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TABLE OF CONTENTS

5 Cheap Drones for Beginners (Under $180)

Updated With New Drone Models for 2019

Note: 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.

If you're in a hurry, check out our top pick:
U49WF FPV Camera Drone
A good beginner / intermediate drone for still photography and aerial videography

In this post, I’m going to walk you through 5 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 Mavic 2 Pro or the Flyability Elios 2).

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 RealFlight 9: RF9 Radio Control Flight Simulator. Great physics and many models to choose from. There’s also this free trial of the DJI Flight Simulator if you’re interested in learning how to fly with real-life training 🙂

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. And here are our latest course promo codes.

The Best Cheap Drones for Beginners

uavtbl-item__image
Scoot Mini Drone
Flight Time | 8 Minutes
Flight Time | 8 Minutes
uavtbl-item__image
UFO 4000 LED Mini Drone
Flight Time | 18 Minutes
Flight Time | 18 Minutes
uavtbl-item__image
F111WF Folding Drone
Camera | 720p HD
Flight Time | 7-8 Minutes
Camera | 720p HD
Flight Time | 7-8 Minutes
uavtbl-item__image
DJI Tello
Camera | 720p HD, 5 MP
Flight Time | 13 Minutes
Camera | 720p HD, 5 MP
Flight Time | 13 Minutes
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U49WF FPV Camera Drone
Camera | 720p HD
Flight Time | 30 Minutes
Camera | 720p HD
Flight Time | 30 Minutes

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 5 cheap drones for beginner pilots below:

Note #1: All specs/features are obtained from the manufacturer or retailer.

Note #2: On this list, we’ve included models available for sale on Amazon and DJI — as Amazon and DJI Associate partners, we earn a small commission for qualifying purchases. Please know that we’ve tested many of the models on this list, and we wouldn’t recommend anything we wouldn’t fly ourselves!

01

Scoot Mini Drone

battery life

8 Min

good for

Hobbyists

The Scoot Mini Drone features advanced hands-free operation which makes it a great drone for all ages. With an enclosed frame and infrared obstacle sensors, it is also safe for use in any indoor space.

It comes with a USB charging cord making it easy to charge anywhere and it gets a full charge within an hour.

With 8 minutes of nonstop flight time, playing fun interactive games with your friends at a very affordable price has never been easier.

Key Specs and Details

  • HAND OPERATED DRONE FOR EASY, HANDS-FREE FUN: This hand-controlled drone is ideal for all ages due to its ease of use. It features up w/ 1-Key Take Off/Landing and Altitude Hold
  • MULTIPLAYER GAMES: Join in on the fun and play different games with Scoot’s simple and intuitive hand gesture flight modes.
  • ADVANCED SENSOR TECHNOLOGY: Scoot hand-controlled drones use infrared motion sensors to detect obstacles and improve safety
  • FLY YOUR DRONE ANYWHERE: Scoot’s small size, hand-free controls, and it’s enclosed design make it easy to fly in any room in your home, office, or other indoor spaces.
02

UFO 4000 LED Mini Drone

battery life

18 Min

good for

Hobbyists, FPV Racing

The UFO 4000 LED Mini Drone, is a small drone that will be hard to miss with it’s bright red, white, and blue LED lighting system as it zips through the sky.

Propeller guards increase the durability of the drone and make this affordable drone great for beginners. The simple remote controller makes this drone compatiable for all ages with 1-Key Start/Stop and easy joystick directional controls.

Looking for a beginner stunt drone? Look no further, with 4 channels, 2 speeds, Altitude Hold, and Headless Mode; this beginner drone also performs 360° mini flips.

 

Features & Specs

  • SIMPLE REMOTE CONTROLLER: A remote controller with 1-Key Start/Stop and easy joystick directional controls
  • LED LIGHTING SYSTEM: The UFO 4000 features durable propeller guards wrapped with glowing red, blue, and white LEDs making the drone durable and easier to see
  • STUNT FLIGHTS: Featuring 4 channels, 2 speeds, Altitude Hold, and Headless Mode; this beginner drone also performs 360° mini flips
  • FLIGHT TIME: Enjoy up to 18 minutes of flight time and the 2 included rechargeable batteries that get you flying again in no time.
03

F111WF Folding Drone

camera

720p

battery life

7-8 Min

good for

Hobbyists

The F111WF Folding Drone is an affordable drone that is exceptional for traveling due to its folding arm design typically found on high-end drones.

Its impressive 6-axis gyro offers optimal stabilization for the 720p HD camera to easily capture high definition aerial photos.

See exactly what the drone is seeing directly through your smartphone via the iPhone/Android mobile app. The extra battery, propeller guards, and propellers that are included make this the perfect starter drone.

Features and Specs

  • HD DRONE WITH CAMERA: Capture sharp aerial photos and videos with the advanced 720p camera
  • FOLDABLE DRONE QUADCOPTER: The easy to fold drone arms and gimbal lock are ideal for traveling
  • ADVANCED STABILIZATION: This drone has a 6-axis gyro for high-quality footage; Use the iPhone/Android mobile app to snap aerial photos, videos, and selfies
  • EASY TO FLY WIFI FPV: 1-Key Take Off/Landing makes it easier to take to the sky within seconds making this drone outstanding for beginners.
04

DJI Tello

camera

720P, 5 Megapixels

battery life

13 Min

good for

Hobbyists

The DJI Tello may be a small drone but it is full of advanced features that we have come to expect from DJI. Low battery protection, vision positioning system, and auto takeoff and landing are just a few of the advanced features that make this an excellent beginner drone.

Capture stunning 5-megapixel pictures and 720p videos with the Tellos onboard camera system.

13-minutes of flight time, DJI technology, and FPV headset compatibility at such an affordable price ($100!), make this a very compelling option for an inexpensive drone.

Features

  • HD DRONE WITH CAMERA: The Tello captures 5-megapixel photos and 720p MP4 videos, it can also fly up to 10m vertically and up to 100m away
  • FLY LONGER: Enjoy up to 13 minutes of flight time per charge
  • EASY TO FLY DRONE FOR BEGINNERS: DJI technology and intelligent flight modes improve safety, it’s rare to find so many features at this price point
  • VR HEADSET COMPATIBILITY: Fly with a breathtaking first-person view with an 82.6º FOV
  • CONTROLLER COMPATIBILITY: Use a smartphone to fly or purchase the available remote controller from DJI.
  • TELLO EDU: Easily learn about drones with easy to learn programming languages like Scratch, Python, and Swift.
05

U49WF FPV Camera Drone

camera

720P

battery life

30 Min

good for

Hobbyists

The U49WF FPV Camera Drone boasts altitude-hold and a first-person-view (FPV) screen with Camera Live Video, so you can see exactly what the HD camera of your drone sees in real-time.

It also comes with an extra battery to help you fly for even longer before having to charge, and an outstanding 720p camera for clear HD pictures and live video.

Add to that it’s impressively long flight time of 30 minutes, and you’re looking at a great drone for beginners (or intermediate pilots, for that matter) at an inexpensive price.

Features & Specs

  • HD DRONE WITH CAMERA: Capture cool aerial photos and video with your HD drone with camera live video; Easy Android and iPhone control grabs stable HD footage from every angle
  • EASY TO FLY DRONE FOR BEGINNERS and PROS: 3 speeds and 1-key control make these video drones with camera for adults and kids almost too easy to fly; Fly safely with an out of range alarm and bumpers
  • FLY LONGER with EXTRA BATTERY: This FPV drone includes an extra battery (up to 30 min. total flying time), spare motors and 2.4Ghz controller
    MULTIPLE FLIGHT MODES: Drones for beginners hardly ever have the latest features, but this camera drone is stacked with Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, Full Trim, and Real-Time WiFi FPV

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