15 Best Drones Under $100

15 Best Drones Under $100

We’ll cut right to the chase: if you’re buying a drone on a budget or if you specifically want a toy, this list is for you. The ten drones listed below are all under $100 in price, yet are feature-heavy and proven to be fun toys for the house or office (and outdoors in perfect conditions). If anything, buying one of these is like tasting a wine before buying a case. These drones will introduce you to the drone dynamic but none of them will leave you in shambles if you fly it into the garage door. Drones of this size and capacity were not an option in the past – they were simply too expensive. With the evolution of drone technology, these newer drones are quite capable. Without further ado, here’s our list of the best drones under $100 on the market right now:

Model Image Rating Price
UDI U818A HD 9/10 Check Price
DBpower MJX X400W 8/10 Check Price
Hubsan X4 8/10 Check Price
QCopter QC1 8/10 Check Price
Syma X5C1 9/10 Check Price
Hubsan X4 H107D 9/10 Check Price
JXD 509W 9/10 Check Price
Parrot Mambo 9/10 Check Price
Holy Stone F181 9/10 Check Price
Estes Proto X 9/10 Check Price
Holy Stone HS170 Predator 9/10 Check Price
Sky Viper Nano Drone M200 8/10 Check Price
Traxxas 6608 8/10 Check Price
Parrot Airborne Cargo Mars Drone 8/10 Check Price

10 Best Drones under $100

UDI U818A HD

UDI U818A HD

First, UDI makes excellent drones in this category. This drone is pretty much ready-to-fly right out of the box, and comes with a camera that can shoot in HD (don’t get this confused with the FPV version, since that is double the price). The controls are accurate and the flight stabilization system checks out. It flies for around 8 minutes, has two different flight modes (slower for beginning pilots learning the ropes and faster for the more accomplished), and can perform flight maneuvers such as 360 degree flips, rolls, and pitch dives. It’s a great toy for the home and you might love it so much you’ll upgrade to the FPV version. It’s reliable, durable, and UDI-engineered. This package includes: -U818A Drone -2.4GHz Transmitter -Two 3.7V 500mAh Lithium Polymer (LiPo) Batteries -Extra Blades -USB card reader -Two Battery chargers
DBpower MJX X400W

DBpower MJX X400W

This noteworthy little machine is a fantastic first drone. Similar to the U818A, it’s impressively nimble, sleek, and handles well despite its size. It sports a larger battery, so it can fly up to 10 minutes with all systems go. It has an integrated 720p camera, two different speed settings (flight modes), performs aerial maneuvers at the click of a button, and actually livestreams FPV. WiFi connected, it will have some latency, but the sheer fact that you can livestream FPV with a drone that costs less than $100 is impressive. It also comes with VR goggles for you to experience the full immersion. It has a control range of 100 meters and comes with autonomous features such as headless mode and one key return. What you’re getting with the MJX X400W is a lot of intelligence in a small drone. Just know this: the FPV is less than high quality, but it’s dependable. This package includes: -MJX X400W Drone -2.4 GHz Transmitter -Battery (3.7V 750mAh) -USB charging cable -Spare propellers -User manual
This is Hubsan’s go-to small, lower-scale drone, engineered for performance and affordability. This little guy (it’s really a cute drone if we’re being honest) is extremely capable for only $40. Its little battery isn’t going to keep you in the air for too long, but you should get a solid 5~ minutes out of each flight. Don’t be fooled, it’s only the upgraded models that sport cameras. If you see an online review of a Hubsan X4 sporting a camera that’s because an enthusiast has executed his own modification. It fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, has a 6-axis-gyroscopic flight system and comes with a transmitter (4 channel | 2.4 GHz). This drone will not fare well outdoors –it’s distinctly a toy meant for indoor use. However, it’s on this list because Hubsan makes great drones in this category and this compact, durable little machine meets their standard of engineering. This is about as cheap as you can get in the drone space and it still comes recommended and reliable. Go buy one and fly it into your coworker’s office or something. This package includes: -X4 Drone -Battery (3.7V 250mAh) -Transmitter -USB charger
QCopter QC1

QCopter QC1

This RTF quadcopter is built up to be a heavy hitter right out of the box. It comes with two batteries, so you’re going to have over 25 minutes of flying right off the bat (once they’re both charged of course). It has an integrated camera –which isn’t a big whoop because you’re not going to take quality aerial footage, but it’s a fantastic addition when dipping your feet in the water and trying to experience the full drone dynamic. With the washed out neon green body, it looks like a ninja turtle throwing dart. It can perform aerial maneuvers at the click of a button and has a flight stabilization system proven to hold. The nice thing about this quadcopter is that it comes with a lot of the specs you see in others (including the headless mode and return home features) but can also take aerial footage and fly for nearly three times as long. The built-in LED lights definitely give it the ‘cool’ factor when flying at night too. Definitely worth checking out. This package includes: -QC1 drone -Two batteries (3.7v 1100 mAh) -Transmitter -Prop guards -2MP camera (integrated) -Battery charger
If you’re familiar with the X5C, then this is the same drone with a heavy dose of steroids. Easily one of Syma’s best engineered units, this RTF quadcopter comes with an integrated 2MP camera and everything is removable. You can ditch the prop guards, camera, and landing gear which will not only increase the speed of the drone, but give it more maneuverability (which – let’s be honest, is the most engaging part about these tiny drones; you’re not in it for the rich .3MP aerial footage). It’s powerful enough to sustain a small dose of wind, but is recommended to be flown indoors. The 3.7V 500mAh battery will have you flying up to about 8 minutes, depending on the payload. For what it is, this is just a well-engineered drone that’s not going to disappoint you with its flight performance. There’s nothing special to say about its transmitter and about the drone, it delivers what it promises. 6. This package includes: -X5C1 drone -Transmitter -Battery (3.7v 500mAh) -Extra blades -SD card -USB charger
Hubsan X4 H107D

Hubsan X4 H107D

Remember earlier we referred to the Hubsan X4 as a really well built, extremely affordable machine? Well this is the upgrade and it actually looks like the DJI Phantom 4, since it comes with a camera and can livestream FPV. However, since most of these FPV systems are WiFi generated, there will be lots and lots of latency. But aside from the low quality camera, it’s got a smaller battery (380mAh) so don’t expect to fly for too long at one time. As with all these quads, it’s a 6-axis-gyroscopic design and has a control range of around 100 meters. This is a fantastic drone to play around with and immerse yourself in the flight experience –as a toy –it’s absolutely entertaining. For under $100 you can livestream the first-person-view, take aerial footage, and perform aerial acrobatics. Can you imagine saying that to someone a decade ago? This package includes: -X4 H107D Quadcopter -FPV transmitter -Protection cover -Four Spare propellers -U Wrench -USB charging cable -Instruction manual
This drone just barely makes the under $100 list. On Amazon it’s something like $95 with free shipping. But for all that, this drone is loaded to the max with all the tech we’ve seen so far. The 509W comes with a .3 MP camera (big shocker there) and an integrated FPV system. Expect some latency, low quality footage, and you’ll have to rely on line-of-sight piloting – but do note that the 509W will give you a first look at the entirety of the drone experience. In terms of features, it’s pretty loaded for being such a small drone; it supports one key return, headless mode, position lock, and 360 degree tumbling. The position lock feature is big and rarely seen in drones of this category. If you’re not familiar with it, position lock means that you can let go of the controller and your drone will hover in place. This reduces the risk of crashing and allows you to take a breather during your flight. The 600mAh battery should allow for around 8 minutes of flight, depending on the usage, and the LED lights pair well with the matte black body. The prop guards make the drone pretty durable too. This is definitely a fully-loaded machine for its price and is certainly one we’d call the best bang for your buck. This package includes: -509W Drone -Transmitter -Screwdriver -Four Spare Blades -USB cable -Manual
Parrot Mambo

Parrot Mambo

Just a bit ago, this drone wouldn’t have made the cut, but thanks to a recent price dip, we can add it. Since it’s a Parrot machine, you can fly it via their application on either your smartphone or tablet (if you prefer either of those to a transmitter). Before we go into the details of the drone – one cool little note: the drone comes with little arms, the grabber, capable of catching, holding and releasing up to 4 grams of ‘cargo’. So if you want to send your significant other a little note across the room, you can. Also, you can attach the cannon - a neat little gadget that can fire up to 6 pellets. Of all the drones we’ve mentioned, this one definitely takes the ‘toy’ title to a new level. It’s built with a 6-axis-gyroscopic flight system and the application optimizes all the commands (it can perform flips and rolls). It is responsive, nimble, and sports a .3MP camera that’s used to help with flight position. This is one of those ultra-fun drones for learning to fly because you can pick up and drop things off, shoot cups with a bb gun, and do it with style. It flies for around 8 minutes and takes just under an hour to charge. This package comes with: -Mambo Drone -Four Bumpers -Battery (3.7v 550mAh) -USB cable (charger) -Cannon -Grabber (machine hands) -Three Stickers -Snap accessory -Cannon Ammunition (50 pellets) -Manual
Holy Stone F181

Holy Stone F181

This is a pretty heavy favorite, especially since it only recently made to the under $100 cut. It comes with an integrated HD camera (720p – not too bad for this caliber of drone) and a solid list of features (headless mode, one key return, altitude lock, one key 360 degree flips, continuous roll). You get an extra battery so you can fly double the time, and it’s fit with a solid flight stabilization system, prop guards, so the thing flies like a champ. That’s to be expected from a Holy Stone- engineered machine, since they’re one of the leaders in lower end drone manufacturing. It has an elegant design (looks like a police drone, to be honest) and it’s made with durable plastic. The 750 mAh battery allows for around 7-9 minutes of flight time and for such a light weight machine, it handles like a heavier drone. Now that it’s under $100, it’s definitely worth the price (truth is, it always was). This package includes: -F181 Drone -2.4GHz Transmitter -Two Batteries (3.7V 750mAh) -Four Rotor Blades -Four prop guards -Two landing skids -Screwdriver -Manual
Estes Proto X

Estes Proto X

The Estes Proto X is similar to the Hubsan X4 (the base model) – actually they’re almost identical, but the Proto X is just significantly cheaper. It’s one of the smallest drones available on the market, coming in under $30, and it is exactly what you pay for. It’s ready to fly right out of the box and comes with a removable battery, so if you buy several you can fly for longer (a lot of people prefer the X4 here because they claim the battery is difficult to remove from the Proto X). It has integrated LED lights, can perform fun aerial maneuvers, and operates via its 6-axis-gyroscopic flight system. It’s a nimble, durable, fun little toy that’s perfect to zip around the house (won’t do well in any outdoor conditions). If you’re looking for the base model of a nano drone with no accessories, features, or camera, then this is your machine. This package comes with: -Proto X RTF -2.4 GHz Transmitter -Battery (3.7v 100mAh) -USB charging cord -Four Spare blades -Manual
Holy Stone HS170 Predator

Holy Stone HS170 Predator

We haven’t added a second Holy Stone unit by mistake. There are simply lots of them in this tier which are engineered impressively. The HS170 Predator fits that mold. And with a name like that, how could it not? First, unlike any drone we’ve mentioned, it has three separate speed modes to assist the first time pilot. The dynamic build allows for ease of use and agility (it can carry out barrel rolls and 360 degree flips without any difficulty). The control range is around 35 meters – pretty standard for this caliber of drone. It has built-in LED lights and its 350mAh battery offers around 6-8 minutes of flying at its full charge, maybe a little less with all systems functioning. In terms of features, the only ‘autonomous’ mode of the Predator is its headless mode (greatly beneficial if this is your first quad). All in all, the Predator is a great first drone as a toy and an introduction into the flight experience of drones. Keep in mind there’s no camera. This package includes: -HS170 Predator -2.4GHz Transmitter -Battery (3.7V 350mAh) -Screwdriver -USB charging cable
Sky Viper Nano Drone M200

Sky Viper Nano Drone M200

This is another under $50 drone that compares with the Proto X and the Hubsan X4. Again –all three of these drones are like the skeleton or barebones of the nano drone category, meant to be flown as indoor toys. The Sky Viper has a leg up, though, (aside from the awesome name) with its one-touch aerial maneuver transmitter. You touch a button and the M200 performs barrel rolls. It has (I bet you can guess it by now) a 6-axis-gyroscopic flight stabilization system. The 2.4GHz transmitter can reach lengths of up to 200 feet (although the Viper is so small you won’t really want to fly it that far). It’s a fun little toy to dink around with – and the transmitter features adjustable sensitivity controls, so you can ease into your piloting experience. Note, this drone does not come with any sort of camera, gimbal, or autonomous features. At this tier, a little research will show that this drone is definitely a favorite in the under $100 category. This package includes: -Sky Viper M200 (built-in battery) -2.4GHz Transmitter -Charging Cable -Four extra blades & screws -Manual
Traxxas 6608

Traxxas 6608

This one makes the cut right at the line: $100. The 6608 is engineered by Traxxas, a company that’s been producing RC vehicles since the 80’s. They know what they’re doing, and the 6608 is a testament to that. This auto-leveling drone is like the smaller, skeleton drones we talked about, but souped up in a notable way. It sports a 650mAh battery (flies for around 10 minutes), comes in an assortment of different colors for all of you aesthetically oriented fanatics, has integrated LED lights, and is surprisingly powerful for the size. For the price, you’d expect there to be a camera and some features like headless mode or return home, but the truth is, there’s none of that. This is the least ‘drone’ type nano drone on the list, but in sacrificing those features traxxas engineered a machine that is powerful, nimble, and extremely dynamic. This drone is for those of you who don’t care to experience a low-quality simulation of the ‘higher’ drone experience, and would prefer a fast RC quadcopter that’s not going to be a maverick in air. This machine comes highly recommended –especially for those who want to learn how to pilot at the barebones dynamic of a quadcopter. This package includes: -6608 Latrax Alias Quad-Rotor Helicopter -3.7V 650mAh battery -USB charger -AAA batteries for transmitter -Transmitter -1.5mm Hex Wrench -Four spare blades -Thumb sticks -Extra accessories
Parrot Airborne Cargo Mars Drone

Parrot Airborne Cargo Mars Drone

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Parrot has another drone on this list since the company is one of the leading manufacturers in the sub-professional drone tiers. The Mars is paired with its own application, so you can fly this drone with your smartphone or tablet. It’s got an integrated mini camera (480x640 – fairly low quality) and was engineered for flight performance and versatility. Made of hardside metal rather than the usual plastic, it has a bit more resilience in a crash. Perhaps one of the most attractive features of this drone (aside from that fact that it’s Parrot-engineered, which is a large attribute in itself) is that it flies for 9 minutes via the 550mAh battery and charges in only 25 minutes. That is a huge upside, since many of these drones take hours to charge and fly for half the amount of time. It has one-button tricks implemented, and can fly up to 11mph. Remember –if you want to use a transmitter, you’ll have to buy it separately. This package includes: -Airborne Cargo Mars Drone -Battery (3.7V 550mAh) -Micro USB charging cable -Two hulls -Manual

We hope this list has increased your awareness of drone capabilities in the under $100 price point. Although these are smaller machines and should be regarded at the very most as introduction vehicles to the hobby, it’s impressive what they can achieve for so little cost. Capabilities such as headless mode, position lock, and multiple flight modes were features reserved specifically for the professional machines in the marketplace. As drone technology continues to evolve, it will be exciting to see the sort of drones (and their capabilities) will be on this list a few years from now.

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