Best drones under $100 in 2019 – My favorite cheap quadcopters

Best Drones Under $100 in 2019 - my top 7

The price range of under $100 when it comes to drones is very popular, especially for beginners or people who want to try flying their first drone.

If you really want to learn how to use the controls at first, I would recommend getting a drone under $50

The drones in this category will be a little bit more powerful and with more advanced features.

There’s a WHOLE LOT of drones under this price range, especially in China, so I made this article with my absolute best ones so you don’t have to sift through all of them.

But if you want to filter though all those drones by criteria, I recommend trying my Drones For Sale Comparison Tool.

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What to look for in a cheap drone?

There is no reason why you should expect much from a drone of this price. However the ones on my list all have pretty impressive features and are some of the ones I’d personally recommend to a close friend.

The criteria bellow is something you should really look for in any drone of this price range. I left out features found in more expensive drones like “camera gimbal” or “flight modes”

Transmitter

If you’re a beginner trying to learn how to fly, I recommend not using a phone-controlled drone, but one with a proper controller instead.

Battery life

Don’t expect much battery life for Drones of smaller size and especially under $50, but most of them are over 5minutes.

Range

Flight range for beginner drones this cheap will most of the time be somewhere between 50m-100m.

Camera

Most drones at this price range come with a camera. But don’t expect it to be extremely high quality.

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MY TOP 7 Drones under $100

This table is not necesarily ordered by what’s the best one, as I tried to put a variety of different quadcopters that can appeal to a wider audience. Therefore make sure you choose what you like best, as they’re all pretty much in the same range of quality.

ProductBattery lifeRangeCamera
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 min
300 m
1080p
2 Ryze DJI Tello Review
Ryze DJI Tello Review
12 min
100 m
720p
$79.00 $99.00 Buy It Now
3 ThiEye Dr.X Review
ThiEye Dr.X Review
7 min
50 m
1080p
4 Bugs 3 Mini – Cheap and fast brushless drone
Bugs 3 Mini – Cheap and fast brushless drone
12 min
300 m
1080p
5 SG900 drone review – 20min battery life ( has a GPS version too)
SG900 drone review – 20min battery life ( has a GPS version too)
20 min
100 m
720p
6 JJRC H78G/KK10S drone review – Long flight time GPS under $100
JJRC H78G/KK10S drone review – Long flight time GPS under $100
15 min
300 m
1080p
$86 $104 Buy It Now
7 JJRC H55 tracker review – a gps drone for under $100
JJRC H55 tracker review – a gps drone for under $100
8 min
150 m
720p
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MJX Bugs 3 - my favorite drone

Battery Life

15min

Range

300m

Controller

Yes

Camera

Supports Action Cam

The MJX Bugs 3 is definitely my favorite drone under $100 when it comes to having an action camera attached.
It’s a very simple quadcopter, but it hits the main sweet spots of what you should look for at this price range.
It comes with brushless motors that are more powerful and durable compared to brushed ones, that are usually the standard in this price range.
The battery life is pretty good and the range you can fly it is quite impressive.
When it comes to build quality overall, it’s one of the best I have seen under $200 even. And it cal also do flips!

 

This can double as a fun speedy drone while at the same time can have a gopro attached or even a gimbal. So it’s quite future proof.
  • Great build quality
  • Future Proof (can change camera)
  • very sporty
bugs 3 transmitter button controls
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.
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DJI Tello -the best selfie drone under $100

Battery Life

12min

Range

100m

Controller

Optional

Camera

720p/4k photos

The Tello is probably the drone that impressed me the most lately, considering how stable it flies and that the quality of the photos is amazing.
I would say it’s the best super cheap selfie drone that recently got an iron man version.
Not only that, it also has an electronically stabilized camera (the only one on this list) and an optical flow sensor underneath that keeps it flying very steady.
You also have the option to fly it with a bluetooth transmitter that you can buy from the internet.

 

If you want a capable selfie drone, that can even extend the range up to 200m with the help of a wifi range extender like the Xiaomi Repeater the tello is the perfect drone for that.
  • Option to use controller
  • Great stability
  • good build quality
  • flight modes
Average Score 9
Video Quality
9
Flight stability
8.5
Photo Quality
9.5
PROS:
  • very good battery life
  • flight modes
  • stabilized video
  • very good photos
  • can use a separate controller
CONS:
  • video can be glitchy
$79.00 $99.00 Buy It Now
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Thieye DR.x- a tello with a 1080p camera?

Battery Life

7min

Range

100m

Controller

no

Camera

1080p

Thieye is a company that specializes in creating action cameras, so it’s not surprising that their first drone has quite an impressive camera.
This is more of a fairly unknown drone, but I have personally compared it with the DJI Tello and I must say sometimes it was ahead of it in certain areas.
Unfortunately it doesn’t have stabilized video, but the drone does come with optical flow sensors to keep it flying stable.
The video quality is surprisingly good, since it’s also higher resolution. But I must admit the photos are its strongest point. Some of them actually looking better than tello ones.

 

However, you be the judge of that.
  • good build quality
  • great 4k photos
  • good video quality
Average Score 9
Video Quality
9
Flight stability
8.5
Photo Quality
9.5
PROS:
  • 1080p camera (incredible for the price)
  • small size
  • good build quality
  • optical flow camera stabilization
  • high resolution photos
CONS:
  • artefacts when zooming in the video or photos
  • battery life is average
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JJRC H78G - Long battery life + GPS drone

Battery Life

15min

Range

300m

Controller

Yes

Camera

1080p

The JJRC H78G is more than a simple selfie drone. I would consider this one to be the most advanced on this list. One reason for that is the fact that it comes with really precise GPS.
It’s also foldable and you can tilt the camera by hand before flying it.
Just like the tello, however, it doesn’t have a micro sd card slot, so you should be expecting some wifi lag in the final video at longer range.
Other than that, it has an insanely high battery life and range. But keep in mind you need a phone with a 802.11ac wifi capability to see the live feed.
The transmitter also has a small screen that shows telemetry information like range, height and battery. So even if you get disconnected from the live feed you’ll be able to return the drone back.

 

Speaking of which, it has a Return To Home Button and it also comes back at the starting point if it loses signal  or if the battery is getting lower.
Average Score 9
Flight stability
9
Camera quality
8.5
Features
8.5
PROS:
  • long battery life
  • nice carrying case
  • 1080p camera
  • very stable GPS
  • auto return to home on low battery/loss of signal
  • circle me feature
  • telemetry screen on the controller
CONS:
  • doesn't come with a micro sd slot, might result in framedropping for videos.
$86 $104 Buy It Now
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SG900-The cheap 20min battery camera drone

Battery Life

20min

Range

100m

Controller

Yes

Camera

720p

One of the most popular drones of 2019, the SG900 is quite high on my recommendations list because of its insane battery life, super low price and capable camera output.
It also comes with optical flow camera which means it will fly super stable also.
Beware though if you want a fast and fun drone, because this monster is quite slow and steady.
The camera is quite good for the price and it’s also tiltable before flight.
The drone comes in two versions:
-GPS one, that has half the battery life
-Standard one with the 20min battery life.

 

Check the differences in my full review of the SG900.
Average Score 9
Video Quality
9
Flight stability
8.5
Photo Quality
9.5
PROS:
  • great flight stability
  • long battery life
  • spare batteries
  • foldable design
CONS:
  • not a very fast drone
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Bugs 3 mini- a great drone dor fpv beginners

Battery Life

8min

Range

300m

Controller

Yes

Camera

720p optional

This quadcopter is basically a smaller version of the Bugs 3, which is my favorite drone so far. However, it can’t really carry an action camera (maybe only something small like a mobius).
But it’s extremely good for fast flying around and even attaching a an FPV camera to it and having your first first person view experiences with some goggles.
And funny enough, you can go even closer to expert level when you activate “acro mode” to get full freedom to fly with goggles as you like.

 

It will work with any 5.8ghz goggles and the brushless motors will do a great job in flying fast.
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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JJRC h55 tracker - cheap gps drone

Battery Life

8min

Range

150m

Controller

yes

Camera

720p

This drone is another one of the few that make it under $100 with a good GPS and reasonable range.
The camera of this drone, although 720p does an excellent job when it comes to video.
It’s covered in a velvery high quality plastic and comes with an included transmitter.

It has the standard GPS functions like return to home, RTH in low battery conditions or loss of signal.

Average Score 8.5
Video Quality
9
Flight stability
8.5
Photo Quality
9.5
PROS:
  • stable GPS
  • return to home by button press
  • good quality material
  • good camera for the price
CONS:
  • the setup process can be annoying sometimes

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

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