On this page you can follow our monthly updated buyer’s guide considering cheap drones under $100. The drone market has evolved immensly in the last couple of years. In 2017, you’ll be able to find very advanced drones such as the Phantom, Inspire, 3DR etc., all ranging at around $3,000+. Since the drone market has grown in the past years, there are now drones on the market that are a little more budget friendly. The development of the drone market has made it so that you are able to purchase good quality drones with nice features at a fair consumer price. Today you are able to purchase more affordable drones, all ranging between 50 to 100 dollars. These more affordabe drones are still able to provide our consumers with great functions, such as on-board cameras, wind-resistants, high capacity battery life, low charging time and much more. Off course, the overall quality and performance of the more budget friendly drones cannot be compared to the drones that cost around $10.000, but for the price and quality they do offer, it is great for someone who needs something a little more affordable.

Disclaimer: Clicking on a product name link will bring to you to the appropriate Amazon.com (.co.uk, .de, etc.) product listing, where you can check the price, customer reviews and more information about the product or similar products.

If you are looking for the top cheap drones under 100 USD, just look at the table below. If you’re on a budget and searching for a cheaper alternative, these are some of the best drones. Considering what some of these drones are able to do and in which quality they are able to perform, they certainly are worth the price. These are the top cheap drones under 100 USD:

For more information regarding specifications to consider when buying a drone, scroll down to after the product descriptions.

Note: We at dronersguides.com simply mean that these are the best 5 drones in the market right now for under $100. The list is not systematic in any way meaning that one drone isn’t necessarily ‘better’ than another because of the numbers given.

1. SYMA X5C

Syma X5C - best drones under $100

There are two main reasons to buy the Syma X5C: If you are interested in drone photography but want to learn the system with a drone cheaper than a DJI Phantom – or if you want a cool gadget to play with occasionally, then the Syma X5C is perfect for you.

The X5C is an Amazon bestseller. Whether you are looking for a ‘practice’ drone or a cheap quality drone, the Syma X5C is one of the best cheap drones that you can get for your money. With Syma X5C you are able to create extremely impressive videos while cycling, surfing, running, or even if you want to get a bird’s eye view footage. The drone is in fact equipped with a high definition camera, this allows the drone to film while flying. The drone records on an SD card, allowing the user to obtain the footage directly from a PC computer. Syma X5C Explorers enables the user to perform impressive air tricks and acrobatics including a 360-degree somersault. 
It also includes 4 LED lights (two green and two red), this ultimately allows the user to know the wherabouts of the front and back of the drone in the dark or while flying at high latitudes.

The Syma X5C is cheap – and robust – enough so that you can fly the drone without fear of breaking the bank, if something goes wrong. This drone is a very suitable to begin with and the user will aquire what it feels like to pilot a quadcopter before investing in a drone that is higher in price, and better quality. It is extremely lightweight but solidly built. When you pick it up, you will be amazed at how well made it feels. Unlike many cheap products, nothing rattles or shakes when you hold it. The propellers turn freely and are perfectly balanced. One of the X5C’s key function is the 4 channel control. The 4 channel control gives you the opportunity to fly the drone up, down, forward, backwards, left, right and sideways.

The Syma X5C is equipped with the latest 6-axis flight control systems, that make the air-craft much more stable and flexible when flying.

The drone can be flown both indoors and outdoors. The weather becomes a great factor if you are buying a more affordable drone like the Syma. The X5C drone is made of plastic, and though the quality is good, it does not go well with bad weather. Ultimately you will get the most out of these kind of drones on calm days without drastic changes in weather conditions.

SPECIFICATIONS
Model Description Model Name Syma X5C
Series X Series
Steering and Maneuvering Range 30 meters
Flight Time 7 minutes
Return to Base Function No
Frequency 2.4 GHz
Functions Camera Yes
Bracket for External Camera No
Video Recording Yes
Video Resolution 720p
Built-in GPS No
Camera Control With Smartphone/Tablet No
General Specs Battery Type LiPo
Battery Capacity 500 mAh
Charging Batteries Yes
Charge Time 100 minutes
Color White
Dimensions 12.2 x 12.2 x 3.1 inches – 31 x 31 x 8 cm
Weight 96 g
Recommended Age 14+

Note: Watch and read customer reviews on Amazon through the link below.

View on Amazon

2. Holy Stone F181

Holy Stone F181

The Holy Stone F181 quadcopter has a numerous of functions. The drone is equiped with a key return and headless security system to prevent the user from losing his/her drone. It has great maneuverability. It is able to execute four-way flips and make 360 degree turns in all directions. The four-way flip function allows the drone to roll continuously and execute actions with perfection.

At barely 400g of weight, you should expect the F181 to be a slightly unstable in bad conditions such as wind and rain, but you’ll be surprised over the stability considering the price class and material used. It can resist winds at up to 10 mph and the solid structure keeps it steady against powerful winds. Another factor that you come to realize after spending some time with this drone, is it’s durability. People who have flown the Holy Stone have had particularly positive reviews, considering the durability of the drone. Even though the drone is cheaper in price, and constructed with more low quality materials, it is still considered pretty durable and difficult to break. For its size, the Holy Stone F181 is very strong and robust. This can be confirmed with many of the costumer satisfaction reviews.

The F181 is also easy to fly, which has been endorsed on in its customer reviews. With this drone, kids at 10 years old and up, will even be able to control it, due to its simplicity. The official range of the Holy Stone F181 drone is at approximately 100 meters.

For a relative cheap drone, Holy Stone F181 is actually able to give the consumers a real drone experience. It comes with two 3.7 V, 750 mAh batteries which makes the drone quite powerful and it can stay in the air for relatively long periods of time compared to its competitors. The F181 is also reasonably fast in terms of recharging. After about 80 minutes, the quadcopter will be fully charged and ready to go.

The Holy Stone F181 comes with an 720p, 2 megapixel camera, allowing you to take high quality images. The quadcopter also follows a cylon ion LED headlamp, which is excellent for orientation outside or in the dark. The flashing red and blue lights make it spectacular sight at night, and cannot go unseen. Overall, the Holy Stone F181 is very affordable and gives you great quality and value for your money.

SPECIFICATIONS
Model Description Model Name Holy Stone F181
Steering and Maneuvering Range 50-100 meters
Flight Time 8-9 minutes
Return to Base Function Yes
Frequency 2.4 GHz
Functions Camera Yes
Camera Resolution 1280p
Bracket for External Camera No
Video Recording Yes
Video Resolution 720p
Frame Rate 30 Fps
Built-in GPS No
Camera Control With Smartphone/Tablet No
General Specs Battery Type LiPo
Battery Capacity 750 mAh
Charging Batteries Yes
Charge Time 80 minutes
Color Black
Dimensions 12.2 x 12.2 x 3.5 inches – 31 x 31 x 9 cm
Weight 397 g
Recommended Age 14+

Note: Watch and read customer reviews on Amazon through the link below.

View on Amazon

3. UDI U818A

Top 5 Drones Under 100

The UDI U818A quadcopter is one of the the most undemanding drones to fly. For a beginner, this is one of the hottest cheap drones out there. It’s a drone with a number of accomplishes. At a cheap price and one of Amazon’s best selling drones, the drone is able to do flips and stunts, among other things. The drone camera comes with a 640 x 480 pixels and is capable of taking photos and videos.

The camera’s quality is descent whencompared to its pricing. It follows an MicroSD card which can be used to transfer all its content to any computer. Depending on how many photos and videos you may take, the MicroSD card may fill up fast, but you are able to upgrade with a USB cable allowing you to copy the files to your computer.

The remote of the UDI U818A quadcopter is excellent. Firstly, it feels great in hand and is easy to get familiar with. The quadcopter has a digital trim and showing throttle setting, remote battery life, camera settings and much more. Also, it has the 360* inversion button, which allows the quadcopter to do flips with just the push of one button. The drone comes with various control options for the pilot e.g. Up/Down, Left/Right, Forward/Backward, Leftward flying/Rightward flying, Suspension etc.

The UDI U818A has a difficult time flying against strong winds and breezes, but in calm weather, it is extremely stable considering its weight at approximately 346 grams. The rings around the propellers are especially useful when flying the UDI U818A, they protect the pilot, the people and even the drone itself, if a collision was to occur.

SPECIFICATIONS
Model Description Model Name UDI U818A
Steering and Maneuvering Range 80-100 meters
Flight Time 6-9 minutes
Return to Base Function Yes
Frequency 2.4 GHz
Functions Camera Yes
Camera Resolution 1280p
Bracket for External Camera No
Video Recording Yes
Video Resolution 720p
Frame Rate 30 Fps
Built-in GPS No
Camera Control With Smartphone/Tablet No
General Specs Battery Type LiPo
Battery Capacity 500 mAh
Charging Batteries Yes
Charge Time 120 minutes
Color Black
Dimensions 13.8 x 13.4 x 2.2 in (35 x 34 x 5.5 cm)
Weight 346 g
Recommended Age 14+

Note: Watch and read customer reviews on Amazon through the link below.

View on Amazon

4. Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone

The HS170 Predator Mini from the Holy Stone is another excellent quadcopter for beginners or people on a tighter budget. The drone uses a headless security system to prevent the operator to loose the copter. The HS170 Predator Mini, shows strong performance and is stable when in flight, despite its weight and quality.The flying time of the HS170 is around 6-8 minutes depending on the use of the copter. The flight time of this drone is average in drones ranging at or below $100. What is more impressive is the charge time. Compared to other drones in this price range, the HS170 really excels. According to the product informatio, the quadcopter uses around 1 hour to recharge (Under currents input 0.5A-1A), but in my experience with this drone, it actually uses a lot less. This is also substantial when compared to drones mentioned above.

This drone is posesses very powerful and responsive motors, which enables the quadcopter to have be rather fast, but still at a controllable rate when it comes to corners.

One of the cons with this drone is that it doesn’t follow a camera, but this also leads to less weight for the drone to carry, that would have perhaps held it back. The HS170 has sterling LED lights under its body that allow the drone to fly well in the darker hours.

The HS170 Predator Mini drone is great a great drone for beginners who have the desire to slowly advance in the drone world, or someone who is just looking to have fun and discover a new hobby. This is due to its great speed and maneuverability and the drone’s overall simplicity. The HS170 does not follow any type of camera, so if you are an operator looking for a drone to capture pictures and record films with, this isn’t the right quadcopter for you. But if you are a beginner who wants a insight into how a drone is controlled and wants to learn the basic functions of drone’s maneuverability, this is absolutely the right choice for you.

SPECIFICATIONS
Model Description Model Name Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter
Steering and Maneuvering Range 50 meters
Flight Time 6-8 minutes
Return to Base Function No
Frequency 2.4 GHz
Functions Camera No
Bracket for External Camera No
Video Recording No
Built-in GPS No
Camera Control With Smartphone/Tablet No
General Specs Battery Type LiIon
Battery Capacity 350 mAh
Charging Batteries Yes
Charge Time 60 minutes
Color Black/Blue
Dimensions 5.3 x 5.3 x 1.6 in (13.5 x 14.5 x 4.1 cm
Weight Less than 500 g
Recommended Age 14+

Note: Watch and read customer reviews on Amazon through the link below.

View on Amazon

5. Hubsan X4 (H107C)

Hubsan X4

To beginning users who are unsure of the drone market and to those of you that are experienced but love to test boundaries and want a drone that can withstand any knocks, the Hubsan X4 drone is just for you! The copter is remarkably strong and can survive the most incredible crashes. Hubsan X4 Mini Quadcopter is a magical little Quadcopter. It weighs less than 40 grams. It is so small that you can almost hold it within your hand. This quadcopter is so stable that it can hover motionless in the air, and so versatile that it is able to fly up, down, spin, roll and perform somersaults. It has a long range of flight distance at around 100 meters in distance. The  Hubsan X4 (H107C) has a high maneuverability, that enables the drone to fly outside in light or dark conditions due to its LED lights

The small drone has the same impressive flight characteristics as the original X4 H107L, but are all in this edition equipped with an HD cameras that give the experience of the drone an extra dimension.

The drone is very easy to fly and the learning process become easier after each flight.

The X4 H107C is one of the most popular cheap drones on the market. Followed with great reviews and is even more admired by beginners, hobbyist and smaller children.

SPECIFICATIONS
Model Description Model Name Hubsan X4
Steering and Maneuvering Range 100 meters
Flight Time 7-9 minutes
Return to Base Function No
Frequency 2.4 GHz
Functions Camera Yes
Camera type 2 MP Camera
Bracket for External Camera No
Video Recording Yes
Built-in GPS No
Camera Control With Smartphone/Tablet No
General Specs Battery Type LiIon
Battery Capacity 380 mAh
Charging Batteries Yes
Charge Time 30-50 minutes
Color Available in Different Colors
Dimensions 2.7 x 2.7 x 1 in (6.9 x 6.9 x 2.5 cm)
Weight 35 g (with battery)
Recommended Age 14+

Note: Watch and read customer reviews on Amazon through the link below.

View on Amazon

Specifications to be considered

When considerering specifications involving each drone, there is a lot to consider. It is difficult to completely decide which drone will fit best with each person due to the amount of feateures provided, although these features are more limited with the drones under $100. Each drone will be listed in the following sections before dividing them in to their appropriate categories. This section is for informational purposes only, so our interested costumers know what to look for when choosing what drone best suits them. Below there will be a list of recommended drones under $100, that were ranked most favorable in 2017.

Size

Drones come in various sizes. They range from the size of your two fingers to the size of a mini-car. The sizing of a drone represents the drone in terms of what type it is and what it will be able to be used for.

There is a popular saying that “Bigger is always better”, but is it really? Just as any other technology, larger drones generally offer better execution such as higher speed, higher stabilization, better range and ultimately greater power. Usually, the bigger the drones are, the higher are their capabilities, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have fewer functions.

Although the larger drones bring those extra frills, they don’t come cheaply. Also, you’ll have to consider the size when buying drones in term of the transport of them. Bigger drones are not as easy to transport as the smaller ones are.

However, another question you will have to ask yourself before buying a drone is how experienced do you consider yourself. Larger drones are often much harder to learn and control than smaller ones. With that being said, this does not mean that if you buy the Phantom 4 Professional, you will be be unable to control or use the drone, but it certainly is easier to start off with a smaller model, and work your way up to the level of the Phantom 4.

Frame

The most widely used frame shape is the  X-shape frame, as you most often see in drones with four rotors. The classic x-form is the most popular with a good reason too. It does not block the sight if you place a camera in the middle. It has the least problematic deign and make balancing easier.

There are several different types of drone frames. Some create better balance, some allow larger propellers, etc. Some of these are given below.

Note: The ‘X4’ represents the classical form, also called classical quadcopter.

Frames

Flight Time

The flight time of a drone is the period of time the aircraft can stay in the air on a single battery charge. There is a great deal of factors that play part in the role of the flight time e.g. weight, batteries and what the drone is specifically being used for. For a consumer that is utilizing the drone as a hobby, for example flying it inside, the flight time does not tend to be as important of a factor for them. While someone who wants to capture aerial footage and record longer videos, flight time is one of the main focuses, when considering which drone they would like to purchase. Typically flight time is one of the larger concerns for users. Companies emphasize and spend a lot of resources to constantly develop the flight time of drones, but it is still and increasing issue. Today, if you are considering on purchasing a high quality drone, you’ll be lucky if it can hold itself in the air for 30 minutes. 30 minutes is a large flight time in the drone world. With that consideration, when purchasing one of the more afforadable drones, the user will have to expect a flight time of approximately ten minutes or less. If you are a user looking for a drone that has a higher flight time, it is advised that you consider purchasing a drone that is on the more expensive side. Like most things, when purchasing a more costly drone, the user can expect a better quality, including a larger flight time. It is always important to keep in mind that each drone will vary in flight time, depending on the drone you choose to invest in.

Batteries

Battery technology based on Lithium Ion Polymer (Li-Po) has made it possible to create many new types of drones. The batteries are compact, relatively lightweight and able to contain surprisingly much energy. You should know a bit about batteries before you start using them.

Charge Time

In connection to flight time, another important element is the charging time, which is typically desired to be as low as possible.  The charging time of a drone can reach anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Engines

The motors for drones must be very powerful, since they must be able to supply about 8000 rpm and a quick change of speed. Since most copters consists of four rotors, there is no redundancy. The engines must be able to stay in the air, so it is important that they are reliable.

Propellers

Choosing the right engine is only part of the equation. You must also select which propellers the engines has to drive, so you know how much lift is being created. Propellers is sold in all kinds of materials, each of which affects their efficiency – the most important parameters is the size and angle.

Range

The greater range the drone is given, the farther it is able to travel. The range will usually be between 50-200 meters. Professional drones tend to span for several miles. With a longer span, there is greater opportunities for the drone. Drones that are under $100, will not span for more than a couple of hundred meters.

Camera

You must look at whether the drone has a camera or not. If there is a camera present, you should assess the camera’s resolution. The higher the resolution the better. Although in some cases, it may be a better advantage to purchase a drone without camera and apply a high performance camera on it yourself e.g. GoPro. Most drones are equipped with a camera, and it really adds something more to the whole ‘drone experience’. With a camera, you can capture the greatest moments and use the footage to create videos or slideshows. Lower resolution cameras are typically used to save space and weight. The best drones, pricing above $1000 are often used for cinematography.

Sensors

Sensors are typically found on the more expensive drones. Sensors like GPS allow broader functions. Some drones like the Phantom 4 Professional, come with different sets of sensors. These sensors have functions that allow the drone to avoid obstacles and much more. Read more about the new Phantom 4 Professional from DJI in our review of the quadcopter here.

Control and Stability

The stability of a drone is very important. For example if the operator of the drone would like to take a quality picture of something outdoors, the operator will need to have a stable drone that will not be affected by small winds or interferences. With more stability, the drone will have better control and less risk of damage from bad weather conditions.
Another thing to consider is the remote control in which the drones (most drones) are controlled from. They come with different shapes and functions and one might be easier to learn than another.