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7 Best Drones Under $200: Budget Quadcopters of 2018

Finding the most suitable drone for your unique needs can be very challenging. I know this for a fact because I did have my own drone a few years back. I was so excited to see how it works. And as a result, I made an impulsive buy.


Without considering all the factors, I know it’s not totally worth it since I found out that there are quite a lot of drones at a more affordable cost.

So, if you are looking for a drone and you have no idea where to begin, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve reviewed the best drones under 200-dollars that I find suitable for any of my and your needs.

The 7 Best Drones Under 200 Bucks!

Here is the list of my favorite drones. I’ve included the essential features that you will need in your decision-making when buying. But, just to remind you - no product is perfect. So, expect that there will be advantages and drawbacks as well.

Holy Stone HS230 RC Racing Quadcopter 

The Drone For Everyone

I am so amazed how this RC Racing Quadcopter can be run in 3-speed modes. The HS230 quadcopter’s speed can reach up to 45 km per hour at its maximum. Accordingly, the speed modes can be adjusted depending on your level of knowledge.

Quick Summary

  • 7-10 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 720P 120° Wide-angle HD Camera
  • 100 meters Control Range
Holy Stone HS230 RC Racing Quadcopter

While it is generally designed for racing, it’s quite suitable for all users.

Along with the fast drone speed, the HS230 is also equipped with a modular 120-degree FOV 720p camera that may provide you with clear videos and images. As for the transmissions, videos and feeds can be easily transmitted due to its 5.8GHz analog signal and 2.4GHz operating frequency.

You need not worry about its flying time since it comes with two modular bonus batteries with two charging cables for the quadcopter. And one strong battery with one charging cable for the transmitter.

And based on my experience with the HS230, it can actually do basic flips and rolls too! Although there is no apparent headless mode altitude hold and is designed to reduce wind resistance, a strong blow of winds can be sometimes a challenge.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Excellent customer support 
  • Flying time is long because of the batteries

CONS

  • Not very much suitable for beginners
  • Not as innovative as other racing drones
  • No altitude hold

Holy Stone F181W Wi-Fi FPV Drone 

The Full-Featured Drone

The F181W is one my best drone under 200 bucks because it provides all-inclusive features that are not usually seen on drones under this price range. And if you would ask me, this is a decent buy for every newbie.

Quick Summary

  • 7-10 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 720P 120° Wide-angle HD Wifi Camera
  • 50 - 100 meters Control Range
Holy Stone F181W Wi-Fi FPV Drone

With the One Key Take Off and Landing feature, you could easily start and end your flying activities with one click. Added with the 6 Axis Gyro or the flight control system, you, as a beginner, may fly and control the F181W from 50 to 100 meters of control range without worrying if it will hold back.

Unlike the HS230 quadcopter, the F181W is equipped with a 720P 120-degree FOV HD Wi-Fi camera. You can capture videos and images during flight - and watch them on your smartphone app by connecting it with the built-in Wi-Fi module.

The package comes with a two 3.7 volts 740 mAh LiPo batteries as well. There's no headless mode for now which means you'll have to improve your orientation. Charging time is around 70 to 90 minutes in totality while playing time can reach 7 to 10 minutes.

PROS

  • Stable and easy to control flight movements
  • Excellent customer support
  • Longer playing time than other entry-level drones

CONS

  • Flight range is too short
  • Camera captures are not as clear as depicted
  • Controls tend to malfunction from time to time

U818A Drone Wifi FPV Version 

The Better Toy-Grade Drone

During the flight time, I can say that it can last up to 7 or 8 minutes which is much longer than the average 6 minutes. Slightly similar to the Holy Stone F181W’s batteries, the U818A drone carries two 3.7 volts 700 mAh LiPo batteries.

Quick Summary

  • 6-9 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 720P WiFi Camera
  • 50-80 meters Control Range
U818A Drone Wifi FPV Version

Also, you may get a real-time transmission aerial view of the flight by connecting the smartphone app to the Wi-Fi module of the camera. But, note that the default resolution is set to 480P, so you need to adjust it first to get a 720P resolution.

It’s pretty durable too!It’s quite easy to see that the materials used are of good quality. There is an integrated and reinforced frame that protects the overall structure.

If you want to get your kids one the best drones under 200 dollars, this could be a good start.

PROS

  • Durable and made up of good quality materials
  • Flight time is longer than the average
  • Pretty decent camera

CONS

  • Flight range cannot reach far distances
  • Package inclusions are equipped with basic parts only
  • Not advisable for professional use

Potensic F181DH RC Drone 

The Trainer’s Drone

Potensic’s F181DH RC Drone includes in my best drones under 200 bucks mainly because of the convenience it brings when I am traveling. The overall package comes in a 45x38x16 cm hand-carry case where the quadrocopter along with the other inclusions is neatly placed.

Quick Summary

  • 7-10 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 720P FPV Camera
  • 80 meters Control Range
Potensic F181DH RC Drone

I can conveniently and safely bring it anywhere without worrying where to put them.

Alongside the casing, the F181DH has a stepless-speed function that can be operated and adjusted according to your preference. If you are a beginner, 10% of the maximum speed can be set. But for more advanced flying activities, the speed can be shifted from 10% up to its maximum speed.

Well, this drone with camera is quite suitable if you are training your drone-operating skills. There's no headless mode feature in this drone. But, it is equipped with a 6-axis Gyro Control System that can control flight stability.

In addition, you no longer need to connect your smartphone since it comes with a 2MP camera quality and 5.8GHz monitor screen. Although, transmission delays are possible depending on your target if it's in a long range.

PROS

  • Has a 3D flip button allowing the quadcopter to do 360-degree flips
  • Flight time is 10 minutes, above average
  • Flight range can reach up to 300 meters

CONS

  • The camera is not that good
  • Flight crashes are very apparent
  • Battery life shortens quickly when flips are executed

Force1 F100 Ghost Drone 

The Stylish and Silent Drone

Force1 F100 Ghost Drone has a flight range that can reach up to 500 meters. It can already cover 5 football fields! And this is what I really like about the F100.

Quick Summary

  • 15 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 1080P HD CAMERA
  • 500 meters Control Range
Force1 F100 Ghost Drone

Among all the drones under my list of best drones under 200 dollars, this one has the farthest flight range and it’s quite an edge since not all drones under this price range can execute that.

It has a brushless motor technology that provides a smooth and quiet flight. Hence the name, Ghost Drone. For me, it’s a great feature especially when the drone is to be used for live video recordings.

In addition, the package comes with a detachable 1080P camera. And it also has a action camera mount that is GoPro ready and compatible too.

Another thing that I love about the F100 is it has body shells that come in three colors - white, blue, and black. Aside from the idea that these shells can protect the quadcopter from crashes, these can give stylish appearances to the drone.

PROS

  • Brushless motors allow the 360-degree flips and whips
  • Flight time is above 10 minutes
  • GoPro compatible

CONS

  • Does not have a “Return to Home” button or feature
  • Charger malfunctions from time to time
  • Control buttons are difficult to understand

DBPOWER Predator U842 RC Quadcopter Drone 

The Basic Drone

For a mid-range drone, the Predator U842 is a good pick especially if you are a beginner and simply wants to learn the basic controls of a drone.

Quick Summary

  •  6-9 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 720P HD Camera
  • 80-100 meters Control Range
DBPOWER Predator U842 RC Quadcopter Drone

There’s nothing too special in the U842 but I did include it on my list of best drones under 200 bucks since it is pretty neat and basic. Any aspirant could easily understand how drones work in general when this drone is to be used.

The size and dimension are not too big and not too small, but I suggest that this will be much better utilized outdoors.

As for the camera, it has a 720P camera which is quite good if you ask me. However, you will need to connect your smartphone to its wi-fi module. When viewing or recording using your phone or tablet, the wifi FPV transmission distance that it can cater is 50 to 60 meters. And the control distance can reach up to 100 meters, maximum.

So, if you want a drone that is entirely meant for entertainment and basic training, the Predator U842 is the most suitable of all.

PROS

  • Flight time is above 10 minutes
  • Images and videos are shown to be of good quality
  • Easy to fly and control

CONS

  • Too pricey for its features and built
  • Not durable
  • Customer support is not responsive

Force1 X5UW Thunderbolt Drone 

The Drone For Unique Paths

Last, but surely not the least on my list is the Force1 X5UW Thunderbolt Drone. Personally, I classify this as one of those drones that is very much fitting for newbies and kids. But, enthusiasts can enjoy this too.

Quick Summary

  • 7 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 720p HD Drone FPV Camera
  • 60 meters Control Range
Force1 X5UW Drone

It apparently made it to my list because of some advanced features that I find so unique out of all the drones included here. The X5UW Thunderbolt can allow you to create custom routes and flight paths by simply tracing it on your phone or tablet.

With a flick of your finger, the drone can fly unassisted and would follow the paths you traced. And get this, it’s all in real-time!

Also, I like how convenient it can be as it features a 1 button or 1 key lift, land, and flip. The simplicity of the controls makes it easier for any newbie to get acquainted. Moreover, it also has a 6-axis Gyro Control System.

PROS

  • Easy to use, control, and setup
  • Pretty durable, can stand numbers of crashes
  • Flight time can reach up to 9 minutes

CONS

  • Too lightweight, it cannot hold medium to strong winds
  • Remote controller and drone is difficult to sync
  • Speed is too slow even on its “high-speed” mode

Factors to Consider Before Buying The Best Drones Under 200-Dollars

Aside from the list of my best drones under 200 dollars, there are tons of drones available on the market today. And you would certainly have a hard time finding what’s right for your unique needs.

So, I’ve included as well the factors you need to consider first before buying the drone that will suit you perfectly.

Flight Time

Average drones have a total flight time of 4 to 6 minutes. But this will hinder you from experiencing the fun and features to the fullest, and you don’t want that kind of inconvenience.

So, try opting for drones that have longer flight times. Some can actually reach 15 to 25 minutes of flight time and other drones provide extra battery for much longer use.

Flight Range

Another essential factor is the flight range. This is highly important if you are to use the drones for your ventures and careers. Say, photography and videography.

Some of the best drones under 200 dollars can only have a maximum of 30 meters range. And this is not quite great for aerial photos or videography. You may need flight ranges that can reach up to 100 or even 300 meters max.

Durability

Generally, drones are not really cheap. Hence, buying a drone that is not durable is not worth it. Besides, who wants to buy a product knowing that it could break once used, right?

You better check the materials used in each part. The quality of the materials is the exact thing you need to know whether it is made or built to last.

The Best of All The Best Drones Under 200-Dollars

The drone that I find the best among all is the Force1 F100 Ghost Drone. Primarily, it comes with a detachable 1080P camera. And if I’m not satisfied, I could get to replace it with GoPro since it’s GoPro compatible.

Force1 F100 Ghost Drone

Secondly, flight range can reach up to 500 meters. Thirdly, flight time is longer than the average times. And lastly, it is equipped with brushless motors which are perfect for aerial photography, capturing live feeds and videos.

Well, that is by far my take on the best drone under this price range.

If you are a newbie or just looking for a much better option to replace your drone, this will certainly help you decide.