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Best Beginner Drones Under $200

When drones first emerged on the market, they were costly little devices. As they’ve proliferated and become common in almost every country, costs were more accessible.

You can still spend a small fortune on a drone if you want to, or you can get one for under $200. What are the best beginner-friendly drones at this price range?

Here are the top drones for beginners under $200:

  • Potensic T25
  • Holy Stone 2K FPVHS100
  • DRONEEYE F3
  • Holy Stone HS175D

This guide will review the drones above and discuss criteria for picking the best one. I’ve even compiled a handy FAQ, so don’t miss it!

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1. Potensic T25

Potensic T25 GPS Drone with Camera
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Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.6 x 2.9 in
Weight: 1.3 lbs
Max Range: 300 m
Max Altitude: N/A
Max Speed: 44.7 mph
Max Flying Time: 18 mins
Camera: 2K

✅ Pros

  • Includes batteries
  • GPS-assisted options and some wind endurance for safer flights
  • Many beginner-friendly options, including single-key takeoffs and headless mode
  • Adjustable camera

❌ Cons

  • Weighs a lot for a beginner drone

The Potensic T25 is a solid option for experiencing the wonders of drone flight for the first time.

It runs on a set of two modular batteries that are 1,000 mAh apiece. Those batteries support a flight distance of 300 meters and a flight time of 18 minutes.

I recommended this drone specifically because it has dual GPS functionality. What does this mean?

Well, for starters, wind stability. I wouldn’t recommend flying this drone on a gusty afternoon, as it’s not built for that. However, you don’t have to stress so much about flying on a breezy day.

That’s ideal, as you can’t escape the wind unless you fly indoors!

Potensic designed the T25 for beginners like you. That’s why it includes single-key takeoffs and landings and assisted modes like headless and altitude hold modes.

I also like the GPS-assisted mode, which acts as a follow-me mode. If you’d rather carve out custom flight paths, the T25 can do that too.

This drone even has a 2K camera with a 120-degree, wide-angle FOV lens that you can adjust 75 degrees.

The construction of the drone is even beginner-friendly, as it’s built from rubbery plastic that can handle a few bumps. You also get protection guards.

2. Holy Stone HS100

Holy Stone HS100
$159.99

HD Camera, Live Video and GPS Return Home, Large Quadcopter with Adjustable Wide-Angle Camera, Follow Me, Altitude Hold, 18 Minutes Flight, Long Control Range.

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03/07/2024 12:06 am GMT

Dimensions: 487 x 487 x 164 mm
Weight: 750 g
Max Range: 600 m
Max Altitude: 120 m
Max Speed: N/A
Max Flying Time: 18 mins
Camera: 2K

✅ Pros

  • Offers moderate wind resistance
  • Has beginner features like one-key takeoffs and landings, altitude hold, and headless mode
  • GPS features like auto-RTH can prevent drone crashes
  • Decent camera

❌ Cons

  • Weighs more than 250 grams, so you have to register it

Holy Stone will appear twice on this list, as the brand produces a lot of economic drones with beginner features. Let’s start with the HS100, an RC quadcopter with a camera and GPS.

Flying for 18 minutes, the HS100 stays in the air long enough for you to explore the ins and outs of your environment. You’ll also get decent practice time before you have to ground your drone and recharge it.

Even if you’ve never flown a drone before this one, you won’t have to stress when the battery is about to die. LED lights indicate how much juice the battery has left so you can fly without counting the seconds.

The propellers fold down, which is handy. Altitude hold keeps the drone height locked so you don’t exceed regulations or lose your drone, which any beginner should find useful.

The HS100 is GPS-enabled, so it can use features like automatic return to home and follow me. Auto RTH comes in handy when the battery gets low or you fly beyond signal range.

This drone also has a camera, a 2K 120-degree FOV camera that can transmit footage at 5GHz. The camera adjusts 90 degrees.

3. DRONEEYE F3

DRONEEYE F3
$129.99 $119.99

4DF3 GPS Drone with 4K Camera for Adults,5G FPV Live Video RC Quadcopter for Beginners Toys Gift,2 Batteries, GPS Auto Return Home, Follow Me, Gravity Control, Waypoint Fly, Headless Mode.

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03/07/2024 01:56 am GMT

Dimensions: 14.2 x 11.8 x 2.8 in unfolded
Weight: 239 g
Max Range: 500 m
Max Altitude: N/A
Max Speed: N/A
Max Flying Time: 50 mins
Camera: 4K

✅ Pros

  • Has the best camera quality on the list
  • Has an awesome battery life if you add a second battery
  • You don’t have to register it
  • It comes with a carrying bag

❌ Cons

  • Not much brand recognition
  • It’s heavy

For well under your allocated budget, the DRONEEYE F3 has all the features beginners need to launch into the skies and have a blast while doing it.

Let’s start with the best feature (at least, in my opinion): the 4K camera!

The camera quality will easily usurp anything you’ve seen from a 2K camera, as it shoots in HD quality with a 120-degree windle-angle lens you can adjust 90 degrees.

The quality footage you capture can become a valued part of your portfolio and perhaps even launch a side gig or hobby.

With 5GHz FPV transmission, you can send your latest photos and videos to friends and family as you take them.

GPS-enabled, the F3 can do all sorts of doozy features, from custom waypoints to object tracing, follow-me mode, and auto-returns.

The drone can ping with 12 GPS satellites, so you never have to feel like you’re flying alone.

The average battery life is 25 minutes per, but you get two batteries with this drone. That increases the flight time to a very respectable 50 minutes.

However, that comes at a cost, which is a heavier drone. As it comes right out of the box, you don’t have to register it, but that changes if you increase its payload, so be careful!

4. Holy Stone HS175D

Holy Stone HS175D
$229.99 $169.99

GPS Drone with 4K Camera for Adults, HS175D RC Quadcopter with Auto Return, Follow Me, Brushless Motor, Circle Fly, Waypoint Fly, Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, 46 Mins Long Flight.

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03/07/2024 12:36 am GMT

Dimensions: 360 x 300 x 70 mm unfolded
Weight: 215 g
Max Range: 500 m
Max Altitude: 100 m
Max Speed: 44.7 mph
Max Flying Time: 46 mins
Camera: 4K

✅ Pros

  • Ties for the best camera quality on this list
  • Has a dedicated Beginner Mode
  • Lightweight, so you can forego drone registration
  • Good battery life, even with one battery

❌ Cons

  • Increasing the batteries means a heavier drone you must register

What if you want the camera quality of the DRONEEYE F3, but you’d prefer to stick to a brand with a little more name recognition?

The last drone on the list should be right up your alley. It’s the Holy Stone HS175D.

This foldable, inexpensive, portable drone boasts 4K UHD camera quality.

The camera features a 120-degree wide-angle lens that adjusts 90 degrees. When you’re done, transmit your awesome footage with the 5GHz FPV transmission system.

Where better to start with this drone than with Beginner Mode? This mode curtails your drone distance and height. You can’t exceed 98 feet either way, so you don’t risk losing or crashing your drone.

GPS in the HS175D enables many RTH functions, from a failsafe RTH to a low-voltage and smart RTH.

In other words, you don’t have to fret about premature drone loss, as this feature is designed to mitigate that.

It weighs just under 250 grams, so you can fly it as a hobbyist without registration.

I also like the automated modes, which make drone use more rewarding for beginners. You can send this drone around in circles or have it follow you.

A single battery powers the HS175D for over 20 minutes. You can up the flight time to 46 minutes but will sacrifice this drone’s lightweight status in doing so. That means you’ll have to plan to register it!

Best beginner drones under $200 FAQ

Is $200 a good price for a drone?

That depends on what you’re looking for in a drone.

I think $200 is a good price point if you’re purchasing your first drone. You’re not going to get the best of anything, from camera to battery life, but what’s included is passable for a pilot of your skill level.

The inclusion of automated features will help you maximize your drone use even if your skills aren’t yet where you want them to be. Beginner modes will enable you to get comfortable with your drone.

Beginner drones in the $200 or under range usually include several fail-safes to prevent the worst, but if it happens, at least you didn’t spend a lot of money.

That’s also a good thing in case you’re unsure whether you’ll stick to flying drones.

If you decide after a while you don’t care for it, you’re not out much cash. You won’t mind regifting or donating your drone so much.

For those pilots who decide they love flying drones, you will outgrow a drone at this price range sooner than later.

That’s okay, as there are many more drones out there to explore at higher price ranges with more features and better versions of the features you’re already used to. 

What are the best drone brands for under $200?

Holy Stone is a well-known manufacturer of low-cost drones. They’re probably your best bet if you’re trying to buy a drone for under $200.

Potensic is another brand you can safely rely on, but their drones are available at a range of prices and aren’t exclusively for beginners.

Is $200 too much money for a kid’s drone?

No, not at all. For the reasons I talked about above, a drone that retails for $200 or under is perfect for new pilots of all ages, from kids to adults!

Do I have to register a $200 drone?

Whether you must register a drone has nothing to do with the cost. It’s dependent on weight.

If your drone weighs under 250 grams, you don’t have to register it.

However, be aware that even if you have a sub-250-gram drone, if you add a payload like an additional battery to boost the flight time, you will have to register it.

Best beginner drones under $200 buyer’s guide

Now that you have all the information, it’s time to choose a drone. Here are some helpful factors to consider.

Flight time

Drones have an average flight time of close to 30 minutes, but for toy and beginner drones, it’s less.

These drones last in the air between 10 and 20 minutes, with anything close to or over 20 minutes impressive.

A longer flight time enables you to practice longer so you can sharpen your skills, so it’s worth prioritizing.

Check out a list of drones with the best flight time here.

Low weight

As I mentioned above, you must register your drone with the FAA or your leading drone authority if it exceeds 250 grams.

Besides that inconvenience, a larger, weightier drone is also hard to handle, which can increase the learning curve.

Durability

Listen, accidents happen, especially as a beginner. A drone with a hard or rubbery shell should bounce back better than one without.

That said, no drone is indestructible, and that’s far less the case for a drone you’re spending under $200 on.

Safe flying will prolong your drone, so it helps to have GPS features like auto RTH, as that also increases the drone’s durability.

Camera/video resolution

Another consideration is the camera and video resolution. Drones in the price range of $200 or less have a camera quality between 2K and 4K.

Since the prices don’t fluctuate too much from one drone to another, I’d recommend going for 4K quality.

Even if you’re not all that serious about flying drones, you’ll still appreciate the clearer quality that 4K provides and an adjustable, wide-lens camera for capturing more of the world around you.

Warranty

If your drone comes with a warranty, that’s all the more reason to buy it. Even if the warranty is only good for a year, you might be able to get a replacement due to craftsmanship defects or similar issues.

Keep in mind that warranties do not cover drone damage from everyday use, wear and tear, and user error.