The Best Drones Under $100: Dirt Cheap Drones

Last updated: 1st May 2020
Tello Quadcopter

Tello Quadcopter

Snaptain A15

Snaptain A15

Holy Stone HS110D

Holy Stone HS110D

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If you think of low price, it usually means cheap quality. It’s true; most of us were burned with low priced knock-offs that broke down within days.

This is true in the drone world as it is with any industry.

But then there are the rare gems that combine low prices and good quality. The ones that give fantastic value for money.

We can’t get enough of these drones, so we’ll take a look at them in-depth in this article. We’ve already looked at the best drones under $200, but now we wanted to go one further and consider the best drones under $100 that you can buy right now.

Best Drones Under $100

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Contents show hide

Tello Quadcopter

The Tello Quadcopter is our value pick due to great features and a budget-friendly pricepoint.

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Tello Quadcopter
  • Flight Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Charge Time: 75 minutes
  • Range: 100 meters
  • Remote Controller: none included; uses a smartphone app for control
  • Camera: 5 megapixels at 720p HD resolution
  • Weight: 82g
  • Rated for indoor and outdoor use

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The Tello Quadcopter is one of the better budget drones you can buy that has tons of features going for it. For one, it’s made in collaboration with DJI. In fact, it’s the closest you can get to a sub $100 DJI drone.

For one, it has a pretty long flight time for a sub $100 drone – 13 minutes. It’s a battery capacity that’s more at home at $200+ drones but is happily in the Tello.

The Tello’s camera is also surprisingly good, capable of shooting 5 megapixels and 720p MP4 video. It’s about the same resolution as the older iPhone models, which is saying quite a lot for a budget drone.

It’s also easy to fly thanks to the beginner flight modes built-in. It has an Auto Takeoff/Landing feature, which enables you to launch it with the press of a button. And if you want to look really cool, you can make the Tello fly by merely throwing it up in the air.

Despite its small size, the Tello is more than capable of maintaining its position, thanks to the presence of sensors that can detect altitude. However, it needs some light to operate, which makes its hovering performance somewhat spotty during low light conditions.

For aspiring racers, the Tello also comes with adjustable speed settings. You can choose to go with “slow” mode if you’re just starting out and switch to the “fast” setting to really make it zoom.

And that’s one thing we like about this drone – it’s agile and easy to maneuver. The smartphone app you use to control it is the rare ones that we think actually is a joy to use. It’s relatively responsive.

Durability wise, the Tello is a tough cookie. After all, it’s made with DJI components, so the reliability is definitely there. It survived a few impacts here and there without so much as slowing down.

Overall, the Tello is a fantastic buy for a budget drone. For $100, you get a reliable yet affordable DJI-level drone.

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+ Pros

+ Remarkably lightweight
+ Great for training drone flying skills
+ Completely programmable meaning you can extend the drone's functionality
+ Affordable price
+ HD video recording

- Cons

- Scratch programming language isn't very robust
- Unusable in low-light conditions

Snaptain A15

Snaptain specialise in drones at super cheap prices. Things don’t get much better below $100 than the A15.

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Snaptain A15
  • Flight Time: 15 minutes
  • Camera: 720p HD camera with 120-degree FOV
  • Weight: 680g
  • Flight Features: Headless Mode, One Key Takeoff/Landing, 3D Flips, Altitude Hold, Gravity Sensor, 3 Speed Modes

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As far as budget drones below $100 go, the Snaptain A15 has got to be one of the more advanced out there. This compact drone can fold down into a size that can be held in one hand, making it extremely portable.

This drone certainly is a great flyer, with fluid movements and tight controls that make it a joy for anyone to fly, even on manual. The built-in Altitude Hold feature does a great job of holding the drone steady, even with hands-free controls.

The A15 is also an endurance flyer, with flight times of up to 15 minutes on a single battery. That’s quite amazing considering the price of this drone.

But where the Snaptain A15 truly shines is in its advanced flight modes and features.

Let’s start with the basics. Any great budget drone should have One Touch Takeoff/Landing and Headless Mode. The former will make launching and landing the drone safe and easy, while the former makes flying it a breeze. Both are meant for beginners and drastically reduces the cause of crashes.

Snaptain A15 also features Trajectory Flight, an even more natural way to create complex flight routines. With it, you can simply draw a path for the A15 to follow, and it will automatically fly through it. For newbies, it can be an intuitive way to operate this drone.

Gravity Sensor mode is a unique feature and makes your drone follow the direction you tilt your smartphone to. It’s a nifty addition, but one that we ended up not using that often.

Other great features include 3-speed adjustments, 360 flips, and an emergency stop mode. Overall, the flight modes feel well done and work exceptionally good.

Voice control is a nice touch, and if you love your Siri or Alexa, this should be all too familiar. But, personally, we also don’t use it as much as it’s not a very precise way of piloting a drone.

In the end, we love what the Snaptain A15 brings to the table – a budget drone with exceptional flight modes.

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+ Pros

+ Lots of auto flight modes make piloting easy for any skill level
+ Long flight time of 15 minutes
+ Compact and foldable

- Cons

- Has a minimal 80m range

Holy Stone HS110D

1080p HD video, tricks and flips, gravity control…please remind us how the RRP is less than $100?

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Holy Stone HS110D
  • Flight Time: ~10 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~120 minutes
  • Range: 100m / 325ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 2.4GHz (included in the set)
  • Camera: 2MP fixed with 720p HD video
  • Live Video Transmission Range: 60m / 200ft
  • Weight: 145g / 5.11oz
  • Working Temperature: ~0°C  to ~40°C
  • Rated for indoor and outdoor use

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Holy Stone is known for having one of the best value for money drones, and they have proudly continued this tradition with the 110D. It’s a drone that’s advanced enough to please the casual enthusiast, but affordable enough to stay below the $100 mark.

First, the 1000 mAh LiPO battery powers it for a decent 10 minutes. It’s not that long by any means but is definitely way above average for a budget drone. However, the longer charging time (1 hour and 30 minutes) just isn’t proportional to the shorter flight time, which can be disappointing.

The built-in camera is rather impressive at 1080p HD resolution, giving you decently clear and crisp photos and videos. It’s modular, too, so you can remove it if you don’t need it, which can improve battery life and maneuverability somewhat.

The flight modes of the HS110D are some of its strong suits and make this drone particularly easy and fun to play with. You have Altitude Hold that makes this drone capable of holding itself in the air. It frees you to take stable photos and videos without worrying about flying it.

It also has Headless Mode for easier flying for newbie pilots. Combined with the 3D Flip feature, you can impress your friends even with completely zero flight skills.

Then you have a selection of smart flight modes at your disposal. Gesture and Voice Control gives you two hands-free ways to control your drone. While we don’t personally use it often, there are some legitimate situations where we found them useful (like taking selfies, for instance)

For more complicated maneuvers, you have Trajectory Flight, which is as easy as drawing paths on your smartphone app for the 110D to follow.

All of these features, combined with tight, responsive controls, make the Holy Stone 110D a rather fun flyer to pilot around.

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+ Pros

+ Easy to fly
+ Excellent camera
+ Good durability

- Cons

- Relatively short range
- Slightly bulky

Potensic D18

The Potensic D18 is undoubtedly one of the best drones under $100.

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Potensic D18
  • Flight Time: 10 minutes x 2
  • Camera: 1080p HD camera
  • Flight Features: Altitude Hold, One Key Takeoff/Landing, Headless Mode, Adjustable Speed

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The Potensic D18 is a compact, pocket-sized drone that makes it the perfect travel “selfie” companion.

The D18’s design makes it fold down into a clean, phone-sized device. There’s no bits and pieces of the drone protruding, which makes pocketing or storing the drone easy.

A good travel drone needs to be tough as nails, and the D18 is, fortunately, one such cookie. It’s made of durable ABS material, which allows the D18 to withstand constant abuse from bumps and crashes. It also has four removable propeller guards, but they don’t protect the rotors from all directions.

The flight time of the D18 is only at a relatively short 10 minutes, but it has a few things going that improves upon this. 

First, the batteries are modular, and you can quickly snap them on and off the drone. Second, it has a spare battery included in the package, so you mostly get a total of around 20 minutes of flight time. Not too bad.

The camera of the D18 can record at a resolution of 1080p HD, which is more than enough for the casual selfie or vacation shoots. The lens is adjustable from 0 – 90 degrees, though, which makes framing much easier.

Flying the D18 is easy, with tight controls and some useful flight modes like Headless Mode and One-Touch Takeoff/Landing. It can also hover stably in place thanks to its optical flow system. You can also switch the speed up from beginner to expert.

Plus, it has an often overlooked safety feature. When the D18 goes beyond the remote control range or is critically low on battery, it will go into safe mode. It will slowly land itself on the ground to prevent crashing or wandering off.

In our opinion, the Potensic D18 makes a great addition to the casual tourist or photographer on-the-go. It’s highly portable, is easy to handle, and takes excellent photos.

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+ Pros

+ Fits in your pocket for easy portability
+ 1080p HD camera with adjustable lens perfect for photography on the go
+ Basic flight modes and safety features
+ Durable

- Cons

- Not the most attractive design

ORRENTE Mini RC Drone

The RRP of this drone is under $50 and it delivers way beyond its pricepoint.

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ORRENTE Mini RC Drone
  • Flight Time: 6 – 8 minutes
  • Camera: 720p HD camera
  • Weight: 86g
  • Flight Features: Headless Mode, One Key Takeoff/Landing, 3D Flips, 3-Speed Adjustment

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The Orrente Mini RC Drone is an ultra-portable flyer that can easily fit in your pocket. Or, in the case of your kids, in their little backpacks. Even though this is a drone designed for kids, it has a lot going on for it that adult users will appreciate.

First, it doesn’t look cute or colorful, like what a usual toy drone looks like. This feels more like an advanced drone, with the sleek dark gray color and edgy contours.

The drone also folds down to a size that can fit in your palm, which is a feature mostly seen on more sophisticated drones.

The outer exterior is made of durable ABS plastic, so it can survive a few beatings here and there. There are also prop guards included (“anti-collision rods” as they’re called), but it’s too thin to provide full 360 protection from all sides.

It’s actually very intuitive and easy to fly. The controls are tight and responsive, and the controller is not that difficult to handle.

Plus, it makes flying easier with its beginner-friendly modes. You can quickly launch and land the Orrente with a single press of a button. For complete beginners, it can make them jump right in action.

You also have the ever-popular Headless Mode, which can make handling the drone even easier and intuitive for kids. If you want to zoom around faster, the Orrente has three adjustable speed modes. One button 3D flips also give it some entertainment value.

Overall, we like how the Orrente Mini RC Drone gives excellent features at a price even well below $50. It’s the toy drone that doesn’t feel and look too much like a toy drone at all.

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+ Pros

+ Has all the essential beginner features like One Touch Takeoff/Landing and Headless Mode
+ Super compact and foldable design
+ Three speed settings

- Cons

- Short flight time

SIMREX X900

A useful cheap drone that boasts a 1080p HD panoramic camera and up to 11 minutes of flight time.

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SIMREX X900
  • Flight Time: 8-11 minutes
  • Camera: 1080p HD camera with 110-degree FOV
  • Flight Features: Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, One Key Takeoff/Landing, 3 Speed Modes

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The Simrex X900 is a light and portable drone that’s easy to fly as it is compact. The foldable design makes it easy to slip on your bag or backpack when going just about anywhere.

Compared to others on this list, the X900 is much more precise in terms of holding its altitude.

This is thanks in part to its Optical Flow Cameras underneath that helps detect its height from the ground, allowing the X900 to lock itself in place. This is complemented with One Touch Takeoff/Landing feature, giving you the ability to launch the X900 easily and instantly.

Aside from its hovering capabilities, the X900 has all the flight basics covered. You have Headless Mode, which is crucial for newbie pilots. You can also adjust the speed on this drone, from Low to High settings.

When it comes to control, the X900 has flexible choices.

You can use the traditional physical joystick if you want, or switch to the smartphone app for control. You can also utilize the Gravity Sensor mode to control the drone by tilting your smartphone.

A few minor drawbacks, though. The X900 does feel somewhat limited when it comes to more advanced features, and it’s not as durable as some of the other budget drones in its class.

But for a fun drone at a budget, the Simrex X900 definitely fits the bill. 

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+ Pros

+ Lots of flexible ways on how to control the drone
+ Has got flight basics covered
+ Can hold its altitude much more precisely

- Cons

- A little bit fragile, so be careful when flying!

AIRJUGAR Mini FPV

The AIRJUGAR Mini FPV drone offers a Virtual Reality experience — great fun!

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AIRJUGAR Mini FPV
  • Flight Time: 5-7 minutes
  • Camera: HD camera with 120-degree FOV
  • Flight Features: Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, 3D Flips, VR FPV

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If you want a budget drone that gives you a complete VR experience right out of the box, the AIRJUGAR FPV Nano Drone is a good pick for you.

First off, don’t be put off by the bright yellow cute exterior of the AIRJUGAR. Yes, it’s classified as a toy drone, but it has some “big boy” features thrown in that an adult user might appreciate.

The AIRJUGAR’s most significant selling point is its VR mode. This is basically an FPV drone with a VR headset included, so you don’t need to buy a separate one get that immersive experience. 

For a really affordable sub-$100 drone, having a headset included is a very, very big deal indeed! Fortunately, it snugly fits the contour of your face, so you know some thought was at least put into its construction. 

The FPV VR mode also delivers a clear live video feed, which works well enough at close range. Anyone wanting to experience VR will won’t be disappointed.

As for the drone itself, it’s stripped-down, to say the least. You have essential flight features like Headless Mode and Altitude Hold to make basic flying manageable. You also have some 3D flips thrown in, but that’s about it.

The battery capacity is also short at only 5–7 minutes, which is somewhat expected for a drone at this price. But on the bright side, it does have 2 spare batteries included, so you can at least have 20+ minutes with minor interruptions in between.

So, overall, we recommend the AIRJUGAR if you want a taste of the VR FPV experience for less than $100.

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+ Pros

+ The drone is very compact yet durable
+ The included headset gives a complete VR experience right out of the box
+ Two extra batteries are included

- Cons

- Very basic features

QCopter Quadcopter

Considering this is an extremely budget-friendly drone, it has a mind-blowing battery life of half an hour.

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QCopter Quadcopter
  • Flight Time: 30 minutes
  • Battery: 3.7V 11,000 mAh
  • Weight: 226g
  • Camera: 720p HD

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Even with a generous flight time of 13 minutes, the previously mentioned Tello can’t lay claim to the budget drone with the longest flight time. That honor goes to the QCopter Drone.

The QCopter Drone uses a powerful 3.7v 1,100 mAh battery. This gives it a very, very long 30 minutes of flight time – easily 3x what most budget drones are capable of, and putting it at par with advanced drones.

If you’re a beginner who wants to maximize practice time with your drone, this is a fantastic choice. Fortunately, the QCopter also gives you stable flight performance. It has a built-in stabilization system and gyroscopes that allow the QCopter to keep itself afloat easily.

The included remote controller is also intuitive and responsive to use. You can also use your smartphone app for the FPV mode on the QCopter, courtesy of its 720p HD camera. By the way, this also makes it a pretty decent photo and video drone.

The QCopter is also quite durable and was able to survive a few crashes when we tried it out. And even if you did crash it to the point of breaking, this drone has an included Crash Kit. It has all the replacement parts you need to repair the QCopter – from motors to and video parts.

The Crash Kit extends the life and value of the QCopter, which we like to think of as getting two drones for the price of one.

By the looks alone, this is a drone that’ll cater to kids as well. You have attractive LED lights plus one-button stunts like 360 eversions and flips to keep any little pilot plenty entertained.

At its core, however, the QCopter is a basic, stripped-down drone. You won’t find many intelligent flight features or GPS positioning here. But it makes up for it with extended flight time, excellent performance, and superb durability.

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+ Pros

+ Extended 30 minute flight time for a beginner drone
+ Very affordable
+ 720p FPV camera

- Cons

- Very basic
- Cheap looking
- Not rugged

Cheerson CX-10WD-TX

The Cheerson CX-10WD-TX is a tiny little FPV drone that delivers surprisingly significant value despite its small size.

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Cheerson CX-10WD-TX
  • Flight Time: 5 minutes
  • Range: 30m 
  • Camera: 0.3 MP resolution camera

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Cheerson has always been known to make the tiniest toy drones in the business, with their CX-10. The CX-10WD-TX takes that nano drone that fits in the palm of your hand and gives it a couple of newly added features.

Chief among them is a tiny onboard camera. Granted, at this drone’s size, don’t expect it to be at a high resolution. And indeed, the 0.3 MP camera the CX-10WD has is purely for fun, at best.

However, the camera is much more valuable for FPV rather than for casual photography. It works via WiFi connection, which does a stellar job of streaming a smooth live video feed from the CX-10WD.

Of course, what’s FPV without a fast drone? Fortunately, the CX-10WD gives you two speed modes. The fast speed mode is particularly fun and satisfying to operate.

For such a tiny drone, it can maintain its position pretty well. The built-in 6-axis gyro and air pressure sensor are capable of stable flight and altitude hold mode. You can also make use of beginner flight modes like One Key Takeoff/Landing and One Key Return.

The CX-10WD connects to any iOS or Android smartphone, but can also be controlled with the included physical controller. The flight time is just 5 minutes, leaving a little to be desired.

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+ Pros

+ Tiny and compact
+ FPV mode
+ Altitude Hold and flight stability features

- Cons

- Short flight time

Force1 U49WF

This is a fun recreational drone that allows First Person View and 720p HD video recording.

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Force1 U49WF
  • Flight Time: 12-15 minutes
  • Range: 150 meters
  • Camera:  720p HD camera with 120-degree wide-angle FOV
  • Weight: 1.3kg

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The Force1 U49WF combines the best of a camera and FPV racing drone (minus the high top speed) in the form of an easy to fly, VR ready recreational drone.

One of the critical things we enjoyed with the U49WF is the VR mode. With it, you’ll get an impressive first-hand view from your drone’s perspective. It makes the drone flying experience much more immersive and fun.

The 720p HD camera does a spectacular job of capturing crisp real-time video, and the 120-degree FOV allows you to see a wide panoramic view.

Fortunately, you don’t need an advanced certification in drone flying to be able to maneuver this one. The U49WF boasts a stable Altitude Hold mode that allows hovering in place without pilot input. Beginners can also make use of 1-Key Lift and Land Mode, achieving smooth landings and takeoffs at the press of a button. It’s a shame that it’s just missing GPS features like Return to Home.

Three-speed settings allow you to fly much more confidently. Plus, it has safety features like out of range alarms and prop guards to make flying much safer for everyone.

Everything in this drone is built to help you maximize your fun when flying. That’s why we recommend the Force1 U49WF as a fantastic recreational drone at a bargain price.

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+ Pros

+ FPV and VR mode allows for an immersive drone flying experience
+ Lots of flight features make this an absolute breeze to operate
+ Fantastic features at a surprisingly low price
+ Above-average flight time

- Cons

- No GPS features like Auto Return

Buyer’s Guide: Drones Under $100

Can You Get A Good Drone Under $100?

The short answer is: yes, of course!

The long answer is: it really depends on how you define “good.”

But let’s set a few expectations along the way, so you’ll have an idea of what kind of drone $100 will get you.

A few years ago, a $200 drone was totally unheard of, so one below $100 seemed even more impossible. 

But the consumer drone market exploded, thanks in part to DJI and a few other brands. Demand for drones went up, and the market reacted by giving the people what they wanted. It’s simple economics.

Nowadays, you can get a decent budget drone anywhere from $30 to less than $100. In fact, this segment of the market is busiest. But of course, expect that these will be stripped down drones with very basic features, and a few plusses here and there.

So with that, what does a $100 or less drone look like?

A lot of them will be tiny and compact, which is actually good. Expect average flight times to be around 5 minutes at best, and range to be less than 500 meters. It’s short, I know, and there’s really no getting around this.

Most drones today, even the budget ones, will have a camera. However, you won’t get much in the way of high-quality 4K cameras or the like. At most, you’ll be getting 720p or 1080p HD, which isn’t entirely bad at all. 

A lot of the drones will also have manual controls, except for some that have one-touch takeoff and landing or aerial stunts. Almost all won’t have GPS and will have very minimal safety features.

Overall, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a sub $100 drone that will tick all the boxes for you. The key is to prioritize which features you want, based on what your purpose of buying a drone is. Hence, why defining what makes a “good” $100 drone highly subjective.

You might be looking for a good drone aimed at beginners and kids. These are drones that are meant to be played with as a toy. It’s the reason why you’ll mostly see one-touch tricks or flips in these less expensive models.

Or maybe you want a good practice drone, so you can hone your piloting skills with something relatively cheap. Most sub $100 drones will use a traditional radio controller that only flies in manual, so you can really learn the ropes.

If you just want to practice flying a drone, then it’s best to get one without a camera. This might get you some other features that are more useful for practicing, such as Headless Mode or longer flight times.

So set your expectations right, and you’ll actually be pleased with some of the $100 drones you can buy

What To Look For In A Drone Under $100

In many ways, choosing a cheap drone is actually a lot harder than buying a more expensive one. You need to be more careful with specs, and you’ll compare a lot, which can get tedious. Finally, you’ll also have to make a bit of compromise when picking the drone you’ll go with.

To maximize your $100 bucks, here are a few considerations you need to look out for

Flight Performance

This is where most cheap drones don’t get it right, but you must get one that does. Even a sub $100 drone needs to fly properly. 

First, the basics – it needs to stay afloat effortlessly. The drone should be able to maintain its height and position, even if you let go of the controller. The drone also needs to glide effortlessly through the air and be agile enough to change directions easily at the flick of the joystick.

Speaking of the joystick, the controls also need to be responsive, as well. If there’s a delay between you pushing the joystick and the drone moving, it’s going to be hard to fly that thing.

This has something to do with the signal strength of the drone and remote controller, so be sure to get a decent range (anything above 100m) to keep everything running smoothly.

Flight Features

Even drones below $100 will have some “advanced” flight features built-in. These are great to make flying a drone easier, especially for beginners.

The most common is easy/automatic takeoff and landing. This is usually done with the push of a button or a tap of a switch. You can even throw some in the air, and it will automatically fly.

This is fantastic since takeoff/landing can be one of the hurdles for someone who has zero flight skills. Doing this automatically can make them experience flying a drone sooner rather than later.

Some drones will also have an Altitude Hold feature, which enables the drone to hover in place. For newbie pilots, maintaining a drone’s altitude can be a challenge, so this feature is super welcome.

You’d want to check out some of the other features and pick the ones that you find useful for your situation.

Extra Batteries

$100 drones have notoriously short flight times – there’s simply no way around that. The next best thing, then, is to carry around a spare battery or two.

A good budget drone will allow you to swap batteries so you can fly for longer. If you can’t do this, then you’ll have to charge your drone’s battery in between flights, which can take an hour or more.

If you can buy lithium batteries as spares for your drone, go for it. They might be more expensive, but they also last longer and have more capacity. It’s a good investment overall.

Durability

The worst mistake you’ll ever make is to equate a low-cost drone as a cheap, poorly made one. When it comes to sub $100 drones, you should actually get one that’s exceptionally durable.

Why is that so? Because remember, you’ll be using this a lot for practice runs or flying stunts. Since budget drones typically lack safety features like obstacle avoidance and auto flight modes, you’ll be crashing your drone a lot.

So the best thing you could do is to find a durable drone. Surprisingly (and luckily), you’ll find quite a lot of them in the sub $100 category. You should aim for a drone that will survive repeat bumps and crashes without any internal damage.

Physical Controllers

A lot of budget drones (and even more expensive ones) tend to use your smartphone as the remote controller. Not only is it convenient for you, but it’s also a lot cheaper too for the manufacturer, so it keeps costs down.

But if you’re buying a budget drone to hone your flight skills, nothing beats having a physical remote controller. It will give you far better precision and “feel” when flying the drone. Plus, it will prepare you for the remote controllers of more advanced drones, should you ever get one in the future.

Extra Propellers

The rotors are one of the most sensitive parts of your drone. A simple, light bump is usually enough to whack them out of alignment or break them altogether.

The problem is that you need all of the propellers working; if even one of them breaks down, the drone will not fly. So you must have access to spare propellers at any given time.

Luckily, in a moment of clear foresight, most budget drones usually have an extra set of propellers included. If your drone lacks safety features, this is essential.

Headless Mode

Headless Mode is a feature in most drones that make flying it around very simple by removing the need to worry about orientation. Here’s how it works:

All drones would have a designated direction as the “front” or “head” of the drone. This is usually where the camera is located.

The way you fly a drone is based on where it is faced. Pushing left on the joystick, for instance, will make the drone go to its left, and directing it to move right will make it move to the right based on the drone’s orientation.

This is difficult for beginners to grasp because it’s hard to tell where a drone is faced at a given time. Plus, it’s challenging to get used to the fact that pressing left on the joystick will not make the drone go left if it’s not facing the same direction as you.

It’s pretty disorienting for newbies and is the biggest reason why crashes happen.

Headless Mode removes this problem altogether by simplifying everything. Now pressing left on the joystick will always make the drone go left based on your point of view, regardless of where the drone is faced.

This feature makes it easier to predict where the drone will go before you tap on the joystick, so you, as a newbie, can focus on actually flying it.

Rated for Outdoor Flying

Since budget drones are usually small and light, they are mostly rated only for indoor use. This means they can’t handle even the lightest of winds, wobbling in the air and unable to hold their position.

This is actually fine for kids who are better off playing with the drone inside the house, so it’s in a confined space.

Otherwise, though, getting a budget drone that can fly outdoors is better. It gives you better flexibility, plus it’s always better to zoom around in wide, open spaces.

Make sure that the drone will be able to steady itself with light winds. Of course, for a budget drone, don’t expect that it can stand up to light rains or heavy winds.

FPV

First Person View (FPV) mode is a feature that’s not really necessary, except when you’re planning to go into drone racing or long-range flying. But nevertheless, it’s fun to use if it’s available.

Basically, this mode uses the drone’s front camera to stream a live video of what it “sees” to your remote controller or smartphone. It’s an immersive experience that feels as if you’re inside the drone and flying it yourself. This effect is even more pronounced when you hook it up to a VR headset.

This mode is a crucial part of drone racing since it allows for much faster reactions while flying

When looking around for an FPV camera, the quality isn’t necessarily important as long as it’s clear enough (720p is okay). You’re much more concerned with the transmission strength since you want a smooth, lag-free video.

Getting a wide-angle FOV (field of view) is essential as well, so you can view more of what’s in front of the drone.

Adjustable Speed (if you’re considering a racing drone)

If you’re considering going into drone racing, you need to be able to practice with a drone that can fly at faster speeds.

You’re looking at drones that can achieve speeds of around 50 km/hour for starters. But flying fast all the time isn’t ideal. Beginners, in particular, will find it hard to control their drones at those speeds.

Hence, why you also need to pick a drone that had adjustable speed. You can start with the lower speeds as a beginner, then gradually speed up as you gain experience.

Cool Tricks and Features

If you’re buying for a kid, then they might want to fly a drone just for the heck of it. They might not care much about features like cameras and FPVs.

What would really float their boat is being able to do stunts and cool looking aerial flips. Most budget and toy drones actually offer this as a one-button feature. Some drones also have bright and colorful lights to help entertain young children.

We also have a separate run down of the best drones for kids, if you’d like to give that a read.

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Tello Quadcopter

Tello Quadcopter

The Tello Quadcopter is our value pick due to great features and a budget-friendly pricepoint.

Snaptain A15

Snaptain A15

Snaptain specialise in drones at super cheap prices. Things don't get much better below $100 than the A15.

Holy Stone HS110D

Holy Stone HS110D

1080p HD video, tricks and flips, gravity control...please remind us how the RRP is less than $100?