Drones are extremely popular, and you can use them for a lot of different things. Whether you want to have fun exploring previously inaccessible areas, use them professionally for film making and photography, or just race at top speeds while performing wickedly fast maneuvers through obstacle courses, there is a drone make and model for your needs.
This article reviews the 10 best drones on the market for people whose budget is $300 or less. I will give you a breakdown of each drone’s features, strengths, and weaknesses, along with a comprehensive buyer’s guide that gives you some pointers and things to consider when purchasing your drone.
The Best Drones For $300 Or Less
Last update on 2020-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Research and Reviews
1. Potensic D60 Drone– Best All Around Drone
This drone is amazing. It is seriously one of the coolest drones I’ve seen on the market for its class. It looks amazing, and it comes with some seriously great features.
It is an incredibly smooth drone that beginners can fly, and it will hover without a pilot telling it to stay put. Better yet, it can even handle windy conditions!
Your on-screen display will show telemetry and radar information. It supports accurate control with two precision engineered joysticks.
This drone mixes the best in terms of speed and stability. Beginners can use it on the slow mode, and experts will love the insanely fast top speed. Photographers will also love the powerful camera and video capabilities.
Built-in sensors keep this drone steady even if winds reach 15 miles per hour, so you won’t lose control of your drone.
- Amazing camera quality: advanced camera with 110°FOV lens captures high-quality aerial video and photos from a panoramic view
- Seven stability sensors allow for indoor and outdoor flight with HD video and aerial photography
2. Holy Stone HS 700 FPV Drone – Best GPS System
The Holy Stone 700 takes the most popular model, their HS 100, and makes improvements. This drone is capable of being used for filming videos and school projects without springing for expensive camera rigs and high-end drones. It’s also great for outdoor events and holidays with families.
The GPS system also stands out on this model. It will lock on to over 20 satellites in under a minute, so it is extremely precise. The system allows the drone to follow you or easily return home when it runs out of battery, loses signal, or is simply told to do so.
- 12 MP HD camera using 1080p with 30FPS and 110-degree field of view for panoramic views
- optional GoPro support
- Brushless motors are extremely quiet so video won’t be flooded with audio feedback; also extremely powerful and rarely require replacement parts
- 20-minute flight time when accessories (like guards, landing gear, and cameras) are removed, but less if you’re using it to film
- 400-meter control range
- Return-to-Home features: Low battery, signal loss, and guided
- Altitude hold
- Onboard GPS module allows smart features (follow me, circle around me, return home, and Tap Fly); GPS will lock in over 20 satellites in under 1 minute
- full HD video transmission in 5G over the full range
3. Potensic T35 GPS Drone– Best All Around
The Potensic drone is a all-in-one package that won’t break the bank. It has a great balance of features for value.
- Hover and barometer height set function allows altitude hold
- One-key take off and landing
- FPV transmission and Optimized HD 1080P Adjustable Wide-Angle Camera
- Stepless speed function designed for more experienced pilots to get from 10% to 100% seamlessly with gradual acceleration and deceleration for indoor and outdoor flight and practice transitioning from beginner to expert pilot
- Includes spare motors and extra blades in case of repair needs
- 4GB TF card and a USB card reader for video and photo storage
- six-axis gyro control system for stability
- GPS positioning with automatic return during signal loss and low power instances, Follow Me mode to prevent drone from getting lost, and Headless mode with one-key takeoff for beginners
4. Contixo F20 RC Quadcopter Drone with GPS – Great for Travelers
The Contixo is really lightweight and easy to carry. It comes with its own bag and everything you need to get flying immediately. It is extremely stable and offers a nice range of features for your needs.
This is a great option for anyone on the go, because it’s got a massive control range that allows for exploring new areas.
It’s also a beginner friendly drone, so it’s a nice introduction to the hobby. The GPS hovering lets you tinker with controls and learn them safely before releasing it and the return-to-home option makes it less likely that you’ll lose your drone for any reason.
This drone has some truly spectacular specs and features, so let’s take a look at the list!
- GPS-assisted flight lets drone hover with stability and return home when the battery is low or signal drops; it can also follow you and fly circles along your designated radius
- Up to 16 minutes of flight time and a 2k (or 1.2 mile) control range, though FPV stops at 500 meters, so don’t rely on that to see where you’re going if you plan to take advantage of the control range
- Full HD 1080p resolution camera for high quality aerial shots and panoramas that can transmit live video through their smartphone app
- Remote control has a built-in phone holder, so you can seamlessly integrate the app with the controls
- Headless mode, altitude hold, and one-key takeoff and landing
- Brushless motors with a modular battery make this a super powerful propulsion system that can be flown in cold weather conditions, and it rarely breaks down or needs to be replaced
5. Hubsan H501S X4 Drone – Budget Friendly Model
Hubsan is one of the most well known names when it comes to drone technology. This drone was made with FPV flights in mind and does not disappoint or deviate from the brand’s reputation. It even has a built-in LCD monitor!
This is consistently a top choice among hobbyist drone pilots, because it’s really great for trying new things, practicing piloting, and getting used to FPV flight runs. It’s also a great beginner’s drone that won’t break the bank.
- 20-minute flight time powered by brushless motors and a 7.4-volt, 2700mAh Li-Po battery
- 300-meter control range so you won’t have to worry about losing the drone
- Built-in 1080p camera that can record video and photos and transfer live video to the 4.3-inch LCD screen built right into the remote via 5GHz frequency
- GPS positioning allows for Return Home, Follow Me mode, and Headless mode with altitude holds
6. Element Digital MJX Bugs 5W GPS Drone – Basic Stability
The MJX Bugs 5W is an extremely popular drone. It is the most frequently recommended drone in the mix, and pretty much everyone loves it.
This has one of the best track records for excellent performance of any drone in the mid-tier market, with an extremely stable flight pattern that offers a smooth piloting experience.
- 7.4-volt, 1800mAh battery allows 15 to 18 minutes of flight time
- 300-meter control range with an FPV that can stream the entire control range
- Built-in 1080p resolution camera allows for aerial video and photography and transmits live video to the pilot’s smartphone through WiFi connection and relies on mechanical gimbal stabilization
- Six-axis gyro system for increased stability and smooth flights
- Headless mode, altitude hold, and one-key return through GPS system
- LED lights for night time visibility
- Return home is automatically activated with low power or weak signal
- Modular battery charges and stores safely
- Drone includes anti-interference two-way radio control technology on 2.4GHz wavelength
- A double alarm system lets you know if signal is weak or battery is low
- The motor is protected with ESC, stuck, and high temperature safety features
- It is built with a durable structure that resists breakage, including four separate undercarriages
7. 3DR Solo Quadcopter– GoPro Compatible
Solo is well known for making high quality products in low price ranges.
Their 3DR Quadcopter model is in the mid-tier price range, which bucks with their tradition. Because of the quality they deliver at lower prices, we had to check out what made this one worth the extra money.
This is a nice little quadcopter that makes it easy to fly and gets some great air time. While it does not come with a built-in camera, the 3DR Quadcopter is built so that you can easily attach a GoPro to it without losing any air speed and power. In fact, it includes a gimbal so your footage stays really smooth.
A word of caution though… Do not try to use FPV with your GoPro because it will interfere with the transmission wavelength and send your drone flying out of control!
- 18 to 20 minutes of air time
- Up to 500 meter range, with 400 to 420 meters on average
- GPS hold system with auto return and multiple directions (up and down, side to side, forward and backwards, turning, and hover)
- Handle and position hold molds with flight direction locks, one-key home return, and home-when-out-of-control options
8. Walkera Rodeo 150 Racing Quadcopter with Devo 7 and Camera – Beginner’s Racing Drone
The experts designed the Walkera Rodeo 150, and the Walkera company is very well known for providing reliable, top-of-the-line drones. They want simplicity in use and power in flight. This Rodeo 150 drone delivers exactly that, so it’s a perfect racing drone for beginners.
There is no assembly required, and it’s wicked fast, so as soon as you learn how to keep your drone under control and react at speed, you can take it to the races!
This drone also offers fantastic performance. Right out of the box, it can compete with the more basic custom designed racers, so you can start making friends on the racing circuit who can teach you how to customize and build your own racing drones as you get into the hobby.
- 7.4 volt 850mAh 30C 2S Lipo battery provides up to eight minutes of flight time
- Comes with the Devo 7 remote to control it and brushless motors for stability and power
- FPV racing drone lets you pilot from the drone’s point of view
- 5.8g, 400CH, 600 Tvl night vision mini camera
- Supports 3D aerobatic flight mode
9. UPAIR One PLus Quadcopter Drone – Multiple Flight Modes
The coolest feature of this drone is that it allows for multiple different flight options. If you’re a beginner, you can use the headless mode and pair it with the one-touch take off and return systems, so you won’t lose your drone.
If you’re out for a walk and just want to explore and get some perspective, then you can put it into Follow Me mode and have it track your position and fly along with you. It also has a hover option that will let you take some images.
- 2.7K FHD Camera and a high resolution 16MP camera with 120-degree FOV and fine capture features
- Dynamic camera pitch angle adjustment from -90 to 10 degrees through remote control while drone is in flight
- 5.8 G FPV WiFi transmission through the UPair app system with real time transition in 2.7K and 30 frame per second (FPS) resolution from up to 2624 feet away!
- Two-axis high-precision gimbal for camera stability
- Precise GPS Positioning to control altitude and prevent loss
- 18-minute fly time, with a 60 – 90 minute charge time
- Multiple fly modes: Headless Mode, Follow Me Mode, Altitude Hold Function and One-Key Return-to-Home Function
10. Eachine Wizard X220 FPV Racing Drone RTF Version Mode 2 – Wicked Fast
This is definitely not a beginner’s drone. If you really want to get out on the racing circuit, but you just don’t have the budget or skills to invest in a completely customized racing drone, then this is what you’re looking for. You can go ahead and sign up for those amateur drone races with this drone.
It is seriously fast, with a responsive controller and very, very fast yaw. In fact, this is so fast that even intermediate users may not be able to pilot this drone well.
This drone doesn’t come with a ton of bells and whistles, though, because it’s a racing drone. It is built for speed, so the features are optimized for race capabilities, keeping the hardware as light as possible while still building in tons of power.
- NAZE32 6DOF REV6 flight controller isn’t modern but is effective for new racers
- Two MN2204 KV2300 brushless motors for lightning speed and tons of power
- 3S 11.1-volt, 1500mAh, 25C XT60 battery allows for up to 12 minutes of flight time
- 700 TVL camera displays real time video on a monitor or through goggles so you can keep your eye on the track and respond quickly to obstacles
- Four Eachine 20A BLHELI_S ECSs make the quad extremely responsive to commands
Now that you’ve seen some of the best drones on the market in a mid-range price bracket, let’s learn about some important information that all drone buyers should know. This guide will serve as an educational tool for potential drone owners who need to know about key features.
Classes Of Drones
Drones come in all different shapes, sizes, and prices with differentiating features.
- Toy drones – These offer the most basic features and are often pale trinkets when compared to higher end models.
- Video drones – Very popular with photographers and filmmakers.
- Racing drones – Maximize speed and agility while minimizing weight and excess features. Their drones are extremely easy to maneuver for skilled pilots and nearly impossible for amateurs.
The different models all offer a wide variety of features, and there’s no reason to pay a fortune for features you don’t care about at the expense of features you want.
Drone performance is a crucial aspect to ownership and responsible piloting. You will need some acrobatic features if you want to be a stunt pilot. Exploratory pilots will want to focus on longer flight times and drones that come with multiple batteries and extended ranges.
If you’re piloting for aerial shots and to capture memories without that obnoxious selfie stick, then be sure to focus your efforts on drones with high quality image capturing capability.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun regulating drones. You have to make sure you are following the FAA guidelines if you want to keep your drone from being confiscated and banned.
One of the biggest limitations to drone flight is battery life. Every single drone operates on battery power, and it can only fly as long as the battery has power.
Operating The Drone
Make sure that you completely understand your drone’s control systems before launching it into flight. This will help you avoid crashing your drone or injuring passersby. Most drones use a two-stick control system for operation. This system uses one stick to control the left, right, forward, and backwards motion (direction) of your drone and the other stick to control the altitude and rotation angle.
Learn how to operate your drone before you send it flying. Every drone has different controls, with varying levels of sensitivity and stability. Knowing how your drone operates under safe conditions will help you safely operate it when there are risks involved.
There are drones on this list for every type of pilot. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, a photographer or a racer, you are sure to find a great drone for a perfect price!
If you’re looking for a way to keep up pace with your drone while you fly, then check out our guide to self balancing scooters and hoverboards!
Best Selling Drones
Last update on 2020-05-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API