here are a lot of good drones on the market today, figuring out what you want and need of a flying machine is a smart place to start, as is finding your ideal budget. We’re here to help – complimenting our other priced drone lists, let’s explore and always be careful with drones under budget $200. As you probably know, budget or entry-level drones do not typically offer the premium features or performance associated with high-end drones. For example, unlike high-end drone models, most budget drones lack high-quality cameras with image stabilization features.
In fact, some do not even come with a camera. Secondly, budget drones generally have an average flight time of between 7 and 12 minutes. In comparison, high-end drones have an average flight time of 25 to 30 minutes, meaning they fly twice as long as entry-level drones. Thirdly, the average operating (flight) distance for these drones ranges anywhere from 100 meters to about 500 meters depending on the actual price of the drone. By comparison, the average flight distance for high-end drones, such as the DJI Mavic Pro, ranges anywhere from 2,000 meters to 7,000 meters.
What can you expect from a $200 drone?
A $200 drone in today’s market is going to be the higher-end of the toy class quadcopters. These will be simple machines with lower-end cameras but may offer GPS or other tools to allow stable flight and even an autonomous hover mode.
Let’s be clear, a drone at this price point should be thought of as a fun way to experience flight, and you certainly will. Drones in this range, however, are not ideal camera drones.
- ALTAIR AERIAL АА108
The АА108 from Altair Aerial is an ambitious drone that aims to please the crowds with its sophisticated design, a 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’ 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.
- SYMA X8G
This beautiful red Syma quadcopter is surely right on track with the Christmas holiday theme However, the candy red paint is not the only thing worth mentioning about this aircraft – there’s plenty more because, for the price tag of around $150, this quadcopter gives you plenty of features.
One of the best things about this drone is that it comes with its own 8 MP Syma HD Camera, capable of shooting in 1080p (or 720p, if you want to), and which gives you a significantly better image over the competition, priced similarly.
As a matter of fact, the Syma X8G also supports what most of its competitors have, as well – Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, and 360-degree flips are also present here.
You can fly the quad till around 100m of distance, for a total flight time of about 6-8 minutes. Not ideal, but still very close to what’s the average for this price.
What I like about this particular Syma drone is that it flies extremely well, even in stronger winds – it keeps the image stable, and the hover functionality is great to have. Definitely a must-buy product!