Best Drones under $200 in 2020 (table and charts comparison)

best drones under $200 list in 2020

Looking for a good quality drone under $200 can be tough as you're not yet in the more professional budget area.

However…

I only chose my top brushless drones, so they're durable and you don't end up buying an expensive toy drone that easily breaks!

In this article you'll learn about what specs to look for in a drone of this price and what are my top camera drone picks for a few categories(no FPV included).

If you're interested in getting a better drone and have some money to spare, I highly recommend you check the article with my top drones under $300, as the difference in price will make up for it.

My winner:Eachine Ex4

jjrc-x12-aurora-drone-review

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

  1. Great GPS stability
  2. 3 axis gimbal 
  3. Camera isn't fisheye
  4. Great carrying case
  5. 25 min flight time
  6. 1km range

My top camera drones under $200 (table comparison)

drone comparison table and graphic

At this price, every dollar counts in getting yourself a better or worse drone and the differences can be significant.

 I'm going to cover the main features of basic camera drones, not FPV or otherwise niche quadcopters.

Keep in mind that you shouldn't expect high level camera drones like some of the newer DJI models. If you think you can expand your budget a bit, I recommend you check out my top drones under $500 list, or my latest comparison between the Mavic Mini, Mavic Air and Fimi X8 ( all great camera drones).

As a side note, there are some news about a new DJI FPV drone being released and I have found some of its specs and leaked photos.

Eachine Ex4ZLRC ProXK X1X9 HeronFunsky 913
drone-image-iconeachine-ex4-drone-thumbnail-jjrc-x12zlrc-sg906-beast-drone-thumbnailxk-x1-drone-thumbnailjjrc-x9-heron-thumbnailfunsky-913-drone-small-image
camera-icon1080p1080p1080p1080p1080p
battery-drone-icon25min25min18min15min16min
range-wifi-icon1km500m500m400m200m
gimbal-stability-drone-icon3 axis2 axis2 axis2 axisNo gimbal
drone-price-dollar-icon Check Price Check price Check price Check price Check price

My video with details about these drones

FREE: Perfect pre-flight drone checklist 

Use this checklist to get in the habit of always being prepared with everything you need when going to film with a drone (especially if you're doing it for clients).

Longest battery life drone under $200

drones under $200 compared by flight time in a chart
zlrc sg 906 pro drone

Winner: ZLRC SG906 Pro

  1. Longest reliable battery life
  2. Says 4k camera(But is in fact 1080p)
  3. 2 axis gimbal
  4. Foldable

What's the longest range drone under $200?

eachine-ex4-drone-thumbnail-jjrc-x12

Winner: Eachine Ex4

  1. Reliable long range
  2. 1080p camera
  3. 3 axis gimbal
  4. Foldable and small

Best camera drone under $200

gimbal and camera sorder for drones under $200 in a table
eachine-ex4-drone-thumbnail-jjrc-x12

Winner(again): Eachine Ex4

Although it may look like the ZLRC SG 906 Pro wins this race in terms of image quality, the camera stability of the EX4 results in way more professional and useful footage.

It's a clear winner!

Eachine Ex4 Video Footage

My final drone ranking (in detail)

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.

 This list is in order of what I consider to be better overall AND what value for money that drone has. 

All these quadcopters are super high quality and you can’t really go wrong. It’s up to you to decide!

1.Eachine Ex4 - 3 axis gimbal drone (my favorite)

camera-icon-small

1080p

small battery-life-icon

25min

drone distance icon

1km

3 axis gimbal

jjrc-x12-aurora-drone-review

The eachine ex4 is a drone I recently reviewed on youtube, and even if it's like 3 usd over $200, I think it's quite worth it. It's a super compact drone that comes with 3 axis image stabilization gimbal and a 1080p camera, a solid stable gps and a range of 1km that I tested myself.

Being so lightweight it's also great to fly it in most countries without registering it (under 250g).

Advantages

  1. Great gps stability
  2. 3 axis gimbal (very stable)
  3. Camera Isn't fisheye
  4. Comes with a great case
  5. Great flight time
  6. 1km range (teste by me)

DISAdvantages

  1. Dynamic range isnt' great (typical for drones in this price category)

2.ZLRC SG906 Pro (Best long range drone under $200)

camera-icon-small

1080p

small battery-life-icon

25min

drone distance icon

500m

1km

2 axis gimbal

No image stabilization

zlrc sg 906 pro drone

The ZLRC SG906 Pro made a huge leap from the original, just because it added a better camera and a good 2 axis gimbal.

Just like the original, it comes with a great build quality, brushless motors and great battery life.

You can use this drone for exploration, as it comes with a 50x in app zoom (you do lose quality though).

I rank it second to the Eachine because the image stablization is clearly inferior.

It flies super stable also thanks to its optical flow sensors underneath and GPS+GLONASS system.

The standard controlling range is 1km, but 500m is what you should expect from the visual range(FPV).

Advantages

  1. Great gps stability
  2. 2 axis gimbal (very stable)
  3. Good 1080p camera
  4. Camera can move up and down
  5. Great carrying case

DISAdvantages

  1. It's advertised at 4k, but in fact it has a 1080p camera

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

camera-icon-small

1080p

small battery-life-icon

18 min

drone distance icon

500m

1km

2 axis gimbal

No image stabilization

The Xk X1 from WLtoys is a drone that I tried and reviewed hands on, and was really impressed with the quality of footage I got from it.

The gimbal is one of the best I saw in the industry, while the camera is not half bad either.

If you're looking for the best photography drone under $200, this might just be it.

You can control the camera to move up and down, but it's not that smooth, as you have to press buttons instead of using a scroll wheel.

The carrying case that it comes with is absolutely great, same quality as the actual Phantom 4, that this drone resembles.

Advantages

  1. Great gps stability
  2. 2 axis gimbal (very stable)
  3. Good 1080p camera
  4. Camera can move up and down
  5. Great carrying case

DISAdvantages

  1. Not foldable

4.JJRC X9 Heron ( Best selfie drone under $200)

camera-icon-small

1080p

small battery-life-icon

15 min battery

drone distance icon

400m

2 axis gimbal

jjrc x9 heron controller

The first drone on this list with a capable 2 axis gimbal, the JJRC X9 heron is a drone that I reviewed recently and comes with some impressive specs.

It's not perfect, but the 2 axis gimbal and lightweight frame make it quite a good travel companion.

It does have an optical flow camera for better stability during flight, along with GPS.

Comes with return to home option (even in low battery).

One disadvantage would be the fact that it doesn't come with GLONASS(the russian version of GPS). This means the flight stability is a bit inferior compared to some other drones on this list.

Advantages

  1. 2 axis stabilized video
  2. Good 1080p camera
  3. Small and lightweight(259g)
  4. Optical flow camera

DISAdvantages

  1. GPS is not very stable(doesn't come with GLONASS)

5. Funsky 913(Best GPS drone under 250g)

camera-icon-small

1080p

small battery-life-icon

16 min battery

drone distance icon

200m

No gimbal

The funksy 913 must be the best beginner drone under $200 in my opinion.

It made it on this list after I tested it myself and got mind blown by its build and image quality.

The main fact I love this drone is because it's super silent (much more than any other drone I've tested).

It's small enough to fly without a permit in most countries (including USA) and it still has TONS of power.

It comes with brushless motors and some really high quality plastic.

Advantages

  1. Small size
  2. Super stable GPS
  3. Great camera quality
  4. Micro SD card slot

DISAdvantages

  1. Battery life isn't that amazing

What to look for in a drone (and FAQ)

faq-what-should-you-look-for-in-a-drone

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.

Battery life and Range

Checking a drone’s battery life will help you make calculated decisions when and where to operate it.  The least thing you’d want is to see your drone crashing in the sea because you were not aware how long its battery could last. 

Luckily, most drones show a live battery indicator and also come with the option to return to home on low battery or loss of signal (at least that's the case with the drones I recommend in this article).

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).

drone lipo batteries explained
drone return to home explained

Drone Return to home (and GPS)

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

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.

Most drones that come with GPS will not only hover steadily in the air, but also have the RTH option and usually a few flight modes too, like circle around, waypoints and so on.

Image Stabilization

Proper image stabilization in a camera drone is probably the most important factor you should look for, if you want to take great photos and videos that are not shaky.

I had to update this article for 2020 as some new drones have been released, that strangely enough actually come with 3 axis gimbals at prices as low as this.

You'll find all of them on this list.

 

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

things to know about drone gimbal stabilization