A few decades ago, videogames, remote-controlled cars, and cartoons were considered ‘kids’ stuff’. Today, you’re far more likely to indulge in this pursuits as an adult. And of course, drones are the latest craze. If your local government lets you, you can fly the for endless happy hours.
But how can you be sure you’ve bought the best drones under 200 dollars? You could check the sturdiness of their construction or their top speeds. You can also confirm how much weight they can carry, especially if you want to deliver packages. Let’s explore some popular drone options.
The Best Drones under 200 dollars
1. Eachine E58 Emotion Drone (Our Top Pick)
Drones are naturally discreet. But they’re even more convenient if you can stash them in your pocket. The Eachine has foldable wings that slim it down to the size of an average smartphone. This feature makes it one of the best drones under 200 dollars. In its folded form, it measures 12.5cm by 7.5cm. The drone has a built-in 720P camera that shoots in HD. The wide-angle lens is 120°.
This unmanned device is operated by remote control. It’s easy to fly, with a single button to fly or land the drone. And just like a human helicopter, this little quadcopter can hover on the spot while maintaining altitude. It’s categorized as a quadcopter because it has 4 motors and 4 propellers. It can shoot both still photos and FPV videos, and the device can receive WiFi signals.
The E58 Emotion Drone uses a 500mAh battery that takes about an hour to charge. This offers a little under 10 minutes of flight time. The drone battery is included in the shipping box, and the quadcopter weighs 94.8g when the battery is loaded. The remote controller uses three AA batteries, but you have to buy them separately. The E58 can fly about 100m at wind levels of 6-7.
This drone has a 4-channel system that can do some pretty nifty stunts. It can fly forward, backward, left, right, up, down, and full flip-and-roll. Its remote controller transmits at 2.4GHz, a frequency specifically designed to resist signal interference. The drone has 3-speed settings.
This Emotion Drone looks sleek and stylish. You can buy the 0.3MP or 2MP version. They can survive wind speeds of 22 to 33 knots (25 to 38 mph). That’s 10.8 to 18.1 meters per second.
2. JJR/C Sol Ultrathin Drone
Size matters. And when it comes to electronics, the smaller and slimmer the better. That why Sol is among the best drones under 200 dollars. It’s a delicious 10cm in length, 6.3cm wide, and only weighs 36g. Its diagonal length is 10.5 cm across the middle and 0.95cm at the tips. When it’s shut flat, it easily fits your breast pocket. When the wings pop out, they rise to a height of 2.8cm.
The drone’s remote controller isn’t much bigger, at 13cm and weighing 44.5g. Most drones have wings that pop out. But the JJRC is flat until you push the buttons on the side then its wings spring up. The drone has seamless, compact construction – its housing is molded out of a single piece of plastic. Instead of buttons, the remote controller has rotary disc joysticks.
You can also control your drone via WiFi, using your smartphone as a transmitter. The JJR/C Sol is fitted with a 720P HD camera that sends a real-time feed to your screen. This tiny device has an impressive hover and has ‘night vision’ LEDs to guide it through the dark. That said, it can only fly for 5 or 6 minutes covers about 45 meters. A full battery charge takes 45 minutes.
This little drone looks cute, but it has big specs. It’s a 4-channel 6-axis gyro with a 250mAh battery. It doesn’t have much stamina, but it’s so small you can sneak it in anywhere.
3. SG106 Aerial Drone
This model has the traditional design we typically associate with drones. But while its body looks ordinary, it has some standout features. Its 1600mAh battery takes nearly two hours to charge but has an extended battery life, powering 22 minutes of flight. This covers about 100m of flying distance. You can buy the single-camera 720P version or the dual camera, with 4k and 1080P.
You may worry if you buy the 720P and spot a hole in the bottom. Don’t worry, it’s not shipping damage. It’s a deliberate design choice that makes room for upgrading to a dual camera. If you choose to operate your drone via smartphone, the 1-camera and 2-camera versions have separate apps, so be sure to download the right one. Both drone versions weigh 140.6g.
SG106 joins the best drones under 200 dollars on their 24GHz frequency. It shares their 4-channel movements and their and 6-axis gyro. Its dimensions are 27cm by 27cm by 6cm, so it’s on the larger side, measuring almost a foot square. The remote controller mimics videogame or airplane-style controllers, with vertical toggling joysticks. The drone also has gesture controls.
The transmitter also has ergonomic fold-out ‘feet’ that provide a firmer handhold. These allow you to grip it in a way that reduces fatigue and lowers the chances of carpal tunnel. The hand-grips also enhance accuracy and precision. Your drone can hover, and you can create its flight path by drawing it on your smartphone. It also has a programmable soundtrack.
While many drones can hover, this one has optical flow control in its dual-camera version. This prevents from being blurred in hover mode, providing sharper, higher resolution images.
4. HDR/C Pocket-Sized Drone
Many of the drones we’ve looked at can fit in your pocket when they’re folded. This one is no different. In its compact form, it measures 7.6cm by 5.8cm square. The difference is when you unfold, it needs some assembly. You have to clip on the detachable protective propeller frames, expanding the drone size to 13 cm by 13 cm. The drone comes in red, white, or black versions.
HDR/C matches and surpasses the specs of the best drones under 200 dollars. It has a 4K wide-angle lens and a 1080P camera. And it uses a different type of 720HM battery that takes an hour to charge and powers 10 minutes of flight, covering about 100 meters. Unlike its competitors, this battery is removable. The built-in LED lights are great for night flights and gloomy weather.
You can control this drone using a dedicated app on your smartphone, but many users prefer to use the remote controller. Its design is similar to the joysticks that accompany videogame consoles. The drone flies on 8 channels, which is more than the 4 we’re used to. But while the drone can hover, its camera doesn’t have the non-blur feature its rivals have perfected.
If you’d like a color-coordinated drone to match your personality, this is a good option. It flies at 3 speeds but its battery and wing protectors are detachable, so be careful not to lose them!
5. Global Drone Selfie Quadcopter
What are you using your drone for? Some shopping services use them for deliveries. But the best drones under 200 dollars are largely used for overhead shots. The GD89 Selfie Quadcopter falls in that category, with its 1020P Ultra HD camera and its 1200mAh battery. It takes a longer time to charge – between 100 and 130 minutes. This generates 12 to 15 minutes of flight time.
You don’t have to guess though, because the battery has an indicator light to show how fast it’s running down. And the reason smartphone drone apps are so popular is their visual interface. If you operate your drone using its remote control transmitter, you have to link it to a monitor. With a smartphone, the feed comes straight to your phone screen as you control it in real-time.
The drone is WiFi enabled so it easily receives signals from your smartphone. In that case, you can use gestures to take photos or videos. On the other hand, if you’re using the controller, the drone receives signals on the universally encrypted 2.4GHz frequency. Also, when the drone is hovering, optical flow ensures images are crisp and avoids that tell-tale fuzzy appearance.
With higher photo resolution, an extended battery life, and a power indicator, this drone takes the perfect aerial selfie. Buy the version with dual hover functionality – it has a beginners’ mode.
6. XKJ E68 Drone
Now we’re shifting into the heavy-duty section of best drones under 200 dollars. This XKJ model is foldable, just like the drones we’ve looked at before. But it retains its bulk and industrial heft even in its most compact form – 7.4cm by 12.4 cm by 5cm. Once you unfold the wings, it almost triples its dimensions to 24 cm by 20cm. You can operate it with a transmitter or a smartphone.
If you opt for the smartphone app, you don’t have to visually choose a flight path. Instead, you can draw drone routes on your phone and the E68 will translate those coordinates into real-world latitudes and longitudes. The app also allows you to easily edit and beautify photos as you take them. With a transmitter, you’d have to first download your images before adding filters.
Because this drone is so bulky and so many detachable parts, the E68 comes with a free carrier bag. The 4K HD camera has a hover stability function to prevent blurring. The motor on this drone is muted to lower its noise levels. Its battery charges in an hour and gives you 15 minutes of flight, covering a flight distance of 150 meters. You can add music to your flight as well.
This 2-speed drone is quieter than its competitors. If you’re using a smartphone, you can use voice commands and gestures to operate your drone. The drone uses an 800mAh battery.
7. Visuo XS816 RC Drone
The beauty of aerial photos is perspective. You get to see the view from unexpected angles, but you can’t always drill down the details. But if you want extreme close-ups from the air, then Visuo XS816s are the best drones under 200 dollars. They have a 4K wide lens 1080P camera than has an x50 zoom function. The drone’s image resolution is 1920 x 1080 so nothing is lost.
This drone has dual cameras positioned at its top and bottom, so the synthesized images capture multiple angles for a more holistic result. This provides a better frame depth and enhanced photo composition. The transmitter ranger on this drone is 80 to 100m and it accepts gestured directions as you shoot. It automatically follows moving objects like people, cars, and animals.
The Visuo XS816 can fly for 16 to 20 minutes at a time. It has a 120° wide-angle lens and a 1800mAh battery that takes one and a half hours to charge. But there are two versions of this drone – single camera and dual camera. They look similar, and apart from the number of cameras, all their features are identical. So make sure you’ve ordered the one you want.
Gesture shooting is a handy feature of the XS816. It’s not available in the one-camera model though, so you’ll be fruitlessly waving like an irate air controller for hours. Good luck with that!
8. Laumox SG907 GPS Drone
Forget selfie sticks – the Laumox drone is the secret to that picture-perfect selfie, so do it for the Gram! These superior aerial shots make SG907s the best drones under 200 dollars. The drones use GPS to capture the right position and angle. And instead of you contorting yourself into place, the camera can swivel 90° to capture your good side. The drone can withstand wind speeds of 7.
The drone can even spin itself around you to create a 360°. And if you want to break into a sprint or burst into dance, the camera will follow your movements and match our energy up to 30m for video and up to 5m for still images. You could shoot your own movie or star in a self-shot music video complete with a soundtrack! The drone folds away for easy storage.
It occupies less space in your bag so you can shoot on the go. Laumox has fitted a 4K lens 120° wide-angle lens onto their drone. It can zoom to 50x and transmit images over a 500m distance via 5G or 300m by WiFi. This is the widest range we’ve seen so far. The camera can shoot in 18-minute spurts but the battery needs 4 hours to achieve a full charge. Video speeds are 25 FPS.
The Laumox SG907 takes a long time to charge and has a medium flight duration. Its resolution is 1920 x 1080 for regular shooting but gets as high as 4096 x 3072P for wide-angle pictures.
9. Eachine E38 RC Drone
You’d be forgiven for thinking all drones are foldable. All the ones we’ve reviewed so far can be snapped into miniature storage spaces. But the E38 stubbornly retains its full dimensions of 35 x 35 x 7cm. It also maintains visibility via the red and blue LEDs tucked into its under-wing cones. That said, it has the same features we value in foldable drones, including a 4K camera.
E38 has altitude control to prevent blurring your visuals as it hovers. It flies at 3 speeds and is capable of a 3D flip of 360°. The 1100mAh battery needs one-and-a-half to two hours of charging to deliver 12 to 13 minutes of flight. Its transmitter range is 80 to 100m but if you witch to WiFi, the range reduces, settling at 50 to 70m. The drone weighs 160g.
Before you order, double-check the camera specs. The preferred model has a 1080P camera, but there are versions as low as 480P. This drone has ‘evil eyes’ and a streamlined body that enhances its aerodynamic capacity. You can order it in black or white knowing its 8620 no-core motor outperforms many drones in its class. The motor measures 8mm by 20mm.
Visually, the Eachine E38 is drastically different from any drone we’ve looked at. But it keeps up and even surpasses many of its competitors. Just be sure you have enough storage space.
10. KY 101D Anti-Shake Drone
Portable precision is a tough thing to achieve. This is true whether you’re a cowboy with a lasso, a mafia minion with a machine gun, or a flying device with a minion. That’s why the anti-shake mechanism is such a key part of all the best drones under 200 dollars. It ensures your visual stay steady while the camera is flying past at 17 meters per second. And this device does it well.
The visual silhouette on this drone is unusually old-school. Instead of the camera being hidden inside the body of the drone, the camera is installed below the wings, protected by raised pedestal-like feet. This makes the drone larger than its rivals, standing a good 10cm above the ground while its wingspan is 30cm by 30cm. Despite this, the drone only weighs 95g.
This lightweight structure is achieved using ABS. The 1800mAh battery charges in 80 minutes then flies for 8 minutes, reaching a 100m range. It can shoot at wide angles of 110° and you can use the smartphone app to edit appropriate music into your video clips. You can pair the drone with VR glasses (and your smartphone) for that extra layer of photographing pleasure.
This drone seems more traditional than its rivals but its features are far more hi-tech. It’s available in red, white, and black. Explore its 12 features and have fun shooting at 1080P!
Ready, Set, Fly!
Armed with this information, we recommend the Eachine E58. Here’s why:
- It’s a four-propeller four-motor quadcopter.
- It can withstand wind levels of 6 to 7.
- It has a 720P HD camera with a 120° wide-angle lens.
- The drone takes off and lands using a one-touch button.
- This WiFi-enabled drone can flip 360° while it’s still in flight mode.
- The drone’s wings fold down into a compact pocket-sized brick.
- It can hover just like a human-sized helicopter.
Do you own a drone? Share a photo in the comments section. And don’t forget the specs!