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Best Cheap drones in 2023 (Ordered by price and type)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
best-cheap-drones-sorted-by-price-and-type

You just stumbled upon the ultimate article you need to choose a drone in 2021: my complete guide for people looking for CHEAP DRONES!

If you're low on budget, or simply want to choose a drone that it's worth the money, this article is for you.

There are going to be 4 main sections  and each of them will contain links to my other more detailed articles about that respective topic.

Here's the table of contents menu, but I suggest you at least skim over the entire article first:

affordable drone by price

Best Drones for the Money(sorted by price)

Just as with any tech item, drones do have a range of price for which you should try to optimize. Paying less may mean you'll compromise a lot, and paying too much could be an overkill.

This is why in this section we'll cover my top drones for each price category starting with the cheapest ones.

How much does a drone cost?

I often get asked the question: "How much is a drone?" as if there would be a simple answer to it.

But now that I think a bit more about it I do have an answer. 

P.S. If you enjoy fishing and want to start doing that (even with a cheap drone), check out my best fishing drone (and guide)

Drones can cost anything between $20 and thousands of dollars depending on their accessories, size and technology.

In this article, since you're looking for "cheap drones for sale" we'll stop at a more manageable interval, stopping at the $1000 mark with the main bulk of recommendations being under $500.

If you're looking for more guides and reviews, our friends at HalfChrome review some of the most recently released drones.

drones under 50 image section

Drones in this price range are as cheap as they come, suited mostly for beginners, kids and people who want to have fun indoors with a simple drone with no camera.

Bellow I'll recommend you one of the top drones for each price category, but you can also check more if you see the full articles.

Eachine Ex010 - the perfect beginner drone (under $50)

eachine E010 dron

This drone is the perfect budget drone I recommend anyone that would meet all the requirements for a good beginner drone that can fly both indoors and outdoors. This drone can be found for under $25, which is as cheap as you can get.

  • Very durable
  • Well protected
  • Safe for kids
  • Can do flips
  • Super cheap
drones-under-$100-category-section

This price range is still mainly suited for beginners but there's a bit more leeway for a drone to also have a camera included.

And with things like the DJI Tello, you're guaranteed an HD camera and even some electronic image stabilization, which is amazing

DJI Tello - cheap drone with a great camera (under $100)

image 38

The DJI Tello is by far my favorite camera drone under $100 as it can fly for 10-12 min (which is amazing for this price). And comes with a great stabilized HD camera and even bottom sensors for more stable flights.

And all this for a great price if you know where to look.

  • Electronic Image stabilization
  • 12 min flight time
  • 100m range
  • Bottom sensor for stable flight
  • Basic Flight modes
drones under 200 gps drones section

This price range is still mainly suited for beginners but there's a bit more leeway for a drone to also have a camera included.

And with things like the DJI Tello, you're guaranteed an HD camera and even some electronic image stabilization, which is amazing. 

Eachine Ex4 - the Best Cheap GPS drone (under $200)

jjrc x12 aurora review

The Eachine Ex4 is another drone I tested myself and even reviewed on youtube(it's also known as the JJRC X12 Aurora). I find it to be one of the few 3 axis gimbal drones in this price range which also comes with a decent 1km range and a compact and solid build!

You can find this cheap GPS drone for a great price on certain sites and it also comes with automatic return to home.

  • 1km range
  • long battery life
  • 1080p camera
  • stabilized 3 axis footage
  • powerful brushless motors
  • GPS
cheap-drones-under-$300-section

If you're still looking for a drone but have a bit more to spend you might be looking for a cheap drone with a gimbal, and this is the right category for that.

Not only do we find proper image stabilization here, you can also get 4k proper footage, good GPS and pretty long ranges, everything from a budget drone.

Hubsan Zino - the Best Cheap 4k drone (under $300)

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The Hubsan Zino is what I would call " an affordable 4k drone" and it wins the race as the best camera drone under $300 by far!

It comes with a 1km range, superb 3 axis image stabilization and 4k footage that competes with the likes of DJI. I would consider it to be the best low budget camera drone you can get.

You can find this drone and more accessories at a great price and even in a black version.

  • 4k camera
  • 20min battery
  • 1km range
  • stabilized 3 axis footage
  • powerful brushless motors
  • stable GPS
  • good wind resistance
cheap-drones-under-$500-section-image

If you have the budget to spend, the price of around $500 is still considered "cheap" in the world of drones, but finally we arrive at what I consider the best amount of money to invest in a drone!

With a budget like this, you can look to get a more serious and useful drone that can double up as a drone you can make money with as well as the perfect travel drone!

DJI Mini 2 - the Best Cheap Professional Drone (under $500)

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The DJI mini 2 is what I call a cheap high quality drone as you're getting A LOT for what you pay!

This is a drone that competes with the likes of drones you would pay thousands of dollars for and more than that it comes in a very small package!

It's under 250g which means you don't have to register it to fly and comes with a 4k super well stabilized camera31 minute flight time and a 10km range... really what more could you want from a drone?

You can find it in two package options a great price and it's more than worth to get the "fly more combo" in my opinion.

  • 4k camera
  • 31min battery
  • 10km range
  • stabilized 3 axis footage
  • stable GPS
  • under 250g
  • Great wind resistance

ALSO READ:    
Xiaomi Fimi x8 Mini drone review ( better than the DJI mini 2?)

manual price where to buy

What specs to look for in a cheap drone?

In this section we're taking a look at what specs you should look for when you choose your drone and what are my recommendations for the best drone in that category (that's also affordable).

 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!

Best cheap long range drones

Although there are a few drones that make it to 1km and are cheaper, the new DJI Mini 2 has to be the best cheap long range drone with its 10km updated range (yes, that's not a typo, it's 10km).

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

31 min

range-icon-spec

10 km

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3 axis gimbal

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DJI Mini 2

My favorite drone that I own at the current time, the super tiny drone under 250g, owns many of the spots on this list simply because of its amazing specs for its low price.

The 10km range is only for FCC (which means the USA, Canada and Australia). In Europe for example it can fly for up to 6km (which is still amazing).

A D V A N T A G E S

  • 4k camera
  • under 250g
  • 10km range
  • 31 min flight time
  • very stead in wind

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • No obstacle avoidance

Best cheap drones with long flight times

In terms of battery life, it really depends how big the drone is and how much it costs. If you're looking to get the cheapest drone possible it's going to fly for no longer than 5 to 10 minutes at most. A similarly priced drone with similar features is the SJRC F11.

If you're looking for buying a drone that can fly for a long time check out my long battery life drone list.

However, I decided to pick a drone that can fly up to 19 minutes as it's a very good starting point for beginners.

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1080p

battery-icon-spec

19min

range-icon-spec

1km

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1km

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Hubsan H501

Although I could have picked another drone that can fly up to 20 or 30 minutes, it would have made it much more expensive, and I wanted to also feature the Hubsan H501s as a classic cheap drone with GPS that you can get for pennies!

ALSO READ:    
SJRC F11 4k PRO review (best gps drone under $200)

A D V A N T A G E S

  • brushless motors
  • good range
  • great battery life
  • very stable GPS
  • good quality camera

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • no turning in follow me mode

Cheap Drone that can carry weight(or a GOpro)

Drones that can lift serious weight are usually priced in the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars, so I wanted to give you an alternative for a super cheap drone ( under $100) that can easily carry a gopro and a gimbal for example (or anything you want if it's not over 600g or so.

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No camera

battery-icon-spec

16 min

range-icon-spec

200m

drone-icon-spec

can carry up to 600g

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Hubsan H501

The MJX Bugs 3 is another classic drone that has been copied over and over but is up to this day a great drone to use with any action camera or Gopro and you can attach all sorts of camera combinations to it (or any weight you please).

It's one of the strongest drones I know thanks to its strong brushless motors, even when compared to more expensive ones.

I consider it the best cheap Gopro drone there is, as you can even attach a gimbal if you so wish.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Powerful brushless motors
  • Under $100
  • Perfect for action cameras
  • Solid build
  • Good battery life

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Doesn't have GPS

Best cheap brushless drones

I have written an article on the best cheap brushless drones that might be more interesting to read. But if I need to grab one from that list that is super unique, it has to be the Xiaomi FImi A3. A great brushless drone that comes very close to $200 in price (a slightly more expensive but better alternative would be the Fimi X8).

camera-icon-spec

1080p

battery-icon-spec

25min

range-icon-spec

1km

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2 axis gimbal

xiaomi fimi a3 discount

Xiaomi Fimi A3

The Xiaomi Fimi A3 is bot a cheap long battery life drone as well as a great camera drone, but another feature many people look forward for is the powerful brushless motors.

One of its main defining features is its amazing controller that comes with an included FPV screen!

This drone is a beast and considering its low price it also takes really good full HD footage.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Powerful brushless motors
  • Very high quality build
  • Amazing Controller
  • Long battery life 25 min
  • FPV no delay feed

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Feed can have interruptions because it's Analogue.

Best cheap drone under 250g with 4k camera

Although the DJI Mini 2 is definitely my favorite drone by far in the under 250g category, I must recommend something else to you that's very low budget yet surpisingly good for what it is. And as a bonus it also looks very similar to the Mini 2.

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4k

battery-icon-spec

30min

range-icon-spec

1km

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no gimbal

Eachine-EX5

Eachine Ex5

The Eachine ex5 is a cheap drone under 250 grams that's lightweight, foldable and can take some pretty impressive video for the price.

It comes with an optical flow system and dual GPS for better positioning as well as a stunning 30 min flight time.

Don't expect to compare it in terms of footage with the DJI Mini for this super low price but it does its job for a beginner hobbyist.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Under 250g
  • 30min battery life
  • foldable design
  • good range of 1km
  • stable GPS flight

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Image quality isn't that great, but nothing more to expect for the price.
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Cheap Professional Drones

So what's the difference between cheap and more expensive drones?

In this section we'll cover a few of these more professional quadcopters so you have a clue what to buy first.

Cheap drones vs expensive ones

The difference in price is gradual, as you could see so far in the article, the more you pay, the more you get for your money.

There are some overpriced drones indeed, but I never recommend such thing on this site, so don't worry.

With a more expensive drone that can cost between $500 to $1000 or more you get a wide array of benefits, from a more solid build quality to a way better camera and image stabilization.

A good example of "you get what you pay for" is the comparison between a pretty nice but cheap drone called the JJRC X9 Heron and the DJI Spark, paying double clearly gets you some benefits at this price range.

You'll often find that more expensive drones fly for longer and can fly further. I don't really know of any drone under $400 to fly over 1km stock.

What about those cheap drones that brag about having 4k footage?

Well, I would personally consider them 1080p drones, as the camera is usually pretty bad. when it comes to camera quality, the resolution isn't everything! Sensor size and sensor quality makes a huge difference to everything, and you can't get that with paying just $100.

ALSO READ:    
The Best Nano Drones on the market (Cheap pocket drones explained)

Best cheap drones for photography and videography

If you're looking for the best camera drones out there, the price isn't cheap, however there are a few drones that stand out for which you don't have to pay a lot.

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

31min

range-icon-spec

10km

drone-icon-spec

3 axis gimbal

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DJI Mini 2

The Mini 2 shows once again on this list, as I simply don't think there's another drone that can beat it for the price and benefits it offers.

The photos it takes are spectacular in 4k, making it a great camera drone for photography, and a cheap one at that.

What's more, it can also take RAW photos that you can edit a lot more freely in post processing.

Its 4k camera and stable 3 axis gimbal along with some of the best 1/2.3' sensors from Sony make it a stunning cheap videography drone.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • 4k camera
  • under 250g
  • 10km range
  • 31 min flight time
  • very stead in wind

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • No obstacle avoidance
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4k 60fps

battery-icon-spec

33min

range-icon-spec

8km

drone-icon-spec

3 axis gimbal

hubsan zino drone review

Hubsan Zino 2

The most advanced drone from Hubsan, the Zino 2 is a stunning drone for videography and photography that comes at quite a cheap price, making it a direct competitor to the DJI Mini 2.

It comes with an incredible battery life of 33 minutes, an 8km range and a very capable 4k camera that can shoot in 60 frames per second, which is why many professionals with a low budget choose this drone to experiment with.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • 4k camera
  • 8km range
  • 60fps recording
  • 33 min battery
  • stable in wind
  • Active tracking enabled

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • No obstacle avoidance

Best cheap drones that follow you

Since drone sensors are quite expensive, you can mainly find them in... guess what... more expensive drones. So active track technology coupled with obstacle avoidance is what you're looking for, but you'll have to pay a bit more.

If you're looking for a cheaper drone the follows you (that's under $500) and very capable, look no further than the Hubsan Zino 2 that I've mentioned Earlier.

If you're willing to spend more, but still get the cheapest professional drone that can do active tracking and obstacle avoidance, the one I recommend most is my current main camera drone: the DJI Mavic Air 2

camera-icon-spec

4k 60fps

battery-icon-spec

34min

range-icon-spec

10km

drone-icon-spec

3 axis gimbal

dji-mavic-air-2

DJI Mavic Air 2

The Mavic Air 2 is my current main drone for many reasons, one of them being the stunning half an inch camera sensor that handles low light pretty well and can also shoot in 4k 60 fps.

The other one is the amazing build quality and how long it can actually fly for.

There is a lot of technology in this drone that can make your life easier, including a lot of flight modes like active track, circle, waypoints, and pretty much the best obstacle avoidance you can have for this price.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • 4k camera
  • Active tracking
  • Amazing Obstacle avoidance
  • 10km range
  • 34 min flight time
  • Super steady in wind
  • Great build quality

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • None
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.
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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