The Best Inexpensive Drones For Beginners (2018 Update!)

If you’re new to drones, the task of deciding which should be your first purchase can definitely be intimidating. In this article, we’ll do our best to make the process fun…and take the mystery out of the decision.

We’ve set a max price limit of $600 and lower for all drones listed below. This will allow anyone to learn with a machine that won’t break the bank if it fails to…let’s just say, land correctly.

Here are the best drones for beginners and their price ranges.

Jump to: DJI Spark | DJI Phantom P3 Standard | Holy Stone HS110 (added in 2018!) | Hubsan H501S X4 | Parrot Bebop 2 | UDI U818A

DJI Spark

The DJI Spark is currently priced at $499 and (as of this article) is one of DJI’s latest drone releases. Although it’s not the most inexpensive of the drones featured in article, this palm-sized drone is one of the best drones for beginners  and worth the price. It has a ton cool features:

  • It fits into, takes off from and lands in the palm of your hand
  • Once airborne, gestures control how it flies along with when video and images are captured – a remote control is also sold separately
  • Its 2-axis gimbal can capture up to 1080p video & capture 3968×2976 images
  • The Spark can fly up to 31 mph (50 kph) in Sport Mode without wind
  • An average Amazon review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Spark is definitely taking the market by storm. It’s amazing to be able to get all of DJI’s industry leading technology in such a small package and at a relatively low price compared to all of their other models. Previously, DJI’s lowest entry model drone was the Mavic Pro, but to truly get an “everything you need” package for a Mavic, it can easily cost over $1,000. The Spark puts DJI’s industry-leading technology in the palm of your hand with a great entry-level drone. Here’s more in this Spark introductory video:

BUY THE DJI SPARK NOW!


DJI Phantom P3 Standard Quadcopter Drone

We were absolutely shocked to find one of DJI’s flagship drones  for under $500 on Amazon.  The DJI Phantom P3 Standard is currently priced at $457, and it was easily one of the best drones when it was first introduced. It also likely had a 4-figure price tag.

Expect roughly 25 minutes of flight time from this drone along with the other features listed below.

DJI Phantom P3-Standard Quadcopter

DJI Phantom P3-Standard Quadcopter

The Phantom P3 Standard Quadcopter at a glance:

  • View a live image streamed from the drone up to a half mile away on the free DJI Go app using your mobile phone or tablet
  • GPS assisted flight features let you concentrate on getting great images while the drone helps you fly safely.
  • Flight modes that include Point of Interest, Follow Me and Waypoints modes (pending app feature availability)
  • Fly up to 25 minutes with an included intelligent battery
  • Additional accessories included: 1 intelligent battery and charger, 2 full sets of propellers, radio controller, 8GB micro SD card
  • An integrated 12 Megapixel camera that can also record 2.7K HD videos
  • A 720p HD live video feed gives you a real-time view from your drone’s camera on your mobile device
  • An average Amazon review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars

You’ll find a lot of videos within our inspiration section filmed with this drone and the Phantom 4. With all of these great features and an unbelievable price point from the leader in drone manufacturing (DJI), the Phantom P3 Standard Quadcopter is the perfect choice for beginners looking to start flying drones.

BUY THE DJI PHANTOM P3 NOW!


Holy Stone HS110 (Added in 2018!)

The Holy Stone HS110 can be found for under $100 at most online retailers, including Amazon. It’s pretty impressive to find a drone at this price point which can be controlled with a smart phone app. One function that really stands out Gravity Sensor Mode which allows flight control by holding and moving the smart phone. There are drones that are 10x the price that don’t offer a feature like this.

Holy Stone HS110

Holy Stone HS110 FPV RC Drone

Expect 7-9 minutes of flight time from this drone along with the other features listed here:

  • First Person View 720P HD REAL TIME Video Camera (2MP, 1280×720 MegaPixel). Take aerial videos and photos with iPhone or Android phone device.
  • Powerful air pressure altitude hold allows you to release the throttle stick and the drone will hover. This feature is usually only found in drones that cost hundreds more.
  • The orientation of the drone is in relation to the pilot. This feature is useful when you can’t see the drone. This depends on the direction the pilot is facing when you pair the drone with the remote.
  • One Key Return Home Function. Avoid losing your HS110, and call the drone back to you with a one-button click.
  • 2.4G Technology so more than one can be used in the same area at the same time…zero interference.
  • A multi-axis gyro is built into this model and it provides extra stability and easy handling, not to mention, 360° flips. Flips are always fun. 😃
  • An average Amazon review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars

All of these features and the ridiculously affordable price make the Holy Stone HS110 a perfect drone for those who are just starting out.

BUY THE HOLY STONE HS110 NOW!


Hubsan H501S X4 FPV Brushless Quadcopter

It’s always a great idea to learn to fly a drone with a machine that can crash and won’t break the bank. The Hubsan H501S X4 FPV Brushless Quadcopter is a great drone for beginners that fits this purpose. It is currently priced from $227 – $247 on Amazon.com and boasts an average review rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Hubsan H501S X4 FPV Drone

Hubsan H501S X4 FPV Drone

The Hubsan H501S X4 drone at a glance:

  • Brushless KV1650 PM1806 x4 Motor
  • 1080P HD Camera with standard 5.8G  with a wireless video transmission distance of 300m
  • 7.4V 2700mAh Batter with a charge time of approximately 150 minutes
  • 2.4G Transmitter with 5.8G FPV 4.3 Inch LCD Screen (LCD Resolution: 480*272)
  • Flight time: 19 Minutes (Approximate). GPS hold, return to home, follow me, and headless flight modes
  • An average Amazon review rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars

With all of the great features listed above, and a great price point, the Hubsan H501S X4 FPV Drone is a great choice for beginners.

BUY THE HUBSAN H501S NOW!


Parrot Bebop 2

Parrot’s Bebop 2 is currently priced at $349 on Amazon – down from an original price of nearly $600. This drone packs a pretty impressive 14 megapixel fish-eye lens camera that can also capture 1080p video. In addition, the Bebop 2 has 3-axis image stabilization for smoother photos and videos. Expect nearly 25 minutes of flight time which is on par with the longest in-air time of other drones featured in this article.

Parrot Bebop 2 Drone

Parrot Bebop 2 Drone

The Parrot Bebop 2 is a great drone for beginners looking for a little better camera quality from a reputable brand. However, be prepared to do some post production editing to smooth out fish-eye images and videos captured by its camera if that style is not to your liking.

The Parrot Bebop 2 Drone at a glance:

  • Enhanced 14 megapixel fish-eye lens offers 1080p video recording and beautiful images
  • 25 minutes of flight time
  • Powerful 2700 mAh battery
  • Equipped with powerful motors (suitable for flight in high altitudes)
  • Powerful rear flash LED for better visibility in the dark
  • An average Amazon review rating of 4 out of 5 stars

With all of these great features and a great price point, the Hubsan H501S X4 FPV Drone is a good drone for beginners.

BUY THE HUBSAN H501S NOW!


UDI U818A Quadcopter

The U818A is the lowest priced drone listed in the article, but we’re very impressed with what we read about it and its average review rating on Amazon. The UDI U818A packs a lot into the package for the value. It’s pretty amazing to find a drone at this price with a 6 AXIS GYRO & posture control. This helps guarantee the precise positioning of the aircraft as you learn to fly the drone.

UDI U818A Quadcopter

UDI U818A Quadcopter

The USI U818A at a glance:

  • A great price…under $100!
  • 6 AXIS GYRO with posture control to help guarantee the precise positioning of the aircraft
  • 4 CHANNEL function provide stable flying and easy operation
  • High capacity battery and strong power motors enable the copter to fly much longer and more efficiently
  • Charging time is about 120 minutes
  • Flight duration is about 7-9 minutes with a remote distance up to 30m
  • A Modular design makes it easy to install and repair
  • An average Amazon review rating of 4 out of 5 stars

The USI U818A rounds out our list of the best inexpensive drones for beginners. At under $100, this is a can’t miss drone for those who are new to the hobby…or just looking to have some fun!

BUY THE UDI U818A NOW!


Thanks for taking the time to read about these inexpensive beginner drones. You really can’t go wrong should you decide to purchase and learn to fly using one of the drones featured above.

Is there another great drone for beginners that wasn’t featured? Tell us about it in the comments below or contact us. We’d love to hear from you.



Me on a downtown Baltimore rooftop during a drone video shootAbout The Author, Jason (Rotospace’s Creator)
Jason is an expert drone pilot who loves everything about this amazing aerial technology.
He flies two DJI drones: The Inspire1 and Mavic Pro Platinum …and enjoys keeping them airborne whenever possible. 
Jason’s rotospace-related social media accounts: Google+ | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

6 Comments

  1. Hi, this is an awesome article about drones for beginners. Thanks! I’m thinking about the spark, but the others you have here look great as well. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Interesting, what classic drones you have displayed & presented here.

    But even more than that is the performance of these drones and their prices. I will surely save money and get the Parrot’s Bebop 2 .

    I like it because of its ability to capture 1080p video, with the aid of it’s impressive 14 megapixel fish-eye lens camera.

    I admire the appearance as well, in addition to its performance. Thanks so much for sharing this article.

    I have bookmarked your post for future reference.

  3. Can’t wait to get into this Drone space. A bit over my budget at the time, but I really want to get into amateur aerial photography.

    What is the best and least expensive/durable drone you sell? What are you thoughts on waiting to buy a top notch drone instead?

    Great layout and enticing, I almost want to just plunge into the waters now.

    • Hi Damo!

      Thanks for leaving a comment…really appreciate that! Yes, drones are a ton of fun, and you definitely won’t regret getting into it.

      The least expensive drone listed above is the U818A Quadcopter. However, I would suggest one of the DJI models listed. Either the Spark or the Phantom if you want a higher end drone based on the options in this article. Both are made by DJI – the undisputed leader in drones.

      – Jason (rotospace.com)

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