17 Cheap Drones for Beginners (Under $175) [Updated for Summer 2017]

Cheap Drones for Beginner Pilots

Note: This list is updated for 2017. Fly safely and responsibly, folks. Never flown before? Learn to fly for free over here. Need to get your FAA commercial drone certificate? Start studying over here.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through 17 inexpensive drones for beginner pilots.

At UAV Coach, we often suggest starting off with a less expensive system. This is so you can hone your skills before moving on to the bigger guns (like the DJI Phantom 4) or the Yuneec Typhoon H).

The models in our list below don’t have all the bells and whistles of higher-end drones for sale, but you’ll be surprised at how advanced their features can get.

Also, you may want to consider learning to fly using a drone simulator. We’re pro-simulator over here and recommend buying the Great Planes RealFlight Drone Simulator. Great physics and many models to choose from. There’s also this free FPV simulator if you’re interested in learning how to race 🙂

Note: If you live in the U.S. and want to earn money as a professional drone pilot, check out our step-by-step guide to getting certified.

Drone technology has come a long way, which means we’ve been able to pack more capabilities into smaller, less expensive packages.

These are some of the most affordable (and popular) UAVs on the market today, and they’re great for anyone looking to get some flight practice under their belt. They’re also great gifts for both adults and kids.

Don’t want to scroll down and read all the specs and just want to see the full list?

Here ya go:

Check out the full specs of our list of 17 cheap drones for beginner pilots below:

Note: All specs/features come from either the manufacturer or retailer.

Note #2: When checking out prices, we’ve included models available for sale on Amazon, one of the largest and most respectable online drone retailers. We do our best to keep these listings up-to-date on a regular basis, but if you see something we missed, let us know at support@uavcoach.com.

Note #3: Big thanks to USA Toyz and Force1 RC, who sent us a lot of models on this list to test and review. Both USA Toyz and Force1 RC are U.S. based companies that sell through Amazon. Unlike many of their non-U.S. counterparts, they offer quality customer service, user manuals you can actually understand, and good business ethics. Many of the models on this list link directly to these companies, particularly the first 5 listings.

1. U818A Wifi FPV Drone with Altitude Hold and HD Camera



UDI is a highly reputable (and affordable) drone manufacturer that’s been constantly upgrading their training / beginner sUAS models over the last couple of years.

This model, the U818A, boasts altitude-hold and a first-person-view (FPV) screen, so you can see exactly what the HD camera of your drone sees…in real time. Great practice for those of you looking to get into FPV racing.

u818a wifi fpv drone with altitude hold and hd camera

But that’s not all! You also get bonus VR goggles, an extra battery, extra propellers, AND and a bonus power bank for additional charging.

Box Contents:

  • 1 U818W
  • 1 Controller
  • 2 Batteries
  • 1 USB Battery Charger
  • 1 SC Card reader
  • 1 4GB SD card
  • 4 Spare Blades
  • 1 Spanner
  • 1 Manual

The camera can capture 720P video at 30 frames per second (with an SD card). This is one of the most popular training quadcopters on the market, and I like this particular package because it comes with an extra battery.

The LCD screen on its transmitter displays a full range of flight stats to keep you in the know. Its light but durable frame makes it a great quad for new pilots to practice with.


These extra parts are available for the the U818A:




  • Forward-facing camera takes HD video and HD photos with color and white balance
  • Movie resolution upgraded to 1280 * 720 at 30 frames per second
  • FPV and VR headset compatibility
  • Removable Micro-SD (TF) card stores enough for several flights
  • Data port and USB Data Cable – upload your new AVI and JPEG files to Facebook, Email, Photoshop LCD radio controller
  • LCD screen displays full flight status
  • Extra battery to double your flight time
  • Photo Button snaps pictures, Video Button starts & stops video recording
  • Frequency: 2.4Ghz
  • Size: 13.4 x 13.0 x 2.2 in
  • Weight: 1 pounds
  • Charging time: about 90-120 minutes
  • Flying time: about 8-10 minutes

2. U45 Blue Jay WiFi FPV Drone with HD Camera



An exclusive training quadcopter from USA Toyz / Force1 RC, the U45 Blue Jay is one of the more durable beginner quadcopters out there. As you can see by those propeller guards, they can take quite a beating.

U45 Blue Jay WiFi FPV Drone with HD Camera

This makes it great for beginners, but more experienced pilots will enjoy this quad as well. The Blue Jay has a skillful Custom Route Mode as well, where you can drag your fingers across your mobile or tablet app screen to create an automated flight path.

Box Contents

  • U45W Drone
  • 2.4Ghz Controller
  • 3.7V 500mAh Battery x 2
  • USB Battery Charger
  • 4GB SanDisk Micro SD Card
  • SD Card Reader
  • Spare Propellers x 4
  • Screwdriver
  • User Manual




  • FIRST PERSON VIEW with VR HEADSET COMPATIBILITY: Watch live video feed of your flight from your iPhone or Android Smart mobile device with the FPV WiFi feature.
  • ALTITUDE HOLD FUNCTION: SUPER EASY DRONE FOR BEGINNERS TO FLY: Makes controlling the drone a breeze for beginners and stabilizes aerial photography. This is the ideal beginner drone with a lot of the latest features typically found on higher end models.
  • ONE TOUCH TAKE OFF AND LANDING: Drone automatically hovers at a set altitude after take off and before landing making it easy to control and maneuver, especially for beginners who are not yet skilled.
  • CUSTOM ROUTE MODE -Trace the desired flight path on the mobile app screen and the drone will fly along the path unassisted
  • HD CAMERA: Capture 720p high definition aerial photos and videos with 2MP camera; Sync it to your controller to really bring life to your flights!

3. Focus FPV Drone with HD Camera



The Focus FPV Drone comes with an extra battery, spare propellers, and a 4GB Micro SD Card.

 Roll over image to zoom in Focus FPV Drone with HD Camera 720p

Another tried and true model with FPV capabilities if you’d like to practice FPV racing or master multirotor orientation with a more affordable beginner model.

Box Contents

  • FOCUS FPV Drone
  • 2.4Ghz Controller w/Display
  • 2 x 3.7V 500mAh LiPo Battery
  • 2 x 3.7V 450mAh LiPo Battery
  • USB Battery Charger
  • 4 x Spare Propellers
  • 4G Micro SD Card
  • Mini Screwdriver
  • Instruction Manual




  • FIRST PERSON VIEW – Watch live video feed straight from the pilot’s seat with FPV and a built-in screen on your controller
  • CATCH IT ALL ON VIDEO – This drone with HD camera lets you to capture aerial photos and video of your flight in 720p With this Drone’s 720p HD camera, you’ll be able to capture amazing aerial photos and video of your flight
  • FISH EYE LENS – Its camera is equipped with a fish eye lens so you can enjoy a wider view of your flight
  • EASY TO FLY – Full, digital stabilization keeps you in control making this a great drone for beginners
  • HEADLESS MODE & RETURN HOME – The drone can automatically detect its location which means no positioning is needed before flying; Plus, Return Home brings it right back to you!

4. U28W Wifi FPV Drone with Altitude Hold and HD Camera



The U28W Wifi FPV Drone is a tiny but mighty drone that can reach fast top speeds. And because of the low-latency FPV video transmission straight to a built-in controller screen, it makes this ideal for anyone who wants a fun drone to learn on, but eventually be able to race around obstacles with ease.

U28W Wifi FPV Drone with Altitude Hold and HD Camera

Given the size of the frame, the motors are fairly powerful, making this drone super fast and agile. As with many of the other models on this list, it has an easy “flip” button which is fun to see through the built-in FPV controller screen.


These extra parts are available for the U28W Wifi FPV Drone:

Extra Batteries 4-in-1 Battery Charger




  • FIRST PERSON VIEW with VR HEADSET COMPATIBILITY: Watch a live video feed of your flight on an android or iPhone device with the FPV WiFi feature; Syncs instantly and brings life to your flights!
  • CUSTOM ROUTE MODE – Trace the desired flight path on the mobile app screen and the drone will fly along the path unassisted
  • WIDE ANGLE HD CAMERA & EXTRA BATTERY FOR LONG FLIGHT TIME: Capture pristine aerial videos and photos in 720P high definition on 4GB Micro SD, 120º wide angle format; Double your flight time with extra battery
  • 3D STUNTS: Perform 360º flips and rolls with the push of a button; View all of your flips and twists in real time straight from the controller screen
  • EASY TO FLY FOR BEGINNERS: Custom route mode allows pilots to draw out their desired flight path in the Flyingsee app. High/Low Speed Mode makes drone easy for beginners to master; FAA Registration NOT Required

5. Syma X5C


syma x5c cheap drone

Even in moderate winds, the Syma X5C held up really well during my test flights. This exclusive package comes with an extra battery, effectively doubling your flight time. You’re also getting extra propellers as well.

The Syma X5C also comes with a forward-facing HD camera (720p) and 2GB SD card. That, plus a few autonomous features like headless mode and one-button flips and barrel rolls, makes this a great drone for beginners.

Note: We have other lists of drones, similar to this one buy covering different, more advanced models like: 13 Remote Control Drones to Buy in 2016.


These extra parts are available for the Syma X5C:




  • With Headless Mode, no need to adjust the position of aircraft before flying
  • One key to return function makes it easily find the way home
  • 4 Channel can do ascend, descend, forward, backward, left sideward fly, right sideward fly and rolling 360°
  • HD VIDEO CAMERA: 2MP HD video camera (Resolution: 1280 x 720; Framerate: 30 FPS) lets you take high-resolution pictures and videos during flight. Comes with 2GB Micro SD Card!
  • Lightweight airframe with nice durability
  • Battery protection

  • Frequency: 2.4Ghz
  • Charging time: 90-120mins
  • Flying time: 7-9mins
  • Control distance: about 30m

6. Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter



Gizmodo calls the Blade Nano “The Best Drone for Advanced Beginners.”

Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter - ImageFirst, it’s got SAFE technology. SAFE stands for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope. It helps you prevent crashing your drone and assists you in takeoff (two necessary skills for any newbie pilot).

If at any time you lose control or need to take a breather, simply let go of the sticks and the quadcopter will hover in place.

When you get more advanced, switch the quad to agility mode to perform skillful maneuvers and hit top speeds.

The Blade Nano is a beginner drone (for under $100) that will carry you into the veteran landscape. (Blade was also featured in our list of drone companies to watch, among a few of the other manufacturers in this article.)


These extra parts are available for the Blade Nano QX:




  • Features exclusive SAFE™ (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology with stability and agility modes (if you get in trouble, just let go of the sticks)
  • Small enough to fly in any room or office
  • Tough, lightweight airframe with blade guards
  • Potent brushed motors that provide smooth and powerful lift
  • Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can switch the SAFE system to agility mode for faster flying speeds and more maneuverability

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 35.8 x 21.3 x 11.4cm
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Flying time: 10 minutes

7. MJX X400W FPV



The MJX X400W FPV is a drone with a camera that offers an affordable option for pilots looking to experiment with low-level aerial videography and an FPV experience.

You can control the X400W drone from 100 meters away, and your flight time is about 8-9 minutes.

mjx x400w fpv cheap drone

The MJX X400W FPV drone is stable enough for newbies, but packed with enough features for more advanced pilots.


These extra parts are available for the MJX X400W FPV drone:




  • HEADLESS MODE: Usually, the forward direction of a flying multi-rotor is the same as the nose direction, by using Headless, the forward direction has nothing to do with nose direction, the direction will be the same as your remote controller
  • 3D SPLIT SCREEN DISPLAY: Compatible with 3D VR HEADSET on MJX FPV APP, use your own VR HEADSET (NOT INCLUDED) to see the world in a different way
  • FPV REAL TIME TRANSMISSION: Connect your phone with the drone and the view will be shown directly on your phone, thus enjoy the world above the horizon
  • ONE KEY 3D ROLL: With the latest technology of 6-Axis Gyro flying control system, it can fly very stable and take better pictures and it can finish the 3D roll with one key, it is very easy to use even for the beginner

8. Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider



Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider - Image

Ever wished you could walk on walls? Well, now you can live vicariously through your drone.

The Parrot Rolling Spider comes with detachable wheels on both ends. You can fly the drone like normal, or attach the wheels and roll across the floor, up walls, or across the ceiling.

You can also control this drone with your smartphone or tablet, using the FreeFlight 3 app.


These extra parts are available for the Parrot Rolling Spider:




  • Fitted with a propeller circuit-breaker in the event of a crash
  • Removable wheels to roll anywhere: across the floor, up the walls or across the ceiling
  • Take aerial shots like selfies from the sky with the embedded vertical mini-camera
  • FreeFlight 3 app offers an intuitive control from your smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth® Smart and is free
  • The first quadcopter to fly and roll on the ceiling

  • Frequency: 2.4Ghz
  • Charging time: 1 hour
  • Flying time: 8 minutes (6 minutes with wheels)
  • Control distance: 20 meters

9. Symca X11C 



The Syma X11C Quadcopter is one of the most affordable quadcopter options a beginner UAV pilot has. With its 6-axis gyro direction stabilizer flight control system, 3D lock to help for more precise flying, and blade protector to help with minor crashes, this is a great inexpensive quadcopter for beginners.

Syma X11C


  • 6-axis gyro direction stabilizer flight control system
  • 3D lock for more precise flying
  • No assembly required
  • 360 degree eversion – lets you continuously roll the quadcopter in the air, do flips and tricks.

  • Includes 2MP HD Camera
  • Frequency: 2.4Ghz

10. NightHawk DM007



For a new pilot who’s looking to experiment with aerial photography, you might want to consider the NightHawk DM007.


It comes with prop guards and landing gear standard, which is nice for a drone this size. However, I have read that the blades tend to pop off (but a little super glue can solve that).


These extra parts are available for the NightHawk DM007:




  • 2MP Camera (comes with 2GB memory card and card reader)
  • Dual mode (Beginner mode and Professional mode)
  • LCD monitor can show the throttle, LED light, battery and signal conditions
  • Ready to fly
  • Strong anti-drop capabilities, uses high strength metallic materials, and equipped with a full range of multi-angle crash protection cover
  • Replaceable aircraft batteries
  • Two different speed modes

  • Frequency: 2.4Ghz
  • Charging time: About 80-90 mins
  • Flying time: 6-8 mins
  • Control distance: About 150 meters

11. Hubsan X4 H107L with LED Lights



Hubsan X4 (H107L)

The Hubsan X4 H107L is the model I learned how to fly on.

It’s pretty basic but flies well. It has a built-in 720 pixel camera. Its compact size still makes it an excellent indoor flyer. Please note that this model does NOT come with an extra battery, propeller guards, etc. Consider getting a “crash pack” from the link below. I wish I would have bought one when I first started flying this thing back in 2014.

The Hubsan X4 H107L is a great first model for the newbie pilot, but pretty bare bones compared to some of the other models on this list.


These extra parts are available for the Hubsan X4 H107L:




  • Lightweight airframe with nice durability
  • 2.0MP, HD 720p (1280×720)
  • 4 “super bright” LEDs
  • Video recording module included (requires a Micro SDHC card)
  • The transmitter (TX) supports both Mode 1 and Mode 2 stick configurations

  • Frequency: 2.4Ghz
  • Charging time: about 30-40 minutes
  • Flying time: about 8 minutes
  • Control distance: 100m

12. Hubsan H111 Nano Drone



As you can see from the image, the Hubsan H111 is one of the smallest quads on the market, comparable to the size of a quarter.

hubsan h111 nano drone

But they still managed to fit 3 gyros and 3 accelerometers in there. This isn’t the drone to show off your best moves with, but for a beginner, it will get you airborne, learning the controls, and comfortable enough to move on to more expensive drones.

Read More: How to Fly a Quadcopter — The Ultimate Guide


These extra parts are available for the Hubsan H111:




  • WORLD’S SMALLEST QUADCOPTER! 4-channel mini copter with a lightweight design; Fits in your palm; FAA Registration NOT Required
  • FEATURES: 360° flips/rolls, 2.4GHz transmitter, LED lights for night and USB charger Included
  • INCLUDES: Nano drone, blade guard, 2.4 GHz controller, LiPo battery, USB charger and 4 spare blades
  • GREAT DESIGN: Tough 1 piece frame, position recovery technology and built-in gyroscope for stability
  • MEASURES approximately 2″ x 2,” CHARGE TIME 30 minutes, FLIGHT TIME 5 minutes. Ages 14+

13. Yi Zhan Tarantula X6



(First off, how cool does this quad look?)

The Yi Zhan X6 comes with a fairly long battery life (10 minutes), and features great maneuverability. It’s easy to control, even for beginner pilots, which makes it a great option for getting started with quadcopters. Also, despite how big it may look in the image, it is on the smaller side of the market. This makes it great for indoor flying.

Yi Zhan X6

However, it’s also powerful enough to hit high speeds outdoors, making the Yi Zhan X6 a fun quadcopter for beginner to intermediate flyers.



  • 7.4V, 1200mah, 30C high capacity and high discharge rate Li-Po battery, charge about 150 minutes, play up to 10 minutes.
  • Up/down, left/right, forward/backward, sideward fight, turn left/right and one button 360 degree flips.The 6-axis system allows the quad to be hand launched
  • Easy to control, even for pilot beginners. Up to 100m(328ft) with 2.4GHz wireless remote control.

14. JYU Hornet FPV Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera



The JYU Hornet FPV Drone features altitude hold, which helps stabilize aerial photography and video while in flight and makes it a great drone for beginners.

Hornet FPV Drone

The Hornet also features headless mode, which orients the drone to be in the same direction as the transmitter before flight, and eliminates the need to adjust aircraft orientation before flying. Add to this the Hornet’s LiPo batteries, which double your potential flight time, and this is a great quadcopter to help you learn the ropes for FPV flying.


These extra parts are available for the JYU Hornet FPV Drone:



  • ALTITUDE HOLD MAKES IT A GREAT DRONE FOR BEGINNERS: Controlling this drone is a breeze for beginners and its altitude hold functions helps stabilize aerial photography and video while in flight. FAA Registration NOT required
  • FIRST PERSON VIEW (FPV): Watch live video feed on built-in controller screen
  • HD CAMERA: Capture amazing high-res aerial photos & video of your flight using the drone’s 720p HD camera and upgraded 4GB Micro SD Card
  • HEADLESS MODE: Eliminates need to adjust aircraft orientation before flight; the direction will be the same as your transmitter, making the drone easy to fly and is great for beginners
  • DOUBLE YOUR FLIGHT TIME: Includes 2 LiPo drone batteries and 2 LiPo controller batteries to extend the fun!


15. UDI U845



With the UFO-like UDI U845, you can achieve real-time video-transmission, or FPV, by connecting your iOS or Android device via WiFi.

Most of the models in this list are pretty similar, but where the UDI U845 stands out is that it’s a hexacopter, meaning that it’s got 6 sets of motors and propellers instead of the normal 4 that you’d find in a quadcopter.

dbpower udi 845

The reason this is important is that you’ll get extra redundancy if one of your motors or propellers fails during flight.

Also, with this model you’ll get an extra, replaceable battery. When your first battery dies, simply swap it out for another one and you’re good to go for another 6-9 minutes!


These extra parts are available for the UDI U845:




  • HD WiFi Camera: Achieve real-time FPV by connecting with IOS or Android via quadcopter wifi real-time video transmission (FAA Registration NOT Required!)
  • Gravity Induction: Allows you to fly your rc drone forward, backward, left or right in correspondence to the angle at which you hold your mobile device! You can now be in total control
  • Bonus Battery: Your U845 FPV Drone includes an extra battery to double your flying time! It can be swapped or charged in place easily via USB! Each battery lasts 6-9 minutes per flight
  • Headless Mode: Makes easier flight and better control, no worry about drone direction when flying
  • Easy Safe and Fun to Fly: The headless mode, low voltage alarm, 360° flips function ensure you fly your copter at ease, fun and safe, no worry about the quadcopter fly away

16. U32 Freedom



The U32 Freedom Drone has some powerful brushed motors and the unique ability to fly inverted, which is a unique feature, as well as an easy flip function that makes it well worth the cost.

UDI Freedom U32 RC Mini Quadcopter Drone RTF

The drone itself stays light weight by integrating the circuit board into the frame of the drone. It also comes with propeller guards and landing skids, something you don’t get standard with most drones in this price range. LED lights also make it suitable for flight in low-light conditions.


These extra parts are available for the U32 Freedom Drone:




  • AWESOME STUNTS: 4 channel design makes flight simple and stable; Do impressive 360° flips and stunts
  • FLY YOUR DRONE LONGER: Super powerful motors allow quadcopter to fly way longer and more efficiently
  • ELIMINATE DAMAGE: Its elastic plastic frame boosts performance and protects propellers upon crashing
  • DOUBLE YOUR FLIGHT TIME: 2 bonus batteries are included to charge in place; 8-10 minutes per battery
  • NIGHTTIME FLIGHT: Body LEDs light up the night sky allowing you to clearly see your drone at night

17. Cheerson CX-10 Mini



Allow me to introduce one of the best-selling RC multirotors on Amazon — the Cheerson CX-10 Mini.

It’s a best seller for a reason. This thing is a perfect quadcopter for beginners, and veterans will enjoy flying it as well. It’s great for all skill levels.

Cheerson CX-10 Mini

The Cheerson CX-10 Mini is (super) small and durable, so even if you do end up losing a few propellers, spare parts are inexpensive. Despite its size, Cheerson still managed to pack a 6-axis flight control board in there for advanced maneuvers.


These extra parts are available for the Cheerson CX-10:




  • Model: CX10. Color: Bright Orange. Body Material: ABS Plastic. Main Rotor Diameter: 1.14″ / 2.9cm. Speed Control: Integrated. Required Radio: 4Channel. Frequency: 2.4G.
  • Flight Time: Approx. 4-8 minutes. Charging Time: About 30-40 minutes. Battery: Rechargeable 3.7V 100mAh Lithium Battery. Transmitter Battery: 2 x 1.5V AAA Batteries (Not Included)
  • Control Distance: About 40 meters. . 6-axis design makes the gyroscope adjustable, promoting flying stability. Suitable for: Ages 14+
  • Powered by a piece of rechargeable 3.7V 100mAh lithium battery. 3-level adjustable speed flip function.
  • Package Includes: 1 x Mini UFO QuadCopter 1 x USB Cable, 1 x Transmitter, 2 x Main Blades, 1 x User Manual


Related: Learn about flight safety, rules and regulations, which drones to buy, money-making opportunities, pilot skills, and more, with our premium training course for new drone pilots.

Thanks for checking out our list of cheap drones. It’s not exhaustive, but I hope it gives you some more options to choose from.

If you’re still struggling to choose the right drone, check out our article that reviews 13 more remote control drones.

Or go ahead and fire off an email to support@uavcoach.com. We’ll do our best to help you out.

Happy flying!

Alan Perlman

Founder at UAV Coach
Alan is an FAA-certified drone pilot and founded UAV Coach in 2014 to help connect drone enthusiasts, to provide world-class sUAS industry training courses, and to help push the drone community forward with a focus on safety and commercial opportunities.

  115 comments for “17 Cheap Drones for Beginners (Under $175) [Updated for Summer 2017]

  1. gary
    September 30, 2015 at 1:51 pm


    Cheerson CX-10 Mini actually takes less than 10 minutes to charge – that’s why I bought one.
    About to buy another one so I can continually fly.

    Who can have fun flying 5-6 minutes and waiting an hour to charge ?

    Do you have any accurate re-charging times of other quadcopters similar to the Cheerson ?

    Otherwise, great article !!

    • Alan Perlman
      October 5, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Hi Gary, thanks for chiming in. I’m going off of the product specs listed by manufacturers on both Amazon and Banggood. Good to know you’re able to get a quicker charge time with the Cheerson though. Let it be noted!

      • Alek
        November 16, 2015 at 5:13 am

        I have the CX023 of which seems to be the same brand. The product seems exactly the same except mine has a couple blade guards that do about 0 protecting the blades in a collision.
        My charging time from dead flat (can no longer pick itself off the ground) is about 20-30 minutes but for flight time feels longer than 5-6 minutes but I’m not constantly in the air.

      • December 28, 2015 at 2:57 am

        thank you too.

      • hari
        January 14, 2016 at 4:59 pm

        Which one is best syma x5c or x5c1 ?….plz help me out …which one can i go for?

        • January 18, 2016 at 1:43 pm

          The X5C – 1 is the upgraded version of this model. I’d recommend that.

  2. Joe
    November 12, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Hi….Thank You for your list but if you could give me a recommendation..My Son is 15 and wants a drone with a camera for Christmas.
    From what I see and we have had othe RC units cars/helos etc..my requirements would be camera, prop gaurds, landing gear ( durable unit) battery life or at least cheaper addl bateries to buy.
    $125.00 max
    Thanks in advance
    I love the auto hover feature on one unit mentioned and feed back on the controller in another.

    • Alan Perlman
      November 16, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Hi Joe, after doing some research, which units are you considering? Feel free to email us at support@uavcoach.com to continue the conversation. Happy to offer advice where we can. Lots of good models out there.

  3. Dwayne
    November 24, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks for all the info Great stuff here Alan. I’m looking to purchase 2 Drones, 1 for my soon to be teenage son, and 1 for myself. I’d decided on 2 Syma X5c. Before doing so I would like your thoughts on which of these devices would do best in light Wind. We live in a city that’s always windy so we’re forced to fly in light wind as no wind days are few to none.

    • Alan Perlman
      November 26, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Just sent you a separate email, Dwayne!

      • Ryan Murray
        February 19, 2016 at 6:21 am

        Funny I didn’t see the Dromida Vista, or the Kodo. Also the Traxis. The dromidas remind me of a designer that likes to build classic muscle cars as opposed to all the above mentioned would be import tuner cars equivalent . I just upgraded my motors on both the Kodo as well as the Vista. I went with Micro Motor Warehouse Dark Editions for both. The Vist was able to handle the added load in power, and the Kodo I turned into a Frankenstien type drone. I added a huge battery from the HeliMax 230Si(worst quad copter on the market). To pull it off I had to modify the battery tray with an old Vista tray. I relocated the bottom of the Kodo body to the top and will add an FPV cam as soon as I figure out how. The dark edition motors are awesome. They are the big blocks of the micro brushed motors. Also, I have the UDI nano drone, and boy does that thing out perform anything in its class

        • February 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm

          Thanks for the recommendations, Ryan. Tons of drone manufacturers coming out of the woodwork these days, hard to keep track! Most of the models at this price point function similarly.

  4. Gary
    November 25, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    brand new to the quad copter hobby…..
    I have been practicing on a HAK 906 purchased at a kiosk in a mall.
    Got it hovering in no time – both indoors and out

    But I find it very difficult controlling any kind of turning

    I had the sales guy check my quad out–
    It flew perfectly!

    Are you familiar with my model?

    Thanks Gary

    • Alan Perlman
      November 26, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Not familiar with this particular model, Gary, but kudos to you for mastering basic multirotor orientation so easily!

  5. Sarah
    November 26, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Looking for a beginner drone for my 8 year old daughter. So it needs to be durable, and she’d like a video camera. I like the idea of replaceable batteries.! Suggestions?

    • Alan Perlman
      December 2, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      You can’t go wrong with any of the models on this list 🙂 My personal favorites are #1, #3, and #5. Yes, I’d recommend buying some extra batteries if the model you have doesn’t already come with one.

  6. Coach Freddie
    November 28, 2015 at 1:08 am

    I’m looking at buy a drone for myself. I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for one. The on I was looking at was the Syma X8G 2.4G 6 Axis Gyro 4-CH Headless RC Quadcopter with a HD Camera. What is your take on that one? Thanks for any help.

    • Alan Perlman
      December 2, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      She’s fun to fly! Good bang for your buck.

  7. Mal
    November 28, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Hey, I’m thinking about getting one for christmas for a 20 year old. I’m still not sure what one would be the best? Do you have any recommendations. The only requirement that I’m sure that it would need is a camera.

    • Alan Perlman
      December 2, 2015 at 11:18 pm

      You can’t go wrong with any of the camera drone models on this list 🙂 My personal favorites are #1, #3, and #5.

  8. pat
    November 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Looking for drone for gift for beginner son-in-law with camera. Would you recommend HubsonH107D FPV or
    Blade NanoQX for him?

    • Alan Perlman
      December 2, 2015 at 11:18 pm

      You can’t go wrong with either choice, Pat 🙂 The FPV functionality of the Hubsan is fun though.

    • eima
      January 5, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      The cheapest and best drone i recommend is syma x8w

  9. Grant
    November 29, 2015 at 12:12 am

    I just read your article, looks like a good few options for beginners. If you could suggest a few of the top ones for me please? I’d like something with good video, but I’d prefer something that’s really fun to fly.

    • Alan Perlman
      December 2, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      You can’t go wrong with any of the models on this list 🙂 My personal favorites are #1, #3, and #5.

  10. Jill
    November 30, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    my 11 year old son wants to record video from above our house and neighborhood as well as use a camera drone indoors. This list is great but I am still wondering which is best for beginner that wants to use indoors and out and will hold up to crashes.

    • Alan Perlman
      December 2, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      You can’t go wrong with any of the models on this list 🙂 My personal favorites are #1, #3, and #5.

  11. isacc
    November 30, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Is the syma x5c good and how many flights does it have before a motor goes out

    • Alan Perlman
      December 2, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Yep, it’s a great model. I have yet to fly one to exhaustion yet, so I’m not sure how to best answer that question.

  12. Dee
    November 30, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Thinking about buying one for each of my twins so thought I would check reviews. Thank you for checking these out and posting prices. Its cyber Monday and amazon has raised all of their prices on the ones you have listed here. amazon upsets me!

    • Alan Perlman
      December 2, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      If Amazon lowers their prices after you make a purchase, you can reach out to their support team, and they’ll issue you a refund.

  13. Zach
    December 2, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Hi – I’m looking to buy my 16 year old son a nice drone. After looking through all of the ones mentioned above, I still couldn’t really decide which was best. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

    • Alan Perlman
      December 2, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      You can’t go wrong with any of the models on this list 🙂 My personal favorites are #1, #3, and #5.

  14. Matt
    December 3, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Great write up. I terrorize my kids with the Cheerson CX10 all the time. Once you get good with the controls, the maneuverability is amazing! Battery last only 5 minutes or so, but still so much fun.
    I notice that these all have front facing cameras. Any inexpensive drones that have adjustable cameras for overhead views also? I want to purchase one for a friend that has a huge warehouse type facility, so he can video from above.
    I would also like to PM with you about a second level drone for myself. Something that I can put one of my GO Pros on. Something a little more high dollar. FAST, upgradable that doesn’t need a computer programmer to operate.

    • Alan Perlman
      December 4, 2015 at 1:12 am

      I’ll send you an email, Matt 🙂

  15. Crystal
    December 3, 2015 at 10:53 am

    My 8 year old wants a drone for Christmas and I am not really tech savvy, so I really appreciated your post, thank you! I’d really like to stay under $80, is the older version of your #1 pick (the UDI U818A) still a good option?

    • Alan Perlman
      December 4, 2015 at 1:18 am

      Still a great model, Crystal!

  16. Jimmy
    December 6, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Can any of these drones lift a small 30 lbs test fishing line up and over a 60 foot tree? Roughly 120 feet of line.

    • December 9, 2015 at 11:49 am

      None of the models on this list can handle a 30 lb payload.

    • James
      December 16, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      Monofilament is very light weight so it is likely that several of these drones could lift 100+ feet worth. HOWEVER trailing the same line will be much harder at least in part due to air resistance.

  17. Alexander
    December 8, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Hi, I am looking for a fast drone.
    Can you please tell me which drone is the fastest in your list?

    • December 9, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Hi Alexander, we don’t have a mph or kph breakdown with any of these lower-priced models. Many of them have different modes you can switch to which allow for increased speed and agility. How fast are you looking to fly? Why is speed important to you? Will help me make a stronger recommendation.

      • Alexander
        December 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

        I had a few drones, so I’m experienced with these things. Now I’m looking for a drone that is faster, and more for intermediate flyers. I’m not sure how fast you could get a drone flying for under $100 though…
        Maybe 20-35 mph? I’m not sure exactly why speed is important to me; maybe because I think it’s more fun and impressive.
        Maybe the Hubsan x4 or the Yizhan x4 ? Nano qx ? I’m sure you know.
        Thanks again!

  18. em
    December 9, 2015 at 8:02 am

    I’m looking to buy a drone that has go pro mounting abilities, do you have any recommendations? I’m having trouble finding one that isn’t too expensive! my budget is $100

    • December 9, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Hi Emily, with this budget you won’t find a drone with GoPro mounting abilities.

  19. Brian
    December 10, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Do any of these models have live video capability? (i.e. transmit to iphone)?

  20. Ysnow1
    December 12, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    I’m looking for a small cheap drone and I’ve seen these less than $20 drones.
    I wanted to get the Cheerson CX-10 Mini, but I’ve heard problems with people breaking them or having trouble with them less than a day in.
    I decided to go with the FQ777-124 Pocket Drone, and I’ve only heard very good things about it.
    Does anyone know which is best?
    They’re about the same price, but I would like to get a drone that does not break after only a few runs?
    Thank you!

    • Lazer72
      March 21, 2016 at 5:09 am

      Go for the JJRC H20. It’s a brilliant hexacopter that’s really cheap and durable.

  21. A.F.
    December 13, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    As a rock climber, I would like a drown I can use both to scout the tops of climbing routes that are not visible from the ground (as high as 100 feet) as well as photograph or video my climbing buddies. What would be your recommendations? Thanks

    • December 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      I’m also a rock climber! Depends on what quality photo / video you’re looking for, and what your budget is. Feel free to shoot us an email at support@uavcoach.com with more information and we’ll help you out with a recommendation.

  22. Tim
    December 13, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    I’m trying to buy a drone for Christmas, but I can’t tell which ones are.full.size? Which ones in the list are full size?

    • December 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      Not sure what “full size” means, Tim.

      • Tim
        December 14, 2015 at 6:07 am

        Not the size of my hand.

        • December 14, 2015 at 12:13 pm

          Check out #1, #3, and #5 on this list.

        • Alexander
          December 17, 2015 at 9:16 am

          Yeah, Tim, the UDI U818A-1, the USA Toyz UX5C, the JJRC H8C, the SYMA X5C and the DM007 are bigger than your hand. The Hubsan X4 (H107C), the Blade Nano QX, the Hubsan X4 (H107L), the Yi Zhan X4 and the USA Toyz F180+ are about the size of your hand
          Hope this helps!

  23. Regina
    December 16, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Looking to buy one for my 10 year old daughter (she really wants a hoverboard but, with all the negatives, a drone is next on her list) Im not sure which to get. I need durable and with a video camera. Any suggestions, even open to some not on this list. Thanks!

    • December 16, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      I’m a fan of #1, #3, and #5 on this list, Regina. You can’t go wrong with any of those.

    • Grant
      December 16, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      The list is a good list. Those not on the list are usually copied versions of those that are on the list. I did my homework and the list is a good list. I ended up going for the
      syma xc5-1. Really cheap and if you smash it you can just buy a new one without the controls for around $26 from banggood.

  24. Morrow Clay
    December 17, 2015 at 7:00 am

    You missed another one – ELF VRDrone selling at $99, controlled by smartphone, capable of HD photos and videos. http://elfx.cc/

    • December 17, 2015 at 10:05 am

      Paid for an ELF 6 months ago and still haven’t received it. Pretty website, but poor production cycle and communication from their team through the original Indiegogo campaign. Won’t promote until our team has had a chance to test it ourselves.

  25. Matt
    December 17, 2015 at 10:55 am

    No love for the Syma x11? Dude…

  26. Neelesh Joyram
    December 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Great stuff for Christmas lol 😀 thanks Alan!
    Done further research and found a pretty decent mini-drone the FX-1 or FX-2 by fineco which is good stuff for beginners and a good indoor and outdoor flyer you could include this in your list.

  27. Thomas
    December 19, 2015 at 12:45 am

    G’day Alan, great article (very helpful). I’m new to drones, and am looking for one under say $300 with camera (photo and video) and both short recharge time and long flight time. Anything that fits the bill? Cheers.

    • December 22, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks, Thomas. I like #1, #3, and #5 on this list. If you have specific questions, or for some reason the models on this list aren’t doing it for you, feel free to shoot us an email at support@uavcoach.com.

  28. Kyle
    December 25, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks for the list! really helpful. I am new to the hobby and where I live its constantly windy (an average of 11mph). Could any of these work in such weather or should I be looking for something a little more expensive? Thanks!

    • December 27, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      I’d look for something heavier / more expensive 🙁

  29. Brian Osborn
    December 27, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    We purchased a UX5C for Christmas and we’re finally getting the hang of it when one of the rotors stopped working. We are returning it now. What would you recommend as a step up to this model? What about a drone that provides a live video feed?

  30. scott taulker
    January 1, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    trying to contact you I use aol. guessing its not all together compatible? any suggestions? thanks happy new year

  31. chris
    January 12, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Hello i’m a beginner with drones so i want to ask you the flying time is the time of moving time when the drone is high?

    • January 18, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Chris, the flying time is dependent on what you’re flying, and what battery you’re using.

  32. Malcolm
    January 14, 2016 at 1:54 am

    Hi there, I’m looking to by a drone for my 14 year old hamster. Which one do you recommend?

    • January 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      I like #1 and #5 on this list.

  33. Berend
    January 14, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Hi i haver never had a drone before im planning to buy the udi. U839 i will be flying outdoors most of the time with a moderate wind would this be a good choice

  34. Bob Leedom
    January 31, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Correction on Syma X5C weight.
    Not 2 pounds.
    105 grams, or 0.23 pounds.

    • Bob Leedom
      January 31, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      (To clarify: I see that Amazon says the shipping weight of the X5C is 2 pounds, which of course would include the box and the R/C controller/transmitter and a few accessories. But the quad itself is only about a tenth of that.)

  35. Franck
    February 8, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I got two drones for christmas (my wife thought the first one had been cancelled since they charged here 2 weeks after ordering it), which are the :
    -Syma X5SW (the one with the video streaming option)
    -Aviax F2C.

    The aviax is also under 100$. I’m a newbie at flying these things, so i’m looking for the best model to learn. Ideally, a stable model that lets me experiment in a small space (strong winds outdoor, usually).

    Optionally, taking relatively good pictures would be nice, but for that the Aviax seems better (no laggy FLV). both models come with prop guards and cameras, and the aviax comes with an extra cruise control feature (40 last sec of the flights can be repeated on autopilot).

    Haven’t tried the syma yet, would love to get some feedback/comparison with the aviax if you had the chance to test it.

    Nice guide, really helpful (i don’t think my wife saw it though :p).

  36. Catherine Mauro
    February 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Can you help me select a drone for a first time user (me)? Here are my requirements:

    strictly outdoor use – too many breakables indoors to practice there
    built in camera w/sd or micro sd card (or some way to store and transfer pics w/o using a phone) and able to take both still pics and video
    it would be nice if it could do flips and other aerobatics
    easy enough for a beginner to fly

    my price line is up to $250

    do you think the Hubsan X4 FPV Quadcopter is a good option? I had hoped to get one a little larger (8″-12″ dia) figuring it would be sturdier

    • February 10, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Catherine,

      Many of the models on this list would be a good fit for you. I’m a big fan of the Hubsan FPV model.

  37. Jaume Plumb-Planas
    February 16, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I got the Dromida Vista for my birthday (are you familiar with that model?), and its pretty durable, but the motors keep going out. What are your thoughts on it?

    • February 20, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      Hi Jaume, no specific thoughts…we’re not familiar with that company. What questions do you have about it?

  38. phil
    February 16, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Hi I am new to quadcopters and started out with the dm007, I found it very disheartening to start with a quadcopter of this standard as the camera only worked for one flight and it was non stop to burn out motors and as someone else said the blades keep popping off. I have not purchased another quadcopter because of these reasons would it not be better to make more reliable quadcopters for beginners without spending a lot of money to get people into this hobby instead of driving them away. I for one will not be buying another quadcopter until something more reliable turns up, I do not want to spend hundreds of dollars just to learn to fly.

    • February 20, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      Sounds like you got a dud, Phil! You should reach out directly to the manufacturer to get it replaced ASAP. I wouldn’t let one dud stop you from getting another. Try a model from UDI, Syma, Hubsan, Blade, Cheerson, or Sky Viper.

    • Julien
      March 30, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      The Syma X5SW or X5C is a good option for a start, around 60-70 $ on amazon. The difference between the 2 is the FPV (in the 5SW) or no (in the 5C). The video tend to be blurry in my case, as if the focus of the camera was set up to a few meters only, which explains why I don’t manage to get nice clear videos of distant stuff. I haven’t taken pics with it though, only videos so far.

      As an alternative, the gptoys aviax F2C is a bit bigger with a slightly better camera, but without some stuff that make the syma x5sw nicer (aka, on/off switch, battery connecting cable, easy removal of the camera). This one doesn’t have the FPV option, but I feel it’s more stable, especially in light winds (i guess it’s because of the bigger size). I find it easier to shoot pics with this one though, since you don’t have to move your hand to your phone, which you have to do with the syma x5sw.

      Both models are good options for a starter, and they cost the same more or less. Haven’t had any issues with either of them. They both got baptised with a couple of crashes and a several days “vacation” in a tree and still fly completely fine. I cannot say anything about other quads, since I haven’t tested them.

  39. February 17, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Can anyone propose the best 5 of this set based on video quality? I watched the sample of the H8C and noticed the ‘jelly’ effect, which is a deal-breaker. Thank you for your insight!

    • February 20, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      At this price point, you’re not going to get quality video. You need a gimbal and a stronger camera.

  40. Anna J. White
    February 27, 2016 at 1:22 am

    I am trying to decide on a quad for my son. I have seen the JJRC H8C and was wondering what the thought was on this particular one. He wants one that is big. Thanks in advance for the help.

    • February 28, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      Hi Anna, not a bad choice. You should also look into the UDI 818a or the UX5.

  41. March 2, 2016 at 4:33 am

    Used the H111 to start and was glad I did since it broke after numerous crash landings!

  42. David
    March 11, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Is there a ranking of quadcopters at this price point by video ability? I am looking for a smooth 720p video capability. Seems many are very jumpy based on YouTube!

    • March 11, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      At this price point, you won’t get video footage that’s too smooth. You’ll need to up your budget a bit.

  43. Lazer72
    March 21, 2016 at 5:12 am

    How come the JJRC H20 isn’t on this list?

    • March 26, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      We’ll take a look!

  44. Mike
    April 1, 2016 at 1:59 am

    FYI: There is a wide selection of drones/UAVs for any budget at http://www.sierrapacificdroneworks.com
    I think all your aforementioned training drones are listed there.

    • April 3, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Mike. Is this your company?

  45. Grant
    April 27, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Why isn’t the Blade Inductrix on here? I have previous flying experience, but as far as introduction to quadcopters the inductrix is awesome

    • April 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Good to know, thanks Grant!

  46. Peter
    May 2, 2016 at 3:38 am

    I’m a music video producer in Africa,I’m looking for a drone that will do just fine with the perfect camera for my work for at 150 or less,
    Thank you.

    • May 2, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Peter, if you’re producing music video, then none of the models on this list (and your budget of $150 or less) isn’t a good fit. You’ll need something more professional. Feel free to email us at support@uavcoach.com if you have questions about certain models.

  47. Alessio
    May 2, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Hi Alan,
    I’m looking for my first drone, I’d like to use it outside, but practice in my apartment first, is the #1 suitable for indoor flight or should I go directly to the smaller ones that can also flight outdoor?

    • May 2, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Great question. Any of these models are small enough to be flown indoors. I particularly like this UDI model because of the circular propeller guards. If you bump into walls, you’ll minimize scratches / aircraft damage.

      • May 3, 2016 at 5:53 am

        Good! Now I just have to see if I’m able to get it in Malaysia! 🙂

  48. May 3, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Look like amazon doesn’t ship to Malaysia, and the prices in the store are double.
    Only Banggood will ship here.
    What do you recommend?

  49. Bill Mevers
    May 3, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    I feel like a geinus; Just purchased your #1 pick before I got this email!

    Never flown one before, will see if they will take it easy for an 81 year old man.

  50. Reed Oka-MacLaren
    May 10, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    I’m want to start learning how to fly a drone, and take good video footage while I am at it. I want to be able to film the area around me (specifically over the hudson river, and over the ocean) but I’m not sure which one to purchase. Any insight?

    • May 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Reed, if you want “good video footage,” then these models might not be the best fit for you. Check out our buying guide at http://uavcoach.com/buy-a-drone for more insights.

Comments are closed.