With all of the great drones on the market today, it can be tough to narrow down which is best for you. Giving the gift of flight can be even harder. We’re here to help – complimenting our other priced drone lists, let’s explore the best drones under $200.
What can you expect from a $200 drone?
A $200 drone in today’s market is going to be the higher-end of the toy class quadcopters. These will be simple machines with lower-end cameras, but may offer GPS or other tools to allow stable flight and even an autonomous hover mode.
Let’s be clear, a drone at this price point should be thought of as a fun way to experience flight, and you certainly will. Drones in this range, however, are not ideal camera drones.
As you add more features to a drone, you add more weight. It is likely that your $200 drone will weight more than 0.55 lbs, which means that you are fully subject to the flight laws of the FAA in the United States. You do not have to register your drone, but all the rules apply. Know where and when you can fly before you head out, fun can be had, but getting into trouble is easy if you fly in the wrong places.
- New drone? Things to know before you fly
- FAA rules explained Part 1
- FAA rules explained Part 2
- Do I need to register my drone with the FAA?
If you are flying for pay, or any other form of compensation, you must operate under a different set of rules and possess a commercial drone license. We call it the Part 107, it’s not too hard to get, but it will take some time to learn all the rules. We want to help you learn the rules and get your commercial license, check out our drone pilot training material.
Hubsan H502S Desire
builds a lot of drones, most of which are some of the best quality toy-class machines around. The H502S Desire is more than just a toy, it’s one of the first machines around under $200 to include GPS and Follow-Me functionality. Regardless which other machines beat it to market with these features, the H502S Desire is a solid machine that is responsive and holds a pretty solid hover.
Check out the Hubsan H502S Desire for $89 today.
UDI U818A HD+
As one of the oldest running drones you can find in local retail shops, the UDI U818 series is a reliable and safe quadcopter. Various models over the years bring us to the U818A HD+ with their best build and flight of the line, but still a little 720p camera.
Check out the UDI U818A HD+ for $99 today.
Parrot AR Drone 2.0
When I first heard of Parrot, it was for their headphones. A couple years later, I understand that they have one of the largest lines of drones on the market today. Many of these drones are smaller toys and have been highlighted on the site elsewhere. The AR Drone 2.0 is one of their older models, packing decent flight capabilities in a safe design.
This machine comes in a few flavors, the basic package runs well under two hundred, the top end is closer to three with GPS and more. Check out the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 for $110 today. $65 for a refurbished unit.
Walkera Rodeo 110
We met with Walkera recently, they have some serious machinery in their ranks. Despite their efforts and successes in the law enforcement and commercial markets, it is their racing drones that best know them for. The Rodeo 110 is one of their smallest quads, but is still large enough to pack all the right bits for a serious race.
Check out the Walkera Rodeo 110 for $242 today. (Usually $189, watch for the price to come back down.)
Hubsan H501S Brushless
Older drones, particularly in the toy class, have been equipped with old designed brushed motors. Brushless motors are much newer and far more efficient, not to mention more reliable and faster. The H502S Brushless is a unique looking machine with all but the very best that Hubsan has to offer.
For GPS, a solid hover and more, check out the Hubsan H502S Brushless for $179 today. Forgive us if this drone pops over $200 by a little bit, it often drops below our target price point. Even at a few dollars over budget, you’re looking at a quality machine worth consideration.
Syma X8 Pro
Syma is one of our favorite manufacturers of toy-class drones. As with most drone companies, they have been stepping up their game, building larger machines with more capabilities. The Syma X8 Pro is one of the latest to do just this, adding GPS, streaming FPV video and an RTH function. They’ve also stepped up into the world of pushing the live stream video to your mobile device. At this price point, you are still getting a 720p camera, but it hits the right marks otherwise.
Check out the Syma X8 Pro for $199 today.
Surely there are more drones under $200?
There sure are. The list of drones under $200 is ever evolving. Many players have been adding value through updates and increased functionality, but other drones have been hitting the market as well. Of course, if you are unsure of your budget, maybe go a little smaller, we’ve got some lists that might help.
Best drones under $100
Our list of cheap drones, the machines under $100 is a solid collection of toy-class drones ready for your training needs, or to keep a child happy.
Best drones for children
We also explored inexpensive flying machines in our list of drones for children. Kids will love to fly one of these great machines, you just have to pick your budget.
Air Hogs toy drones
Finally, we put together a list of some of our favorite flying machines from Air Hogs. Make no mistake, they offer way more drones than we could write about, and almost all of them fall well under $100.
We would be happy to hear what you think are some of the best drones under $200, especially if you have any disagreements with our list. We certainly try to be fair, but the truth is, there are just so many drones in this segment, we haven’t tested enough of them to be sure. Visit out expertise in the drones under $1000 list, they fit our passion for aerial photography a little better.
Is there a $200 drone landing near you any time soon?