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Top 3 Best Drones under $300 in 2024(with Comparison Table)

Updated in 2024 by Paul Posea
cheap-drones-under-$300-section

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 is one of the best cheap drones with very impressive specs.

At this price level you can already start expecting things like:

  • gimbals
  • electronic image stabilization
  • longer range
  • brushless motors
  • GPS

My winner: Hubsan Zino

hubsan-zino-drone-price-reduction.jpg

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

  • Great GPS stability
  • 3 axis gimbal 
  • 4k camera
  • Great flight modes
  • Foldable design
  • Well done software updates

My top camera drones under $300 (table comparison)

The table I made bellow has my top 3 drones under $300, but even bellow that you'll be able to find details for each of these so you can go more in-depth about the details you want to check for and maybe compare them side by side.

I suggest you go and check out my article with drones under $500 if you want to get more serious about this, or maybe check the Drone laws Map with the worldwide laws (took some time to get this done).

Hubsan ZinoXiaomi Fimi A3JJRC X12
Camera4k1080p1080p
Flight Time20min20min22min
Range1km1km1km
Gimbal3 axis2 axis + eis3 axis

My video with details about these drones

drones-ranked-by-specs.png

Best Drones Under $300

In this detailed review, I share my personal experiences with each drone we previously examined. It's important to not only consider their specifications but also to test them and see how effectively they shoot video, as each drone excels in its own unique way.

1.Hubsan Zino (the best camera drone under $300)

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

20 min

range-icon-spec

1 km

drone-icon-spec

3 axis gimbal

Hubsan Zino

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.

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 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.

PROS

  1. Great GPS stability
  2. 3 axis gimbal 
  3. 4k camera
  4. Great flight modes
  5. Foldable design
  6. Well done software updates

CONS

  1. Really none for this price

Features & Specification

Battery Life and Usage: The HUBSAN ZINO can stay airborne for up to 23 minutes under perfect conditions. In practical scenarios, like windy conditions, you can expect around 19 minutes of flight time. It's advisable to return the drone when the battery reaches 15-20% to preserve its longevity.

Range Capabilities: This drone has an impressive maximum range of 1km in low-interference environments. In urban areas with more Wi-Fi signals, the range might decrease to about 600m.

Camera Quality: The ZINO is equipped with a 4K camera, a notable feature for a drone in its price range, which is under $300. It also supports 1080p video, ensuring high-quality footage.

Weight and Registration: Weighing in at 700 grams, the ZINO exceeds the 250g limit for US drone registration. This weight is necessary to support its advanced hardware, including a 3-axis camera and gimbal, along with a substantial battery.

GPS Stability: Initial versions of the ZINO experienced some GPS stability issues. However, with recent software updates, these problems have been resolved, enhancing the drone's overall flight stability.

Return on Low Battery: The drone is programmed to automatically return home when the battery level drops to 20%. This feature can be adjusted or turned off via the app.

Lack of Optical Flow Stabilization: To maintain its position as a best budget drone, the ZINO does not include optical flow stabilization or obstacle avoidance sensors, focusing instead on essential features to keep the price low.

Maximum Flight Height: The ZINO can ascend up to 500 meters, but this limit can be adjusted in the app. There's also a beginner mode that restricts both height and distance for safer practice sessions.

Accessories: As the ZINO's popularity grows, a range of accessories is becoming available, including spare batteries, carrying cases, and prop guards, enhancing its usability and convenience.

Design and Build: The drone is designed with a focus on a robust build, featuring powerful brushless motors and a well-stabilized aerial camera. Its construction is of standard quality plastic and includes foldable props for easy portability.

Transmitter and Mobile App Compatibility: Though simpler than those of high-end drones, the ZINO's transmitter is effective. It accommodates both standard and sport flying modes and is compatible with any smartphone.

Flight Modes: The ZINO offers several flight modes, including Waypoint, Orbit, Following, and Line Fly mode, each providing a unique flying experience.

2.Xiaomi Fimi A3 (Best quality drone under $300)

camera-icon-spec

1080p

battery-icon-spec

20 min

range-icon-spec

1 km

drone-icon-spec

2 axis gimbal

xiaomi fimi A3 Drone Review

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 backpack.

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.

Besides that, the huge 1km range, the super-stable video, and long battery life make it a great choice in my opinion for this budget.

PROS

  1. Super stable GPS
  2. No image lag
  3. Transmitter with screen Included
  4. Great build quality
  5. Stable footage

CONS

  1. Not foldable
  2. Analogue Live feed can is not as clear as digital signal

Features & Specification

Camera and Image Stabilization: The Fimi A3's camera, with its advanced processor and sensor, is great for clear, stable videos. Its special stabilization technology helps you get smooth, professional shots easily. 

Remote Controller with Integrated Screen: The remote controller includes a built-in 4.3" FPV screen and an integrated DVR for recording FPV flights. It also has a micro USB charging port, AV-out jack, and micro SD slot. The controller operates on a 2.4GHz frequency for aircraft control and a 5.8GHz frequency for the live-video feed.

Flight Performance and Modes: The Fimi A3 is renowned for its array of smart flight modes, making it one of the best follow me drones available. It offers features like RTF, Auto take-off/landing, Orbit flight, Follow me, Selfie mode, Headless mode, and Fixed-wing mode. It provides a stable flight experience with precise GPS-assisted hovering and accurate Return to Home functionality.

Design and Build Quality: Xiaomi Fimi A3's sturdy and straightforward design ideal for your regular outdoor adventures. It's a bit heavy and large, but its durability is impressive, much like DJI drones. This makes it a reliable choice for you, especially if you're into frequent drone photography or hobby flying.

Flight Time and Range: The drone promises up to 25 minutes of flight time, depending on the charging voltage. It has a control range of about 1KM under FCC regulations.

Camera Recording Capabilities: The camera can record Full HD (1920 x 1080) videos at 25fps or 30fps with three levels of compression. The footage quality is commendable, and the 2-axis gimbal contributes to the smoothness of the videos.

3.JJRC X12/Eachine Ex4 (the most compact)

camera-icon-spec

1080p

battery-icon-spec

22 min

range-icon-spec

1 km

drone-icon-spec

3 axis gimbal

Eachine EX4 Review

Although not as good as the other two on the list, the JJRC X12, also found as Eachine Ex4 is a really capable drone and at a very good price!

The build quality of this drone is stellar, comparable even to some of DJIs products, but I would say the controller is inferior to the Fimi A3 one we've mentioned previously.

It resembles the Mavic Air a lot, and it does come with some impressive tech, like a 3 axis gimbal, great range and an impressive flight time.

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.

PROS

  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

CONS

  1. Not foldable

Features & Specification

Foldable Structure: The JJRC X12 is a foldable drone, making it highly portable and convenient for travel. Its compact size when folded enhances its appeal for those on the go.

Lightweight: Weighing just 437g, it's light yet requires registration in some countries due to its weight.

HD Camera with 3-Axis Gimbal: The drone boasts an HD 1080P camera stabilized by a 3-axis gimbal, ensuring high-quality, stable footage with minimal distortion.

Impressive Video Quality: It allows recording in 1080p at 30 fps on a micro SD card, offering good video quality even during movement.

Long Flight Time: Powered by an 11.4v 2400 mAh lipo battery, the drone can fly for about 20-25 minutes, which is quite impressive for its category.

Brushless Motors: Equipped with modern brushless motors, the drone offers more thrust, efficiency, and requires less maintenance.

Multiple Positioning Systems: It includes a dual GPS module, ultrasonic sensors, an optical flow sensor, and a barometer for steady flight and good hovering capabilities.

Smart Home Return: This safety feature ensures the drone returns home automatically if the connection is lost or the battery gets too low.

Smart Flight Modes: These include Automatic Tracking, WayPoint, and Orbit Mode, enhancing the flying experience and making it easier to capture quality images and videos.

Ergonomic Remote Control: The controller is comfortable to hold, with a simplistic design and a rubbery texture. It also resembles the Mavic Pro controller in appearance.

FPV and App Compatibility: The drone operates on 5G technology, requiring a 5G compatible smartphone. The ENJOY FLY app is used for FPV features and smart flight modes.

What to look for in a drone under $300

When selecting a drone under $300, it's crucial to consider several key aspects to ensure you get the best value and performance:

battery

Battery Life and Range

Aim for drones that offer more than 20 minutes of flight time, as anything less may be insufficient for most needs. Understanding the battery life is vital to avoid unexpected crashes, particularly in challenging environments like over water. The range of the drone is also important, as it should align with your intended use, whether it's for expansive outdoor landscapes or more confined spaces.

Image Stabilization

Image Stabilization

 Essential for high-quality photography and videography, proper image stabilization is a must. Look for drones with at least a 2-axis gimbal in this price range. This feature trumps even 4K video capability, as unstable footage can negate the benefits of high resolution. Consider the dynamic range and frames per second of the camera as well, as these contribute to the overall quality of your footage.

camera

Camera Quality

Beyond stabilization, the camera's resolution is important. While 4K is a bonus, ensure that the drone offers at least Full HD 1080p. Evaluate the camera's performance in different lighting conditions and its ability to capture clear, detailed images.

design

Durability and Design

Drones under $300 should still offer a robust build quality to withstand minor crashes or rough handling. A foldable design can be a significant advantage for portability and ease of storage.

user-experience

User-Friendly Features

Especially for beginners, features like one-key takeoff/landing, easy-to-navigate controls, and intuitive interfaces make the drone more accessible and enjoyable to use.

flight-mode

Flight Features

Look for drones with GPS stability, which aids in smoother flight and better footage. Intelligent flight modes, such as follow me, waypoint navigation, and automatic return home, enhance the flying experience and add versatility to your drone operations.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory Compliance

Ensure the drone meets local regulations regarding weight and flying restrictions, as this can affect where and how you can legally operate the drone.

warranty

Customer Support and Warranty

 Consider the manufacturer's reputation for customer support and the warranty offered with the drone. Good customer service can be invaluable for troubleshooting and resolving any issues that arise.

In essence, the right drone for you largely depends on your budget. By focusing on these key considerations, you ensure that your investment aligns with your specific needs in terms of performance, usability, and quality. 

Balancing cost with functionality is crucial, and by carefully selecting based on these criteria, you can maximize the value you get from your drone within your budget constraints.

Conclusion

After testing many options in the market, my top choices for the best drone for the money under $300 in 2024 are clear. The Hubsan Zino stands out as the overall best, offering high-end features like a 4K camera and stable flight at a great price. 

The Xiaomi Fimi A3 follows closely, with its impressive video quality and FPV capability, making it a valuable purchase. For those preferring a more compact option, the JJRC X12 is ideal, combining portability with a long flight time. 

These drones are not just my top picks; they truly offer great value for your money, ensuring you get the most out of your investment in the world of drone photography.

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:

Can drones under $300 be used for professional photography or videography?

Yes, some drones under $300 are suitable for professional photography and videography, especially those with higher resolution cameras and stable gimbals.

What are the maintenance requirements for drones under $300?

Regular maintenance such as checking for firmware updates, ensuring the battery is in good condition, and inspecting the propellers and motors is recommended for these drones.

Are there any specific apps or software recommended for drones under $300?

Most drones in this price range come with their own dedicated apps for flight control and camera operation, which are usually specified by the manufacturer.

How far can drones under $300 fly?

Typically, drones under $300 have a range of up to 1 km, depending on the technology they use for connectivity and control.

Can I get a 4K image for drones under $300?

While 4K cameras are available on some drones under $300, the more common resolution at this price point is 1080p.

What's the best drone under $300?

The best drone under $300 generally offers a balance of good camera quality, stable flight, and user-friendly features, making it a great value for its price.

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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