Drones are a lot of fun. They provide you the opportunity to capture beautiful footage that wouldn’t be possible with a regular camera. They are also a great way to create memories and share videos of your exciting adventures.
However, if you’re not in search of a high-end device, there’s no point in spending in an expensive drone. In fact, you’ll find plenty of drones available within the range of $200 that are perfect for beginners.
Finding a drone during the holidays can be a great way to save money. Keep an eye out for Black Friday and Cyber Monday drone deals (click here for more) that are released in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
But here’s the thing, buying gadgets can be risky if you don’t conduct prior research. This detailed buying guide will provide you all the information you will need to make the right purchase.
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Best Drones Under 500
Best Drones Under 200
Wondering why you should put in all this effort when selecting a beginner drone? Here are a couple of reasons you should pay attention to:
If you’re a beginner, here are a couple of factors you should consider before buying your first ever drone:
The camera quality is perhaps the most important feature you should inspect before purchasing a drone. Depending on the price and quality of the drone, you may find the camera as an add-on accessory that you’d have to install by yourself.
Keeping in mind that this is your first drone, installing the camera can be a challenging task. Some other important features that you need to pay attention to include shutter speed, ISO, size of the video and photo and much more.
Since you're a beginner, you might not require too many high-end features so don't overspend if you're not interested in using the drone as a professional video gear.
While GPS sensors are common in most expensive drone models, it is a great feature that even beginners can utilize. These sensors allow the users to plan out specific coordinates for the drone so that the drone automatically flies to your desired location.
This ideal feature for beginners might not be able to control the drone's movements because of lack of experience. GPS sensors also make it possible for the drone to fly back to its original home location.This feature especially comes in handy if you lose sight of the drone in the sky.
The headless mode is a useful feature that makes it easier for folks to pilot a drone, especially for newbies and beginners. Drones operate in a peculiar way that might be confusing for beginners. Matters get even more confusing when pilots are not able to identify the front and back of the drone.
So, if you start by flying the drone away from you, its head will also be facing the opposite direction. However, once it turns 180 degrees, the drone will begin moving towards you. This feature can be confusing for new folks as drones do not have a defined nose and tail such as a plane.
In fact, most drones feature pretty much the same design, both front, and back. This feature can cause you to go the wrong way, resulting in a crash.
Fortunately, thanks to the headless mod, you'll no longer have to keep up with the drone's movements, making it easier for you to fly the device. So, if you're a newbie and don't know much about flying a drone, ensure you pick a drone that includes a headless mode as well.
As the name indicates, this function ensures the drone returns to its original home location with just the press of the button. This feature is handy for beginners since you won't have to worry about losing the drone on the way or in case you lose sight.
However, the return home function is not the same as the GPS function so don't assume that the two perform the same task.
The flight time is one of the most important features you should pay attention to while purchasing a drone as it will determine how long the drone will be up in the air. You might be disappointed to find out the drone needs new batteries within minutes of its take off.
The flight time for most drones typically lasts around 5 to 30 minutes though beginner drones mostly power off after 10 minutes. Ensure you opt for a drone that offers a long enough flight time to take advantage of the range. An incredibly short flight time will limit your enjoyment with the drone.
You do realize that you'll need to replace the batteries once the drone switches off. This reason is why it's worth investing in a model that includes extra batteries. Not everybody can afford to replace extra batteries to ensure that model isn't too fancy or else you could end up with problems in the future.
For added convenience, consider carrying charged batteries with your every time you head out for an adventure. This feature will prevent the need for you to cut your day out short. So, when purchasing a drone, ensure you know much the extra batteries will cost.
Most models include remote controls that feature two joysticks similar to a video game. One stick controls the up and down movement of the drone whereas the other controls the left and right motion of the device.
A well-design remote control will easily fit inside your hands and will be comfortable to use. The device will work conveniently under your thumbs and will result in a more responsive feel.
On the other hand, some designs don't include a remote control feature and can be controlled using a flying app via your phone. While these apps offer a live video view, they are not as efficient as controllers and do not allow for precision. This feature may cause the drone to slip from your fingers, resulting in a crash.
Despite how sturdy the material looks, keep in mind that drones crash all the time. However, a sturdy, good quality drone will be able to handle an unplanned descent in a comparatively better way without completely damaging the body of the drone.
Ensure the drone is constructed using quality materials so that the inner electronic material does not suffer harm. Since drone is prone to experience damage, ensure the brand you opt for sells cheap replacements parts so that you can conveniently replace the broken parts without too much trouble.
The goes same with the batteries since you don't want to be spending too much on replacement parts.
Last but not the least, if you're a newbie, it is essential you opt for drones designed for beginners. These specialized products will be much easier to use, with less complicated settings and features.
Are you in search of the best drones? Before we dive into the details, here is a list of some of our favorite products according to different categories:
Here's our recommendation:
The Aton Plus is a high powered drone which is unlike any other. The highly advanced drone features a powerful 5000mAh 3-cell LiPo battery that won’t let you down. It is designed to work efficiently with the GoPro along with other action cameras. It features optimal stabilization for smoother video capture.
The mounts for GoPro’s Hero 3 & 4 series are part of the package. However, you'll have to purchase the other mounts separately. It includes many expert modes that allow users to perform cool aerobatics. Rest assured, with the cool Air Brake feature; you don't have to worry about safety concerns.
You can use the Quadcopter to capture stunning pictures and videos while giving you all the control you require. This feature ensures all your shots appear virtually effortless, plus you won't require any prior radio or flight control experience.
If you want to learn how to fly while experiencing a new level of fun, you'll be impressed by the cool Sports mode feature. The feature unlocks full throttle for dramatic aerobatics and 50+mph speeds. Plus, the Aton's 6-axis flight stability guarantees it’s easier for folks to explore and learn.
Aside from the sports mode, experienced pilots will be pleased to know that the product comes with a super cool expert mode. The expert mode allows users to unleash the full potential of the Traxxas Aton Plus Quadcopter.
Using the air brakes allow users to bring the drone into a full-stop. The exciting features of the product make it thrilling to use.
The Aton Plus includes many features that help get the job done. For instance, simply press a button to ensure the device safely returns to you at any point. Better yet, the quadcopter automatically comes home when the battery is low.
The Parrot Bebop 2 FPV is an ultra, high-powered drone that offers excellent flight. The extended-range controller offers a customized experienced. Thanks to the drone, folks can explore all kinds inaccessible places like never before. This feature helps folks take incredible pictures like never before.
You can connect the Parrot Bebop and connect it to the FreeFlight Pro application that’s on your smartphone. The product is also comfortable to wear even for folks who wear glasses. With this high powered product, you can photograph and film like a pro.
The drone measures less than 500g and has a battery life of about 25 minutes. It includes a Full HD 1080p camera that records stunning videos during the flight.
It includes a 3-axis digital stabilization system that features clear and smooth imagery. The product is easy to transport and offers compact storage, featuring excellent photos and videos.
Users can benefit from the super cool FreeFlight Pro app that has an intuitive interface. You can use FPV glasses and enjoy total immersion. Best of all, all of your films, photos, and routes save into one single app which means you can conveniently share your exciting experiences with friends and family.
It features intuitive piloting, with two joysticks. This feature allows the Bebop 2 FPV to fly up to 1.2 miles. Users can take off with just the touch of a button that allows people to fly the drone safely. Thanks to the drone, you can fly at practically any speed and direction while maintaining stability.
Here's our recommendation:
The Altair Aerial AA108 is a great drone for newbies as well as experienced fliers who want to have some fun. You can adjust the flight controls using three unique skill levels, ensuring that everybody has an enjoyable experience. It includes many cool features such as altitude hold, headless mode, landing and lots more.
What's best is that this incredible drone comes with an extra battery so that you can prolong flight time according to your convenience. Newbies who are having trouble using the device can benefit from the tutorial page on Altair's website.
The 720P CAMERA DRONE offers a 120-degree wide angle that allows folks to take amazing videos and pictures using only their phone. Unlike other devices that are difficult to control, the easy to use a drone is great for kids, pro-pilots, beginners or practically anybody.
It also features strong, durable construction so that nothing happens to the drone while it's on a flight. You can use your mobile screen to control the movements of the drone according to the flight line. Best of all, the compact size of the drone allows users to test it out practically anywhere they want without any problems.
The drone has a long flight time and can fly over 100 meters. You can control the drone using awesome remote control technology.
Unlike other drones in the market, the Altair Aerial AA108 does not require the use of a smartphone. It also includes an out of the range alarm along with a low battery alarm that notifies users when the power is running low
Long flight time and range that keeps users safe. It also includes Advanced Remote Control Technology. Features 3 flight skill levels so that kids and beginners can also enjoy the drone
The DBPOWER UDI U842 is a highly powerful drone that has multiple innovative features that let users explore the skies or practically any adventurous surrounding they want. The high definition camera offers optimal results with FPV transmission.
However, this drone might not be a suitable choice for beginners because of its advanced features. We recommend this product for veterans and people who are an intermediary level, mostly because of its high-end settings. The drone includes many advanced features that help users take incredible high-definition images.
With the DBPOWER UDI U842, you are in complete control of the kind of videos and pictures you would like to take. The drone also allows real-time sharing on many social networking sites so that you can share your adventures with your loved ones.
You can use the 720P HD camera to record lovely memories with your friend and family. The drone allows users to capture beautiful panoramic views while traveling, partying, playing sports and lots more.
Also, thanks to the headless mode, you never have to worry about losing the drone or constantly inspect what direction it is flying in. This feature offers adventure-enthusiasts more freedom to capture brilliant shots.
The Altair AA818 Plus Drone has numerous cool features that allow it to stand out from its predecessor. With its highly durable construction and brilliant results, users can use the done to capture amazing videos and pictures from a bird's eye view.
The drone includes a 120 Degree Wide-Angle 720P HD camera that offers high-quality results. Since the device is easy to use, it is perfect for kids and beginners who are in search of a new hobby.
But that's not all, because of its advanced features, the product is also a great choice for experienced users, meaning that practically everybody can benefit from the drone. In fact, you can also fly it indoors. This feature is not typically possible with most drones in the market.
For additional support, the Altair AA818 also features custom route models that make it easier for users to plan out a custom flight line using their mobile screen. This feature ensures that the drone flies accordingly to the flight line.
Unlike most drones in the market, this model can fly for about 15 minutes. It also includes advanced remote control technology that guarantees the peace of mind of the user while flying the drone.
By investing in the best drone, you’ll able to encapsulate beautiful memories of all your adventures. Use these guidelines while making your first purchase. Good luck!