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Best cheap Brushless Drones in 2019 (RTF)

Best cheap brushless drones in 2019

Updated: jan 2019

So you’re looking for a brushless drone… and a cheap one at that…

If you’re reading this article you probably have at least a vague idea about the difference between brushed and brushless motors. Even so, I’m going to explain a bit about the advantages of one over the other.

You might want to read my other articles related to brushless drones:

Did you check the articles I link in the buttons above? Good!

Now, you might have heard that brushless motors are better than brushed, and that’s perfectly true. 

Lately, these motors are the staple of the RC (radio-controlled) world in pretty much anything from boat to aircraft. 

Even more so drones, which require a constant use of the motors while in the air.

brushless-motor-vs-brushed-motor-magnet-positioning
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Top 5 Cheap brushless drones in 2019

These are my best choices when it comes to cheap brushless drones in 2019. I know there’s a lot from MJX, but what can I do, they really make good drones.

It’s not necessarily my exact order I would rate them, as they are all pretty good and differ quite a lot between what they are used at and their prices too.

Product
MJX Bugs 3 review – Best Cheap Brushless GoPro Drone( In-Depth review)
MJX Bugs 3 review – Best Cheap Brushless GoPro Drone( In-Depth review)
15
300
1080p
  • Powerful brushless motors
  • good range
  • great battery life
  • can carry a lot of weight
  • can put a gimbal on it
2 Xiaomi Fimi A3 review – best gimbal GPS drone for the price
Xiaomi Fimi A3 review – best gimbal GPS drone for the price
16
1000
1080p
  • 2 axis gimbal
  • Electronic Image stabilization
  • long battery life
  • slim profile
  • 5.8ghz signal
  • great quality transmitter and build
3 JJPRO X5 EPIK review – best GPS drone under $150!
JJPRO X5 EPIK review – best GPS drone under $150!
15
300
1080p
  • can move the camera while in the air (rare for this price)
  • Stable GPS
  • Aditional functions like RTH, circle and follow
  • brushless motors
  • solid battery life
4 Bugs 3 Mini – Cheap and fast brushless drone
Bugs 3 Mini – Cheap and fast brushless drone
8
300
720p
  • can fly in acro mode
  • powerful brushless motors
  • multiple speed modes
  • good battery life
5 MJX Bugs 2 review – best GPS drone under $200
MJX Bugs 2 review – best GPS drone under $200
15
1
1080p
  • Stable GPS
  • Aditional functions like RTH, circle and follow
  • brushless motors
  • solid battery life

The advantages and disadvantages of brushless motors

  • they are more powerful
  • the durability is considerably increased
  • they don't heat as fast
  • don't require maintenance
  • don't heat as fast
standard-motor-vs-brushed-when-heating-faster
  • are usually bigger
  • the brushless motors are more expensive than the brushed versions.

Considering the last negative point made, when it comes to multirotor drones the same principle applies: They are more expensive overall than their brushed counterparts.

What are the best CHEAP drones that have high quality brushless motors?

While many people think of products like the Phantom 3 series and other drones like Yuneec q500, there are way cheaper alternatives to these but don’t expect the same level of performance. 

I won’t make many compromises when it comes to quality, so the drones I’m reviewing here are still top notch, compared to some beginner ones for example.

 

drone-nr-1

MJX bugs 3 - probably my top pick

Battery Life

15

Range

300m

Camera

1080p

Motors

Brushless

The Bugs 3 is by far my favorite drone from this list and that’s because it’s unbeatable for its price. 

I have reviewed the Bugs 3 over here with more details, but overall it’s the perfect quadcopter under $100! Yes, I got mine from Gearbest for a ridicoulous price! (cheap) 

The range and speed on this thing makes it able to also play the role of a racing drone no problem.

  • Price: Check current Price
  • Flying Time: 15+ min
  • motors: D1806 - 2280KV
  • can carry GO Pro (and even gimbal)
  • Flying Distance: 300m
  • has speed mode (40+ km/h)
bugs 3 package

Positives

  • Very powerful and speedy
  • has enough power to carry an action camera/GoPro (even a gimbal)
  • very good flight time (over 15 min)
  • Very good range (200m+ )
  • sturdy design

Negatives

  • There's not much to say, I just wish this had GPS

Real Footage with my awesome brushless drone

I took the Bugs 3 drone around the town some time ago, recording just with a cheap action camera. 

My results were pretty great, but what you’ll see next will blow your mind! The following video is made just by attaching a go pro to this drone. 

Take notes on how this guy managed to create smooth video and how amazing the results are. Cheers to Maker Mind!

The transmitter on this device is toy grade, but has enough buttons to do the job well. 

I like the fact that there is an unlock button for the motors, so you don’t accidentally start it.

 There’s also a button for doing flips that also works when you have a camera attached. However, I like to keep my go pro safe. 

This drone is super fun to play around with and race thanks to it’s powerful brushless motors and low weight.

Average Score 10
Video Quality
9
Flight stability
8.5
Photo Quality
9.5
PROS:
  • Powerful brushless motors
  • good range
  • great battery life
  • can carry a lot of weight
  • can put a gimbal on it
CONS:
  • there's an annoying beeping even before the battery is getting low.
drone-number-2
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Xiaomi Fimi a3 best gimbal GPS drone for the price

Battery Life

16

Range

1000

Camera

1080p

Motors

Brushless

Xiaomi Fimi A3 is a very new drone even for 2019. Building on the success of the XIaomi Mi Drone, this new, cheaper drone with a slimmer profile has the potential to even beat the DJI Spark.

It rocks a 1080p camera and besides coming with brushless motors it also has a 2 axis gimbal AND Electronic image stabilization.

This is indeed the more expensive drone on the list, but it’s still under $300, which makes it incredibly cheap especially for one that has GPS, return to home and quite a nice range included.

  • Flying Time: 16+ min
  • GPS (return to home)
  • Range: 1km
  • 2 axis gimbal
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • can use 5.8ghz goggles with it

Video Review of the Fimi A3 from Xiaomi

I’m really in love with this drone as it’s capable of 5.8ghz video transmission, which means you’ll be able to use goggles to see exactly what the camera sees. 

This is quite a game changer and even though I have more expensive drones at home, like the Mavic 2 from DJI, this one I fly more frequently just because it’s more fun.

The transmitter for this drone is also quite unique as it doesn’t use your phone to fly around, but a 5.8ghz monitor instead included in the transmitter.

I always prefer a controller like this because it’s simply less time for preparation and no need to complicate things with cables and apps that don’t always work *cough*DJI*cough*.

The drone is very slim in profile, but I really wish it would have been foldable, as it still has quite a big footprint in your backpack for example.

Average Score 9.5
Flight stability
9.5
Camera quality
8.5
Features
9
PROS:
  • 2 axis gimbal
  • Electronic Image stabilization
  • long battery life
  • slim profile
  • 5.8ghz signal
  • great quality transmitter and build
CONS:
  • I wish this was 2.7k in resolution
drone-number-3
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JJPRO x5 EPIK - GPS and moving camera

Battery Life

15

Range

300

Camera

1080p

Motors

Brushless

The JJPRO X5 EPIK is my top recommendation for everyone who’s looking for a good and cheap GPS quadcopter simply because it has incredible specs for the price.

The main points are the brushless motors, the very stable GPS and the ability to move the camera.

Of course the drone comes with a few useful features like low battery return to home auto RTH, circle around me, follow me and more.

Until very recently we haven’t seen such features even in $1000 drones, so it’s quite surprising what recent technology is capable of.

  • Flying Time: 15+ min
  • GPS (return to home)
  • return home
  • circle around me
  • follow me
  • moving camera

My Video Review of the JJPRO X5

Here’s my recent review on the JJPRO x5, that surprisingly enough is almost the same drone as the MJX bugs 5w, but I did pick the JJPRO on this spot as I find it was cheaper and I like the body and color more.

The brushless motors are one thing, but when you give me a drone with super capable GPS, a moving camera that you can control from your transmitter and even a good one at that… I simply can’t recommend it enough!

Who should buy this drone?

  • people with a budget around $150 that want a stable camera drone
  • it’s pretty good even for beginners as the GPS will help you learn the controls easier
  • you can even turn off the GPS if you want to learn flying a drone the hard way and compensate for driftinga and wind.
Average Score 9.5
Flight Stability
9
Signal Strength
8.5
Camera Quality
8.5
Features
8.5
PROS:
  • can move the camera while in the air (rare for this price)
  • Stable GPS
  • Aditional functions like RTH, circle and follow
  • brushless motors
  • solid battery life
CONS:
  • Live streaming range is a little bit limiting
  • Camera is not stabilized
$158.98 Buy It Now
drone-number-4
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BUGS 3 mini - between beginner and racing

Battery Life

8

Range

300

Camera

720p

Motors

Brushless

The Bugs 3 mini is just that.

A smaller Bugs 3…

It comes in different package, the cheapest one being without a camera, while the others also having an FPV 720p camera included.

You can also mount a smaller action cam like a Mobius on it if you want to record better footage.

However, this drone doesn’t necessarily require a camera to be fun to fly. 

It can be a super fast racer and if you really want to get the FPV camera, then with a pair of 5.8ghz goggles you’ll get the full experience of either acro or angle mode flight.

  • Flying Time: 8+ min
  • acro/angle modes
  • FPV camera option
  • works with goggles
  • powerful and fast (can do flips)

Video Review of the bugs 3 mini

The bugs 3 mini is probably one of the best ways for anyone who already has some experience flying drones to get into the FPV hobby. You can even fly it a bit slower thanks to the two Speed rates available and it’s also a pretty rugged build so I say it’s quite hard to break.

This is a drone for easoer carrying around in your backpack and having tons of fun with it. Don’t think of it as a camera drone.

It’s a super fun, beginner racing drone that bridges the gap between beginner drones and professional FPV ones.

Average Score 9
Video Quality
9
Flight stability
8.5
Photo Quality
9.5
PROS:
  • can fly in acro mode
  • powerful brushless motors
  • multiple speed modes
  • good battery life
CONS:
  • not suited for beginners
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MJX bugs 2 - very capable GPS 1080p drone

Battery Life

15

Range

1

Camera

1080p

Motors

Brushless

The MJX Bugs 2 is the newer version of the Bugs 3( they got the numbers wrong). 

And this baby comes with brushless motors, an included Full HD Camera and super long range! 

The GPS it comes with makes it stay in place even in strong winds and it also returns to home if it loses signal!

The camera doesn’t have any gimbal, but it’s definitely pretty high quality 1080p with a wide angle.

I would say the MJX Bugs 5w is a better drone overall though.

My video Review of the Bugs 2

This is an older review of mine, but still very relevant to this day. A newer version of the Bugs 2 has appeared, called the Bugs 2 SE (silver edition) that has a few aditional GPS functions included.

This is how the silver edition looks like. I am quite impressed how much better a change of color can look.

Not only that, it comes with all the original accessories, including the same transmitter, propellers and brushless motors. But all this with the addition of a few flight modes and the same price.

Average Score 8
Flight Stability
8
Signal Strength
7
Camera Quality
7
Features
7
PROS:
  • Stable GPS
  • Aditional functions like RTH, circle and follow
  • brushless motors
  • solid battery life
CONS:
  • Live streaming range is a little bit limiting
  • Camera is not stabilized
$235.99 Buy It Now
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Bonus drones

Aosenma CG035

The Aosenma CG035 has the second spot on my list mainly because of its incredible GPS follow feature.

 I recommend buying the version with an action camera slot, so you can upgrade the camera later.

 And again, because it’s a brushless drone, you can attach even a gimbal to it and it will capture amazing stabilized footage

aosenma cg035 with transmitter

Positives

  • Smooth flying
  • You can mount a gimbal with go pro
  • precise GPS
  • excellent flight range
  • Comes with a follow me function
  • It comes with a great Transmitter

Negatives

  • Battery lasts for about 10 minutes with a heavy camera

JJRC X1 - cheap, simple and effective brushless drone

You can find toy grade brushed motors for the same price, yet this thing is making it on the top of my list as a very speedy and forceful brushless quadcopter.

With its 2280Kv motors and plentiful battery charge (1300 mAh), it can stay in the air for 10 to 15 min and cut the wind like none other.

As with the other drones on this list, I do not recommend it for beginners, as brushless motors can be to powerful to handle.

  • Price: Check current Price
  • flight time: up to 15 min (a little less in reality)
  • stabilization: 6 axis gyro
  • motors: D1806 - 2280KV
  • battery 7.4V 1300mAh
  • Flying distance: under 300 m

Positives

  • very powerful and speedy
  • has enough power to carry an action camera/GoPro (even a gimbal)
  • very good flight time
  • excellent range despite the cheap controller
  • has a slot to connect an fpv camera
  • nice sporty design

Negatives

  • poor led lights
  • it can tip over because of the not so wide landing gear. How to solve this problem: put the prop guards on, so even if it tips over it won't do any damage.

Cheerson cx 20 -go pro alternative for phantom 3

This is probably the closest very cheap alternative for the Phantom 3 series

A great video platform with included GPS and a great hobby grade transmitter.

 It’s very resilient and pretty tough as it can sustain some beating, although you probably won’t have to find that out if you don’t do stupid stuff like testing the max range(like I did).

cheerson-cx-20-and-transmitter

Positives

  • the price is amazing for all it can do
  • great hobby grade controller
  • auto return to home function
  • it's resilient
  • can carry a big action camera and gimbal
  • has a good battery life

Negatives

  • the GPS doesn't work perfectly (it is to be expected at this price)
  • one of the legs can get in the footage if you're using an action cam (nothing that can't be edited in post production)

I'm a big drone enthusiast, the owner of DronesGator.com and I also make weekly videos on my drone YouTube channel.

2 Comments
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  1. nenea,da-mi si mie o drona d-asta de filmeaza!

  2. What no XK X251? Blade 200 QX isn’t RTF

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