When shopping for drones, we understand you probably have a budget, we certainly understand that you want to get into flying quadcopters and other fun drones without breaking the bank. To this end, we took some time to think about the drones that should prove worth your time, and all for under $100. In this case we mean ‘cheap’ as in inexpensive, so here they are, the best cheap drones.

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Jonathan Feist, Drone Pilot
Jonathan Feist

Why trust Drone Rush?

I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.

Remember, size and price do not matter, you still have to follow the laws of the skies.

What cheap drone should I buy?

 
1. Hubsan H107: Great indoor drone

Hubsan H107: Resilient starter drone

Hubsan H111 nano drone in hand

The Hubsan H111 is a fun starter drone. It’s small enough to be safe for indoor flight, it won’t hurt if it bumps into your finger (you’ll still feel it though, so be careful,) and it won’t break the bank if you happen to break it. It does have limited flight time, and can be tough to master without any flight-assist features, but it’s a superb craft to hone your skills or get your start in the hobby.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Fun
  • Resilent
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Tough to master
  • Limited flight time
  • Best kept indoors
 

Hubsan H111

(8.2)
  • 5 - Minutes
  • No camera
  • 7 - MPH

2. Syma X5c: Resilient beginner's drone

Syma X5c: Easy to learn on

Syma X5C front

The Syma X5C-1 Adventurer is a rather simple toy-class drone. It does come in different configurations with a tiny camera, different landing gear, propeller guards and other accessories, but we found it best to fly with minimal attachments to extend the battery life. Easy to operate with few flight-assist features, the X5C is a solid starter drone. 

Pros

  • Simple
  • Resilient
  • Parts and accessories are plenty

Cons

  • Flight time with accessories is poor
  • Limited connectivity range
  • Low powered, struggles in the wind
 

Syma X5C

(7.8)
  • 10 - Minutes
  • 720p - 30FPS
  • 11 - MPH

January 2015

Release Date

3. Ryze Tello: Educational, and fun

Ryze Tello: A little more advanced, and educational

Ryze Tello DJI toy drone

Drone Rush RecommendsThe Ryze Tello is a versatile little starter drone. You can fly it by smartphone app, get the optional remote control, or even learn to code to send custom navigation commands. Tello offers decent flight time and has some fun accessories, plus, for those that care, it is made of mostly DJI flight components, which has proven to offer more reliability than other toy aircrafts out there.

It was tough to decide which drone to recommend on this list, but the Tello is the most versatile in terms of being able to both indoors and outside. For indoor pilots, the H111 was our top pick, and for outdoor pilots we might have suggested the H502S Desire, but the Tello can do it both.

Pros

  • Educational
  • Fun
  • Fly indoors or outside
  • Many ways to control the drone

Cons

  • Controller is an optional add-on
  • Flight time could be longer
 

Ryze Tello

(8.4)
  • 13 - Minutes
  • 720p - 30FPS
  • 18 - MPH

4. Hubsan H502S Desire: Reliable and capable toy

Hubsan H502S Desire: Starter drone, with a little camera

yuneec-mantis-q-flying-indoors-6

The Hubsan H502S Desire is a reliable starter drone. It still relies on trimming a gyro sensor for a stable hover, no GPS included, but it’s one of the least expensive drones around with decent flight time and a functional FPV camera. Don’t expect to be snapping amazing photos or video from the sky with any drone under $100, but at least you can see where your drone is going with the H502S Desire.

Pros

  • Easy to fly
  • Fun
  • A simple drone

Cons

  • Only decent flight time
  • Limited connectivity range
 

Hubsan H502S Desire

(7.1)
  • 10 - Minutes
  • 720p - 30FPS
  • 11 - MPH

August 2016

Release Date

5. UDI U818: Accessible toy

UDI U818: Readily available drone

UDI 818A HD drone

The UDI U818 series was one of the most accessible drones in North America for a long time. You could find a version of it at most box stores and online retailers. Different configurations included cameras, extra parts and more, all ranging from around $50 up to about $200. This is a simple toy-class drone, fun for bopping around the back yard.

Pros

  • Availability
  • Simplicity

Cons

  • Limited flight time
  • Limited connectivity range
 

UDI U818

(6.1)
  • 8 - Minutes
  • 720p - 30FPS
  • 11 - MPH