9 Cheap Drones for Beginners (Under $150)

9 Cheap Drones for Beginners (Under $150)

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

These models don’t have all the bells and whistles of high-end drones, but you’ll be surprised at how advanced their features can get.

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 UAVs on the market today, and they’re great for anyone looking to get into the hobby.

1. UDI U818AHD+

UDI U818AHD+

The HD+ is an upgraded version of the original UDI U818A. It can capture 720P video at 30 frames per second (with 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.

Features
  • 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
  • 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
  • Roll Button for instant 360˚ roll
Specs

Frequency: 2.4GGyro: 6 axis

Size: 13.4 x 13.0 x 2.2 in

Weight: 1 pounds

Charging time: about 90-120 minutes

Flying time: about 7-9 minutes

Control distance: 30m

2. Heli-Max 1SQ V-Cam

Heli-Max-1SQ-V-Cam

The Heli-Max V-Cam quadcopter offers an affordable option for pilots looking to experiment with aerial videography.

Its built in camera records 1280×720 30fps videos and takes 1MP still photos. You can also start and stop recording using the transmitter.

To perform a flip, simply press the button and push move your control stick in the direction you want to flip. This drone can somersault front-to-back, back-to-front, or side-to-side.

It’s stable enough for newbies, but packed with enough features for more advanced pilots.

Features
  • Auto-FLIP makes the V-Cam somersault front-to-back, back-to-front or side-to-side — just push a button and move the control stick
  • Built-in digital camera lets user shoot and record aerial videos with transmitter activated On and Off control
  • 2GB micro memory memory card and USB card reader
Specs

Frequency: 2.4GGyro: 6 axis

Size: 25.9 x 22.68 x 11.43 inches

Weight: 2.4 pounds

3. Hubsan X4 (H107C)

hubsan-x4-107c-yellow

The X4 H107C is an upgraded version of the H107L.

Most notably, the 107C comes with a built-in 720 pixel camera. They included a more powerful battery–and USA Toyz throws in an extra battery with this model–and stronger motors to accommodate the extra weight/power from the camera, but its compact size still makes it an excellent indoor flyer.

It’s also one of the few micro-drones that can handle moderate to slightly heavy winds.

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

Frequency: 2.4GGyro: 6 axis

Size: 6.85 x 6.85 x 2.54cm

Weight: 1.1 pounds

Charging time: about 30-40 minutes

Flying time: about 8 minutes

Control distance: 100m

4. Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider

Parrot-MiniDrone-Rolling-Spider

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.

Features
  • 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 quadricopter to fly and roll on the ceiling
Specs

Frequency: 2.4GGyro: 6 axis

Size: 19.3 x 6.6 x 20.6cm

Weight: 1.9 ounces

Charging time: 1 hour

Flying time: 8 minutes (6 minutes with wheels)

Control distance: 20 meters

5. USA Toyz UX5C

x5c-training-quadcopter

Even in moderate winds, the UX5C held up really well during my test flights. This is one of the heavier, more durable training drones on the market. This exclusive package from USA Toyz comes with an extra battery, effectively doubling your flight time.

The UX5C 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, make this a great drone for beginners.

Features
  • 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
Specs

Frequency: 2.4GGyro: 6 axis

Size: 13 x 13 x 3cm

Weight: 14.1 ounces

Charging time: 90-120mins

Flying time: 7-9mins

Control distance: about 30m

6. Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter

Blade-Nano-QX-RTF-Quadcopter

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

First, 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.

This 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 in 2016, among a few of the other manufacturers in this article.)

Features
  • 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
Specs

Frequency: 2.4GGyro: 6 axis

Size: 35.8 x 21.3 x 11.4cm

Weight: 1.6 pounds

Flying time: 10 minutes

7. USA Toyz F180+

f180-drone-usa-toyz

An exclusive training quadcopter from USA Toyz, the F180+ is one of the more durable beginner quadcopters out there. As you can see by those propeller guards, they can take quite a beating.

This makes it great for beginners, but more experienced pilots will enjoy this quad as well. The F180+ has a skillful 360 degree eversion (flip) capability. Mode 1 is best for taking photos/videos, and mode 2 allows for greater control in moderate wind.

Features
  • Simple assembly and convenient for maintenance
  • 360 degree flip capability
  • Equipped with camera for video recording and photography
Specs

Frequency: 2.4GGyro: 6 axis

Size: 13.5 x 13.5 x 3.5cm

Weight: 467 grams

Charging time: about 45 minutes

Flying time: about 7-9 minutes

Control distance: 30m

8. JJRC H8C

JJRC-H8C

The JJRC H8C is the X5C’s arch rival. Boasting 4 different speeds (25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) it’s a great quad to progress from beginner to advanced.

Like the X5C this drone comes with propeller guards and landing gear standard. The H8C offers an LCD monitor attached to the transmitter. This monitor shows you the throttle, LED light, battery power, and signal conditions — all very useful information for any pilot.

The H8C also boasts a 2MP camera and dual mode transmitter (Beginner and Professional mode).

Features
  • HD Camera 2MP (comes with 2GB memory card and card reader)
  • With dual mode (Beginner mode and Professional mode)
  • 6-axis system allows the quad to be hand launched
  • 360-degree 3D and special functions (continuous rolling)
  • LCD monitor can show the throttle, LED light, battery and signal conditions
Specs

Frequency: 2.4GGyro: 6 axis

Size: 19 x 19cm

Weight: 1.6 pounds

Charging time: About 90mins

Flying time: About 8 minutes

Control distance: About 80m

9. SYMA X5C

SYMA-X5C

The Syma X5C is one of the more popular drones on the market. For its price, you get a stable quadcopter that can perform all of the maneuvers you want it to.

You also get a 2MP camera with video capabilities. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this camera. Some say they were surprised with the overall quality, and others say it’s not even worth having. In the end, you’re getting flight and video capabilities that you typically only see on much more expensive rigs.

For a beginner pilot, photographer, or videographer, the X5C is a good start.

Features
  • Stabile flight characteristics
  • Easy to fly
  • Great for beginners
  • No assembly required
  • 8 years and up
  • 360 eversion with camera (2 MP, video/photos)
Specs

Frequency: 2.4GGyro: 6 axis

Size: 31 x 31 x 7.87cm

Weight: 2 pounds

Charging time: about 100mins

Flying time: 5-8mins

Control distance: about 50 meters

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.

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