TABLE OF CONTENTS

5 Cheap Drones for Beginners (Under $180)

Updated With New Drone Models for 2022

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:
Holy Stone HS440 FPV 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 trying 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
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UFO 4000 LED Mini Drone
Flight Time | 18 Minutes
Flight Time | 18 Minutes
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Holy Stone HS440 Drone
Camera | 1080P
Flight Time | 20 Minutes
Camera | 1080P
Flight Time | 20 Minutes
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DJI Tello
Camera | 720p HD, 5 MP
Flight Time | 13 Minutes
Camera | 720p HD, 5 MP
Flight Time | 13 Minutes
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Holy Stone HS175D Drone
Camera | 4K
Flight Time | 23 Minutes
Camera | 4K
Flight Time | 23 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 Minutes

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.

Features & Specs

  • 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 Minutes

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

Holy Stone HS440 Foldable FPV Drone

camera

1080P HD

battery life

20 Minutes

good for

Hobbyists

The Holy Stone HS440 drone proves that you do not have to drop hundreds of dollars for a great starter drone. It features a 1080P WiFi camera system ensuring crisp pictures every time.  The included gravity sensor, tap fly, and gesture control modes allow you to capture cinematic footage or even capture a selfie.

Enjoy up to 20 minutes of flight time with the intelligent flight battery system. The rugged design of the HS440  and its altitude positioning system ensures a stable and safe flight experience. The ease of operation and the number of robust features make this the perfect drone for beginner drone pilots.

Features & Specs

  • 1080P HD DRONE WITH CAMERA: Experience high-resolution images and videos with a 90° adjustable angle that enables broader views.
  • FOLDABLE DRONE QUADCOPTER: The easy-to-fold drone arms are ideal for traveling.
  • FPV TRANSMISSION: Real-time transmission can simultaneously record and show the beautiful scenery allowing you to enjoy the visual feast anytime, anywhere.
  • EASY TO FLY: A must-have for beginners with its intelligent functions and user-friendly features.
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 & Specs

  • 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

Holy Stone HS175D Drone

camera

4K

battery life

23 Min

good for

Hobbyists

The Holy Stone HS175D Drone boasts a 4K camera allowing for smooth and stable videos in high-speed or strong-wind conditions.

It also features GPS assisted flight which means it can automatically return home when the drone loses signal or has a low battery.

Two batteries are included which give you up to 46 minutes of flight experience. And functions like Altitude Hold, Optical Flow, Headless Mode, One Key Take Off/Landing and Speed Adjust make it so easy to beginners or newbies.

Features & Specs

  • 4K ULTRA CLEAR CAMERA: 4K camera with 110° wide-angle and 90° adjustable provides a high resolution picture, enable to capture a perfect shot; 5GHz FPV transmission delivery a smooth and stable videos even in high-speed or strong-wind conditions
  • GPS AUTO RETURN: GPS assisted flight, it can perform automatically return home when the drone lost signal, out of range or low power, never have to worry about flying it away
  • MORE INTELLIGENT FUNCTIONS: This drone can trace and follow you automatically, flying along a path you set, or fly around a point in circles, and when you pose to the camera it will take a photo or video, let you enjoy the wonderful flight experience.

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