There are a lot of good drones on the market today, figuring out what you want and need of a flying machine is a smart place to start, as is finding your ideal budget. We’re here to help – complimenting our other priced drone lists, let’s explore the best drones under $200.
Unlike our list of drones under $100, we’re stepping up from simple toys today, but, of course, we’re not getting as advanced as the machines on our list of drones under $500.
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.
As you add more features to a drone, you add more weight. It is likely that your $200 drone will weigh more than 0.55 lbs, which means that you are fully subject to the flight laws of the FAA in the United States.
Best drones under $200
Hubsan H502S Desire: Reliable toy drone
The Hubsan H502S Desire is a reliable toy-class drone that helped us grow to respect Hubsan as a brand. The drone itself is reliable and reasonably stable, the FPV camera it’s a camera-lover’s dream, but it provides a low-latency video feed to the controller. The H502S Desire is a great drone for beginner pilots, with enough features to learn how to fly, and a price that many can afford for a hobby.
Should I buy the Hubsan H502S Desire?
Make no mistake, if you want a GPS-enabled drone and to capture some epic photos and videos from the sky, you’re looking at the wrong list of drones today. Having said that, the H502S Desire is one of our absolute favorite toy-class drones, we used it when we were still learning to fly, and we often put it in the hands of new pilots.
- Easy to fly
- Good video signal
- Moderate battery life
- Older drone
UDI U818: Available everywhere
The UDI U818 was a very popular drone for a while, not necessarily because for its flight features, more because it was available to buy everywhere. We recall seeing variants of the U818 at every grocery store, toy store, and more in our part of the world. This toy-class machine flew off the shelves, mostly as parents were buying them for their children.
Should I buy the UDI U818?
If you are looking for a toy-class drone, and you can still find this old machine for sale somewhere, it is a worthy purchase for a simple backyard flyer. To be fair, we never liked this machine ourselves, but there’s nothing, technically, wrong with it.
- Accessible drone
- Easy to fly
- Lots of parts and accessories
- Lower-quality build
- No or very low quality camera
Walkera Rodeo 110: Racing drone
The Walkera Rodeo 110 is a fun and agile little racing drone. Serious racers fly larger and more powerful machines, but serious racers were once beginner racers, and they might have started off with the Rodeo 110 as well. Get a feel for the hobby of drone racing with this drone.
Should I buy the Walkera Rodeo 110?
Racing drones are a different breed of aircraft. They’re harder to fly, do not have flight assist features, have very limited flight time, and usually require you to bind them to expensive third-party remote controls. If I haven’t scared you off, the Rodeo 110 is a fantastic starter racing drone, we think you’ll enjoy it, or at least respect it for helping you get into a new hobby.
- Harder to fly
- Fast and agile
- Short flight time
- Requires third-party remote
Hubsan H501S: Efficient motors
The Huban H501S is simply one of the best GPS-enabled drones from Hubsan. It is an earlier model, things have improved since the H501S launched, but this machine marked an important step forward for Hubsan, introducing many new GPS-enabled features, and powerful brushless motors. To this day, you can generally identify cheap toys by their less-efficient brushed motors, the H501S is no cheap toy.
Should I buy the Hubsan H501S?
Keep your expectations in check, we really like the Hubsan H501S for how easy and fun it is to fly, but it’s still not a camera drone, and it only performs on-par with similarly priced newer drones in the sky today.
- Fun to fly
- Reasonable flight time
- Simple camera
- Older drone
Syma X8 Pro: High-end toy drone
The Syma X8 Pro is another older drone that offers up a camera for the sky. It also proved decent flight time and toy-class connectivity range, and that camera is nothing you’d want to use for a great YouTube video. As far as toy-class drones are concerned, the X8 Pro is still one of the best machines that Syma has produced.
Should I buy the Syma X8 Pro?
We appreciate what Syma accomplished with the X8 Pro, but it is marketed as a camera drone, and we don’t think it does that very well. It is a flying camera but you can get better images from the sky for this price with newer drones or a slightly larger budget.
- Well built toy drone
- Decent low-quality camera
- Heavy for it’s use
- Older drone