consider what kind of maintenance it requires and the safety risks associated with it. When flying drones, it’s important that you know the safety precautions to take and the rules that are in place. For one, you should never fly your drone outside of your field of sight; it can be dangerous to fly the drone when you can’t see its surroundings, even if it’s a first person drone. For all the safety information you should know, be sure to read the user manual completely before flying your drone.

Lastly, this shouldn’t really affect your buying decision, but it is important that you keep it in mind, if your drone weighs over .55 pounds, you have to register it with the FAA. Luckily, this isn’t a huge concern because most beginner drones weigh less than .55 pounds.

Tips for Choosing the Best Drone Under $200 for Your Needs

To choose the best drone for your needs, you’ll need to think about your intentions. If you are new to the world of drones and just want to have some fun flying them, a beginner drone is right for you. If you’re already into drones and consider yourself a hobbyist, a slightly higher end drone, AKA a hobby drone, is right for you. Anything beyond beginner and hobby drones, such as professional drones and racing drones, is going to be pretty expensive and way too much of an investment for a beginner.

While shopping, it’s important you know the drone lingo, that way you can understand the features of each drone and assess them properly. There are several abbreviations that are often used when talking about drones that you should be familiar with.

  • UAV- Unarmed Aerial Vehicle; this is just a fancy way to say drone
  • FPV- First Person View; refers to a camera boarded in the first person position that streams video back to the controller or your smartphone
  • RTH- Return to Home; a feature on some drones with GPS capabilities
  • RTF- Ready to Fly; refers to drones that come ready to fly
  • ARF- Almost Ready to Fly; refers to drones that you must finish building in order to fly, they are generally more expensive so none are included in this list.

Finally, to get the best drone for your needs, you’ll also want to find a drone that has all of your desired features. Higher end drones will have more and improved features, but there are also several features to keep your eyes open for on beginner drones. Some common features that you may want in your drone include headless mode, return home, FPV capabilities, altitude hold, 360 flips, auto liftoff, and auto landing.

Drone Reviews Under $200

Holy Stone HS300

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 8 – 10 minutes
  • Charging Time: 8 – 10 hours
  • Operation Range: 150 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 1080P
  • 360 Flip Capability: Yes
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • What’s Included: Drone, Remote Control, 1080p Camera, 4GB TF Memory Card, Camera Shockproof Device, 2 7.4V 2000mAh/14.8Wh Batteries, 2 USB Cables, Screwdriver, 4 Extra Propeller Blades, 8 Extra Landing Gear Screws, 8 Extra Propeller Guard Screws, and User Manual
  • One Key Operation
    This drone is easy to control and can perform several actions at the press of a button. With one key return and one key landing, the drone returns to you and makes a gentle landing. This is super useful because, especially when you are new to flying drones, it can be difficult to make a graceful landing. Believe me, and I’ve had my fair share of crash landings.
  • Headless Mode
    When talking about drones, headless mode is a flying function that essentially keeps the drone facing forward at all times. This makes it easier to control because the drone will move exactly how you tell it to, the direction of the drone will always be the same as on your remote control, or transmitter.
  • 6 Axis Gyro
    The HS300 also features a 6 axis gyro, which helps stabilize the drone. The gyro helps create a smooth flight and clearer, less wobbly videos, which makes it a huge benefit.

Pros

On top of everything else, this drone also features an altitude hold function, which keeps the drone at the same altitude, and an emergency stop function that allows you to immediately stop the drone, although it should only be used in emergencies. And the cherry on top of the drone sundae is the extra batteries and other gear that’s included.

Downsides

The only downside of this drone is that it is not FPV compatible, which means you cannot watch a livestream of the footage you are taking. Still, the drone is capturing HD video that you can then retrieve and watch or share.

DBPOWER WIFI FPV Version U818A

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 6 – 9 minutes
  • Charging Time: 2 hours
  • Operation Range: 50 – 80 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 720P
  • 360 Flip Capability: Yes
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • What’s Included: Drone with camera, Controller, 2 3.7V 350mAh LiPo Batteries, USB Battery Charger, 4 Spare Propellers, and a user manual
  • FPV Capable
    Unlike the previous Holy Stone drone, this drone is capable of first-person viewing. You can easily watch a livestream of exactly what the drone is seeing on your smartphone. This drone works with an app that you can download on your phone, all you have to do is connect the app to the drone’s Wifi and then you can use your phone to control the drone’s camera.
  • Low Power Alarm
    As you know, beginner drones do not fly for a very long time, but it can be easy to lose track of time when you’re having fun and before you know it your drone has died and is plummeting to the ground. With the low power alarm, the drone alerts you when the battery is getting low and it’s time to land.
  • Headless Mode
    The great thing about the headless mode is that it makes the drone easy to control and hard to lose. Some drones have a set “forward” position, so when you move forward with the control, it moves forward. But if you were to turn the drone so that the nose is facing left, it would look like the drone is moving sideways, while you are going forward on the controller. Needless to say, this can get very confusing, which is why the headless mode is nice. There is no designated “head” of the drone, so when you go forward on the controller, the drone will always go forward too.

Pros

Lower end drones tend to break easily since they are made from inexpensive materials, but this drone is an exception. The U818A is constructed from durable materials that are strong, yet also flexible, which is the ideal construction.

Downsides

You probably noticed the camera on the U818A has a lower resolution than the HS300. This is the only downside to this drone! Still, 720 P is still considered HD and produces very clear images. 720 P is also a pretty common camera resolution for beginner drones, so it’s not like this one is subpar.

Holy Stone F181W Wifi FPV

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 7 – 10 minutes
  • Charging Time: 70 – 90 minutes
  • Operation Range: 50 – 100 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 720P
  • 360 Flip Capability: Yes
  • Weight: 4.9 ounces
  • What’s Included: Drone, Remote Control, 2 3.7 V 750mAh LiPo Batteries, 4 Rotating Blades, 4 Protection Frames, 2 Landing Skids, Phone Holder, 4G TF Card, SD Card Reader, 2 USB Charging Cables, Screws, Screwdriver, and user manual
  • FPV Capable
    The Wifi camera allows your drone to stream video back to your phone in real time. It also includes a phone holder, so you can mount your phone on top of the controller and easily watch it while you control the drone.
  • Altitude Hold
    The Holy Stone F181W features an altitude hold function that can be extremely useful if you are trying to get still shots of something. The altitude hold function means that the drone will hover at the same height, even after you let go of the controls, until you tell it to do something else.
  • Speed Control
    What makes this drone great for beginners is the control that you have over the speed. You can go slower or faster, depending on your needs, although it is a good idea to start at a low speed and gradually increase it as you gain experience.

Pros

It is also worth mentioning that this drone has a headless mode and several single key functions. For example, you can take off or land by simply pressing a button. This drone also has a bright LED light that you can control, which lets you keep track of the drone at night.

Downsides

However, some people could not have control over the drone with no response to the controller (it rarely happens) within short ranges.

UDI U845 UFO Voyager FPV

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 6 – 8 minutes
  • Charging Time: 60 minutes
  • Operation Range: 100 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 720P
  • 360 Flip Capability: Yes
  • Weight: 98.5 grams
  • What’s Included: Drone, Controller, 2 LIPO Batteries, 6 Replacement Propellers, Screwdriver, USB Charging Cable, USB Card Reader, 8 GB Micro SD Card, and User Manual
  • Unique Design
    This drone is noticeably different than the others on the list, and it has a fun and sleek UFO design. This drone is definitely one of the coolest looking ones, and looks even cooler zooming through the air.
  • FPV Capable
    Thisit’s all already there.
  • 6 Axis Gyro
    Lastly, the 6 axis gyro control system of this drone makes it all the more durable and reliable. The internal gyroscope increases stability and wind resistance, so the wind is less likely to affect your drone, which makes it easier to control.

Pros

The low power alarm featured in this drone warns you when your drone’s batteries are low. At that point you can recharge them, or switch them out, it is up to you, but you’ll never be caught running around chasing a falling drone.

Downsides

Unfortunately, this drone lacks a pretty useful feature, altitude hold. This drone will not hover without you controlling it, which isn’t a huge deal. Most people want to fly their drone around anyway, not just have it hover.

Altair 818 Hornet Beginner FPV

Top Features/Specs

  • Flying Time: 15 minutes
  • Operation Range: 150 Meters
  • Camera Resolution: 720P
  • Weight: 248 grams
  • What’s Included: Drone, Controller, 2 LiPo Batteries, USB Charging Cable, Memory Card and Reader, 4 Extra Propellers, and a manual
  • FPV Capable
    The Altair 818 Hornet is FPV compatible up to 60 Meters and streams video directly to your smartphone once you download the compatible app. This drone can also be used without your smartphone if you prefer.
  • Durable Construction
    The Hornet is a top quality beginner’s drone, made from super durable materials. The 6 axis control system also ensures stable flights, which are sure to get some cool, HD videos.
  • Versatile Operation
    My favorite part of this drone however, is how extremely versatile it is. You can control the drone with the remote control or entirely with your smartphone. The controller is already easy to use, but you can also just draw a line on your smartphone and the drone will follow that path of flight.

Pros

You probably noticed this drone has the longest flying time of any on the list; this is great because it means you can have the most fun before having to replace the batteries. Another great part of this drone is all of its different flying modes, such as: altitude hold mode, headless mode, one button take off and landing, along with emergency landing functions and alarms for when your drone is low on battery or outside of range.

Downsides

It’s pretty clear that this is an exceptional drone, so it makes sense that it is one of the most expensive ones as well. However, it is still under $200, which is incredibly affordable for a drone this good.

Which Drone I Recommend?

In the end, the ultimate winner, the best drone for under $200, is the Holy Stone HS300. It is packed full of different flying modes and is super easy to control. Even the lack of FPV power is made up for by the superior camera resolution. I highly recommend this drone for anyone looking to have some fun flying drones, without going broke.

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