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Best Cheap drones in 2024 (Ordered by price and type)

Updated in 2024 by Paul Posea
best cheap drones sorted by price

As a seasoned expert in the drone industry, I've seen it all - from high-end professional drones to entry-level models. A common hurdle for many is finding a drone that's both affordable and reliable.

In today's post, I'm tackling this challenge. I'll introduce you to budget-friendly drones that defy their price tags, offering quality and performance without draining your wallet. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced pilot, join me in discovering how to soar the skies without a hefty investment.

Understanding Drone Pricing: What You Get for Your Money

Diving into the world of drones, the real challenge lies in balancing affordability with quality. It's like hunting for the best tech bargain: you want a drone that's reasonably priced yet doesn't compromise on key features. The exciting part? Today's market offers budget-friendly drones that surprisingly exceed expectations in terms of value.

Drone features and capabilities often vary based on their pricing. Here's a quick breakdown to give you an idea:

Budget Drones (Under $100): These usually offer basic camera quality, shorter flight times, and simpler controls. Ideal for beginners or casual users.

Mid-Range Drones ($100 - $500): Expect better camera resolution, longer flight times, and more stable controls. Suitable for hobbyists or intermediate users.

High-End Drones (Above $500): These come with professional-grade cameras, advanced flight features, and longer battery life. Perfect for serious drone enthusiasts or professional use.

So, when choosing a drone, it's more about finding the best one within your budget. Each price range offers different features and capabilities, allowing you to select a drone that best meets your needs and expectations.

Quick Comparison of Best Budget Friendly Drones


Features
Eachine E010DJI TelloEachine EX4Hubsan ZinoDJI Mini 2Hubsan H501Xiaomi Fimi A3Eachine Ex5Hubsan Zino 2DJI Mavic Air 2
Price RangeUnder $25Under $100Under $300Under $300Under $500Under $300Under $300Under $250Around $500Around $800
Camera QualityBasic720p HD1080p4K4KDecent1080p HD4K4K 60fps4K 60fps
Flight Time5 min12 min25 Mins20 min31 min19 min19 min30 min33 min34 min
Range30m100m1km1km10km‎300m1km1km8km10km
Special FeaturesFlips, IndoorEIS, BasicGPS, 3-Axis3-Axis, GPSGPS, LightFollow MeDIY Port, GPSGPS, LightActive TrackObstacle Avoid.

Best Cheap Drones to Buy in 2024

1. Eachine Ex010

eachine e010 1

I recently got my hands on the Eachine E010, and I've got to say, it's a fantastic little drone for beginners. It's incredibly affordable – I found it for under $25 – and it's so much fun to fly around both indoors and outdoors. It's really sturdy too, which is great because it can handle a few knocks without any trouble. For anyone just starting out with drones, or even for kids, this drone is a perfect, budget-friendly choice.

Check the Price and Specs

Pros:

  • Super Affordable: I was amazed at how much fun this drone is for such a low price.
  • Kid-Friendly: It's safe and durable, so even kids can fly it without any issues.
  • Indoor & Outdoor Fun: I've been zipping it around my house and in the backyard. It's great for both settings.
  • Durability: It's tough enough to withstand a few crashes, which is always good for beginners.
  • Flips!: It can actually do flips, which adds a cool factor to your flying.

Cons:

  • Basic Features: It's a budget drone, so it doesn't have advanced features like a camera or long-range flying.
  • Limited Battery Life: The battery typically lasts about 4.5 minutes in beginner's mode. However, if you switch to advanced mode for faster flying or a bit of wind, expect the battery to last around 3.5 to 4 minutes.

Features:

  • Indoor/Outdoor Flight: I've flown this drone in different places and noticed it handles indoor flying quite well. It's also good for short-range flying outdoors. However, I found it can be tricky to control when it's windy
  • Flips and Tricks: When I first tried out the flips with this drone, I was pleasantly surprised. It quickly turned into the highlight for me, especially since there aren't too many fancy features at this price point. These flips really spice up the overall flying experience.
  • Durability and Safety: It passed my crash tests with flying colors, showcasing its robust build.
  • Simple Controls: The controls are straightforward and user-friendly, perfect for beginners.

In short, the Eachine E010 is a great little drone for anyone looking to get into the hobby without spending a lot. It's all about having fun and learning the basics without the complexity of more expensive drones.

2. DJI Tello

dji tello drone

I've been flying the DJI Tello recently, and for a drone under $100, it's quite impressive. It's perfect for those, who want a reliable drone without spending too much. What really makes the Tello stand out in this price range is its camera – it's equipped with digital camera stabilization, a feature usually found in more expensive models.

Check the Price and Specs

Pros:

  • Electronic Image Stabilization: This feature is a game-changer. It helps capture smoother footage, which I found quite rare in this price range.
  • 12-Minute Flight Time: For a budget drone, a 12-minute flight time is impressive. It's enough for a good session of flying and capturing footage.
  • 100m Range: The range is decent, allowing for a fair bit of exploration.
  • Bottom Sensor for Stable Flight: This enhances the drone's stability, which I noticed helps a lot during flights.
  • Basic Flight Modes: These are great for getting a better flying experience, especially for beginners.

Cons:

  • Limited Advanced Features: It's fantastic for basic use, but don't expect the advanced features of higher-end drones.
  • Controller Not Included: You'll need to use your phone for control, or you can add a Bluetooth controller, but that's an extra expense.

Features:

  • HD Camera: The camera quality is great for capturing quality images and videos. I was quite pleased with the shots I got.
  • Flight Time and Range: With a 12-minute flight time and a 100m range, it's well-suited for casual use.
  • Stability: The bottom sensor contributes significantly to stable flight, which is a big plus for indoor flying or for beginners.
  • Portability: Its compact size makes it super easy to carry around, perfect for spontaneous flying sessions.

In conclusion, the DJI Tello is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable, yet feature-rich drone. It's especially appealing for beginners or those who want a drone for everyday casual use. With its HD camera, decent flight time, and stability, the Tello offers a lot of value for its price

3. Eachine EX4

Eachine EX4 Review

I've been testing out the Eachine EX4, also known as the JJRC X12 Aurora, and I'm genuinely impressed. It's a standout in the under-$300 category, offering a mix of affordability and advanced features. The highlight for me is its 3-axis camera stabilization, a feature I haven't seen in drones at this price point before. This addition makes a significant difference in smoothing out footage, making the Eachine EX4 a great find for those seeking quality on a budget.

Check the Price and Specs

Pros:

  • 1km Range: I was able to fly it quite far, up to 1km, which is impressive for its price.
  • 1080p Camera: The camera quality is quite good for the price. I got some clear 1080p footage.
  • Stabilized 3-Axis Footage: This makes a big difference in video smoothness. It's a feature I usually see in more expensive drones.
  • Powerful Brushless Motors: These motors provide robust performance and enhance flight stability.
  • GPS Enabled: Having GPS in this price range is great. It improves flight control and includes safety features like automatic return to home.

Cons:

  • Limited Advanced H4 - Features: It's got some excellent basic features, but it doesn't match up to the functionalities of higher-end models.
  • Camera Quality: While good, it doesn't quite compete with more expensive drones, particularly in challenging lighting.

Features:

  • 1km Flight Range: I found this ideal for capturing wide landscapes and exploring further.
  • 1080p Camera: It ensures clear video footage, which I found quite satisfactory.
  • 3-Axis Gimbal: This provides stability for video capture, significantly reducing shakiness.
  • Long Battery Life: This helped me manage to get a solid 25 minutes of continuous flying time, which is remarkable for a drone in this quality and price range.
  • GPS Functionality: This added a layer of safety and control to the drone, which I appreciated.
  • Brushless Motors: Compared to brushed motors, they provide a more reliable and stable flight experience. Brushless motors are known for their efficiency and durability.

In summary, the Eachine EX4 strikes a perfect balance between affordability and functionality. It's an excellent choice for both beginners and those looking to enhance their drone experience without overspending. It's not just a basic drone; its features like the 3-axis gimbal and GPS make it a great value for its price.

4. Hubsan Zino

hubsan zino drone

I've been flying the Hubsan Zino recently, and it's been a fantastic experience, especially for aerial photography. It's a great option for both beginners and experienced drone users who want a mix of functionality, quality, and affordability, all under the $300 mark.

Check the Price and Specs

Pros:

  • 4K Camera: The Zino's 4K camera is impressive. I've captured some really high-quality footage with it.
  • Stable 3-Axis Footage: The 3-axis gimbal ensures smooth video capture. I noticed a significant improvement in the stability of my shots.
  • Decent Flight Time: With a 20-minute battery life, I had enough time to get the shots I wanted.
  • Good Range: The 1km range is more than sufficient for most of my projects.
  • Powerful Brushless Motors: These motors really hold up, especially in windy conditions.
  • Stable GPS: It offers reliable tracking and stable flight, which I tested in various conditions.
  • Wind Resistance: It handles wind well, maintaining stability even on breezy days.

Cons:

  • Limited Advanced H4 - Features: It's great for basics, but lacks some high-end features.
  • Battery Life Could Be Better: While 20 minutes is decent, longer would be ideal for extended shoots.

Features:

  • 4K UHD Camera: The image quality is superb. I was able to get some great shots.
  • GPS and GLONASS Positioning: This feature provided me with improved accuracy and stability during flights.
  • Foldable Design: I found it very convenient for transport.
  • Decent Flight Time: It was sufficient for most of my sessions without needing frequent recharging.

Overall, my experience with the Hubsan Zino has been very positive. It's an excellent choice for anyone looking to start in drone photography or seeking a reliable and affordable drone. It stands out in the budget-friendly category for its combination of price, features, and performance.

5. DJI Mini 2

dji-mini-2-table-img

I've been flying the DJI Mini 2, and it's been an absolute game-changer for me. It's the perfect blend of compact size and powerful features, all under $500. 
This drone is ideal for anyone seeking high-quality aerial photography without the hassle of a bulky device. Weighing in at under 250g, it's incredibly convenient, especially since it doesn't require registration in many countries. It's like carrying a professional-grade drone right in your pocket. Even with the release of the Mini 3 and 4, it’s still very relevant as the price has considerably decreased overtime.

Check the Price and Specs

Pros:

  • 4K Camera: The clarity and detail in the videos and photos I've captured are simply stunning. It's like having a professional camera that flies.
  • Long Battery Life: With a 31-minute flight time, I've had plenty of time to capture the perfect shots without rushing.
  • Impressive Range: The 10km range has allowed me to explore and capture footage from incredible distances.
  • Stable GPS: This feature has been a lifesaver, ensuring smooth and steady flights every time.
  • Great Wind Resistance: Even on windy days, the Mini 2 has held its own, maintaining stability and performance.

Cons:

  • No Obstacle Avoidance: I've had to navigate more carefully, as it doesn't have this feature.

Features:

  • 4K Camera: The quality of the footage I've taken is top-notch, perfect for both professional and personal use.
  • 31-Minute Battery: This extended flight time has given me the freedom to explore and shoot without the pressure of a ticking clock.
  • 10km Range: I've been able to fly it far and wide, capturing scenes I never thought possible with a drone this size.
  • Stable GPS: It's provided me with reliable and steady flights, which is crucial for capturing quality footage.
  • Under 250g: The portability is a major plus – it's so easy to take anywhere.
  • Solid Wind Resistance: Its performance in windy conditions has been impressive, ensuring I don't miss out on flying opportunities.

Overall, the DJI Mini 2 is a fantastic choice for anyone who wants a drone that's easy to manage but packed with high-quality features. Whether you're into travel vlogging, photography, or just love exploring from above, the Mini 2 delivers without the bulk and complexity of larger drones.

6. Hubsan H501

hubsan-h501s-thumbnail

I've been exploring the Hubsan H501, and I'm impressed by what it offers, especially considering its price point. It's a real hidden gem in the budget-friendly drone category. Priced under $300, it's an excellent choice for those just stepping into the drone hobby who don't want to spend a lot.

Check the Price and Specs

Pros:

  • Good Battery Life: The battery life has been impressive. I typically get around 20 minutes of flying time from it, which is quite satisfactory for my sessions.
  • Stable GPS: The stability and control during flights have been impressive, making it easier to handle.
  • Quality Camera: The camera quality is quite good for basic photography and videography. I've captured some nice shots with it.
  • Brushless Motors: These motors are efficient and seem to have a longer life, enhancing the overall flying experience.
  • Follow Me Mode: This feature is fun; the drone automatically follows me, which is great for solo adventures.
  • Long Flight Time: Up to 19 minutes of flight time is awesome for a drone in this price range.

Cons:

  • Basic Camera Functions: While the camera is decent, it doesn't have the advanced features of higher-end models.
  • No Gimbal: The lack of a gimbal means videos can be less stable, something to consider if you're into videography.

Features:

  • Decent Camera: It's been suitable for my basic photography and videography needs.
  • Stable GPS Navigation: This has provided better flight control and stability, which I've found very helpful.
  • Long Battery Life: More time in the air means more opportunities to capture what I need.
  • Brushless Motors: The efficiency and durability of these motors have enhanced my flying experience.
  • Follow Me Mode: Adds a fun and interactive dimension to flying, which I've really enjoyed.

In conclusion, the Hubsan H501 is a solid choice for anyone looking for an affordable entry into the drone world. It strikes a good balance between cost and functionality, making it an ideal starter drone for hobbyists or those interested in aerial photography without a big investment.

7. Xiaomi Fimi A3

xiaomi fimi A3 Drone Review

It's perfect for hobbyists or semi-pros who want good quality without spending a lot. For under $300, you get a drone with a 1080p HD camera on a gimbal, making videos super smooth. The 25-minute battery life is great for longer shoots, and the GPS keeps it flying steady. It's got a cool DIY port for customizing, and the controller with an integrated LCD screen makes flying really fun. Sure, it's not the longest range and it's not 4K, but for the price, it's a solid choice, especially if you're getting into aerial photography or videography. The Fimi A3 shows you don't have to spend a fortune for a quality drone experience.

Check the Price and Specs

Pros:

  • HD Camera with Gimbal: The 1080p stabilized footage is impressive. I've been able to capture really smooth videos.
  • Long Battery Life: 25 Minutes flight time is a huge plus, allowing for longer shooting sessions without the need for frequent recharging.
  • GPS Navigation: It provides stable and accurate flying, which I've found very reliable.
  • DIY Port: This unique feature for hardware customization is something I've enjoyed experimenting with.
  • Impressive Controller: The integrated LCD screen for FPV flying enhances the overall experience.

Cons:

  • Limited Range: While the range is decent, it's not as extensive as some of the higher-end models.
  • 1080p Resolution: It's good quality, but not 4K, which might be a downside for those looking for ultra-high-definition footage.

Features:

  • 1080p HD Camera: I've captured high-quality video footage that's quite impressive for a drone in this price range.
  • Stabilized Gimbal: This feature ensures smooth video capture, reducing shakiness and improving the quality of my shots.
  • Long Battery Life: The longer flight time has been great for extended filming and exploration.
  • GPS Navigation: I've found the flight paths to be precise and stable, which is crucial for capturing good footage.
  • DIY Port: The customization options are a nice touch, offering flexibility for drone enthusiasts.
  • Integrated LCD Screen on Controller: This enhances the flying experience, especially for FPV flying, making it more immersive.

In summary, the Xiaomi Fimi A3 is an excellent choice for those looking for a drone that offers a lot without a hefty price tag. It's ideal for hobbyists or semi-professionals who want to delve into aerial photography and videography.

8. Eachine Ex5

Eachine-EX5

For under $250, it's awesome for beginners or anyone who wants a light, easy drone with some cool features. It's super light, under 250g, which makes it easy to fly and carry around. The 30-minute battery life is impressive for its size, giving me lots of time to fly. It's foldable, so it's really handy to take places. The range is good, about 1km, and the GPS makes the flight smooth and controlled. The image quality and features are pretty basic, but for a starter drone, it's just right. 

Check the Price and Specs

Pros:

  • Under 250g: It's incredibly lightweight and easy to handle, which I found great for maneuverability.
  • 30-Minute Battery Life: For its size, the battery life is impressive, giving me plenty of time to enjoy flying.
  • Foldable Design: This makes it super portable, and I've found it really convenient to carry around.
  • Good Range of 1km: The range is decent for exploration, allowing me to fly it further than I expected.
  • Stable GPS Flight: This ensures a smoother and more controlled flying experience, which I've appreciated for steady shots.

Cons:

  • Image Quality: While the image quality is reasonable for the price, it's not the best out there.
  • Basic H4 - Features: It doesn't have the advanced features of more expensive drones, but it covers all the essentials.

Features:

  • Lightweight and Portable: I've been impressed with how easy it is to take the Ex5 anywhere, thanks to its under 250g weight and foldable design.
  • Extended Flight Time: The up to 30 minutes of battery life has been great for longer flying sessions.
  • Decent Range: With a flying range of up to 1km, I've been able to explore and capture footage from a good distance.
  • Stable GPS Navigation: This feature has provided better control and stability during flights.
  • Optical Flow System: This enhances positioning and hovering, which has been helpful in maintaining stability for shots.

In summary, the Eachine Ex5 is an excellent choice for those starting in the drone world or looking for an uncomplicated flying experience. It's perfect for enjoying the basics of drone flying without the extra cost and complexity of more advanced models. With its user-friendly features and lightweight design, the Ex5 is a fantastic way to begin exploring the skies.

9. Hubsan Zino 2

hubsan-zino-2-plus-thumbnail

I've been testing the Hubsan Zino 2, and it's truly a hidden gem in the drone world, especially for those serious about photography and videography. It offers a professional-grade experience without the high cost, priced around $500, which is quite reasonable for its advanced features.

Check the Price and Specs

Pros:

  • 4K Camera with 60fps: The video quality is stunning. I've captured detailed and smooth footage that rivals more expensive drones.
  • Long Battery Life: With up to 33 minutes of flight time, I've had extended sessions to get all the shots I need.
  • 8km Range: This range is fantastic for exploring and capturing distant scenes. I've been able to take it far and wide.
  • Stable in Wind: It holds up really well in windy conditions, ensuring steady footage.
  • Active Tracking Enabled: This feature adds versatility, allowing me to capture dynamic shots effortlessly.

Cons:

  • No Obstacle Avoidance: I've had to be extra cautious in complex environments since it lacks this feature.
  • Size and Portability: It's not as compact as some other models, so it requires a bit more space for transport.

Features:

  • 4K 60fps Camera: The high-quality video capture has impressed me, perfect for professional-level work.
  • 33-Minute Battery Life: The longer flight time has been a major advantage for my filming projects.
  • 8km Range: This has allowed me to expand my horizons in aerial photography, reaching areas I couldn't with other drones.
  • Stable GPS and Flight Performance: The reliability and steadiness of its flight have been key for capturing quality footage.
  • Active Tracking: This feature enhances the drone's capability to follow moving subjects, adding a creative edge to my shots.

In summary, the Hubsan Zino 2 is an excellent choice for enthusiasts looking to elevate their drone experience. It's a formidable option in the mid-range market, offering features like 4K 60fps video and a long battery life that are perfect for capturing professional-grade footage.

10. DJI Mavic Air 2

dji-mavic-air-2

I've been using the DJI Mavic Air 2, and it's like the Swiss Army knife of drones. It offers an incredible mix of performance, portability, and advanced features. Ideal for those serious about drone photography and videography, yet still wanting a drone that's easy to carry. Priced around $800, it's a bit of an investment, but the features and performance it delivers make it worth every penny.

Check the Price and Specs

Pros:

  • Stunning 4K Video at 60fps: The footage quality is phenomenal. I've captured incredibly smooth and high-quality videos.
  • 34-Minute Flight Time: This is one of the longest flight times I've seen in this category, allowing for extended shooting sessions.
  • 10km Range: The range is vast, letting me explore and capture distant landscapes with ease.
  • Advanced Obstacle Avoidance: This feature makes it safer and easier to fly, which is great for beginners.
  • Active Tracking: Perfect for dynamic and creative shots, adding a lot of versatility to my aerial photography.

Cons:

  • Price: It's a significant investment, especially when compared to entry-level drones.
  • Size: While it's portable, it's not as compact as the DJI Mini series.

Features:

  • 4K 60fps Video: The professional-grade footage quality has been a game-changer for my videography projects.
  • 34-Minute Battery Life: The long battery life has given me more freedom during my shooting sessions.
  • 10km Range: This expansive reach has opened up new possibilities for diverse shooting scenarios.
  • Advanced Obstacle Avoidance: It's provided me with safer and more confident flying experiences.
  • Active Tracking and Intelligent Flight Modes: These features have greatly enhanced my creative possibilities.

In summary, the DJI Mavic Air 2 stands out as an exceptional choice for enthusiasts and professionals. Its blend of advanced features, portability, and impressive camera capabilities make it a top choice in the drone market. 

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 cheap drone for beginners in 2024?

The Eachine E010 is excellent for beginners, offering indoor and outdoor flying capabilities, durability, and simple controls, all at a very affordable price (under $25).

Which budget drone is best for under $100?

The DJI Tello stands out in the under $100 category, offering electronic image stabilization, a 12-minute flight time, a 100m range, and a bottom sensor for stable flight.

Are drones under $100 worth it?

Yes, drones under $100 can be worth it, especially for beginners or those looking for basic photography, fun flying experiences, or a simple introduction to drone technology without a significant financial commitment.

How far can a cheap drone fly?

Small drones that people usually buy can fly up to 2 miles away. But the bigger, fancier drones can go as far as 10 miles or even more. Also, how far a drone can go depends on what powers it. Drones with batteries don’t go as far as the ones that use gasoline.

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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