The last decade has seen a rise in demand for drones as they have become part of our norms. Years ago, drones were a preserve for the military and other government-authorized institutions.
But now they have become a staple in our society. From high-end security policing to pocket-size drones flown for fun, the appeal of these trendy gadgets is irresistible.
Expectedly, online and physical stores have been flooded with all kinds of drones of all sizes, shapes, and prices.
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Best Drones Under $100 to buy in 2018
Cost is one essential factor when it comes to buying drones. And to make it simpler for you, we have highlighted the 10 best inexpensive drones on the market.
There is a conflicting school of thought when it comes to operating drones. One holds that the computer should be left to handle all the work while the other holds that the pilot should be in total control of the drone.
UDI U818A priced at $47 embodies the latter. Small is what preeminently describes the design of this drone. The frame is made of light, thin plastic material. The electronics are placed in a chassis underneath the center.
It utilizes a small 500mAh battery. The battery is placed into a holder at the bottom of the drone on which a camera is mounted.
The camera is small in size and connects to the center of the drone by cables. The center is surrounded by 4 rotors of the same measurement.
The drone is fun to fly. The lighter rotors make it smooth and easy to maneuver. You can also do some modest stunts like the 360-degree flick.
The camera, located at the bottom of the drone is very small and just weighs 0.2 ounces. It records HD videos at 640 x 480 pixels per second. The only downsides to this drone is that the battery life is short and dies out without, and the video quality is not that good
2. SYMA X5UW
SYMA X5UW is one of the better-looking quadcopters in this category. It is thoughtfully built with durable design and materials. The plastic material makes it lightweight and strong.
The design is impressive. The red color and the trendy and sleek design are noteworthy. The batteries fit well in their compartment.
It uses a 500mAh battery which takes about two hours to charge and drains within nine minutes of flight.
The drone is incorporated with an HD camera that allows you to fly the quadcopter while taking pictures and videos. In addition, it has a micro SD slot that comes with a 4GB memory card.
That means the recorded videos will be stored directly on the camera without using the smartphone to capture the videos. Both the videos and photos will have a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
The drone has control of up to 80 meters. The control range is average and consistent with that of other drones in this category.
3. Tarantula X6
Thoughts of a spooky hairy spider probably ran through your mind when you read tarantula. The drone is designed to mimic the shape of a spider and as far as the color goes, it is available in blue, white, and black.
It weighs 1282 grams making it one of the heaviest drones on the market today. It has seven LED lights for good orientation, especially in the dark. There are two lights in front of the cockpit that emphasizes the spider’s appearance.
The drone is made from durable material and lightweight enough to guarantee stability during flying. Tarantula X6 is powered by a 1200mAh 7.4V Li-Po battery which lasts up to 8 minutes during flight. The battery takes about one and a half hours to fully charge.
The drone does not come with an inbuilt camera. Nevertheless, the drone supports the mounting of external cameras. It can be mounted with a 60 fps 720 HD camera or a wide-angle 30 fps 1080p Full HD camera. You can also use high-quality cameras for as long they are compatible.
The tarantula X6 is fun to fly, and easy to control even for beginners. It has a smooth flipping module and it can flip quickly at a height of only one meter. It is priced at nearly $60.
4. Hubsan X4
The first thing you notice when opening the X4’s package is the small size of the quadcopter. The drone is smaller than the palm of your hand. It is also light. It weighs 28 grams. The weight of this drone should tell you that it is limited to indoor use. However, some users say it does so well outdoors and can withstand mild winds.
The X4 uses a 240mAh 3.7V Li-Po battery which lasts around 9 minutes during flight. It takes around 40 minutes to fully charge. But the duration of the flight heavily depends on how you fly it. If you don’t give it too much power and speed, the battery might last longer.
The controls of Hubsan X4 give you the PS3 controller feeling. It looks similar to the PS3 controllers but with a bit more flair to it. It comes with an LCD screen, two joysticks, trim buttons, flight mode buttons, and a power button.
Besides, being fast, the drone is highly responsive with smooth maneuverability. Pressing the joystick in the desired direction promptly changes the course of the flight.
5. JXD 509W
Priced around $80, 509W wasn’t intended to contest for professional aerial photography like Q500 which cost over $1000. It is an innovative quadcopter and performs exceptionally well for its price.
The headless mode feature on the drones allows you to change the direction of the drone regardless of the alignment of the body.
It also features a One-key Home Return feature that prompts the drone to return to the position of takeoff.
The automatic landing feature enables the drone to land itself even if the battery is low.
One important feature that makes this drone rank high is the Altitude holder. This feature allows the pilot to pay attention to recording videos or watch real-time transmission of the video.
It locks the height of the drone at a certain position making it easier for the pilot to control it.
The camera is located at the apex of the drone. It is a 0.3MP camera and transmits video directly to your smartphone via a Wi-Fi connection.
The drone has its own Wi-Fi hotspot and all you need to do is connect to it.
The aircraft can be controlled in two ways. You can fly the aircraft with a remote. You can also choose to use your phone as an FPV monitor on the phone holder compartment.
The drone, together with its camera is powered by lithium potassium batteries of 600mAh 3.7V. It takes about 70 minutes for the batteries to be fully charged.
The color scheme and design of this quadcopter are very easy on the eyes. The chassis comes in a white, black, and yellow color combination that makes it attractive in appearance. The quadcopter has a simple design. The chassis is just a single piece of plastic with a single circuit print board beneath it.
Even though this quadcopter uses batteries with 1500mAh capacity, the duration of a flight pretty much depends on how aggressive you will fly the quadcopter. The flight duration clock up to an average of 8 minutes. It is important to bring with you some spare batteries if you intend to have a longer flight sessions.
The QX quadcopter looks like that of any other drone in this category. The controller comes in a ready-to-fly mode. The controller is easy on the hands and fits comfortably in your palms. Sometimes, the quadcopter comes in blind mode. In this case, the QX won’t need a controller for flight.
The flight experience with this quadcopter drone is exceptional. The drone has stable and smooth characteristics that make it easy to fly. It is also an ideal drone for novices and beginners due to its small weight and size.
7. SYMA X8C
The quadcopter is priced slightly below $100.it and comes with various exceptional features that make flying it a fun experience. The drone is one of the heaviest in this category weighing 45o grams and measuring 20 by 20 by 6.5 inches.
The X8C has a huge size which helps it to maintain stability during flight. Like many drones, the X8C quadcopter has LED lights which are useful for orientation as well as tracking flight in the dark.
The quadcopter has a headless feature that allows you to fly the drone in any direction regardless of the direction of the aircraft’s body.
The drone’s controller is simple and easy to use. it fits perfectly in your palms. The controller is made from lightweight material and is mounted on a 2.4GHz band.
The controller has an LCD screen on top of it. it displays information about the quadcopter during flight. The information includes battery, direction, and more.
The controller has various functionalities similar to video game controllers. It has a pair of joysticks that are used in controlling the direction of the aircraft. The controller has an impressive 100-meter range.
One downside to this drone is that the camera is not HD. But it is separable from the drone and can be adjusted to get the best position. The video and pictures taken are stored directly to a 4GB SD card.
The Altair Aerial Blackhawk is a drone that was designed for speed and meant to cover long distances. It is one of the most advanced drones in this category. The drone is not preassembled and hence requires assembling after purchase and before using it.
The assembling process takes about 15 minutes and there is a guide to help you assemble the aircraft. The Blackhawk has exceptional speed and stability. The general design of the drone is impressive. It comes in a cool military green color with its rotors painted black.
The drone’s controller is an elementary remote but it definitely enables you to fly the drone comfortably. The controller has all the essential buttons for trimming and controlling.
It comfortably sits in your hands. It is also easy and simple to use. The drone’s 7.4V capacity battery lasts for about16 minutes of flight. They are placed in a compartment at the bottom of the drone.
The battery lifespan might be better than those of other drones in this category but it is important to pack up several spare batteries if you want a longer flight experience.
One of the most impressive features that make the Blackhawk stand out from the competition is that the drone allows the mounting of a GoPro Camera during flight.
The camera is HD and gives high-quality videos and pictures making your flight experience fun you can also mount any camera that fits the specified dimension to get quality flight videos and images.
It is a ready-to-fly a drone. However, you will need to assemble the parts first before you can be ready for your flights.
The design looks like that of any quadcopter. It has LED lights at the bottom for orientation and tracking the flight in the dark.
The camera is not that powerful but works perfectly well. The 2MP camera allows you to capture videos and photos during flight. The videos and photos are stored on a Micro SD card.
The batteries take approximately 80 minutes to completely charge and about 8 minutes for flight.
10. SYMA X5C-1
SYMA XFC-1 is an upgrade from its previous version; SYMA XFC. It has an exceptional flight performance. It is ideal for indoor flying but also does well in moderate winds. It is made from very durable plastic material and can withstand abrasion.
The battery takes up to 1 hour and 40 minutes to completely charge and will give you about 7 minutes of flight. A light on top of the charger turns on when the battery is fully charged.
One of the downsides of this aircraft is the camera quality. 720p resolution is nothing to be excited about. Video recording and images are stored directly on the SD card. The quality of the video is surprisingly decent. The camera can be removed to shed some weight.
The controller uses two pairs of AA batteries and operates on a 2GHz frequency. The batteries can last a month or two depending on your frequency of use.
Here we covered some of the affordable best drones under 100$ which anyone can have a try. Check out this extensive list of drones available on Amazon here Best inexpensive Drones. Leave your feedback in the comments section below.