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Best Drones under $100 in 2024 (tables and charts)

Updated in 2024 by Paul Posea
drones-under-$100-category-section

Who said you need to break the bank to enjoy flying around your neighborhood? There are plenty of good quality drones that go for $100 or even less.

If you're on a tight budget, or just a beginner trying to dip their toes into the drone world before committing, I've taken my top picks for cheap drones and ranked them out for you in this article.

If you're in a hurry, check out the winner right here.

It's quite hard to decide between most cheap drones these days. This is why I bought and tested dozens of drones on my youtube channel too. 

If you're simply searching for a cheap beginner drone, I recommend you take a look at my top drones under $50 too.

My winner:MJX Bugs 3

bugs 3 with go pro

In a hurry? Just pick my best recommended drone in this price category and you can't really go wrong!

  • Powerful brushless motors
  • Good range
  • Great battery life
  • Can carry a lot of weight
  • Can put a gimbal on it
  • Works with any action camera
drone comparison table and graphic

My top camera drones under $100

I have sorted my top drones from my least recommended to my most recommended. However, keep in mind that this order isn't necessarily right and I don't think these drones differ so much between each other.

They each have different unique traits that might benefit some people in particular.

Drone ModelRangeBattery LifeCamera QualityStabilizationPrice
MJX Bugs 3200m15 minAction CamGimbal can be mountedCheck Out Price
DJI Tello100m12 min720pElectronic Stab.Check Out Price
WingGod400m15 min1080pNo Stab.Check Out Price
SG900200m16 min1080pNo stab.Check Out Price
EMax EZ200m8 minFPVNo stab.
Check Out Price

My video with details about these drones

drones-ranked-by-specs.png

My final drone ranking

This is a more in depth view on each of the drones we looked at before and my personal experience with them. Have a look at all of them, as each is great in it's own way.

Specs alone aren't enough to tell a story, testing a drone and seeing how it actually shoots video is what's more important.

1.MJX Bugs 3 (My favorite cheap GoPro Drone)

camera-icon-spec

action cam

battery-icon-spec

15 min

range-icon-spec

300 m

drone-icon-spec

Can carry a gimbal

mjx bugs 3 review

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(check every price range in my cheap drones article).

It comes with brushless motors that are more powerful and durable compared to brushed ones, which are usually the standard in this price range.

When it comes to build quality overall, it's one of the best I have seen under $200 even. And it can also do flips!

Oh and here's my full review on the Mjx Bugs 3 btw.

PROS

  1. Powerful Brushless Motors
  2. Good range
  3. Great battery Life
  4. Can carry a lot of weight
  5. Can put a gimbal on it

CONS

  1. There's an annoying beeping even before is getting low

Features

Action Camera Ready: The MJX Bugs 3 is great for attaching action cameras, making it my favorite drone under $100 for aerial photography.

Brushless Motors: It features powerful and durable brushless motors, a notable upgrade from the usual brushed ones in this price range.

Solid Build Quality:The build quality is impressive, rivaling drones under $200, offering both sturdiness and durability.

Flip Capability: This drone can perform flips, adding a fun and acrobatic aspect to flying.

2.DJI Tello ( Best Selfie Drone under $100)

camera-icon-spec

720p

battery-icon-spec

12 min

range-icon-spec

100 m

drone-icon-spec

Electronic Image stabilization

dji-tello-small

The DJI Tello is a game-changer in the world of budget-friendly drones, especially for those who love taking selfies. Priced under $100, it's an accessible option for both drone beginners and enthusiasts.

What makes Tello stand out is its blend of DJI's renowned drone technology with an ease-of-use factor that appeals to a wide audience. It's small and lightweight, making it incredibly portable. Despite its size, it doesn't compromise on functionality or camera quality. 

The Tello is a perfect example of how you don't need to spend a fortune to get a quality drone experience, especially if you're into capturing great aerial selfies or videos. It's a drone that combines fun, creativity, and technology, all in an affordable package.

PROS

  1. Great battery life
  2. Multiple flight modes
  3. Stabilized video
  4. Amazing Photos
  5. Can Use separate controller

CONS

  1. Video can be glitchy

Features

Compact and User-Friendly: This drone is incredibly compact and user-friendly, making it perfect for beginners or those looking for a portable option.

Stable Flight for Great Selfies: Tello's flight stability ensures you get the best selfies every time. It's designed to hover accurately, which is essential for capturing clear, stable images.

Easy to Control: I've found the Tello to be exceptionally easy to control, which is great for those just starting out with drones.

Impressive Camera Quality: For its price, the camera quality is impressive, offering clear and vibrant images – ideal for selfie enthusiasts.
Fun Flight Modes: It includes several fun flight modes, adding creativity and variety to your flying and photography experience.

3.WLtoys XK X1( best camera drone under $200)

camera-icon-spec

1080p

battery-icon-spec

15 min

range-icon-spec

400m

drone-icon-spec

No gimbal

Wltoys-Xk-X1

This drone not only comes with GPS, but also a camera at the bottom for optical stabilization so it flies more steady when close to the ground.

You can use a micro SD card so the footage will not be recorded in poor quality on your phone.

Speaking about footage, this camera records video in 2k resolution and takes 4k photos. Don't expect them to be too great, as the camera quality itself matters more than the resolution, but these are not bad either.

Another great feat that you won't find on other drones on this list is the ability to change the camera angle from the transmitter, which is super useful, albeit the controller does make a weird sound when doing so.

PROS

  1. Camera angle can be changed
  2. Foldable
  3. Stable

CONS

  1. Camera quality not as good as advertised

Features

GPS and Optical Stabilization: This drone is equipped with GPS and a bottom-mounted camera for optical stabilization, ensuring steady flight, especially near the ground.

High-Resolution Camera: The camera records in 2K resolution for videos and takes 4K photos. While the resolution is high, remember that the overall camera quality also plays a significant role in the output.

Micro SD Card Compatibility: You can use a micro SD card for storage, which means your footage is saved in high quality, unlike direct recording to a phone which can reduce clarity.

Adjustable Camera Angle: A unique feature here is the ability to change the camera angle directly from the transmitter. It's incredibly handy, though the controller does emit a strange sound when adjusting the camera.

4.SG900 best battery life drone under $100

camera-icon-spec

1080p

battery-icon-spec

16 min 

range-icon-spec

200m

drone-icon-spec

No stabilization

SG900 drone

This drone not only comes with GPS, but also a camera at the bottom for optical stabilization so it flies more steady when close to the ground.

You can use a micro SD card so the footage will not be recorded in poor quality on your phone.

Speaking about footage, this camera records video in 2k resolution and takes 4k photos. Don't expect them to be too great, as the camera quality itself matters more than the resolution, but these are not bad either.

Another great feat that you won't find on other drones on this list is the ability to change the camera angle from the transmitter, which is super useful, albeit the controller does make a weird sound when doing so.

PROS

  1. Great flight stability
  2. Long battery life
  3. Spare batteries
  4. Foldable design

CONS

  1. Not a very fast drone

Features

GPS and Optical Stabilization:This drone features GPS and a bottom-mounted camera for optical stabilization, ensuring it flies steadily, especially close to the ground.

High-Quality Footage: You can use a micro SD card for storage, ensuring your footage is recorded in high quality, unlike phone recordings which can be of lower quality.

Camera Capabilities: The camera records video in 2K and captures 4K photos. While the resolution is impressive, keep in mind that the overall camera quality is also important.

Enhanced Camera Control:A standout feature of this drone is the ability to change the camera angle from the transmitter. This adds versatility to your shots, though the controller may make a noise when adjusting.

5. Emax EZ Pilot (best FPV drone under $100)

camera-icon-spec

FPV

battery-icon-spec

8 min battery

range-icon-spec

100m

drone-icon-spec

No gimbal

emax ez pilot drone

The EZ Pilot is an all in one FPV package from Emax that's oriented towards beginners in the FPV hobby as well as pretty much anyone who wants to experience FPV drone flying indoors.

I love it especially in these times of isolation because I can fly a drone using goggles indoors, through the bathroom, kitchen and even annoy my roommates.

There are a few levels of speed and intensity of flying that will allow even beginners to safely fly it. And even if you crash, you're safe thanks to the prop guards. Hit a wall? Don't worry, the drone will keep flying as the propellers won't be affected.

The goggles are 5.8ghz Fpv and work great. You can even use them with any 5.8 Ghz Fpv drone or camera so you can upgrade the drone in the future yet still use these.

PROS

  1. Complete package
  2. No lag camera
  3. Good fpv goggles
  4. Great indoors flying
  5. Multiple speed modes

CONS

  1. Battery life isn't that amazing

Features

Adjustable Flying Modes: It offers various speed and intensity levels, making it safe and easy for beginners to start flying without much risk.

Durability and Safety: (Prop Guards for Protection)

The drone is equipped with prop guards. This means even if you crash into a wall, the drone keeps flying, protecting the propellers from damage.

Versatile FPV Goggles: (5.8GHz FPV Goggles)

The included goggles are 5.8GHz FPV, offering a great flying experience. They are compatible with any 5.8 GHz FPV drone or camera, allowing for future drone upgrades while still using the same goggles.

What to Look for in a Drone under $100

There is no reason why you should expect much from a drone under $100. 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 below 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”.

Battery life and Range

Usually drones don't fly for more than 10 minutes in this price range, however, there are a few over that, up to 15 minutes.

Another thing you should consider is the drone’s range, as it depends on what you plan to do with the drone.

I have also compiled my ultimate list with long range drones, if you want to focus more on this specific trait.

The range of a drone can greatly vary depending on the wifi interference, whether you bought it from Europe (CE mode has lower range usually) or USA(typically the best range).

5 things to know about drone lipo batteries image

Drone Return to home (and GPS)

The return to home feature usually comes with any GPS drone (which all on this list are).

5 things to know about drone RTH image

It's helpful in many situations, however, the most prevalent ones are:

  • return to home on loss of signal
  • return to home on low battery power

The "home" point is nothing else but the spot where you first launched your drone from.

I also made a list with my favorite Return To Home Drones, and they are sorted by price, so you can pick the best one for your budget.

In this price range you'll find both indoor beginner drones as well as gopro drones, so decide what you're looking for in the first place.

Image Stabilization

Camera won't be well stabilized, but you can definitely make a good action cam setup with the drone on my first spot.

You'll find all of them on this list.

As a side note, if you want to learn more about what drones are, check out my article on the types of drones out there .

5 things to know about drone gimbal stabilization image

Durability

When you are searching for a drone under $100, durability is a top priority. Always  look for drones with sturdy build quality that can withstand minor crashes, as this is essential for longevity, especially when you're still learning to fly. 

It's not just about surviving a few bumps; a durable drone means more flying time and less worry about constant repairs.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is equally important. I always recommend drones with user-friendly controls for beginners. Simple, intuitive controls make the learning process smoother and more enjoyable. 

It's not just about the flying itself; features like one-key takeoff, altitude hold, and easy-to-navigate interfaces can make a huge difference for a first-time pilot. 

Conclusion

While exploring drones under $100, I've discovered that you can find great value and functionality without spending a lot. Each drone, from the indoor-friendly Emax EZ Pilot to the versatile MJX Bugs 3, offers something unique for every type of user. 

Whether you're a beginner or looking to experiment with aerial photography, there's a drone on this list that will meet your needs without stretching your budget. My top pick, the MJX Bugs 3, stands out for its overall performance and adaptability. Remember, the best drone for you is the one that fits your specific interests and requirements.

 Happy flying!

faq what should you look for in a drone

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section we'll answer all questions related to the above article:

What is the best drone with a camera for a beginner?

Best Drone with Camera is DJI Tello , an excellent choice for beginners, offering a good balance of ease of use, camera quality, and price.

How much should a beginner spend on a drone?

Beginners should consider spending around $50 to $100 on a drone to get a feel for flying without a large financial commitment.

How high can a cheap drone fly?

Cheap drones can typically fly up to around 100 meters high, but this varies depending on the specific model.

Can drones under $100 be used for photography and videography?

Yes, drones under $100 can be used for basic photography and videography, but with limited features and quality.

How long can I expect the battery to last in drones under $100?

Expect the battery to last about 7 to 10 minutes on average in drones under $100.

What is the best entry-level drone to buy?

The DJI Tello is a great entry-level drone, offering a balance of ease of use, features, and price.

What is the best drone for a 12-year-old?

The Holy Stone HS210 is ideal for 12-year-olds, as it's durable, easy to fly, and appropriately sized for younger users.

Do I have to register a drone under $100?

You shouldn’t!, you only have to register a drone if it exceeds 250 grams or 0.55 pounds.
Drones in this price range are only moderately durable. They’re just not made with strong parts because that would make them too costly.

Can I get a DJI drone for under $100?

DJI drones are typically quite costly unless we’re talking about some entries in the Mini series. Even then, you must expect to spend at least $300, so those drones are a bit outside of your price range.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
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