Best Drone under $100

Ryze Tello

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The Ryze Tello is possibly the best beginner drone out there, at a very affordable price, with enough features to put it above the rest of the crowd at the toy drone party. It is small and lightweight at just 2.8 ounces, meaning it doesn’t need to be registered with the FAA, making it that much more approachable for beginning drone hobbyists. While it doesn’t have GPS (so no Return to Home function), it does have visual sensors to help with more or less steady hovering, and to enable it to have some autonomous photography and video features. 

The battery life of up to 13 minutes is much better than you typically get with a toy drone, as is the build quality. The camera is also better than you normally find in toy drones, but not quite good enough to make this a top pick for photographers. It’s also not going to be a great choice for racing or agility as it’s not a fast moving drone. While it’s not a stellar camera or a racing drone, for the price, the Ryze Tello is the best drone you can get for just under $100. 

Who is it for?

The Ryze Tello is an ideal drone for beginners, with some hovering stability to help beginning flights be less frustrating and more rewarding. The drone is controlled via a smartphone app, or another option for controlling the drone is from a computer using Scratch, making the Ryze Tello a great programmable drone for kids or others learning the basics of coding. The fact that the drone is nimble enough to do a few in-flight tricks makes it appealing to kids as well. It’s also a good choice for those wanting to get their feet wet in aerial photography without the budget to get a higher level camera drone. 

What we like

  • Affordable Price
  • Easy to fly for beginners
  • No need to register
  • Programmable with Scratch
  • Automated flight and photography features

What we don’t like

  • Relatively low-quality photo and video
  • No memory card slot or internal storage (video streams live to smartphone)
  • No GPS (and no return to home)
  • Limited control range