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17 Cheap Drones for Beginners (Under $150)

Note: This list is updated for summer 2016. Fly safely and responsibly, folks. Never flown before? Check our flying guide here!

Today, I’m going to walk you through 17 inexpensive drones for beginner pilots.

At UAV Coach, we always suggest starting off with a less expensive system. This is so you can hone your skills before moving on to the bigger guns (like the DJI Phantom 4) or the(like the Yuneec Typhoon H).

These models don’t have all the bells and whistles of high-end drones for sale, but you’ll be surprised at how advanced their features can get.

Note: If you live in the U.S. and want to earn money as a professional drone pilot, check out our step-by-step guide to getting certified. We also have a Drone Pilot Ground School training course to help you prepare for your written test.

Drone technology has come a long way, which means we’ve been able to pack more capabilities into smaller, less expensive packages.

These are some of the most affordable UAVs on the market today, and they’re great for anyone looking to get into the hobby.

Don’t want to scroll down and read all the specs and just want to see the full list?

Here ya go:

Check out the full specs of our list of 17 cheap drones for beginner pilots below:

Note: All specs/features come from either the manufacturer or retailer. Results may differ whether you equip your system with prop guards, a camera, etc. 

Note #2: When checking out prices, we’ve included both Amazon and Banggood, two of the largest and most respectable online drone retailers. We do our best to keep these listings up-to-date on a regular basis, but if you see something we missed, let us know at support@uavcoach.com.

Note #3: Big thanks to USA Toyz, who sent us a lot of smaller models to test and review. You guys are awesome.

1. UDI U818A WiFi + FPV

Check current price on Amazon.com

udi 818a fpv wifi cheap drone

This model is an upgraded version of the original UDI U818A. It can capture 720P video at 30 frames per second (with SD card). This is one of the most popular training quadcopters on the market, and I like this particular package because it comes with an extra battery.

ALSO, and this is where it gets really fun, you get first-person-view functionality and VR headset compatibility, meaning that even with just your phone or a tablet, you can see exactly what the drone sees, in real-time. Great practice for those of you looking to get into FPV racing.

The LCD screen on its transmitter displays a full range of flight stats to keep you in the know. Its light but durable frame makes it a great quad for new pilots to practice with.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the UDI U818A FPV + Wifi:

→ Extra Batteries

→ 1 to 6 Battery Charger

→ Extra Propellers

→ 32GB MicroSD Memory Card

Features

  • Forward-facing camera takes HD video and HD photos with color and white balance
  • Movie resolution upgraded to 1280 * 720 at 30 frames per second
  • FPV and VR headset compatibility
  • Removable Micro-SD (TF) card stores enough for several flights
  • Data port and USB Data Cable – upload your new AVI and JPEG files to Facebook, Email, Photoshop LCD radio controller
  • LCD screen displays full flight status
  • Extra battery to double your flight time
  • Photo Button snaps pictures, Video Button starts & stops video recording
  • Roll Button for instant 360˚ roll
Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 13.4 x 13.0 x 2.2 in
  • Weight: 1 pounds
  • Charging time: about 90-120 minutes
  • Flying time: about 7-9 minutes
  • Control distance: 30m

2. MJX X400W FPV

Check current price on Amazon.com

mjx x400w fpv cheap drone

The MJX X400W FPV is a drone with a camera that offers an affordable option for pilots looking to experiment with low-level aerial videography and an FPV experience.

You can control the X400W drone from 100 meters away, and your flight time is about 8-9 minutes, on the upper end of most LiPo batteries at this price point.

The MJX X400W FPV drone is stable enough for newbies, but packed with enough features for more advanced pilots.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the MJX X400W FPV drone:

→ Extra Batteries & Charger

→ Landing Gear, Propellers, and Prop Guards

Features

  • HEADLESS MODE: Usually, the forward direction of a flying multi-rotor is the same as the nose direction, by using Headless, the forward direction has nothing to do with nose direction, the direction will be the same as your remote controller
  • 3D SPLIT SCREEN DISPLAY: Compatible with 3D VR HEADSET on MJX FPV APP, use your own VR HEADSET (NOT INCLUDED) to see the world in a different way
  • FPV REAL TIME TRANSMISSION: Connect your phone with the drone and the view will be shown directly on your phone, thus enjoy the world above the horizon
  • ONE KEY 3D ROLL: With the latest technology of 6-Axis Gyro flying control system, it can fly very stable and take better pictures and it can finish the 3D roll with one key, it is very easy to use even for the beginner

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 30 x 30 x 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 112 gram

3. Hubsan X4 (H107C)

Check current price on Amazon.com

hubsan x4 107c yellow

The X4 H107C is an upgraded version of the H107L.

Most notably, the 107C comes with a built-in 720 pixel camera. They included a more powerful battery–and USA Toyz throws in an extra battery with this model–and stronger motors to accommodate the extra weight/power from the camera, but its compact size still makes it an excellent indoor flyer.

The Hubsan X4 H107C is also one of the few micro-drones that can handle moderate to slightly heavy winds.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the Hubsan X4 H107C:

→ Propeller Guard

→ Extra Propellers

→ Extra Battery

→ Hubsan X4 Carrying Case

→ Hubsan X4 Crash Pack

→ 1 to 4 Battery Charger

Features

  • Lightweight airframe with nice durability
  • 2.0MP, HD 720p (1280×720)
  • Video recording module included (requires a Micro SDHC card)
  • The transmitter (TX) supports both Mode 1 and Mode 2 stick configurations

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 6.85 x 6.85 x 2.54cm
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Charging time: about 30-40 minutes
  • Flying time: about 8 minutes
  • Control distance: 100m

4. Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider

Check current price on Amazon.com

Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider - Image

Ever wished you could walk on walls? Well, now you can live vicariously through your drone.

The Parrot Rolling Spider comes with detachable wheels on both ends. You can fly the drone like normal, or attach the wheels and roll across the floor, up walls, or across the ceiling.

You can also control this drone with your smartphone or tablet, using the FreeFlight 3 app.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the Parrot Rolling Spider:

→ Extra Propellers

→ Extra Battery

→ Extra Axis and Wheels

Features

  • Fitted with a propeller circuit-breaker in the event of a crash
  • Removable wheels to roll anywhere: across the floor, up the walls or across the ceiling
  • Take aerial shots like selfies from the sky with the embedded vertical mini-camera
  • FreeFlight 3 app offers an intuitive control from your smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth® Smart and is free
  • The first quadricopter to fly and roll on the ceiling

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 19.3 x 6.6 x 20.6cm
  • Weight: 1.9 ounces
  • Charging time: 1 hour
  • Flying time: 8 minutes (6 minutes with wheels)
  • Control distance: 20 meters

5. Syma X5C-1 Explorers

Check current price on Amazon.com

syma x5c cheap drone 50

Even in moderate winds, the Syma X5C held up really well during my test flights. This is one of the heavier, more durable training drones on the market. This exclusive package comes with extra batteries, effectively tripling your flight time. You’re also getting extra propellers as well.

The Syma X5C also comes with a forward-facing HD camera (720p) and 2GB SD card. That, plus a few autonomous features like headless mode and one-button flips and barrel rolls, makes this a great drone for beginners.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the Syma X5C:

→ Greenco Carrying Case

Features

  • With Headless Mode, no need to adjust the position of aircraft before flying
  • One key to return function makes it easily find the way home
  • 4 Channel can do ascend, descend, forward, backward, left sideward fly, right sideward fly and rolling 360°
  • HD VIDEO CAMERA: 2MP HD video camera (Resolution: 1280 x 720; Framerate: 30 FPS) lets you take high-resolution pictures and videos during flight. Comes with 2GB Micro SD Card!
  • Lightweight airframe with nice durability
  • Battery protection

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 13 x 13 x 3cm
  • Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Charging time: 90-120mins
  • Flying time: 7-9mins
  • Control distance: about 30m

6. Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter

Check current price on Amazon.com

Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter - Image

Gizmodo calls the Blade Nano “The Best Drone for Advanced Beginners.”

First, it’s got SAFE technology. SAFE stands for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope. It helps you prevent crashing your drone and assists you in takeoff (two necessary skills for any newbie pilot).

If at any time you lose control or need to take a breather, simply let go of the sticks and the quadcopter will hover in place.

When you get more advanced, switch the quad to agility mode to perform skillful maneuvers and hit top speeds.

The Blade Nano is a beginner drone (for under $100) that will carry you into the veteran landscape. (Blade was also featured in our list of drone companies to watch in 2016, among a few of the other manufacturers in this article.)

Extras

These extra parts are available for the Blade Nano QX:

→ Extra Batteries

→ Extra Propellers (Clockwise and Counter-Clockwise)

Features

  • Features exclusive SAFE™ (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology with stability and agility modes (if you get in trouble, just let go of the sticks)
  • Small enough to fly in any room or office
  • Tough, lightweight airframe with blade guards
  • Potent brushed motors that provide smooth and powerful lift
  • Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can switch the SAFE system to agility mode for faster flying speeds and more maneuverability

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 35.8 x 21.3 x 11.4cm
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Flying time: 10 minutes

7. USA Toyz F180+

Check current price on Amazon.com

f180+ drone usa toyz

An exclusive training quadcopter from USA Toyz, the F180+ is one of the more durable beginner quadcopters out there. As you can see by those propeller guards, they can take quite a beating.

This makes it great for beginners, but more experienced pilots will enjoy this quad as well. The F180+ has a skillful 360 degree eversion (flip) capability. Mode 1 is best for taking photos/videos, and mode 2 allows for greater control in moderate wind.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the the F180+:

Extra Batteries

→ Extra Propellers

Features

  • Simple assembly and convenient for maintenance
  • 360 degree flip capability
  • Equipped with camera for video recording and photography

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 13.5 x 13.5 x 3.5cm
  • Weight: 467 grams
  • Charging time: about 45 minutes
  • Flying time: about 7-9 minutes
  • Control distance: 30m

8. JJRC H8C

Check current price on Banggood

JJRC H8C - Image

The JJRC H8C is the Syma X5C’s arch rival. Boasting 4 different speeds (25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) it’s a great quad to progress from beginner to advanced.

Like the X5C, this drone comes with propeller guards and landing gear standard. The H8C offers an LCD monitor attached to the transmitter. This monitor shows you the throttle, LED light, battery power, and signal conditions — all very useful information for any pilot.

The JJRC H8C also boasts a 2MP camera and dual mode transmitter (Beginner and Professional mode).

Extras

These extra parts are available for the JJRC H8C:

Extra Battery

→ Extra Propellers

→ JJRC Landing Gear

→ Propeller Guards

→ Spare Charger

Features

  • HD Camera 2MP (comes with 2GB memory card and card reader)
  • With dual mode (Beginner mode and Professional mode)
  • 6-axis system allows the quad to be hand launched
  • 360-degree 3D and special functions (continuous rolling)
  • LCD monitor can show the throttle, LED light, battery and signal conditions

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 19 x 19cm
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Charging time: About 90mins
  • Flying time: About 8 minutes
  • Control distance: About 80m

9. SYMA X5C

Check current price on Amazon.com

SYMA X5C - Image

The Syma X5C is one of the more popular drones on the market. For its price, you get a stable quadcopter that can perform all of the maneuvers you want it to.

You also get a 2MP camera with video capabilities. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this camera. Some say they were surprised with the overall quality, and others say it’s not even worth having. In the end, you’re getting flight and video capabilities that you typically only see on much more expensive rigs.

For a beginner pilot, photographer, or videographer, the Syma X5C is a good start.

Note: Also check out my review of the upgraded X5C-1 in our article, 13 Remote Control Drones to Buy in 2016.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the Syma X5C:

→ Extra Propellers

→ Propellers + Propeller Guard

→ Extra Batteries

→ Batteries + 1 to 4 Charger

→ Syma X5C Carrying Case

→ FPV Camera and Monitor

Features

  • Stabile flight characteristics
  • Easy to fly
  • Great for beginners
  • No assembly required
  • 8 years and up
  • 360 eversion with camera (2 MP, video/photos)

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 31 x 31 x 7.87cm
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Charging time: about 100mins
  • Flying time: 5-8mins
  • Control distance: about 50 meters

10. NightHawk DM007

Check current price on Amazon.com

DM007

For a new pilot who’s looking to experiment with aerial photography, you might want to consider the NightHawk DM007.

It comes with prop guards and landing gear standard, which is nice for a drone this size. However, I have read that the blades tend to pop off (but a little super glue can solve that).

Extras

These extra parts are available for the NightHawk DM007:

DM007 Crash Pack + Spare Parts

→ Extra Propellers (Full Set)

→ Extra Batteries + Charger

→ Extra Battery

Features

  • 2MP Camera (comes with 2GB memory card and card reader)
  • Dual mode (Beginner mode and Professional mode)
  • LCD monitor can show the throttle, LED light, battery and signal conditions
  • Ready to fly
  • Strong anti-drop capabilities, uses high strength metallic materials, and equipped with a full range of multi-angle crash protection cover
  • Replaceable aircraft batteries
  • Two different speed modes

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 21 x 18.5 x 8cm
  • Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • Charging time: About 80-90 mins
  • Flying time: 6-8 mins
  • Control distance: About 150 meters

11. Eachine X6 Hexacopter

Check current price on Amazon.com

Eachine X6 Hexacopter - Image

The Eachine X6 hexacopter (6 blades) offers a design unique from the rest of the drones on this list. It sports a 2MP camera, like the Syma X5C and JJRC H8C, with a micro SD slot.

A key feature of this rig is its battery. With a charging time of about 40 minutes (which is on the shorter end) you get a flight time of 10-12 minutes (the longer end).

Extras

These extra parts are available for theEachine X6 hexacopter:

Card Reader + MicroSD Memory Card

Features

  • Picture/video function
  • Camera angle can be adjusted to -45 degree to 45 degree
  • Removable protection cover and LED light
  • Camera: 2MP

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Charging time: 40 minutes
  • Flying time: 10-12 minutes
  • Control distance: 100m

12. Hubsan H111 Nano Drone

Check current price on Amazon.com

hubsan h111 nano drone

As you can see from the image, the Hubsan H111 is one of the smallest quads on the market, comparable to the size of a quarter.

But they still managed to fit 3 gyros and 3 accelerometers in there. This isn’t the drone to show off your best moves with, but for a beginner, it will get you airborne, learning the controls, and comfortable enough to move on to more expensive drones.

Read More: How to Fly a Quadcopter — The Ultimate Guide

Extras

These extra parts are available for the Hubsan H111:

Hubsan 4-in-1 Battery Charger

Features

  • Plastic body with window and trim detail LED light indicates front and back and helps in low light flying
  • Ready to Fly
  • Almost the size of a quarter
  • Great for beginners

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 5 x 5cm
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Charging time: about 30 minutes
  • Flying time: about 4-6 minutes

13. Yi Zhan X4

Check current price on Banggood

Yi Zhan X4

(First off, how cool does this quad look?)

The Yi Zhan X4 comes with prop guards standard, and is often compared to the famous Hubsan X4. Despite how big it may look in the image, it is on the smaller side of the market. This makes it great for indoor flying.

However, it’s also powerful enough to hit high speeds outdoors, making the Yi Zhan a fun quadcopter for beginner to intermediate flyers.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the Yi Zhan X4:

Carrying Case

Features

  • LCD display transmitter
  • Low voltage protection function, overcharging protection, memory function and calibration function
  • The 6-axis system allows the quad to be hand launched
  • Strong stability, can easily implement various flight movements
  • Stronger wind resistance, easier to control
  • Can fly both indoor and outdoor

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 13.5 x 14.5 x 2.5cm
  • Weight: 1.16 ounces
  • Charging time: About 60 min
  • Flying time: About 6 min
  • Control distance: About 100m

14. Hubsan X4 (H107L)

Check current price on Amazon.com

Hubsan X4 (H107L) - Image

The Hubsan X4 is one of the most popular drones on the market. Why? Because it offers a great learning platform for beginners as well as the flight capabilities more advanced pilots want.

The quad has two modes — beginner and expert. Beginner mode makes the controls less sensitive, giving you some leeway if you accidentally push one of the sticks too far.

Control sensitivity doubles in expert mode. This mode is best once you’ve had a chance to get used to the controls, but it allows you to do back, front, and sideways flips.

If you’re looking for a quad you can fly indoors and gradually build your skills, the Hubsan X4 is a reliable choice.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the Hubsan X4:

Hubsan 4-in-1 Battery Charger

→ Extra Batteries

→ Hubsan X4 Crash Pack + Spare Parts

→ Propeller Guard

→ Hubsan X4 Carrying Case

Features

  • Durable one piece main frame
  • Permits super stable flight
  • Ready to fly (RTF)
  • Auto-corrects to level after you let go of the sticks

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 14.73 x 5.84 x 2.54cm
  • Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Charging time: 30 minutes
  • Flying time: 9 minutes
  • Control distance: 100 meters

15. UDI U839

Check current price on Amazon.com

UDI U839 Green

 

The UDI U839 came out as a “clone” of the Proto X. With its 7mm diameter coreless motors, you’ll find that this is one of the most powerful mini-drones on the market.

Its rubber feet make it great for hard landings, and it sports a high-speed mode for outdoor racing (which also helps it challenge the wind).

One of the UDI U839‘s key features is the replaceable battery. When your first battery dies, simply swap it out for a another one and you’re good to go for a second round.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the UDI U839:

1 to 6 Charger

→ Extra Batteries

Features

  • 2.4 technology adopted for anti-interference (fly multiple quadcopters simultaneously)
  • Ready to fly (RTF) out of the box
  • Performs flips and 360˚ rolls in any direction
  • High-speed mode for outdoor racing
  • Replaceable LiPo battery
  • 4 LED light strips lets you fly in the dark

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 8.9 x 8.9 x 2.9cm
  • Weight: 1.26 ounces
  • Charging time: 40 minutes
  • Flying time: 5-7 minutes
  • Control distance: Over 30 meters

16. FQ777-124 Pocket Drone

Check current price on Banggood

Pocket Drone

As its name suggests, the Pocket Drone can be carried anywhere. Its transmitter doubles as a carrying case that can slip straight into your pocket.

It also comes with a propellor guard and landing skids, something you don’t get standard with most drones in this price range. LED lights also make it suitable for flight in low-light conditions.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the FQ777-124 Pocket Drone:

Extra Battery

→ Extra Propeller Guard

Features

  • Set up with CF mode (headless) and one key return
  • Unique printing and attractive color design
  • Small size allows you to fly indoors with limited space
  • Special designed controller is also a storage box for the drone and spare parts
  • The special controller can: carry the drone, spare parts, recharge the drone, and fit in your pocket
  • Controller is designed with MODE1/MODE2 one key switch

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 7 x 7 x 2.7cm
  • Weight: .46 ounces
  • Charging time: 20mins
  • Flying time: about 4’40” / 5’10″(without landing gear and protector)
  • Control distance: 50 meters

17. Cheerson CX-10 Mini

Check current price on Amazon.com

Cheerson CX-10 Mini

Allow me to introduce the #2 best selling RC copter on Amazon — the Cheerson CX-10 Mini.

It’s a best seller for a reason. This thing is a perfect quadcopter for beginners, and veterans will enjoy flying it as well. It’s great for all skill levels.

The Cheerson CX-10 Mini is (super) small and durable, so even if you do end up losing a few propellers, spare parts are inexpensive. Despite its size, Cheerson still managed to pack a 6-axis flight control board in there for advanced maneuvers.

Extras

These extra parts are available for the Cheerson CX-10:

Propeller Guard + Propellers

→ Propeller Guards

→ Carrying Case

→ Extra Propellers

Features

  • 6-axis design makes the gyroscope adjustable, promoting flying stability
  • 3-level adjustable speed flip function
  • Powered by a piece of rechargeable 3.7V 100mAh lithium battery
  • Suitable for: Ages 14+
  • #2 Amazon best seller in RC Helicopters

Specs

  • Frequency: 2.4G
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Size: 4.0 x 4.0 x 2.2cm
  • Weight: .42 ounces
  • Charging time: About 30-40 minutes
  • Flying time: 4-8 minutes
  • Control distance: 40 meters

 

Related: Learn about flight safety, rules and regulations, which drones to buy, money-making opportunities, pilot skills, and more, with our premium training course for new drone pilots.

Thanks for checking out our list of cheap drones. It’s not exhaustive, but I hope it gives you some more options to choose from.

If you’re still struggling to choose the right drone, check out our article that reviews 13 more remote control drones.

Or go ahead and fire off an email to support@uavcoach.com. We’ll do our best to help you out.

Happy flying!

The post 17 Cheap Drones for Beginners (Under $150) appeared first on UAV Coach.

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