Potensic T25 GPS Drone$179.99
Ease of Use9.5/10
Build and Design9.1/10
Value for Money8.9/10
- GPS makes the drone traceable
- Picture and video quality is considerably better than the other drones in the same league
- It has a chargeable controller
- Altitude Hold and Headless Mode makes for a smooth flight
- Comes with an extra battery (think longer time in the air)
- Not suitable for indoor flights
These days there are so many types of drones on the market, all at different price points and with so many features to choose from (and Amazon has over 50,000 products listed!). At the end of 2017, there were more than 1.1 million drones in the US alone, with over 3 million globally. It is estimated that these figures will more than double to nearly 2.5 million drones in the US by 2022.
This growth is attributed to drones becoming less expensive, improved drone technology with super cool features, as well as the ease of piloting – the latter meaning that even a complete beginner can master flying a drone.
Nonetheless, all the information out there about drones and then choosing the perfect one for you can be very overwhelming. It is also easy to let “expensive equals quality” dominate your thought process during your drone hunt. But fear not, I’ve done the homework for you on the best drones under $300.
I have handpicked the best drones that are available in this price range and compiled comprehensive product reviews, a buyer’s guide, and FAQ section to make it easier for you to compare the top drones under $200 and pick the best one for your needs.
Before we dive in, here are the best overall and best budget picks if you are in a hurry.
Top Pick: Best Drone Under $200
If you’re in a hurry or you’re simply here to see the best drone under 200, here are the top choices for you in terms of the best overall and the best budget drones at this price point.
Best Overall Drone
The Potensic T25 GPS Drone has my vote for the best overall drone under $200. It has all the modern features plus the looks to die for. It comes with an aluminum case, which makes the drone easy to carry around. Potensic T25 is packed with a powerful battery of 1,000 mAH and has an impressive flight range of over 300 yards.
So, if you’re looking for the best drones under 200 with a camera, you should consider this one.
Best Budget Drone
The Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone is one of the most affordable drones available on the market. It doesn’t have all the latest features but it is an ideal choice for beginners looking to buy their first drone. The flight time is slightly on the lower side but the headless security system makes flying the drone easy to learn.
Quick Shot Table: Best Drone Under 200 Dollars
|Product||Name||Flying Time||Our Rating||Check Availability Today|
|Potensic||10 min||(4.9 / 5)||Amazon|
|Holy Stone||18 min||(4.8 / 5)||Amazon|
|Potensic||10 min||(4.7 / 5)||Amazon|
|Syma||10 min||(4.6 / 5)||Amazon|
|SNAPTAIN||16-20 min||(4.5 / 5)||Amazon|
|Syma||7-9 min||(4.4 / 5)||Amazon|
|SNAPTAIN||15 min||(4.3 / 5)||Amazon|
|DROCON||7-9 min||(4.3 / 5)||Amazon|
|ScharkSpark||14-16 min||(4.2 / 5)||Amazon|
|Holy Stone||6-8 min||(4 / 5)||Amazon|
Reviews Of The Top 10 Drones Under $200
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Drone
Shuffling through the features of a drone can be a real time-consuming effort and you even realize that you don’t need every single feature that drones on the luxury-end come with.
An important tip before you start the drone buying experience: Make a priority list of what features you would ideally like. Once you have this, it is easier to create a shortlist of drones that matches your needs. Well this is the best drones under $200, but if you are looking for more features into drones, then you can check our review of dronex pro review and buying guide.
For instance, if you are an amateur filmmaker, you’d need to capture every minute of a scene. In this case, I wouldn’t recommend paying more for some unnecessary features like G-Sensor or headless mode. Ideally, you need a drone with an aerodynamic design to move smoothly, an HD camera to capture high-quality shots, and a 3-axis gimbal to hold the camera steady.
So, here’s an essential buying guide that will accentuate to your priorities so you can find the drone that is best for you and your needs.
Overview Of Drones
Drones have made it to the masses. Leave behind the concept that the mere need of a drone is limited to the military.
The current tech frenzy era is far more different than the one before. Be it as aspiring photographers, real estate managers, event managers, multinational firm employee, or the enthusiastic youth alone, drones have saved the spot for the most sought-after tech devices for itself. Why?
- They have gotten pretty affordable for almost everyone.
- They capture moments like never before.
- They increase awareness and safety of events and construction sites by allowing you to watch over a crowd or site.
- You can get them for your kids to explore things outdoors.
- A drone can be your savior if you want to monitor something from up high, without taking any unnecessary risks.
- They save lives.
Features Of A Great Drone
A drone can be equipped with lots of features, some more relevant and important than others. The main features of a great drone are:
Flight Range And Flight Time
No matter how advanced and tricky a drone gets, the first and the foremost thing to check is its flying range (or control range). Flying range simply refers to how far a drone can fly. This distance is sometimes also measured in terms of how high your device can go. Flight time refers to high long you can fly your drone for before you need to charge the battery.
Flying range and flight time are limited to your drone’s battery life and FPV (first-person view) range. There is no one size fits all approach here. What range you drone has will depend on your requirements. For example, some drones’ control range is 0.18 miles and flight time is as short as 3 minutes, while the flight range for other drones is approximately 3 miles and flight time nearly 30 minutes.
The need for a good battery is unfortunately underrated. It is one of those features that you can’t overlook at any cost. Usually, the battery of a drone can last from anywhere between 3 minutes to 30 minutes. If possible, a spare battery will extend flight time.
So, make sure your battery life is compatible with the task you want to perform with the drone.
People usually opt for a drone to capture scenes and sometimes just to play around. The popular demand for a camera has made manufacturing companies include this feature is not only affordable and expensive models but also toy drones.
You’ll have a range of camera quality to choose from. Drones now offer a wide variety of cameras – from the average 720p HD Wi-Fi Camera to high-quality features for filming such as a 10-bit (HDR) video feature.
The hike in drone demand amongst beginners has led the makers to work on some features that make the overall flying experience easier. And Headless mode can come in handy if you’re a beginner at flying drones.
Headless mode will make the drone move in the direction relative to the controller rather than whatever direction the drone is facing. For example, regardless of where the front (head) of your drone is pointing, if you press left on the remote (or your smartphone device), it will turn left.
Under normal mode, however, if your drone’s head is pointing towards you, it will turn right on you press left on the remote. This creates a lot of problems for beginners.
Headless mode might not look like a big deal, but once you get into the process and learn to fly your drone, it is a feature you’d surely appreciate.
WiFi FPV in a drone is an amazing feature. Once you activate the connectivity between the wiFi spot of the drone and your mobile, it allows you to see what your drone “sees”.
Your WiFi router in your home, for example, has nothing to do with the drone itself; it merely allows you to connect to your drone or you can use your phone’s WiFi connection. All you’ll need to do is turn on the WiFi button on the drone, connect it with your phone, and voila!
Now you can see what the drone sees, right from your phone!
If you are looking to capture some high intensity, aerial moments, then a 3D flipping drone camera is what you need. Drones now can flip around a 360-degree angle to capture exceptional movements that are nearly impossible to capture with your digital camera. If your primary purpose to buy a drone is to ace your filming skills, then this is THE feature you would want to consider.
Other Factors To Consider
In addition to considering the features of a drone and matching them to your needs (and whether you are a beginner or professional drone user), you should also look at these four important factors:
It is easy to buy drones; they don’t require any waiting periods or special qualifications. Just search for drones on Amazon, pick your favorite, and it will be delivered to your doorstep in a matter of days.
However, there are strict regulations that govern drone usage and any failure to comply has serious consequences.
General safety tips for flying drones, for all users, include:
- Fly your drone in good weather
- Keep your drone in your eyesight
- Don’t fly your drone near airports or military bases
- Don’t fly your drone over people’s houses, moving vehicles, roads, or crowds
- Be mindful of interference that could damage your drone or mess with the navigation system
- Fly your drone below or at 400 feet
The performance of your drone depends on a few factors, such as the build and design, flight performance and range, battery life, camera, and unique features.
The best drones will have a build and design that is durable, meaning it won’t break easily and won’t feel flimsy. Ideally, your drone should survive a crash landing or two, but generally, it should still work after a few shallow drops and knocks.
Depending on what you want to use your drone for, it should be able to stay in the air for a couple of minutes and have a good control range. If you are a beginner and want your first drone as a practice run, then flight time of about 6 to 10 minutes should be more than sufficient. If you are a professional drone user and want to use the drone to film landscapes or an action sequence, then a longer flight time before you have to replace or charge the battery would be better.
Again, if you are a beginner, learning to use a drone, a camera would be a cool additional feature but it isn’t a must-have. But if you want to film some awesome scenery of your vacation from the sky or want real-time video on your phone, a high-quality camera is a must. Plus, your drone should have a gimbal so that it can stably capture video footage.
Drones can cost as little as between $20 and $50 and as much as a few hundred thousand. Yes, you read that right. Hundreds of thousands.
The cost would mostly depend on the type of drone you need. On the lower end of the scale are toy drones, and these would set you back less than $50. They most commonly don’t include a camera but are compact and easy to pilot. They are, generally, the most common type of drone for beginners and some of these are child-friendly, too.
On the middle of the scale are camera drones, nano/mini/micro quadcopters, and racing drones. Camera drones are ready to fly quadcopters with cameras to capture photo and video footage. These drones are popular with beginners and pros and have lots of different uses in various industries.
Mini quadcopters are small are targeted towards beginners. They are ideal for indoor flying.
Racing drones are used as a sport and hobby in which users compete with others in drone races. These drones need to be fast, so are made with durability and less weight.
Most of these drones are a few hundred dollars and they have cool features, like a built-in GPS, first-person view, and Headless mode.
On the high end are underwater/marine drones and commercial drones, which come with an expensive price tag.
4. Refund Policy
The refund policy is manufacturer dependent. The brands that I’ve chosen for this best drone under $200 review have refund policies that range from 14 days to 30 days. The only exception is Syma, which doesn’t have a refund policy but they will replace your drone if it is defective.
Here is a list of the 11 most frequently asked questions about drones.
Is It Difficult To Fly A Drone?
For beginners, there is an extensive range of “beginner” drones to choose from. Whether you are going to find it hard or easy to fly your drone will depend on the type of drone you’re flying.
Most of the beginner level drones have features like One Take Off Landing, Headless Mode, Altitude Hold and GPS to make the flight experience easier.
Usually, it takes one to two weeks to get a hang of drone flights. The App Control System also comes handy with the first-timers.
Do I Need A License To Fly A Drone?
Not necessarily. If you’re flying a drone for personal experience or as a hobby, you don’t have to worry about getting a license. You do, however, have to follow local guidelines, not fly your drone close airports, and the drone has to weigh less than 55 pounds.
On the other hand, if you want to use your drone for business purposes, for example, taking aerial short for your real estate business, shoot footage for a third party, or use it as part of security checks, you may have to apply for a license.
I advise you to check your local rules and regulations before going out full-throttle with the drone.
What Is The Flying Range Of A Drone?
How high or far a drone can fly solely depends on its type. Military drones, for example, can cover hundreds of miles.
Talking about normal drones, inexpensive ones will have a lower range. Some of the high-end drones can cover a range of over 3 miles. Remember the greater the range, the higher the price tag of your drone.
Can I Fly My Drone Indoors?
Many drones are capable of flying indoors. Indoor space, after all, isn’t regulated or controlled by the FAA. However, you will need a highly responsive drone since you will find many obstacles indoors like furniture, appliances, pets, and people.
What Age Is Appropriate For A Drone?
You don’t need to be of any particular age to fly a drone, but you don’t want to hand it to your two years old. Toy drones, for example, are usually labeled as appropriate for eight-year-olds, but it is up to parents to decide if their kid is ready for a drone.
Can You Fly A Drone Anywhere?
If you don’t want to get yourself in a legal battle, access your Google Play Store or the App Store and download AirMap. It will detect your specific location and display warnings and alerts about conflicted airspace. In general, though, don’t fly above animals, people, or moving vehicles and always follow your local regulations.
What Is FPV Camera?
FPV is an abbreviation for first-person view. If your drone has an FPV camera, that means that it sends real-time video to your phone (or another smart device) via a video transmitter. So, you will be able to see exactly what your drone sees.
Can Drones Fly In Bad Weather?
Please spare your drone from damage and try flying it on sunny days. Rain and snow can damage your drone just like any other equipment. While you may get some cool footage, these machines are simply not made for rainy or snowy days.
What Happens If You Fly A Drone Out Of Range?
This depends on the drone. Your drone may have a “Return to Home” (or similar) button on your controller, which you can use in case you lose control or sight of your drone. When you press the button, your drone will start flying back to you.
If they don’t have such a feature, they may continue to fly until they run out of battery life and descend slowly or crash.
Is It Legal To Fly A Drone In A Residential Area?
You can fly drones in most places but basic rules and etiquette apply. For example, you can not invade people’s privacy, interfere with their personal space without their consent, or annoy them by flying your drone too close. You should not fly your drone over or above people.
Is It Safe To Fly A Drove Over Water?
Yes, it is. Flying a drone over a body of water is essentially no different than flying a drone over land. If you are planning to fly your drone above water, please make sure it doesn’t get in touch with waves or sea spray. You would also, ideally, want a waterproof drone.
When it comes down to buying a drone, you don’t have to spend a fortune to pick the best one. Firstly, make a priority list about the features or capabilities you want and things you want to achieve with your drone.
Is it a high-resolution camera that you need to get the best results for your business? Or is it a longer flight time to wander in the mountains and capture your desired footage?
After going through our extensive checklist on top drones under 200, it is safe to say Potensic T25 GPS Drone is a must-have if you need something in this price range with all of the best and versatile features. It is great for beginners (and pros!), comes with two batteries for more time having fun, and is capable of flying in windy and turbulent conditions, thanks to its Gyrospace feature. For under $200, this product is our best overall drone.