Top 3 Best Drones under $300 in 2020 (My winner at the end)
The “drones under $300” price category was quite empty for a long time now, as there really weren't any good ones I could recommend. Things have changed. And my number one drone on this list can be found super cheap for what it can do.
At this price level you can already start expecting things like:
- electronic image stabilization
- longer range
- brushless motors
As mentioned above, at this price level you should already be looking for good image stabilization and definitely solid GPS. A new trend you should take note of is the appearance of cheap foldable drones that can be great for trips or vlogging.
In the price category of under $300, a drone that flies under 15 minutes is not that great, so expect to find drones that fly even over 20 min.
When it comes to cameras, resolution isn't all that matters, you should look for dynamic range, frames per second and compare the samples.
You should expect at least a 2 axis gimbal in this price category, and a good one at that. The 3 drones on this list all have great gimbal stabilization.
What are the Best drones in this price range?
The table I made above have my top 3 drones under $300, but bellow you'll be able to find details for each of these so you you can go more in depth about the details you want to check for and maybe compare them side by side.
I even made some videos myself.
Top choice - Hubsan Zino
3.JJRC X12/Eachine Ex4 ( the most compact)
2 axis image stabilization
The JJRC X12 is a drone that comes with a 3 axis gimbal stabilization. THis means that the video camera is stabilized by 3 motors, and let me tell you that the difference between a gimbal stabilized camera and a non stabilized one is huge.
It's also a really compact drone that's also foldable, this means it's easy to take it in trips with you and store it comfortably.
The build quality is really surprising, some of the best plastic I found in a drone so far, pretty much on par with DJI in terms of that. All the Drones on this list also have brushless motors, which means they last longer and are more powerful, but this is frequently found in this price category anyway.
This quadcopter that resembles the DJI mavic Air quite a lot also flies for quite a long time. The battery life being somewhere at 25 minutes in perfect conditions, but I have experienced about 20 minutes of total flight time, which is plenty, about as much if not more than the Mavic Air.
The main reason the JJRC X12 is not higher on this list is that even though the camera is stabilized and the build quality is great, the camera quality itself is not extraordinary, still a great drone for exploration, especially since i tested its range and I got to 1km, albeit with interferences after 800m, but still a great cheap drone for exploring.
2. Xiaomi Fimi A3(transmitter with display)
20 min battery
2 axis gimbal
The Xiaomi FImi A3 is a really well built drone, solid with an extremely capable transmitter. It records in 1080p and has a 2 axis gimbal. The disadvantage of this drone is that it doesn't fold down, so it's a bit bigger than the others, but it still has a slim profile and can easily fit in a backgpack.
What I'm most excited about in this drone is the FPV option, as it has 5.8ghz transmission and you can connect a cheap pair of goggles to it.
It makes it so
Besides that, the huge 1km range, the super stable video and long battery life make it the best choice in my opinion for this budget.
In terms of flight modes, it comes with return to home which is very precise, as well as a great hovering stability thanks to it's GPS and GLONASS satelite connection.
It also has easy access to the menu directly from the transmitter.Two reasons why you'd want to buy this instead of the next drone that's on the number one spot are the fact that the transmitter comes with an included screen that makes it much easier to get the drone ready for flight and is more compact overall. And also the fact that it has almost no image lag because the transmission is in 5.8ghz analog.
This makes it easier to couple it with a pair of FPV goggles to see the image feed.
1.Hubsan Zino (the best drone under $300)
3 axis gimbal
Although there are reasons you might want to choose the Xiaomi fimi A3 for example like the better transmitter, If you're looking for the Best image quality and features, the HUbsan Zino is by far the best drone on the market, don't even look further. It's quite well under $300, and you can get it both from amazon or banggood, usually banggood.com is even cheaper. You can check the current prices in the description, they're affiliate links so you'd help me make money for a coffe too.
The zino comes with a 3 axis gimbal and a really good one that's on par with high end DJI drones in my opinion. The camera is 4k, and really good 4k at that, and as you can see in these videos, the footage is stunning for the price, far from any other drone you might see recommended by most people in this price range.
The GPS positioning is quite solid, especially since Hubsan did a few updates in the software department and now the drone flies excelent. I agree, the controller isn't as high quality as the Xiaomi Fimi A3 and you have to connect your phone to it, but in any other way, it's better than everything on the market.
The Flight modes it comes with are also really capable and well made, from Waypoints, circle me function to course lock and it even returns back home on low battery.
If you want to see more details about it, I have made a complete review and linked it in the description. Now I'll leave you with some side by side footage of all of these three drones, so you decide for yourself what's best.
While watching, please hit the like button because it helps with the algoritm, and make sure to watch some more videos from Dronesgator, because you might find interesting things.
A few bonus drones I like a lot
If you're on an even lower budget or you simply want to check some alternatives, I have a few other drones as a bonus you can choose from.
Upair one Plus 2k drone
The Upair one comes in a few versions, including 2.7k and 4k cameras and even a newer version called “plus” that works by connecting the phone, instead of the included FPV monitor.
It comes with a 2 axis gimbal, which makes the footage more stabilized and the signal is also in 5.8ghz which means almost no lag, compared to drones that use phones wifi.
It's a strong reliable Phatom-like drone with powerful brushless motors, good GPS and quite a lot of Range.
It's only drawback compared to the others on this list is that it's kinda big for 2019, the year of the foldable drones.
C-fly Dream Drone
The C-fly dream is probably the best DJI Spark alternative for people who have a lower budget.
Keep in mind the camera quality isn't as good as the Spark, but because it comes with 2 axis image stabilization, a pretty good GPS and even some flight modes, it can be enough for some people to enjoy flying.
The transmitter is also pretty good quality and simple to use. The app is going to contain all the detailed settings, including the option to do circle around, follow me and so on.